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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Interactive Map Test: Several Historic Points in Brooklyn

View Experiment: Transit Facilities in a full screen map

In the test below, I took some points along the 37th Street Corridor and Church Avenue and geocoded them. I then gave a description of the type of transit facility that was available. Thus at Church and McDonald, there is a subway station underground but this intersection had streetcar service until 1956. By moving west ( to the left ) on the map, you can see the remains of the historic railroad lines on the waterfront near 37-39th Streets.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

This Brighton Beach is not in Brooklyn

This Brighton Beach is not in Brooklyn!

It is funny to see a "Brighton Beach" sign on a trolley that is not on a subway car or trolley car in New York.  In fact, I am not sure in he heyday of streetcars in Brooklyn, New York, if a destination curtain had a setting for "Brighton Beach"  in the PCC era.  Since Coney Island was nearby, perhaps Coney Island was a more well know setting.  I think the PCC cars had a setting for Coney Island or West 5th Street Depot instead of "Brighton Beach".  "Brighton Beach" here in Brooklyn is very rich in transit history and probably there was a "Brighton Beach" destination on sign curtains earlier in the 20th Century on street railway equipment.  Of course on BMT subway equipment, such as BMT standards, Triplexes and modern equipment, "Brighton Beach" today and the past is an important terminal.

Enjoy the video from "Down Under".  The destination sign shown in this clip is not really a curtain but is a piece of wood painted with the destinations.

From " 1950's St. Kilda Tram to Brighton Beach" posted by Gezza1967

Tramway Null(0)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tarrytown-White Plains-Mamaroneck Line

Source:  NYD Bulletin, ERA Linder, Vol. 37 No. 3, Page 5.
Additional map and narrative to follow some time in the future.

   There is another map to this line and hopefully I will post it soon.  The map not posted shows the line going south via Mamaroneck Avenue.  I am not familiar with the streetcars of Westchester Coun ty, which is the county just north of the Bronx.  According to Linder, the line started as an electric streetcar in 1895 and one branch ended service on November 17, 1929 and another branch on March 11, 1927.  The Mamaroneck service started on June 30, 1898.  Unlike streetcars in Brooklyn and Manhattan, the track layout shows a lot of single track with bypasses.  The line was on its' way to extinction as early as the late 1920's.  I hope to post more in the future.  Tramway Null(0)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Old Kiev Transport Film

Hi Folks:

   Please look at this interesting film whose subject is the history of Kiev Tramways from 1941 to 1970.  There is also shots of trolleybuses and I believe Kiev built trams running in Warsaw and Prague.  In Russian or Ukrainian, I am not sure, I do not speak both.  I believe there are short clips in Polish and Czech.  I also like the period music.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Church and Rogers Avenue Intersection in Brooklyn (1949)

On Friday of this week, it will be 58 years since streetcar service ended in Brooklyn on the Church Avenue Line and the McDonald Avenue Line.  Brooklyn's first trolleybus line, namely the 23-Cortelyou Road Line also ended service on October 31, 1956.  I was very small when service ended on the Church Avenue and certain details I remembered.  As a small child, I was fascinated by the overhead and tracks.  At the Church and Rogers Avenue intersection, I remembered that there were some branch offs, but what was unusual was the branch off to Rogers Avenue, north of Church Avenue on the east side of Rogers Avenue lead to one track, about one trolley length long.  The one overhead line was over the track and also ended above this stub track by what I remember as a "V".  I had no idea what this was for.  Later on, when I started to lack at track maps, I discovered that in earlier years, perhaps prior to 1935, there was a two track turnout from Church Avenue north of the intersection to the Rogers Avenue Line.  In 1935, the turnout consisted of a "Y" configuration.  This "Wye" allowed a eastbound Church Avenue car to swing into this stub track, which was part of the Rogers Avenue Line trackwork, reverse parallel to Rogers Avenue and swing into the westbound Church Avenue trackway in a reverse move.  This came in handy because in 1951, the Church Avenue Line was equipped with single ended PCC streetcars. 

The pictures below come from the New York City Transit Museum Archive and were taken in 1949.

