Michigan Transportation History

Nassau Electric Railroad

Street RailwayLong IslandNew YorkBrooklynCompanyThingPublic

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The Nassau Electric Railroad (NER) was a short-lived (1893-1899) trolley line operating in Brooklyn, New York. The name refers to the older name for Long Island which was Nassau Island. The railroad was incorporated on March 13, 1893, by Patrick H. Flynn and became known locally as "Flynn's road." Prior to incorporation, Flynn secured franchises in many Kings County towns under a variety of operating and construction companies. He later consolidated those companies into NER. The line ran along Ocean Avenue from near Coney Island to central Brooklyn.

Flynn was a Brooklyn real estate developer who grew frustrated at the slow pace of street railway? development in and around Brooklyn. He began promoting street railway lines that would connect Brooklyn with other towns on Long Island. In the promotion and construction of these lines, Flynn was often in court litigating or defending the legitimacy of his franchises or routes.

The NER quickly earned a reputation as a passenger-friendly road. It charged a five-cent fare and free transfers to anywhere on its system. These policies were extremely competitive and forced other lines, including excursion railroads, to lower fares or offer free transfers.

By 1896, Flynn was buying up his competitors, the Atlantic Avenue Railroad, and the Brooklyn, Bath, and West End Railroad.

By 1899, Flynn was losing control of the company to a railway syndicate controlled by Tom L. Johnson. In January, the Johnson syndicate leased the line for 999 years to the Brooklyn Heights Railroad? (BHR), which was also controlled by the Johnson syndicate. The lease was vigorously opposed by Flynn but because he was then without a controlling interest in the company, he was powerless to stop it. By the end of the year, the NER ceased to exist as an independent entity as Johnson folded the line completely into the BHR.


Brian J. Cudahy, How We Got to Coney Island: The Development of Mass Transportation in Brooklyn and Kings County (Fordham University Press, 2002), 129-140.

Citation: When referencing this page please use the following citation:

R. D. Jones, "Nassau Electric Railroad," Michigan Transportation History (Ypsilanti, MI: 2020), www.michtranshist.info/.

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Page last modified on March 31, 2020, at 10:48 AM EST

Page last modified on March 31, 2020, at 10:48 AM EST