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Remember the 3rd Ave El?

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Posted by Tom Curtin on Monday, December 11, 2006 8:39 AM
Apologies, I was not specific enough in my question.  Were any of the Manhattan el lines (2nd, 3rd, 6th, 9th) ever rebuilt from open truss to "City style" (i.e., plate girder) construction? 
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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 11, 2006 3:24 PM

They were strengthened but not rebuilt, and in some cases a solid web girder system was used for an additional center track where center tracks didn't exist before (and they did exist over most of the lines, except 6th Avenue itself, which never did get three tracks, continuing with just two.)  Most of the humps at the hump stations used solid girders.  There were many places were open web was seen on the local tracks and solid on the center track.   Also places where all three were open web.

 

It is possible that the entire length of center track on both 2nd and 3rd Avenues may have been solid web.   The Freeman Street Expresses on 2nd Avenue and the Through Expresses on 3rd used a combination of gate-car trains and composites, former subway cars.  They ran packed to the gills in the direction of rush hour traffic on the center tracks but as light non-revenue movements in the reverse direction on a local track.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, December 15, 2006 1:55 PM
 artschlosser wrote:

This has been a most interesting thread!  I am slightly familiar with Chicago's EL and subway system and it doesn't hold a candle to what has been described here.  There was only ONE multilevel El station is Chicago, the result of two companies at odds with each other.

Ah the good old Classic Train days!

Art

With all due respects, in Chicago it's the "L", even when it's underground or in a median strip.  We never refer to it as the "El".

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 Anonymous on Friday, December 15, 2006 4:57 PM

Oh yeah, L - not El.  Guilty as charged yer Honner.  My feeble defense is that I lived just 25 years in Illinois (born there and lived some 3 years in Chi) but later spent 26 years in upper New York State where I learned Newyorkese.  But if I claim that I thought I was talking to New Yorkers and was using Newyorkese so they would unnerstan' me, I'd be in trouble with the NYM.

So I'll take my punishment and go and sin no more.

Art

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, December 18, 2006 3:30 AM

For me, the complexity and variety of the New York "El" was matched by the Chcagio "L".  I am glad to have had the experience in the summer of 1952, when Stockyards and Kenwood were still running, and the two interurbans still entiering via the "L" .    Most people agree that the North Shore was truly the USA's finest interurban, and that and the "Roaren Elgin" were separate and worthwhile worlds, much missed.

 

In New York, different broad catagories of equipment were allways run together.   I never saw an MUDC car miksed in with gate cars.   But in Chicago, one could see mixed trains in regular service, particularly steel cars mixed with wooden.    In Brooklyn there was some variety of gate car equipment, since surviving gate-car equipment from the steam railroad days from different predicessor companies did have different architecture.

 

OK, Pacific Electric fans, I realilze the CNS&M didn't have a four-track main line, but it did use the 4-track northside "L".

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Posted by Tom Curtin on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 7:17 AM
 daveklepper wrote:

 . . . in some cases a solid web girder system was used for an additional center track

If I could ask for some structural engineering details, your use of the term "solid web girder system" sounds to my ears like an oxymoron --- i.e., I think of the structure as either "solid," i.e., a plate girder construction such the city Els of today have, or a "web," which I see in very old NYC El photos.  You appear to know a lot about the construction of these systems; and while I'm on that matter, coud you recommend a good photo book which is in print and available today which focuses on containing good photos of the manhattan Els in the 20th century.

 

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 8:44 AM

Sorry, I have been disconnected from structural engineering terms for over ten years.   Open web should be truss construction, the closed web  is really meant to describe plate girder construction, and to make the point, yes the 2nd Avenue and 3rd Avenue Els where the composites ran did have plate girders under the center track and trusses under the two local tracks in most areas.

 

The William Fullerton Reeves 1936 book is probably permanently available from the New York Historical Society and is an authoritative and accurate history, with a positive outlook because the abandonments were in the future.  Other then that, I suggest you access the Neew York based Electric Railroaders' Association website.  Even though I remain a member, I usually access is via the Light Railway Transport Association website:   www.lrta.org    -  then pull up on Links, Clubs, USA, and then New York  and then ERA.   They have published a lot of stuff.

 

 

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Posted by Tom Curtin on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:06 AM

Thanks for those leads Dave. . . . The New York Historical Society (77th ST & CPW) is mere walking distance from our apt. on the west side, so it will be quite easy for me to check it out.  I'll look at the other links too

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, January 25, 2007 1:24 PM

Your info is great.  Thank for the trip down memory lane.  I attended Cardinal Spellman.  I believe Tremont Avenue is the correct spelling and we still call it White Plains Road. 

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Posted by daveklepper on Thursday, January 25, 2007 2:36 PM

But take a look at the STREET SIGNS.   And then get back.   The Third Avenue Transit Ssystem "W" line streetcars (extra wide 1200-series second-hand double-truck Birneys) had the big white brighit red W in the right dash panel with "Webster % White Plains Avs." in white below.

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Posted by Joseph Frank on Monday, December 20, 2021 8:20 PM

FJ and G
Rode it a lot in the 60s. Just wondering if anyone else ever rode it. It went from Mott Haven (?) to White Plains. I lived near Tremont and rode it both ways. Was a great little el. Too bad they tore it down.
 

 

Hello FJ & G

 

Yeah, I know this response is 18 years laters -I just saw the posting the other day for the first time !!

 

I also rode the 3rd Ave EL in both Manhattan and Bronx -- from South Ferry and City Hall Manhattan south terminals to the Bronx end of the line (Gun Hill Rd.)  I lived and grew up along the El in the middle E. 80's (streets) along the El -- and was near the E. 84th St Local Station.  Rode the "EL"  a lot and photographed it also.  And made hand built operating O Scale models of the 3rd Ave EL fleet trains (as well as most other NY Transit IRT & BMT subway, EL  trains and trolley cars)  -- If you are interested, here are a few photos below of my IRT Elevated Train models on my huge NYC EL layout -- many more to see at my Photo Website (FLICKR)   LINK URL:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/44268069@N00/albums/72157626063017356/with/25421826914/

Regards - Joe F

 

 

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