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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Church and Rogers Avenue Intersection in Brooklyn (1949)



On Friday of this week, it will be 58 years since streetcar service ended in Brooklyn on the Church Avenue Line and the McDonald Avenue Line.  Brooklyn's first trolleybus line, namely the 23-Cortelyou Road Line also ended service on October 31, 1956.  I was very small when service ended on the Church Avenue and certain details I remembered.  As a small child, I was fascinated by the overhead and tracks.  At the Church and Rogers Avenue intersection, I remembered that there were some branch offs, but what was unusual was the branch off to Rogers Avenue, north of Church Avenue on the east side of Rogers Avenue lead to one track, about one trolley length long.  The one overhead line was over the track and also ended above this stub track by what I remember as a "V".  I had no idea what this was for.  Later on, when I started to lack at track maps, I discovered that in earlier years, perhaps prior to 1935, there was a two track turnout from Church Avenue north of the intersection to the Rogers Avenue Line.  In 1935, the turnout consisted of a "Y" configuration.  This "Wye" allowed a eastbound Church Avenue car to swing into this stub track, which was part of the Rogers Avenue Line trackwork, reverse parallel to Rogers Avenue and swing into the westbound Church Avenue trackway in a reverse move.  This came in handy because in 1951, the Church Avenue Line was equipped with single ended PCC streetcars. 

The pictures below come from the New York City Transit Museum Archive and were taken in 1949.

This is the Church-Rogers intersection I believe facing south;  Church Avenue runs from left to right in this picture.  Notice the curved turnout track in the foreground.

The same location but facing north.  Notice the turnout from Church Avenue to Rogers.  In 1949, the Rogers Avenue line may still have been operating and by 1956, the tracks on Rogers except for the stub reversing track were paved over.  From the NYC Transit Museum Archive.
Below is a Google shot of Rogers Avenue facing north from Church Avenue.  In the foreground there is no indication that a stub track was on the right side of the street.

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