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MTA Holiday Train 2014

holiday_train_thumb.jpg An annual Sunday holiday season tradition returns: original IND subway cars from the 1930s will run in service on part of the E and F lines between Queens Plaza and 2nd Avenue every Sunday from November 30 through December 28. The wicker seats! The ceiling fans! The groaning prewar traction motors! The smell of steel dust! The bewildered passengers! In addition, five retired buses manufactured from the 1950s through 1970s will run weekdays on the 42nd Street crosstown route. MTA Press Release here.

New OSX Version of NXSYS Interlocking Simulator

sm_nxmac20_thumb.png The developer has released a new version of NXSYS, Signalling and Interlocking Simulator for the Apple Mac OSX operating system. NXSYS/Mac is a port of NXSYS Version 2 which allows for unrestricted two-dimensional track and panel layouts and comes with four sample interlockings: Version 2 ports of Progman St. and Islington from Version 1, and full implementations of two actual fairly complex New York City interlockings, Atlantic Avenue on the IRT (Division A) and Broadway-Myrtle on the BMT (Division B). Full HTML documentation of the new Macintosh features as well as a thorough upgrading of the extensive Version 1 helpfile are included. (The Microsoft Windows release of NXSYS Version 2 is not ready yet).

What's New Lately...

wimg_142365.jpg Been a long time since I wrote a blog post, sorry to say. What's new around the site? Brian J. Cudahy sent along an article detailing West of Hudson Passenger Terminals, in other words, a brief description of the Hudson River waterfront railroad terminals in New Jersey. He included many photographs to illustrate the article. Brian also supplied descriptions and photos of transit operations in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and a railfan's-eye view of London Main Line Rail operations (no great detail but handy for a visitor).

I posted a lot of photos from a Museum tour of City Hall station in 2013. Imagine what it would have been like to have a modern digital camera on opening day of the subway in 1904!

Happy Birthday Washington Metro

wimg_30544.jpg Today's the birthday of the Washington Metro. Construction on the Red Line began with a groundbreaking ceremony on December 9, 1969. The first part of the Red Line opened on March 27, 1976, between Farragut North and Rhode Island Avenue (5 stations opened on 4.6 miles of line). Passengers rode for free for the first two days of service.

Photos from the first month of Metro.

Happy 150th Birthday London Underground!

Shore Line Trolley Museum - Elevating the Collection Fund Drive

wimg_23482.jpg The Shore Line Trolley Museum is one of the few organizations actively preserving the transit history of New York, and many contributors to nycsubway.org are members and volunteers. The Museum needs your help! The museum and its cars have been hard hit by hurricanes Irene and Sandy. So they have embarked on a campaign called Elevating the Collection, which intends to build new car barns above the 100-year flood line on their property. You can help by "Buying a Brick". When you buy a brick, your name or that of someone you choose to honor will be etched on a brick paver, and will display your support of the museum's collection in perpetuity. It will be a permanent legacy, reminding future generations of members and visitors at the Shore Line Trolley Museum of your dedication.

MTA Holiday Train

wimg_137578.jpg The MTA Holiday Train is running again this year, each Sunday from now until December 30th, providing supplemental service on the "M" line between 2nd Avenue and Queens Plaza. Northbound trips depart 2nd Avenue at 10:01am, 11:31am, 1:01pm, 2:30pm, and 4:01pm. Southbound trips depart Queens Plaza at 10:44am, 12:14pm, 1:43pm, 3:14pm, and 4:44pm. (MTA Press Release http://www.mta.info/news/stories/?story=881) Photo by Nicholas Noel for nycsubway.org.

Some neat post-Sandy subway news articles...

More Sandy...

8162995055_d328122823_q.jpg Most subway service is getting back to normal (except: G, L, R, 1, N in Brooklyn, A to JFK/Rockaways). The MTA is trucking some venerable R-32 type cars to the Rockaway branch to operate a train shuttle service. PATH is coming back online slowly as well. Just in time for the next nor'easter! Reminder, check the MTA official site http://www.mta.info/ for up-to-date service changes and advisories. (Photo from MTA Flickr feed.)

