Passenger service on this suburban line ran from Pavonia Station Jersey City to Haverstraw, the line being completed in 1888. Known now as the Pascack Valley Line and running from Hoboken to Spring Valley this line has operated continuously for over 160 years.
The line was originally chartered as the Hackensack and New York Railroad in 1856. It later became the New Jersey and New York Railroad, which was bought by the Erie Railroad in 1896. The New Jersey and New York Railroad continued to exist as an Erie subsidiary until an 1960 merger that created the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.
Nanuet Station opened in 1841 on the New York and Erie Rail Road that ran from Piermont through to Buffalo via Suffern. At the NJNYRR Nanuet Junction you switched for New City or Piermont/Buffalo and eventually Haverstraw by 1888. Today the Nanuet station is the one of the busiest on the Pascack Valley Line.
In 1870, the NJ&NY was completed through to the Town of Haverstraw, with all the stations completed north to West Haverstraw by 1873. The Haverstraw depot and yards were completed in 1888 when a cut under Upper Broadway was opened, with the end of line at West Broad Street.
Until the opening of the Jersey City and Albany Railroad in 1879, this was the only railroad in North Rockland. Serving as the milk train and to transport brick from inland yards, it’s impact was felt primarily in the brickyard coal business, bringing much needed competition to the area in this commodity.
Mount Ivy Depot was located west of the Palisades Parkway, just south of now Route 202. The line continued north, past Gurnee Lake behind Birch Drive. An active freight line well into the 1950’s, you could see the right of way from the beach club.
If you look at a map today, the line traveled north between Riverglen Drive and the creek, past the now Town Highway garage towards Langschur Court.
The spur line into Letchworth Village was built in 1911, terminating at the power station. This freight only spur took coal, foodstuffs, and general freight while all passenger service to the institution was from Thiells Station.
Below are the Thiells-Mt. Ivy Road and Overpass Road abutments.
Thiells Station was located at the corner of now Rosman Road and Langschur Court. The right of way under Rosman Road is visible today, and the overpass continued over the creek to now Thiells-Mt. Ivy Road. This was the highest point on the line at 285 feet above sea level. Doodlebug passenger service continued into Thiells for many years after both Haverstraw and West Haverstraw were closed to passenger service.
Today, the line still visibly follows the Minisceongo Creek east crossing both the creek and now Suffern Lane continuing to the junction with the Stony Point Branch at Central Highway in Garnerville.
The Stony Point branch junction was in the area north of Railroad Avenue with the branch line following now Central Highway. The Stony Point branch was never completed and ended in a field at now Rt 210.
Garnerville had extensive sidings serving the Print works. Just up the hill from West Haverstraw station, Railroad Avenue was a busy commercial area that supported the many full time workers of North Rockland.
The Line continued east from Central Highway behind the Garnerville Elementary School through the fields crossing Chapel Street between the Church and the rear exit to Helen Hayes hospital north of West Railroad Avenue.
West Haverstraw Depot was at the Corner of now 9W and Railroad Avenue. From 1873, West Haverstraw was the northernmost terminus of the railroad. Until the opening of the Jersey City and Albany Railroad in 1879, the NJ&NYRR was the only railroad to serve North Rockland.
The line continued diagonally southeast from West Haverstraw and crossed under old Route 9W behind Dunkin Donuts today. Crossing diagonally through the bowling alley parking lot, it then followed the Minesecango Creek east under the West Shore Line.
A grade crossing was on Samsondale avenue at the old Esso station, with spur lines into the Peck yard, up the beach and to the dock. The mainline recrosses the creek again behind the old Hornick property, crossing under Broadway at Brennan’s Bridge, with the end of track at West Broad Street.