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Friday, September 8, 2017

Just In!

From:  Coney Island News

Exclusive: Billionaire developer planning ‘Coney Island Trolley’ service

The "Ocean Dreams" complex is under construction, but it will soon be the site of a San Francisco-style trolley service. Photo by Matt Tracy/Coney Island News

The western side of Coney Island will soon have its own trolley service that will go from 3514 Surf Ave. to Coney Island’s Stillwell Ave. subway station, billionaire developer John Catsimatidis said in an exclusive interview with Coney Island News.
Developers at Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group originally discussed a bus service for residents of “Ocean Dreams,” which is slated to open in the spring of 2019. The plan was to provide their tenants with the service to alleviate the long distance to the train, but now they are adding a twist to that idea.
“I am designing something even better… a San Francisco trolley,” Catsimatidis said, adding that it would be called the “Coney Island Trolley.”
It has been decades since Coney Island has had an operating trolley service. Catsimatidis said the trolley will be available for anyone — not just residents of “Ocean Dreams” — but he is not sure how much he will charge per ride. He conceded that it is already a costly process to build the foundation of “Ocean Dreams” amid poor soil conditions at the site. “Everything is going to be above grade because of Sandy,” he said.
Residents expressed concern at a community board meeting that the initially-proposed bus service might interfere with the existing B36 bus service across the street. On the flip side, the B36 bus takes an unusually long time to reach the train station from the western end of Coney Island.

Affordability issues?

Affordability issues were among the main concerns among several local residents who railed against the complex at a community board meeting in June. They were disappointed in the lack of affordable housing units and were worried that the complex would drive up prices in the neighborhood. However, Catsimatidis believes the building’s market-rate apartments are aligned with what the community wants.
“We talked about it with the community in the past and there are a lot of affordable units in that neighborhood already,”Catsimatidis said, adding that “the people actually lobbied us” to incorporate more middle class housing.
There will be 440 apartments available at the complex and it will be first-come, first-serve, he said.

Restaurants and grocery stores

As recently as June, Red Apple Group was not sure whether there would be a restaurant included with the complex. But Catsimatidis said the plan now is to include a supermarket and a drug store on Surf Ave. and a restaurant on the boardwalk. When we asked him what type of supermarket is in the works, he said it would be one that New Yorkers are familiar with — but further details are forthcoming.

  Note:  This is not the first "trolley" proposal for the area.  I hope it is not any faux San Francisco cable car vans!
The problem is that the area is in a flood zone. [ See some of my maps produced a few years ago].  If it is a traditional trolley, may it have wires.  Note, do not buy your tickets today, I guess you will have a long wait!  Best of luck to Mr. Catsimatidis.  Tramway  Null(0)

You got choices:

Trolley like rubber tired van
Traditional Streetcar with Tracks and Wires
Traditional Streetcar with tracks but no wires- diesel engine
Traditional Streetcar with tracks but center conduit- very expensive
Traditional Streetcar with tracks and batteries.
Modern low floor light rail vehicle with wires.
Modern low floor light rail vehicle with diesel engine
Restored PCC car with wires
Modern Trackless Trolley with wires
Modern diesel bus painted to look like a trolley

as so on.
Tramway Null(0)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Nothing New to Report for New York City

Hi Folks:

   Sorry for not adding to my blog recently, but there is nothing new for New York City to report for the things that I am interested in:

  1. No news from the proposed Brooklyn Queens waterfront streetcar.  A major statement was supposed to be issued in April, 2017.  I heard that there is a lot of opposition to it, particularly in Sunset Park and perhaps Red Hook.
  2. I am not a user of commuter railroads in New York City but the repairs to the New Jersey Transit and LIRR  routes on 34th Street and underwater tunnels were completed on time.  It was not a summer of "hell" after all.
  3. I believe R-179 subway cars are about to be delivered.  They will look just like the R160's. today.  I pity the young railfans of subway equipment.   There are very few models of subway cars available and no surprises.
  4. The Second Avenue extension opened in January and as you know, it will take years to start any new construction, either as an extension to 125th Street or on another route such as Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn.  In short, there are no bids to start construction on any subway route in NYC as far as I know.
  5. There are no plans or even talk to bring streetcars to traditional streets such as 42nd Street even though Vision 42 tried very hard.  Other streets for streetcar routes, such as the Grand Concourse, Staten Island PRW routes on the former SIRT,  Surf Avenue Brooklyn never developed besides the talking stage.
  6. In Germany, an interesting story about constructing an E-Highway for trolley trucks may be started.  I believe that these experimental highways are being constructed and or tested in Los Angeles, Sweden and now Germany.

   That's all folks.

Tramway Null(0)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Two Interesting Articles

Why New York City's Transit Crisis Is Only Going to Get Worse by Nikolai Fedak

In New York (YIMBY),  Other articles, Google "Streetcar" & "Brooklyn" for news.

  Being very lazy,  I admit that I did not read both articles well but there seems to be two things that are emerging in New York City dealing with subways and the proposed waterfront streetcar line:

  1. The subways are near collapse and something must be done and
  2. The waterfront streetcar line will cause gentrification and cause many elderly and poor residents to loose their housing.
In the first article by Nikolai Fedak, Fedak takes a dismal view that the subways are just at the point of collapse and that very little can be done to prevent it.  Early 20th Century technology is what the system was built on and there is not enough money and time to upgrade the system.  Now comes the interesting point: Mr. Fedak is interested in re-establishing the elevated lines of Manhattan because they can be a backup to the failing subway system.  Elevated lines can be built at a fraction of the cost of an underground subway line.    In another series of articles, neighborhood activists state that the proposed waterfront line will not solve any transit problems and will just cause many poor people to loose their homes and way of life.  Besides, the present day "G" train and "R" train parallel the proposed route a few blocks away from the water.

