The North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway has an interesting story. It was completed in 1886 and ran between the Port Ivory and Saint George neighborhoods. It was used for both freight and passenger service. The line had several different kinds of obstacles and terrain to cross. Freight and passengers coming over from NJ would go through Arlington freight yard and then through an open cut into the ground. After crossing under the approach to the Bayonne Bridge, the line then rose onto the mile long Port Richmond Viaduct, eliminating the need for many grade crossings. Moving east brings you to the most interesting part of the line. There was opposition from local land owners in the Snug Harbor area who didn't want the line going through their property. So builders had to come up with a solution. On the north shore right along the water a wood trestle was built to support the track and then was filled in with rock fill and ballast. A wood retaining wall was built to hold everything in. The line was completed and started service in 1886. Fast forward to the 1953 with ridership in decline, passenger service ended. But in 1957 a special passenger train was run to bring Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip from Washington D.C. to Stapleton Station on the east shore of the island. Freight service continued until the mid 1980's when the line was embargoed from Elm Park to Saint George due to lack of business. Today the western portion of the North Shore Branch is back in use serving the Howland Hook Marine Terminal and is served by Conrail. As for the portion of track built on the wood trestle, not much remains. 30 plus years of coastal erosion, storms, and several hurricanes, have really taken its toll. As you can see much of the wood support structure and retaining wall has rotted away and rock fill washed out to sea. But the track remains rusting away year after year waiting for another train that will never come.