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Tuscarora Almanac for November 24

Posted by IRTRedbirdR33 on Wed Nov 24 12:54:46 2021


There is no Almanac posting for today so I have substituted one of the Dispatches instead.




Tuscarora Dispatch No 1

Track assignments at Queensboro Plaza Station 1916 - 1938

Queensboro Plaza was built as an eight track three level elevated station for joint use by both the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), later know as the Brooklyn Manhattan Transit Company (BMT).

The lowest level was used for fare controls and a mezzanine. The next two levels
were reserved for train operations. We shall call these the upper and lower levels.
Each of these levels had four tracks and two island platforms. The upper level was for northbound trains (that is those trains running from Manhattan to Queens.), while the lower level was used for south or Manhattan-bound trains. The two north tracks on each level were for the use of the BRT (hereafter referred to as the BMT), while the two south tracks on each level were for the use of the IRT.

Section A: Operations on BMT Tracks

The north track of the BMT upper level was intended for use by BMT subway trains from Manhattan going to either the Astoria or Flushing Lines while the upper level south track was for trains from Manhattan going to the Crosstown Line.

The north track of the BMT lower level was intended for use by trains from the Astoria or Flushing Lines going to Manhattan, while the lower level south track was intended for use by trains from the Crosstown Line going to Manhattan.

At first it was intended that BMT trains would cross the East River on the Queensboro Bridge but this was later changed to the 60th Street Tunnel. The Crosstown Line was never built as a BMT Line although portions of it were later built as part of the IND Crosstown Line.

Queensboro Plaza was never intended to be a terminal for the BMT and was built for through operation. The BMT did not begin operations from Manhattan to Queensboro Plaza until April 1, 1920 and by this time their subway car of choice was the BMT Standard which was 10 feet wide and 67 feet long which could not operate east of Queensboro Plaza because those lines had been built to IRT car specifications (9 feet wide, 52 feet long). For the next three years the BMT tried to figure out a way out of this dilemma even taking the IRT to court.

During this interim period BMT trains operated to the north tracks on both levels since the south tracks (the ones for the Crosstown Line) had not been completed. Brighton Line trains used the upper level north track while 4th Avenue Line trains used the lower level north track. The trains reversed ends in the stations and used the diamond crossover on the ramp west of the station to switch tracks.

The BMT finally decided to operate shuttle trains of BU Gate Cars between Queensboro Plaza and Ditmars Boulevard on the Astoria Line and 103 Street on the Flushing Line. This operation began on April 18, 1923. It should be noted that prior to 1928 when it was extended to Main Street the Flushing Line it was known as the Corona Line.

Prior to the start of shuttle operation several changes were made to the track arrangement at Queensboro Plaza. BMT Subway trains from Manhattan would now use the south tracks on both levels, again with Brighton Line trains on the upper level and 4th Avenue trains on the lower level. The north tracks of each level would now be used by the El trains to Astoria and Corona. As there was no way to reverse the Astoria and Corona El Shuttles a diamond crossover was installed on the BMT Corona Lead Tracks east of Queensboro Plaza. A BMT El Shuttle from Astoria now arrived on the lower level north track and became the outbound Corona Shuttle. An inbound BMT El shuttle from Corona arrived on the upper level north track and became the outbound shuttle to Astoria.
The BMT then constructed a switchback track for the subway trains running alongside of and south of the IRT tracks east of Queensboro Plaza Station. The upper level south track and the lower level south track were extended eastward to a junction with this new track. This switchback track was placed in service on July 17, 1924 and thereafter BMT Subway trains from Manhattan arrived on the upper level south track and departed from the lower level south track. This arrangement continued until 1938.

Section B: Operations on IRT Tracks

The north track of the IRT upper level was used by Queens-bound 2nd Avenue El trains bound for Astoria or Corona . The south track of the IRT upper level was used by Queensboro Subway trains bound for either Astoria or Corona and later Flushing. There was a diamond crossover east of the station so trains could switch to the appropriate routes.

The north track of the IRT lower level was used by Manhattan-bound trains from the Astoria Line, both subway and el. The south track of the IRT lower level was used by Manhattan-bound trains from the Flushing Line, both subway and el . Again there was a diamond crossover west of the station so trains could switch to the appropriate route.

The Queensboro Subway trains were the first to arrive at the new station on November 5, 1916. They arrived and departed from the IRT lower level south track single tracking back to Hunterspoint Avenue . IRT subway service to Astoria began on February 1, 1917. The Second Avenue El arrived at Queensboro Plaza on July 23, 1917 and began provided all service to Astoria on this date. IRT subway service to Astoria was restored on January 17, 1918. IRT subway service over the Flushing Line to 104 Street - Alburtis Avenue (today's 103 Street - Corona Avenue) began on April 21, 1917 followed by Second Avenue El service on January 17, 1918.

