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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Problem Solved: Can you patch this up?


  Several post ago I mentioned about that mysterious line in the altitude map of western Brooklyn to Coney Island.  From the info below, it seems that the altitude information comes from photographs that were patched together.  Look, it is better than nothing!  The map below was produced with ARCGIS and the earlier maps were produced by QGIS.  I assume that this aerial map source as used to derive surface elevation because the seams happen to be in the right places as described before.


he National High Altitude Photography (NHAP)
program was coordinated by the USGS as an interagency project to acquire
cloud-free aerial photographs at an altitude of 40,000 feet above mean terrain
elevation. Two different camera systems were used to obtain simultaneous
coverage of black-and-white (BW) and color infrared (CIR) aerial photographs
over the conterminous United States. The color-infrared photographs were taken
with an 8.25-inch focal length lens and are at a scale of 1:58,000. The
black-and-white photographs were taken with a 6-inch focal length lens and are
at a scale of 1:80,000. The NHAP program, which was operational from 1980 to
1989, consists of approximately 500,000 images. Photographs were acquired on
9-inch film and centered over USGS 7.5-minute quadrangles.

In the first map below, the second map below was georeferenced using ARCGIS.  I did not do a very good job of it and you can see that the transit lines are ghosted. At any rate, once the map is geo referenced, you can bring in any data layer.  I brought in the altitude contour line (vector file) in pink and you can see the abnormality follows the aerial photograph's seam line in about the same position that we mentioned before.




  From National High Altitude Photography data with subway shapefiles added.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Second Avenue Subway is Getting Ready



In this photo  from the New York Times by Karsten Moran, (for the NY Times),  the new Second Avenue Subway is shown south of the 96th Street station showing the track crossover.  Looks cool, but will it open on time on New Years 2017?


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Did Your Transit System go through a "Brutal" Stage?

  Many complex systems, living and non-living, can be viewed as going through various stages.  This can also be applied to nations, organizations and so much more.  Thus a system could be viewed as being  at a new born state, going through a childhood, leading to maturity, adulthood, middle age and old age.  Can the same viewpoint be applied to your transit system or a particular line?  In my unscientific, not researched view, I believe that the New York City Transit System ( bus and subway ) went through such a stage roughly from 1963 to the late 1980's.   We are not assured that a system cannot revert to such a stage again.   What is a brutal stage? Is it a stage of economic loss,  grafitti covering everything and no hope?  This may be part of it.   During this period at least for the New York Transit System, some extensions took place (Crystie Street, Sixth Avenue, Essex - Lafayette) and so on, but many lines were abandoned: ( 3rd Avenue El in the Bronx, the Myrtle Avenue El in Brooklyn, The Bowling Green Shuttle on the IRT, the east end of the BMT Jamaica Line, the Culver Shuttle and so on ).  One aspect of Brutalization would be dealing with the passenger comfort environment.  I noticed that from the 50's on, the use of windows on buses and subways in New York City decreased.  Windowed wind screens, made of wood and glass, were a fixture of many older elevated stations.  When these wind screens became shabby, they were replaced by ugly sheets of metal.  Windows on the IND Prospect Park Line viaduct (Smith-9th Street and 4th Avenue) were cinder blocked up.  Any light coming into the subway (Fourth Avenue Line) was blocked up by making ventilation grates narrower.  Standee windows, on buses, were eliminated and comfortable seats near windows were eliminated.  In the picture below, taken from NYCsubway.org , a GM Fishbowl bus with advertising panels is resting at the end of the subway system at Stillwell Avenue - Coney Island in Brooklyn in the 1970's.   A  marked West End train is above (R27-30 ?) and the Coney Island gas tank is towards the left hand side of the photo above the West End subway train.


The bus below, with lighted advertising panels, with the J&B Liquer ad was an iconic bus during the years around 1964 - 1980's, specially in Manhattan.   It was nice to look at but the advertising panels hid the view of standees in the fishbowl.  The seating was not so comfortable as well.  The top photo comes from bus.nycsubway.org and  is from the Richard Panse collection from 2008.  This was taken at the 2008 Bus Rodeo at Floyd Bennett Field.  The bus is a fish bowl with standee windows and a interesting seating arrangement.  I believe the red seats in the back on near the windows.  Buses similar to this in the 1960's to 1970's in New York had a U shape seating configuration with no seats near the window accept the last two at the back left and right windows.  If the bus had advertising panels like the one below, the standee windows were gone.  Let me see, no air conditioning,  hard to see where you are going if you are standing because nothing is visible at eye level, no seats near windows, hard seats, diesel oil smell... what a good transit experience!  If you sat in the back going over a broken street at a hill in the Bronx, you had a bumpy ride and you may hit the ceiling!  Now that is brutal transit.

To be continued....

My other examples of "Brutualization":


  1. Not using destination signs in the front cap of trains.  When the R-32 and R-38 cars were rebuilt in the 1980's, the former front destination sign areas were covered over and replaced with a early digital LED  single number or letter fixture.  Older equipment simply had the front destination window covered over.
  2. Not using the lighted destination indicators on the side of trains.  As things got bad in the late 1960' and on, cars that had lighted destination sign indicators, which lighted the destination, were simply not used.  The bulbs were not replaced and such cars, such as rhe R-10's that had green lighted signs, and other car types, such as the R1-9's, R-16's to the R-38's, simply did not work anymore.  Was this a union issue or perhaps the bulbs were very hard to replace.  Rebuilt equipment, such as the R-32's that run today have side destination curtains but are not back lighted.  Incidentally, the dot matrix signs are wonderful, but if you need to the know the destination, such as Church Avenue or Coney Island in the PM rush on the F trains, you need the dot matrix sign to recycle for some time until you get to see the destination.
  3. Reduction of glass areas in the cars.  The R-16 to R-38 cars started to have less window areas.  Particularly the R-44 or R-46 cars at the end of the cars.  Why?  If you look at some of the older type of equipment, such as the BMT Standard B types, and the R 1-9 class, even the door pockets had windows.
  4. I know that many railfans are devoted to the BMT and IRT "Red Bird Class", which covered various equipment types from the R-16 to to the R-30.  I found these cars very hot in the summer and as a young railfan of less then ten years old, you could not see the tracks from the high windows.  The view from the Low V's, BMT Standard Cars, IND R-1 to R-9's were much better.
In the photo below, taken from the NYCsubway.org website, a Joe Testagrose photo taken on 2/12/1978 shows a marked up "B" train of R-38 cars at the Bay 50th Street Station on West End Line.  Notice that the route indicator "B" is in the right window where the destination sign formerly was located.  Notice the blank left window above the doorway.  By this time, the side destination signs no longer light up.





