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.
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.