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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Polish Railways Flooding Experiment Using GRASS 6.4.1

In the maps below, I brought in Polish Railways and the Elevation of Poland and created a map.  I used the Hydrology "Carve" option in which I used the railroad as the stream vector file.  Really railroads are not streams, specially if a railroad is built on an embankment or elevated section.  In this experiment, I did this anyway to see what would happen.  The results show that where the is a red "X" ( not clearly shown), there is a potential for a stream to develop.  Thus the map shows that there are many areas in Poland where this may occur.  If there the railway line as shown has no "x's", this area is clear of flooding.  This is just an experiment to show how raster and shape files can be taken off the web and utilized in a hydrology mapping program.  Darker green to blue is higher elevations.  To repeat, this is an experiment.  Dziękuję !   Cześć!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Spokane Transit Trolleybus Project (USA)

Spokane, Washington TrolleyBus Project

This info comes from the "TrolleyMotion" website that has very up to date trolleybus information, world wide.

trolley: planning - Spokane: The project is progressing!

24.06.13 - The project to build a trolley bus location in the city of Spokane, located in the north-western state of the United States - Washington goes ahead in slow steps. In public, it is represented as Central City Project. A delegation from Spokane looked at alternatives including possible vehicle in Europe. Modern design is intended to identify forward-looking investment. ... more

Monday, June 24, 2013

Central Warsaw Area Railroads with Land Use Data

The data for constructing the map below comes from various websites that offer shape files and other type of mapping files (raster) for free. In the attached map, railroad lines are indicated by think red lines. The Central area of Warsaw, Poland is shown.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Warszawa Tram Map 2013: There is no Tramway Null Now in Warszawa

But was there a Tramwaj Null  (# 0) in Warszawa in 1920?  In 1920 to Muranów Ul.?  Which cities has a tramway or streetcar with the number = to Null= 0?

Clip above from:

Przedwojenna Warszawa 1936 / Prewar Warsaw

Source: from University of Texas at Austin Map Room

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Know Your UFO's Destination at a Glance

In the early days of the subway, and for that matter, elevated lines as well in New York, older equipment did not have modern front destination signs that were visible.  In fact, the BMT Standards and the IRT Lo-V style type of equipment had no destination signs or route markers at all..  Yes, some of the elevated equipment had metal plates at front, but they did not go through any long dark tunnels.  Trains had to be identified regarding destination so proper switching could take place and for years, older equipment, for all three subway divisions, had a color lights or laterns system that signaled a destination at the front of the car.  These lights were used to identify train destinations by towers and were quite useful.  Even the more modern R 1-9 subway cars had these lights, in fact, I believe the R-38 (1967) cars built in 1967 were the last cars to have these lights, even though they had front route and destination signs. I remember some old timers in the 1950's were at Court Street station at Montague Street and they were able to tell, while looking into the tunnel and see an approaching train, usually a BMT Standard, the line and it's destination, for example, a Fourth Avenue Local to 95th Street, Bay Ridge by looking at the lights.   Not all passengers knew of this system and it was not publicized.
 Please see the list below which comes from the nyc subway website that has some train marker identification used until 1967.

      One of my favorite radio shows is "America Coast to Coast with George Nory" and there is very interesting stuff there dealing with UFO's. Many people worldwide have seen UFO's, sometimes seen as colored lights in the sky. It would be helpful if the beings in charge of these UFO's  would adopt the system below to help us earthlings know their destinations. Or perhaps, since we can always use more transportation help here in New York, we can recruit the UFO's to provide transit services.  So therefore, if you see two colored lights in the sky over the Bronx which are yellow and white, it is a "D" bound UFO headed towards Brighton Beach.while you  see one light that is white and one is green over Downtown Brooklyn, it is a GG UFO bound for Smith-9th Street.

Incidentally, the IRT subway and the elevated lines such as the 3rd Avenue El had also their own system of marker lights.

Subway FAQ: Subway Train Marker Lights


NYCTA subway trains (and elevated trains, for that matter) had marker lights on the front indicating route and destination. The practice is now mostly discontinued (although the PATH system still uses them). Thanks to a nyc.transit post by "marcm" we have a list of IND/BMT Division marker combinations from 1976. The format for each line is destination-cab marker-opposite side marker.
LineDestinationCab MarkerOpposite Marker
Far RockawayRedGreen
Rockaway ParkYellowGreen
Round RobinRedRed
BConey IslandWhiteYellow
CCRockaway ParkYellowRed
DConey IslandWhiteWhite

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Romance on the BRT (Brooklyn Rapid Transit) and 2nd & 3rd Avenue Bklyn Track Map

Source: Watson, Edward, "Romance on the BRT", in New York Division Bulletin, Electric Railroaders Association, Vol. 22, No. 8, August , 1979, p. 4.  Origially printerd in BRT Monthly of August, 1917.

