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TonyTrenUrbano

History Question: Atlantic Avenue "Viaduct"

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Greetings,

 

Questions: Atlantic Avenue ROW on elevated "Viaduct.

 

1 - Why was it built between Nostrand Avenue and Buffalo Avenue -- about one mile?

 

2 - Was original ROW between Flatbush Terminal - Bedford Avenue AND ENY and JAM "at grade" operations?

 

3 - If yes, how did they "build up" the surrounding street and building lines to "place tracks underground"?

 

I've been fascinatied with the civil engineering side of this puzzle for years.

 

Thanks,

 

tonyTrenUrbano(NYCT)

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Greetings,

 

Questions: Atlantic Avenue ROW on elevated "Viaduct.

 

1 - Why was it built between Nostrand Avenue and Buffalo Avenue -- about one mile?

 

2 - Was original ROW between Flatbush Terminal - Bedford Avenue AND ENY and JAM "at grade" operations?

 

3 - If yes, how did they "build up" the surrounding street and building lines to "place tracks underground"?

 

I've been fascinatied with the civil engineering side of this puzzle for years.

 

Thanks,

 

tonyTrenUrbano(NYCT)

 

I'll try to answer the 1st 2 questions by combining them. The original ROW was at grade (street) level, however Atlantic Avenue dips downward from about Bedford Avenue to Ralph Avenue. I believe there was a law passed by the City,(Brooklyn, or New York), which required the elimination of grade crossings. Hence, the viaduct was built between Bedford and Ralph Avenues because of the horsecar ,and later,trolley traffic that cross Atlantic Ave. It is my guess that the sections from Flatbush Avenue to Bedford and from Ralph to Jamaica were tunneled out rather than the streets being built up for the same reason. The exception would be the East New York station which IS at grade because of the old Bay Ridge Branch which has an East New York station and runs under the present line. Hope this helps some but corrections are welcome.

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There are still a few grade crossings if you know where to look. :cool:

 

- A

 

The only grade crossings in NYC are on the LIRR Lower Montauk Branch and the single one on the Port Washington Branch at the small end of Little Neck Pkwy.

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The only grade crossings in NYC are on the LIRR Lower Montauk Branch and the single one on the Port Washington Branch at the small end of Little Neck Pkwy.

 

NY&ARR has 3 lines that have grade crossings, but the crossings are in industrial areas, not on main thoroughfares.

 

- A

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By crossings, I mean public crossings. Those 3 you are referring to-- are they publicly accessible?

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Perhaps the grade crossing elimination referred to the "steam powered" loco issue within city limits problem ? I'm not sure about that.

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By crossings, I mean public crossings. Those 3 you are referring to-- are they publicly accessible?

 

The Bushwick Branch still has a number of grade crossings. Crew members flag the street down when they're used. Waste Management is a big customer on the Bushwick IIRC.

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Since the original post was about the viaduct it appears (from lirrhistory.com) that a law was passed eliminating grade crossings in the city in 1897 and 1901. Maybe the others were grandfathered in???

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The former LIRR now NY&A lines see freight use, and freight trains are heavier typically than pax trains of the same length because they try to maximize carry density and use rolling stock that is constructed specifically to survive a derailment mostly intact.

 

The other LIRR branch line was pax and was abandoned because of the law. Too expensive and impractical to justify making it elevated with the funding and ridership of the day.

 

Steam trains had more to do with spooking horses than anything else. St John's depot (where javits ctr is now) & one farther south were elevated, but they had to be lead by a "smokeless" or "dumb" engine (basically a wind up version of a steam train but using heat vs a spring) to avoid spooking the horses till the line was abandoned. The "high line" elevated park, and the west side rail tracks (riverside park up to the mainland in the bx across the harlem river) are the remnants of this line. Contrary to popular belief no passenger trains ever traveled on this line, and was specifically engineered for heavier steam moved freight trains.

 

The remaining grade crossings on the LIRR are there simply because elevating the lines would cost far too much.

 

- A

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