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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sneak Preview of the Interior of the new R-179 Car

From Subchat:   Posted by Chud1

Re: R179 car interior sneak peek - video

Posted by chud1 on Sun Sep 11 15:06:27 2016, in response to R179 car interior sneak peek - video, posted by gold_12th on Sun Sep 11 12:48:36 2016.
5 drooling stars out of 5 drooling stars for da video of da R-179.

See one of the first views in one of the newly delivered R-179 cars.  Yes it is nice, but boring.  It seems that there are now for the New York City Subway just a few subway car classes.  How boring.  When the R-46 and R-68's are gone, no more seat near windows.  When the R-32's are gone, no rail fan window.  Coming to a subway near you.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Do You Think That Everything that We Love can be knocked out by Robot Cars?

Hi Folks:

   Today, a study came out that shows that 74 percent of those sampled are in favor of the new proposed streetcar line on the Brooklyn - Queens waterfront.  In an article (not attached), the writer asked some persons about the future of the proposed line and a person said that the line may be obsolete by 2020 because of automated taxi fleets like those proposed by Uber.  Some people think that in the future, instead of going to a subway station or a bus or tram stop, a user can call a taxi service and deliver the person driverless to a destination.  Therefore, why invest in an expensive light rail / tram line?
   I believe that in rural areas, or suburban area, this idea may work.  You do not have to purchase a car and the car will not side idle in your garage for hours.  These automated cars will be more efficient because there is little down time.  But what happens when you have a large building surrounded by narrow streets like in Manhattan?  Can thousands of passengers be delivered to one location surrounded by narrow streets by individual cars?  What about the Brooklyn - Queens waterfront trolley?  Perhaps Brooklyn - Queens trips can be handled by car but what if the person wants to bet to Exchange Place in Manhattan, a narrow street?  In my opinion, for congested cities with narrow streets and for cities surrounded by rivers and bays, the autocar option may not work because the roadways are already congested.  For suburban or rural areas, rapid transit may be dead in the future because of this.   For places in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, that are presently far away from rapid transit, this will spell the end of any hope of any subway extensions because if you do not need to go to Manhattan,   In a city like NY, surrounded by waterways and limited number of bridges and tunnels, can you pack in more cars as you drive people away from buses and subways?  Everything goes in cycles:  Rapid Transit Development in the late 19th Century, a peak in the 1920's, rise of the automobile and decline of rapid transit in the 1950-1960's.  Rebirth in the 1970's to 2015 in trams, trolleys and subways and now perhaps a decline to robot cars.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Warsaw 1935 3-D

  Hi Folks:

    I just came across a series of videos that reconstructs sections of Warsaw, Poland on video in 3-D for the year 1935.   There is a great deal of tramway action in these clips, including very realistic overhead.  The overhead at junctions was included and shows entire streets with realistic overhead.  I do not know more about this but check out the two references above.   My Polish is not that good but Google Warszawa Przed Wola..   Warsaw before the War.  In 3-D, 1935.  This automation, I believe under the "Newborn" label is fantastic.   Take a look at the tram yard and the reflections in a passing tram's windows.  Take a look at the aerial shots showing streetcars running on various streets. and the cute airplane that almost meets you.    The focus on the film above does not appear to be what is called the "Central Business District" but a working class area.  I know that most of Warsaw was destroyed by the Germans in 1939 and that perhaps this 3-D video was constructed because many of the original buildings were still standing.

Enjoy:  Tramway Null(0)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pope Travels in Krakow with Modern Streetcar

No matter what your religion or philosophy is, this is good news for telling the world about modern streetcars.  Many Americans that live in transit deserts believe that streetcars are only San Francisco cable cars.   More to follow.  Pictures taken off web from German site.  While in Krakow for a religious youth festival, the pope was transported by modern tram.

From Washington Post:

5:40 p.m.
Pope Francis has taken a ride with disabled young people through the heart of Krakow in an electric tram — underlining his mission to fight climate change and encouraging more concern for the disadvantaged.
When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires in his native Argentina, Francis rode public transport to inspire humility within the church hierarchy.
The tram was decorated in the Vatican colors of yellow and white. In place of the usual destination indicator were the words “Tram del Papa” — Italian for “the pope’s tram.”
His actual destination was Blonia, a park where young Catholics participating in World Youth Day were gathering.

From Washington Post:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tomorrow is the 56th Anniversary of the End of Trolleybus in Brooklyn: July 27, 1960

Tomorrow is the 56th Anniversary of the end of trolleybus service in Brooklyn.  The Brooklyn system was a mid size system, about 200 trolleys.  The line started small but the entire system was expanded around 1948-49.  The system lasted just about thirty years (July 23, 1930 to July 27, 1960).  Parts of this system ran into Queens.  Trolleybus boroughs were Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.  The Staten Island system existed in the 1920's.  An official from the Transit Authority told me very long ago (1970) that a system was visioned for Bronx and Queens and at some locations, wood holders for the trolleybus wires were found in parts of Bronx and Queens (non BMT system). Compared to the subway, buses, elevated lines and streetcars, the duration of trolleybus traction in NYC was not long.  The Staten Island system did not last long.
   In the 1990's there were plans for a 2nd Avenue trolleybus system in Manhattan and there were other proposals for a line on Church Avenue Brooklyn and Fordham Road in the Bronx.  Of course, nothing every came of these proposals except Select Bus Service on some of the mentioned routes above.

