Here’s a view of Eleventh Avenue in New York City, c. 1910. The street was dubbed “Death Avenue” around the turn of the nineteenth / twentieth centuries because of the large numbers of pedestrians killed by the freight trains (!) that ran, albeit slowly, on these street-level tracks. In an attempt to not frighten the horses, the coal-powered steam locomotives were disguised to look (somewhat) like streetcars. But I do wonder whether the horses were really fooled …

In the foreground, on the left, a delivery van waits by the curb, and a wagon loaded with barrels is driving right on the tracks, between the train’s flag-man on horseback and the train itself. To the wagon’s right (to its left as we look at the photo) is a Hansom Cab. You can see a number of other delivery and commercial vehicles, and a streetcar, next to the train.

According to the caption on this next photo — another view of the same street —  it was supposedly taken about a year later. But I think it was actually taken on the same day (near the same time, even) as the photo above. The horse and delivery van by the curb are clearly the same in both photos.

The street-level tracks were replaced in the 1920s with an elevated track.