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Thursday, July 20, 2017

George Chiasson Maps on the Harlem River Terminal

Source:  Chiasson, George, "From Recognition to Dominance:   The New York Connecting Railroad (Bridging the Bay and Connecting the Pieces)", In "The Bulletin", Electric Railway Association, Inc,  Vol. 60, No. 6, June, 2017, p. 6.

Mr.  Chiasson has been running a series of articles and maps dealing with the railroads in the New York City region.  Many of his past maps and history deals with subjects that we dealt with here, particular  19th Century beginnings to rapid transit in Brooklyn.  Years ago, we posted information about the Harlem River (Willis Avenue) terminal that for a period of time was used by commuter railroads and the Third Avenue Elevated line.  The aerial shot was obtained from the City of NY DOITT dashboard that presently can present 1924 and 1951 shots of New York City.

Mr. Chiasson is a great railroad historian.  In his series in The Bulletin, history of commuter railroads, the steam engine driven pre rapid transit lines in Brooklyn and the elevated systems in both Brooklyn and Manhattan and the Bronx are covered.  Everything down to grade elimination projects on the Bay Ridge Division over the years is told.  Of course, trolley line history is part of this.
Thank you Mr. Chiasson.

Note, if you look at the aerial picture attached, you may be able to see the covered walkway from the East 133 Street station on the 3rd Avenue El to the Willis Avenue Terminal.
Tramway Null(0)


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

My New York Subway Classification Scheme



BMT-IND Cars Types


  • R-32
  • R-42
  • R-46
  • R-68
  • R143, R160, R179 (In delivery), very similar to the R-142 and R-188 (IRT) Types.
  • R-211?
Cars in Red to be eventually replaced.
IRT Car Types
  • R-62
  • R-142, R-188  (Similar to BMT-IND R-143, R-160, R-179 types)
So folks, you will be left with cars that look like picture 1 and 3 below for the entire NYC Subway System, after the type in picture 2 (R-68) goes.



Pictures from NYCSubway.org website.
Picture (top) IRT R-142 and similar to the BMT-IND Types R-160 above)
Middle:  R-46 or R-68, one type
Bottom:  IRT R-62, one type.


I base this on the appearance of the cars.  Actually, there are sub classifications among these car types involving car arrangements, motors, breaking systems and cab widths.  Overall, as I see it, there are on a visual basis two IRT subway car types and 6 BMT-IND car types, or 8 types including the future R-211.  When the R-32's through R-68's are gone, and replaced with drone R-211 types, there will be three system wide types with no seats near windows!  What a boring place!

Just some thoughts about the old subway car types.  There are persons who specialize in this but the BMT Standards consisted of two types, A and B types that had different types of vents, roof construction and destination sign size and arrangements.

The IRT class of cars had many types dealing with different motor types, door arrangements, breaking systems, roof types and so on.  Of course, you had the wooden elevated types as well and articulated units of various types on the BMT.

What remains:  R-62 IRT Type and system wide R-160 types and the gangway type?

Imagine passing the Coney Island Yard and seeing one type of subway car, and a few museum cars?


Monday, July 3, 2017

When Will the Last Seat Next to a Window Come to an End in the New York Subway?


One of the joys of riding the subway as a youth was sitting next to window where your body is perpendicular to the window.  In this way, you did not miss the passing scene; every track switch,  every passing train, the line up of trains at a depot.  Yes, the cars of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company did not have seats near the windows, because your backs faced the windows, yet the windows were plenty and the windows were low.   The Low-V type of IRT subway cars had two long row of yellow seats.  Originally, some of the IRT cars that opened the subway in 1904 may have had a few perpendicular seats in the middle of the car where the center doors would be added later.  And some of the wooden elevated cars that ran on IRT elevated lines had some seats adjacent to windows.  Needless to say, the BMT  Standards and IND R1-9 Class had plenty seats near windows.  The first post war IND Car, the R-10 sort of changed things.  It had a similar seating arrangement similar to its' sister cars, the R1-9, but the window pane was high up for a six year old child or even an adult to see the passing scene.  The R-16, had a modern seating arrangement similar to the R1-9's but the window pane was high up.  Then it stopped!  Classes R-27-30, R-32, R-38's and R-40, R-42 had no longer seats near the windows.  Around 1969 and the early 70's this changed with the R-44, R-46 and R-68 classes on the former BMT-IND lines.  All post  R-68 equipment has no seats near windows and we are talking about thousands of cars.  Of course, all new IRT cars have no seats near windows except an experimental train set (R 110's ?) in the 1990's.  With new equipment coming with no seats near windows, eventually the R-46, R-68  classes will be phased out.  Even the new "walkthrough" trains will have no seats near windows.  So someday, 100% of the NYC Subway fleet will be R-160 look alike clones with not a single seat near a window in any class of cars.  I am not a train car historian, but I would guess that in the 19th Century, some wooden cars on both Manhattan and Brooklyn elevated had some seats near windows.  Don't forget, the dimension of the elevated cars was smaller than present day BMT-IND Equipment.  When will this sad day come that no piece of transit equipment in the NY subway will have any seats near windows?  How boring.
This is a R160A-1 car shot by Zach Summer and found at NYC Subway.org
Yes, this car is comfortable with air-conditioning and it looks nice, and it has sort of a seat near a window at the very end of the car,  there is very little variation in the car fleet now compared to years past.  This is in my humble opinion.  When the present look a like fleet and any similar cars that arrive in the future, become old, this will make the subway a very boring place.  I believe that the public, even though those persons who are not interested in rapid transit, would like to see some variation.  Well, you might say, the BMT starndards and IND R1-9's and many of the IRT Lo-v's were look alikes?  No one would ever confuse a Low-V with a Type D Articulated Unit.  There was variation between the divisions.  Not now.



  This a Joe Tostagrose picture taken in 5/21/71 of car # 1362 which is a Brooklyn Union Elevated gate car.  I am not sure if Manhattan Elevated Lines in the 19th Century had similar seating arrangements.  Taken from NYCSUBWAY.ORG website.


Proposed R-211 subway car with open gangways at printed in the NY Daily News.  Nice, but so similar to the R-160 class.  " You see one, you see them all..."

Inside of a IRT Low-V car taken by David Pirman on 2/23/63 on the White Plains Road Line.  Notice that the windows are low so that a person can still crank their neck and get a good view.

From "They Moved Millions" of the NYCSubway.org website.  This Manhattan Elevated Car 1584 (1902-11) had some seats near windows in the center part of the car.  This configuration was also present in early NYC Subway IRT Composite cars before center doors were added later.  The point being that even with a smaller profile, some seats were near windows on older IRT equipment.