Brooklyn Boro

Remembering the mysterious, controversial Atlantic Avenue Tunnel and trolley car histories

January 29, 2021 Bob Diamond
A picturesque esplanade runs behind Fairway Market.

Reader Bob Diamond recently went through his collection and shared with the Brooklyn Eagle some 30-plus-year-old videos on the origins of the old Red Hook trolley project.

Ever wonder how railway museums get started, or how railcars are moved around by truck? Well, here it is. Note the old New York Cross Harbor RR tracks (Bush Terminal), and the PCC trolley piggyback on a truck rolling down Atlantic Avenue at Court Street, above the historic circa 1844 Atlantic Avenue subway tunnel.

May 29-31, 1993:  Four vintage streetcars were delivered to a short-lived museum site in Red Hook. Everything was “hand made” on site, an all volunteer operation. Project was funded by federal ISTEA funds and private donations. The project grew successfully for several years, but was swiftly scrapped by a new administration.

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BQX-NYC Light Rail, Circa 1989 – DUMBO Streetcar Project and Historic Atlantic Avenue Tunnel: The idea of a Brooklyn waterfront streetcar line dates way back to the 1980s, and the rediscovery of the historic Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. Note: The price tag back then was estimated at a mere $15 million.


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  1. Robert Diamond

    WOW- did that bring back memories! Does anyone have video footage of our trolleys running in Red Hook during the 1990’s? That’s the one thing our archive is missing. We have plenty of still shots though, which can viewed Here- http://www.brooklynrail.net/proj_railconst.html And Here- http://www.brooklynrail.net/proj_restore.html At the time, the Chair of CB6 videoed one of our PCC’s on a test run during the summer of 2001, but we’ve never seen that footage either.