Classic Train Questions Part Deux (50 Years or Older)

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, November 13, 2017 11:18 AM

Bingo!

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, November 13, 2017 12:53 PM

If you have a photo, please post it!

Staying with New York Transit:  Please give the historical and recent history of the Franklin Avnue Shuttle, "S" Prospeci Park - Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street.  What was the original service, what was the original electric service, what changes were made and what unfortunate event occured.  What was/were the service/services during the classic BMT period, 1922 - Unification-1940.  Any changes then?  What about patronage after Unifiation?  and everything up to date.

Optional extra:   special or orphan equipmen that had a home there.

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 5:39 AM

I have better than a photo, I have a video link showing the operation.  But that will have to wait until I get to a computer.

I’ll leave a full answer to your question to someone with more specific knowledge.  But that service started with steam traction in 1878; here is some detail

http://forgotten-ny.com/1998/10/franklin-avenue-shuttle-the-city-has-closed-this-line-for-reconstruction-but-while-it-was-open-it-was-probably-the-most-decrepit-route-in-the-city-here-are-some-pictures-from-just-before-the-renov/

Unless I am mistaken your ‘unfortunate event’ is a tremendous understatement: is it not the Malbone St. disaster, the thing that ultimately (and, I think justly) bankrupted the BMT? If I had my ‘druthers I would never have designed the tunnel that way, let alone put a scab in charge of running loaded trains through there...

Perhaps interestingly, the way I remember the story was not with a dispatcher running the train, but an 18-year-old apparently hired because he had a pulse and showed up.  What were the stories about this at the time?

I thought when I first read about this that it was a pity not to retain the original overhead wire as many fewer people would likely have been electrocuted as the third rail energization was repeatly cycled to clear the ‘fault’...

It was amazing how decrepit this line got before rebuilding in the 1990s.  I do think it was a shame to lose that piece of the old El, though.

At least one fun thing that ran here was the ‘million dollar train’ R11s, with Otto Kuhler design and Precipitron ‘imitation’ of air conditioning.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 6:55 AM

You can still enjoy a piece of old elevated structure from about the same time on the "J" east of Broadway Junction - East New York - Eastern Parkway.

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, November 18, 2017 12:44 PM

If the complete answer to the Franklin Avenue Shuttle line is too difficult, I'll accept a worthwhile partical answer.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 1:27 AM

Is a replacemen question needed?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 10:24 PM

Again, let me know if a replacement question is needed.

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 8:48 AM

I am going to simplify the Franklin Avenue Shuttle question to try to obtain an answer:

What was the original route ot passenger service on the Shuttle line, and what purchase of what railroad by another railroad ended this service and forced the owners of route used by the shuttle to find another route involveing a short extension of the shuttle rout that still exists.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 23, 2017 10:01 AM

Before giving answers and posing a new question, I again urge YOU to do some research and come up with it yourself.  Because you will find some interesting and relatively unknown facts about a major railroad that for many years was considered a Class One.

As unusual, for example, as New Haven steam trains running into the 3rd-and-2nd Avenue 129th Street elevated station and the New York Central's Putnam Division trains running into the 155th Street 8th Avenue 9th Avenue Elevated Station. 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, November 23, 2017 11:39 AM

Isn't THAT the truth!

I'd have been prepared to swear the pre-Dual Contracts Els were too spindly to take New Haven trains.  But lookie there!

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, November 23, 2017 1:00 PM

The New Haven's open platform wood cars for the steam Harlem River Shuttle service, before introduction of steel mus, were the same size as elevated cars, much like them but with tra;ps and steps for the platforms.  And the New Haven has some 0-f-fT Forneys also.

But please reseach the Franklin Avenie shuttle history.   Very rewarding.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 26, 2017 2:59 AM

The history of the f'ranklin Avenue shuttle involves a Class I in two different periods, the second period related to a subsidiary owned by the Class I and orgiinally narrow gauge and abandoned about 80 years ago as a standard gauge branch.  Also related to a map on another thread.  But only one map, not two, there.

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Posted by narig01 on Sunday, November 26, 2017 5:00 AM

What is now the Franklin Av Shuttle was originally connected to the Long Island RR

It began service in August, 1878 as the Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railroad. After losing its connection to the LIRR, the Brighton line began negotiations with the Kings County Elevated Company to route its trains downtown via the Fulton Street El. Through service began on the Fulton El in 1896. Around the same time, the Brighton Line was electrified using trolley wire from Fulton St & Franklin St to Newkirk Avenue, and then to Brighton Beach in 1899. In 1900, the Kings County El took control of the Brighton Line. When the Fulton St El was electrified, a ramp to the Brighton Line at Fulton & Franklin was built, and through trains to Park Row, Manhattan, via the Brooklyn Bridge began on July 9th, 1900. 

I remember in the 60's & 70's the R11's. I think the (BMT) Zephyr and the Blue Birds worked the line before the R11's. 

      The tunnel section under the Eastern Pkwy is the oldest segment of rail right of way in operation on the NYCTA. 

