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Remembering the Third Avenue Elevated

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 5:18 PM

Hello Dave

I NOW saw the slight "tilt fix" in your "enhanced version" of my photo ! -- I can do that on my editing program also.  Looks like it created a bit more "sky" space also. 

Thanks for the supportive nice comments...its been a labor of love.  I had No TV and NO Internet back in those days --- so with my two working careers, with always a girlfriend in my life most times, and just taking care of home and life (batchelor) -- most of my spare time was doing the modeling.  I multi tasked -- never wasted a second of modeling time --- while paint on one model is setting, I work on another model, and when glue on that is setting, I work on another project. And then return to the originals. Back and forth to completion

I have about 800,000 Color & B&W transit photos (most in route-line order or system albums) and about 550,000 color slides..all cataloged by line and system and organized.  And about 90K images on my computer.  

Here is a photo site I did on Facebook a few years ago - my photos and color slides of the Bronx 3rd Ave EL mainly (and a few collected via being traded with copies of mine, long ago back in the day with my pals) - From 1954 onward.

It's called "The Late Great Bronx 3rd Ave EL" . I am sure you will enjoy it and recognize it all.  Here is its link -- look for and click PHOTOS in the menu left column and on that page, see & click ALBUMS.  I did each EL Station in its own album from 149th St. to E.171st Street -- and then recently I departed FB before I completed it up to Gun Hill Rd.. so it ends there.   LINK HERE:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Late-Great-BRONX-3rd-Avenue-El-408052719793796/?modal=admin_todo_tour

I am going to re-create it - and to completion - over on a new FLICKR SITE.  In Albums format for each station.

I have been taking NYC EL and subway photos and slides since I was 7 years old - extensively. Thanks to a supportive batchelor uncle who provided most all film and processing costs - I was the son he never had - heh. I later became a working professional photographer, and a working professional pianist also.

You and I are similar "dinosaurs" in that we covered NY transit at our then very much younger ages and realized we were documenting history and what we knew would within years all be gone. And it was gone, sadly ! And we saw it happen. And we were lucky to have been there to experience it, ride it, and photo document it all.  Myself, in both photos and models ! I moved to Pennsylvania 52 years ago! And model Philly traction and have countless slides and photos of Philly stuff I shot from 1968 to present.

YES - If you wish, you can post my model pics on the other (Model RR)  Forum.

HOWEVER - I will not be posting much more HERE at this time because I am still being held under NEW MEMBER MODERATION - thus my posts and responses take some time to become approved for display. And this has been going on for the past few postings.  And I do not know for how much longer.  Until that ceases, I will post very little as it affects timely return-replies from me presently.

Here are a few more model photos - of the T.A.R.S. type, that you may like:

Here is a video of Trolley under the EL with trains overhead running (LINK) Click the link and click the white arrow on its center image to start video; (note: Copy & past Video URL into your browser address bar)

https://flic.kr/p/mncKr5

regards - Joe F

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 11:21 AM

The new link you posted works fine for me, and i could spend several days just looking at the photos.  and two fune layouts, one ho and one O.  with all those models and all that scenery, when do you have time to eat and sleep?  Let alone earn money?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 9:54 AM

You are a terrific modeler.  If you do not post your pictures on the Model Railroader Forum, I'd like to do so and suggest a visit to your layout website.

Compring your model pictures with those of the prototype shows how  truly great your work is.

All I did with electronic-darkroom waork was remove the tilt, while keeping all important data.  Look again.

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 6:03 AM

Hello Dave !

Thanks for the reply!..

I posted a copy of my photo to compare with the identical one you stated (and included) above that you did some electronic darkroom work on -- but I cannot see or notice any difference between the photos . See MY original photo below;

https://live.staticflickr.com/7481/16085006935_23b198db76_o.jpg

What "improvements" were accomplished on your end ?!

 

My FLICKR photos webpages work properly for everyone on the net and have so for over a decade now.  -- and there are NO family photos on any of my Flickr Photo site accounts.  And they are easily found on Google search.  I don't know what happened when you opened the Flickr Link I provided.  Here is the / my MAIN (photostream) FLICKR SITE and on it at its top menu link you can access the ALBUMS, FAVORITES, and etc,. of photos. LINK HERE:  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/44268069@N00/page1

The WTV Zone (a private hosting site) Layout photos webpages site I built, created myself,  totally from scratch (from blank page space) using solely HTML code writeup to build and create what is seen on its pages.  Its sort of a "coffee table book" type site with a lot more historic and detail info for the models vs: prototypes.

As for the modeled 3rd rail on my O-Scale "EL" layout, I modeled IRT "Manhattan Railway" EL STYLE 3rd rail higher and closer to track,  but I DID NOT install the usual wooden higher safety "backboard" which was used ONLY on the Manhattan portions of the original Manhattan Railway Co. 2nd, 3rd, 6th & 9th Ave. EL's. 

