IRT & BMT Open Platform EL Gate Cars (MORE pics)

Hello RJR !


Thanks also for stopping by to look over this Thread.  Check out my other threads in this series here at OGR Subways Forum showcasing my El-Trolley Layout, if you haven't already.


Good to find ANOTHER rare poster who also rode the Manhattan-Bronx 3rd Ave El and the Dyre Shuttle.  We ARE becoming a rare, heh, breed as time goes by ! I rode the Dyre line a number of times in 1952 and 53 when it had gate cars on it - and later in 1954 when it had  Manual-Door-Control Hi-V Class steel subway cars.  And of course after it was connected to the IRT Mainline at E.180th Street yards, in 1958, I rode its thru services with Low-V's and later IRT R-Type (SMEE) cars.  I could almost imagine what riding it in its NYW&B days was like !


I grew up and lived right along the Manhattan 3rd Ave EL and rode if quite frequently. 


Glad you enjoyed my  layout photos, videos, and trip back in time via modeling.


Regards - Joe F

Joe F

Thanks for the reply, Joe.  To add to the history of the Dyer Ave Line, in the early 1940's my grandmother lived a block from the Dyer Avenue station, so we rode the shuttle from end to end.  There were 2 open platform gate cars.  One could only enter and leave by the gates at the coupled ends of the cars, where a conductor would open and close them.


When boarding, I would sit in the first seat on the left, so I could watch out the front window.  The line was the old right of way of the Boston & Westchester, as my father called it.  It was a 4-track line, but the two middle tracks had been torn up.  There were one or two stops at which the platform was at the sides of the tracks, but at one (Gun Hill Road?) the B&W had had an express stop, so the station was between the tracks.  Beyond Dyer Avenue, all tracks had been torn up, but the ROW was untouched. The next station still stood, spalling concrete and looking run down.


After the war ended, we drove more often and rarely used the subway.


I went for 2 years to HS in the Bronx in 1950-52, and occasionally rode the 3rd Ave El from it's northern terminus down to 42d St., where I'd get the crosstown shuttle (that line is another story).  No gate cars then, just the old cars, but a great ride, looking into windows of homes.


I looked at many of the pictures & videos, and marvel at the realistic detail you've created.  The video from under the El was excellent.  I can remember my father driving under the El.  Noisy with occasional sparks coming down

Hello again RJR


Thanks for your interesting nostalghia reply !  I can relate to all of it - having been there also.  The Gate cars were last used in large numbers on the 3rd Ave EL (Manhattan & Bronx) between late 1949 and mid 1950.  They were (many were dead-stored spare train extra consists) re-activated in the late 1949 thru mid 1950 period because the then 1902-3 built ex-subway (center door composite cars) consists,  used ONLY as express trains ONLY on center tracks with passengers - were being replaced and retired.  Their maximum traction (one motored wheelset in each truck) trucks were slowly being removed from them and installed under newly arriving ex-BMT "MUDC-converted"  "Q" Type EL cars from the  then IRT operated Flushing-Astoria lines.  These were BMT Shuttle EL Car trains operating on those routes.


So the IRT Gate car extra trains in dead storage, were re-activated to replace, in express service,  each removed Composite Car express train, one at a time.  By April-May 1950, the entire ex-BMT Q-Type fleet had been trucks-refitted, and thus arrived on the 3rd Ave EL to replace the remaining Gates and Composite car fleets in express-ONLY-services on center tracks with passengers.


Composite and Q types were TOO HEAVY to operate on the local tracks (over the spindly 1878 installed lattice EL columns) with passengers.,.. but could operate on them "light" (not in service).


Tho I rode the gates only a few times on 3rd Ave (Mainly Composites, Q's and MUDC's) -- I did ride them a bit more on the Dyre Line Shuttle - enjoying their "open front porch" in my kid-eyes-mentality type view of the tracks !!


Don't you wish we could go back for a few weeks in time and do it all again !


regards - Joe F

Joe F

Joe, I never got far into studying the various types of NYC transit system cars.  I actually lived over in New Jersey, where Public Service trolleys still ran up the hill from the 42nd Street Ferry and then down through Union City.


