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Friday, October 19, 2012

Route Map of Manhattan Streetcar Lines - 1920

Source:  B. Linder,"Manhattan Street Car Lines  - 1920", New York Division Bulletin, Vol 30, No. 2, February , 1987, pp 4-5.

  I found this interesting map in my archive.  It is a map of Manhattan streetcar routes and does not show the trackwork.  Route infomation is interesting for transportation historians.  This map, as of 1920,  has an interesting table on the right side of map showing the then existing routes and the companies that ran them.  From this map, we can see that Manhattan conduit trolleys, such as Grand Street and Brooklyn, Post Office and Brooklyn, Christopher Street Ferry, 7th Avenue and Brooklyn and 14th Street Crosstown routes used conduit trackage over the Williamsburgh Bridge to Brooklyn.  This is a good research tool.  Tramway Null(0)


  1. So if a person wanted to get to Bellevue Hospital from Fulton & Bedford in Brooklyn, what would be the fastest way using a combination of mass transit existing in the mid-20s?


  2. Hi Wiseherd:

    I cannot give you an exact answer because info in my archive dealing with train frequency is not indexed and I cannot find easily the table to calculate travel times. At any rate, in 1920s, the Independent subway under Fulton Street did not exist and you had to deal with the BRT (BMT from 1923) Fulton Street El. I would take a BRT Fulton Street El train from Nostrand Avenue and Fulton Street to Park Row Manhattan. I would then go downstairs and take the IRT Lexington Avenue Line to 28 th Street. If an express train came in, I would take the express to 14th Street and change for the local to 28th Street. I would then have the big walk from 28th Street and Fourth Avenue (Now Park Avenue South) to the hospital at 28th Street and First Avenue. Or, at Park Row, I would transfer (new fare) for a 2nd Avenue or 3rd Avenue El train. I believe there was a passageway to the City Hall Stop of the 2nd and 3rd Avenue El at Park Row. I am not sure if 2nd Avenue service ran from City Hall at all times. If 3rd Avenue El trains ran only at the time you were there, you may have to change at Chatham Square for a 2nd Avenue Local. You would take the 2nd Avenue El to 28th Street which was a local stop. Depending on the time of day that you made your trip, express service may have saved you time if you traveled in the PM. I do not have my map available, but I think 14th Street was an express stop. Look in one of my posts If there was uptown express service, you could have taken it to an express stop and change for a local. You would get off at 2nd Avenue and 28th Street and walk one block to the hospital. If you wanted to go by streetcar, you would need to take a streetcar that crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to Park Row and transfer for a Manhattan streetcar. This would not be the fastest method. Many of the streetcars in the area were battery operated near Park Row going to the lower east side and were perhaps not the fastest was to travel. The Lexington Avenue Line was very fast in those days and this would be an option but you would need to walk from 28th Street and Fourth Avenue. I believe the 28th Street Crosstown which may have been battery operated was gone by 1919.

    Sorry that I cannot be of further help.

    Tramway Null(0)