This is my opinion folks.
Tramway Null(0)





Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 3 is the 60th Anniversary of the Luckenbach Steamship Disaster





  It has been sixty years since that disaster, at 3:15 pm on December 3, 1956.  It is interesting that around December 12, 2016, there will be community planning meetings dealing with the route of the proposed Brooklyn - Queens connector streetcar.  Various streets are considered, including Second or Third Avenues which is close to the former site of the disaster at the waterfront and 35th Street.  One map shows the line going down 39th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.  This area is rich in transit history and was near the former route of the Church Avenue trolley at 39th Street and Second Avenue, four street blocks away from the former explosion site.

P.S.   A few days ago there was a public hearing in Sunset Park dealing with the proposed light rail line shown below.  The residents of Sunset Park do not want it at all on any street because of many reasons. It is true that the Fourth Avenue subway is one block away from one of the proposed routes.  Perhaps the line can terminate before it reaches Sunset Park.  The citizens of Downtown Brooklyn are  also not thrilled about it as well. In MHO, streetcar proposals should stress passenger comfort and efficiency and not neighborhood development of fancy areas. Perhaps that many crowded bus lines that feed into the subway rail heads in Queens such as 179th Street can be converted to PRW Light Rail because of efficiency and comfort.  These light rail lines should feed into the 179th Street terminal for across the platform transfer to the IND subway.


Map from Sunset Park Patch:

  You can see the general location of the disaster on the map.  35th Street and the waterfront.  The map shows possible routes for the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar.


The picture below comes from the organization that is sponsoring the streetcar connector.

The picture shown here is near 35th Street and 3rd Avenue, about three avenue blocks away from the former disaster site.  Notice the highway structure.  An eyewitness who had a store near 40th Street and 3rd Avenue in 1956 told me that as a result of the explosion, a piece of the highway fell on the head of a young kid  near 40th Street and 3rd Avenue on that day and the kid passed away.  There were many fatalities in the area, especially on the waterfront.


Friday, November 18, 2016

532 Neptune Avenue and the Culver El

The above photo was taken from YIMBY, a New York  real estate website.   The source is S9 Architecture.   If completed, this 40 story tower will be the tallest residential tower in the southern part of Brooklyn near the Atlantic Ocean.  I posted this story before, but what is interesting for rapid transit fans is the rendering of the Culver El in the foreground.   Although built during the "Dual Contracts" period of around 1919-20, this section of elevated structure is not similar to other el structures built during this time and along the same line, but consisted of parts supposedly from the reconstruction of the Fulton Street Elevated Line in another part of Brooklyn.  So we may say that old meets new in this picture.  This is near the Neptune Avenue stop on the "F", Culver El.   This area is so very rich in rapid transit history.

This picture is so cool.

Tramway Null(0)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

16th Avenue and 72nd Street New Utrecht Intersection: Altitude Error




The two maps shown below were produced in QGIS.  I brought in the contour file of altitude that I used before and I brought in the subway line file which shows the B train tracks over New Utrecht Avenue Brooklyn.  The vertical line that I mentioned in earlier posts crosses New Utrecht Avenue at 16th Avenue and 72nd Street.  In one map, I brought in the elevations and the elevation does not vary that much from 10 or 11 meters.  In the vertical error line, there is no variation as expected.  A  Google street view of the  area shows nothing unusual.


Monday, November 14, 2016

What is this vertical line?


  Hi Folks:

 In the past, I presented a lot of maps produced in ARCGIS.  One of the strange observations was  when a map was produced of altitude in Brooklyn, a strange line, 90 degrees to the horizontal appears from around the 62nd Street - New Utrecht Avenue station (D and N Trains) and stretches south to Coney Island.  Since altitude maps or data may be based on aerial observation, perhaps a seam in the photos cause such an image.   My source for altitude in Brooklyn in my previous maps was not ARCGIS.   Nevertheless, today I added an ARCGIS online basemap and behold, the same line appears.  In the past, I used Google Maps to pass over the area and I did not detect any sort of construction or ridge that would generate such an effect from a street level view.  What do you think it is?  See my map above and look for "What is this?"  in red.  You can see the vertical shadow.  Is this a map in code, an error caused by splicing the photos together, or something that exists?  Sorry for spelling errors in the map title.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Does the "N" stop at Dekalb Avenue during Rush Hours?

http://weburbanist.com/2016/11/03/monsters-of-new-york-creepy-critters-cuddle-strangers-on-city-subways/


  The title was " Monsters of New York Creepy Criters Cuddle Strangers...".  In this series, I posted the one picture dealing with ET's.  The artist that drew this series is very talented.  I remember on the old "Ed Sullivan Show" on CBS in New York that one of the old time comedians had this routine:

Girl:  "Mama, Mama, the martians are coming!"

Mother:  " Let them come, I have milk, cake..."



The martians in this picture are walking with bare feet.  I hope they do not step into something nasty on the subway.  The martian in the middle looks like he/she is about to get a migraine.  The martian on the right with the finger pointing at the map is saying, or mentally communicating:  " We should have taken the IND instead of the BMT!"

Tramway null(0)

This picture was obtained from subchat and has been on the web at various locations.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Interesting Picture of Proposed Streetcar Service on Berry Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn





The above picture comes from the "Next City" website and was probably obtained from the group that is trying to establish a Brooklyn - Queens waterfront line.  This week we were informed that various streets will be studied for the possible route of this line.  Neighborhood feedback will take place in the coming months.  Various factors, such as street geometry, isolation from the transit system, catchment areas and so on will be studied.  On such route is Berry Street in Brooklyn which is pictured above.  What is interesting is not choice of street but that this is the first picture from this project that shows overhead wires.  The clamps, or clovis, or insulators that are holding up the wires are also unusual.  Perhaps the group may acknowledge that wireless operation may have its' problems or did the artist just compile this picture this way?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

