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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Third Avenue Trolley in Brooklyn - South Portion Prior to 1939

Source:  Watson, Edward, B. & Linder, B. "3 Avenue Line", New York Division Bulletin, Electric Railroaders' Association, Vol. 21, No. 12, December, 1978, p.2 - 3.

  It is funny that in New York, there are two Third Avenues that had rapid transit on it:  One in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan and the Bronx.  Both Third Avenues had streetcars running under elevated train structures.  Brooklyn's Third Avenue had  a smaller portion of area covered by El structures, roughly from 39th Street and 3 rd Avenue to around 65 Street.  It is also funny that in Manhattan there is a Lexington Avenue Subway but Brooklyn had a Lexington Avenue Elevated until 1950.  Sorry folks, no streetcars under the Lexington Avenue El in Brooklyn because the street was vary narrow and residential.  The map shown below is the south section only prior ot 1939 and it shows some associated trackage on 2nd Avenue, some of which still exists, but of course, without wires.  The Third Avenue trolley in Brooklyn has a long history.  It started as a horsecar line in 1868 and the line terminated in 1942.  The B-37 bus is its' replacement but I believe that due to budget cuts, the B-37 has been eliminated.   So we can paraphrase what one person said about another line, the Third Avenue trolley now does not even have the indignity of being  replaced by a stink buggy.  I will try to post the history by Edward B, Watson and the other maps some time in the future.

The picture above comes from Dave's Rail Pix which really got it from Brooklyn Pix.

The picture shows the 39th Street and 3rd Avenue intersection facing east with a northbound  Church Avenue or Eight Avenue Car  just about to enter the intersection.  By the time this photo was taken, which is after the 3rd Avenue El in Brooklyn was demolished, the Gowanas Expressway was in existence.  The Third Avenue Trolley was also gone by this time.  This picture must be from the mid 40's until 1951 when older type of equipment still ran on the Church Avenue, before PCC days.  At this same location, the 3rd Avenue El made a sharp curve eastbound for 38th Street where it used to meet up with the Fifth Avenue and Culver Lines at Fifth Avenue, Sunset Park.
39th Street - 3rd Avenue Today.  Tracks on 39th Stret are long gone.

At the other end of the line, at 65th Street and Third Avenue, there was a ramp for the Third Avenue Trolley to reach and share the southern section of the 65th Street Terminal for El trains.  According to the line maps, the turnout to the ramp structure was removed in 1924.  Perhaps the aerial photo from 1924 at the area reveals the ramp.


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