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Remembering the Third Avenue Elevated

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Posted by rcdrye on Sunday, September 13, 2020 2:33 PM

The Van Dorn is a radial coupler, not dependent on car alignment to stay coupled. The link works (sort of) on the Janney principle, with springs pushing it onto the pin in the receiving coupler.  Lines that used radial MCBs (North Shore, Illinois Terminal) often used an extended knuckle to compensate for vertical changes, a feature not required by Van Dorns which were (usually) set up with vertical springs as well as the buffer springs on the drawbar.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:58 AM

More and more amazing.

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?

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:28 AM

But they put Westinghouse on the "restored" Brooklyn United cara in the museum and used on occasion for Nostalgia trips. (Van Dorns were their service couplers.)


'

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 13, 2020 10:03 AM

The New-York-City-only coupler is by Westinghouse, and was introduced by the Composites, see earlier photo above, in 1904 and continued well into the post WWII period, see below with an A-Division (IRT) Flushing-Line R=33 MUed ahead of a B-Division (IND-BMT) R32 on the F=and-G-lines’ stricture on Brooklyn’s 9th Street.

 

  But the latest post-2000 cars appear to have a heavy-duty Tomlinson-type.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, September 13, 2020 9:16 AM

The New-York-City-only couplers are the Westinghouse couplers, using the Janey-MCB knuckle-with-pin principle, but incorporating mu and eventually door and communication electrical cntacts and the air-brake coupling with rubber and then neoprene gasketting as well.  They were introduced by the Composites and original Gibbs cars, while the IRT continued to use the Van Dorns for the elevaterd=lines' cars not formerly subway cars.   Then the BMT did the same and the IND.

 

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, September 12, 2020 6:49 AM

From time to time I have helped out with the shifting crew at an electric railway museum.  The collection of adapter couplers, links, bars and pins and even chains required to move stuff around is amazing, though after a while it just all seems very heavy.

The Chicago-only Stearns & Ward remains in use on CTA's 4271-4272.  It was designed to bolt on as a replacement for a Van Dorn.  Pre-CTA CRT used both VD (Met) and S&W (other lines) and had special links to couple them together when needed.

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, September 11, 2020 8:34 PM

Yeah that's some pretty impressive knowledge on perhaps much 'less well known couplers'. 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 11, 2020 6:38 PM

Well it's a wasted day if you don't learn something new!  I sure got an education today!

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, September 11, 2020 4:34 PM

New York replaced Van Dorns with an automatic coupler that doesn't seem to be used anwhere else.  Chicago had a mix of Van Dorn and Stearns & Ward couplers prior to 1946, in revenue service until 1959.  All post-1946 Chicago cars use an Ohio Brass form 5 or equivalent, a 3/4 size MCB-like coupler.  Most interurbans that started with Van Dorn couplers on their wooden equipment switched to Tomlinsons in the steel car era.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 11, 2020 3:25 PM

rcdrye
The "link-and-pins" are Van Dorns as IDed by CSSHegewisch, common in the wooden era.

Van Dorn couplers!  That's interesting, I've never heard of them.  You know, they remind me of Lionel pre-war toy train box couplers, have a look.

http://www.toytrainmall.com/products/lionel-freight-car-truck-w-box-coupler-original-part-1  

Thanks gentlemen!  

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Posted by rcdrye on Friday, September 11, 2020 11:02 AM

The half cars are either crane tenders (the boom of the crane rides over the open area), or are used to transport bulky items like wheelsets or trucks between shops, a function taken over almost entirely by trucks today.

The "link-and-pins" are Van Dorns as IDed by CSSHegewisch, common in the wooden era. They can be coupled without someone standing between the cars.

https://hickscarworks.blogspot.com/2012/05/illustrated-guide-to-van-dorn.html

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, September 11, 2020 10:25 AM

I woulldn't know about link-and-pin, but Van Dorn couplers are similar.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, September 11, 2020 9:56 AM

Am I seeing link and pin couplers on the rolling stock?  That's a bit of a shocker!

Just a guess, but the two cars in the last photo might be office cars, say for use on contruction or repair sites.

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, September 11, 2020 7:19 AM

The portion of the shop between Lexington and Park Avenue:

Our fantrip also went into the now torn-out Bronx Park 180th Street stub terminal.  In those days West Side. 7th Ave. Exp. trains ran to here as their normal terminal, and Lexington Avenue trains ran to East 241st Street White Plains Rd. (Av.).  Dyre Ave. - East 280th was a shuttle.

Note two thrd rails:

Looking back at the existing White Road (Avenue) elevated structure as we enter the existing White Plains Road 238th Street Yard Cmplex:

The former original composite cars, traansferred to elevated service around 1914 and the main[stay of the rush-hour Third Avenue Through Express until repaced by ex-BMT Queens cars around 1949:

IRT's Clearance test car.  Probably still around, but eith different couplers. Don't believe these are still around, wharever they were used for:

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 10, 2020 6:48 AM

The shop stayed open for wood-car repair until the 1955 closure of the remaining Manhattan portion of the elevated.

