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The large building in the photo looks interesting. Notice the flag flying atop the building. It must have been a foreign consulate. Also on the ramp coming down Park Avenue, there is a Horse car still in service. Electricity was a whole new technology in New York City when this was taken. Poles on the street bit the cars were powered from a conduit below ground.

Hi Bob


The discussion of the earlier Grand Central's referred to it as Grand Central Station and noted it was a stop along lines heading further South. At some point, New York City likely banned steam locomotives from coming further south of that station. Thus it would have been necessary to change to the Horse drawn cars that we see in this photo.

On Long Island , a similar arrangement existed for the South Side Railroad, where locomotive hauled trains ended at Bushwick Station near the present lumber yard on the West end of todays LIRR Bushwick secondary. Passengers heading west to the Broadway-Grand Street ferry changed to Horse cars at Bushwichk to complete the trip. That was in 1870. 


Interesting about the name Tryon. This is in what was likely the city center in those days. In Charlotte NC, the Main North South street is Tryon street with the intersection of Tryon and Trade street being the crossroads of Charlotte. The city is sometimes referred to as "Wall Streets back room" as it has a post civil war history of finance and insurance business. It is interesting that the same street name could show up in locations engaged in similar industry. 

Hi Bob


greats photos. The first shot has the 7th ave car in the original as delivered colors. The BMT El trains still crossed the bridge at this time so the cars shared the roadway with the trolleys.Check out that Packard in the photo. In your second photo, the BMT El is gone, the PCC is in Board of Transportation colors and its probably near the end of operations.


Heres a few more:


69 on bb


This is a Vanderbilt car on the old BMT EL trackways on the way to Brooklyn.


67 pr


a 7th ave car waiting at the Manhattan end at Park row. The 7th ave line was the last Trolley to operate over the Brooklyn Bridge in 1950.


pccs pr


Probably a seventh ave and a Vanderbilt car at Park Row. The car in the Backround is a 6000 series Flushing ave car. If you look just above the car in the foreground, just left of the pole, you can make out the Trainshed for the third ave el Park Row spur.

lv mqn


Leaving Manhattan . Great view of Downtown manhattan.

pcc bb


Looks like a seventh ave and a Vanderbilt car arriving in Brooklyn near Tillary Street. There was a third line which was equipped with PCCs and operated over the Brooklyn Bridge. It was the Erie Basin car. Two additional non PCC lines also operated over the Brooklyn Bridge, the Graham ave car and the Dekalb ave car. These lines used the 6000 series and Peter Witts. When the BMT El was in service , The Great Sands Street depot was about at this spot and the Trolleys went up a ramp and into a train shed with the El Trains.All of the Brooklyn Els with the exception of the Broadway line operated into Sands Street. It was a three level complex with loops and through tracks. It was torn down in 1944 with the El Service over the bridge. 


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Here are some photos looking North at the Metropolitan Ave station. At the far end of the photo would be the point where the Steam dummy was situated in Bobs earlier photo.


metro ave


In the lot to the left, we used to park our cars for the day when taking the Train to Downtown Manhattan. I think it was $2 for the week and the Lady who collected your 2 bucks on Monday knew who paid and who didn't later in the week.

The area to the right of the station was the cut for the New York Connecting Railroad. The New Haven Bay Ridge trains ran on this line , long freights pulled by heavy freight motors and frequently. Ben you remember these at the Southern end at the Bay Ridge 69th street yard.To the right of the railroad was New Farmers Oval. As teenagers , we played league Baseball on a field there . I can remember riding the Gate cars to get there from Williamsburg Brooklyn out to the wilds of Middle Village Queens. It was quite rural and there was a lot of new housing constructed there from the late 50's into the late 60's.





This is an R-11 fan trip about 1 month after the Myrtle Elevated below Broadway was discontinued. There are some Q cars up at the end of the track at the right.This was a stub ended station. The Platform was all wood and it had a covered Island about halfway which was ok for the three car Myrtle el trains that operated from here. The station building was wood construction and went back to the early 2oth century. The Lutheran Line when built operated from Ridgewood, around Wycoff ave North to the Cemetary entrances at Metropolitan Ave. Neidersteins a hotel and restaurant from the 19th century was just east of here on Metropolitan Ave. Here is a photo of Niedersteins. Was built in 1854 but now gone.






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Last edited by LIRR Steamer

Continuing on the Staten Island Theme, the railway on the island was known as the Staten Island railway later to become known as Staten Island Rapid Transit It was originally owned by the B&O railroad, but today is part of the MTA. There were three lines, North shore South Beach and Tottenville. Only Tottenville remains in use for passengers today and the North Shore line has connection to CSX across arthur Kill via a lift bridge. Some scenes for you


Here is a system map from the early 1950s




A camel back with a train




A tank engine




The South Beach station in 1953 when that line closed. Hard to believe its 60 years




And to finish up we need a photo of a Staten Island Ferry. This one is the Miss New York a 1937 Steam Ferry and in Art Deco style. She is at the Manhattan end of the run. The City ferry service operates today and it is the best boating experience in New york City today. Twenty minutes on New York Bay and the passenger fare is No Charge.




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Great stuff Ben. I remember riding on the North shore Branch. All trains leaving St George went South from the terminal.In the case of the train to Arlington, the train moved south out of St George on to the main and stopped. The crew changed ends and the tower threw the switch . The train then proceeded North past St George and then out on the North shore line. Return trip involved the same reverse move to get into St George.

And we have the South end of Staten Island at Tottenville. There was a ferry there to Perth Amboy. It remained operating for a while after the Outerbridge Crossing was completed. You can see the Tottenville terminal from the train station.