HOWEVER,  on the Bronx 3rd Ave EL segment (prior to 1957)  and Bronx extension of the 9th Ave EL line (and after 6-1940, then the Polo Ground Shuttle) where it connected at 162nd St. & River Ave to the IRT Jerome Ave. subway Line Elevated portion, the safety backboard was omitted.  On IRT lines with JOINT operation of trains of steel subway cars & wooden EL cars,  the safety backboard was omitted because it would foul - as designed - the lower paddle type 3rd rail shoes of subway car trucks...rising their contact paddles about 1 1/2 inches ABOVE the EL Style 3rd rail head (ie: causing no electric pickup).  Those lines (Woodlawn-Jerome El, West Farm & White Plains EL's - as well as pre-1949 IRT operated Flushing & Astoria EL's in Queens) had TWO 3rd rails along each track.  One was covered subway style (lower and further from track) and the higher ande closer EL style 3rd rail for EL Cars and their "drop sled" pickup shoes.  I am sure you were likely aware of all this, but if not -- there it it. The Manhattan lines had the 3rd rail higher safety wood-backboard to PREVENT any errant accidental operation of any steel subway train on the lighter structures of the Manhattan EL's.

 

MY Model EL system follows the BMT EL practice of early years (prior to 1966) having one style 3rd rail alongside each track - totally unprotected on sides or top, for both their steel subway trains and wooden E trains, to collect power from. After 1966 the last remaining uncovered BMT 3rd rail was elimated and all because subway style with above coverboard.

The wooden BMT Q type EL cars on the Myrtle Ave EL had their drop sled Manhattan El style shoes replaced with subway paddle shoes by 1966 (along with their cut down clerestory roofs done in 1961-2 to clear most BMT-IND and IRT subway tunnels)  and thus operate anywhere on the system.

Regards - Joe F

 

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 4:32 AM

here is  the URL that works foe me, and is worth the effort:

http://www.wtv-zone.com/NYCityModelTransitSystem/NYCityModelTransit/index.html

Why didn't you post it to begin with?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 4:23 AM

Your Flikr file does not work for me.  Just family pictures.

Have  you posted on the Model RR magazine forum.   Track layout?

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 4:10 AM

Terrific to hear from you after all these years!  Wonderful models.  Do you observe the difference between elevated 3rd-rail and subway third rail in O-gauge?  With the protection board for the latter?  Terribly difficult in HO but might be achievable in O.

One beautiful and otherwise realistic photo cried out for some e,lectronic-darkroom work, so herewith.

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Monday, December 20, 2021 9:07 PM

(Quoted by Dave Klepper - "Probably at 84th")

 Yes Dave, that IS the E. 84th Street Local Station, view looking north.  It was my own HOME stop on the 3rd Ave EL.  Countless times I stood on that uptown platform at that same spot at its north end by the coal box!  Waiting for a train ! The UPTOWN East 84th Street local Station - I lived a few feet east of the Uptown Station House of this platform.  A downtown local is seen approaching the S/B 84th St. station and we seen the rear car of an early evening uptown express which passed thru.  The building at left (a Walter B. Cooke funeral home a few years later) still stands today - and the building at the right edge (next to the coal boax)  still remains Most all the other buildings were replaced over the past 40 years by very high rise luxury very expensive apartment houses.  In distance is seen the E.89th Street local station.  I emailed you a photo taken in 1879 after the EL open --looking north from the same platform --- but before that platform was later, by 1912, extended one car length north of, past, where it originally ended in 1878 at the end of its platform canopy roof. A southbound local is about to cross E. 85th street.

I emailed you another photo looking north from the south end of the downtown platform in 1954, with a downtown train approaching and an uptown local departing at right.  I saw this scene countless times when I was on the EL there !

 

And you remember those quite numerous original 1878 built unique Victorian era stairways and rounded handrails at corners -- see photo I emailed you in a view down to the sidestreet at a Local Station

Well, Dave,  you and I were there back then and are among the fewer people remaining who are old enough to have ridden and remembered that famous line - now 65 years later famous all across the internet presently -- thanks for your nostalgia and memories of the era -- they mirror mine !!

regards - Joe F

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Sunday, December 19, 2021 11:00 PM

Hello Again Dave !

I sent you a previous reply message here but it has now shown up on this thread  24 hours after I posted it !  Perhaps this will.  Regards - Joe Frank

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Sunday, December 19, 2021 1:29 AM

Hello Dave !