  When the plug was pulled on this system in 1960, the last regular revenue trolley type of service with electricity ended in New York State.  Years later, a light rail system was established in Buffalo New York with some street running.  With new technology that does not need overhead wires, it is unlikely that trolleybus would ever return to New York City.  A few years ago, I heard that Montreal Canada wanted to start a trolleybus system due to environmental concerns but nothing came of it.
  Below is a photo from the NYCsubway web site.  This is 1954 Cudahy picture.

System: B&QT Trolleybus
Photo by: Brian J. Cudahy
Date: 1954
Notes: Trolley coach No. 3108 on Bergen Street Route running along Court Street

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Solution to Dealing with the Future Closure of the "L" Line

As many of you know, the 14th Street - Canarsie Line "L"  will require extensive work on it's under river tunnels. This work will require shutting down one or both tubes at once and will delay thousands of passengers on a daily basis.  The "L" line has increased ridership in the past several years and is one of the busiest line in the city.  Unlike other lines, the "L" line is somewhat isolated and there is no relatively speaking, no other line nearby.   Likewise,  recently, in the news, there are plans to make the former trolley terminal, at Essex and Delancey Streets into an underground experimental park.  What a waste.  If it is possible to get streetcars and not buses back into this terminal, an easy transfer to the J, M, Z and F routes would be obtained.   Won't this cost Billions and take 20 years to build, if approved?  The first critical issue is:  Can the Williamsburg Bridge, as currently constructed, carry streetcars and is there enough clearance for pantographs and wires?    This is the key point.  If yes, then......

  1. Does temporary trolley track exist and is it cheap to buy?  This type of track only lasts for about a year or so and does not go down deep into the pavement and may be held to the street or roadbed by metal non slip plates.
  2. Is a supply of second hand streetcars are available that are in relatively good condition?  Perhaps second hand Czech made trams formerly from the eastern block are available.
  3. Is the pathway clear from the bridge portal in Manhattan to the former trolley terminal?  When streetcars crossed the Williamsburg bridge until 1948, trolleys did not run via the subway tracks but on their own right of way.  If temporary flat tracks can not be built on the auto roadway, can streetcars run on the subway tracks on the bridge without disrupting traffic?  Is there a Federal law that prohibits light rail and heavy rail on the same tracks?
  4. In the Williamsburg area and beyond to the north and east, would residents object to having temporary tracks built on some of the local streets?  This track may interfere with bicycle traffic.  Would the local residents object to wires and poles on the streets?
  5. A selection of temporary streetcar routes, that run near the L train can run into the Delancey Street terminal.  This terminal had at least five local Brooklyn trolley routes running into it.
  6. How much does this all cost, even using second hand cars and temporary track and wires?
  7. Why not buses into the trolley terminal?  There may be a air quality problem and their are tight clearances near the loops.
  8. Will the automobile drivers object to sharing the bridge roadway with streetcars?
What do you think of this?  Also, as brought up in subchat today, a few trolley stations existed on the bridge for the convenience of local residents, such as the one at Driggs Avenue

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Ft. Hamilton Parkway on the BMT Culver Line was never built in the Parkway Style

Not to long ago,  a reader of SUBCHAT asked why the Ft. Hamilton Parkway station, at 37th Street was built in the traditional BMT Dual Contracts style and not with a concrete arch, found at other parkway stations, throughout the city, such as Bay Parkway, Ocean Parkway, Pelham Parkway and other stations.  I cannot answer you but I will say that the former station at 37th Street and Ft. Hamilton Parkway is similar to the present day "Avenue P" station on the F train.  There is a booking hall under the station over Avenue P and parts of the platform area, are not covered with a canopy.  The former Ft. Hamilton Parkway also had one central entrance area. The picture below comes from a Culver Shuttle web site and shows the wooden wind screens that were never replaced with metal.  Notice the former walkway which was similar to the one at Avenue P and McDonald Avenues.

Perhaps a more elaborate  structure was not constructed because at the time of building (1914-19?), Ft. Hamilton Parkway was formerly called "Ft. Hamilton Avenue?".  Also, the area under the el was not paved, which was the former PRW of the Culver Line that ran on the surface. Of course, the street crossing was paved.  The area was a shabby area with a lot of South Brooklyn RR turnouts and perhaps it was not the place to make a fancy elevated structure, at least over the parkway.  It is ironic that if the second IND system would have been built, a branch off would have run under Ft. Hamilton Parkway to Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Staten Island.  Perhaps there would have been an interchange station between IND Staten Island trains and BMT Culver shuttle trains at this point and perhaps the structure would have been upgraded.  Just some thoughts though.  It is possible that under the el structure, up to Ft. Hamilton Parkway, parts of the South Brooklyn RR PRW may have had Third Rail .