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Friday, March 23, 2012

Your Track Guide to the "3rd Avenue El" Movie

Many years ago, when I vistited the New York City Transit Museum, in the film area they were playing the attached short movie.  This short movie has great nostalgic value and has great classical music that is coordinated with the film.  Using my previously posted maps of the "3rd Avenue El" before abandonment, you can get a better picture of what area that the train covers.  This short film starts in the downtown financial district but does not end uptown at Gun Hill Road in the Bronx.  Instead it covers mainly Manhattan.  My best parts are the serpentine "S" curve at Coenties Slip and the drawbridge scene at the Harlem River.  This film also shows what I call another Icon of New York City, the BISHOP CROOK Street Lamps that frame the Coenties Slip scene.  Thousands of these lamps were all around the city. The film seems to have been shot before the section from Chatham Square to South Ferry was abandoned around 1950.

  • The starting scenes that show a two track elevated structure and station between high buildings is probably at the Hanover Square Station, or Fulton Street or Franklin Square stations.
  • The El going around an "S" curve at both day and night scenes are at Coenties Slip.
  • Notice the El going under the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Views of the El showing long stretches of staight track are on 3rd Avenue.
  • "Drunk" scenes are along the Bowery and the brewery is probably in Yorkville near East 86 Street..
  • Although two level express stations at 9th Street, 23rd Street, 42nd Street, 106 Street and 125th Street are not shown, you can see the raising of the middle express track in some places.
  • Views of two layer elevated track a few inches away from the back of apartment and tenement houses is probably in the Bronx just north of the Harlem River but south of 149th Street where the track was built over a private right of way.  (This may be in another video.)
  • Notice the great drawbridge scene that is coordinated with the great Haydn music.
  • You may get to view for a few seconds the area where the 133 Street yard is when you see the El crossing the Harlem River.
  • Notice the stations and the lattice type of iron work and the great stained glass windows.
I hope you enjoy the film:  Tramway Null(0)

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