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Re: The Third Avenue El: Finale - April 28-29, 1973

Posted by Fisk Ave Jim on Mon Apr 29 21:25:00 2013, in response to Re: The Third Avenue El: Finale - April 28-29, 1973, posted by Larry,RedbirdR33 on Mon Apr 29 13:45:48 2013.

Way back when, I went to St Helena HS in the Bronx. When I was a freshman in 1964, it was strongly suggested that we all attend a High School Basketball game when we played Fordham HS on the college campus.
Since at that time I lived in Queens, at games end, the thought of waiting for a bus to connect with the Q44 to take me over the Whitestone to hook up with the #7 at Main St seemed like a bad idea (it was freezing out). So at the time, being an entry level subway buff, I hop on a 3d ave el train at Fordham Road to go to 149 to hook up with the 6 to GCT & then to the 7 to get home.
So on the platform, It seems that im in a time warp. Wooden platforms, several burnt out bulbs, mezzanine level reeking the scent of aged urine & in comes a set ov Lo-V/Steinway consist to get me to 149.

The first thing that comes to my young mind is why isin't there any modernization being done here similar to what I saw happing on the Flushing line? Just look around & the rider never got the hint of either upgrading maintenence or any sign of long term existance plans for the line.
Other elevated lines were getting concrete platforms (except Myrtle) but not the 3d ave line. The writing was on the wall, & it was'nt graffiti.
Local riders back in 1964 should have screamed big time to upgrade the line to match the upgrading that was happening on Jerome Ave or WPR road but as far as I know, that never happened.
My reference point is as a regular rider of the Flushing line, they get new cars, concrete platforms & platform modernization as in steel platform walls replacing the old dirty windows with the drab olive paint. What does the 3d ave line get?? New cars? Yeah, R-12s . They must have seemed new there & then like they did on the Flushing line 20 something years earlier.
Bottom line, based on what was not happening, the City was planning the demise of the 3d ave el long before the first box girder pillar was cut.

Its the oldest trick in the book, institute minimal service & make the enviornment least attractive as possible & there goes the clientele. Then the TA says, AHA! ridership down, time to tear the line down.
The rest is history.

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