SixtyYears Ago




  Sixty years ago, on October 31, 1956, the last city run streetcar ended service in Brooklyn.  Three lines ended on that date:  Two streetcar lines, namely the Church Avenue (35) and the McDonald-Church Line (50), and the Cortelyou Road (23) trolleybus.  In another part of the city, a line over the Queensborough Bridge would operate until 1957.   Trolleybuses ended on July 27, 1960 and electric trolley freight on the South Brooklyn would last for a few more years.  Searching the net to get photos regarding the Church Avenue Line that I  did not see before, I came across the website below called the "TheTrolleyDoger"

https://thetrolleydoger.com


https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=the%20trolleydoger

This website deals mainly (after a brief observation) with Chicago rapid transit and PCC streetcars.  Chicago, the second city in the United States has a large rapid transit system and still has an elevated line in the Central Business District.  This website has very interesting material dealing with the variety that once existed and still exists in the Chicago area.  This great picture below comes from their website and is quite rare.  It is rare because it shows two PCC streetcars at the McDonald - Church intersection sometime between 1951 and 1956.  As stated in the blog, Chicago and New York have similar transit histories.  But I disagree.  Chicago appears to be less anti-trolley than New York.  Chicago's trolleybuses lasted until 1973 with many lines.  New York's (Brooklyn and Queens) trolleybuses lasted until July, 1960.   Chicago kept their elevated lines in the Central Business District while Manhattan lost theirs in 1955.  Downtown Brooklyn lost the Myrtle Avenue Line in 1969.  I believe that Chicago's rail equipment (subway, elevated, and streetcar) was very innovative compared to New York's.  The Chicago PCC cars were huge and had an interesting door arrangement.  Chicago trolley's as shown in the"trolleydoger" website operated in very interesting environments:  Streets, under elevated lines, on bridges and private rights of way.  Similar to New York, Chicago is a big city, like New York and is having trouble bringing back trolleys.  One fact that I did not know about Chicago elevated lines: "...in the central city, the Chicago elevated lines operated over streets... but away from the central city, the elevated lines mainly operated over backyards and private right of ways...."   In New York, including the elevated lines that no longer exist, I would say that the majority is and was over streets.






In the picture above from "thetrolleydodger" website, a southbound streetcar (right) is about to turn into McDonald Avenue perhaps to the 16th Avenue Loop.  To the left, a Bristol Street car is headed east on Church Avenue.  You are facing east on Church Avenue, and you are looking at the Greater NY Saving Bank.

   As I said in the past, after October 31, 1956, the tracks and wires and poles did not disappear overnight.  The wires were up for years and many trolley wire support poles were left but they are all gone, except in some rare places as former trolley loops.   Will trolleys ever come back to Brooklyn?  A group is trying to bring it back but it will not apparently have overhead.  My guess as soon as construction is started,  a cheap Star Trak type of transporter will be made available making rapid transit obsolete.
Tramway Null(0)







Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Trolley Bus System Planned for Morocco and other comments



Hi Folks:

  Please see what was posted in the TrolleyMotion website:

   Material here from the TrolleyMotion web site.


trolley:planung - Marrakech: Neuer Hybrid-Trolleybusbetrieb im Aufbau

10.10.16 - In der marrokanischen Grosstadt Marrakech ist ein neues Trolleybussystem im Bau. Nachdem die marrokanischen Grosstädte Rabat und Casablanca sich für eine Niederflurstrassenbahn entschieden hatten und dieses auch 2011 und 2012 in Betrieb genommen hatten, nahm Marrakech die Planungen für den Aufbau eines weitreichenden BRT-Systems in Angriff.... mehr


A Google translation from the German reveals that a new trolleybus system is planned for Marrakech Morocco and that the vehicles will have a away from the wire capability as a regular feature of the route.  Thus you can see that perhaps away from the wire capability may not mean the end of traditional trolleybuses.  Perhaps the under wire part of the route will be for recharging the unit's batteries.

  I was quite impressed with the Warsaw "Wola 1935" automation.  Warsaw, a city that was destroyed during World War II was reconstructed in 3-D from old photographs, map plans and so on.  The human beings in the automation were based on live models photographed 360 degrees.   This automation focuses only on part of Warsaw, namely the then gas production district in 1935 and the gas company is probably the sponsor.  Now that we are approaching the 60th Anniversary of the end of city run streetcars in Brooklyn, it would have been nice if a 3-D automation would have been done ( perhaps it exists ) showing PCC streetcars on the Church Avenue Line entering and leaving the tunnel at Ocean Parkway... perhaps a view where we enter the tunnel to meet an oncoming car in the middle of the tunnel.  Then we can flash to Kensington Junction below where the IND 6th Avenue Line meets the BMT Culver Line with plenty of streetcar, trolleybus and South Brooklyn Railroad action underneath.  Perhaps call it "Brooklyn 1956 Wola 3-D".  This picture was taken off the web and I lost the source.  I believe it is the New York City Transit Museum and shows the McDonald Cortelyou Road intersection.  You can see the wooden support for the #23 Trolley Bus and McDonald Church streetcars.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

October is the month of Transit Milestones



October has these transit events in common:


  1. End of Myrtle Elevated service in downtown Brooklyn (October 4, 1969)
  2. Introduction of the PCC car in Brooklyn (October, 1936)
  3. End of the Church Avenue, Church McDonald and Cortelyou Road Trolleybuses (October 31, 1956.
  4. End of BMT Culver Line service to Coney Island (October, 1954).
  5. Independent Subway  "Prospect Park Line" extended from Bergen Street to Church Avenue on October 7, 1933.  Today this section is incorrectly called the "Culver Line" and is served by both F and G trains.  The picture below was posted previously and the source may be "Daves Rail Pix".  Sorry but I cannot find the source at the moment.  The McDonald - Vanderbuilt line got PCC cars around January 11, 1937.  In the picture below, a # 50 Mc Donald car is headed southbound to Coney Island and is about to cross the Church Avenue Line #35 between 1951 and 1956.  The Church Avenue IND station, now on the F and G routes, is under the street.  Notice the frog above the car ( to the right ) for Church Avenue line northeastern turnouts unto Mc Donald Avenue.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sneak Preview of the Interior of the new R-179 Car




From Subchat:   Posted by Chud1

https://youtu.be/ZB5FX-94f9Y



Re: R179 car interior sneak peek - video

Posted by chud1 on Sun Sep 11 15:06:27 2016, in response to R179 car interior sneak peek - video, posted by gold_12th on Sun Sep 11 12:48:36 2016.
5 drooling stars out of 5 drooling stars for da video of da R-179.
chud1.
:).....


