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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Elevation of Staten Island Railway Stations at Street Level

  Staten Island has an interesting railway that shares many characteristics with its' relatives across the bay in the other boroughs of New York City. Almost 100% open air except for some small tunnel segments, this two track, third railed powered line operates subway like equipment very similar to the R-44/R-46 class. In the 1920's, there were plans to build a tunnel under the narrows to join the Staten Island Railway with the BMT Fourth Avenue subway in Bay Ridge Brooklyn.  Except for some shafts, nothing much more was built.  The elevations shown are at street level at the station location.  Some smaller segments on the eastern side of the line closed in the 1950's and they are not shown on the map that was produced in ARCGIS.  There are some plans to activate the North Shore Line (represented as a railroad) but from what I was told, it is not likely to be light rail or rapid transit.  The Staten Island Railway used prior to the R-44/R-46 class cars equipment that was very simlar to that of the BMT Steel "BMT Standard" cars.  In fact, a group of these cars, as a result of trackage abandonments on Staten Island in the 1950's  found their way on various BMT southern division lines.
Both photos above are from the George Conrad Collection located at the http://www/ website.  The first photo is that of former SIRR cars on the Culver Line at Fort Hamilton Parkway just about to make a left turn to the incline towards the Ninth Avenue Station probably in 1955.  The second photo is also from the same source and was shot on 11/12/1955 showing a train equipped with SIRR equipment.  This is a north bound Culver Line train at the 13th Avenue Station.  The Flatbush Industrial Building is in the background and it is still standing.  It had its' own spur to the South Brooklyn Rail Road with trolley wire.  These cars were very interesting in that the middle doors were BMT Standard like and the end doors were like IRT Lo V doors.  Destination signs were metal plates.
In the photo above, a SIRR car rests on the Culver Line at the Ditmas Avenue station.  This photo, which is from the collection of David Pirmann is interesting because to the lower left of the car at street level is the Kensington Loop of the Church Avenue/McDonald Avenue trolley line with the wires and poles visible.  You can see the Flatbush Industrial Building to the far left and perhaps you can make out the overhead wires on the Cortelyou Road-16th Avenue trolleybus line also at the far left near the 38th Street Park.

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