  The Dyer Ave shuttle I became familiar with because of the need to ride it, and even though really young, I was fascinated by what were anachronisms even in the early 40's:  open platform cars.  While at high school, I rode the 3rd Ave occasionally for the same reason:  they were unique.


I really don't want to go back and do it again, but to be able to stand to the side and observe is something that would interest me. 

Hello RJR


Thanks for the added info and reply ! -- Yes, if we could go back in time, we could NOT physically occupy the same space (and likely age) at the same time -- but to go back "on the sidelines" as an "adult observer" -- would be nice, but of course, impossible in reality !

We can be thankful  for all the photos and videos that are around of what we remember and were a part of in those long ago periods of time - and sharing similar memories !


regards - Joe F

Joe F

Hello ALL ------


Here are four of many of the newest photos taken by various visitors to my home May 16th and 17th of my NYC EL-Trolley Layout during the East Penn Traction Club Show "Open House Layout Tour" program.  These photos feature per this Thread Topic, some of my various Open End Platform wood EL Cars.


Regards - Joe F



JF%20-%20Oscale%20car%20yard%203 - Copy

JF%20-%20Oscale%20car%20yard%20bklyn%20cars [2)

JF%20-%20Oscale%20car%20yard%201 [2)

Joe F


Photos (4)

bmt-el-gate-motor--734-in-local-train_5412358793_obmt-el-gate-motor-734--trailer-23_5412359071_oNeg.#4328-22sNeg.# 4329-7Neg # 4331-5Neg 4328-1

Hello DeeDon68

Yes, I have close to 1000 photos of the Myrtle Ave EL --  many hundreds of my own (additionally including  color slides) and many more in my collection covering the 1880's to the demolition in the early 1970's.  I rode it since 1955 and over the next 14 years took hundreds of photos (and color slides) of it thru its closing in October 1969.  And I rode the Gate cars and the Q Types -- I also rode the Q-types's when they ran on the Manhattan & Bronx 3rd Ave EL -- have hundreds of photos (and slides) of them on the 3rd Ave Line

Joe F

Joe F


Photos (6)

Hello DEEDON68

I have a few photos of the Vanderbilt Ave. Station from street level in the 1968-69 period,  but mainly from rooftops and track and station level.  A few from the 1940's which may be of use at the street level intersection.  Here they are.  I will post those on this reply -- and the others on street level in the vicinity on a following reply;

Would you want any views from Vanderbilt Ave Station platform with & without trains and rooftop views down to the EL ?

(PS: you remind me of myself thru the past 5 decades, in my quest looking, asking for, any photos of my own neighborhood EL station along the Manhattan IRT 3rd Ave EL, heh !  And the "excitement" when I found those very rare hard to find few !))

Regards - Joe F

0132-Myrtle EL at Vanderbilt AV STA-19400172-Myrtle El-W on downtown Tk-Vanderbilt AV STA-19440173-W on Myrtle EL downtown Tk-Vanderbilt AV STA-19440179-S to Vanderbilt AV STA-Myrtle EL-1944Neg# 3580-N to uptown side-Myrtle El Vanderbilt STA-9-1969Neg#3586-S to downtown side-Myrtle El Vandelbilt STA-9-1969

Joe F


Photos (6)

Hello again DeeDon68

Here are more of the immediate El station neighborhood scenes I shot almost 48 years ago in 1969, around the Vanderbilt Ave. Station of the Myrtle Ave EL.  I hope you enjoy them and get some nostalgia from them!  As well as the previous ones I sent on my just previous  message.  I have plenty more I took from track and platform level and rooftop views down to the EL and that station.

How about some background history memories from you about why you wanted these photos -- for example, if you grew up along, and/or lived along the EL, back then - and remember or rode it,   to share with us !