Edited to add: G service has been restored with 12 minute headways.

The lines not operating as of mid-day November 7th are: 1 below Chambers St.; R between Canal Street and Borough Hall; N between 59th and Coney Island-Sea Beach Line; A to JFK/Rockaways; and the L between 8th Ave and Broadway Junction. Also, all services to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave. are cut back to convenient terminal points approaching Coney Island.


Sandy Roundup, Friday November 2

8145477743_3b216c31b5_q.jpg Sandy Links Roundup

· MTA.INFO - Main MTA site for service advisories and updates (http://www.mta.info/)

· MTA Recovery Map (http://alert.mta.info/sites/default/files/pdf/hurricane_recovery_map_bw_Nov5midday_0.pdf) - Updated 11/5/2012

· MTA Flickr Photostream, with Sandy damage and recovery effort photos (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/sets/)

· PATH Status (not much new info but look there for updates) (http://www.panynj.gov/path/alerts-advisories.html)

· NJ Transit Status (http://www.njtransit.com/sa/sa_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=TravelAlertsTo)

· New York Times regional status updates handy links page (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/30/nyregion/storm-service-updates.html)

(Photo from MTA Flickr Photostream)

Sandy News

Hello, I am sure some people are finding their way to nycsubway.org from Google etc looking for Hurricane Sandy updates. Please visit the MTA official site. http://www.mta.info. I would try to post more updates here but I have no power! Take care everyone!

Summer's Over...

wimg_137163.jpg Summer's finally over and autumn is here. It's playoff baseball time and the 1920s Low-V cars came out to play for the Yankees home playoff games (photo at left by John Dooley). While you are riding the trains, here are some 1950s and 1960s NYCT Annual Reports for your reading pleasure. Put them on your mobile device!

Coming up this weekend is the 12th Annual Mass Transit Modeler's Convention, being held on Saturday, October 20, 2012, 9:30am to 5:00pm, at the Rutgers University Gym, 130 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Admission: $20. The Convention features model displays and vendors with a focus on mass transit- subways, streetcars, buses, etc.

The Shore Line Trolley Museum has several events posted for the autumn season, including Pumpkin Patch rides on October 20, 21, 27, and 28 from 11am to 4pm. Also, on the evening of November 3rd, they have a trolleys and astronomy program. Ride the old trolley cars and gaze at the stars. They are also continuing their Elevate the Collection fundraising drive with a "Buy A Brick" promotion. For a donation of $150 (and up) you can have your name or message engraved on a paver stone to be placed during construction of the new car barns.

Items of Note - September 10th

7952157202_6e9e512562_s.jpg Haven't made a blog post in a week or two, so here are some items of note that I have come across and I think everyone will be interested in. First, Cameron Booth's interesting blog about transit maps from around the world- why some maps work and some are just off the charts ugly. http://transitmaps.tumblr.com/ Next up is the "Aeracode.org" site which features some 3-D WebGL station maps and detailed track maps of the London Underground (and the software used to create the map is available too). http://www.aeracode.org/ Finally, MTA overhauling the remaining R-32 subway cars (Press release: http://www.mta.info/mta/news/releases/?en=120907-NYCT1, photos on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/sets/72157631457227900/ (Thumbnail photo from MTA Flickr.)

BMT Memoir by transit historian Brian J. Cudahy

wimg_87007.jpg Noted transit historian (and frequent contributor of photos to this website) Brian J. Cudahy has contributed an article entitled Me and the BMT, A Memoir, illustrated with his own photographs. Brian is the author of several books of New York City rapid transit history, notably Under the Sidewalks of New York, A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways, and a volume about the infamous Malbone Street Wreck. "Me and the BMT, A Memoir" is less scholarly and more his personal recollections of growing up riding the BMT in Brooklyn. Thanks go out to Brian for letting nycsubway.org host this work!

