The Elevated Railways of Manhattan

Second Edition

July 2016
By Eric Oszustowicz
Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc.
8½" x 11" soft cover
372 pages

“The Elevated Railways of Manhattan,” traces the colorful history of New York’s elevated railway system from its earliest steam days until its demise. There are 372-pages of rare photos, many in color, and never-before-seen rosters of incredible detail. A must-have collectible for classic rail enthusiasts and hobbyists alike, the gorgeous El book by Eric Oszustowicz is only $59 plus $6.95 shipping.


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Many New Yorkers rushing through the streets of Manhattan today are completely oblivious to the fact that at one time there was an extensive elevated railway system that traversed most of the island from the Battery through Midtown, Harlem and on into The Bronx and later into Queens. Certain narrow downtown streets, such as Pearl Street, were shrouded in darkness by the elevated structure, even on the sunniest of days.

But without these elevated railways, it would not have been possible for New York City to develop as fast as it did. Development would have been delayed about 25 years until the first subways opened since there was no other way to move the massive crowds through the City. Partially due to the constant expansion of the underground subway lines and to a great extent real estate interests, the elevated lines that ran into southern Manhattan were all torn down from 1938 to 1955.

Although New York has its own unique and extreme dynamism and is one of the great cities of the world, one could only wonder what New York would be like today if one or more of the elevated lines were still standing.


Here is a complete list of changes made in the second edition of The Elevated Railways of Manhattan.

  • Front Cover
  • Added: “Second Edition.”
  • Back Cover
  • Added new UPC Code.
  • Price changed to $59.
  • The line that read “Published in 2014 by the…” changed to “Published by the…” (no date) to make it easier to categorize future editions.
  • Global Edit to Photo Credits
  • “Sprague Library Collection” changed to “ERA Collection” since the Sprague Library was donated to Branford, except our image collection.
  • Page 3
  • Added: “Second Edition.” The line that read “Published in 2014 by the…” changed to “Published by the…” (no date).
  • Page 4 (Credits Page)
  • Added:
  • Headlights
  • January 2013–December 2014
  • Volume 71a, Number 1–24
  • New ISBN number. Removed the name of the printer.
  • Third paragraph changed to:
  • The Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc. was founded on August 15, 1934 by E.J. Quinby. The ERA is a non-profit educational organization consisting of people from all walks of life interested in the history and progress of electric railways.
  • For more information about the ERA, becoming a member or learning about its other publications and activities, visit us online at
  • Page 6 Table of Contents
  • Changed page numbers:
  • 18 Why Ninth Avenue…
  • 20 Addition of…
  • Page 7 Table of Contents
  • Added and changed:
  • 364 Selected Steam Engine Specifications
  • 365 Work Equipment of the IRT Elevated Lines
  • Page 11
  • Second pararaph, first line: changed “320” to “318.”
  • Page 13
  • Top photo caption changed to: “At top, Charlie Akins (elbow out) riding a rapid transit car in Chicago.”
  • Page 14
  • Fourth line of last paragraph, changed “grown’ to “grown to.”
  • Second period removed from end of last paragraph.
  • Page 19
  • Placed top photo from page 19 to the top of “Why Ninth Av?” on page 20. That eliminated a page. We created another page prior to the spreads. The 34th Street photo at the top of the page placed on a separate page after its reference on page 23 of the first edition.
  • Page 23 New Caption
  • A view looking north across East 34th Street prior to the electrification of the 34th Street Branch. The Horse Shoer edifice on the left was located at 235 East 34th Street. The building on the right still exists, although all of the other buildings have since been demolished.
  • Page 29
  • Changed to: “On July 1, 1901, the Suburban line was extended to Pelham Avenue (now known as Fordham Road) with an intermediate at 183rd Street. The 180th Street station would be added years later. A new yard…”
  • Page 56
  • At the end of the train despatchers line, change left bracket “[” to right bracket “]”.
  • Page 57 Caption
  • Add the word “high” to the fourth line: “The high voltage is not carried…”
  • Page 133
  • Then & Now sequence at bottom deleted.
  • Page 138–39
  • Pages 138 and 139 swapped to maintain geographic order.
  • Page 142
  • In the first sentence, “on the left” deleted.
  • Page 146
  • Changed “106th” to “125th” and moved photo to follow the photo on page 149 of the first edition to maintain geographic order.
  • Page 163 Caption
  • Removed location and changed caption to: “A rare color view of gate cars on the Third Avenue Line.”
  • Page 167 Top Left Caption
  • Reference to “following page” removed.
  • Page 178 Top Right Caption
  • In next to last line, “and and” changed to “and.”
  • Page 201
  • “Nereied” changed to “Nereid.”
  • Page 246
  • Changed top line to “Only four elevated cars survive.”
  • Added the following sentence to the caption for Car 782: “After the issuance of the first edition of this publication, it has come to our attention that this car has since been destroyed by forces of nature, so only four cars now survive.”
  • Page 247
  • Changed “west side” to “east side.”
  • Page 328
  • Last text line at the top changed from “could be definitively resolved” to “could not be definitively resolved.”