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Saturday, October 31, 2015

It has been 59 years since...

Hi Folks:

 Today is the 59th anniversary of the end of regular streetcar service in Brooklyn on October 31, 1956.  Yesterday was the 61st anniversary of the extension of IND "D" train service to Coney Island via the Culver Line.  These two events intersect spatially at the area of McDonald Avenue between Cortelyou and Ditmas Avenue.  When the Transit Authority pulled the plug on the Church Avenue Line on that date, McDonald Avenue streetcars and Church-McDonald lines also died.  Since there are a lot of electrical connections of overhead wires at this spot, the first trolleybus line in Brooklyn, namely the Cortelyou Road Line (B-23) also died.  Electric trolley bus service would last several more years in other parts of Brooklyn until July 27, 1960.  In the picture above, taken from Dave's Rail Pix, shows a southbound 50-McDonald streetcar on McDonald Avenue near the Church Avenue intersection.  The car is bound for Coney Island.  On the right of the car is the Greater New York Savings Bank and a US Post Office.    At the focal point is a hill that has Greenwood Cemetery on the left.  At the crest of the hill was an early trolley barn that was involved with the research of the PCC car in the 1930's.  Today the hill has a large transmitter for Bishop Ford High School.

I miss these forms of surface electric transportation deeply.  I think that if streetcars would return to Brooklyn, they would opt to be wireless using a new technology.  They will not be the same.  It is the wires and sparks that make trams and trolleybuses fun, in my humble opinion.  Also, I cannot document this, but I read that there were original plans to end Culver Line service between Ditmas Avenue and 9th Avenue on October 31, 1954.  Service would have been provided by diesel bus.  If this occurred, myself and others would not have had the joy to ride the Culver Line between 9th and Ditmas Avenue.  It was thought that rapid transit service was not needed between  these two points once the Independent "D" train was extended to Coney Island.  I believe they are very wrong and the area needs rapid transit today.

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