Scientific American—October 19, 1895

Nothing shows more impressively the rapid growth of the metropolis than the continual and imperative demands for means of transportation for the hundreds of thousands of people whose business is located in New York and whose homes are in the adjacent towns. Brooklyn is the greatest of these cities of residence, and, although means have been multiplied for transporting the people, still the demand for greater facilities increases.

Since the opening of the Bridge Railway on September 24, 1883, the railway has had a carrying capacity of over 200,000 passengers per day, the largest number for one day being 223,625, which was October 12, 1892. Since the opening of the railway there have been numerous alterations and improvements to facilitate the handling of passengers to the fullest extent under the existing system. In ten years the facilities proved totally inadequate and greater capacity being imperatively demanded, the present new system of operation was devised and the construction of the terminal stations, which are now partly finished, was begun.

The Brooklyn station, although still incomplete, is farther advanced than that at the New York end.

We give an engraving of the interior of the New York terminal station as it will be when finished, the view being taken from the City Hall or western end of the building. The structures at the opposite ends of the bridge are practically alike, except that the Brooklyn station is constructed to accommodate elevated railroads at either end and at, the side, and is provided with galleries to permit of passing over the cars and tracks giving access to the passages which lead to the elevated railroad platforms. The bridge station of the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad is integral with the bridge station, and is built by the bridge and leased by the elevated railroad. The Kings County Elevated Railroad is provided with structures of its own outside of the bridge station.

The system of tracks, by means of which the capacity of the bridge railway is to be practically doubled, is illustrated in the view of the New York station. The tracks on opposite sides of the bridge are double, each being composed of two pairs of rails, one pair of rails on one side of the bridge leading to the right of one platform, the other pair of rails leading to the right of the other platform. The rails of the track on the other side of the bridge are arranged in a similar way, one pair leading to the left of one platform, the other leading to the left of the other platform. Arranged in this way, each train comes in on a track which is contiguous to the platform, there being no switching.

It will thus be seen that the movements of the train are positive and that there can be no mishap due to misplaced switches. The only switches used are those employed for shifting the empty trains from the incoming tracks to the outgoing tracks. These switches are to be operated by a man in the elevated gallery shown in the left of the illustration. At present steam locomotives are employed in the switching, but an experiment looking to the application of electric locomotives for this purpose is soon to be tried, it being desirous to abolish the smoke and noise of the steam. At present the trains are operated under a headway of one and a half minutes; under the new system the headway is to be cut down to forty-five seconds. It has been observed that the platform is cleared of passengers in thirty seconds on an average, and it is believed that when the new system is in complete working order, with the number of trains doubled, the congestion at the stations will be completely obviated and the capacity of the stations will be ample for many years to come.

The City Hall station at the New York end will cover the site of the old station and extend beyond it, the railway having been changed already so far as possible, to adapt it to the new system. This station is rectangular, 521 feet long and 87 feet 6 inches wide. There will be two floors. On the upper floor will be the tracks and two elevated platforms, as shown in the illustration, and there will be an intermediate floor on which will be located the toilet rooms and the ticket sellers' boxes. There will be six stairways from the first floor to the platforms, and communication with Rose and William Streets by means of stairways and elevators.

The Brooklyn terminal station, which is already well along toward completion, is 357 feet in length and 90 feet wide. The arrangement of platforms and stairways is substantially the same as that of the New York station.

In the construction of the Brooklyn station 420,000 pounds of cast iron have been used and 3,400,000 pounds of steel. The work of erecting these structures at the ends of the bridge has been carried on without serious interruption of traffic, the old buildings having been torn down and the new ones built up while the thousands of passengers have surged back and forth as usual.

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