NOTE:  If you put your CURSOR indicator OVER the photo,  the photo URL is also the photo location and description

Regards- Joe F



  0176-NB along donwtown Tk-Myrtle EL Vanderbuilt STA-19440177-Myrtle EL W under downtown Tk-Vanderbilt AV STA-19440178-W Under Myrtle EL downtown Tk-Vanderbilt AV STA-1944Neg#3551-SB by Myrtle El-Clinton St-9-1969Neg#3552-NB to Mytle El above Clinton St-9-1969Neg#3555-Myrtle EL SB by Clinton St-Vanderbilt STA-9-1969Neg#3585-SB Myrtle EL local- Venderbilt STA at Clermont Av-9-1969Neg#3854-18-S on Myrtle Av at Clinton St-9-1969Neg#3854-19-S on Myrtle Ave SB at Clinton St-9-1970

Joe F


Photos (9)

Thank you very much for the great wonderful pics, I rode on these magnificent trains back during the 60s.  I would hop on the Navy Street station and the Vanderbilt station, yet I wish to have more memories of Vanderbilt Station for I'm trying to remember the designed construction of the side of the Liquor Store or on the Gas station side looking at the el for my family and friends argue that Vanderbilt station on the described side had 2 windows instead of 3 like the other side of the station.  Can you send more pics for proof of my correction.  


Hello DEEDON68


Thanks for your nostalgia history -- I figured you likely lived along, grew up along that line.  Glad to find someone who has a more  personal interest in the old Myrt.

OK, if you look at the 1940's photos of the BOTH SIDES of the Vanderbilt Station I previously provided, as it was originally built in the 1880's.  the both sides of the station house proper had FOUR windows, and ONE window in the top of stairs "vestibule room" outside the station house proper.

As part of a late 1950's upgrade on the Myrtle El, and arrival of overhauled Q-Type EL (MUDC class) cars to replace the older open end platform 1300 series gate motor cars,  the station houses were "modernized" in the upgrade with new simplified exterior sheathing - eliminating the more intricate woodwork details.

As far as Vanderbilt Station goes, 

---the Downtown side wall of the "house" had only THREE of the 4 windows retained --- the 4th one closest to the stairway entry end - was removed and sheathed over.  That was the side the station token agent was on,  and he had one of the windows for his booth.

---the Uptown side wall of the "house" had TWO of the 4 windows retained --- the other two closest to the stairway entry end, were removed and sheathed over.

The station stairway top-vestibule enclosure still retained its original ONE window on both sides.

I have attached 1 photo of the UPTOWN and two of the DOWNTOWN side of that station per 9-1969

Also one more photo looking downtown to the El and a downtown train having just left the Vanderbilt Ave Station, Sept. 1969

regards - Joe F

Neg#3573 View downtown to SB Myrtle Ave EL Local from Vanderbilt STA-9-1969

Neg#3540-view uptown by downtown track-Myrtle El-Vanderbilt STA-9-1969Neg#3544-View uptown by downtown track-Myrtle EL-9-1969 Neg#3573- view uptown side of Vanderbilt Av STA-Myrtle El-9-1969Neg#3573 View downtown to SB Myrtle Ave EL Local from Vanderbilt STA-9-1969



Joe F


Photos (4)

WOW! You have brought me so many great memories, I can't stop looking at these photos, they just take me back into time.    The Myrtle Avenue El was BROOKLYN at best.    Several years ago I was fortunate to buy a piece of the LAST remaining pillars of the 1885 section of the Lexington Ave el.   The remnants were on the corner of Lex and Grand Avenue when they demolished the building under the El.   It was a great deal.   



thanks for posting the phopto . Looking at the trolley tracks below reminds me when we rode the Crosstown Car and the Vanderbilt ave car here. The Crosstown came up from Flushing Ave on Vanderbilt and turned onto Myrtle Ave here on the turn shown. The car went down to Erie Basin through Downtown Brooklyn . We rode it to go to the shopping on Fulton Street. 600 series were used on this line. 


Back on Vanderbilt ave , You could transfer from the Crosstown car to the Vanderbilt ave car. WE rode to Bartel Pritchard and changed for the Mc Donald Ave. car to go to Coney Island. PCCs were used on the Vanderbilt Ave and McDonald Ave lines. 


Before 1958, Gate cars worked the Myrtle Ave Line and South of Broadway, Fare collection was at times on the train. Before 1950, The Lexington Ave Line used the Myrtle from Bridge and Jay Street to Navy Street where it turned off via and on grade crossing like we saw in some of Joes other photos earlier in the thread. At Bridge and Jay Street, There was a free paper transfer to connect with the IND subway in the area. 



