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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tanks Alot! The Gas Tanks of Kings County (Brooklyn)

The map above used a typology shapefile that I obtained from a website connected with Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Although it is dated and appears to be at least 20 years old, it provides very interesting information regarding railroads, subway tracks and yards and many other features, including gas tanks!

The above two photos where taken off the web while the photos below come from the website.  Many of these yard photos were shot by Steve Zebel and are in the Joe Testagrose collection.  Most appear from 1979.

Brooklyn like many other cities had gas tanks or gas holders all over the place. Some where movable in which the tank rose in height as more gas was stored.  The tank floated in a pool of water at its' base..  The Coney Island tank shown in the picture was of the rigid type.  I remember tanks located at Smith Street where the IND subway train declines into the subway to Carroll Street.  A movable tank was just accoss the street from Kings County Hospital, at Clarkson Avenue.    I was surprised as a child that such a tank would be accross the street from a large hospital.  What happened if the tank exploded?  Other tanks where near the Sea Beach Line in Bay Ridge but I am not sure where.  The Coney Island Tank is shown in these pictures.  The bridge that carrries
present day Sea Beach and West End Line trains was almost at the base of the tank.  Other tanks were in East New York and in Greenpoint.  The last two twin tanks were in Greenpoint and were dismantled by explosives I believe in August, 2001, right before 9-11.  Manhattan had it's share of tanks and one large one was in Bridgeport Connecticut, visable from Metro North.  A smaller set of tanks were also found at the south east corner of the Coney Island yard, at the Coney Island Creek and the Belt Parkway near Shell Road where the baseball field is today, next to the Culver Line El that goes over the Belt Parkway.
This shot was taken from a West End Train.
 A group of BMT Standard cars and Triplex Type D's near the West End Lead In?
A train of IND R1-9 cars in the Coney Island Yard.
 A group of vandalized R-32 and  R-36 cars.
A Steve Zobel Photo taken in 1979 showing a group of restored EL cars and a Boston PCC Trolley that resided for some time in the yard before being sent elsewhere.
Another shot of the yard.  I cannot make out if the train consists of R-38 cars?  I believe in regular Sea Beach (N) service.  Our "friend" is in the background beyond the Belt Parkway.

In the 1951 aerial below, what appears to be a rigid style gas tank (white circle) that is casting a giant shadow is located at 64th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in Brooklyn.

                                            The gas tank is here.   The right of way for the Bay Ridge LIRR Division and the BMT Sea Beach Line is about one and half blocks away.  The street to the right that goes off on the diagonal is Fort Hamilton Parkway.

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