See one of the first views in one of the newly delivered R-179 cars.  Yes it is nice, but boring.  It seems that there are now for the New York City Subway just a few subway car classes.  How boring.  When the R-46 and R-68's are gone, no more seat near windows.  When the R-32's are gone, no rail fan window.  Coming to a subway near you.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Do You Think That Everything that We Love can be knocked out by Robot Cars?

Hi Folks:

   Today, a study came out that shows that 74 percent of those sampled are in favor of the new proposed streetcar line on the Brooklyn - Queens waterfront.  In an article (not attached), the writer asked some persons about the future of the proposed line and a person said that the line may be obsolete by 2020 because of automated taxi fleets like those proposed by Uber.  Some people think that in the future, instead of going to a subway station or a bus or tram stop, a user can call a taxi service and deliver the person driverless to a destination.  Therefore, why invest in an expensive light rail / tram line?
   I believe that in rural areas, or suburban area, this idea may work.  You do not have to purchase a car and the car will not side idle in your garage for hours.  These automated cars will be more efficient because there is little down time.  But what happens when you have a large building surrounded by narrow streets like in Manhattan?  Can thousands of passengers be delivered to one location surrounded by narrow streets by individual cars?  What about the Brooklyn - Queens waterfront trolley?  Perhaps Brooklyn - Queens trips can be handled by car but what if the person wants to bet to Exchange Place in Manhattan, a narrow street?  In my opinion, for congested cities with narrow streets and for cities surrounded by rivers and bays, the autocar option may not work because the roadways are already congested.  For suburban or rural areas, rapid transit may be dead in the future because of this.   For places in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, that are presently far away from rapid transit, this will spell the end of any hope of any subway extensions because if you do not need to go to Manhattan,   In a city like NY, surrounded by waterways and limited number of bridges and tunnels, can you pack in more cars as you drive people away from buses and subways?  Everything goes in cycles:  Rapid Transit Development in the late 19th Century, a peak in the 1920's, rise of the automobile and decline of rapid transit in the 1950-1960's.  Rebirth in the 1970's to 2015 in trams, trolleys and subways and now perhaps a decline to robot cars.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Warsaw 1935 3-D




https://youtu.be/KIfvUfbTdzo



https://youtu.be/J5ea_396LPo?t=59




  Hi Folks:

    I just came across a series of videos that reconstructs sections of Warsaw, Poland on video in 3-D for the year 1935.   There is a great deal of tramway action in these clips, including very realistic overhead.  The overhead at junctions was included and shows entire streets with realistic overhead.  I do not know more about this but check out the two references above.   My Polish is not that good but Google Warszawa Przed Wola..   Warsaw before the War.  In 3-D, 1935.  This automation, I believe under the "Newborn" label is fantastic.   Take a look at the tram yard and the reflections in a passing tram's windows.  Take a look at the aerial shots showing streetcars running on various streets. and the cute airplane that almost meets you.    The focus on the film above does not appear to be what is called the "Central Business District" but a working class area.  I know that most of Warsaw was destroyed by the Germans in 1939 and that perhaps this 3-D video was constructed because many of the original buildings were still standing.

Enjoy:  Tramway Null(0)



Friday, July 29, 2016

Pope Travels in Krakow with Modern Streetcar






No matter what your religion or philosophy is, this is good news for telling the world about modern streetcars.  Many Americans that live in transit deserts believe that streetcars are only San Francisco cable cars.   More to follow.  Pictures taken off web from German site.  While in Krakow for a religious youth festival, the pope was transported by modern tram.

From Washington Post:

5:40 p.m.
Pope Francis has taken a ride with disabled young people through the heart of Krakow in an electric tram — underlining his mission to fight climate change and encouraging more concern for the disadvantaged.
When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires in his native Argentina, Francis rode public transport to inspire humility within the church hierarchy.
The tram was decorated in the Vatican colors of yellow and white. In place of the usual destination indicator were the words “Tram del Papa” — Italian for “the pope’s tram.”
His actual destination was Blonia, a park where young Catholics participating in World Youth Day were gathering.

From Washington Post:



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tomorrow is the 56th Anniversary of the End of Trolleybus in Brooklyn: July 27, 1960





Tomorrow is the 56th Anniversary of the end of trolleybus service in Brooklyn.  The Brooklyn system was a mid size system, about 200 trolleys.  The line started small but the entire system was expanded around 1948-49.  The system lasted just about thirty years (July 23, 1930 to July 27, 1960).  Parts of this system ran into Queens.  Trolleybus boroughs were Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.  The Staten Island system existed in the 1920's.  An official from the Transit Authority told me very long ago (1970) that a system was visioned for Bronx and Queens and at some locations, wood holders for the trolleybus wires were found in parts of Bronx and Queens (non BMT system). Compared to the subway, buses, elevated lines and streetcars, the duration of trolleybus traction in NYC was not long.  The Staten Island system did not last long.
   In the 1990's there were plans for a 2nd Avenue trolleybus system in Manhattan and there were other proposals for a line on Church Avenue Brooklyn and Fordham Road in the Bronx.  Of course, nothing every came of these proposals except Select Bus Service on some of the mentioned routes above.

  When the plug was pulled on this system in 1960, the last regular revenue trolley type of service with electricity ended in New York State.  Years later, a light rail system was established in Buffalo New York with some street running.  With new technology that does not need overhead wires, it is unlikely that trolleybus would ever return to New York City.  A few years ago, I heard that Montreal Canada wanted to start a trolleybus system due to environmental concerns but nothing came of it.
  Below is a photo from the NYCsubway web site.  This is 1954 Cudahy picture.

System: B&QT Trolleybus
Photo by: Brian J. Cudahy
Date: 1954
Notes: Trolley coach No. 3108 on Bergen Street Route running along Court Street

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Solution to Dealing with the Future Closure of the "L" Line



As many of you know, the 14th Street - Canarsie Line "L"  will require extensive work on it's under river tunnels. This work will require shutting down one or both tubes at once and will delay thousands of passengers on a daily basis.  The "L" line has increased ridership in the past several years and is one of the busiest line in the city.  Unlike other lines, the "L" line is somewhat isolated and there is no relatively speaking, no other line nearby.   Likewise,  recently, in the news, there are plans to make the former trolley terminal, at Essex and Delancey Streets into an underground experimental park.  What a waste.  If it is possible to get streetcars and not buses back into this terminal, an easy transfer to the J, M, Z and F routes would be obtained.   Won't this cost Billions and take 20 years to build, if approved?  The first critical issue is:  Can the Williamsburg Bridge, as currently constructed, carry streetcars and is there enough clearance for pantographs and wires?    This is the key point.  If yes, then......