This is the Church-Rogers intersection I believe facing south;  Church Avenue runs from left to right in this picture.  Notice the curved turnout track in the foreground.

The same location but facing north.  Notice the turnout from Church Avenue to Rogers.  In 1949, the Rogers Avenue line may still have been operating and by 1956, the tracks on Rogers except for the stub reversing track were paved over.  From the NYC Transit Museum Archive.
Below is a Google shot of Rogers Avenue facing north from Church Avenue.  In the foreground there is no indication that a stub track was on the right side of the street.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fulton Street (Brooklyn) "L" Track Plans - 1912

Source:  Linder, B. "Fulton Street 'L' - Track Plans", In New York Division Bulletin, Electric Railroader' Association, Vol. 38, No. 1,  January, 1995, pp.2-4.

For those of you that would like to do research and see the early track plans of the Fulton Street Line in Brooklyn in 1912, please see below.  Notice the Fulton Ferry stub which was very close to the Ferry Line to Manhattan.  The Sands Street station was multilevel and very interesting.  Take a look at "Manhattan Junction" station in 1912.  Some of you are interested in the "Franklin Shuttle" and you can see the prior connection of the "Brighton Line" to the Fulton Street El at the "Franklin Avenue Station".  Parts of the original line at this intersection lasted until the last rebuilding of the line  (Franklin Avenue Shuttle) several years ago.  The structure at Sands Street was complicated and the map does not show the ramp in which streetcars joined the structure for accessing the Brooklyn Bridge.

Indianapolis is to Study Trolleybus Rapid Transit

This interesting information appeared in "Next City" by  Sandy Smith    in their September 30, 2014 issue:

Indy Poised to Build Nation’s First Trolleybus Rapid Transit Line
Among the thousands of projects that received funding in the 2014 round of TIGER grants is one that could lead to the development of a new type of rapid transit using a proven but largely abandoned technology: the nation’s first trolleybus rapid transit line.
Indianapolis’ Fox 59 notes that the $2 million TIGER grant awarded to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization moves the city one step closer to construction of the Red Line, a 28-mile long north-south line running from Carmel to Greenwood via downtown Indianapolis that would be operated by electric buses drawing their power from overhead trolley wires.
The grant will pay for engineering and design studies; the cities of Carmel, Greenwood, Westfield and Indianapolis will chip in to cover the remaining one-third of the $3 million cost of the studies.
A number of U.S. cities purchased trolleybuses, or “trackless trolleys” as they are also known, in the 1940s and 1950s to replace aging streetcars, but most of the cities that operated them eventually took down the wires. Seattle and San Francisco have the most extensive trolleybus systems still in operation today; both cities kept their lines because trolleybuses are better able than diesel buses to scale their steep hills. Boston and Philadelphia also still operate trolleybus routes, but the proposed Indianapolis line would be the first use of trolleybuses in BRT service.
The mayors backing the “rail on tires” proposal tout it as giving Indianapolis an edge in attracting younger residents. Funding to cover construction of the line has yet to be lined up.
The Works is made possible with the support of the Surdna Foundation.
Philadelphia freelance writer Sandy Smith runs the Philly Living Blog for Noah Ostroff & Associates, a Philadelphia real estate brokerage. A veteran journalist with nearly 40 years’ experience, Smith writes extensively on transportation, development and urban issues for several media outlets, including Philadelphia magazine online.

Comments:   I have in my archive from the Electric Railway Association that around August, 1989, the New York City Transit Authority had plans for a sort of Trolleybus Rapid Transit lines in Brooklyn on Church Avenue and near Co-op City (Bx15) in the Bronx and Second Avenue in Manhattan..  Around 1992, the MTA started to actually study this.  Around this time also. Los Angeles also planned a large trolleybus system.  Because the Los Angeles system fell through (in favor of Light Rail), the New York City interest failed as well because of linkage.  Bus Rapid Transit did come to New York City on various routes, but of course, without the trolleybuses.
I wish Indianapolis and its' citizens good luck with this project, they need it.

Tramway Null(0)