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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

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