Trains, Transit, and Tunnels: Understanding the Bay Ridge Branch and the Interborough Express | Episode 265

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

With the recent release of a feasibility study by the MTA on the “Interborough Express,” a little-known stretch of train tracks is suddenly in the news. The Bay Ridge Branch is a critical link in the freight rail network of New York Harbor and Long Island, carrying goods like construction materials, chemicals, and beer, and connecting with the Hell Gate Bridge and the city’s last cross-harbor rail barge terminal. This proposal would utilize the branch for both freight and commuter rail service, linking with the NYC subway and providing a direct route through southern and eastern Brooklyn and Queens without the need to travel through Manhattan. In this virtual program, we will look at the history of the Bay Ridge Branch, its current use and future potential, and its connection to the long-planned Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel.

>> Continue reading

Guastavino’s New York | Episode 176

PAST PROGRAM | Upcoming Programs | Become a Member

In 1881, Spanish engineer Rafael Guastavino arrived in New York City and unveiled his new technology for building self-supporting vaulted tile ceilings. These ceilings are now iconic elements of many New York landmarks, and the city is home to more than 250 of them, more than any other city in the United States. On this virtual tour, we’ll look at many of the ceilings up close, in both grand public buildings and out-of-the-way places, including in Prospect Park, Grand Central Station, Ellis Island, and the Municipal Building, as we discuss this engineering marvel.

>> Continue reading

Transit at Brooklyn Navy Yard, Past and Present

Former World's Fair shuttle at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1942

Yesterday the Brooklyn Navy Yard announced that they will be rolling out the first autonomous vehicles in New York City, which will provide a self-driving shuttle service inside the Yard’s gates. This exciting announcement inspired us to look back at the history of transit in and around the Yard. Poorly served by mass transit, getting tens of thousands of workers in and out of the Yard has been a 200-year struggle, but recent upgrades, and a willingness to experiment, have vastly improved the Yard’s transit connectivity in recent years.>> Continue reading