  1. Does temporary trolley track exist and is it cheap to buy?  This type of track only lasts for about a year or so and does not go down deep into the pavement and may be held to the street or roadbed by metal non slip plates.
  2. Is a supply of second hand streetcars are available that are in relatively good condition?  Perhaps second hand Czech made trams formerly from the eastern block are available.
  3. Is the pathway clear from the bridge portal in Manhattan to the former trolley terminal?  When streetcars crossed the Williamsburg bridge until 1948, trolleys did not run via the subway tracks but on their own right of way.  If temporary flat tracks can not be built on the auto roadway, can streetcars run on the subway tracks on the bridge without disrupting traffic?  Is there a Federal law that prohibits light rail and heavy rail on the same tracks?
  4. In the Williamsburg area and beyond to the north and east, would residents object to having temporary tracks built on some of the local streets?  This track may interfere with bicycle traffic.  Would the local residents object to wires and poles on the streets?
  5. A selection of temporary streetcar routes, that run near the L train can run into the Delancey Street terminal.  This terminal had at least five local Brooklyn trolley routes running into it.
  6. How much does this all cost, even using second hand cars and temporary track and wires?
  7. Why not buses into the trolley terminal?  There may be a air quality problem and their are tight clearances near the loops.
  8. Will the automobile drivers object to sharing the bridge roadway with streetcars?
What do you think of this?  Also, as brought up in subchat today, a few trolley stations existed on the bridge for the convenience of local residents, such as the one at Driggs Avenue

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Ft. Hamilton Parkway on the BMT Culver Line was never built in the Parkway Style



Not to long ago,  a reader of SUBCHAT asked why the Ft. Hamilton Parkway station, at 37th Street was built in the traditional BMT Dual Contracts style and not with a concrete arch, found at other parkway stations, throughout the city, such as Bay Parkway, Ocean Parkway, Pelham Parkway and other stations.  I cannot answer you but I will say that the former station at 37th Street and Ft. Hamilton Parkway is similar to the present day "Avenue P" station on the F train.  There is a booking hall under the station over Avenue P and parts of the platform area, are not covered with a canopy.  The former Ft. Hamilton Parkway also had one central entrance area. The picture below comes from a Culver Shuttle web site and shows the wooden wind screens that were never replaced with metal.  Notice the former walkway which was similar to the one at Avenue P and McDonald Avenues.

Perhaps a more elaborate  structure was not constructed because at the time of building (1914-19?), Ft. Hamilton Parkway was formerly called "Ft. Hamilton Avenue?".  Also, the area under the el was not paved, which was the former PRW of the Culver Line that ran on the surface. Of course, the street crossing was paved.  The area was a shabby area with a lot of South Brooklyn RR turnouts and perhaps it was not the place to make a fancy elevated structure, at least over the parkway.  It is ironic that if the second IND system would have been built, a branch off would have run under Ft. Hamilton Parkway to Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst and Staten Island.  Perhaps there would have been an interchange station between IND Staten Island trains and BMT Culver shuttle trains at this point and perhaps the structure would have been upgraded.  Just some thoughts though.  It is possible that under the el structure, up to Ft. Hamilton Parkway, parts of the South Brooklyn RR PRW may have had Third Rail .



Friday, July 1, 2016

First Interpolation Experiment Fails



Hi Folks:

  I started to experiment with ARCGIS on-line and I noticed that geostatistical interpolation is offered.  Interpolation is used where you have some data points on a map but some areas of the map are missing data.  Now let us apply this to rapid transit.  Let us say that we have ridership figures for subway stations.  Several years ago, I got a shape file of subway station locations in New York City and part of the file was ridership values for various years such as total ridership, average ridership on weekends and so on.  Let us run a experiment using interpolation.  How would interpolation treat those areas not covered by the subway system?  The results are shown above to the right, but we must mention that perhaps that this may not be a good statistical rational for doing this experiment.  My aim was:   Using known ridership at various stations, can I project to areas that do not have a subway?  The map above may be a failure.

In the analysis below, I used Annual 2000 data.  The highest value for a particular station was  in the 8 - 9 million range.   ARCGIS online will ask you how you will project the data and I chose "Manual".   I added discrete ranges of data for example, 2M, 4M, 6M, 8M and 10M.  In the interpolation panel, you should add these values numerically, i.e. "2,000,000".  The results show those areas that can generate riders of that value if a station was in that area, everything else being equal.  Thus the eastern side of Brooklyn near Marine Park could generate 2M - 4M at a subway station annually, if a station existed in the particular region.  For Staten Island, though not shown would generate 0 - 2M.   In Staten Island, the SIRT station data had no ridership values for FY 2000 and I could not select this out.  Notice the areas of eastern Queens and Western Manhattan (Before Hudson Yards).  This is experimental process may not be appropriate for the data set available.  It is an old data set and much has changed since 2000, particularly in some sections in Brooklyn like Williamsburgh.  All of Staten Island is the lightest color.  I am not sure if bodies of water (NY Bay) effects the results.  Notice that eastern Queens looks like it could use some additional rapid transit facilities.  My cheap solution:   A basic light rail line running down a wide avenue with a private right of way.  These lines should fan out from the last easterly station terminals of the subway.  If extra money is available, if possible, the light rail lines should go underground near the last stops if possible and provide cross the platform transfers to the subway.  Since some of the terminals, such as Archer-Pasrsons have two trailing tracks, perhaps light rail trains can inch up to the easterly sections of the terminals to provide platform level transfers.  The light rail trains need not be very high tech nor their stations.  How about some surplus equipment from Europe?  Just thinking out loud folks.
Tramway Null(0).


Sunday, June 26, 2016

I Just Was On a R1-9, MU Gate Car and a BMT Standard B Type





This photo was taken yesterday by chuchubob (Larry's Post 1399979) at yesterday's NYC Transit Museum Parade of Trains as posted at Subchat.  Today, I was on a R1-9 1802, a gate car and a BMT Standard.  Despite having no fans, and with all windows open, the gate cars were cool a few hours ago.  In this picture, you can see a BMT Triplex Type D on the next track.  It was a nice experience to ride on some of the old equipment a few hours ago.  I believe this lineup will last until 5 pm today.

