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In researching possible new modules for my subway layout, I've learned that before the Dual Contracts of 1917, the BRT had constructed a 4th Avenue subway shortly after the first IRT line opened. The station mosaics and construction details were similar in style to the Beaux-Arts designs of the 1904 IRT lines. A few of the stations still have round columns like the IRT.

Unfortunately, in the 1970's, the 4th Avenue stations received a makeover that buried the original details under large modern tiles. Bits of the original details peek out from underneath, but not enough to form a basis for modeling.

Does anyone know of a book that might show the original station details of the 4th Avenue stations?

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The 4th avenue line construction started in 1915 It was actually the Municipal Railway corporation in partners with the City of New York.  It was a subsidiary of the BRT .   The 1970's construction was basically to extend the platforms to handle 10 car trains and the newer 75 foot cars of 8 at the time.

There are a few spots you can still see the old 

45 St still has the round poles in spots and 9th street still has the old tile work in the culver corridor

The most interesting station is 36 street  It only has exit stairs on one end  The reason for this is that the original plan for the station was changed   The station was built with future connections for a 40 street connection to the West End and Culver  When that connection was made the station moved north by about 300 feet to accomadate the West End connection as it is today.  If you look south of the station the tile work extends to past the point of the West end.  The three original tunnel entrances for the 40 street connection are still there  The is one on track 2 going northbound.  There is a deep one in between tracks 2 and 4 ending at the West end portal and there is one in between tracks 1 and 3 going southbound  If you ever went local going southbound the train does a curve to the right as you leave 36 st  Thats to get around the downgrade for the 40 st connection

Its a little hard to see but this is looking at the deep entrance from 40 st in between tracks 2 and 4



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At 59 street there are two tunnel entrances that were supposed to go to Staten Island   

AT 65 street there is a bridge over the LIRR Bay Ridge branch that has accommodations for 4 tracks   The plan was to eventually add 2 more tracks between 59 street and 95 street   That is also why 86 street is a middle platform   It was supposed to be an express stop with another mid platform on the other two tracks


Somewhere in the ever-encroaching tide of railroad books I have "Subway Style" published by the NYC Transit Museum. It is a book that is an excellent and thorough history of all the publicly-visible station features.  I will dig it out and see if they mention the 4th Avenue line, and if they have any photos or drawings.  It might take a few days.

There are a few copies available on Amazon, for low prices. I recommend the book for anyone modeling or just interested in the subways of NYC.

Last edited by Arthur P. Bloom

I have asked the cat to move over to another pile of books, to allow access to Subway Styles.  After an open and frank exchange of opinions, he acquiesced.  Check the bottom of the first column of the index on page 239.  There are a few entries about the 4th Ave line. Probably not what you're looking for, though.  I agree, it's a book packed with wonderful photos of a complex system, built back when aesthetics counted as much as utility.

State Street, Brooklyn Heights from 1970 to 1971. West 105 and Riverside from 1972 through 1979. W 121 between Bway and Amst. until 1990, then back to the ancestral home in the sticks.

As a kid from the country, visiting Manhattan with my family, I loved to buy a token (15 cents) and go through the turnstile to get to Macy's at Xmas time. Even as an adult, I still feel the rush of excitement when going down the stairs and getting onto the platform.

Last edited by Arthur P. Bloom

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