11. Third Avenue El and Bronx El

Third Avenue El and Bronx ElImage via Wikimedia Commons,  Library of Congress

Constructed between 1875 and 1878, the 3rd Ave el ran from City Hall in Manhattan to the Harlem River. Through service between Manhattan and the Bronx began in 1896. This elevated line was the last elevated line to run in Manhattan with service to South Ferry ending in 1950 and City Hall in 1953. Northward, the 3rd Ave line had service from Chatham Square until 1955. However, service in the Bronx continued for a few years after operation ended in Manhattan. It ran between 149th Street and Gun Hill Road from 1955 to 1973. The line in the Bronx was completely demolished in 1977.

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4 thoughts on “12 of NYC’s Lost Subway and Rail Lines

  1. You repeatedly use the term “rail” when you should be using the term “track”. The lack of a third rail means power comes from an engine of some sort or from overhead lines. When you write that only two rails were put down, you’re saying that one train can travel down the track.

    The following 11 pages seem to have gotten this distinction right, so I suspect there was a change of writer early on.

    Regardless, thanks for the research and reporting!

  2. Very good list!
    One detail to add – the 9th Avenue el opened in 1867 as the world’s first urban elevated rapid transit line. It was originally cable pulled, running from the Battery up Greenwich Street. The cable was unreliable however and the company failed.

    It was reorganized & reopened in 1871 with “dummy” steam engines.

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