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Reply to "Old New York"

At the turn of the century , the Els in Brooklyn were being consolidated into a single system which came to be known as the Brooklyn Rapid Transit or BRT. BRT's focus at the time was to expand its operations into Manhattan and to increase capacity and services using the East River crossings existing, under construction or planned. 

The Williamsburg Bridge opened for traffic in 1903. Initially Trolleys from the company's B&QT company which was the streetcar arm of BRT operated across the Bridge into an Underground Manhattan Terminal. El operations across the bridge were also planned but not in operation when the Bridge opened in 1903.

BRT engineers and management had an interest in loop operation and design similar to that hich was operating in Chicago. The Sands Street complex utilized a loop concept for trains ending their runs in downtown Brooklyn . The theory and rsults achieved that since it was unnecessary to change ends when the train reach its last stop, the dwell time was reduced which meant the terminal could accommodate more trains in a given time period. At the turn of the century, The BRT envisioned , planned and actually began construction on a large loop system which would tie together its trackage and terminals at the Manhattan and Brooklyn ends of each of the three bridges, Brooklyn , Manhattan and Williamsburg. A Multitrack El line was planned in Manhattan running on Center Street . The El structure was actually in place on the Williamsburg bridge on the Manhattan side when the bridge opened in 1903. New York City fought the plan insisting on a Subway route. The City prevailed and the Center street El never came topass.

Here is a photo showing the Williamsburg Bridhg Manhatta side with the El structure in place. 

WB Bridge Manhattan 1906

And on the Brooklyn side, The Sands street terminal was already in place but never fully used as the BRT had envisioned. 


Sand street


Images (2)
  • WB Bridge Manhattan 1906
  • Sand street
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