What a nice experience.  As the trains ran between Kings Highway and Brighton Beach, scores of persons were taking photos, even though some of the persons may be not train buffs.  Every person had a nice expression on their faces.  Do not get me wrong, the new equipment is fine with the good air conditioning, but the new equipment is all the same  on each division and is soooo boooooring!  I have good memories that I can tell the difference between a Low - V and a BMT Type D Triplex.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Once Upon a Tram





Check out this video dealing with a tram line in Ireland.   I did not view the entire video yet, but it shares some characteristics with the 3rd Avenue El, Prague and other transit videos.




https://youtu.be/ZrEmvTwkbNY



https://youtu.be/ZrEmvTwkbNY

Source:

Color video of Hill of Howth tramway (Ireland); "Once Upon A Tram"

Posted by Olog-hai on Fri Jun 24 01:03:28 2016
Narrated by Cyril Cusack. (German subtitles turned on.) Some steam action shown on what is today's DART line in Howth.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

80? Years Ago in the Red Hook Community Room



  As many of you know, community hearings are starting to take place in waterfront communities regarding the new proposed BQX Light Rail Line.  On of the hearings\workshops was held, I believe in the Red Hook Housing complex as well.  I posted the above picture from the net, which I believe is the picture of the hearing there.

   I believe the Red Hook Projects opened in the 1930's and was one of the first public housing projects in Brooklyn.  A relative of mine was one of the first tenants in that complex occasionally went to hearings and community meetings and classes, perhaps in that very room.

  In the 1930's, perhaps in 1936, 80 years ago, guess who was a guest speaker?  Yes, Mayor LaGuardia, the little flower, who was against streetcars.   What did he speak about?  Here are some of his words as he pounded his fist into the table:

  Get Rid of The Streetcars,  Get rid of them now!  Get Rid of the Slot Machines!


 I asked my relative, what did the audience think of this? They looked at him like he was a crazy man!

In the 1930's in Brooklyn, Brooklyn streetcars were run by the private BMT organization.  The BMT was very pro transit and streetcars.  By the middle thirties, only some minor streetcar lines were bustituted.  The system remained mainly intact then, with huge cars on the Flatbush Avenue, Utica Avenue, Nostrand Avenue, Fifth Avenue lines and so many other lines, fully functioning and doing heavy duty work.  The gasoline buses, were smelly and shook themselves apart after a few years and had few seats at that time compared to streetcars.  In the early 1920.'s, parts of southern Brooklyn was being developed and certain streets, such as Avenue U, 13th Avenue, Foster Avenue and so on were ready for surface transit.  The BMT or BRT at that time wanted to build streetcars lines for these new routes, but the City of NY refused.

It is ironic that in the same room, about 80 years ago, speeches were given to destroy the streetcars and now there a talks to bring them back,  hopefully.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Leeds Trolleybus Plans Rejected




According to one report, Leeds is the biggest city in Europe without a tram or subway system.
In my humble opinion, I think due to new technology that does not use overhead wires, trolleybus systems will start to vanish, but I heard today that San Francisco is ordering about 30 new trolleybuses and Peking will invest in new trolleybuses due to heavy air pollution.  Who knows what the future will bring.  As I said before, I saw a 1959 New York City Transit Authority year book which stated that the Brooklyn trolleybus system, which at that time had vehicles about 11-12 years old, was about to be converted to diesel bus, because the "trolleys were becoming fast obsolete..."  In 1960, the trolley buses were pulled but the life of a trolleybus is much more than that of a smelly diesel bus.  Toronto  Canada also had trolleycoaches built I believe in 1948 but they continued to run to around 1971 when their electric components were transferred to new Western Flyer bus bodies.



Leeds, I feel your pain. Were not trolleys for 42nd Street in Manhattan rejected at the last minute around 1992 after much research and planning because the mayor of New York was concerned about water main breaks on 42nd Street?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

If Sunset Parkers Do Not Want the Waterfront Streetcar, Send it to Ninth Avenue Lower instead, or Ft. Hamilton Parkway





You are facing southwest on Third Avenue Brooklyn, under the Gowanus Expressway.  Instead of the proposed streetcar traveling south on Third Avenue where it is not wanted, let it turn east as shown above to the left, and enter the South Brooklyn yard between Third and Fourth Avenues.  Perhaps at least, the New York City Transit Authority shops may service and store the cars?  Notice the SBRR lead track crossing Third Avenue and leading to the yard.  This is near 37th Street.  The tracks to the left lead into a two track tunnel,  Further east, there is a massive 37th Street Yard that may be able to service the streetcars.  To reach this, some reverse moves may be necessary , including some on the famous ramps that we mentioned previously.  The curved track above is not the original track that crossed Third Avenue at this general location.  Cosco now covers the approximate PRW of the SBRR and the original tracks were at right angles to Third Avenue near this location.  For many years,  under the highway, the trolley wire for this crossing was still intact, perhaps into the 1980's?

  Please go to this beautiful website directly (BQX) = Brooklyn Queens Connector

http://www.bqx.nyc/

http://www.bqx.nyc/


As you know, there is a proposal to build a waterfront streetcar line from Astoria, Queens to Sunset Park, in Brooklyn.  The organization that is sponsoring it, is beginning to hold hearings with the public regarding routing, costs, design, parking and many other issues.
So far, I believe, two hearings were held: The first in Sunset Park and the second in Astoria.  While I do not have the raw data, from what I heard, Sunset Parkers are concerned about the rise of rents in their working class area and other issues.  "Why not have a bus line?".  There are already several bus routes in the area, not all of them going to Astoria.  As for me, a "stinkbuggy" just does not excite me.
How about missing Sunset Park completely since the public may not want it or say that they do not need it?


      It is interesting that the route of the proposed streetcar, travels on Third Avenue and will cross at right angles the single South Brooklyn Railroad Track around 36-37 Streets near Cosco.  I posted this picture already.    What would happen if:

  • Instead of continuing south on Third Avenue, the streetcar's two tracks turn at 90 degrees and enter the South Brooklyn yard between Third and Fourth Avenues?
  • Continue in the yard and join the "D" subway tracks before entering the elderly, twin track tunnel and proceed east.
  • Continue in the PRW of the West End "D" train to either Ninth Avenue upper middle or Ninth Avenue Lower middle (former Culver Line).
  • If proceeding to Ninth Avenue Lower middle, continue to portal and run via yard to the intersection of Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 37th Street.  This would be a terminal providing sort of a replacement for the Culver Shuttle.