In the near future, I will give you my thoughts:  Solution is  light rail on reserved rights of way at the end of some subway routes or on very busy bus routes with some sections elevated like formerly in Boston.  Light rail or streetcars should be brought back to New York City not for development but for being more efficient than buses.   Very heavy bus routes should be converted to light rail if certain engineering criteria are meet.
To be continued.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Philadelphia's Trolleybuses are in Danger?

Hi Folks:  This posting comes from BusChat by Transit ChuckG.  See below.  It looks like that Philadelphia's last three trackless trolley lines in north Philadelphia are about to come history in the next few years if the Proterra electric buses with strong batteries are successful.  This will leave only Boston as the only trolleybus operator in the Northeast.  The United States current trolleybus cities are:  Boston, Philadelphia, Dayton, Ohio, San Francisco and Seattle.  Indianapolis, Spokane Washington and Montreal Quebec expressed interest in setting up new systems but I do not know the status of these proposals.  It is sorry to hear bad news that a traditional trolleybus line or streetcar line is in danger.

Septa Trackless Trolleys

Posted by TransitChuckG on Thu Jul 27 06:44:30 2017
Latest rumor:
News on the trackless General Overhaul program, there will be none. They are letting these play out here for 12 years, they have to, because they were bought with federal funds, and waiting to see how the Proterra electric buses work.If they work out well, they're buying them for the three NE. trackless lines, these trackless trolleys are history. The 59, 66, & 75 will be Proterras. Septa's first nail in the coffin was not buying enough trackless for the 29 & 79 back in 2007. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Brooklyn Trolley Buses: 1930 to July 27, 1960

Data and picture from the web site below.  Picture from the Scalzo Collection.

Rumor has it that after the plug was pulled on Brooklyn's Trolleybuses in July1960, an official New York City report came out that stated that trolleybuses are effective in keeping air pollution down.    It is very unlikely that trolleybuses or streetcars would ever return to Brooklyn because of politics and lack of money.  There is money but it must be used for fixing up the emergency status of subways today.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

George Chiasson Maps on the Harlem River Terminal

Source:  Chiasson, George, "From Recognition to Dominance:   The New York Connecting Railroad (Bridging the Bay and Connecting the Pieces)", In "The Bulletin", Electric Railway Association, Inc,  Vol. 60, No. 6, June, 2017, p. 6.

Mr.  Chiasson has been running a series of articles and maps dealing with the railroads in the New York City region.  Many of his past maps and history deals with subjects that we dealt with here, particular  19th Century beginnings to rapid transit in Brooklyn.  Years ago, we posted information about the Harlem River (Willis Avenue) terminal that for a period of time was used by commuter railroads and the Third Avenue Elevated line.  The aerial shot was obtained from the City of NY DOITT dashboard that presently can present 1924 and 1951 shots of New York City.

Mr. Chiasson is a great railroad historian.  In his series in The Bulletin, history of commuter railroads, the steam engine driven pre rapid transit lines in Brooklyn and the elevated systems in both Brooklyn and Manhattan and the Bronx are covered.  Everything down to grade elimination projects on the Bay Ridge Division over the years is told.  Of course, trolley line history is part of this.
Thank you Mr. Chiasson.

Note, if you look at the aerial picture attached, you may be able to see the covered walkway from the East 133 Street station on the 3rd Avenue El to the Willis Avenue Terminal.
Tramway Null(0)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My New York Subway Classification Scheme

BMT-IND Cars Types

  • R-32
  • R-42
  • R-46
  • R-68
  • R143, R160, R179 (In delivery), very similar to the R-142 and R-188 (IRT) Types.
  • R-211?
Cars in Red to be eventually replaced.
IRT Car Types
  • R-62
  • R-142, R-188  (Similar to BMT-IND R-143, R-160, R-179 types)
So folks, you will be left with cars that look like picture 1 and 3 below for the entire NYC Subway System, after the type in picture 2 (R-68) goes.

Pictures from website.
Picture (top) IRT R-142 and similar to the BMT-IND Types R-160 above)
Middle:  R-46 or R-68, one type
Bottom:  IRT R-62, one type.

I base this on the appearance of the cars.  Actually, there are sub classifications among these car types involving car arrangements, motors, breaking systems and cab widths.  Overall, as I see it, there are on a visual basis two IRT subway car types and 6 BMT-IND car types, or 8 types including the future R-211.  When the R-32's through R-68's are gone, and replaced with drone R-211 types, there will be three system wide types with no seats near windows!  What a boring place!

Just some thoughts about the old subway car types.  There are persons who specialize in this but the BMT Standards consisted of two types, A and B types that had different types of vents, roof construction and destination sign size and arrangements.

The IRT class of cars had many types dealing with different motor types, door arrangements, breaking systems, roof types and so on.  Of course, you had the wooden elevated types as well and articulated units of various types on the BMT.

What remains:  R-62 IRT Type and system wide R-160 types and the gangway type?

Imagine passing the Coney Island Yard and seeing one type of subway car, and a few museum cars?