LIRR Steamer


Photos (1)


Dave (DeeDon) and LIRR Steamer

THANKS BOTH for your appreciation of my photos -- and I enjoyed and totally comprehend your both deep feelings of nostalgia for the old Myrt jand the neighborhood similar to as I feel for it.  Brooklyn was a great place then and old Myrt EL and its trains were a historic institution (like San Fran cable cars) -- but short sighted TA brass choose to destroy it for buses -- and thus for a slower and lumpy-bumpy ride on the traffic clogged avenue presently.  As you both know,  the entire area really deteriorated by the time the EL was torn down post 1970.

I have plenty of photos of the Myrt-Lex Grand Ave. Junction,  and the unique OUISIDE PLATFORMS Grand Ave. station on the Myrt.   Well,  my photos cover the WHOLE line from Metropolitan to Park Row  to the later (by 1944) Bridge-Jay Sts.  terminals.

Here are some of my "Brooklyn " street level scenes on my EL & Trolley layout !

Regards - Joe F


Joe F


Photos (11)

Hi Joe Frank,


I wanted to ask you did you ever see an IRT lov running on the Myrtle Avenue El?   And also, can you how some color photos of the Vanderbilt Avenue station Ext.  from the Esso gas station?   You've brought me some nostalgic memories that shed tears in my eyes, for this El was very emotional to see demolish as a Boy.   


You may enjoy this huge website of mainly ALL COLOR PHOTOS (with a few B&W photos)  created  by Patrick Cullinan who has a nostalgia and love for the BMT Myrtle Ave EL like I had for my own IRT EL on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan long long ago.

Patrick took these photos on and along the Myrtle Ave. EL generally in October 1969,  the last month of operation on the Myrtle Ave EL.  I was in the same area and on the EL as well as on the street and rooftops and along the entire EL -- taking my photos and color slides right up to the last night of service.   However, besides the EL, Patrick focused a lot on the street scenes both from the EL and other viewpoints,  including many buildings seen along the EL from trains or station platforms.

Here are a few photos by him (attached) at your Vanderbilt Station area and adjacent streets.  I am sure you remember all these scenes and buildings from your old neighborhood.  Many are still there today.

 By the way,  NO, per your question -  Low-V's never ran on the Myrtle Ave. EL,  that I know of,  on the older portion BELOW Broadway Myrtle Jct  in regular service or on any fantrips.  Low-V's wityh passengers  would be too heavy as all steel ALL MOTOR subway cars.  A fantrip may have run from the Broadway BMT EL from Myrtle-B'way JCT up to the northern portion (heavier steel construction)  outbound to Metropolitan Station and back inbound to connect back on to the Broadway EL. And if so,  more likely in the years AFTER 1969 or 1970. I am not sure.  But in the decades up to the closing the the lower older Myrtle Ave  EL in Oct. 1969 BELOW Myrtle-B'way Junction, I am sure no Low-V's operated there.

regards - Joe F

Oct-1969-Myrtle-Av-EL at Portland StOct-1969-Myrtle-Av-El-north side of Myrtle between Clinton and WaverlyOct-1969-Myrtle-Av-EL-Vanderbilt AVOct-1969-Myrtle-Av-El-NW on VanderbiltOct-1969-Myrtle-Av-EL near Hall StOct-1969-Myrtle-Av-EL-Clinton Av Corner

Joe F


Photos (6)

This is the first time I tripped on this thread but I'm glad I did! Unbelievable modeling skills Joe!  I have a very modest subway line under my layout and I don't know half of what you guys know about the New York subway and elevated system but I enjoy learning more.  Thanks for posting the information and pics. 




Home of the C.L.&M railroad






Hello Chris !

Thanks for reviewing my Thread here,  and for your nice compliments.  That's what my layout photos sites are designed for,  enjoyment, encouragement and motivation and transit history in the form of modeling of it

On the FIRST posting by me on top of page 1,  I added 4 LINKS to my four Layout Photo-Websites -- you may want to go back there and check these 4 links out.

You will also see my earlier 1960's-1980's era HO NYC EL LAYOUT in photos and their two special ALBUMS of photos on my FLICKR page.

regards - Joe F !

Joe F

Thanks for the memories...As a kid in the 50's I would visit my Grandmother in Richmondhill, Queens. I'd sneak under the turnstile at the Fresh Pond Road station and ride the open end cars back and forth all day until it was time to go home...We lived in Bellerose so that was a treat for me...


