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My First Ever "Busfanning Report"
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Author Topic: My First Ever "Busfanning Report"  (Read 702 times)
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« on: February 25, 2006, 02:08:48 PM »

Well here it is, my first "busfanning report". Though not technically a "bus fanning" report, but rather a "bus facility fanning" report. I usually don't care what buses are out there on the road today. I do have an interest in nostalgia; looking back on what was as well as capturing what is to be. Therefore, I decided to set out for my third trip to Maspeth Depot/CMF for a picture capturing update.

I left Nassau County around 9:30 AM and headed west via the Cross Island Parkway to the Long Island Expressway to Exit 19 (c) Grand Avenue. I arrived at Maspeth Depot around 20 minutes later. Circled the facility twice and obtained a few "inside shots" as well as the exterior. A total of 38 photographs were taken of Maspeth and the surrounding area.

It was early and I ran the notion of "Carlton Storage Yard" through my head. Never actually having been there, but knowing Brooklyn like the back of my hand, and along with a few blurbs here and there that I'd read on BTN which I actually remembered, I decided to give a run to and see what was there. If I couold find it, that is. But before I headed to Carleton, the thought "Crosstown Depot" also ran through my mind, and being I was already on the northern end of Queens, a quick trip along the BQE would leave me within steps of the Greenpoint area. So that's exactly what I did.

After shooting Maspeth Depot, I headed west along Grand Avenue into Metropolitan Avenue, then Vandervort to the BQE service road. I shot north heading up Kinglsand via Driggs, then up Provost to beat the Manhattan Ave/McGuiness Blvd traffic. At first, I came upon what I originally thought was the old Crosstown depot, but after reading the sign, it indicated it was the "NYCHA Storage and Print Shop".  Okay, let's continue west along Commercial and see what's what.

I found Crosstown Depot which contained about 50 buses as well as various other NYCTA vehicles. The entire perimeter is gated off reading "NYC Subway". I have no idea why; perhaps you folks do. After spending a few minutes circling Box, Ash and Commercial Streets shooting Crosstown, the car alerted me she was thirsty. And as it happened, I just received a new virgin SHell card in the mail and thought I'd break her in. After a few minutes, I came upon a large contingent of idle buses sitting along Meeker Avenue under the BQE. This while looking for a Shell station. I decided to circle around to get a closer look at these buses, and lo-and-behold, what do I find off Keap Street but a Shell Station! Filled 'er up and went on to see about those buses. Turns out, there was some kind of subway shuttle being run near Union Street. So, got gas, saw those buses, then headed due west to Calrton.

Hopped back onto the BQE which I took to Atlantic Avenue and hooked a right on 6th, then a left on Pacific where I could park and walk around. It was bitterly cold and the wind was not helping matters, but I walked the block anyway. Snapped what appeared to be close to 60 buses in a wide-angled circle of the area from all sides. Back into the car and decided to call it a day.

Or did I?

Knowing the BQE was a parking lot eastbound, and deciding beforehand not to use it for my return trip to Long Island, I instead continued east via Atlantic Avenue... and realized I was close to another interesting property. Spring Creek Depot. Why not, I said to myself, as I hooked a right off Atlantic and zig-zagged my way through East New York to it's southern end just south of Linden Blvd. I had worked in this area years ago and know it very well. I used Fountain Avenue as my through route, then Cozine to the depot. Unfortunately however, Spring Creek depot is surrounded by a very thick, but very small-holed chain-link fence. Not conducive to good picture taking because the lens doesn't fit through any one fence hole. Nevertheless, some interesting shots of the exterior were obtained.

Should I give GBL a shot also, since it's on my way? Nah.. maybe next time, and I hopped onto the Belt and called it a day.

In all, I have 114 pictures to size for the web and upload into new galleries. I'll get to them tomorrow.

So whatcha think of my first "fan trip"?
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2006, 02:27:12 PM »

Great report, BK.  Good as any seasoned busfan!  Will be looking forward to the pix and more reports.
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2006, 02:35:21 PM »

BK. It looks like you had a good fan trip. AM looking forward to seeing the 114 pictures you took. As for the 50 buses you seen at Crosstown Depot do you think they are ready for MTA Bus?  "Pipe"
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2006, 07:09:03 PM »

Seems as if you had a great time. Also seems as if the idling buses were signalling you telling you Shell Station here!
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2006, 08:26:48 PM »

Wow that is a very good report, maybe I can try that out one day.
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2006, 12:09:28 AM »

Of course, it helps to have a car. ;-)  I try to get as much as I can with bus fanning, but still have to start a depot fanning soon, of course, the majority of the depots are rather "secluded" from quick, multiple routes.  I will one day,  ONE DAY!

But, can't wait to take a peek at some of those pics.
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2006, 06:33:18 AM »

Well, I couldn't imagine the horror of using "public transportation" to get around three counties! I never use the bus (or train, unless the TA is sending me down to fill a cup; then it's their dime anyway). I can count the number of times my employee card has seen the inside of a farebox; many of them my playing with the farebox when we first started metrocard in 1995/96/97 depending upon borough and my timetine transfering from location to location.

Anyway it was interesting. If I had more time, I would have stopped over at GBL, but I needed to get some things done and passed on that facility.

I did mention seeing a slew of buses along Meeker Avenue. They were apparently used for a subway shuttle (though I have no information on it). Here's a picture of them under the elevated expressway:



I figured I'd gass-up then swing around and snap them from the other side, but after filling up the tank and getting back to the area, they were gone (or leaving).
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2006, 09:24:37 AM »

Well, I couldn't imagine the horror of using "public transportation" to get around three counties!

If I have access to a car, there's no way I'd do such an extended bus or railfanning trip by public transportation either.  I do use public transit at times to get around big cities like Boston, New York or Washington, but I have to plan these in advance to take advantage of major transfer points that will feature multiple vehicles, and also to use crosstown routes to reduce traveling time.  Otherwise, I will use a car - this is especially true if you are fanning areas outside of a city's downtown.  For example, there's no way my son and I could have successfully visited the Croton Shops open house, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Port Chester last October and gotten as many photos as we did if we had to rely on Metro North and Bee Line buses to get around.

Jim
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2006, 04:37:35 PM »

Good report BK! Are you looking forward to another? My first busfanning trip was last october, and it was one of the best days I had last year.
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2006, 10:37:16 PM »

I definitely enjoyed the trip report, its fun when you recap what you have done on a excursion whether you go as a group or solo.

On the buses at Union Av that was the L shuttle bus replacing train service [in sections] between Bedford Av and Broadway Junction in Brooklyn and the M14 replaced service along 14 St in the city.
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2006, 10:55:01 PM »

Sounds like you had a cool trip...one question though, what the heck is Crosstown Depot?  I've never even heard of it...
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2006, 12:04:22 AM »

Crosstown Depot thread and gallery.
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2006, 12:06:43 AM »


Good report BK! Are you looking forward to another? My first busfanning trip was last october, and it was one of the best days I had last year.


Aside from another follow-up (or more, until completion) of Maspeth depot, I don't plan other such trips other than to photograph all NYCTA/OA/MTAB depots for my personal collection.
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