71 years ago...May 15, 1941, the NYC Board of Transportation began service on the new Dyre Avenue Line, then a shuttle (under IND divsion management) between Dyre Avenue and E 180th St. From there passengers walked through the old NY W &B station to the IRT and a free transfer to the Lexington Avenue subway trains. The new line's r.o.w. was of course, the 1912-built New York Westchester and Boston RR, which had closed in 1937 due to low ridership.
Thanks for the reminder, Andy. Years ago, this and other date reminders (like tunnelrat's 3Ave el closing one on May 12th) would have generated a decent thread. Sadly, most of the attention- and foam- today are focused on 76th Street and/or the Rockaway Beach connector. History has taken a back seat for things that will never be explored or built!
on Wed May 16 07:09:53 2012, in response to Dyre Avenue IRT anniversary, posted by andy on Tue May 15 16:22:18 2012.
And May 29 will be the anniversary of the date the whole line first opened in 1912, as the New York Westchester & Boston.
As for the shuttle operation, a recent mention on Forgotten New York said that paper transfers to the IRT were used. Is this true? It seems like the turnstiles could simply have been placed where the stairs to the shuttle (former NYW&B) platforms would have been within fare control. Anyone know for sure?
Don't believe that paper transfers were used at E 180th because the IRT and NYWB stations were already connected and adjacent to each other. What was unusual about the Dyre Line was that before thru service started in 1957 it was closed daily from 1 AM till 5:30 AM. After 9 PM, for many years, fares were collected on the train by a conductor with a bus type fare box. Since the night time shuttle trains were generally two cars, it was not difficult to make passengers enter at only one door (really only an issue on southbound trains).
The line should have been kept into Mount Vernon, much like the Getty Sqare branch of the NYC. Even though they are technically outside city limits, the areas are still close enough for viable subway service.
When the B of T took over the line in 1940, service was limited to service within the city and I suspect that the same restriction applied to the NYCTA. Once the subways fell under the MTA umbrella, however , such expansion would have theoretically been possible although since much of the NYW&B ROW had been destroyed as far as rail use is concerned significant service outside the city is probably no longer possible.
A sad, lost opportunity. The purchase price of the ROW north of Dyre was a literal steel, perhaps city should have bought it just to retain the ability to extend north of the Bronx in the future. If that had not worked out, they could have sold the ROW at a later date to private interests for a tidy profit.
Just about everything involved with the NYW&B is sad.
Whenever I take an empty (5) train north of Dyre Avenue to lay-up on the tail tracks, I try to imagine what once was. From what I'm told, when you're at the very end of the tracks, you can see some remnants of the Kingsbridge Road station in the distance.
Once you get north of Kingsbridge Road, the ROW has been utterly obliterated. What makes the NYW&B abandonment different from most others was that it was actively and deliberately destroyed (to avoid having a hefty potential 1946 bond payment). Other railroads are simply left to rot, this one was systematically destroyed.
on Fri May 18 07:07:42 2012, in response to Re: Dyre Avenue IRT anniversary, posted by Jackson Park B Train on Fri May 18 00:34:36 2012.
As a Staten islander, I absolutely agree. In my fantasy-land, a B-Division tunnel is dug from St. George to Broad Street, the SAS is completed all the way downtown, using the abndoned half of the Nassau Street line, and it becomes possible to ride one train from Tottenville to 125th/2nd Ave.
But more practically, what about building some kind of connection from the AK Lift Bridge to NJ Transit, a Park and Ride lot on the Staten Island side, and enabling commuter railroad service to Penn Station? Maybe extend the line east to Port Richmond Avenue?
Thanks to LaGuardia. There was a proposal to get Albany to subsidize the White Plains-Harlem River part of the line, but LaGuardia used all his powers to kill it so he could get the Bronx section for the subway system.
Yes, I've seen the concrete remanents in North Mount Vernon, behind the condo complex. Is there any steel left laying around? I would have thought that WW2 scrap drives would have found almost all of it, but you never know.
AFAIK, the specific legislation prohibiting expansion outside the city had nothing to do with LaGuardia, but was merely the way the legislation that allowed city takeover of the transit system was drafted. That was the same reason that in the early years of the city operation of the Dyre Line, it was part of the IND even though it used IRT el cars and Hagstrom maps showed it as an IRT line. At the time, all new (and the Dyre line for legal purposes was a "new" line) rapid transit lines had to be IND lines. After the NYCTA replaced the B of T in 1953, certain aspects of the administration of the NYCTS changed and the Dyre Line was able to be made a part of the IRT Division. That's also the reason that the tracks on the Dyre Line were numbered using the BMT/IND scheme instead of the IRT scheme.
Build a new subway tunnel under Ft Hamilton Parkway, as originally planned but have it run from Ft Hamilton Pkwy under 59th street, 2nd Ave and 67th street to the Narrows. Run it express from Bergen/Smith to 7th Ave and have just 2 other Brooklyn stops at New Utrecht Ave/45th St and 59 St/4 Ave. You could even convert the old mezzanine at 44th/New Utrecht for an el/subway escalator transfer. Plus, a station under 59th St/4th Ave would access the "N" express or the "R" local.