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Friday, June 8, 2012

Grand Street Line (Manhattan) 1931 - Another Line that crossed the Williamsburg Bridge

Source: B. Linder, New York Division, Electric Railroaders' Association, The Bulletin, Vol. 44, No. 12, December, 2001. Pages 2-4.
   Since we were on the topic of the Williamsburg Bridge, here is another conduit line that crossed the bridge and went to Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn.  According to B, Linder, ownership of the line by the Dry Dock, East Broadway & Battery Rail Road Company started on April 17, 1860, but the actual starting date is not known.  Using a well known guide (Bullinger's Monitor Guide),  Linder was able to establish that by 1869, horse cars started to operate from Grand Street ferry to the Desbrosses Street ferry on the Hudson River.  The last day of horse car service was August 2, 1905 and various sections of the line became electrified by conduit in stages.  By November 28, 1905, an additional branch from Desbrosses Street Ferry to Bridge Plaza in Brooklyn was opened.  Brooklyn service was discontinued on January 21, 1932 and September 3, 1932 was the last day of streetcar service.  The next day buses started over the same route but not going to Brooklyn.  I wonder if a Brooklyn - Desbrosses Street Line would be popular today.  Many 19th Century streetcar lines in Brooklyn and Manhattan serviced ferry terminals.  The Grand Street Line, when it started enabled a Brooklyn passenger to eventually reach New Jersey.  It is interesting that today, if the line existed, it would serve two fashionable areas, SOHO and Williamburg and its surroundings.

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