Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Queensboro Bridge Trolley Does Not Stop At Roosevelt (Formerly) Welfare Island Anymore - Or Anywhere Else, Here's Why

According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse:

Abandoned Stations by Joseph Brennan explains what happened to the Queensboro Bridge Trolley:
... The very last trolley line in the city, it ran just over a mile and a half from the underground terminal at 2 Ave to a street terminal at Queensborough Plaza. The primary reason it was kept open was the trolley station at the middle of the bridge span over Welfare Island (now Roosevelt Island), which was the only access to the island until a bridge was built from Queens in 1954. The Queensborough Bridge Railway was finally eliminated in 1957. The outboard lanes of the bridge were converted to auto lanes, and the underground terminal was converted to garage space for city vehicles....
NYC Roads adds:
... Two trolley lines were provided on the outer lanes of the lower level. The trolley service, operated by the Queensborough Bridge Railway, went back and forth between stations at each end of the bridge. The trolleys also stopped at two other stops on the bridge: one above Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, the other above Roosevelt Island. From these stations, trolley riders descended a small staircase to a catwalk underneath the roadway, where they entered an "upside down building" (the entrance was on the roof) in which they took elevators to street level. Trolley service ended with the completion of the Roosevelt Island Bridge in 1955. The old elevator buildings were demolished in 1970....
and here's the last Queensboro Bridge Trolley.

Perhaps one day, Roosevelt Island pedestrian access to the Queensboro Bridge will return. Stay tuned for upcoming post with more info.

Local history is so cool.