Tottenville train station - 1965


Here is the terminal in Perth Amboy


staten is ferry


Before 1950, this oldtimer did the Ferry chore on this route


PA Ferry


In later times a smaller simplified boat handled the route. This vessel may have gone out east on the Greenport- Shelter Island -Sag Harbor run.




Heading Back North here we have a view of the CNJ's Liberty street Boat. This one is the Westfield.


Westfield cnj_z


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In 1827, a steam powered ferry line opened at Corlears Hook to connect Grand Street in Manhattan with Grand Street in Brooklyn. De Lancey was the owner of the lands in this area. He had a farm and was an early developer. On his street map he marked a Great De Lancey  square and from the River bank, he mapped a wide street which he called Grand Street. There was a street that crossed Grand which he called Orchard Street because it went to , you guessed it, an orchard on the farm. And so that was likely the beginnings of that lower east side community which today has a Grand Street, Delancey street and an Orchard street.


On the Brooklyn side, the ferry opened up lands in Williamsburg to development. Companies that started there were Pfizer which grew to a large Pharmaceutical concern and a Havermayer sugar business which became Domino Sugar. an additional ferry was established to Broadway Brooklyn which allowed this area to develop as an important commercial and banking center , ie the Williamsburg Bank. There were horse car lines emanating from the ferry slips, the Broadway Elevated and even a car line to Bushwick station which made a connection with Long Island railrroad trains to the east. The Grand street Ferry ran to 1910 shortly following completion of the Williamsburg Bridge. 


Here is a map of the area and an early stereo slide view of a Ferry.


ny east side


grand street ferry -ca.-1860.


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Love that Wentworth ave station  That was added after electrification


This is Arlington Yard right before P&G moved all their operations to Cincinnatti.  The engine on the right was being operated by the Delaware Otsego shortline after Chessie abandoned SI freight.  The engineer was my next door neighbor  Took a lot of cab rides then.


 A few shots of the ninth and sixth avenue els along the line. These lines startedn 1878 and were closed in 1938 6th avenue line and 1940 9th ave line. The section of the ninth avenue line from the Polo Grounds north across the harlem river remained until after the N Y Giants left for San Francisco and the Putnam line trains were discontinued.


This is the Southern end at South Ferry




The 6th ave El joined the 9th ave el about Rector street. In this view you can see the 6th ave on the right and the original stub end of the el. This place was just North of the battery Place station which was the 1st stop leaving South Ferry





This is the station building on the downtown side of the Barclay Street Station on the 9th Ave line. The building was Victorian in style complete with the witches hat. It is a real cutie. Who is up for modeling this one on their layout




All the way to the North End at the Polo Grounds. The station was a 5 track affair and had a complex switching arrangement with double slips in the throat leading to the yard next to the Polo Grounds. This was the largest El yard on the New York city system.


9th ave el 158st



Here is the yard itself. Look at all those el cars!!




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In Brooklyn, cars of the B&QT ran over to Long Island City in Queens travelling accross the double Bascule Bridge on Manhattan Ave and Vernon Boulevard which spanned the Newtown Creek at this point. This bridge was fascinating to watch and did operate quite frequently since there was a lot of water traffic on the creek in the late 40's early 50's. It made quite a racket as there were two bascules opening and closing at the same time. On the Queens side, Vernon Boulevard was on a viaduct that spanned the LIRR Long Island City yards and station as well as an adjunct PRR yard to handle cars that could not be accomodated in Sunnyside yard. There were a lot of trains to see. The B&QT had a turnaround loop at Vernon and Jackson Avenue where you could get a Queens trolley or the Flushing Line at Vernon and Jackson ave. Station. The subway still stops there but the trolleys and double bascule are long gone. 


manhattan avd bdge


Heres a B&QT car and other traffic waiting on Vernon Boulevard while the bridge is open for water traffic.


vernon blvd


With the bridge closed, we have a Graham ave car coming off the Bridge onto manhattan ave in Greenpoint Brooklyn. The car is a 6000 series built in the early 1930s and was the last car designed by B&QT before the purchase and delivery of the 100 PCC cars. It is still in its B&QT red and cream colors before the Board of Transportation colors were applied. This route ran to downtown Brooklyn and continued through the sands street area onto the Brooklyn Bridge and to Park Row in Manhattan. It was one of a few routes that served three boroughs of the city. 


crosstown trolley-car-profile


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The Polo Grounds and the spur off of the #4......then and its remnant now, next to the new Yankee Stadium.







On the north side of the new stadium






Coming over the bridge with High Bridge in the distance.






just north of the new stadium





a magnificent can easily see the trestle bridge over the Harlem River where the EL spur used to be. North of the Polo Grounds the subway car yard is gone and has been replaced by high rises (compare it to the 1st picture).


I'd be interested if anyone can date these B&W pics.  I took the color shots the summer of 2009.




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Last edited by Putnam Division

The second photo I believe is in 1940 when the 9th Ave el service ended. The trains are composites. The station at the PoloGrounds is still intact as it was when the 9th ave el used it and the Storage yard was just to the north. The first photo , the aerial view of the polo grounds is likely from about the same time The Yard is still in use . It was closed sometime about 1942. Check out the field with a magnifying glass. There are players on the field. Who played for the Giants in 1940 or so. 


Photos 5 and 6 are from about 1953-54 or so. There is a vehicle from that period in the street. We know its before 1958 since the sign board in the stadium is advertising a Giants Night game, Giants vs the Phillies. I wonder who won.

Last edited by LIRR Steamer

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