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Friday, October 23, 2015

Can you spot this error on this RR map?

  The above map was produced in ARCGIS and shows a familiar area posted before in this blog.  It shows the area around the 38 Street yard in Brooklyn where the West End and former Culver Lines meet.  This area is the site (across 37th Street) of the historic Greenwood Cemetery. where many famous people are buried.   This is a rich site with the 38th Street shops and yards on the upper level and various mysterious ramps and underpasses on the lower level.  In the map above, elevations are in feet and this is a very hilly area.  To produce the present layout, many thousand of cubic feet of material had to be extracted out and this took many years around 1914.  In the above map, NYC subway routes are shown as a red line and a Railroad shape file, supplied by DOITT (New York City Department of Information Technology) is shown in blue.  This general railroad trackage can refer to surface railways or non revenue tracks.  If you look closely, you can see that one set of RR tracks curves at the 37th Street - Fort Hamilton Parkway intersection and goes to what appears east to McDonald Avenue.  Also, there is a track that goes south on 37th Street south of Fort Hamilton Parkway.  This was true until the 1980's when South Brooklyn service was stopped along 37th Street and McDonald Avenue.

   It is ironic that railroad trackage was shown on Fort Hamilton Parkway next to the cemetery.  In the late 1880's, there were plans to expand various surface steam railroads from 37th Street east to Flatbush or East New York / Brownsville at this point.    (  See NY Division Bulletin, ERA, Vol. 18, No 1, February 1975, p.5-6.  These surface steam railroads were never built.   In addition, if the City of New York had the money, the Independent Subway would have been extended from the area around the Fort Hamilton Parkway station and along Ft. Hamilton Parkway to Bay Ridge and eventually to Staten Island.  If this second IND system was ever build and the Culver Line existed, the Ft. Hamilton Parkway station at 37th street would have been a busy one in deed.

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