Thanks Joe F.

Thank you for the photos, much appreciated. I've watched various videos and pictures but still haven't found a picture from anybody looking from North towards Vanderbilt avenue station opposite ESSO gas station.   Hopefully someone has a photo so that I can confirm my nostalgic visions perspectively.

Hello Deedon --

Sorry that I can't facilitate your continual obsession with that one specific location on that one corner and of that one specific scene-view.  To obsess over, and express interest in only that one scene-view,  looking across the street to the other side,   after the volume of BMT  Myrtle Avenue EL nostalgia of photos and films that I presented here,  as well as my scenes provided on and around your EL Station at Vanderbilt Avenue,  over various decades,  basically indicates  to me you likely have little to no real sincere intrinsic interest or nostalgia in that elevated line, its history, its rolling stock, etc., except for that one small scene you seek.

Joe F

Hi Joe F

Thank You for responding, though I don't see myself being obsess with the one specific train stop in Vanderbilt Avenue.   I don't call it obsession, It is called being Passionate.   Does it not occur to you that you are passionate in building your open gate Q cars and using photo shop to make it look to your standards, which btw makes them look rather more non-prototype.   And you also stated that you had thousands of Color and Black n White photos of this historical EL.   Also if you are illustrating your toys to the public it is in ones best interest to satisfy clients, groups, subway enthusiast to the fullest of needs whether for documents or for memorable purposes.    Be more Professional.  




Deedon --

My modeling work has been seen by documented millions of fans, historians,  modelers, and the general public, both in traction and hobby magazines over 30 years, and on the internet over the past 17 years thru my own photo websites for the layout  (and of course sharing material here) - as well as many other rail related forums.  And the entire layout displayed at large venue train shows.  PS:  I don't have "Photoshop" program and thus don't use "Photoshop".  These museum caliber  "scale models" (they are NOT "toys", heh)  are seen as they are.  Look at responses to my modeling work on these and other pages in the subways forum!   I don't see any unsatisfied  fans, enthusiasts, modelers,  etc.,  (I have NO clients, heh  - but when I do,  those clients PAY for my time and services).  

Yes, I have a few thousand photos of the Myrtle EL,  and a few hundred color slides.  However,  NOT any of the specific one-scene-view,  whatever it is,  you repeatedly  "passionate"  over. I spent quite amount of my personal time over various days and postings, to attempt to accommodate you by provided you plenty of views of and around the Vanderbilt Ave. Station,  in different time frames, but none as stated are to your one-specific-scene agenda or satisfaction.  And links to other sites.   And obviously no one else has responded to your requests  here except me.

I suggest you, as I have done for 5 decades,  spend your own time doing your own extensive research, perhaps checking the NYC Dept. Of Real Estate Taxes Photography archives.  They have a website --- find it!  They have many hundreds of thousands of generally OLD document-photos of all New York City located buildings and street scenes of buildings photographed for Real Estate Tax building identification records.  By checking the  Myrtle-Vandebilt intersection, they may have something photographed related to whatever specific "image / scene" you are looking most all are at sidewalk and street level.



Joe F

Joe F

Thanks for your clarified response and not that WE don't know and respect your work but you should've could've responded with details in the first place if you didn't have the photos.    I get it.   And I did appreciated your time in forwarding some of the photos you had available.     I will look into some of the web-sites you recommended.   Thanks



Hello Deedon --- (or is it now Dondee !)

Thank you -- and I understand your situation. 

I provided you my own night photo I took  standing ON the gas station lot looking "northward" (actually in reality outbound, "eastward" ) towards the EL and it's downtown (inbound) track side of the Vanderbilt Avenue station house and platform on Myrtle Avenue -- see below. 

Neg#3586-S to downtown side-Myrtle El Vandelbilt STA-9-1969

I assumed THIS photo and it's view-scene  was sufficient for what you were relating .

However, here are your quoted comments from your above reply ....

" .....but still haven't found a picture from anybody looking from North towards Vanderbilt avenue station opposite ESSO gas station.   Hopefully someone has a photo so that I can confirm my nostalgic visions perspectively...."

