Dear Visitors:

Please scroll down the page to see present and archive blogs.

Thank you very much: Tramway Null(0)

Webrings - Maps - Trolleys and More

Navigation by WebRing.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Looking North from Ditmas Avenue Brooklyn 2009

This shot was taken by Leonard Wilson on 4/15/2009 and it shows a R-160B F Train emerging from the tunnel south of the Church Avenue Station.  I took this photo off the website because in this one picture, many of the topics that this blog discusses is shown.  You can see the tunnel into which the F train goes into south of Church Avenue.  This tunnel was built for the Independent Subway.  This portals' construction date is not clear. It may have been built after the Church Avenue station opened in 1933 or later, perhaps before World War II.  The actual incline did not have service until October, 1954 when the IND subway "captured" the BMT Culver Line.  For many years, the incline, which has space for four tracks had only one track, the northbound local track, was actually connected to the BMT Culver Elevated.  I read someplace that in the middle of the incline, there was a large tree growing probably through the war years.   In the picture, you will also see the large radio tower at Bishop Ford High School which was the location of the 9th Avenue trolley depot that was in service until 1956.  This trolley barn had two levels.  Also, if you look at the right side of the incline, you can see serveral vertical iron beams that were used to support the McDonald Avenue trolley wires.  Believe it or not, some of the insulators and a few inches of trolley support span wire are still in the horizontal position!  These are probably the very last of the few artifacts of the great trolley operation in Brooklyn.  The only other artifacts are several trolley line support poles scattered throughtout Brooklyn and an occasional peak of trolley track through asphalt for the few tracks that have not been pulled yet.


  1. The 1944 Hagstrom 5-boro atlas shows joint BMT/IND service on the Culver Line from Ditmas Av. to Coney Island(!) I don't know whether this had at one time been proposed, or was the product of someone at Hagstrom's overactive imagination. The New York City 1951 aerials show the structure as nearly complete.,172072&c=GIS1951


    1. Hi Bob:

      I came across such a proposal as well but I cannot give you a source. I will tell you this, that if you look at PCC streetcars pictures from under the el at Ditmas Avenue, you can see that of all the four tracks that entered the incline, only the Manhattan bound local track had tracks on it around 1951.. Since the Church Avenue and McDonald Avenue streetcar lines got PCC cars in 1951, we can say that the incline only had one track at least until 1951. Proof that there was actual consideration for the Culver Line to go further south of Ditmas Avenue once the IND was extended to Coney Island is that the iron girders, south of Ditmas Avenue , south of the stump end of the Culver Shuttle trackway NEVER had tracks on it. If you go there today, you will see how smooth the top of the girders are. Yes, I heard of a proposal of joint service either to 18th Avenue or Kings Highway Why was the extreme west track structure extended south of Ditmas Avenue?. Also, the interlocking south of Ditmas Avenue was supposed to be more complicated. I heard that in the 1930's or 1940's, a big tree was growing in the middle of incline south of Ditmas Avenue. Also, many years ago, when I was in college, I came across a copy of a 1920's Regional Plan and was surprised to find out, that even at that time, when the Culver structure was just a few years old, there were plans to extend the tunnel south of Church Avenue to around 18th Avenue. I do not have the source to confirm this. I was told that some of the signals in pockets south of Church Avenue are facing the wrong way! Thanks for your input.
      Tramway Null(0)