It is hard to believe at one time there where 59 trolley lines in Brooklyn.  They were part of life in Brooklyn just as much as streetcars are identified with Prague and Warsaw in Europe today.  Instead of having 59 trolley lines in Brooklyn, it has been about 58 years since the last streetcar ran in Brooklyn in 1956.  Good job, city planners!     Some additional comments: Around 1919 with the opening of the elevated structures such as the Culver Line, some of the streetcar lines have been changed or eliminated because a more rapid way was developed to reach Coney Island.  Therefore below you may have see many extinct lines such the Brighton streetcar.  Also, Hamburg Avenue was changed to Wilson Avenue around the time of World War I.  In later years, some of the routes where combined for periods of time, such as RALPH-ROCKAWAY, UTICA-REID, SMITH ST.-CONEY ISLAND, GRAVESEND-CHURCH, MYRTLE-COURT AND GREENE-GATES.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

From an Area of Little Electric Transit Coverage: South East Brooklyn

  This great shot was taken by docjayva a few days ago in Brooklyn from Avenue "U" near Marine Park. The view is facing east, showing the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge in the distance to the left center of the frame.  I believe that the area shown is a wildlife sanctuary for birds and other animals.  This area of Brooklyn never was served by electric rapid transit, such as streetcars, trolleybuses or subways.  Although I cannot provide documentation for this, in the 1920's when this area was being developed, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company or the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Company would have liked to developed streetcar lines for such southern Brooklyn routes as Avenue U but the city blocked it. Concerning rapid transit, there were plans to extend the IRT Nostrand Avenue from Brooklyn College to Sheepshead Bay, but nothing ever materialized.  For the IND 2nd System, the IND subway was supposed to be extended along Utica Avenue, which is in the area as well.  Part of this route would have been on an elevated structure, believe it or not.  In the 1920's, this area of Brooklyn was not developed and this may have been accomplished.  Try building a new EL in  Brooklyn now.  Much further east, the Long Island Railroad had a long history of connecting the Rockaways with Queens via Jamaica Bay.  I cannot document this, but the PRW that is presently used by the IND Rockaway Line that recently got washed out by Sandy, was used by LIRR steam and electric trains.  There may have been plans also to run rapid transit style electrified trolley cars as well along this privage right of way early in the 20th Century.  It is interesting to note that it would have been interesting to see light rail transit cross the Marine Bridge to the Rockaways and proceed to the Flatbush Avenue IRT Station.  This would have provided welcome additional clean rapid transit service to the area.  To bad the IRT subway could not have been extended to the Bay Ridge LIRR right of way south of the Flatbush Avenue station which is not to far away.  This could have provided a cross platform transfer to Rockaway bound light rail if the station was designed right, like subway - streetcar interchange stations in Toronto, Canada.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Columbus and Lenox Avenue Streetcar Line North and South Sections

Source:Linder, B. in New York Division Bulletin, Electric Railway Association, Vol. 32, Number 6, June, 1989, pp.2,4-5.

The Columbus and Lenox Avenue streetcar in Manhattan started its' life as a horsecar line in 1895 and for a short period, operated as a cable line.  Sections of the line were electrified by 1895 as well.  The line was replaced by buses on February 12, 1936.  The line was a long one.  The maps drawn by Bernard Linder are interesting because they show intersecting lines and the out of service dates of those lines in many cases.

   According to information provided on page three of the source sited above, different segments of the line were tested with different technologies.  For example, the Columbus Avenue portion of the line experiemented with cable power on December 8, 1894.  Full service was not complete until 1895 during which up to that time, a few horse cars operated on the line.  Experiments were held on the Lenox Avenue portion of line involving underground conduit.  The system used was based on a system visited in Budapest, Hungary and the conduit was modified for snow storms.  This system was designed with the capacity to convert back to cable if electricity proved to be a failure!    In December, 1896, a portion of the line was served by 10 older cars converted to compressed air.  These cars were able to handle the tasks that were handed to them in terms of high grades of 7.5% at 109th Street and short recharging times and the reheating of hot water.  When compressed air cools when it expands, hot water was needed to stop the mechanism from freezing.  Since this machinery was more complicated than that of electric components on electric cars, these cars were taken out of service.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Culver Line Track Plans (1931-1954) with 38th Street Yard