Part 2

Track assignments at Queensboro Plaza Station 1939-1949

Section A: Operations on BMT Tracks

The New York World's Fair of 1939-40 promised to be a major traffic and revenue generator on the jointly operated Flushing Line. Since 1923 the BMT had operated the Astoria and Flushing Shuttles as essentially a single route with a switchback at Queenboro Plaza. This meant that both lines had the same level of service. Since the Flushing Line would require additional service it would be necessary separate the two shuttles services. Trackage and switches east of Queensboro Plaza were re-arranged so that all BMT Flushing Line trains would now arrive and depart from the north track of the BMT lower level. BMT Astoria Line trains would now arrive and depart from the north track of the BMT upper level. All this work was done by April 10, 1939.

Section B: Operations on IRT Tracks

IRT operations continued as described above until June 13, 1942 when the Second Avenue El ceased operations. This meant that the north track of the IRT upper level was no longer needed for revenue service. However it was retained along with a stretch of track on the Queensboro Bridge as an emergency turn-back for Astoria and Flushing Line trains.

Part 3

Track assignments at Queensboro Plaza Station 1949 - Now (2013)

Section A: Operations on BMT Tracks

The New York City Board of Transportation decided to end the joint operation of the Queens Lines in 1949. Hereafter the IRT Division would operate the Flushing Line and the BMT Division would operate the Astoria Line. All service would operate through the south or IRT half of the station. The north or BMT half of the station would be abandoned although some trackage would be retained for a period of time for non- revenue moves.

Section B: Operations on IRT Tracks

Queensboro Plaza Station would be essentially cut in half with only the south or IRT half remaining in use. As originally planned Queens - bound trains of both the IRT and BMT would arrive on the upper level whereas Manhattan - bound trains would arrive on the lower level. BMT trains from Manhattan would now arrive on the north track of the IRT upper level. This was the one formerly used by Queens - bound trains of the Second Avenue El. BMT trains to Manhattan would now use the north track of the IRT lower level. This one was formerly used by IRT trains from Astoria to Manhattan. As all service from Astoria would now be operated by the BMT Division the IRT had no need of it. Two assignments would remain unchanged. IRT Flushing Line subway trains would continue to use the south track of the IRT upper level while IRT trains from Queens to Manhattan would continue to use the south track of the IRT lower level.

Section C: The Changeover.

"IRT subway service to Astoria ended on July 24, 1949 and the IRT then began operation of BMT El cars (Q-Types) to and from the IRT half of the Queensboro Plaza Station. Southbound IRT shuttles would operate into the north track of the IRT lower level as IRT trains from Astoria had always done. They would then switchback using the remaining stretch of Second Avenue El trackage on the bridge. They would then leave the north track of the IRT upper level which had not seen regular service since 1942. Cars used in this service were marked "IRT LINES." (Source D.Rogoff 6/20/62).
I do not know if this was done by temporary signage or stenciled on the sides of the cars.


BMT Flushing Line Shuttles were discontinued just before midnight on Friday, October 13, 1949. Presumably the IRT Astoria shuttles were discontinued as well at this time.
Over the weekend of October 15 - 16 the following schedule was in effect. BMT Brighton Locals were cut back to 57 Street - 7 Avenue. Fourth Avenue Locals were turned on the north track of the BMT lower level. (The one that had been used by BMT Flushing Line trains. The platform probably having been cut back in the interim.)
A six car train of Q-Types ran as a shuttle between Ditmars Boulevard and Queensboro Plaza using the southbound track of the Astoria Line in both directions. This operation continued throughout the day on Saturday and until the late afternoon on Sunday During this time the platform edges on the northbound stations were cut back to clear the ten foot wide BMT subway cars. A six car trains of BMT Standards arrived at Astoria about five o'clock on Sunday consisted of (n) BX 2450-4025-2451 and B-Type 2536-2535-2534.
The three south cars then began shuttle service on the northbound track while the platform edges on the southbound stations were cut back. also the BMT subway tracks from the 60 Street Tunnel were connected to the north tracks on the IRT half of the station.
Regular operation of BMT subway trains to Astoria began on Monday morning, October 17, 1949 and continues as such until the time of this writing (October, 2013).
The out of service platforms and trackage on the BMT half of the station were finally removed by March, 1963. (Source: B.Linder 5/92).


Sources:

1) "A History of the Flushing and Astoria Lines" by Mr.David Rogoff, article , New York Division Bulletin February and August 1962.

2) "IRT Flushing Line" by Mr.Bernard Linder, article, New York Division Bulletin, December 1991, January, February and June 1992.

3) "The Track of New York", Number 3, Manhattan and Bronx Elevated Railroads 1920, by Mr.Alan Kahn and Mr.Jack May.

4) Electric Railroads No 23 - "New York Subways, Fifty Years of Millions" , October 1954

5) Electric Railroads No 25 - "New York El Lines 1867 - 1955" , December 1956







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