The first part is from:

 https://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/BMT_Brighton_Line

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Posted by narig01 on Sunday, November 26, 2017 5:08 AM

The narrow gauge, Austin Corbin's New York and Manhattan Beach. The NY&MB was merged into the LIRR, standard gauged and then abandoned. Remnants of this line can still be seen parallel to the Brighton line. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, November 26, 2017 8:07 AM

You got most of the story and most of that part right.  The Brighton line lost its connection with the LIRR because of Corbin's buying the Mnahattan Beach which paralleled it.  But when both were grade separated in one big project, there where times when Brighton trains actually ran on the Manhattan Beach tracks and at times the opposite.

It was not just a ramp, but a quarter-mile elevated structure.

You are entitled to ask the next quesiton.   But the full Bluebird operated on 14th Street - Canarsie, although the single prototype did run on the Franklin Shuttle.  The Zephpy spent most of its life there and was in regular use.  Rode it many times.

Currently, the rebuilt line can accomodate only two-car 75-ft. car trains or three-car 60-ft=car trains.  Before recent rebuilding, platforms were 500 ft long.

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Posted by narig01 on Thursday, November 30, 2017 6:46 PM

I'd seen pictures of both the Blue Bird and the Zephyr on the Franklin shuttle. When I was living in NYC one still got a paper transfer to go from the shuttle down to the IND. How times change. 

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Posted by narig01 on Thursday, November 30, 2017 6:49 PM

Anyway a question. I'll try easy.

These were the first diesel mainline locomotives, which were also North America's first passenger road locomotives.

Name them.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, December 01, 2017 7:33 AM

The two Candian National box-cabs.  I think they were called the "Beardmores," because of the Scotch Beardmore diesel engines.

They were successful, and CN would have dieselized early but for politics.

Their last role was disguised in a costal defense train,

 

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Posted by narig01 on Friday, December 01, 2017 6:03 PM

As I said easy. Politics is the art of the practical, you do not throw thousands of workers out of work in a depression. At least you don't throw people out of jobs in that circumstance unless you want chaos and anarchy.

      I would wonder how these locomotives might have developed say a year or two earlier in the roaring 20's. 

    Anyway Dave your question.

    

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 02, 2017 9:48 AM

narig01
I would wonder how these locomotives might have developed say a year or two earlier in the roaring 20's.

Another potential issue was the situation reported in Clessie Cummins' biography: that a particular executive at PRR was actively concerned with developing internal-combustion power at all locomotive sizes, but died in 1927 after which the predictable course of large diesels was heavily set back (or more appropriately, thrown on the young Turks enabled by Sloan, who ultimately did far better at a locomotive prime mover than an adapted Beardmore airship engine was...)

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, December 02, 2017 1:08 PM

Not certain of the exact dates.  New York City passed an early anti-smoke ordoinance that limited steam operation on the East Side south to 42nd Street only.  The Union Depot used by the New York Central & Hudson River Railway and the New York New Haven and Hartford was at 29th amd 30th Streets.  The Central build its first Grand Central Depot at 42nd Street and moved there.  The New Haven did not initially.  What did the NYNH&H do?   What peculiar arrangement of streetcar tracks in early views of the then-new Depot resulted?

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, December 02, 2017 3:16 PM

The New York anto-smoke ordinance was the trigger. The effect of the ordinance was felt in full when the Park Avenue and Penn Station tunnels were opened.  The New Haven made substantial changes at the same time.  So what was the New England short line.  It won't narrow it down much, but the line's largest power was a mogul.

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 03, 2017 12:48 AM

Belongs on the other thread, your question, not mine, but I'll answer it here first. 

The Narraganset Pier Railroad from Kinston R. I. to Narraganset Pier.  The two sleepers the railroad owned were wood.

Now you tell us about what the New Haven did when the Central moved 12 blocks uptown.

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 04, 2017 7:16 AM

Thy did not defy the anti-smoke ordinance.   What did they do?

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, December 04, 2017 1:44 PM

daveklepper

Thy did not defy the anti-smoke ordinance.   What did they do?

 

They stopped using horses.

 

CN's diesels were successful in the sense that they operated reasonably well, but they required speccial support.  What that showed CN was that a large investment was going to be necessary to shift from steam.  The onset of the depression shortly after their delivery was no help to their future.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 4:09 AM

Stopped?

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, December 06, 2017 6:57 PM

I thought it was that they started using horses, through that fun double track tunnel just south of GCT that is so much fun to drive through at rush hour time.

Wasn't there some separate NYNH&H waiting-room arrangement on the outside corner of the 1870s Grand Central?

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 07, 2017 3:11 AM

You got it.  There was a separate waiting room, really independent of G C Depot on the southeast corner, but each train was broken up into indifidual cars, and four horses pulled each car south to 30th Street.   The reverse going north.  The photos of the Depot in its first years show two tracks emerging from an opening in the south facade, swerving slightly to the west, crossing the 42nd Street horsecar tracks, and joining those curving from the west on 42nd Street to continiue south on Park Avenue South and into the tunnel you refer to.   If you can find the dates, please add to this.

And your question.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, December 07, 2017 4:07 AM

Steam operation was eliminated south of  42nd Street in 1859.   Horse-drawn trains and individual cars south of that point started, and New York and Harlem horsecars were shifted off Park Avenue to Madison Avenue north of 42nd Street, sharing the Broadway-42nd Street and 42nd Street crosstown tracks for the block between Park and Madison Avenues.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, December 09, 2017 8:00 PM

Here's one that shouldn't be too hard:

blob:null/cd9e76ea-cf71-7047-b44b-cc4bd06f445b

What is this?

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