Tracking the Light looks at The El.

Way back in the day, before third rail electrification was the rule, compact steam locomotives worked trains on New York’s elevated railways.

Most of the original Els are long gone, and many of today’s elevated structures spanning streets in The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens stem from the electrified era.

Nearly forgotten are the Manhattan Els, all of which were torn down decades ago.

Old postcards survive that show the way things were.

Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.
Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.
Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.
Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.

In June, I made these photographs of the elevated structure that survives above the streets at Broadway and Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn. I find it astounding that when Els were more common, they were decried as ‘ugly.’ Simply bizarre.


When I was a kid these turnstiles scared me. I though for sure I’ll be diced to pieces. Fujifilm X-T1 digital photograph.






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2 comments on “Tracking the Light looks at The El.

  1. Sean on said:

    You have done a wonderful job of photographing the els and the subways of New York City in just one day of work. You should definitely do some more of this work and go back down to New York and make more images. It is definitely very much fun !

  2. David Nisbet on said:

    New York topic very interesting. Must go again before becoming too decrepit!

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