Second Avenue Subway News, August 2012

05subway_ss-slide-IXX2-thumbWide.jpg From the New York Times city blog, some items about a recent explosion accident on the 2nd Avenue Subway project: Steel Plate Above Subway Blast Site ‘Opened Up Like a Trapdoor’ and Blast on 2nd Ave. Subway Project Shatters Windows Above Ground; and two behind-the-scenes look at the construction: Below Ground, Blessing a Fresh Tunnel Where Diggers Risk Their Lives and Tunneling Below Second Avenue - Includes a slide show. (Thumbnail photo from New York Times)

News Articles - August 20th 2012

7823957678_93c69f82de_s.jpg Another excellent photo set from the MTA "Weekend at Work" series. Lots of track renewal going on. Also, a New York Times report on mixed up sign colors at Columbus Circle post-renovation. Kind of a puff piece but some will probably be interested. (Thumbnail photo from MTA Flickr feed.)

This Weekend - Guest Operator Program, Shore Line Trolley Museum

wimg_23482.jpg Ever wanted to operate a trolley or subway car? The Guest Operator program at the Shore Line Trolley Museum will give you that oppportunity. "You'll be given an overview of operating principles by one of our instructors. Then it will be your turn to take the handles and operate solo! Don't worry, you won't have any regular passengers, just you, your instructor, and your invited guests." Fees start at $50, with discounts for existing members. There's still spaces open for this Saturday and Sunday (August 18th/19th). Future dates of the program are September 15th and 16th.

Also coming up is the 12th Annual Mass Transit Modeler's Convention, being held on Saturday, October 20, 2012, 9:30am to 5:00pm, at the Rutgers University Gym, 130 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Admission: $20. The Convention features model displays and vendors with a focus on mass transit- subways, streetcars, buses, etc.

Treasures of New York - Art Underground

wimg_46111.jpg Treasures of New York - Art Underground has been airing on New York City-area PBS stations this month. I finally got a chance to see it this week. It's a great look at the MTA Arts for Transit program and new and old installations around the subway. There are interviews with Sandra Bloodworth (MTA Arts for Transit director), Bill Brand ("Masstransiscope"), Andrea Deszö ("Community Garden"), Elizabeth Murray ("Blooming"), and several others. It looks at how the MTA Arts for Transit program was instrumental in the station renovations of the 1980s, particularly featuring Milton Glaser's "Untitled" at Astor Place, and how his piece echos the design elements of Heins & LaFarge for the original IRT stations.

A long segment included a look at how artworks make their way from artist's concepts to installation, featuring Jason Middlebrook's "Brooklyn Seeds" in mosaic tile, Xin Song's "Tree of Life", photo artwork laminated in glass, and Andrea Deszö's "Nature Rail", in cut stainless steel. Another segment featured an interview with artist Tom Otterness and a close up look at his process for creating, and installation of, the well known "Life Underground".

Having been keeping track of artworks installed in the subway for some time, with help of the many photo contributors to this site, this was a great behind the scenes look at the artwork in the subway system.

Wiki-ized Main Page

Welcome to the new "wiki-ized" version of the nycsubway.org home page. From feedback I have received, the new styling of the site seems to be well-received. I hope you all like it. There's still a few more articles that have to be converted but that process is almost complete.

(Edited to add: After posting this, I did get one anonymous feedback saying they didn't like the new main page and that one day wasn't enough research to decide whether people liked it. I was speaking of the entire site, which I started to convert in May, and there's been over 1,000,000 page views from the wiki since then. True, I didn't do any "research" but I did receive several positive feedbacks and no negative feedbacks. In this day when it is usually just the ones with complaints who speak up, I interpreted that as a pretty positive result. I will continue to tweak the Main Page to make it a little bit more friendly looking.)

Recent News Items

I will also use this blog to mention interesting subway-related news items. For instance, this recent story in the New York Times: The Subway Map That Rattled New Yorkers, a retrospective of the 1972 subway map designed by Massimo Vignelli.

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