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Friday, November 30, 2012

West End Trolley Private right of way with its' own UFO

Folks, I copied this wonderful photo from subchat this morning from a post dealing with private right of ways..  It is the West End Trolley private right of way near the BMT West End Line.  The private right of way even has its' own UFO.  Notice BMT style wooden windscreen.  Great photo.  See   Posted in Subchat by Avid Reader.  Location of photo is at 83rd Street.  18th Avenue Station is in the background.  Other private right of way photos are posted by Avid Reader in his posting.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New York City Subway Stations with Street Elevations less than or equal to 15 Feet

In the map below that I prepared in ARCGIS,  I selected those subway/elevated stations that have a street elevation of 15 feet or less.  For the Rockaway area, which was devastated by Sandy, except for Rockaway Park station, the stations are on a concrete viaduct.  The elevations listed are at the street surface.  Generally, the stations effected by flooding are those that are underground and have a low surface elevation.  For elevated stations that have street level elevations at low levels, such as Brighton Beach, the station was not effected but the surrounding community was.  Some of the elevated stations that are at low lying areas, such as Coney Island - Stillwell Avenue and Ocean Parkway did not show up on the map because their street elevations were listed as above 15 feet.  This I believe is a mistake because technically, my "spatial join" picked up building elevations; perhaps the height of the station itself or surrounding buildings instead of the surface elevation.  I apologize for this but I believe that the map overall shows that the areas in distress as a result of Hurricane Sandy are indicated on the map.  It is possible that the elevation file give for the Stillwell Avenue location the height of the station and not the street elevation.  See second map where the street elevation for Stillwell Avenue is not correct.  The shape file provided the height of the elevated structure and not the street.  The streets near Stillwell Avenue are below 25 feet as indicted by the legend.  Sorry for the mistake.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Steinway Tunnel Trolley Map 1907 and Queensboro Plaza Area Maps

Source: B. Linder, "Flushing Line Queensboro Plaza Area, 1924-38", "Flushing & Astoria Lines Queensboro Plaza Area, 1917-1924", "Steinway Tunnel Trolley 1907", in New York Division Bulletin, ERA, Vol .34, No. 1, January, 1992, pp.3,5.

  The Queensboro Plaza elevated station has today four tracks on two levels with center island platforms.  In years past, the complex was more complex with eight tracks on two levels.  The service pattern was more complex with joint BMT IRT operation on I believe both branches. The 2nd Avenue El also ran to the plaza after crossing the Queensboro Bridge.  In the left hand corner of one of the maps, is an interesting diagram of the Steinway Tunnel Trolley that was originally built between Lexington Avenue (Grand Central) and 21Street in Queens.  I believe that although the wire was up and the system was complete, no revenue trips were run using trolleys and the tunnel was unused after many years until it was converted to subway rapid transit configuration with third rails.  These two tubes are used today by Number 7 Flushing Line trains.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Up to 1924, Coney Island Creek extended beyond Ocean Parkway

According to the 1924 Aerial that I used and georeferenced on an ARCGIS map that I prepared, it seems that the Coney Island Creek ran north in the area that became the Coney Island Shops and Yards.  Another branch of the creek extended easterly between Shell Road and Ocean Parkway at the location of the present day Belt Parkway.  In addition, it seems that a branch also extended across Ocean Parkway at the present day Belt Parkway and turned north as far as Hubbard Street near Avenue Z.  Notice the unbuilt area between Shell Road where the F train runs today all the way to East 2nd Street north of Avenue Z.  As far as I know,  many of the signals are still knocked out in the Coney Island Yard and trains need to be stored on the express tracks of neighboring lines.  You can see why because this area was formerly on the site of the creek.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Can You Locate the UFO's in these photographs?

