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Monday, December 3, 2012

Nortons Point Line in Coney Island

This great picture, whas just posted a few hours ago in subchat by Avid Reader and he asks information regarding this ramp.  According to Edward S. Watson in his history of various lines in Coney Island (Source: New York Division Bulletin, Vol. 21, No. 2, February, 1978, p.3.), the Norton's Point Line started as a Steam line from June 9, 1879, and was routed from the Culver Terminal at West 7th Street and Surf Avenue and via a Private-Right-of-Way west to the Norton's Point Dock.  This line later became part of the Culver Steam Line.    In 1899, the line was electrified and was called Coney Island-Norton's Point and the line was operated by surface trolley cars from July 3, 1910.  Before this and since electrification, elevated cars were used.  The line was doubled tracked from West 8th Street to West 37th Street in 1912.  In May 25, 1918, the line was cut back to the Culver Terminal to Stillwell Avenue using the incline shown in the photo that bridged over Stillwell Avenue and connected with the then new Elevated/Subway terminal.  From May 25 1918 to October 19, 1919, single elevated cars were used on the line.  The tracks at Stillwell Avenue connected with the Culver Line Tracks directly as the Culver Line makes a 90 degree turn going into West 8th Street Station.  In 1929, the line was connected to the Sea Gate Line at West 37th Street.  The line was terminated on November 7, 1948 and its' history is connected with other lines, such as the Norton's Point Shuttle and the Sea Gate Line.   According to my track diagram, the structure begins at West 16th Street and crosses Stillwell Avenue with a two platform wooden station.   I remember reading that later the line was physically isolated from other streetcar lines and order to service the cars, east of the Stillwell Avenue Station,  an employee had to hold a jumper cable connected to the trolley line with an insulated stick and make contact with the then uncovered third rail on the elevated structure.  This difficult task had to be done until the trolley reached the Coney Island shops for service.

I hope to post the track diagrams tommorrow.

Tramway Null(0)

Thank you Avid Reader for posting these great pictures.  The diamond crossover may be directly over Stillwell Avenue.  A passageway lead to the subway station.

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