ROCKAWAY PARKWAY STATION, Canarsie

by Kevin Walsh

This is the end of the line for the L train in Canarsie. It’s anchored by Armando Piazza, just out of the picture on the left. When I was a teenager and living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Canarsie, a far-flung outpost for many, was easily reachable by bicycle: all I needed to do was go east, through Bensonhurst, Midwood, and East Flatbush and so I found myself in Canarsie relatively frequently. I woudl primarily use Glenwood Road or Flatlands Avenue. This station is on Rockaway Parkway just north of Glenwood.

It’s always been an intermodal station. Buses en route to distant Brooklyn locales can be boarded here, and until the 1940s this was also a trolley station; buses use the old yards and rights of way now. A trolley traveled in a right of way along East 96th Street to Jamaica Bay, where for many years there was an amusement park. Even today, abandoned iron trolley poles can be seen; Coney Island lost its collection of trolley remnants a few years ago.

Originally, the Canarsie Line was a steam railroad that branched off the Long Island RR at Atlantic Avenue. It was placed on an elevated trestle in 1906, but a grade crossing remained at East 105th until 1973. From 1924-1928, the BMT built a subway under East 14th Street, traveling through Williamsburg and Bushwick to connect the original Canarsie Line with Manhattan. It was extended west to 8th Avenue in 1931.

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

3/10/21

7 comments

Andy March 12, 2021 - 2:30 pm

May I take the liberty of adding some dates this posting?
Originally, the 19th century Canarsie Line steam railroad extended all the way to Jamaica Bay. The steam line was electrified in 1906 and continued to operate through service to the Bay shoreline until 1920, when the elevated trains were cut back to the current Rockaway Parkway station. The trolley shuttle on private right-of-way to Jamaica Bay began then, and shifted to Rockaway Parkway in 1942. In 1951 buses (B-42, still today’s route) replaced the trolleys. Because of the legacy of the old through train service, B-42 buses have their own driveway into the station proper so that passengers can bypass the turnstiles and board the trains without an extra swipe.
Also, please note that the 8th Ave. L train station in Manhattan opened in 1931, as one of the last Dual Contracts lines opened.
Source is http://www.nycsubway.org. Link to Canarsie Line page: https://www.nycsubway.org/wiki/BMT_Canarsie_Line

Reply
Frank Maio March 14, 2021 - 3:43 pm

I grew up in the Bronx. If someone said they were going on a long trip, people would say Are you going to Canarsie? because that was considered
so far away as to be incomprehensible.

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Andy March 15, 2021 - 10:19 pm

I’m sure the moon was considered closer.

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Anonymous April 7, 2021 - 6:48 am

I did it every day for a 3 months course at the Botanical Garden up there. Back and Forth, something like 4 hrs each day.

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Andy March 15, 2021 - 10:21 pm

Why was it pulled back from going all the way to the shoreline?

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Alan March 16, 2021 - 10:02 am

When the family moved from East Flatbush to “the bottom of Canarsie,” i.e. almost to the Shore Pkwy) in 1968, I thought I was moving to the ends of the earth. But it turned out to be great as I got to explore the parkway on the walking path. I would even ride my bicycle along the path.

The old Ann Sothern TV show “Private Secretary” referenced Canarsie. I was surprised – usually when Brooklyn is referenced, they are talking about Flatbush.

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Brian Cohen March 25, 2021 - 9:26 pm

Funny…

…I used to ride my bicycle from Canarsie to Bay Ridge when I was a teenager.

Reply

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