Brooklyn and Brighton Beach Railroad Company
Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Brooklyn and Brighton Beach Railroad Company dating back to the 1890's. This document, which has been signed by the company President and Secretary, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 9 1/2" (w) by 13" (h).
This certificate's nice vignette features a passenger train steaming through the countryside.
The Brighton Line opened from the Willink entrance of Prospect Park (modern intersection of Flatbush and Ocean Avenues and Empire Boulevard, now the Prospect Park station on both the renamed Brighton and the Franklin Ave. Shuttle lines) to Brighton Beach (modern Coney Island Avenue at the shoreline) on July 2, 1878 and the full original line on August 18. It was an excursion railroad — the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railway — to bring beachgoers from downtown Brooklyn (via a connection with the Long Island Rail Road) to the seashore at Coney Island on the Atlantic Ocean, at a location named Brighton Beach at the same time the railroad arrived. It has been known since its opening as the Brighton Beach Line but is now described as the Brighton Line in MTA literature and in public usage.
After losing its connection with the Long Island Rail Road in 1883, the railroad fell on hard times, reorganizing as the Brooklyn and Brighton Beach Railroad. Seeking a new route for its excursion business and its local trade in communities along the way, it formed an agreement with the Kings County Elevated Railway to connect to its Fulton Street Line, which gave access to the new Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan passengers. This was accomplished in 1896.
A series of mergers and leases put the Brighton Beach Line in the hands of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT), a holding company which eventually controlled most of the rapid transit, streetcar, and bus lines in Brooklyn and part of Queens. The line was electrified with trolley wire and, for a time, trolleys from several surface routes and elevated trains operated together on the line.
The BRT was reorganized as the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT) in 1923. In 1940, the BMT was purchased by the City of New York, and operation passed to the city's Board of Transportation, which already operated the city-built Independent Subway System (IND).
The original line was a two-tracked high-speed surface steam railroad operating from Bedford Station, at Atlantic Avenue near Franklin Avenue in the City of Brooklyn, at which point it made a physical connection to the Long Island Rail Road's Atlantic Branch. From Bedford the line ran on a surface private right-of-way several blocks south to Park Place, which it crossed at grade, and then in an open cut with street overpasses through what is now Crown Heights and Flatbush, as far as Church Lane (now Church Avenue) in the Town and Village of Flatbush. From that point the line continued on the surface to a point at current Beverley Road between Marlborough Road (East 15th Street) and East 16th Street, curving southeast and running on the surface between the lines of the latter streets through the Towns of Flatbush and Gravesend to Sheepshead Bay, then turning southerly to reach the beach at Brighton Beach on Coney Island in the Town of Gravesend.
The line was extended westward from Brighton Beach in 1903, so that it could terminate with the former Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad at Culver Depot in Coney Island. Passengers, with this short extension, were given access to the developing area of Coney Island. The Culver Depot became the center of operations for the Culver Line and the Brighton Beach Line.