Brooklyn Historic Railway Association

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Cars under wire on Red Hook

The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association's (BHRA) shop, trolley barn and offices are located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York, on the historic Beard Street Piers (circa 1870). BHRA had a fleet of 16 trolleys (15 PCC trolleys and a leased 1897 trolley car from Oslo, Norway).

The BHRA's origin began with the rediscovery of the Cobble Hill Tunnel by Bob Diamond in 1980. BHRA was formed in 1982 to restore the historic tunnel. The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel (constructed in 1844) is the world's oldest subway tunnel. BHRA successfully filed and received designation for the tunnel on the National Register of Historic Places.

Restoration of one of Brooklyn's trolley/light rail routes, in Red Hook, was hampered due to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) withdrawing its support from the project. Construction was stopped on a 7-block extension to the line due to the removal and scrapping of rails, ties, and other items of railroad equipment by the DOT, which were stored on land that was slated for the Fairway supermarket project.

As of June 30, 2003, BHRA was ordered to remove and fill in all trolley tracks on public streets by the DOT. The DOT revoked consent for the project to proceed or exist on city streets. Shortly thereafter, BHRA completely ceased operation. Most of the PCC trolleys were removed from Brooklyn. Only the trolleys that are on the Beard Street Pier itself remain. Plans call for moving the remaining four trolleys to the Atlantic Avenue tunnel, as soon as it becomes practical.

The BHRA ran organized tours of the Cobble Hill Tunnel from time to time, but all tours are currently suspended.

In 2014, the New York Times published an article that sparked renewed interest in the light rail line.[1]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooklyn to Queens, but not by Subway By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, NYTimes 2014 April 21

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