BROOKLYN TROLLEYS

The information on this page is from the list of Brooklyn trolley lines shown on the original ERA map published in 1950 with notes and conversion or abandonment dates. The map and chart was updated and published in Greller’s book about the Brooklyn System. I have further updated it with some commentary from Don Harold, the noted Brooklyn Trolley historian. Visit the Don Harold Photo Pages and the Frank Goldsmith Photo pages here at the JoeKorNer.

The Brooklyn Streecar system was one of the largest ever. It had tracks that operated into Manhattan over the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges, and service to the 1939 Worlds Fair in Queens. There were many different cars operated there too, including convertables, the 8100 Peter Witt speed cars and the first production PCC cars. Here are some of my personal memories

This JoeKorNer page is adapted from the text file I distributed with my BAHN layouts of the Brooklyn Trolley System. There are two layouts in one zip file format at: Brooklyn Trolley Lines. The Bahn software is downloadable at: BAHN Home Page

McDonald PCC at West 5th St.This page is sorted by closing dates. On the left is an index that allows searching by street name, trolley route number, current bus route number, or years. The route numbers are the ones that the trolleys used, not all of them carried over to today's bus system. For example, the Coney Island Ave trolley was #63, the Smith St bus was #72. When the two routes were through routed from 1936 to 1946, it was the #68 Smith-Coney Island. Today's buses are the #68 Coney Isalnd Ave and the #75 Smith St until 2010. Some of the routes were eliminated or replaced by buses before the BMT assigned them numbers, these have no numbers in the table.

A number of routes were converted to electric buses in 1948. These routes have links to the JoeKorNer Trackless Trolley page.

In 2010, because of budget concerns, the bus routes in Brooklyn had major combinations, through routes, and cancellations of service. This is why the Smith/Court buses, which were #75 are now covered by the #57 Flushing Ave route extened along Court southbound and Smith northbound. There are other similar changes to other routes. As a result, 100% of the current bus routes are not covered in the table. A number of the current bus routes were never trolley, for example, Kings Highway B7 and B82. These routes are not included in the table. Routes shown with a % were not originally replaced by buses. In some cases, because streets were converted to one way pairs, buses now take two parallel streets on some or all of the route.

The individual maps that are linked in the table by clicking on the route name are based upon the Large BMT Trolley and Bus Map - 1930s. There is also a smaller BMT Trolley and Bus Map. The routes are highlighted on the map and trimmed to the size needed for the route. Some north-south routes are rotated for better dispaly on the web. There is a north marker on each map.

The locations of the trolley barns, shops, and terminals are listed in a second document.

On January 10, 1937 many of the lines to downtown Brooklyn had their terminals and routings changed to make riding easier. The change cut the number of lines with some service over the bridge from nine to five lines with all service over the bridge. This required some passengers to transfer between lines, but it was supposed to make service more reliable.

Route

Name
(Click link to view map in new window)

Discontinued

Year

Notes

Photos
From the Don Harold or Frank Goldsmith pages or the BMT Archives.
The images are all thumbnails to speed loading the page. Click on the image to see the full size photo.


Montague St Cable Car


1891 to 1924

Boro Hall and the Wall St Ferry


The Cable Car Guy Web Site

Manhattan's Third Ave Railway

10/5/1919

1919

Third Ave Railway System in Brooklyn
The Third Ave Railway operated a line between Fulton St and Flatbush Extension across the Manhattan Bridge and along Canal St to the Desbrosses Ferry to New Jersey.

Because of a city ordinance, no streetcars could us overhead wires in most of Manhattan. The various trolley lines in that borough used an underground third rail. The cars had a plow extending through a slot in the street to the rail.

At places where the underground rail ended and wire was to be used a plow pit was built. Employees would be stationed in the pit to disconnect and reconnect the plows. There was a plow pit at Flatbush Ave between Nassau and Concord

The December 1952 issue of Electric Railroads had additional information about the MB3CL and the TARS street cars on the Manhattan Bridge.

The photo above shows the Manahttan end of the Manhattan Bridge. A Thrid Ave car is visible on the left side of the arch, it appears that the track comes from the bridge.

The lower photo shows the Manhattan tracks with the plow slot clearly visible. This is near the Park Row Post Office terminal.


Manhattan Bridge 3 Cent Line

11/13/1929

1929

The Manhattan Bridge 3 Cent Line operated as a shuttle across the bridge using the south tracks of the bridge. The car house is still standing in 1998.