This shot from Subchat is an early 20th Century shot of the Brighton Beach Private Right of way for elevated trains that run on the surface.  Location is near present day Brighton Beach Avenue. Notice the UFO at the center of the shot above the elevated car.
Notice two or more UFO's.  PCC 1000, the unique "Queen Mary" at Kensington Loop.  The apartment house above the PCC is still standing and it is located on 16th Avenue.  Notice that the UFO's love trolley support poles.  The second shot is from above at the Ditmas Avenue Station showing a SIRT car in Culver Line service.   Notice the UFO near a trolley support pole below.  From Dave's Rail Pix.  Perhaps the water tank on top of the Flatbush Industrial Building is the mother ship.  Top picture is from Dave Pirmann collection from Joe Testagrose.  SIRT picture credit given in another posting.

PCC car 1040 on the Church Avenue Line at the First Avenue Loop on the waterfront.  Notice that the destination sign is marked "Bristol" Street instead of "Rockaway Avenue".  Two more UFO's are interested in checking out the action.   They are also interested in the entrance to the trolley tunnel at Church Avenue and Ocean Parkway as well. 

These pictures are from Dave's Rail Pix Dave Pirmann collection from Joe Testagrose. and subchat.

So we can see from these pictures that UFO's and their ET's inside love trolleys and rapid transit and like to be around trolley loops.  Perhaps they want to set up some lines on Mars, they aleady have the canals that may be used as Right of Ways.  Incidentally, these UFO's are powered by six large incandescent light bulbs.

Church Avenue PCC car bound for
16th and McDonald Avenues (Kensington Loop under Ditmas Avenue Station)  just emerged from the trolley underpass at Ocean Parkway and Church Avenue at East 5th Street and is greeted by a UFO just above the car.   As a child, I remembered that this "UFO" was lighted 24 hours a day.  This photo comes from the website and is from the Joe Testagrose collection.  The period for this shot is between 1951 when Church Avenue got the PCC cars and the end on October 31, 1956.  I would like to thank Dave Pirmann and Joe Testagrose from making these shots available on the web.  Without these pictures, it would hard to imagine the system that was before its' destruction over 50 years ago in Brooklyn.

In the photo below, which is really a clip from one of the Brooklyn Trolley videos that I posted earlier,  you are seeing a westbound Church Avenue or Chuch Avenue - McDonald car just about to enter the trolley tunnel at Ocean Parkway at the easterly entrance.  Notice the UFO; probably a relative to the one at the westerly entrance.  If you look at the extreme left, at the head level of the man waiting for the next trolley, you can see the the 13th Avenue station of the Culver Line.  The slight raised point there is the outline of a red brick lumberyard at 37th Street and Church Avenue which was the site of the Nassau Electric yard.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Coal Bins at Gravesend and 16th Avenue Brooklyn

A reader was searching for coal bins at 16th Avenue and McDonald (Gravesend) Avenues in Brooklyn.  In this 1924 Aerial, you can see the coal bins near the historic Kensington Junction circled in red.  Also, the private right of way of the 16th Avenue Streetcar is also shown.  The private right of way was also known as Lott Place.  You can see Culver el swing to the left at 37th Street.  This is before the Independent Subway ramp was built connecting to the Church Avenue Station.  The Church Avenue station openned in the early 1930's.  By the 1950's, this group of coal bins was gone but others remained along the Culver right of way along 37th Street and McDonald Avenue.

Manhattan's Avenue C Streetcar Line

Source: Linder, Bernard, " Avenue C Line - 1919 ", In  New York Division Bulletin, Electric Railroaders' Association, Vol. 31, Number 8, August, 1988, pp.4-5.

According to the material supplied by B. Linder, horse cars started running on this line in 1870.  There were many route changes to this line throughout the years, but it basically went from the Desbrosses Street Ferry on the Hudson River at West Street to First Avenue and 24th Street where there may have been a ferry to Long Island City.  In 1916, battery cars replaced horse cars and by September 21, 1919, the line was replaced by buses.  So we can see that this line was never equipped with conduit trackage.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saint Petersburg New Low Floor Articulated Trams

To access this film clip, say "yes" to open.

