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The IRT Ninth Avenue Line, often called the Ninth Avenue Elevated, was the first elevated railway in New York City, first opened in 1868 as the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway, a cable-hauled line. The last section in use, over the Harlem River, was known as the Polo Grounds Shuttle, and was closed in 1958.


The West Side and Yonkers Patent RailwayEdit

The West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway was built by Charles T. Harvey and ran from July 1, 1868 to 1870. The line used multiple one-mile-long cable loops, driven by steam engines in cellars of buildings adjacent to the track. Each loop was started when a car neared them and stopped when it had passed. The cables were equipped with collars that the car connected to with "claws". As the claws could not be "slipped" the car was jerked each time it moved to the next cable. The system proved cumbersome, broke down several times and eventually the company ran out of money and the system was abandoned. The new owners replaced the cable cars with steam locomotives.

Station listingEdit

Station Tracks Opening date Transfers & Notes
South Ferry all various ferries (see South Ferry)
Battery Place all
split from IRT Sixth Avenue Line
Rector Street local
Cortlandt Street all
Barclay Street local
Warren Street all
Franklin Street local
Desbrosses Street all
Houston Street local
Christopher Street all
14th Street all
23rd Street local
30th Street local
34th Street all
42nd Street local
50th Street local
merged with branch of IRT Sixth Avenue Line
59th Street local
66th Street all
72nd Street local
81st Street local
93rd Street local
104th Street local
110th Street local
116th Street all
125th Street all
130th Street local
135th Street local
140th Street local
145th Street all
155th Street all
tracks split to the 159th Street Yard
Sedgwick Avenue all July 1, 1918?
Anderson Avenue all July 1, 1918
merged with IRT Jerome Avenue Line between 161st Street and 167th Street

External linksEdit


  • Open New Subway to Regular Traffic, New York Times July 2, 1918 page 11

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