OK -- so please explain what you mean as to WHAT are the "nostalgic visions perspectively"  you need to "confirm".  Confirm what,  and why ?

Attached is a current street view similar to what your above quoted comments may reflect.  Of course, the EL is long gone 45 years now, and note that now the former ESSO Gas Station, later EXXON,  and in recent years, the GULF Gas Station at left of photo,  is also gone and now a vacant lot.   PS:  I DO like the return of the old cast iron "Corvington" class streetlights -- as you know, I also model these "Corvington" style cast iron ornamental streetlights,  on my EL layout


Is this the "north" view you are looking for,  under or along the EL  from that sidewalk at left  ??

N on Myrtle to Vanderbilt Av-2016


Joe F


Photos (2)
gene maag posted:

Thanks for the memories...As a kid in the 50's I would visit my Grandmother in Richmondhill, Queens. I'd sneak under the turnstile at the Fresh Pond Road station and ride the open end cars back and forth all day until it was time to go home...We lived in Bellerose so that was a treat for me...

Hello Gene !


THANK YOU for the appreciation --- and good to have stirred your nostalgia and memories !   We both have similar nostalgia memories of this line..  I rode the 1300 series all motor BMT EL Gate (all motor) Cars on the EL over various "solo joyride outings" from mid 1955 thru mid 1958 as they were the last old wood EL (and being Gate cars) Cars  in NYC after my own neighborhood Manhattan IRT 3rd Ave EL and its IRT wood "MUDC" class EL cars were gone by end of 1955 -

Some of those IRT "MUDC" Class wooden EL cars surviving there along with  the entire fleet of 1600 series Q Type wood EL Cars - until Dec. 1956,  when all the wood EL Cars on the remaining Bronx portion of the 3rd ave EL,   were replaced with 6 car trains of old IRT steel ex-subway "Steinway" class Low-V Motor Cars. 

The Q Types were stored on the EL - and some in E.239th St IRT Yards,  -- and later gradually all moved to Coney Island Shops in mid to late 1957 and overhauled to run on the Myrtle Avenue EL in order to  replace the last wooden BMT El Gate cars on that line, as well as in operation in NY City and NY State, and in the USA !   The BMT Myrtle EL and its gate cars,  and after May 1958,  the ex- 3rd Ave EL operated (from May 1950 thru Dec. 1956)   Q types,  defined the early era of N Y City EL systems from the turn of the century.  A living relic in even back then, modern times.  Too bad the neighborhood went to crap in the late 1960s' and thereafter, and ridership dropped as crime rose.  And the EL was closed late October 1969 replaced by buses by then.  The end of an "era" !

Regards - Joe F


Joe F

Hi Joe F,

My Nostalgic memoirs of this specific train station was as a kid a I ran up and down from the stairway leading out in front of our best friends building,  My family and our friends would ride on the EL during the summer nights to Jay Street and transfer to the F train to Coney Island.   As a boy I cried just to ride 2 stops to the last stop.   My Mother never denied to ride on the EL.   They were special times for me.   Today I'd do almost anything to relive that time by photos or video.   Yet that particular stop was the ultimate.  I remember the thick Pipe that ran down on the pillar right on the corner of  Myrtle.   This is part of the time I will cherish mostly, the love of family and friends and the love for the EL.   This photo was posted by you sometime ago, yet it is very dark and blurry.  very hard to see.  Thanks






NEW PHOTOS --  New NIGHT TIME SCENES  --  On the O-Scale NY City "EL"  --

I have just installed LED lights in one train of my O-Scale 2-RAIL converted IRT R-21 Cars  - replacing those dim incandescent bulbs they originally came with from MTH as 3-rail operated cars.  These LED'S  lights take only a fraction of current to operate all of them  (60 lights over a 5 car train) and thus do not cause noticeable current loss-drop (ie: acting like "resistors" )  to the traction motors as the MTH light bulbs did. 

Now these cars have that florescent lighted look, color  and brightness of the real R-type cars.  I use 12 LED lights on a strip -- in strip-attached groups  of 3 LEDS each group   (  3 + 3 + 3 + 3 ).  I plan to outfit all my MTH R-Type cars with these LEDS.

Regards -- Joe F



Joe F


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