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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Coney Island Elevated Railway and the Brighton Beach Race Track

Please find attached a picture of an early elevated railway in Brooklyn which is not well known.  Hopefully I will provided more information about this railway in the future. The C.I.E.R.  is not really a traditional elevated line but a elevated railway on stilts.  It crossed Ocean Parkway at the bridge shown towards the left of the picture.  It was electrified with third rail and used wooden elevated equipment and its right of way was close to the present day BMT Brighton Line on Brighton Beach Avenue.  It predated the present day elevated structure on Brighton Beach avenue by many years.  The picture comes from a historical  site on the web mentioned above which has all sorts of goodies dealing with maps of the area.  Connected with this railway was the Brighton Beach Race Track which way situated between Coney Island Avenues and Ocean Parkway just north of today's Brighton Beach Avenue.  The streets in the area are not the same today..  Incidentally, when I did a seach of a 1924 aerial of the area, nothing remains of the Brighton Beach Race Track by 1924 because of new housing construction in the 1920's.

Some dates:  Tenatative and need to be verified.

Service began on 6/27/1881 using steam engines.
1897-1898 Electrified using third rail.
2/2/1899 Ownership by Kings County Railroad ?
1900 Service ended and surprisingly, tracks were relaid on the surface!

1924 Aerial of the area shown below.  No sign of Brighton Beach Race Track above Brighton Beach Avenue which is the almost horizontal line with two platforms (white rectangles) at Ocean Parkway and Coney Island Avenues (Brighton Beach Station).

1924 Aerial View with Comments

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