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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Possible Trolley Overhead Reminder in Brooklyn

  In other posts regarding the South Brooklyn Railroad, I posted a track map showing that for a long time, the only crossing from west to east across Third Avenue in Brooklyn was a one track surface track parallel to 39th Street.  This crossing under the overhead Gowanas Expressway was at grade level and connected with the yards at the waterfront.  Most of the track of the South Brooklyn RR had trolley style overhead mounted either from the familiar trolley poles painted black or wooden troughs mounted under structures.  I remember in the late 1970's at this location, over the track there was a inverted wooden trough with trolley wire in it.  It extended only under the highway structure and did not protrude over the sides. Of course, at the ends of the trough there was no further trolley wire like in the entire New York State except for Buffalo.  I believe this was the only location in New York City were trolley wire then existed over a track; except perhaps the Essex Delancey Street trolley terminal on the Lower East Side where the overhead may still exist over trolley tracks covered over with six decades of dust.  At any rate, the track path crossing Third Avenue may have changed in the past few years as a result of closing of the Davidson's Pipe Yard and the building of Cosco at the former yard site west of that location near 39th Street.  Take a look at the picture attached from Google Maps.  Do you see the support brackets to the former wooden trough that contained the trolley wire?  Notice that the track curves slightly.  I remember that is crossed Third Avenue at right angles.  Or are they just pipe supports?

What do you think?  You are facing east towards the South Brooklyn freight yard between 3rd and 4th Avenues.  This area is so rich in rapid transit history.

Please look at the roof of the highway.  Notice the curved track.  This is the only track connecting east and west sections of the railroad, even in the good days.

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