Hi Folks,

   Through my friend Igor, I was sent this great news clip regarding St. Petersburg new low floor trams.  Thank you, Igor.  Includes some material on antique trams as well.  In Russian.  You will enjoy this short clip.

Tramway Null(0)

Downflow direction, density for Lower East Side Manhattan

In the attached map I used GRASS 6.4.1. to build a hydrology map showing downstream flow from rain showing direction, density and flow using the street elevation file as a basis.  I cannot give an answer why the area around 14th Street on the Lower East Side has such a high density of flow since this area is relatively flat but of low elevation.  This is just an experiment and not a professional assessment.

Shreveport Louisiana Trolleybus Map

Source:  "Shreveport:  The Trackless Trolley Years 1931-65", In Southern Traction Annals Trolley Coach News, Ruffin, Tom, Winter and Spring, 1981, Vol. 12, Number 1, Published May, 1984.

Shreveport Louisian had an interesting trolleybus operation that ended in 1965.  This not well known system had a unique system of route identification where each route had a unique symbol made out of sheet metal that was connected on the roof on the front driver's side.

  Map above comes from page 17 of the sited work and was drawn by Wayne Hom in January, 1975.  The overhead wire diagram comes from a Ray Degroote Map of 2/63.  The map covers the period of 1956 to 1965.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Classic Shot of GG Train Leaving Smith-9th Street

  Many of my posts deal with the area around Red Hook, the Smith-9th Street Subway Station and the Culver Viaduct.  In this classic shot, showing the Manhattan skyline, a "GG" train of classic R1-9 subway cars are leaving the station and descending into the tunnel for their trip to Manhattan.  According to the skyline in this picture, I will date the picture as prior to 1960 because the Chase Manhattan Bank building is not yet built.  The "GG" train is now known as the "G" train.  The New York City Transit Authority dropped double letter routes many years ago (1979?).    The classic Independent Subway R1-9 cars openned the Independent Subway in the early 1930's.  These cars seemed to "be alive" with their interesting sounds of sighs, shishes and other aspirant noises from their braking and air systems.  I really miss them.

Photo Source:  Hear the sounds of the R1-9 car below:

Here is a 1959 jazz piece that goes along with the location:  A Charles Mingus Septet recorded in 1959 in New York with John Handy on Alto Sax.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Downhill Water Flow in Red Hook Brooklyn

In the attached map, GRASS 6.4.1 was used to produce a downhill flow map using local elevations.  The thin black lines shows the direction of water flow and the colors according to the legend show hypothetical low downhill water density flows in the area.  Areas east, near Prospect Park show stronger downhill water flows.  Hurricane Sandy was a sea surge event in New York City with relatively light amounts of rain.  The map shows that in case of large rainfalls, Red Hook is not in any danger and thus the flooding from Sandy was a sea surge.  Areas with more black lines shows increased downhill waterflows.

Theoretical Downhill Flood Flow in Southern Brooklyn and Sea Beach Line Open Cut

In the map below, I used GRASS 6.4.1 to bring in the "carve" file of river channels produced earlier based on the street elevation.  Remember in an earlier post, the program predicted a river flow along the open cut of the Sea Beach Line (N) between 86th Street and Avenue U.  Using this as a basis, I constructed a water flow diagram for southern Brooklyn.  What is surprising is that the water flow in the penciled area, along the open cut of the Sea Beach Line is from west to east and not south to north from the Coney Island Creek as expected.  Also notice that the horizontal flow near the Sea Beach Line is along the western side of the open cut.  I do not know if GRASS is incorrect in this projection or if I made a mistake in the settings. Notice the water flow in Coney Island where there was extensive flooding.  Correction:  The GRASS 6.4.1 hydrology program here creates a vector showing downhill flow on the surface elevation.  Since Hurricane Sandy was mainly a sea surge event and not a rain event. the minor downhill flow on the surface would not explain the flooding of the Sea Beach Line.  For this reason, the vector direction is perpendicular to the Sea Beach open cut.  The vectors do not show the direction of the sea surge.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Theoretical Downflow Flow in "River Channel" in Southern Staten Island

