by Kevin Walsh

Lately I’ve started getting enthusiastic about subway and elevated platform lighting. (Yeah, I know no one else is, really.) Why not? They’re lampposts, too. In NYC there’s a plethora of designs, from throwbacks to the early days in the 1910s, to ultramodern bright white LED lamps. Unfortunately it’s tough for me to really get a handle on platform lamps because it means riding a subway line and getting off at each station to get pictures, which is rather inconvenient; so I get shots when I can.

In Woodside, along the #7 Flushing line elevated in the 33rd, 40th, 46th, and Woodside/61st Street stations (skipping 52nd Street) we have what I call Bigloops, which are very heavy iron lamps with full curved apices, much like Bishop Crook lamps of old, but completely unadorned. They have heavy cylindrical glass reflectors that protect yellow sodium lights; thus far, the MTA hasn’t figured out how to convert them to bright white LEDs.

These lamps appeared when the Flushing Line stations along Queens Boulevard were renovated in the 1990s; 61st/Woodside got “the treatment” at about the same time, which left 52nd Street out; it still has its 1950s corrugated windscreens and original 1915 stanchions holding sodium lights.

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



Andy December 12, 2020 - 11:35 pm

I am another person who has always been interested in the designs of elevated platform lighting and street lights. I also find the double Bishop Crooks at 61st-Woodside are very pleasant to look at and aesthetically effective. What’s interesting is that on the IRT #1 Line four of the elevated stations have single-arm lamps similar to the Woodside style, namely 125th, 207th, 231st, and 238th Streets. On the #2 line in The Bronx, similar lamps are used at Jackson Avenue, Freeman Street. Gun Hill Road, and East 241st St. The latter two are double arms similar to Woodside since they are planted on island platforms.

The #4 line has no less than ten stations with the Bishop Crooks – 167th, 170th, Mount Eden Ave., 176th, Burnside Avenue (similar to Woodside with two island platforms and double armed lights), 183rd, Fordham Road, Kingsbridge Road, Mosholu Parkway, and Woodlawn. Strangely, Bedford Park does not use the BCs.

The information above was gleaned from looking at the website I did not examine Brooklyn stations except for the West End and Brighton Lines, which don’t have BCs except for a smaller version at Ocean Parkway.

chris brady December 13, 2020 - 2:52 pm

Very nice,but I fear that the New York Vandals Assoc. will soon roll up their sleeves and get to work on these babies,chop-chop.
A nice,fragile low hanging glass globe is just simply too irresistible a treat to pass up.

Patrick December 13, 2020 - 7:31 pm

I have fond memories of returning from outings in the City with my mom who wanted to malinger on the 61st Street station platform and watch the sunset. I was about 5 and was fascinated to by the changing signals on the LIRR tracks. The three dots that changed from horizontal (stop) to diagonal (slow) to vertical (normal speed). Simple amusement.

Joe Brennan December 15, 2020 - 2:53 pm

“Bedford Park does not use the BCs.” It’s the only one over private right of way. I’m not saying that explains it!


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