HOME     PROJECTS     THE TUNNEL     RAIL FLEET     MAPS     GEN. INFO     IN THE NEWS     ABOUT US     LINKS

New York Post
GETTING ON RIGHT TRACK IN B'KLYN

By GERSH KUNTZMAN


November 17, 2003 -- The Dodgers may never return, but the trolleys that gave the team its name could be coming back to the streets of Brooklyn for the first time in more than 40 years.

This stunning news was buried in a presentation made last week by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, which is building a $150 million, 70-acre patch of green along the Brooklyn waterfront.

The park is going to be magnificent - "One of the greatest urban parks in the world!" according to Borough President Marty Markowitz - except for one flaw: It winds 1.3 miles from Atlantic Avenue to Vinegar Hill.

Which is why a trolley would be perfect.

"A trolley would connect the southern and northern ends of the park," said Michael Van Valkenburgh, who will be designing the park. "There's a guy in Red Hook who has trolleys that would be perfect."

That "guy" is none other than Bob Diamond, who has been dreaming, begging, petitioning, agitating and otherwise pining for a trolley that would link Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn.

Diamond sunk more than $400,000 and two decades into his dream - but succeeded in sinking only a half-mile of trolley track.

He has two more miles of track - plus 17 working trolley cars - but they're all about to be junked.

"I'd love to make them available - but I mean, like, immediately," Diamond told The Post. "My landlord has given me until [today] or else he's going to sell my cars for scrap."

You don't have to be an overpaid urban planner to see the appeal of a new Brooklyn trolley.

For one thing, it's historic (the name of the borough's celebrated baseball team is a shortened form of the term "trolley dodgers").

For another, what's the use of spending $150 million on a park - or hundreds of millions more on reviving Downtown Brooklyn - if no one can get around it?

The proposed trolley would run along Furman Street and under the Brooklyn Bridge along Front Street.

With a little more vision - and a little more money - it could be extended to Cadman Plaza, where six subway lines come together.

And you could complete the loop by having the trolley pass through the long-abandoned tunnel under Atlantic Avenue to the river - a tunnel Diamond discovered years ago.

"This is what I've been saying all along!" Diamond said. "But you know how it is: Every person who was ahead of his time has always ended up jumping off a bridge and being recognized after they're dead. I don't want that."

gersh.kuntzman@verizon.net


 


2002-2011 Brooklyn Historic Railway Association, Brooklyn, NY.
All rights reserved.
Web design by Brian Kassel