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Friday, August 23, 2013

McDonald Avenue PCC Car near Neptune Avenue Brooklyn

This photo comes from Dave's Rail Pix (Joe Testagrose Collection) and was shot on February 26, 1956. The car is on the Private Right of Way near West 5th Street south of Neptune Avenue. The Brighton Laundry is in the background. This is a very interesting picture because it shows that not all of the McDonald Avenue trolley trackage was under the el. Notice the iron poles supporting a heavy load of power source cables (at extreme right of photo). I believe that in back of the laundry was a BMT substation the supplied electricity for the subway\el trains and streetcars in the area. Years after streetcar and electric freight operations ended in the area (trolley freight electric service by South Brooklyn Rail Road in 1961), the power cables remained. After new housing was built in the area, the right of way of the trolley became a parking lot for the area residents. The trolley line poles with the heavy load of power cables marked the way of the previous trolley path. For some reason, I remember that each individual trolley line pole was "wrapped" in a rectangular cyclone fence type of box years later. Perhaps the transit authority did not want kids to get electricuted. The photo is also interesting because it shows to the left, the elevated structure of the Culver Line. This structure at this point has a lattice type of appearance because the components came from the BMT Fulton Street El that was reconstuctured. The elevated structure in this section dates from 1919 to 1920.  Take a look of the next photo.  The elevated structure at this point may not be of the lattice type.  The pattern shown may be caused by the sun at this point.   On the elevated structure at this point which is two tracked is a train of IND R1-9 cars in Independent Line service on the "D" train. The heavy power cables, if I remember correctly, joined to the two level elevated structure near the West 8th Street station. When a new substation was built just at the location where the Culver Line swings out 90 degrees from the West 8th Street station in the 1970's, the power cables and poles were removed. Also in this picture is a few of our UFO friends (UFO like lighting fixtures) above the private right of way.
  In the above photo, taken in 1972 by D. Reinecke,  a train of class R-40 subway cars on the F route are either about to enter or just left the lower level of the West 8th Street station in Coney Island.  I cannot see on what track the train is on.  In the foreground, is the roof of the new substation.  If you look to the right of the photo you can see the trolley line poles and the heavy cables that mark the prior right of way of the McDonald Avenue trolley.  Notice the laundry in the center of the picture and notice the new multi story residential buildings in the area.

This photo was taken on 3/24/68 by Dough Grotjahn  and is part of the Joe Testagrose collection.  You can see the trolley support poles at the right side of the photo, just near the back of a train of slant R-40's on their way to Manhattan and Queens on the F-Culver route.  This train just left the lower level of the West 8th Street station.  You can see the substation under construction in the foreground.  The el is not lattice like at this point.
  In this 1954 Brian J. Cudahy picture,  a train of BMT Standard cars on the Culver Line are approaching the West 8th Street station just at the spot where the substation is located today.  This is before the Culver Line was converted and connected to the Independent 6th Avenue subway.  The buses on the right, according to the photo info at are out of town private buses parked for the day.  The trolley line poles with many wires are seen on the other side of elevated.
  In the shot below by Harry Pinsker (5/9/59), a set of IND "D" train R1-9 cars at the same location turning into West 8th Street station..  Compare how the area looked in 1959 to that of 1972.  Many old building were uprooted to build the big housing developments.  The fence below the el structure at the extreme left and center of the shot is the former location of the trolley right of way.  I believe the white building on the horizon line is Coney Island Hospital on Ocean Parkway.

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