In the attached map, I used the GRASS 6.4.1 hydrology program to construct the hypothetical river flow based on elevation for southern Staten Island.  I brought in the "Carve" program that used the Staten Island Rapid Transit right of way as a base.  The artificial channel follows the Staten Island Railway for a small section and then goes to along Seguine Avenue.  The narrow thin black bars is the theoretical water flow direction.  The program seems to have done this for even the higher elevations as well.  This is just an experiment and is not done by a professional environmental person.  The areas of interest, which is the flood channels along the SIRT and Seguine Avenue and vicinity is penciled in red.  Notice that the flood flow pattern for Seguine Avenue is from east to west and not north to south.  Since there are more flood flow bars on the Seguine Avenue than on the southern Staten Island RR right of way, I believe the Seguine Avenue corridor is a stronger flood flow victim than SIRT.  The SIRT flood flow is also from west to east.  Correction:  The GRASS 6.4.1 program here creates a vector showing downhill flow on the surface.  Since Hurricane Sandy was a sea surge event and not mainly a rain event, the flooding that occured was due to a sea surge and  a downhill water flow mapmay not explain that much, particularly any theoretical flooding along the right of way of the Staten Island Rapid Transit line and Seguine Avenue.  Notice that the flow along Seguine Avenue is west to east.

South Brooklyn RR Map with Street Crossings - by H. Raudenbush 2/61

Source:  Groh, Karl F. and Seyfried, Vincent F. "The South Brooklyn Railway", in Headlights, Arthur J. Lonto, Editor, Vol. 55, Number 5-6, May-June 1993, Trackage by H. Raudenbush, February, 1961, p. 8.

I posted some South Brooklyn Railroad maps before but this map is more complete in showing the various sidings and connections to other railroads and rapid transit.  Notice the siding on 37th Street between Fort Hamilton Parkway and Ditmas Avenue.  Previous trolley trackage and loops such as the Kensington Junction Loop and the loop at First Avenue and 39th Street is also shown. This is a good detailed map and a notice shot of Locumotive #1 is included.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

GRASS's 6.4.1 Prediction of River Channels in Southern Staten Island

  In the map below, I used GRASS 6.4.1  Hydrology Program and the "Carve" option to predict river channels based on street elevation.  Instead of using the input "river stream" I used the subway line shape file.  The results indicate that at the western end of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Railway, there was an image of a river channel from Tottenvile to around Richmond Valley Station.  In addition, there appears to be a low lying area along Seguine Avenue near Wolfe's Pond Park.   I highlighted the potential "stream" areas in red pencil and it would interesting if some reader(s) can tell me if the map was accurate in predicting actual flooding conditions.  May the residents effected have a speedy recovery from their many hardships connected with the storm.  Tramway Null(0).

  In the map below, I brought in the Hurricane Zone layer for zones A,B and C, where A is the zone in most danger of flooding.  It appears that the river channel program was accurate in predicting Zone A.  The GRASS 6.4.1 program does take into effect the elevations but the hydrology option sought of outlines where a river type of channel may be created and you can see this clearly on portion of the Staten Island Rapid Transit right of way and near Seguine Avenue.

Sao Paulo Electric Transport Map 1980

Source:  Porter, Harry, Editor, "Trolley Coach News", No. 49, Spring, 1980.  Map drawn by Allen Morrison, January, 1980, p. 58.

I had this interesting map of Electric Transport of Sao Paulo Brazil dated 1980 in my archive.  Map shows trolleybus lines, trolley bus lines under construction, metro stations at that time and the former tram network.  I hope that some of you will find this map useful.  "Trolley Coach News" is no longer published after many decades.

