|Train wrecker: Worker
removes rails and ties at Conover St. last week,
effectively dashing Bob Diamond's hopes for Red
It's truly the end of the
line for the Red Hook trolley.
The city is pulling up a two-block stretch of
trolley tracks near the Red Hook waterfront, paving
over the derailed dreams of Brooklyn's most ardent
The move brought Bob Diamond - whose life's mission
has been to return the clanging cars to Brooklyn - to
tears last week as he watched construction workers
toil on Conover St.
He lamented that the line he envisioned as
stretching from Red Hook to downtown Brooklyn was
never completed after the city halted funding two
"The people running the city have no foresight and
vision for the future," said Diamond, 44, who said he
spent $100,000 of his own money on the tracks.
"I would say for the money they spent removing the
tracks, they could have just finished it," he added.
Unlike the Red Hook line's slow, fitful and
incomplete creation over the past decade, the work to
remove tracks and freshly pave over the streets will
be swift, promised Matt Monahan, spokesman for the
city's Design and Construction Department.
"We'll be cleaning those blocks and removing tracks
to make them safe and drivable by January," Monahan
The uncompleted tracks, as well as garbage that had
collected there, made the streets impassable for cars,
Meanwhile, the last remaining vestiges of Diamond's
failed dream - the historic trolley cars themselves -
are in jeopardy.
Diamond was served with eviction papers demanding
he remove five historic trolley cars stored at the
nearby Beard St. pier by the end of this month. But
the trolley cars are trapped there, he said, because
of an August 2001 barge accident that severed rail
"There's no way to get them out of the building
short of cutting them up into little pieces," Diamond
The trolley tracks that are being removed once led
to a warehouse on the Beard St. pier, where trolley
cars would have rolled out to pick up commuters.
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(Originally published on December 22, 2003)
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