Demolished in the mid 1950's, the 3rd ave el is a mere ghost in the memories of our most elderly new yorkers. In these films, the long lost 3rd Ave el is canonized as a charming rollercoaster, and it is more fitting in our imaginations as such, though from accounts of those who lived with the long lost el trains of new york, they were abrasively noisy, dangerous, and obsolete. it began in the late 1870's as part of the IRT (interboro rapid transit) and was later integrated into the subway system. its best use was for getting to the bronx. In fact, the bronx section of the 3rd ave el was in operation until the 1970's. the bronx service is what kept the 3rd ave El running past the 1930's. There were elevated lines on 6th ave, 9th ave, and even 2nd ave that were all put out of service and dismantled in the 1930's and early 40's.
(last days of 3rd ave el in bronx)
please visit http://www.nycsubway.org/ for more information and pictures