Wednesday, January 8, 2014
#347 4th Ave Overpass over South Brooklyn Railway
4th Ave Overpass over South Brooklyn Railway
Sunset Park, Brooklyn
January 8th, 2014, Keith Nelson, Rob Hickman
The South Brooklyn Railway (reporting mark SBK) is a railroad in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It continues to operate today as a subsidiary of New York City Transit Authority. Its original main line ran parallel to 38th Street from the Upper New York Bay to McDonald Avenue, and south on McDonald Avenue to the Coney Island Yards, mostly underneath the ex-Culver Shuttle and IND Culver Line of the New York City Subway.
The line still exists in parts. The section between the BMT West End Line's Ninth Avenue station and its interchange yard at Second Avenue and 39th Street is still open. The section under the Culver El has been paved over.
The South Brooklyn Railroad and Terminal Company was incorporated September 30, 1887 to build from the end of the Brooklyn, Bath and West End Railroad (West End Line) at 38th Street and 9th Avenue northwest to the foot of 38th Street, and was leased to the BB&WE, allowing BB&WE trains to run to the 39th Street Ferry. The Prospect Park and South Brooklyn Railroad connected the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad (Culver Line) to the South Brooklyn Railroad in 1890. The company was reorganized as the South Brooklyn Railroad on January 13, 1900. The South Brooklyn Railway was leased to the Brooklyn Heights Railroad on July 1, 1903, but on February 28, 1907 it began operating independently, and leased the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad, which included the Prospect Park and South Brooklyn Railroad, giving it a line to Coney Island.
The South Brooklyn Railway, along with the other non-rapid transit properties of the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation, was transferred to the New York City Board of Transportation on June 1, 1940; operations were transferred to the New York City Transit Authority on June 15, 1953.
The South Brooklyn Railway provides one of only two track connections between the New York City Subway and the rest of the American rail network. During the 1988 and 1999 reconstruction of the subway tracks on the Williamsburg Bridge, this connection allowed trains from the J/Z, L and M services, which were isolated during that period, to travel to Coney Island Yard for major work. At the other mainline rail connection at the Linden Shops, subway trains traveled via the Bay Ridge Branch of the Long Island Rail Road, to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. From there, the New York Cross Harbor Railroad brought the cars up to the interchange yard at Second Avenue, where the South Brooklyn Railway took them to Coney Island Yard via the BMT West End Line.
The South Brooklyn Railway has two locomotives, N1 and N2, a pair of GE 47T Diesels. They can also be seen on the subway when not needed for the SBK.
As of May 2012, the interchange with New York New Jersey Rail, LLC at the Second Avenue Yard has been refurbished. A new ramp was installed at the 38th Street Yard at Fourth Avenue to allow receipt of new R156 locomotives and other subway rolling stock that are delivered on flat cars.