Coney Island shops could still repair wood bodywork for the remaining Myttle Avenue Elevated.

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, September 10, 2020 3:38 AM

The 99th-100th Street Lexington Avemue grade crossing resulting from the "new" Lexington Avenue dividing the Manhatan Elevated's main shop in half.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 8:59 AM

Thanks for taking us back to a saner day David, we can all use the trip!

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 1:19 AM

Newly discovered and scaned:

Looking south north of 99th Street Station:

View looking south from an express train in the 125th Street "hump" station:

 

 

View from an upper-level Express train of the lower-level 129th Street local stop and northern terminal for some locals:

 The curve at 129th Street and 2nd Avenue, with a short section of the 2nd Avenue Elevated structure still in place.

Second Avenue Bridge upper level:

The connecting track to the Willis Avenue Station and the New Haven Railroad.  The building on stilts is not the station.

 i

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Posted by daveklepper on Saturday, April 11, 2020 5:42 PM

I thought at first to post Brooklyn Elevated pictures on this thread, and then changed my mind to start a new one.   I hope others can contribute new material to this thead, however.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 4:40 AM

Very nice and precious photo! Thank you for posting them here, Dave! 

In case our reader missed this youtube video about the Third Avenue Elevated, please check it out: 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 4:21 AM

From the IRT's improvement of the Elevateds before WWI until the remaining 3rd Avenue elevated was truncated and 149th Street became the southern terminal, 149th St. Station was a three-track, two-platform station, with the bi-directional center track used by expresses during rush hours in the direction of heavy travel.  As the southern terminal, it had two tracks with on broad center platform.  It was modified in service with the rush-hour expresses relocated to the local tracks.

Here the finally fan trip Q-car train is opposite postwar R-12s relocated from subway service.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Friday, December 28, 2018 1:51 AM

In addition to the Third Avenue Elevated, one other IRT elevated line survived WWII and continued to operate until the NYCentral Putnam Division lost all passenger service and the Giants vacated the Polo Grounds.  This was the northern extension of the 9th Avenue elevatef from 155th St. and 8th Ave, free paper transfer to the "D" or "CC." below, and the 167th Steet and Jerome Avenue current ?4" station, crossing from Manhattan to The Bronx on the former "Putnam" swing bridge.

Through service by 9th Av. El trains was mostly with gate cars, ditto rush hour through 6th Avenue trains, with the wood cars converted to MU door control closed vestibul cars during off-peak, up to June 1940 Unification.  After Jone 1940, the shuttle ran with composite cars, as shown in the autumn 1947 photo, transferred from rush-hour 2nd and 3rd Av. express, but originally used to open the original subway in 1904.  The line did see steel IRT cars before it was shut down.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, December 2, 2018 7:56 AM

When the southern portion of Brooklyn's Myrtle Avenue Elevated (The upper portion just completed its out-of-service for rebuilding and is used by the "M") was abandoned, the Q-series cars, rebuilt in 1938 from wood gate cars for BMT Flushing and Astoria serice on tracks shared with IRT cars, and transferred to Myrtle Avenue when BMT steels started running to Astoria with only IRT service to Flusing, migrated to the 3rd Ave. Elevated, replacing both the last gate cars and the composits, the original 1904 subway cars that ran with the  first steel cars, the IRT's "Gibbs cars."  When the 3rd Avenue Elevated shut down in 1957 below 149th Street, these cars provided the service in the remaining The Bronx portion, running 149th Street = Gun Hill Rpad.  Here are photos from the last use of these cars, a fan trip, as they were then replaced by steel "Steinways" and "Words Fair" cars replaced in Flushing service by R-12s,R14s, then R-33 and R36s, known eventually as "Red Birds"  I am not sure whether the first photo is at 149th Street or at 241st Street While Plains Road.  The Yard photograph is at 238th While Plains Avenue, the yard serving the 2 and 5.

 

 

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 12:10 PM

Not after electrification.  The rear of the Forney can be seen if you look closely at the front of the train, and there is no third rail.  There are wooden runners that may look like third-rail cover boards, but the Manhattan elevateds had exposed third rail as seen in my photo.  (Hope there are no computer errors or typos in this,   Forgive me if there are!)

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 4:54 AM

daveklepper

Dave,

This historic photo would appear to be after electrification, although probably not long after electrification....

Peter

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Posted by daveklepper on Sunday, October 15, 2017 2:22 PM

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Posted by wanswheel on Monday, October 9, 2017 8:40 AM
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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, October 7, 2017 10:15 PM

I'm amazed.  Now there's some subjects for a serious recovery effort.

Too bad there weren't more photos in the article.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Saturday, October 7, 2017 9:44 PM
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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, October 5, 2017 8:59 PM

MidlandMike

I know that some of the little steamers were scattered to shortlines.  I saw that one of them made it up to the isolated line out of Nome, Alaska.

 

It's been said that every piece of machinery that was sent to Alaska is still up there in one form or another.

Probably an exaggeration of course, but it makes me wonder...

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