BMT ELEVATED CARS

Before the subways were built in Brooklyn, there were elevated lines that covered much of the borough from Downtown to Coney Island, Canarsie, and out to the Queens line.

Many of the cars began as trailers that were pulled by steam engines. Beginning about 1900, the lines were electrified. By 1920 much of the subway had been completed. Some of the subway lines incorporated the elevated lines or were built over the lines that operated on the surface.

Many of the cars had motors and controls added, while others remianed trailers. Later some cars had the end gates and platforms enclosed to modernize the cars. These cars were permanently coupled into triples (M-T-M) or pairs (M-T).


Link to all of the BMT pre-WWII fleet, including the elevated cars, from the New York Subways Resources Web pages.


CAR NUMBERS COUNT BUILDER YEAR OWNER RR MOTOR/TRAILER SEATING NOTES
1-51 51 Pullman 1884 Brooklyn Elevated Trailer Manhattan Cars30, 35-44 had cross seats
52-132 81 Gilbert & Bush 1887 Union Elevated Trailer Cross Cars 57, 62,70-132 had Longitudinal seats
133-137 5 Pullman 1891 Brooklyn Elevated Trailer Manhattan  
138-190 53 Osgood-Bradley 1893 Brooklyn Elevated Trailer Manhattan  
191-256 66 Pullman 1888-9 Seaside and Brooklyn Bridge Trailer Manhattan  
257-271 15 Harlan & Harlingsworth 1893 Kings County Trailer Cross  
600-601 2 Gilbert & Bush 1887 Union Elevated Motor Longitudinal Center door added
602-614 13 Pullman 1887 Brooklyn Elevated Motor Manhattan  
615-619 5 Osgood-Bradley 1887 Seaside and Brooklyn Bridge Motor Manhattan  
620-627 8 Pullman 1898 Brooklyn Elevated Motor Longitudinal Center door added
628-632 5 Brill 1900 Brooklyn Union Motor Cross was 400-411
633-682 50 Jewett 1901 Brooklyn Union Motor Manhattan was 450-459
683 1 Gilbert & Bush 1887 Union Elevated Motor Longitudinal  
684 1 Gilbert & Bush 1887 Union Elevated Motor Longitudinal became 1261
695 1 Pullman 1884 Brooklyn Elevated Motor   Work Car
696-699 4 Pullman 1898 Seaview Motor Longitudinal was 432-435
700-758 59 Pullman 1888 Kings County Motor Longitudinal Center door added
759-760 2 Glibert & Bush 1887 Union Elevated Motor Longitudinal Center door added
was 850 & 852
800-832 33 Pullman 1884 Brooklyn Elevated Motor Longitudinal Center door
817 rebuilt in 1909, renumbered 1282 in 1930
833-858 26 Gilbert & Bush 1887 Union Elevated Motor Longitudinal Center door added
859 1 Ossgood-Bradley 1893 Seaside and Brooklyn Bridge Motor Longitudinal Center door added
900-935 36 Wason 1898 Kings County Motor Longitudinal was 500-540 center door added
936 1 Pullman 1888 Kings County Motor Longitudinal was 541
937-940 4 Brill 1888 Kings County Motor Cross was 628-632
988-997 10 Work cars converted from various cars
998 1 Pressed Steel 1908 Transit Development Motor Manhattan Steel car
Center door added
999 1 Bklyn Heights 1905 Transit Development Motor   Instruction car
1000-1119 120 Stephenson 1902 Transit Development Motor Cross Convertible
1200-1234 35 Osgood-Bradley 1903 Transit Development Motor Manhattan  
1235-1259 25 Brill 1903 Transit Development Motor Manhattan  
1260-1299 40 Laconia 1903 Transit Development Motor Manhattan  
1300-1349 50 Cincinnati 1905 Transit Development Motor Cross Convertible
1350-1374 25 Jewett 1905 Transit Development Motor Cross Convertible
1375-1399 25 Laconia 1905 Transit Development Motor Cross Convertible
1362 & 1349-Branford
1365 - St.Louis Museum
1400-1449 50 Jewett 1907 Transit Development Motor Manhattan  
1450-1499 50 Laconia 1907 Transit Development Motor Manhattan  
1500-1501 2 BMT 1923 NY Rapid Transit M-T-M Manhattan  
1502-1526 25 BMT 1925 NY Rapid Transit M-T-M Manhattan C types see separate table
1600-1629 30 BMT 1939 NY Rapid Transit M-T-M Manhattan Q types see separate table
1630-1642 13 BMT 1939 NY Rapid Transit M-T Manhattan QX types see separate table
3200-3225 26 Various 1879-1881 New York & Sea Beach Trailer Bench Open steam coaches converted electric trailers
3226-3233 8 Wason 1892 Brooklyn Bath & West End Trailer Bench
3235 1 Wason 1895 Brooklyn Bath & West End Motor Bench Large open bench
Total 1060            

All gate cars were removed from service April 1958. The Myrtle Ave Elevated was the only remaining line and was then served by the Q types until October 1969.