Source: Linder, B. & Erlitz, J.  "Culver Line 1931-1954" In The Bulletin, New York Division, Electric Railroader's Association,  Vol. 43, No. 9, September, 2000, p.3.
Source: Linder, B. & Erlitz, J. " 38th Street Yard Tack Plans 1939-1943 ", In The Bulletin, New York Division, Electric Railroader's Association,  Vol. 43, No. 11, November, 2000, p.2.

  Some time ago, the question was asked regarding which of two sets of ramps Culver-5th Avenue El service used to exit the 38th Street cut in order to reach the higher levels of the yard.  The track diagrams, as provided below, shows that the most easterly ramps were used to access the el and yards.  These ramps are used today to access the yard that was greatly modified over the years. Other interesting features is a trolley wire equiped yard to the west of the yard and other interesting details.  On one map, notice the interlocking between Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 13th Avenue Stations.  When I was small in the 1950's, the shadows of this interlocking that were removed in 1938 or 1939 was still visible.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Train Buff's Dream: Streetcars for Brooklyn




Train buff’s dreams streetcar desire will become reality

The Brooklyn Paper

A transit buff’s quixotic two-decade-long quest to connect transit-strapped Red Hook to Downtown by trolley is really going to happen this time, the railway-loving legend claimed this week.
Bob Diamond, the frustrated streetcar advocate, who has failed to bring trolleys to the transit desert more time then we would like to remember, said his longtime dream of a Brooklyn bustling with trolleys will finally come true because this time he’s partnered with concrete titan John Quadrozzi Jr. of Gowanus Bay Terminal, and the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corp.
“I realized now that no man is an island unto himself and that there has to be a number of organizations to make this happen,” said Diamond, president of the Brooklyn Historic Railway Association. “Instead of Bob Diamond trying to do it alone, now I’m building a grassroots consortium of other organizations whose neighborhoods would benefit from the implementation of the streetcar project.”
The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corp., will now take on the role of political and public outreach for Diamond, while Quadrozzi has helped the redesign and enlarge his track route linking Downtown and the peninsula.
Albee Reality - City Point

Diamond estimates that the implementation of the two-track streetcar project along with the excavation of the old rail tunnel under Atlantic Avenue he famously discovered in the 1980s would cost $50 million, and he will be seeking that money through federal grants.
And Quadrozzi can’t wait to get it done.
“It’s absolutely necessary and desirable,” said Quadrozzi, who has followed Diamond’s efforts during the past decade.
The concrete titan said the plan makes a lot of sense considering Brooklyn’s history with trolley’s around the turn of the 20th century, and with the limited access to Red Hook.
“This would be the best way to do it,” he said.
Ray Howell, a member of the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corp., said it jumped on board after considering the economic benefit Brooklyn’s only trolley would bring to the Hook.
“Mostly everybody believes that Red Hook needs transportation improvements in order to develop in a healthy way,” said Howell.
Diamond has tried to create a trolley service numerous times since 1989, but each time he claims he was hampered by the city, and by accusations that he is difficult to work with. He successfully laid tracks in 1999 for a line in Red Hook then, only to see his dreams crumble after the city cut off funding for a larger network of rails. Then, in 2011, the Department of Transportation said that bringing back the old streetcars would be too expensive.
Diamond says the route for the proposed streetcar line would be 1.6 miles starting near Fulton and Livingston streets by the Borough Hall subway hub. It would trek down Boerum Place and turn onto Atlantic Avenue. At that point, Diamond wants the line to move underground towards Columbia Street through the Long Island Rail Road tunnel that runs from Court Street to Hicks Street.
The trolley would exit the Atlantic Avenue tunnel when it reaches the Battery Tunnel on Columbia Street. At that point, it would turn down Richards Street, travel along Beard Street passing IKEA, turn back onto Columbia Street, run along Bay Street, and turn onto Clinton Street until hitting Hamilton Avenue where it would travel along W. Ninth Street right up until its ending point at the Smith-Ninth subway hub.
Armed with his new coalition, Diamond things he’ll be ready to seek city support after a new mayor is elected.
“We have a great chance of making this happen with a new administration,” he said. “I think Red Hook will finally get the public transportation it deserves.”
Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at