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Trainspotter

The Last El Train

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New York’s elevated trains went back to before the Brooklyn Bridge, before the Statue of Liberty, relics of a day when grandmother was a girl, and after a certain point they became deemed rustily creaking menaces to the public safety. And they were, after all, losing money anyway.

 

Thus, by mid-20th Century, the old Second, Sixth and Ninth Ave. els were but memories, abandoned and demolished and little mourned, the once-dark caverns beneath the hulking overhead trestles now flooded with sunshine. Finally, only the Third Ave. line still rattled along, from Chatham Square up to 149th St. in the Bronx, the avenue’s gin mills and junk shops still nestled in the familiar old shadows, rumbling with the deafening echoes of once upon a time.

 

Amid grand civic plans to brightly rehabilitate the entire East Side, a Third Ave. train made its final run on May 12, 1955, and the cutting torches went to work just two days later, and within a few months there was nothing left of New York’s els, vanished into history like the horsecars before them. Real estate interests were jubilant. “I just hope the avenue doesn’t become too expensive,” fretted one elderly woman who had lived under the el her whole life.

 

From "Big Town, Big Picture"

NY Daily News

March 25, 2009

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post-5-133288580313_thumb.jpg

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And now we need their capacity. :)

 

Come on folks, lets slap some triplexes up thar!

 

- A

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Can i git a emu help mehh!!!! :cool:

 

Seriously though. What the heck were they thinking. If you had a 3rd ave el you wouldnt need SAS.

 

- A

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Can i git a emu help mehh!!!! :cool:

 

Seriously though. What the heck were they thinking. If you had a 3rd ave el you wouldnt need SAS.

 

- A

 

To hell with the Third Avenue El... they should have kept the Second Avenue El. It was in better condition, and went over the Queensboro Bridge...

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Note that at the time the El's were torn down, everyone expected a subway to be built reasonably quickly. Hindsight is always 20/20, the people then didn't know they would be shafted out of a subway line for 80+ years.

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well now we need the el`s look how the population went up if they can only rebuild back up. if they stayed then we would have had enuff people 2 help out

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From what I heard, the old ELs were very crumbly and loud. Notice how Manhattan is the only borough without ELs except for the 1 train in Harlem. I think that the ELs were down simply b/c they were extremely hard to maintain and that NYC wants Manhattan to be much quieter than the other boroughs.

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If post World War II Manhattan is destined to be the heart of the city then it must be planned that the poorer and lower middle-classed should have to commute to it for mostly day labor, thereby making many more areas [therein] attractive to the upper middle-classed and rich for every day living. The middle-class then find the extended, yet accessible, metropolitan transportation hubs of the outskirts of the city more agreeable to their economic situations.

 

Thanks, Robert Moses. Blessing or a curse, he redesigned New York City for the automobile. May 12, 1955? Moses was still in power over citywide construction coordination, no?

 

Yep.

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The elevated lines in manhattan were taken away because they were largely not part of the subway system nor connected to it, privately owned as well. In the "outer" boroughs, it was much more economical to have the subways elevated or in an open cut vs tunnel.

 

- A

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Well, The Bronx, Kings and Queens have more room for EL's than in the City with these towering skyscrapers and hustling bustling traffic and people walking...

 

Not sure what you are talking about. When the els were built the tallest structures in the city were trinity church spire & brooklyn bridge. Nothing else came close till later on aside from other bridges....... Most of the els were torn down before the tall buildings started to be prevalent. Also, the crosswalk areas were not affected at all, and the traffic was not even close to what it is today.

 

- A

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Well, I don't know why did they torn down all the EL's but the East Side would really benefit from one...

 

Real estate.

That's what killed the Third Avenue El in the fifties. After that, the Lexington became this crowded monster.

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Well, that is obvious... Real Estate and some modern people doesn't like these structures, ;)...

 

That's because in america, anyone who wants transit is an idiot, you're supposed to ride a bus or drive a car, gotta keep the various lobbies happy... :mad::tdown: Every other country has what should be there/needs to be there. America? Nope!

 

- A

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NYC wants Manhattan to be much quieter than the other boroughs.

 

What?!

_______

 

Yeah, they tore down the elevated because it posed some sort of public hazard or something and it is harder to maintain than the subways.

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So why do Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens still have Els???

 

Actually there were plans to replace some of them, or sections of them in the least. The IND Fulton Street line rendered most of the Fulton Street el obsolete. The 3rd and 5th Avenue els in Brooklyn were subsequently replaced by the more popular BMT 4th Avenue subway. The Concourse subway was in fact built adjacent to the Jerome Avenue el to try to make it obsolete, in the end, both lines co-existed. The IND Second System had lines that were going to replace a few el structures, most notably the 3rd Avenue el in the Bronx (which shuttered anyway).

It was found that preserving and maintaining the elevated structures was more economically flexible than to build new subways. I mean, the city has MILES of elevated trackage, it would be crazy to submerge every track mile. Plus, there are topographical issues. The IND believed it was necessary to build a viaduct over the Gowanus Canal because it was more cheaper than to build a tunnel under the said canal. Even parts of the 2nd system were to build elevated structures in certain areas of the outer boroughs.

Els could have still operated in Manhattan, however, the IND subway were built close to the 9th and 6th Avenue els, making them redundant. The 3rd and 2nd Avenue els were originally planned to be replaced by the anticipated Second Avenue Subway. The 3rd Ave El could have lingered, but the residents fought hard for its closure.

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From what I heard, the old ELs were very crumbly and loud. Notice how Manhattan is the only borough without ELs except for the 1 train in Harlem. I think that the ELs were down simply b/c they were extremely hard to maintain and that NYC wants Manhattan to be much quieter than the other boroughs.

 

The 1 is outdoors from Dyckman Street onwards, not just 125th. These were built due to topographical reasons.

People, not only complained about the excessive noise, but also the fact that the el blotted the sunlight.

 

Manhattan, with or without els, will not be quieter than the outer boroughs.

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What?!

_______

 

Yeah, they tore down the elevated because it posed some sort of public hazard or something and it is harder to maintain than the subways.

 

It favors the wealthy residents especially those along Park Avenue.

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