 

You may remember me from the E.R.A. in the 1960's-70's -- and from my traction magazine wiritngs in the 1980's-90's.  I grew up and lived along the Manhattan 3rd Ave EL and rode and photographed it a lot until the Manhattan part was closed and torn down between Aug and Dec. 1955 -- and I covered the Bronx line even more extensively. I lived next to the uptown E.84th Street local station.  I scratch-built modeled the old era NY City EL's in both HO (1964 thru 1983) and later O Scale (1984 to present) .  I have been reading your comments here for years and decided to finally join up. Have enjoyed your photos and memories of the EL and trolleys in NY City.  I model both Brooklyn (BRT & B&QT) & T.A.R.S / Steinway Lines Trolleys.  Also BMT, IND and IRT Steel pre and post war subway cars and BMT Wooden EL Cars.   Here are a few photos of just a few of my IRT Wooden El cars from my Layout Photo website;

Well, if you want to see more -- click my FLICKR Albums link .  Regards - Joe F !

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, July 25, 2021 3:07 AM

Another Joe Franks picture, looking east at the Elevated's Fordham Road Starion.  The Third Avenue Transit sweeper and relocated ex-Manhattan Streetcar are both on one of the two stub tracks that remain from the long-gone 3rd Avenue Bronx streetcar line, not on the Fordham Road tracks used by the X 207-Fordham Crsstown, and C Bronx and Van Courtland Park regular cars.  Others assumed that the train of composites on the Elevated's center track is a Through Express from 241 St. to City Hall, but both morning and evening Through Expresses operated on the local track of the correct direction, since they made all stops north of Tremont Avenue.  Instead, it is morning Through Express equipment running light returning from City Hall to its regular lay-up location on the center track between Fordham Road and Gun Hill Road:

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, July 22, 2021 4:21 AM

From Joe Franks, via Jack May, looking northwest. from within Bronx Park. and MUDC (multiple-unit-door-control, rebuilt gate-car)  approaching the Elevated's Bronx Park branch terminal:

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, March 18, 2021 9:59 AM

Probably between Tremont and Forfham, from rear platform going north:

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 14, 2021 1:29 PM

More.  The Tremont Yard is emopty when photographed during rush hout:

 

 

Probably at 84th

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:57 PM

The signal is red.   The IRT did not use the usual signal positions.  The view is from the rear of the triain.


david klepper <ddaveklepper1@gmail.com>

Attachments1:04 AM (15 minutes ago)
 
 
 
 
After school one day, decided to do a bit of ralfanning before dinner.  I'd found out that two of the Third Avenue evening rush-hour through expresses used gate cars instead of composites,  IK also learned, somehow, that the rear, unattended platform was used by entraining passengers to speed the boarding process, with the rear door unlocked.  So I treated myself to what was possibly the best raikfan experience with regular service tspid transit in New York,  Some photos from these excursions were posted pn this thread already, and others are posted now.
 
with evening darkness, many exposures were at 1/50 or 1/25 a second at F3.5  So sharpness with moving objects was noy always possible.
 
Ayone know exactly why a usually left the El at 294th Street and how I arrived home in time for dinner?
 
The 204 pix is a favorite, caught just before the train started moving.
 
The view to Chatham Square was on my last excursion of this type.   I boarded at City Hall.   Apparently, as I took the photo, the Towerman saw me on the back platform. 
With the boarding passengers as 42nd Street was a Transit policeman.   "Get inside kid."  

Grand abive,  42nd below
 :
 
 99th:
 
 
Bronx Park:
 
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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:14 PM

Were the headways often that close?  It looks like the signal is already in the middle position.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 1:38 PM

liioking aouth from149yh

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, January 11, 2021 1:29 PM

Looking suth from 57th Street:

Junction for the upeer level (ruch-hour express) tracjs to the Bergan Avenue cut[off connection to  the Bronx Park and White Plains Road line for the rush=hour Freeman Street trains/

At 150th Street, where 3rd Avenue makes a curve and Boston Road starts with the straight path:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 26, 2020 3:19 AM

I took the photo 72 or 72 years ago, and the most recent time that I was in either neighborhod was 26 years ago.  Thus, I must give you credit for correcting me.

My problem now is that I cannot figure out why I used that station.  Possibly connecting to or from the 66th Street crosstown bus.

Used 84th frequently.

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Posted by timz on Sunday, October 25, 2020 12:23 PM

daveklepper

 

That must be the 67th St station -- the bldg at right (with the chimney) seems to still exist, on the SE corner of Lexington and 63rd St. You can see the Ritz Tower peeking out behind it, at Park Ave and 57th St.
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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 25, 2020 4:15 AM

Finally found and have scanned a good negative of the front of the 99th Street shop as seen from a passing elevated train.  I believe this was the very last shop but one, in the World, devoted exclusively to repair of wood-bodied railway passenger equipment:

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, October 24, 2020 6:37 PM

David, I couldn't help but notice the skyline in the photograph.  About two weeks ago we were driving east on Route 3 up in Rutherford New Jersey, pointing towards New York, and we were both shocked at how much the skyline's changed in the past 33 years.  We recognized the Empire State Building, and the new Freedom Tower, but that's all!  