Gate Car Photos


Types of cars:


C-TYPES

The C-Types were an attempt to modernize the elevated fleet and reduce the number of trainmen needed to operate each train. All of the gate cars required a trainman between each pair of cars. The rearmost would close his gates and pull the bell chord that would ring a bell at the next position. This passing of the bells would continue until the motorman would get the bells, so he'd know that all of the gates were closed and it was safe to proceed. The C-types were gate cars that had the end platforms enclosed and air operated doors installed on the sides of the cars. The doors were mounted outside the car body and presented problems during the winter. The table below shows the original car numbers and the year the unit was completed.

A number units are shown with (1) and (2), other than a new trailer unit, there is no indication of why the change was made.


C Unit #

A Car

B Car

C Car

Year

1500 1496 188 1497 1923
1501 1498 189 1499 1923
1502 1468 176 1469 1925
1503 1478 181 1479 1925
1504 1470 177 1471 1925
1505 1450 166 1471 1925
1506 1485 184 1486 1925
1507 1492 187 1493 1925
1508 1494 190 1495 1925
1509 (1) 1483 183 1484 1925
1509 (2) 1483 146 1484 1925
1510 1462 173 1463 1925
1511 1464 174 1465 1925
1512 1474 179 1475 1925
1513 1456 169 1457 1925
1514 1460 172 1461 1925
1515 1458 170 1459 1925
1516 1472 178 1473 1925
1517 1454 168 1455 1925
1518 1466 175 1467 1925
1519 1480 182 1481 1925
1520 1488 185 1489 1925
1521 (1) 1490 186 1491 1925
1521 (2) 1490 164 1491 1925
1522 1476 180 1477 1925
1523 1422 167 1423 1925
1524 1286 159 1287 1925
1525 1282 157 1283 1925
1526 (1) 1260 146 1261 1925
1526 (2) 1260 183 1261 1925

C-Type Car Photos


Q-TYPES

The BMT had joint service with the IRT on the Flushing and Astoria lines. But regular BMT cars were too wide to operate on either line. All BMT trains from Manhattan terminated in Queensboro Plaza, where passengers would transfer to gate cars to continue the trip. All of the stations had separate fare controls, so when boarding there, passengers had already decided on BMT or IRT.

With the 1939 World's Fair coming, the BMT needed better cars to transport visitors to the fair. The C-types were less than enthusistically received as a first try of modernizing the cars. The Q-Types were the result and the resulting cars were much better. There were 30 triplets M-T-M and 13 QX types M-T constructed. The QX trailers had motorman controls. The cars were numbered like 1600A-1600B-1600C and 1630A-1630B.

By the time the fair closed after the 1940 season, the city had taken over the IRT and BMT lines. Most of the elevated lines in Manhattan and Brooklyn were abandoned making many gate cars unnecessary. The Q-types were transfered to the IRT Third Ave el, the one remaining line in Manhattan. Then in 1956, with the abandonment of Third Ave el, the Q-type returned home to the BMT and ran out their last years on the Myrtle Ave el, relieving the remaining gate cars. The lower part of the Myrtle Ave el was abandoned in 1969, retiring the last wooden cars in NYC.


Q Unit #

A Car

B Car

C Car

1600 1267 1211 1409
1601 1433 1243 1427
1602 1410 1272 1405
1603 1419 1252 1404*
1604 1232 1207 1247
1605 1447 1239 1418
1606 1426 1202 1435
1607 1453 1223 1429
1608 1428 1241 1403
1609 1406 1225 1408
1610 1412 1218 1449
1611 1416 1275 1434
1612 1432 1292 1417§
1613 1424 1263 1401
1614 1425 1216 1442
1615 1278 1269 1436
1617 1421 1242 1441
1618 1248 1266 1277
1619 1413 1251 1437
1620 1438 1224 1439
1621 (I) 1411 Burned Feb 1943  
1621 (II) 1213 1268 1446
1622 1407* 1273* 1265
1623 1255 1250 1259
1624 1295 1274 1258
1625 1297 1230 1234
1626 1262 1280 1296
1627 1293 1257 1294
1628 1289 1284 1291
1629 1298 1236 1299


* - These Q types were rebuilt into gate cars for the Transit Museum.

§ - Gate car 1417 was converted to Q type 1612C. When 1622ABC were rebuilt to gate cars as part of the museum fleet, 1612C (1417), which had been an alcohol sprayer car 30504 (20504), was restored to its 1939 Q type configuration and is in the Transit Museum.

Q-Type Car Photos


QX-TYPES

These cars were paired as a motor and trailer, but the trailer had motorman and conductor controls.

Q Unit #

A Car

B Car

1630 1400 1231
1631 1402 1221
1632 1414 1233
1633 1444 1226
1634 1445 1270
1635 1430 1245
1636 1415 1209
1637 1420 1238
1638 1431 1222
1639 1443 1200
1640 1440 1204
1641 1264 1230
1642 1288 1256

The information on this page was gathered from the following references:
The Brooklyn Elevated - Greller & Watson, NJ Internatioanl Press
the Tracks of New York, Kahn & May, ERA, 1975
Photos from the BMT Archives


See information about Door controls and Cabs on this page.



The information on this page was gathered from the following references:
The Brooklyn Elevated - Greller & Watson, NJ Internatioanl Press
the Tracks of New York, Kahn & May, ERA, 1975
Photos from the BMT Archives

- -


- The JoeKorNer

All photos are from the MTA New York City Transit archives. These GIF files were scanned from offset press prints, thus the quality of the reproduction varies with your monitor and video card capabilities.