Friday, November 9, 2012

GRASS 6.4.1 Hydrology Program Predicts a River Channel on the Sea Beach Line

The GRASS 6.4.1 spatial analysis program has an hydrology program that uses local elevations.  Just bringing in the subway line layer as a "river" produced a map that shows a low level (in yellow) river channel at the location of the Sea Beach Line.  The "river channel" is more pronounced in the lower part of the map where the elevations are generally lower.  Notice the other rapid transit lines, indicated by X's as station stops do not have this effect.  To the left of the Sea Beach Line in the West End Elevated, to the east is the Culver El.  Further to the east is the Brighton Line on embankment and another color shows that it is not a channel.  The green line north of Sheepshead Bay is the Belt Parkway.  The hydrology "carve" program  thus shows potential river streams, in this case, the Sea Beach Line that became flooded during Hurricane Sandy and is presented in an earlier post.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NYC Transit Authority Plans to Convert "Sea" Beach Line (N) to Trolleyboat

  As a result of Hurricane Sandy, the transit authority is still unable to provide Sea Beach Line Service between 59th Street in Brooklyn and Coney Island due to flooding in the open cut, specially between 86th Street and Avenue U stations.  As a result of failure to pump out the water, the New York City Transit Authority will convert the section from 86th Street to Avenue U to TROLLEYBOAT.  The line has already the "Sea" as part of the name.  See picture below to see an early model of a trolley boat.  In keeping with tradition, the much beloved Type D Triplex cars (shown below from a picture taken from the web showning a train at the Beverely Road Station on Brighton Line) design will be copied.  Three unit articulated boats with circular passenger connecting passageways will be built.  The units will receive their power by way of trolleybus wires.  For many years, the Type D Triplex was used on the Sea Beach and some of the other Southern Division lines

Tramway Null(0)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

R-32 Class Subway Cars being transported to Rockaway Line

  As you now, the Rockaway Line in Queens has been hard hit by Hurricane Sandy in terms of bridge damages and track wash outs.  There is no service on the line and it has been proposed to re-equip the line with some subway rolling stock transported by flat bed truck.  This picture, I got off the web at the subway chat website:

It seems to be happening.  The service to be provided will probably be round robin service of a few cars from Far Rockaway to Rockaway Park on the hard hit Rockaway Peninsula.  The Rockaway line in the Rockaway Peninsula is physically isolated due to bridge damage and track washouts.  The only way to equip the line that is still intact is by flat bed truck.

I believe this photo was taken this early morning by Mike at subchat.  He states the location is at Pitkin Avenue.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Red Hook Brooklyn Hurricane and Elevation Map

This map of Red Hook Brooklyn shows elevation in feet and also the designated Hurricane Zones.  Zone A applies to land that is in much danger of flooding.

Hurricane Zones, Elevations Near Coney Island Shops

Elevation in feet shown near the Coney Island subway shops in Brooklyn. Hurricane Zone A is the most urgent.  The hydro bodies from left to right are the Coney Island Creek, the bottom of the map is the Atlantic Ocean and to the extreme right is Sheepshead Bay.  There is extensive damage in this area and many areas are still without electric power.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hurricane Sandy causes much damage and suffering to the New York - New Jersey Region

As of now Friday November 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm, many people are without electric power and heat and many have had their homes destroyed or damaged.  In the map that I prepared some time ago, notice that some low elevation areas, such as Coney Island, the Rockaways and parts of Staten Island and Lower Manhattan have a color code that is just a few few above sea level. A sea surge would easily overflow into such areas destroying homes, lives and equipment.
I wonder if more New York City elevated lines remained intact, the transportation situation would have been better because perhaps elevated lines are less effected by water conditions.
The photo above came from the web and shows the IRT Broadway Line elevated station at 125th Street and Broadway,  the subject of an earlier posting.

Below are some pictures from the MTA showing the Cranberry Street Tunnel, which links Manhattan with Brooklyn under the East River flooded and being pumped out.  The Cranberry Street Tunnel is used by IND "A" and "C" trains and it is the underwater tunnel that I pass through to reach Manhattan each day.