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B o T buses over the Brooklyn Bridge (trolleys not replaced)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:15 pm    Post subject: B o T buses over the Brooklyn Bridge (trolleys not replaced) Reply with quote

All:

I have always been wondering the BoT never replaced the streetcars that ran over the Brooklyn Bridge with buses, when the cars stopped running over the span in 1950.

I know that the car lines that formerly crossed the span to Park Row were cut back to the Brooklyn side; I always wondered if it was politics, economics (or both) that dictated that buses would not replace the Bridge streetcars.

I would guess that former streetcar riders over the Bridge now either rode the subways direct to their destinations, or, took a subway to Brooklyn and then transferred to a streetcar line there.........

"NYO"
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B53RICH




Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found the following information on Wikipedia that should answer your question:
"Since 1950, the main roadway has carried six lanes of automobile traffic. Because of the roadway's height (11 ft (3.4 m) posted) and weight (6,000 lb (2,700 kg) posted) restrictions, commercial vehicles and buses are prohibited from using this bridge. The two inside traffic lanes once carried elevated trains of the BMT from Brooklyn points to a terminal at Park Row via Sands Street. Streetcars ran on what are now the two center lanes (shared with other traffic) until the elevated lines stopped using the bridge in 1944, when they moved to the protected center tracks. In 1950, the streetcars also stopped running, and the bridge was rebuilt to carry six lanes of automobile traffic."
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N4 Jamaica




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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fred Zurmuhlen would know about the mixture of engineering, design, politics, and economics that kept transit buses off the Brooklyn Bridge. I suspect the overriding attitude was, "We built the Independent from High Street to Broadway-Nassau to provide this service." Maybe the three-ton limit has kept the Brooklyn Bridge from meeting the fate of the Tappan Zee.
---
The el tracks were in a box structure. Then the trolleys moved to the el tracks. Until 1950, highway vehicles were outside the box. In the reconstruction, all three vehicular lanes were inside a new box.
---
Zurmuhlen, 1898-1961, was Commissioner of Public Works.
NY Times Obit
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fellows:

Thanks for your input.....much appreciated! Wink

I have done much reading over the years about the network of El lines (BRT/BMT) that once crossed the BB, as well as the streetcars that also crossed the span (recall, also, that the original "Bridge Railway" utilized elevated-type cars that were hauled by cables)

If you look at photos (Brooklyn side, near Sands St.) circa 1910 onwards, you will also see that heavy steel lattice support girders for the overhead trolley wires have also been installed (this was on the same level as the El train tracks); of course, this would add to the load carried by the bridge approach structure.

The bridge tracks, themselves, were heavily reinforced (recall, too, that the El equipment was of wood construction at that time)

I have also read that, by 1920, that the BB was then carrying at least eight times the daily load that it carried when the span first opened in 1883.....indeed, a monumental tribute to the forward thinking Mr. Roebling.......

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Thu May 24, 2018 10:56 pm; edited 2 times in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All:

This is quite interesting.......

I have just learned that, on this day in 1983, several historic buses crossed over the BB from Cadman Plaza, to celebrate the BB's centennial.

The buses included #'s 3100, 4789, 9098, and 6259 (these might have been the only buses to ever cross the span.

Also that night, invited guest rode several historic trains out onto the Manny B to watch the fireworks (Lo-V's, R-1/9's and wooden"BU's")

Wanted to share this here; just found this out via SubChat........

"NYO"

PS:

(wonder who took bus photos that day!)
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 51
Joined: 02 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
All:

This is quite interesting.......

I have just learned that, on this day in 1983, several historic buses crossed over the BB from Cadman Plaza, to celebrate the BB's centennial.

The buses included #'s 3100, 4789, 9098, and 6259 (these might have been the only buses to ever cross the span.

Also that night, invited guest rode several historic trains out onto the Manny B to watch the fireworks (Lo-V's, R-1/9's and wooden"BU's")

Wanted to share this here; just found this out via SubChat........

"NYO"

PS:

(wonder who took bus photos that day!)

It was one of the last times 4789 was paraded as such, before being dressed up as ersatz "Jackie Gleason bus" 2969 (which I remember as early as 1984, being parked outside the C.W. Post campus in Greenvale, NY, during the first Honeymooners convention I attended. (The real 2969, part of the late 1950 order of 75 TDH-4509's for NYC Omnibus, would have been retired / scrapped in or about early '67 after the arrival of the A/C batwinged Fishbowls.)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B:

Great bit of trivia....did not know this! Wink

I have read that, back in the heyday of electric rail transit, that the BB carried more rail traffic than any other bridge in the world............QUITE astounding, to say the least! Shocked

When you look at vintage postcards and photos of the BB, showing bumper-to-bumper lines of streetcars (in addition to the El trains) crossing the span, this historical trivia indeed becomes quite apparent!

Just imagine had the BMT el lines over the BB had been retained, upgraded, and modernized, utilizing modern lightweight subway cars (I know that, had the Myrtle Ave. El been retained, there were plans by the "Tee-Yay" to order a new fleet of lightweight cars, which, I am told, would have been scaled-down versions of the famed "Brightliners")

On a sidenote, the BMT DID operate modern lightweight El equipment, that once operated over the BB ("GREEN HORNET/BLIMP", "ZEPHYR", and "BLUEBIRD"; all were retired by the 50's, with the exception of the "Blimp", which went to scrap during the WW2 scrap drive)........

"NYO"
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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoying this history lesson on the trains over the BB. Smile

Last week, I rode the 'J' train for the first time in about 20 years over the Williamsburg Bridge. And I lucked out and got a "Brightliner" R-32, with the "railfan window". Cool

Incredible that the train is now 54 years old, and still going strong. Those Budd's can last forever with minimum maintenance....
I suppose they will take the record for longest trains in regular service in NYC?
I believe that is 55 years...so next year they will at least tie it...


