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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


  1. It looks to me like the track in the foreground is part of the 163rd St Crosstown Line, which used 161st St in one direction between Elton Ave and Third Ave. It ran from Hunts Point Ave and Randall Ave in the Bronx to 155th St and Amsterdam Ave in Manhattan, and like the Boston Rd Line it was abandoned in 1948.

    I made a timeline of maps of the last 25 years of streetcar service in NYC, 1932-1957, which you might enjoy:

    1. Thanks Threestationsquare for your comments and maps. Your interactive streeetcar maps from 1932 are accurate and very informative. The Staten Island map showed that the street railways of Staten Island hugged the northern side of the island. Let us hope that some type of street railway is established in New York City in our lifetime.
      My best:
      Tramway Null(0)

    2. The Staten Island streetcars that survived to the 30s were those along the north shore, but in the 20s there were streetcars and especially trolleybuses stretching further south. See

      Something I was wondering about: the maps of New York Railways lines you've posted (e.g. 14th St, Sixth Ave) generally list dates 1919-1933; were there any changes to these lines between 1933 and abandonment in 1936? Some other sources imply the Sixth Ave streetcar didn't run south of 4th St by 1935. Also, did both northern branches of the Lexington Ave streetcar (to 131st & Lexington and to 146th & Lenox) last until abandonment in 1936 or was one abandoned sooner? Thank you for any information you can provide.

    3. Hi threestatiosquare: Manhattan streetcar lines are not my forte but this is what I found out: In an ERA trackmap by B. Linder ins the March 1987 edition, there is a history of the Lexington - Lenox Avenue streetcar. It's dates are 4/18/1895 to March 25, 1936. The map is dated 1933 and shows the uptown trackage to 146th Street - Lenox. For the Sixth Avenue Streetcar, data comes from the ERA Bulletin of November, 1987. The dates of the line are from 1852 to March 12, 1936. The map shows only up to 1933. On January 3, 1931, the section between 4th Street and South Ferry was discontinued. Was this not because a new street was carved out called "West Broadway" and the 8th Avenue Subway was being built in the area? I think 6th Avenue stopped at 3rd Street? At any rate, the last date for both maps is 1933 because that was the only information that Mr. Linder had available. Between 1933 and 1936 I think most of the construction for the 8th Avenue was finished. No other track layouts were presented for 1933 to 1936 for these two lines. If I come across something, I will let you know.
      Also, from the March 1987 article, it is not indicated that service to the two branches stopped earlier. The southern cutback occurred in January 9, 1929 where the terminal was changed from South Ferry to 23rd and Lexington Avenue. Sorry, this is all what I have so far.
      My Best:
      Tramway Null(0)