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Route description and history
The original line ran from the Boulevard entrance of Prospect Park (Park Circle) to Coney Island. It was the first railroad of any kind to reach Coney Island. The CI&B connected to other lines to bring people from Brooklyn (then a city) and from New York City (then meaning Manhattan) to its service to Coney Island. It began operating service along the Smith Street Line to Fulton Ferry in June 1862, so that the line was commonly called the "Smith Street Line". It was also known as the "Slocum Road" after its president, Henry Warner Slocum, a Civil War general and New York congressman. Slocum's name is also associated with the steamboat General Slocum, involved in a disastrous fire on the East River.
Most of the route operated alongside the Coney Island Plank Road, now Coney Island Avenue. In 1890, in order to compete better with the steam railroads that had been opened to Coney Island beginning in 1864, the CI&B became the first horsecar line in Kings County to electrify, using trolley wire.
The Coney Island and Gravesend Railway, a Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company subsidiary, bought a majority of CI&B stock in 1913 or 1914; it remained part of the BRT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation after 1923) system until the BMT was purchased by the City of New York in 1940. In 1955, the former CI&B's Coney Island Avenue Line was the third to last Brooklyn streetcar line to be converted to bus operation and the fourth to last in the State of New York.
The Coney Island Avenue Line continues to operate today as the B68 bus of the New York City Transit Authority, tracing most of the same route it has run for nearly a century-and-a-half.