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Re: Nighttime Shot of 3rd Ave El at 67th Street (1953)

Posted by JOE @ NYCMTS - NYCTMG on Sun Dec 3 12:02:44 2017, in response to Re: Nighttime Shot of 3rd Ave El at 67th Street (1953), posted by VictorM on Sun Dec 3 09:41:25 2017.

Hello Victor

No...those dropped-side El cars were originally the first replacement cars delivered by 1872 for the few original cable-hauled cars. The 2nd generation cars were as built and as originally called at the time, Shad Belly Cars. Designed that way because of the riding public's fear of the cars being top heavy and falling off the EL structures, fears allayed by having passengers enter at platform level, and STEP DOWN into a lowered carbody. Thus "lower center of gravity (weight) principal.

They were towed by tiny (originally) "steam dummy locomotives" (predecessors to the standard Forneys of the late 1870's) designed to be disguises are passenger car bodies so as, heh, not to scare horses below.

See photo below --- view north in 1871 to train which is in layup storage on the single and only ORIGINAL track EL running along the east sidewalk line of Greenwich Street, lower Manhattan immediately south of the Yard and Terminal singe curved lead switch and track are located.

The view below is looking north in 1871 at the south end of the original 1868-1869 single track EL structure along the east sidewalk line of Greenwich Street. This short section of 1/2 block EL and track is at this time, until extended to Battery Park by April 1877, solely a one train layup track. In the foreground, the horse car tracks are turning east (right) into STATE STREET. Battery Park is behind the photographer. It's last station on Greenwich Street was about 3 blocks north, and a curved single track connection about 1/2 block north from the track " bumper crosstie" turned right (east) immediately in front of the building wall sign showing " 13" , into private property between Greenwich Street and Broadway, where a small layup yard and small repair shop was located, and a block east was the Terminal EL Station located at the rear of the Company's small office building located at #7 Broadway

This point is where the EL, once it was dual tracked (the opposite separate EL structure and its track built over, along west Greenwich St.sidewalk)--it was extended by April 15, 1877, to the original South Ferry Terminal Station facing Front Street that I previous described in my previous posting.

Here below is a photo looking southeast in 1871 across Greenwich to a train sitting on the 1/2 block long southward tail single layup track, upon the original single-track sole EL structure built in 1869. Seen also are the layup yard and terminal station lead connection curved track turning east to head to the rear of # 7 Broadway Terminal Station and offices building, a block to the east. Seen is one of the shad belly cars beside the repair shops in the parallel layup yard.

BELOW is a north view in 1871 from Greenwich street showing the single curved yard lead track and switch (at rear of 2nd trailing EL car) connection from the EL structure track east to the yard and Terminal Station and Company Offices a block further east at # 7 Broadway.

BELOW is a view in 1871 showing a train and crew along the single track sole elevated structure along the east sidewalk of Greenwich Street somewhere just above the terminal and yard.

These "Shad Belly" early El cars had a very vague similarity to the principal of the many decades later early 1950's double decker commuter cars (of ie; LIRR) and present so called bi-level commuter cars, where the passengers step downward to a lower level seating area, but however also step upward to the higher level seating area.

A few years after the first regular and official expansion and operation of the original 9th Avenue EL started around 1870-1, operated by steam locomotive hauled trains, these "Shad Belly" cars were later modified by 1873-4 with standard station-platform level full floors.

Soon more standard floor-height open end platform newer open end EL cars were ordered and delivered by 1874 thru 1876 -- some with tiny center doors in the car sides as seen in the last photo of my series, and eventually the few shad belly cars were rebuilt to standard floor bodies.

regards - Joe F


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