The MB3CL operated from Fulton St and Flatbush extension to a three track loop at Bowery and Bayard St.

The two track terminal at Fulton St. was shared with the TARS cars that used the north tracks of the bridge.

When the bridge first opened, the street cars used what are now the subway tracks. When the BMT subway was ready to use the bridge, the street car tracks were relocated to the upper level, where auto roadways are over the subway tracks today.



Joint terminal of the TARS and MB3CL at Fulton St and Flatbush Extension. 1914

%

Metropolitan Av Shuttle


1920

Grand & Metropolitan and Kent and Grand.

 

Hicks Street


1921

Atlantic and Hamilton

 

Flatbush Ave Shuttle


1926

Ave N and Ave U - covered by the B41 alternating destinations.

 

Calvary Cem Line

1/26/30

1930

Greenpoint Ave between the Ferry and cemetery

 

Sixteenth Avenue

1/26/30

1930

McDonald Ave to 58th St Combined with a line from Church Ave.

 

%

Marcy Avenue


1930

Lorimer & Metropolitan to Fulton & Marcy

 

%

Grand Street Shuttle


1930

Kent and Marcy

 

%

Brooklyn Bridge Local


1930

Brooklyn Bridge Service  

%

Park Avenue

6/19/30

1930

High & Adams to Central Ave & Cooper

 

Avenue C - Cortelyou Rd

7/23/30

1930

Flatbush and Coney Island Av
Converted as a test to Trackless Trolley #23. Combined with 16th Ave in 1932 as trackless.

Before 1932, the section of today's Cortelyou Road between Flatbush and Coney Is. Ave was Ave C. There was a discontinuity at CI Ave to jog north a block to today's Ave C. Thus the trolley was Ave C. By the time the trackless trolley was placed in service that section was renamed Cortelyou Road.


Bergen Beach

8/6/30

1930

Utica & Ave N via Ave N to Ave X & Bergen Ave

 

Hoyt-Sackett Sts.


1934

covered by Rt.2 from 11/1/43

 

83

Nortons Pt Shuttle

9/26/35

1935

Ran again during June 1943

 

Vanderbilt Ave


1936

Combined with McDonald

 

29

Meeker -Marcy Avenues

4/17/39

1939


52

Greene & Gates Aves.

10/5/41

1941


 

25

Fulton Street

8/10/41

1941

Brooklyn Bridge Service
after 1937

26

Putnam Ave-1st motorization

9/21/41

1941

Putnam Ave. #26-1st motorization
Putnam Ave. #26 - Rail restoration
Putnam Ave #.26- 2nd motorization


Canarsie El Shuttle

11/21/42

1942

Trolley operated along the private right of way that els trains had used. Trolleys were replaced by Route 9 on Rockaway Parkway.

 

%

65th St Ft. Hamilton (2nd Av)

3/1/42

1942


37

Third Avenue

3/1/42

1942


33

Hamilton Avenue

3/29/42

1942


26

Putnam Ave restored to rail

11/29/42

1942

Putnam Ave. #26-1st motorization
Putnam Ave. #26 - Rail restoration
Putnam Ave #.26- 2nd motorization

3

Sumner Sackett until about 1943

1943

The Sumner Ave service operated in both directions on Bergen St at Sumner at various times. The Hamliton Ferry service probably ended when the construction of the BQE cut off Sackett and Unions St tracks.
See Sumner Avenue

 

%11

Ralph Ave

11/1/43

1943

To Rts.3 Sumner Ave & 10 Ralph Rockaway

 

%28

Erie Basin

3/5/44

1944

Brooklyn Bridge Service  

47

Franklin Ave

10/28/45

1945

Combined with 48

43

Nostrand Ave. Shuttle

10/28/45

1945

combined with Rte 44 10/28/45

 

19

Nassau Ave

10/28/45

1945

(to Rt 48)  

%17

Greenpoint Ave (Kent Av.)

11/19/45

1945

The #17 line used Kent and Classon to Myrtle until 1933. From 1933 to 1945 it used Washington Ave. Some time between 1941 and 1945, it was cut back to Broadway Ferry

 

%56

Union Avenue (Knickerbocker)

12/1/45

1945


71

Union Street

12/1/45

1945


77

Fifteenth Street

12/1/45

1945


 

68

Smith St - Coney Island Av

Split 6/17/46

1946

Split into 63 Coney Island Ave
and 72 Smith St

36

Sea Gate (Surf Avenue)

12/1/46

1946

27

Jamaica

11/30/47

1947


48

Lorimer Street
Lorimer Street after 1945

12/14/47

1947

Trackless Trolley#48

Combined with Franklin #47 in 1945

38

West End (New Utrecht Ave.)

