Will Open East Side Subway Branch Nov. 10 (1904)

From nycsubway.org

The New York Times · Wednesday, November 2, 1904

Officials to Have Main Line Running Well First.
Fuse Burns Out in Express at Ninety-sixth Street.
Engineer Parsons Explains the "Subway Smell."

In order to be sure of having the main line in good running shape, the Subway officials have determined not to open the east side branch up to One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Street and Lenox Avenue until Nov. 10. Previous to the opening of the main line it had been thought that the easterly section would be in operation on Nov. 3.

There was a bad tie-up of the Subway trains during rush hours yesterday morning because a motor fuse burned out south of Ninety-sixth Street and left an express train stalled for thirty minutes. Several minor delays came before the day was over. With these exceptions the tunnel schedules were maintained pretty nearly up to the mark, express time from Ninety-sixth Street to the Brooklyn Bridge being reduced to fifteen minutes, within a half minute of the ideal fixed, while local time from One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Street to City Hall was about forty minutes, or four minutes too slow.

The early tie-up was caused by the very train that had been specially prepared to avoid such an occurrence. It was called a "gap train" and had been side-tracked above Ninety-sixth Street for the purpose of filling in any gap that might occur through delays in the regulars. Another train had been made ready on the Park Row switches below the Brooklyn Bridge.

Just before 9 o'clock a short delay at the northern terminal switches caused the upper "gap train" to be pressed into service. It was filled quickly at the Ninety-sixth Street station, but hardly was well under way down town when the fuse burned out in the front car. This car, as well as every other one in the train, was new from the shops, not having been inspected or operated since it was placed on the tracks. The fuse went wrong above Seventy-second Street. Within twenty minutes five other expresses were stalled behind, and the express track was out of commission back to Ninety-sixth Street.

Other expresses which had come along the local tracks to that point, all running on the four minute headway, could not be switched to the express tracks. There was a wait then, for the locals kept back on their tracks, but when it was found that the disabled train at Seventy-second Street could not be gotten out of the way in a hurry, the Division Superintendent decided to send the expresses down town on the local tracks, letting them stop only at express stations. The added burden caused everything to go slow on the local tracks, which remained in bad shape until the express line was cleared half an hour later.

After the noon hour good time was made again on all the tracks, but toward evening there was a little trouble. The express train that left One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street at 4:30 burned out a fuse in one of its intermediate cars when half way down town, and the passengers showed some alarm as the smell from the injured motor permeated the tunnel. The delay was only six minutes for the train, and not that long for the rest of the line, as some of the lost time was made up by an extra fast run the rest of the way. After that everything went smoothly, even during the night rush.

Chief Engineer William Barclay Parsons of the commission was asked if there were any way to get rid of the tunnel odor.

"The odor is one that is inseparable from a work of this sort," he replied. "It is the same odor which you will notice in a machine shop, and is caused by oil and machinery plus the heat of the motors. In this Subway, however, it is much less noticeable than in the Boston underground road, for the reason that the cars move more rapidly, creating draughts and drawing fresh air into the tunnel at the many stations and at other openings provided to help ventilation."

Work proceeded on the unfinished stations yesterday, And it was announced that all of them up to One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street would he completed within a fortnight, except the elevated station at Manhattan Street. This one is all right, except that a makeshift winding stairway of devious directions and wearying length takes the place of the escalator now being installed. The escalator will be in operation in about two months.

The Subway company stopped giving out traffic figures yesterday.


Commission's Chief Engineer Talks to City College Students.

At the invitation of President John H. Finley of the College of the City of New York, Chief Engineer William Barclay Parsons spoke at a special "subway meeting" in the college chapel yesterday morning. About 700 of the students were present.

Mr. Parsons said he thought he was entitled to a rest now that he had been urging and defending the Subway through the years of plans and building, for at last it needed no further defense. It had proved itself up to the mark so far as it had gone, and the public must decide after a fair trial what were its engineering faults or virtues. He prophesied that it would cause new commercial and residential centres to grow up quickly in the city, especially helping the outlying districts through aiding people to reach far-off homes by the express trains. The location of the new buildings of the City College, he pointed out, was one of the sections greatly to be benefited.

"The Subway," he continued, "will make it possible for more people to labor and work in New York. and to make it bigger, but not of necessity greater."

Intellectual force, he said, must make for the future greatness of the city rather than mere population. The Subway, like the water main and gas pipes and other great mechanical aids. would be helps toward greatness when used by the rising generation of educated men.

Dr. Finley congratulated Mr. Parsons on his work and told how he expected the college to be aided much by the tunnel after moving to the new quarters at One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. After his speech Mr. Parsons was asked when the rest of the Subway would be opened, but he declined to prophesy, answering with the one word, "Strikes."


The New York Times · Sunday, November 12, 1904

New Switching Station on West Side Nearly Ready, Too.
Trains to Fulton Street in a Few Weeks Are Promised.
Commission's Counsel on the Sign Question.

