Historic Walking Tours of Narragansett Pier

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Above, left, part of a map from a 1895 atlas showing the easternmost part of the route of the Narragansett Pier Rail Road.
Right, the end of the line in 1884

The Narragansett Pier Rail Road

Riding the growing interest in wealthy people from New York and Philadelphia in the burgeoning
resort of Narragansett Pier, an eight-mile-long railroad began operations in 1876, offering both
freight and passenger service linking Narragansett Pier with stations in Wakefield and Peace Dale
and what is now the Amtrak station in Kingston. In its heyday the line could enable passengers to
travel from Grand Central Station in New York to the
station at Narragansett Pier in fivehours
without having to change trains. Passenger service, after many years in the red, ended in 1952,
althoughfreight service and occasional special excursions were offered as late as the 1970s.

A trolley line, the Seaview Railroad, began in 1898 and ran for 22 years, for a time offering service
between the
Pier and Saunderstown. There were many ambitious plans made around the turn
of the 20th Century for
additional rail services, but they all fell victim to financial woes and the
increasing popularity of the automobile.

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A Short Haul to the Bay Courtesy of david m beach, 407 492-2311, www.cigarboxlabels.com

The Narragansett, one of the NPRR's locomotives. An 1876 NPRR stock certificate

Further reading …

A Short Haul to the Bay, by James N. J. Henwood, 1968

Through the Woods and Across the Fields to Narragansett Pier, by G. Edward Prentice, 1983

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