New York City’s Subways Created and Presented by Elsie Sánchez Lenny Weintraub
Analyze photo – Use the photo analysis worksheet to help you describe the details in this photograph.
Need for Movement
The need for an underground way to travel come as a result of the heavy congestion on street level.
1860 Broadway was a bustle of horse and carriage.
Blizzard of 1888
A major blizzard struck New York City in 1888, which stopped most traffic on street level as well as on the elevated train (‘El’).
No trains moving.
One reporter’s account of his morning travel on the El states that the train remained on the tracks below 17 th Street without moving for two hours. Then it moved slowly, about 10 feet and stopped again for another hour. It continued in this manner until about 3pm, which was when it was above 16 th Street.
The First Subway Opening Night February 26, 1870
This subway car ran by air pressure. It was pushed and pulled through the 312-foot tunnel by a giant fan. It was called the Pneumatic Rail Line, and was designed and completed by Alfred Beach.
When Mr. Beach applied for a permit to build his subway, he was turned down. He applied for a “fake” permit to build a mail tube. In secrecy, he built his railway instead. It took 85 days to complete. For the systems opening night, the lobby included a fountain, chandeliers, and a grand piano
History of the MTA
Here is a map of The New York City Subway lines of today.
Prior to this mega-transit system, New York’s subways consisted of mainly three separate lines.
Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT)
The BMT, formerly known as the Brooklyn Rapid Transit (BRT), subway line was used by those seeking rest and relaxation in Coney Island.
Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT)
IRT subway opened in 1904.
City Hall station was considered the jewel of the IRT line.
Service to the Bronx was fully in effect in 1905. Before that, partial service had opened in 1904 from 149 St 3rd Avenue to Bronx Park as a branch of the 3rd Avenue El.
The Independent Subway (IND)
IND was formed by the city in the 1920s and ran independently of the IRT and BMT.
Here is the view of the first subway car on the IND line.
Construction of the Subway
Not A Simple Job
The job of digging the tunnels for the subway system was not as simple as making a hole in the ground. There were other things to consider, such as gas lines and water pipes.
Those responsible for building our subway were called sandhogs.
These men and caulking and tightening bolts in the East River tube.
Here is recent construction work being done on the 2 nd Avenue Subway. It is New York’s latest attempt to deal with overcrowding on other subway lines.
History of the Subway Token
One of the first subway tokens was introduced in 1940.
The MTA stopped the use of tokens in the subway on May 3, 2003, and on buses on December 31, 2003.
Here is one way to get to The New Yankee Stadium. Take the 4 train to 161st Street and River Avenue.
As Cab Calloway suggested, you could always take the A Train.
Task : Write one paragraph telling which you would prefer – the token or Metrocard. Be sure to include details about the use of purchasing and carrying tokens or Metrocards. Edit, revise, and publish your paragraph.
Art and Writing
Design your own token or Metrocard. Be sure to
Tell what material (brass, silver, plastic) your product would be made of,
What colors would you use for your product (Metrocard) and why.
Task: Find the route from one designated destination to the designated final destination.