Friday, February 27, 2009

3rd Avenue El And The Majestic Hotel, Part 1, 1910

In the hi definition version of this photo at shorpy you can make out the Majestic Hotel on the left
Some comments on that shorpy post about the third rail on elevated lines
Third rail on the Els did not have coverboard like the IRT subway and most later systems. The third rail shoes were located above the rail and bore straight down on it unlike the subway type that pivots off the truck frame. Chicago transit still uses that system.
The original line here from 1878 was two single-track structures over the curb line, leaving most of the street open to the sky. Many old postcards and stereoviews show the structure in that state. This shows the rebuild as a three-track elevated over the middle of the street, which was done in 1914 or 1915.

There is most definitely a third rail there. It's easy to miss because the wooden guard rails block the view of the support chairs. I work around third rail to this day, so I literally HAVE to know how to look for it!

Perhaps you missed it. The 3rd Avenue El was electrified in 1903 when it was leased to the IRT.

No third rail -- so not electrically powered?

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