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, October 24, 2020 3:35 PM

Finally found a negative taken south from the northbound platform of the 3rd Av. % 84th Street Station, the elevated station and platform I used mst frequently in my teen-age railfan days.  Arriving northbound local has the wood originally open-platform cars rebuilt with vestibules and sliding mu-controlled doors. the cars that provided most of the service.  Lucky that not much electronic-darkroom repair work was needed:

Correction frm Timz:   67th, not 84th!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, September 14, 2020 8:58 AM

Overmod

While we are on the subject of education, some is badly needed over on MR in the broad-gauge modeling thread.  I have been reading too many tank model-kit boxes and books that discuss Soviet strategy in assigning weapon caliber so that their guns could purportedly fire captured ammunition in a pinch, but enemy guns would wear prematurely or burst if Soviet ammunition were tried.  This was 'of a piece' with other Soviet military cunning so I believed the preponderance of the evidence, but Kevin diplomatically but firmly says he doesn't think it's so.  As this is one of your fields you might want to weigh in with definitives.

 

I've never heard any of that.

The Russians, like most military establishments, had their own way of doing things.  Not necessarily right or wrong, just different.  And when you take a look at it, a five-foot gauge makes a bit more sense (to me at least) than 4'8.5" does, it would certainly make for a lot more versatility in motive power and rolling stock. 

And sometimes as far as ammunition useage (or not) the reverse it true.  The Finns for example built all their infantry small arms in Russian calibers, the idea being they could use captured Russian ammunition in case of a war.  Talk about cocky self-confidence!  

However, this is NOT to say that on the Eastern Front during WW2 the Russians and the Germans didn't make use of captured military equipment, they certainly did, both artillery and to a lesser extent tanks.  Interestingly, Russian tankers who were issued captured German Panther tanks didn't like them at all.  They DID like American Lend-Lease Shermans, finding them very easy to drive and very roomy and comfortable to ride and live in.

Even more interesting, the Germans used some captured Shermans as part of the last-ditch defense of the Reich, and the Germans liked them too!

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, September 14, 2020 8:06 AM

Think this was built new as a utility car for the elevated lines and not converted from passenger equipment.

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Posted by rcdrye on Monday, September 14, 2020 6:20 AM

The Russian five-foot-gauge-as-defensive-strategy story is certainly well embedded in railway folklore.  Personally I don't think it's any more valid than the idea that the states of the Confederacy adopted five foot gauge for the same reasons.  The contractors who built the first Russian railways in the 1840s were mostly American, but they built them well before the idea of using railways for strategic purposes developed.  Gauges were far from standardized, and five foot gauge was found in pockets all over North America, along with wider and narrower gauges in the U.K. and elsewhere.

The Stearns & Ward coupler was also used in conjunction with a central buffer on the Central London tube line until sometime in the 1930s.  The Central London was built by Americans including Charles Tyson Yerkes, who left Chicago ahead of a corruption investigation involving streetcar and L properties in Chicago.  The American heritage on the Central London Tube persists today as the carriages are referred to as "cars".

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, September 14, 2020 4:49 AM

While we are on the subject of education, some is badly needed over on MR in the broad-gauge modeling thread.  I have been reading too many tank model-kit boxes and books that discuss Soviet strategy in assigning weapon caliber so that their guns could purportedly fire captured ammunition in a pinch, but enemy guns would wear prematurely or burst if Soviet ammunition were tried.  This was 'of a piece' with other Soviet military cunning so I believed the preponderance of the evidence, but Kevin diplomatically but firmly says he doesn't think it's so.  As this is one of your fields you might want to weigh in with definitives.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, September 13, 2020 7:23 PM

As I said Friday, I'm getting an education here.

Thanks all!

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 13, 2020 5:10 PM

Flintlock76
I have to ask, is there any reason they didn't use Janney couplers like the regular railroads did?  Just not practical for elevated or subway use?

Janney couplers are relatively complex and heavy and are remarkably susceptible to vertical separation -- something transit equipment often tries to induce.  Their greater draft strength is of less concern with MU consists, and a relatively long history of difficulty getting them to work with make-and-break integrated air and electrics (vs. even Miller couplers/anticlimbers, let alone Scharfenberg couplers) tells me the idea of locking transverse positive location has advantages where integrated coupling is concerned.  That advantage becomes greater when the coupled 'unit' needs to accommodate the horizontal, vertical, and twist motions common to most transit operation.

As noted, most of the actual coupling and uncoupling into consists is done in yards, where the relative convenience of rapid separation is less significant, and manual radial alignment when necessary is less critical.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, September 13, 2020 3:47 PM

I see, all-in-all the Van Dorns, and I guess variants, were a lot more practical for transit use than the Janney types were.

Thanks!

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