Mount Loretto Spur


Mount Loretto Spur
OwnerStaten Island Railway
Locale40°31′14″N 74°13′18″W / 40.520507°N 74.221585°W / 40.520507; -74.221585Coordinates: 40°31′14″N 74°13′18″W / 40.520507°N 74.221585°W / 40.520507; -74.221585 Staten Island, New York, USA
TerminiPleasant Plains
Mount Loretto Children's Home
SystemStaten Island Railway
ServicesMount Loretto Excursion Trains/Freight Trains
Operator(s)Staten Island Railway
Openedc. 1891
Number of tracks1
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Mount Loretto Spur is an abandoned branch of the Staten Island Railway whose purpose was to serve the Mount Loretto Children's Home. The spur diverged off of the Main Line south of Pleasant Plains.


The Mount Loretto Spur diverged off of the Main Line south of Pleasant Plains.[1] The branch was a little over a mile long and had a 2% grade. The right-of-way from the Amboy Road grade crossing to Mount Loretto was owned by the Archdiocese of New York, and was not open to the public. Mount Loretto paid for any necessary track maintenance, which was provided by the SIRT. The stop was called the Mission station and was located near Cunningham Road.[2]


The spur was built in 1891 to serve the Mount Loretto Children's Home, and was used to transport excursionists and to provide freight.[3] The line was originally built to bring construction materials for large buildings at Mount Loretto and its powerhouse in the 1890s. Every third Sunday, the SIRT operated a special train from St. George to Mount Loretto for relatives and visitors. The Archdiocese paid for the trips. This direct service ended in 1939 and chartered buses were used afterwards.[4]:110 The trains consisted of three steel cars and a steam locomotive as the line was never electrified.[2][5]:15


The spur received regular freight shipments until the late 1950s, and was abandoned in the early 1960, with the tracks removed soon after. Some ties were still visible until the 1980s. While the spur's junction was removed, the pilings that carried the tracks still exist.[6] Parts of the right-of-way are now a hiking trail.[7] At Mount Loretto, which was destroyed by a fire in December 1973, all that remains is a coal dump trestle.[5]:15[8][9][4]:110


  1. ^ Walsh, Kevin (July 22, 1999). "Staten Island Railway". Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Bommer, Ed. "Mount Loretto Spur on Staten Island". O Gauge Railroading On Line Forum.
  3. ^ "Thousands Were There; Cornerstone Laid of the New Church at Mount Loretto. Many Notable Persons Present – Sketch of the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin and of Its Useful Work – a Great Charity" (PDF). The New York Times. September 14, 1891. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Pitanza, Marc (June 22, 2015). Staten Island Rapid Transit. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781439652039.
  5. ^ a b Leigh, Irvin; Matus, Paul (December 29, 2001). "Staten Island Rapid Transit: The Essential History". Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  6. ^ Pitanza, Marc (August 14, 2004). "SIRT Mount Loretto spur-- The remaining relics of the branch which switched off at Pleasant Plains". Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Kensinger, Nathan (June 23, 2016). "Exploring Staten Island's changing Mill Creek". Curbed NY. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  8. ^ Bommer, Ed (November 2011). "The Mystery Train" (PDF). Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  9. ^ Darlington, Peggy; Eisenstein, Hank. "SIRT Staten Island Rapid Transit". Retrieved December 26, 2017.

External links

  • Mount Loretto Spur track map
  • Picture of remains of the spur
  • Remains of Spur