An Unusual Saturday - A Subway Trip to NYC

This was actually a pretty untypical Saturday for me. I'm a person who I real likes routines and processes. This Saturday morning, I did not go to the Y for my workout, I didn't get croissants at Bovella's and I missed my piano lessons in Scotch Plains. The reason: I had an alternative plan for this Saturday.

For me to change my routine this alternative plan obviously had to be something special and important. And, yes it was. I'm somehow fascinated by railroads - not necessarily individual trains or locomotives, but whole railroads and transit systems.

So when I learned that this Saturday The New York Transit Museum offered a rare guided tour of a Subway Maintenance Facility, I signed almost immediately. And, it was worth it!!!

In this particular case it was the Corona Maintenance Facility in Flushing, NY close to the Willets Point Subway station. All the subways cars for the number 7 trains in NY are maintained and repaired there. The scope of the operation is mindbogglingly. The number 7 subway line alone - although one of the shorter ones in NY - runs at peak 33 trains at the same time. With each train consisting of 11 cars, the number 7 line alone requires more than 400 subway car to operate and large facility to maintain and repair these. 126 people work there just to maintain the number 7 trains. This does not include the motormen that drive the trains, conductor and maintenance of way type people.

If you think of the whole system of the NY subway with many more lines that are often considerable longer you only start to imagine the scope of operations behind the NY subway system.

The tour group was about 40 people, male and female, old and young. There is a certain stereotype about people interested in trains and interestingly enough this group did not totally meet this stereotype. Actually, there were quite a few females that seemed to be very knowledge about the NY subway system. Besides the visitors enjoying the tour, I also got the feeling that the tour guides and the folks that work in the facility were quite excited about the attention they got and really appreciated the fact that people that actually ride on the trains that they maintain, were interested in what they are doing.

There was also a team (reporter and photographer) from the New York Times there which led to an article in the Metro Section of the Sunday Issue. I wasn't very impressed with the reporter. There are quite a few things in the article that he got wrong or that are imprecise. Had he actually listened to some of the explanations given at the tour he could have corrected some of the information. But besides the inaccuracies, I find the somewhat derogatory tone of the article towards the people that were on the tour inappropriate. It wouldn't have been difficult and much more work to give things a different spin. What about some more respect for your fellow human beings. In some form or another everyone is a geek and obsessed with something.

In any case. I enjoyed and learned quite a few new things about the NY subway system.

Signing Off - The Westfield Blogger


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

If you want to learn more about the subway in NY I would recommend the the following site.

NYC Subway Site


Tom F