Station: Prospect Park (Brighton Line)

From nycsubway.org


BMT Brighton Line station at Prospect Park. R-160B 8842/8857 on the Q (left) and R-68 2921 on the Shuttle (right). Photo by Zach Summer, January 2012.

BMT Brighton Line
Manhattan Bridge · Myrtle Avenue
Q.GIF Ditmars Boulevard · Astoria Boulevard-Hoyt Avenue · 30th Avenue-Grand Avenue · Broadway · 36th Avenue-Washington Avenue · 39th Avenue-Beebe Avenue · Queensborough Plaza · Lexington Avenue-59th Street · 5th Avenue · 57th Street · 42nd Street-Times Square · 34th Street-Herald Square · 14th Street-Union Square · Canal Street · DeKalb Avenue · Atlantic Avenue · 7th Avenue · Prospect Park · Parkside Avenue · Church Avenue · Beverley Road · Cortelyou Road · Newkirk Plaza · Avenue H · Avenue J · Avenue M · Kings Highway · Avenue U · Neck Road · Sheepshead Bay · Brighton Beach · Ocean Parkway · West 8th Street · Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue
B.GIF Bedford Park Boulevard ·Kingsbridge Road ·Fordham Road · 182nd-183rd Street · Tremont Avenue · 174th-175th Street · 170th Street · 167th Street · 161st Street-Yankee Stadium · 155th Street-8th Avenue · 145th Street · 135th Street · 125th Street · 116th Street · 110th Street-Cathedral Parkway · 103rd Street · 96th Street · 86th Street · 81st Street-Museum of Natural History · 72nd Street · 59th Street-Columbus Circle · 7th Avenue-53rd Street · 47-50th Street-Rockefeller Center · 42nd Street · 34th Street-Herald Square · West 4th Street-Washington Square · Broadway-Lafayette · Grand Street · DeKalb Avenue · Atlantic Avenue · 7th Avenue · Prospect Park · Church Avenue · Newkirk Plaza · Kings Highway · Sheepshead Bay · Brighton Beach
S.GIF Franklin Avenue · Dean Street · Park Place · Botanic Garden · Prospect Park


Opened: 4/4/1905

Four tracks and two island platforms. The center "express" tracks are used by the Brighton Line trains to/from Manhattan and Coney Island.

The station's north end is unusual due to split level platforms: the express tracks dip into the tunnel and you actually must climb stairs to get to the local tracks. The north exit is the main one, leading to Flatbush and Ocean Avenues while the south exit leads to Lincoln Road. Both fare controls are at street level with nice station houses at both ends with doors to street and trains.

The Franklin Shuttle line uses primarily the northbound local track at Prospect Park for daily service. The southbound local track is usually used for storage but is occasionally for service reroutes during construction. The tunnel just north of this station is the location of the infamous "Malbone Street" wreck of November 1, 1918, New York's worst railroad accident.

On November 1, 1918, due to a wildcat strike of BRT motormen, service was being operated by tower operators and other supervisory personnel. One such substitute operator was Edward Luciano, who was operating an evening rush hour Brighton Line train from Park Row to Coney Island. He was an inexperienced operator, and unfamiliar with the Brighton Line as well. At the junction of the Fulton Street El and the Brighton line at Franklin Avenue, he did not notice that the signal was set for straight ahead, and sped across the junction on Fulton Street. Realizing the error, he then backed up to the junction, and took his proper turn. Trying to make up time, he sped down the incline at such speed that he missed his stop at the Consumer's Park station. Due to the construction of the new subway connection at Prospect Park, the tracks, before entering the Prospect Park station now ducked into a subway tunnel, and then took a sharp reverse curve into the station. The curve had a speed limit of 6 MPH. Witnesses claim the train was going at least 30 MPH as it entered the tunnel. The front of lead car 726, an open platform El car, held the curve but the rear truck derailed. Second car, motorless trailer 80 and third car, motorless trailer 100, also derailed and smashed into each other, the rear of the lead car and the tunnel walls. Fourth car 725 and fifth car 1064, both motor cars, remained on the tracks. Car 80 had one of its sides and its roof torn away, and car 100 was completely destroyed to its floor, as the wooden cars banged against the tunnel walls and were reduced to splinters. In all, 97 people were killed (5 survivors of the crash died later for a total of 102), and hundreds were injured. Ebbets Field was turned into an emergency aid station. Motorman Luciano was able to walk away from the crash and was later found and arrested. Other BRT officials were also arrested and charged with manslaugher. In 1919, Luciano was acquitted and in 1920, the remaining BRT officials were also acquitted of the charge. The New York Times reports on the wreck the next morning.


The site of the wreck, as seen in 1997. Photo by Constantino Tobio, Jr.

Oddly enough, a second accident at the same scene was recorded on December 1st, 1974. A train of R-32s traveling at slow speed derailed and hit the tunnel wall at the same place of the Malbone Street wreck. There were no deaths or injuries.


Brighton Clay Re-Leaf, Susan Tunick (1994)

Photo Gallery

Image 5355
(169k, 1024x669)
Photo by: Doug Grotjahn
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Prospect Park

Image 6718
(607k, 1044x716)
Collection of: David Pirmann
Location: Empire Blvd. (Malbone St.) Tunnel Portal

Image 24385
(498k, 1044x703)
Collection of: David Pirmann
Location: Empire Blvd. (Malbone St.) Tunnel Portal

Image 46915
(160k, 1024x559)
Photo by: Ed Watson/Arthur Lonto Collection
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Prospect Park

Image 50721
(237k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Robert Ferreira
Location: Prospect Park

Image 72598
(176k, 1044x791)
Photo by: Aliandro Brathwaite
Location: Prospect Park

Image 75769
(41k, 789x464)
Photo by: Frank Pfuhler
Location: Prospect Park

Image 90049
(322k, 1044x788)
Photo by: David-Paul Gerber
Location: Prospect Park

Image 97353
(339k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Zach Summer
Location: Layup South of Prospect Park

Image 110410
(216k, 1044x694)
Photo by: Chao-Hwa Chen
Location: Prospect Park

Image 112996
(272k, 1024x762)
Collection of: George Conrad Collection
Location: Empire Blvd. (Malbone St.) Tunnel Portal

Image 122465
(339k, 1024x739)
Photo by: Steve Zabel
Collection of: Joe Testagrose
Location: Prospect Park

Image 132518
(443k, 1024x681)
Photo by: John Dooley
Location: Prospect Park

Image 140451
(286k, 1044x668)
Photo by: Brian J. Cudahy
Location: Empire Blvd. (Malbone St.) Tunnel Portal

Image 144090
(450k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Bernard Chatreau
Location: Prospect Park

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