Unlike the IRT Flushing Line, which celebrated its centennial with some fanfare this year, the IRT Woodlawn Line, which goes above an el up Jerome Avenue most of its route, spent its centennial relatively quietly on June 2, 1917, doing what it has always done (apparently a special Metrocard had been issued). To be fair many subways and els are celebrating centennials in the years between 1915 and 1920, and I imagine there isn’t time to mark all of those anniversaries.

This is from an ambulation I undertook in Tremont, Fordham and Belmont in February 2017, starting at the Burnside Avenue station. Running over hilly territory, Burnside Avenue runs from Sedgwick to Webster Avenues between 179th and 180th Streets, divided into East and West at Jerome Avenue. It was named for Ambrose Burnside, a Civil War general who had a mixed record. He later became Rhode Island governor and later, a senator from the same state.

… Burnside had repeatedly demonstrated that it had been a military tragedy to give him a rank higher than colonel. One reason might have been that, with all his deficiencies, Burnside never had any angles of his own to play; he was a simple, honest, loyal soldier, doing his best even if that best was not very good, never scheming or conniving or backbiting. Also, he was modest; in an army many of whose generals were insufferable prima donnas, Burnside never mistook himself for Napoleon. Physically he was impressive: tall, just a little stout, wearing what was probably the most artistic and awe-inspiring set of whiskers in all that bewhiskered Army. He customarily wore a high, bell-crowned felt hat with the brim turned down and a double-breasted, knee-length frock coat, belted at the waist—a costume which, unfortunately, is apt to strike the modern eye as being very much like that of a beefy city cop of the 1880s.

— Bruce Catton, Mr. Lincoln’s Army
His extravagant set of muttonchop whiskers apparently gave rise to the term “sideburns” to mean thick, bushy hair besides the ears shaved short of an actual beard. In Britain the term is occasionally “sideboards.”
I have always been admiring of that cupola on the building besides the station; so many buildings have lost theirs. 

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


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3 Responses to BURNSIDE AVENUE STATION, Tremont

  1. Bruce Appelbaum says:

    Burnside Avenue is the only express stop (platform for all three tracks) between the northern terminus (Woodlawn) and 149th Street/Grand Concourse. Even though I rode the IRT regularly starting in the 1970s, I cannot ever remember regular express service on this line.

  2. You wrote more about the avenue and the general that the El. The Burnside Ave station is the only elevated express station on the line. The other express station is at 149th St in the subway. The Jerome Ave line and the 9th Ave El connection were built concurrently. The only express trains that ran on the line and stopped at Burnside Ave, were the 9th Ave El trains until 1940. The Polo Grounds Shuttle train initially went to Burnside Ave, but was cut back to the 167th St station.

  3. meesalikeu says:

    Can attest the 4 train goes express quite regularly to Burnside on this line due to constant el track repairs. I spend a lot of time waiting around looking at that striking old building’s cupola.

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