"The Lenox Avenue branch of the Subway will probably be completed and ready for operation by the 20th, if none of our plans go amiss," said Vice President Bryan of the Interborough Company yesterday.

"That does not mean that it will be open to the public on that date, though it probably will be on some day between that date and Nov. 25, as nearly as I can now fix it."

The delay in the opening of this east side branch, over which trains will be run to One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street for the present, has been due to the fact that workmen were not available for the installation of the lighting plant, as all are now engaged in the placing of the lighting plant between One Hundred and Forty-fifth and One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Streets on the west side, that this station, with its facilities for switching trains, may be available to put an end to the congestion of trains at Ninety-sixth Street. When the Lenox Avenue branch is opened every other express train from the Brooklyn Bridge will run upon the east side tracks, It is also expected that soon after the opening of the Lenox Avenue branch, possibly by Dec. 1, the operating company will be able to open the station at Fulton Street as a terminus instead of using the Brooklyn Bridge station, as at present. This will be done as early as possible so as to accommodate men down town who do not like the walk from the Brooklyn Bridge station to their places of business.

Trains will be run to the One Hundred and Fifty-seventh Street Station to-day for the accommodation of those wishing to attend the football game, and it is the hope of the operating company that workmen will have completed the installation of the lighting plant by noon of to-day so that this station may be made the regular starting ans stopping place for all west side trains on and after to-morrow.

The necessary permission of the board to open the Lenox Avenue branch and also the viaduct tracks in the Bronx will be granted at a meeting of the Rapid Transit Commission on Thursday of next week, at which time it is expected that there may be a general thrashing-out of the question of placing advertising signs in the Subway. Mr. Parsons will be ready at that time to report to the board, in accordance with their resolution of instructions, what plans have been presented by Ward & Gow, through Vice President Bryan of the Interborough Company, for the change of their present system of placing advertising signs, which, it is asserted, interferes with the ready identification of the stations by passengers.

Nelson S. Spencer of counsel for the Municipal Art Society, which proposes to make a fight against any advertising in the Subway stations, said yesterday that no steps would he taken toward bringing a suit until after the meeting of the Rapid Transit Board next week.

"It is the intent of the contracting parties that will determine the whole question," said Albert B. Boardman of counsel for the Rapid Transit Commission, speaking yesterday of the validity of the contract and the ability of the Municipal Art Commission to fight it successfully. "If the members of the commission and the officers of the Interborough Company, between whom the operating contract was made, are put on the stand they will be compelled to admit that in making that contract with the operating company the question of advertising privileges was considered, and that this was deemed by the operating company as one of their available sources of income that had much to do with the terms of the contract as finally upon."


The New York Times · Wednesday, November 23, 1904

Train from 145th Street to Broadway in 9 Minutes and 40 Seconds.

The east side branch of the Rapid Transit Subway was opened at 12:02 1/2 o'clock this morning, when the first train of five cars left One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street and Lenox Avenue. The time table to the Broadway line follows:

Leave 145th Street and Lenox Avenue12:02:30
Arrive 135th Street12:03:45
Leave l35th Street12:04:00
Arrive 125th Street12:05:30
Leave 125th Street12:06:00
Arrive 116th Street12:07:15
Leave 116th Street12:07:40
Arrive 110th Street12:08:30
Leave 110th Street12:08:40
Arrive 96th Street12:12:10

The train went to Ninety-sixth Street and Broadway in 0 minutes and 40 seconds. This was 2 minutes 20 seconds less than schedule time.

Throughout the rest of the night the trains continued to run under five-minute headway, north-bound trains alternating on the east and west side lines, every other train taking the east side branch after passing the Ninety-sixth Street station. The first north-bound train left the City Hall Loop station a few minutes after 12 o'clock.

The north-bound train passed the southbound at about Sixty-sixth Street.

Stations along the newly opened link, with the exception of that at One Hundred and Tenth Street, all show some degree of imperfection, the tiling being incomplete. No advertisements had been placed on any of the platforms.

At 6:24 o'clock this morning express trains will begin running on the east side as well as on the west side lines, alternating with the locals. The trains will be plainly marked.

The east side tunnel, when complete, will go up to Brook Avenue and One Hundred and Forty-ninth Street. There it meets an elevated viaduct, which extends to One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Street and the Southern Boulevard, after traversing Westchester Avenue to the Boulevard. The Harlem River section is several months away from completion. The viaduct extension is finished.

It was announced at yesterday's meeting of the Rapid Transit Commission that this extension, which goes to Bronx Park, would be operated as a part of the east side elevated railroad system beginning at 12:01 A.M. on Saturday. This connection is through private property. Some of the trains of both the Second and Third Avenue lines will be run over it.

nycsubway.org is not affiliated with any transit agency or provider.
Not mobile.