I now that you may think that I am crazy, but there are many things so consider:

  • If the streetcars are operated without wires for the entire or portion of the line, wires do not need to be construction on the South Brooklyn RR or MTA subway sections.
  • An if wires would be required, who would object, since it is going through a yard and PRW?
  • Does the twin track brick tunnel east of Fourth Avenue have enough clearance to handle streetcars and wires?
  • Can streetcars share the same tracks with regular subway equipment?
  • If they do, will they need to be built according to Federal standards for RR operation?
  • Can the tracks handle both subway and streetcar traffic in terms of scheduling?
  • Would streetcar traffic on subway tracks cause a problem with the signaling?

  • I know that in Germany, some streetcars share tracks with subway and suburban trains.

What would the advantages of this be?

  • Perhaps the waterfront streetcar  could use the NYCTA's 37th Street Shops  for storage and repairs, cutting down the need to build new shops and depots for the new streetcar line.
  • If the streetcar would go to Ninth Avenue upper middle,  "D" train users could make a cross platform transfer to the streetcars.
  • If the streetcar woul go to Ninth Avenue lower middle and beyond, former Culver Shuttle users near Ft. Hamilton Parkway and east can have a few minute trip to make connections with the West End "D" train.
  • Perhaps the line can be extended to Ditmas Avenue via 39 th Street, effectively recreating the former Culver Shuttle.
Some questions are:

  • If a rider gets on at Ft. Hamilton Parkway or Ninth Avenue, does that passenger need streetcar service on Third Avenue instead of taking the faster Fourth Avenue  Subway ( R, D and N Trains to Manhattan)?
  • Are Astoria riders or other riders along the route interested in getting to Kensington Brooklyn (Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 37th Street) without taking the subway?
To be continued / Not Proofread    Rough Draft Tramway Null(0)



Monday, April 25, 2016

One of the First Technical Reports Concerning the Brooklyn - Queens Connector

DNAInfo released some additional information about the proposed streetcar line on the Brooklyn -Queens waterfront.   Once you visit the site, you can click and see an earlier or (latest?) report on proposed operations planned.  An interesting section deals with propulsion and it seems that no large system can be completely wireless or separated from a power source.  If the streetcar/LRV has batteries, these batteries need to be re-charged and this may require some overhead segments or charging stations.  Systems around the world that recently opened may have some wireless segments due to technical reasons,  for example, going over a bridge with low clearance or for beauty reasons, passing along a historic street.   See technical section of the linked article.  Very interesting.

  If the new system needs some sections of overhead, place it over the right of way that goes under the Gowanus Expressway where no one would object and you do not need support poles.  I want to remind everyone that I like wires and it is the symbol of clean electric transportation.  The more the better, IMHO.





https://www.scribd.com/doc/310386829/Brooklyn-Queens-Connector-Rapid-Assessment


https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160425/red-hook/city-releases-more-details-of-brooklyn-queens-streetcar-plan-report-says


I hope these links work and you can bring up the article


Tramway Null(0)
By Nikhita Venugopal | April 25, 2016 11:27am | Updated on April 25, 2016 1:12pm




 A rendering of the proposed streetcar that would run between Brooklyn and Queens.
A rendering of the proposed streetcar that would run between Brooklyn and Queens.
View Full Caption
Courtesy Office of the Mayor
NEW YORK CITY — Two months after Mayor Bill de Blasio first endorsed a plan to build a streetcarconnecting waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, the city has released its early assessment of the $2.5 billion system, Politico New York first reported.
The 16-mile streetcar route, which will travel from Astoria to Sunset Park, was announced in February during the mayor's State of the City speech. The BQX would connect neighborhoods such as Long Island City, DUMBO and Red Hook, though the city has yet to share an exact route. 
The city's 37-page "rapid assessment" released to Politico on Friday evaluates an earlier study from the Friends of the BQX, a nonprofit that proposed the streetcar's development along the East River corridor. That earlier report has not yet been released to the public. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Some Bad News for Trolleybus Fans from New Zealand and Philadelphia




http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/79167527/wellingtons-trolley-buses-saved-by-43m-deal-to-fit-them-with-electric-motors


http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20160420_SEPTA_to_add_25_electric_buses_next_year.html


Folks, some bad news for trolleybus lovers. New Zealand will "retrofit" it's trolleybuses with new components that may make those individual units completely wire free.  And in Philadelphia, the two former trolleybus routes in South Philly, names Tasker-Morris and Snyder Avenue will not get their wire renewed, instead 25 "electric" buses will be bought, 100% wire free and pollution free.  These buses may need recharging at some charging station or stop.

So, trolleybus fans, look up and see the wires, you may not see them much longer as new technology gets developed... and the same applies to trams and streetcars.


Just in my humble opinion..

Tramway Null(0)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

From the Facebook "Trolleybus" Page: Cat with trolleybus Doll.




This great picture was taken by the host of the "Trolleybus" Facebook page.  She designed and knitted the trolley Doll? of a trollino trolleybus  herself.  The host is very devoted to the trolleybus concept including this cute kitty.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

And Now the Bad News from Moscow

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/12/end-road-moscow-trolleybuses-campaign


Moscow to phase out trolleybuses by 2020 with elimination of some downtown routes very soon.

More to follow later.  Very bad news because this will discourage new systems from starting.

Picture from The Guardian of a Moscow trolley bus years ago.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Good News from Seattle: 23rd Avenue Trolleybus Extension




See video below.  Sorry I could not link up directly.  Basically, an extension is planned with wires in Seattle.



http://www.king5.com/news/local/seattle/sdot-plans-to-electrify-23rd-ave/121737887

http://www.king5.com/news/local/seattle/sdot-plans-to-electrify-23rd-ave/121737887




Narrative to follow in future:

  Seattle will expand part of it's trolleybus network including the extension of the overhead.  This is good news  for wire lovers.  If batteries become perfected, there will be no need for trolleybus or tram wires.  Is this good?  Yes for the environment if more vehicles are electric operated but for traditional trolley lovers (tram or trolleybus), is a battery bus without overhead a trolleybus?  I do not think so.  In my opinion.

