A final elevated train shines on Ninth Avenue

You can almost hear this elevated train grinding against the tracks as it makes its way up (or down?) Ninth Avenue.

The Ninth Avenue El (which traveled along Greenwich Street to Ninth Avenue and then to Columbus Avenue) was the city’s first elevated railroad, ferrying passengers since 1868.

Andreas Feininger captured the solitary steel beauty of the tracks as they glisten under the sun in this photo in 1940, the year the line shut down.

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5 Responses to “A final elevated train shines on Ninth Avenue”

  1. Ricky Says:

    Why only 3 cars long?

    • countrypaul Says:

      Trains were shorter then, especially in non-rush hours. City Hall station, for example, is only 5 car lengths.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    My guess is that the regular passenger cars had already ceased to function, and maybe this was some kind of inspection train?

  3. William Krause Says:

    Judging by the shadows cast by people & objects, the southbound train was on the one express track. That track direction changed when rush hours changed. Three cars probably sufficed for the traffic. The new IND 8th Avenue subway ran just one block away.

  4. Two men, an el train, and a produce market in a 1945 mystery painting | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Turns out at Ninth Avenue and 14th Street (below, in 1940), the el does make a curve similar to the curve in the painting. Problem is, the Ninth Avenue el was dismantled in 1940. […]

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