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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Staten Island Oddities

  Please find below a Staten Island Rapid Transit Map as of 1949 with the source sited.  Two branches were closed on March 31, 1953, namely the North Shore and South Beach Branches.  Parts of the North Shore branch are intact and there are proposals to resume some sort of service.  The South Beach branch is completely gone, with it's right of way filed in with new developments in many places.  Between South Beach and the Cedar Avenue former stations remains the Robin Road Trestle at St. Johns Avenue.  Please see pictures below.  The Robin Road Trestle is one of the last remaining artifacts of the South Beach Branch.  Why did it remain?  The New York City Transit Authority and The New York City Department of Transportation had a dispute regarding its removal and it has not been resolved.  Notice how close the trestle on the north side is to the new housing units.

The trestle can be seen almost touching the houses.

Please see a 1924 Aerial shot of the Robin Road Trestle.  The trestle is in the center of the shot.  You can see clearly the railroad right of way.

A more recent (2008) shot of the Robin Road Trestle.  Notice that the right of way north and south of the trestle has been filled in with houses.  North of the picture is Railway Avenue.
Below, a street level view of the area.


  Since we are on the subject of Staten Island,  Staten Island was one of the earliest sites of experimentation wtih trolleybuses in New York City in the 1920's.  The dates for Staten Island trolleybuses is from October 8, 1921 to October 16, 1927.  More information can be obtained at the links above.  Though I cannot quote the source at this time, but in one edition of the Electric Railway Association Bulletin, it was decided to buy some trolleybuses for a few routes because the cost of running a trolleybus, was less at that time than running a gasoline bus.  Notice the interesting current collector at the top.  These trolleybuses were operated by the New York City Department of Plants and Structures.  Notice that the overhead hardware was different than what became standard later on.

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