  This new clip shows us that at the present,  Seattle is still willing to invest in overhead wires.  Other cities are extending the trolleybus networks without overhead wires, relying on battery or some other power source for route extensions.  Battery buses are probably better on smaller sized buses that do not need to go up hills and do not operate in an air-conditioned required environment.  For climbing hills on hot days, the trolleybus is superb.  I heard that Peking may had some bad air pollution days recently and Peking may have opted for trolleybus route extension and replacement of diesel bus lines.  In the United States, only a few cities operate trolleybuses.  I heard a few years ago that Spokane, Washington and Montreal were talking about establishing new trolleybus systems but I have not heard anything recently.  If battery packs and capacitors are perfected,  or near perfection, I can see why these cities do not want to invest in an "old technology".  For me, I like the sparks and the sound of the trolley poles going under a switch.

IMHO  Tramway-Null


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

East 161 Street & 3rd Avenue Bronx 1954



Yesterday, in Subchat, Dave posted an post titled "New York, 1954" and this great photo taken in the Bronx in 1954 is shown.  The 3rd Avenue El  with wooden equipment and abandoned trolley tracks on the surface. On writer wrote that he would like to see  Bernard Linder trackmap of the area.  My archive at home is not indexed and I knew that I would never find it.. but I pulled a binder at random and it seems that the "Bulletin" in 1996 had a series on Bronx Trolleys.


  In this great photo of the Bronx, you can see tracks under the Third Avenue el.  The street sign says "East 161th Street".  A writer asked about that turnoff in the foreground.  Was it part of the St. Anns
Avenue Line?   I am less familiar with Bronx trolleys compared to Brooklyn trolleys.  Bronx lost it's trolleys in 1948 and 1952 near the Westchester boarder.


The trackmap below comes from  Linder, B.  " New York Division Bulletin", Electric Railway Association, Vol. 39, No. 9, September, 1996, pp.2-3.


  Please take a look at the 1934-1948 map.  On the left side near the bottom find "B___B".

You will see the 161 Street 3rd Avenue intersection with St. Anns Avenue.  The turnout seems in the wrong position but if you turn the map upside down, you can see by 1948 the St. Anns branch was a turnout.  It did not exist in the 1909 map.  The photo was taken facing south?  Notice how elegant New Yorkers dressed in 1954.

I hope this helps.

Tramway Null

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1931



From Brooklyn Daily Eagle 10/2/1931


This citation came to my attention on March 29, 2016 in subcat.  The above photograph was taken on 10/2/31 and answers some questions concerning the link between the IND subway at Church Avenue ( on the current F and G) routes and the former BMT Culver Line at Ditmas Avenue.  If memory serves correct, the Church Avenue station of the IND Prospect Park line opened in 1933.  Through service through the link above did not open until October, 1954 when the IND subway "captured " the BMT Culver Line to Coney Island.  I have posted pictures showing the area above around 1951 in which the three western tracks were not constructed.  I saw a photo showing only one track, that is the northbound local track in existence around 1951 entering into the subway from the three track Culver Line at Ditmas Avenue.  The photo above, facing south from Avenue C and "Gravesend Avenue "  now McDonald Avenue shows the warehouse and part of the Culver Line structure at the extreme right of the photo.  The retaining walls for the incline and the trolley support poles are already in place by 1931.  We can thus say that at least for the incline, the incline was in existence by 1931.  This is logical because part of the yard tracks are under the ramp tracks for a portion of the the incline.  When was the ramp iron work joined to the Culver line to the south?  This I do not know but pictures taken in 1951 shows PCC cars running in the area under the new structure that was untracked, except for the northbound local track.  Probably the iron structure was joined after World War II was metal shortages were eased.  Somewhere in the literature, it was described by an old timer in the 1930's or 1940's that a huge tree, that typically grows in lots in Brooklyn, and described in a "Tree Grows in Brooklyn" was growing in the middle of the ramp during this time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

On A Clear Day...You Can See Flatbush Avenue




This photo comes from a Real Estate Site: YIMBY ( Yes in my Back Yard )

 The view shed map below was produced using ARCGIS  online and the analysis feature.  As said earlier, it is sooo... easy to use.  No x, y, coordinate?  No problem.  Bring up some reference layer, either a subway map, street map, building plan and click the point.   340 Flatbush Avenue Extension is the first supertall planned for Brooklyn, compared to the lower developments around it.  Current plans for this supertall to be 1,400 feet tall with 95 stories.  This building will be much taller than anything else in  Brooklyn. Will it be built?  I do not know the amount of NIMBY's here or if the project is monetarily feasible.  Using ARCGIS on line, I added the point by looking at a map.  Height is 1,400 feet and the range is 9 miles.  The observer I choose was 6 feet.  The green areas below means that if there were no other buildings in the area, the new building would be visible from the green  areas, or, at the top of 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension,  an observer may see the surface of the green  areas.  ARCGIS on-line treats shape files differently than ARCGIS desktop.  The shape file here is kept in a feature listing MY CONTENT and must be exported to be used by ARCGIS desktop.  The domed structure at the base is the former Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn at Albee Square and Dekalb Avenue.   This spot is rich  in transit history:  The elevated lines, subways, trolleys came all together here.  I believe that at this location, in the 1930's the first models of PCC streetcars were on display.



This photo was taken from Al Ponte's Time Machine.  This is a 1948 shot of a older Brooklyn Streetcar (Peter Witt?) in traditional BMT colors at Albee Square in Brooklyn.  This is at or near the proposed supertall at 340 Flatbush Avenue Extension.  This streetcar seems to be a bi-directional one because it has two sets of trolley poles and doors.  In the proposed drawing above, you can see the bank building shown here in the background at the base of the proposed building.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Manhattan Municipal Building Water Shed



   Several of my last postings dealt with the ease of creating a watershed map using ARCGIS on-line vs. the difficulty of doing it several years ago in GRASS.  One blog that deals with streetlamps and New York and various forms of Transportation (Forgotten NY) had a posting on the mysterious and perhaps haunted Chamber Street subway station at Chambers  and Centre Street Manhattan, under the Municipal Building.  That station has what is called a "water condition" and the site where the Municipal Building  is located was once the site of a pond or some sort of collect pool, according to old maps.  I ran a watershed analysis in ARCGIS on-line and the results are above for a focal point of Chambers and Centre Streets.  The watershed is shown bounded by the red line..  It is interesting to note that in the bounded region, there is a park called the "Collect Pond Park" and is one source perhaps of the water.  The range was set at 1000 feet.  Larger ranges over 2000 feet creates a watershed that goes to Brooklyn, which is an impossibility because of the East River.