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illustration of L.I. Railroad Tunnel, under Atlantic Avenue
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"L.I. Railroad Tunnel, under Atlantic Avenue"

An improved system of rail travel was necessary to keep up with the great strides in industrial, residential and recreational development of the outlying towns surrounding Brooklyn. Since the 1830s, steam railcars operated along Atlantic Avenue. However, steam proved to be a great danger in busy downtown Brooklyn, and in 1859, they were prohibited from the inner city. Horsecars would bring passengers to the outskirts of the city where they would transfer to steam railcars, taking them to Canarsie, and to beach resorts such as Coney Island. It was a long, trying ride; very inconvenient for a worker to take back and forth to work each day. Only in the 1880's, when elevated railway lines were built, could Brooklyn's transit system finally be described as convenient and fast.





Citation - Document 31
The Eagle and Brooklyn, Vol. 1
Fall 1861
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection

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