Brooklyn Elevated Railway Company - 1880 ( Brooklyn Bridge Railway )

Brooklyn Elevated Railway Company - 1880 ( Brooklyn Bridge Railway )

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Brooklyn Elevated Railway Company - 1880 ( Brooklyn Bridge Railway )

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Beautifully engraved historic certificate from the Brooklyn Elevated Railway Company issued in 1880. This historic document has an ornate border around it. This item is hand signed by the Company's President ( W. Fontaine Bruff ) and Secretary ( Walter S. Wilson ) and is over 123 years old. the certificate was issued to W. Fontaine Bruff and endorsed by him on the back. The certificate is in EF+ condition and is attached to the original ledger tab which has been folded behind the certificate and is not shown in the scan. The Brooklyn Elevated Railroad was running trains over the Brooklyn Bridge. Below is an article from the Engineering News issued on October 17, 1895 Whatever may be the possibilities of train service on the Brooklyn Bridge when the new terminals are fully completed and the gauntleted tracks are laid, the experience already accumulated goes to show that the terminal stations will be found objectionable and unsatisfactory in many ways, and unable to properly provide for the immense crowds which use the bridge railway. The New York station is at present in an unfinished and chaotic state, but even now some serious objections in the proposed permanent arrangement are evident, chief among which is the inconvenience resulting from raising the grade of the platforms so much above that of the old station and above that of the elevated railway station. Formerly there were about 36 steps to climb from Park Row to the bridge station platform, but now this is increased to 56 (unless persons walk nearly the full length of the station to a shorter stairway). This increase is a serious matter to many persons who use the bridge. The bridge track formerly entered the station on a down grade, but the change in level above referred to is such that it now enters on an up grade with reverse curves, and this arrangement seems almost certain to cause trouble with trains stopped for any reason on the approach near the foot of the grade in wet or slippery weather. The reverse curves prove very trying to the equilibrium of passengers standing in the cars. Of course, the answer made to this is that with trains running at 45 seconds headway, there will be seating capacity for all passengers—a claim, however, which is still to be proved. There is also a dangerously wide space between the station platform and car platform, made worse by the beveling off of the edge of the platform; but this may, perhaps, be changed. The new Brooklyn station has been in use for a few weeks, and has developed a very faulty arrangement and entire inadequacy of the stairways. The stairways from the platform to the main floor of the station (on the street level below) are in the form of an X, with the result that there is confusion at the landing at the intersection, as some persons wish to continue straight on down, while others wish to turn and go down the other leg of the X. These stairs again are much too narrow, and in the busy hours, when a crowd is massed about the head of the stairs, there is a dangerously narrow margin between the crowd and the edge of the platform. At each end of the platform will be stairways up to the platforms of the Brooklyn Elevated R. R. Between the two openings of the X stairways leading down from the bridge platform are two stairways leading up to the overhead gallery connecting with all the elevated railway stations, and this concentrates the bulk of the crowd from both ends of the train at the middle of the platform, and persons from the head or rear of the train who wish to ascend the stairways have to meet and combat with the crowd at the head of the descending stairways. The crush is even worse than at the old station, and will probably be still worse when trains are discharging passengers on both sides of the platform at intervals of 45 seconds. In all provision for handling crowds, it should be a fundamental principle to keep the crowd moving in one direction, and to make any branching avenues diverge at the least angle possible. This was practically the case at the old Brooklyn station (except that the head of the train was beyond one of the branching avenues), the main crowd moving straight down the platform; one-half of the width of the end of which had steps to the street and the other half continued on to one of the elevated railway stations, while there were two avenues branching off at right angles, and affording access to the street and to another elevated railway. In the new station, however, the arrangements are such as to set up bewildering and conflicting currents in the crowd, with the additional danger of an island platform. While the Brooklyn station has no great architectural pretensions, it is in itself a simple and pleasing structure. Its appearance, however, is entirely spoiled by the heterogeneous arrangement of the ugliest and baldest of galleries and stairways, which connect the bridge station with the shanty station of the Kings County Elevated R. R., and are supported by a motley mixture of columns, plate girders and trusses. The elevated station and its connecting galleries are built over the open space (or so called "plaza," which was to be such an attractive feature of the new terminal), between Fulton St. and the bridge station, making a dark and gloomy spot upon which, in wet weather, fall the discolored drippings from the structure. The Brooklyn Elevated R. R. has used a solid floor on its part of the work, and it might have been supposed that the other elevated road would have been required to put in a solid and watertight floor, thus limiting the droppings to the edges of the structure, but instead of this there is an open floor, which is practically as dark as a solid floor, but gives the company no concern as to drainage. Even the small remaining clear space of this "plaza" will probably be invaded by a two and four-track belt for the electric surface cars, and by platforms for these cars. Taken altogether, the Brooklyn station, with its complicated arrangement of stairways, galleries, platforms, etc., offers excellent opportunities for strangers

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