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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pelham Subway Line: Track Plan as of 1988

Source:  Linder, B.  "Pelham Bay Line" in New York Division "Bulletin", Vol 31., No. 9, September, 1988, pp.2-7.

  In this older track map of 1988, Linder provides also some interesting statistics regarding ridership.
When the line was built, sections opened in stages from August 1, 1918, to 138th Street-3rd Avenue; to Pelham Bay Park on December 20, 1920.  Notice the temporary inspection shed on the surface north of the Whitlock Avenue Station.  When  the Pelham (Westchester) yard was opened in July, 1927, the inspection sheet was taken out of service.  In the early 1920's the northeast Bronx was not developed and the subway helped create new homes for many persons.  Through service was not provided for many years and either shuttles were operated north of Hunts Point Road or trains were turned.  Express service did not start between 138 Street-3rd Avenue and 177th Street until October, 1946 probably because of an increase in passengers from the huge Parkchester housing complex at East 177th Street.    The peak year for fares was 1947 and then the numbers fell off.  Co-Op City opened in the early 1970's but passenger count fell.  I remember the IRT in the 1970's:  Older R type of equipment, without air conditioning and terribly marked up by Graffiti.  Private express bus service came to Co-Op City on January 18, 1971 providing a cool one seat ride at least to 23rd Street and Madison Avenue.  When Co-Op city opened,  the local paper promised that monorail service was "just around the corner".  Well folks, stop looking at your watches, it does not seem that it will come soon, nor light rail, but there is some talk of creating a "Co-Op City" station on the railroad line east of the complex.  The drop in ridership in the 1970's was the result of the fall of population in the South Bronx and the success of the air conditioned express buses.    The article states  that when older equipment was refitted with air conditioning or the new R62A's arrived on the scene, subway ridership on the Pelham Bay Park Line improved.  Just a note, Co-Op City is north of the Pelham Bay Park station.  To reach Co-op City, years ago many people walked on the highway or took shuttle buses to the five Co-Op City sections.  Co-Op City is located where the New England Thruway and the Hutchinson River Parkway meet in the Northeast Bronx.  The Pelham Bay Park station is the gateway to City Island, Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park and Co-Op City and Westchester County.

To be continued.....

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