6/28/47

1947


2

Bergen Street

7/20/47

1947

Trackless Trolley#65

3

Sumner Avenue

7/20/47

1947

The Sumner Ave service operated in both directions on Bergen St at Sumner at various times.
See Sumner Sackett

 

5

St. Johns Place

8/24/47

1947

Trackless Trolley #45

7

Tompkins Avenue

8/24/47

1947

Williamsburg Bridge Local
Trackless Trolley #47

50

Bushwick Avenue

9/1/47

1947



New Lots Avenue

9/1/47

1947


%

Cypress Hills Cemetery

9/1/47

1947


57

Flushing Avenue

11/21/48

1948

Trackless Trolley #57
Brooklyn Bridge Service

73

Norton's Point

11/7/48

1948

16

Graham Avenue

12/21/48

1948

Trackless Trolley #62
Brooklyn Bridge Service

Willliamsburg Bridge Local

12/4/48

1948

In addition to the bridge local, the following lines/brooklyn-trolleys operated over the bridge:
7 Tompkins Avenue
10 Ralph-Rockaway Avenues
44 Nostrand Avenue

31

86th Street

8/12/48

1948


69

MacDonald-Vanderbilt Aves

(Split 5/2/49)

1949

Split into #50 McDonald
and Vanderbilt
Brooklyn Bridge Service

 

21

DeKalb Avenue

1/30/49

1949

Brooklyn Bridge Service

59

Grand Street

12/11/49

1949


32

5th Avenue

2/20/49

1949


30

Eighth Avenue

5/15/49

1949


34

Bay Ridge Avenue

5/15/49

1949



13

Gravesend-Church Avenues

6/1/49

1949

Combined with Sixteenth Ave in 1930. Cut back to 16th Ave and McDonald and renamed Gravesend-Church in 1932 as part of the Cortelyou Road trackless conversion.

53

Metropolitan Aveue

6/12/49

1949


54

Myrtle Av.-Court St

7/17/49

1949


58

Flushing – Ridgewood

7/17/49

1949



Junction Blvd

8/24/49

1949

Was part of Rt.59

24

Broadway

1/15/50

1950


26

Putnam Ave - 2nd motorization

2/5/50

1950

Putnam Ave. #26-1st motorization
Putnam Ave. #26 - Rail restoration
Putnam Ave #.26- 2nd motorization


Service over Brooklyn Bridge

3/5/50

1950

In addition to a bridge local, the following lines/brooklyn-trolleys operated over the bridge:
16 Graham Avenue
21 DeKalb Avenue
25 Fulton after 1937
28 Erie Basin
57 Flushing Avenue
67 Seventh Ave
69 MacDonald-Vanderbilt Aves
Some lines/brooklyn-trolleys may have stopped operating before 1950.

55

Richmond Hill

4/26/50

1950


69

Vanderbilt Ave

8/20/50

1950


 

15

Crosstown

1/27/51

1951


67

Seventh Ave

2/11/51

1951

Brooklyn Bridge Service

72 (75)

Smith Street

2/11/51

1951


46

Utica-Reid Avenues

3/18/51

1951

For two weeks after official motorization the Flatbush and Utica bus routes required some trolley service as shuttles to supplement the service requirements due to a shortage of buses.

41

Flatbush Avenue

3/5/51

1951

42

Holy Cross Cemetery

4/1/51

1951

Tilden Ave & Nostrand to cemetery gate

44

Nostrand Avenue

4/1/51

1951

Williamsburg Bridge Local

Thanks to Jeffrey H. Wasserman on the Facebook Brooklyn page for finding the location.

9

Rockaway Parkway

4/29/51

1951


49

Ocean Avenue

4/29/51

1951


10

Ralph-Rockaway Avenues

5/27/51

1951

Williamsburg Bridge Local

14

Wilson Avenue

5/27/51

1951


14S

Wilson Avenue Shuttle

5/27/51

1951

Rockaway Parkway Station and New Lots Ave & Rockaway Ave.

 

63

Coney Island Avenue

11/30/55

1955

8 #35 6/1/49

Church Avenue

10/31/56

1956


50

MacDonald Ave

10/31/56

1956


%=line not replaced by a bus route.


My Memories of Brooklyn Trolleys


- -


- The JoeKorNer