The 3rd Avenue Elevated Train (“El”) opened with service in Manhattan in 1878. Over the next 77 years, the 3rd Avenue “El” would provide rapid train transit fro anybody wishing to go from the Southern tip of Manhattan, down Bowery and Third Avenue, and up into bronx terminus. The “El” lines were eventually replaced with subterranean lines that run the same routes, more-or-less, and the 3rd Avenue “El” was the last one to be dismantled in 1955.
Daybreak Express was a film released in 1953 by writer/director D.A. Pennebaker and features some fantastic shots from the train before it closed. It is a fascinating peek at what riding on the Elevated Lines through Manhattan would have been like… if your life was set to Duke Ellington’s East St. Louis Toodle-Oo.