Last edited by traildriver on Thu May 24, 2018 11:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
Enjoying this history lesson on the trains over the BB. Smile

Last week, I rode the 'J' train for the first time in about 20 years over the Williamsburg Bridge. And I lucked out and got a "Brightliner" R-32, with the "railfan window". Cool

Incredible that the train is now 54 years old, and still going strong. Those Budd's can last forever with minimum maintenance....
I suppose they will take the record for longest trains in regular service in NYC?


traildriver:

Like the ol' "Energizer Bunny", those ol' "Brightliners" just keep on going on....and on..... Wink

Ironically, fluted side BUDD equipment also operated over the BMT's rails as early as 1934; this was the aforementioned "ZEPHYR".

It also had the distinction of being the world's very first stainless steel rapid transit car; for most of its life, it served on the BMT's #7 ("FRANKLIN AVE.") line.

I have also seen photos showing the "GREEN HORNET/BLIMP" and the Clark "BLUEBIRD" running along Brooklyn Bridge trackage; just imagine had the BMT ordered full fleets of such modern lightweight units, and had retained the elevated lines over the Bridge.......it would be most interesting to see modern equipment crossing the historic span today......... Wink

"NYO"

BTW: Prior to the "Brightliner" era, some of the ancient IRT "Gibbs" Hi-V cars remained in service until 1958, when they were replaced by the last of the new R-21/R-22 cars.

They were then in service for nearly 54 years; too, don't forget the famous "Q" cars of the Myrtle Avenue El, which were the very last wooden cars carrying passengers in the United States (not counting the SF cable cars, here!) when they were retired in 1969 when the El closed.

These cars had been built by the BRT as "BU" cars (with platform gates) about 1903, and were rebuilt as "Q" cars in 1938 for the 1939/1940 World's Fair at Flushing Meadow.......aaahh, longevity!

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Longevity . . . a word forgotten in many fields today.
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traildriver




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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, the 'Q's' lasted 66 years...incredible! While the R-32's could easily beat that record, it is kind of doubtful that they will get the chance...
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
Longevity . . . a word forgotten in many fields today.


traildriver:

"Longevity" indeed is a forgotten word these day; sadly, so is "quality", in many far too many venues........ Sad

When PATH took delivery of the new "PA" cars in 1965, the oldest of the H&M "Black" cars were the Class "B's", which dated back to 1909; these hardy workhorses had been in service for 56 years when they were retired! Shocked

I knew these wonderful old relics quite well as a young lad....... Wink

"NYO"

BTW:

Just imagine what rush hours must have been like at the Park Row and Sands St. facilities; multiple levels of streetcars and elevated trains, all running on any of a number of different lines!

Long before the term became fashionable, these two massive stations were indeed "multi-modal" facilities..........

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Fri May 25, 2018 1:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
Oh, the 'Q's' lasted 66 years...incredible! While the R-32's could easily beat that record, it is kind of doubtful that they will get the chance...


traildriver: As the old saying goes:

".......this is a TOUGH act to follow........" Shocked

The BMT was understandably not content to use ancient open gate cars in World's Fair service, so the select cars were modernized with sliding doors and enclosed ends (don't forget that the "Q" cars also operated for some time on the 3rd Avenue El; the cars had to have their heavier trucks swapped out for lighter trucks salvaged from the scrapped IRT "Composite" cars)

I have also seen photos of BMT Standards equipped with special illuminated metal destination signs, which read "WORLD'S FAIR TRAIN CONNECTION" above the end door.

Also, the 1925 "D"-type articulated Triplex cars also displayed a "WORLD'S FAIR TRAIN CONNECTION" reading in their end sign boxes......

"NYO"
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traildriver




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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your mentioning of World's Fair trains, make me wish that the IND connection to the Fair still existed...
Where it crossed Jewel Avenue would be only a mile from my home, had they built a station there, for after the fair service. Now it is the Van Wyck Expressway extension.... Sad
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
Your mentioning of World's Fair trains, make me wish that the IND connection to the Fair still existed...
Where it crossed Jewel Avenue would be only a mile from my home, had they built a station there, for after the fair service. Now it is the Van Wyck Expressway extension.... Sad


traildriver:

Agreed, 100%

Just imagine the ridership that line would be getting today, had it not been torn up after the Fair closed after the 1940 season!

I have also seen photos of IND World's Fair trains carrying "E" and "EE" readings on their front roller curtains.

Another thing that made this short-lived line interesting was that trains had to run through the Kew Gardens storage yards before entering the new line that continued on to the Fair.

Just imagine if there had been an elevated routing that carried the "Q" cars from Park Row to the Fair Grounds, via Brooklyn.....indeed, it would have made for a very intricate (and interesting!) routing....... Shocked

The IND, of course, with its new, modern rolling stock had no reason to worry about transporting Fair-goers in old, outmoded equipment!

Getting back to the Brooklyn Bridge; again, it is quite interesting to imagine modern lightweight trains operating over the span today; imagine had Park Row and Sands St. been declared "Engineering Landmarks" and were still in use today?

I have also read that there had been plans early on to connect the BMT (subway) beyond the Chambers St. station, and then ramp up to join the BB's El trackage; this would have been a tremendous extra amount of weight for the Bridge to handle, as the Standards were steel cars.

Too, remember that the El lines that connected to the BB were not able to handle the heavier steel subway cars; it IS quite interesting to think about, though....... Wink

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sat May 26, 2018 1:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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