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Friday, May 25, 2012

Broadway & 145th Street Line 1915-1947

Source:  B. Linder, New York Division Bulletin, Vol. 44, No. 7, July, 2001, pp.2-4.

The Broadway and 145th Street Line started its' life on April 19, 1915 and ran from West 181st Street and Broadway, via St. Nicholas Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue, 145th Street to Lenox Avenue and 145th Street.  During the period of July 2, 1919 to September 11, 1921, the northern terminal was extended to West 242nd Street and Broadway several times, for  summer service extentions and on weekends.  After 1921, the permanent northern terminal was West 181 Street and Broadway.
This line was unusual because a plow pit was located west of the Lenox Avenue and the 145th Street intersection.  If cars needed to reverse, they had to use trackage just west of the Harlem River or a switch in the Bronx (not shown). The trackage east of the plow pit had trolley wire and in order to reverse, going eastbound, the plow pit crew would have to disconnected the plow, raise the trolley pole, throw a switch and the streetcar would proceed a few hundred feet, reverse and go westbound.  At the plow pit west of Lenox Avenue, the reverse proceedure was followed:  The plow was attached and the trolley pole was lowered.  According to Bernard Linder in the article, the line had 701-801 series cars equipped with overhead trolley and underground conduit equipment. Though not shown on the map, a connecting curve with the Lenox Avenue Line allowed reverse moves using this trackage because there was a crossover at 146 and Lenox. This curve, which existed prior to 1928 allowed for reversals if the bridge was in an open position.


  1. Are you sure this service lasted to 1947? It's not shown/mentioned on this 1941 bus and streetcar map , though the Broadway-Kingsbridge route and 145th St Crosstown route both are and use most of the same tracks.

  2. Hi Threestationsquare:

    I found the article and the dates are April 15 1915 to June 29, 1947 according to Bernard Linder. Perhaps the line was not represented on the surface map that you posted because according to B.Linder, the route never had a route letter displayed or assigned and when the service was discontinued on June 29, 1947, it was not replaced by buses. The line was a Third Avenue Railway Company line that shared some trackage with the New York Railways 145th Street Crosstown until 1920. In my blog, I usually do not discuss car assignments, but B. Linder on page 4 gives a car assignment for this line for the period of February 1942 to April 1946 as cars 71-86 and 967-992. This is the only information that I have at the present.

    I hope that you find this information useful.

    Tramway Null(0)