East New York Tunnel, Brooklyn
The East New York Tunnel was dug in 1914 during the massive grade-crossing elimination project that elevated or submerged most of the Bay Ridge Line. The tunnel begins just south of Liberty Avenue and passes under the mess at Broadway Junction, including Atlantic Avenue, Fulton Street, Broadway, and Bushwich Avenue before running under the western edge of Evergreen Cemetery and emerging as an elevated line near the corner of Evergreen Avenue and Piling Street.
East New York Station
When the tunnel was created, a platform was built at the south portal between the two easternmost tracks for the East New York Station. The platform was accessed from a stairway leading down from Liberty Avenue over the face of the tunnel entrance. The platform still exists, although it is obscured by vegetation in the photo below.
A photo of the tunnel and platform from 1924 is available HERE.
If the BMT Canarsie Line were dropped into the right-of-way to share tracks with the Circumferential Line south of here, a design decision would need to be made whether to continue the line northward through the East New York tunnel or have it ascend again to the top platform at Broadway Junction. The easier (and cheaper) course of action would probably be to take the subway line up and leave the freight line in the tunnel. But the quieter option would be to use the tunnel and bore a transfer connection at Broadway Junction.
7/16/2008 05:39 PM
Looking south from over the East NY tunnel portal. Note the abandoned platform on the left
Just to the northeast of the portal to the East New York tunnel is a large abandoned red brick building. LIRR Substation 2 in East New York was one of the five substations built as part of the LIRR's first electrification project around 1905. The substation contained two or three rotary converters for converting 12,000-volt AC that came through from the power house to the 600 volt DC needed for the third rail. It also contained associated transformers, cooling blowers and busses. This was the first application of electricity for surface railroads in the eastern United States. The Hammel substation even contained a massive battery composed of of 300 large chemical tanks that had a 3,200 amp-hour rating and could run the Rockaway Beach Division from Howard for several hours in an emergency. The NY times has a reprint of a nice article on the electrification from 1905 HERE
I haven't been able to find any information online as to when the station was decommissioned or if there are any plans circulating for its demolition or renovation. It obviously has been vacant for some time, likely outmoded by the development of solid state rectifiers that don't need such a massive support facility.
The LIRR has a line on Atlantic Avenue that was originally built in 1836 by the Brooklyn & Jamaica Railroad Company and leased to the LIRR. The line ran between Jamaica and a terminal on the East River, although it was cut back to its present terminus at Flatbush Avenue in the 1870s after resolution of issues regarding the use of steam locomotives within the city of Brooklyn.
The East New York LIRR station is right above the East New York tunnel and if the tunnel platform were reactivated, transfer between the lines would be a fairly simple walk up/down a flight of stairs and across a street.
7/16/2008 05:38 PM
The BMT Canarsie Line, passing over the LIRR, passing over New York Avenue, passing over the East New York tunnel
This chaotic melange of tracks was originally the point where the Brodway and Fulton Elevated lines met in 1884 (remnants are the J/Z trains). The BMT Canarsie line (L Train) joined the fray in 1928 and the subterranean IND Fulton Street Line (A/C trains) in 1946. Adding to the mess is a the East New York Subway Yard just to the east, although the trolly lines that ran on the streets below are now replaced by buses. The complex has had numerous modifications and renovations over the years, sprinkling in some abandoned sections and vestigial ornamentation.
Underneath all this somewhere is the Bay Ridge Line East New York Tunnel. There was not a station here during the line's passenger days and I'm not sure if there is any kind of connection (or room for platforms) between the IND tunnel and the Bay Ridge Line tunnel. The Circumferential Line and the Canarsie BMT would probably be sharing tracks here. If the line would keep the high BMT platform, limited modifications would be needed. If they were both placed in the Bay Ridge Line tunnel, providing platforms and a transfer corridor would likely be a major task.
Bushwich Avenue Station
The Bay Ridge Line had a station somewhere around here on Bushwich Avenue that was closed in 1915 when the East New York Tunnel put the line under Bushwick Avenue. The Bushwich Avenue station had replaced a station at Central Avenue that was only open for a year in 1883.
After using the high platform at Broadway Junction, the BMT Canarsie Line (L train) makes a steep descent into a tunnel under Bushwick Avenue, with a subterranean station just north of Bushwick Avenue on Aberdeen Street, only a few hundred feet before both the Canarsie Line and the Bay Ridge Line emerge from their tunnel. The lines run parallel and fairly close to each other under the Rudd Playground at this point and the land directly over the tunnels is an undeveloped wooded area until the tracks emerge from the tunnel to the northwest.
If the Circumferential Line and the Canarsie Line are sharing tracks from the south and choose to use the existing high platform at Broadway Junction, there would be no need for any significant changes here. However, if they use the East New York tunnel, new platforms and, likely, excavation would be needed unless there's a way to crossover between the Bay Ridge Line tunnel and Canarsie Line tunnel prior to the Bushwick Avenue station.