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Franklin Avenue Shuttle




North refers to trains to Franklin Avenue/ Fulton Street and south refers to trains to prospect Park

For photos see www.nycsubway.org

This line was the original Brighton/ Fulton Line and from Park Row in Manhattan (see old M page) to Fulton and Franklin in Brooklyn and then via today’s shuttle to Prospect park and then to Coney Island via today’s Brighton Line. After Hylan built his Fulton street subway the BMT Fulton El was demolished and the section from Franklin Avenue to Prospect Park became the Shuttle. Time took its toll on the line and NYCT wanted to demolish this line and replace it with bus service. The locals objected and the line was saved and totally rebuilt

The shuttle's route is 1.8 miles, and covers 4 stations.  It is among the last surviving parts of the Fulton el. extension and recently went through a 15 month, $84 million makeover.  From, 7/1998 to 10/1999, the shuttle was completely rebuilt from scratch, replacing one of the biggest eyesores of the entire NYCT system.  Part of the reconstruction allowed a new free transfer to the IRT Franklin Ave station, ADA accessibility at all stations except for Botanic Garden and other service enhancements.  We start at Franklin Ave and work our way down to Prospect Park station. The shuttle operates 24 hours a day/7 days a week and uses fixed R68 2-car trains, the car numbers are assigned 2916-2924 from Coney Island Yard. Since there are 8 cars, 4 trains are assigned. Of the 4 trains, 2 are in active revenue service from 6:30 AM to 10:50 PM daily, 1 train sits inside or south of Prospect Park as a spare train, and the 4th is located inside Coney Yard as another spare. From 10:50 PM to 6:30 AM, one of the 2 trains is taken out of service and is parked south of Prospect Park station while the other train continues to operate under 15-20 minute headways.





Franklin Avenue is discussed on the complexes page 




Dean Street The station had formerly 2 side platforms and a street level mezzanine. It was closed permanently after the renovation . According to NYCT 1997 fare registrations, this station was used by only 98 customers each weekday, the lowest in the entire system. 





Park Place (mid-block between Franklin and Classon Ave, with exits at Park Place and Prospect Place.)  This ADA compliant platform is the only station where trains operate in both directions due to permanent single tracking.  Originally an island platform with 2 tracks, the new side platform permitted a stationhouse next to the platform, with a north ADA ramp to Prospect Place, and is closest to Interfaith Hospital.  The Park Place entrance to the south has steps only and contains artwork along the iron railings at the Park Place entrance:  "Units of the Free" by Isha Shabaka (1999) blends her designs with the wrought iron railings to produce 3 images; iron diamonds, diagonals and a mask. The stationhouse’s exterior clearly has the retro BRT look of other stationhouses along the Sea Beach Line, as well as Parkside and Church Aves on the Brighton Line. Directly to the north of the station are remains of a high utility pole across Prospect Place, this was the original power source before 3rd rail was installed on this line 

Leaving Park Place, the line becomes 2 tracks.  We drop down into the Eastern Parkway tunnel,  one of the oldest tunnels in the NYCT system, and the oldest active tunnel  (the 9th Ave el/Polo Grounds shuttle had a tunnel off the Major Deegan Expressway that is older than the Eastern Parkway tunnel.)





Botanic Garden is discussed on the complexes page

 As we travel from Botanic Garden to our southern terminal, Prospect Park; we are reminded of 2 items, the old Consumers Park station and the Malbone Street wreck. The old Consumers Park station was located on Montgomery Street, 1 block to the north of the infamous "Dead Man’s Curve" where the Malbone Street wreck took place on 11/1/1918. The station was named after the old Consumers Park brewery building to the east of the shuttle’s ROW, it was a flag stop. This means the train only stopped (flagged) at this station upon advance customer request inside the train or if anyone was standing on the platform. Just south of the abandoned station lies Dead Man’s Curve and the site of the system’s worst train accident. On 11/1/1918, during the first strike against Brooklyn Rapid Transit, (the precursor to today’s BMT lines) an inexperienced motorman named Anthony Lewis (ironically his last name was also known as Luciano or the reference to Satan), was on the controls of a 5 car BMT wooden gate car set from Park Row to Coney Island during the evening rush. He was one of the operator replacements during the operator’s strike, and the problem was further exacerbated by his lack of knowledge along this line. After leaving Park Place station in Brooklyn, he was taking the train at full speed. Mr. Luciano went so fast, that he skipped Consumers Park station and eventually slammed into a curve inside the tunnel just north of Prospect Park station. The curve is similar in design to the "horseshoe" curve on the IRT 5 line just south of 149th Street/Grand Concourse station and is regulated at less than 10 MPH. BRT gate cars #80, 100, 725, 726, and 1064 were literally destroyed by the impact of the steel tunnel at the curve, as 97 people died and over 100 more were injured, many of them seriously. The accident has so many repercussions; massive legal tort claims against the BRT forced them into bankruptcy; which later was reorganized as the BMT in 1923. The street, Malbone Street, was renamed into today’s Empire Boulevard, however, a ½ block section off of New York Ave still remains. The design of new cars required steel components, not wooden components (The D-Type Triplex units were introduced in 1923-24 with the steel materials), and Mr. Luciano, as well as other indicted BRT bosses, were acquitted of all the manslaughter indictments against them a year after the accident. At the time of the accident, there was no diverging switch outside the tunnel, today a diverging switch to the opposite track is used where all shuttle trains use the Manhattan-bound platform (and avoid the tragic Coney Island bound side where the accident took place.). We enter the tunnel and curve left into Prospect Park station.





Prospect Park (Midpoint between Flatbush and Ocean Avenues and south of Lincoln Road.) Opened 8/1/1920: This station is fully ADA accessible and features a transfer to the Franklin Ave Shuttle line. It is the first open-cut station on the Brighton line as the north end is tunneled, while the center and south ends are open-cut design. Full time booth is at south side of Lincoln Road and features new elevators installed in 2002 (the renovation of this station was done 8 years before the elevator installations). Part-time booth is on Flatbush Ave and across from Empire Blvd. The entrance at this side features mosaics of animal drawings, in recognition of the nearby Prospect Park Zoo. The emergency exit opposite the only staircase is actually a set of closed staircases that were open prior to the 1994 renovation. Prior to the station upgrade to ADA access, the Full time and Part time booths were switched, Full time side was at Empire/Flatbush and Part time side was at Lincoln. This change was required because the elevators were being installed at Lincoln Road and ADA regulations mandated 24/7 access at this entrance. Artwork "Brighton Clay Re-Leaf #1 and #2 (#3 is at Parkside Ave mezzanine) features ceramic mosaics and friezes of different colored "clay" leaves to commemorate the park leaves of the same name nearby. Although the station has 4 tracks on 2 island platforms, only 3 of the 4 tracks are in active revenue use. The "express" tracks are for B and Q trains; the Shuttle uses 2 car sets and operates near the north end of the Manhattan-bound local wall track. The Coney-Island bound wall track is only used for spare shuttle trainsets laying up there. North of this track lies the worst NYC subway disaster and is called the Malbone Street disaster. At that time, the Brighton line ran alongside the shuttle route toward the Fulton Street El. There used to be a tower at the far south end of the Manhattan bound platform, express side (underneath Lincoln Road), this tower was closed and converted to a RTO crew facility when the Brighton Line’s signal system was replaced from Atlantic Ave to Kings Highway in 1990.



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 Last revised 01/17/13

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