InstaBlog: Cortleyou Road Station

Author's note: Warning—this is a blog-style post based on a social media post. Beware typos and poorly elucidated thoughts. For more polish, perhaps try an article!

The Cortleyou Road stop on the BMT Brighton Line—today's Q train. A strange name for a road, to be sure but a lovely station all the same.

I have a love for the Brighton Line—as it is known to certain locals, old timers, and transit enthusiasts—mainly because it often feels very different from the rest of the subway system. The line was originally built in 1878 as a steam excursion railroad to Brighton Beach, taking day trippers and vacationers from the city to the (then) distant resorts on the shore. Gradually, as trains became faster and as the city grew, the line stated to transform into a commuter route, and this section was rebuilt to eliminate grade crossings in 1905-1908. At that time, many trains would continue along the Fulton Street elevated to downtown Brooklyn (via today's Franklin Ave shuttle), yet many trains were powered by trolley poles because, further south, the line still ran at ground level. Over the years, the rest of the line would be grade separated and brought up to subway standards, and eventually lose most of its resort traffic, becoming another part of the subway.

Still, I love the small stations and their waiting rooms, in particular. These spaces feel far more like a commuter railroad then they do subway stations. You have to love the bench seating, the wood-paneling, the decorative glass overlooking the tracks, the spaces for a ticket office and stoves, and even the covered staircases to the platforms. To me, these stations also feel very London-ish, for reasons I can't quite explain—maybe it's the late-Victorian styling details, the age, or simply the name "Brighton." It feels... delicate and warm. And yet today, the line is a fully integrated and vital part of New York's mass transit system. The word, I think, is lovely, simply lovely.

Of course, with rapid transit came a wave of building, much of which was equally lovely, as we shall see soon!

Based on an Instagram post.
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