« PreviousContinue »
shifting sand, and a peculiarly treacher- rectangular structure of steel and conous form of loose clay filled with crev- crete, and closed at each end with imices. It was manifestly impossible to try mense water-tight covers. to force through it by the shield method The great power house that operates —first, on account of the uncertain char- the subway traffic is the largest structure
for the production of power in the world, being 600 feet long by 200 feet wide. Its engines are capable of generating over 130,000 horsepower; and it operates, entirely separate from one another, immense cables carrying current along a third rail for the propelling of cars and for the lighting of the subway.
Passing by the bewildering figures connected with this work—the digging out of 2,000,000
cubic yards of earth, the COURTESY OF "THE WORLD'S WORK."
blasting and carrying How SURFACE TRACKS WERE SUPPORTED WHEN Both Sides OF STREET WERE UNDERMINED. SHOWING Two Forms OF BRIDGE ADOPTED.
away of over 1,000,000
cubic yards of rock, the acter of the river bottom; and secondly, constant employment of 20,000 men, the because to go down deep enough for shifting of thousands of miles of water safety would necessitate gradients for and gas mains—let us turn for a moment a mile on either side of the river, which to the completed subway, and realize would mean an expenditure of millions something of the mark that has been of additional dollars not taken into con- set for future work of this kind. sideration in the original estimates.
It was then decided to build great steel tubes, clamp them together, and sink them to the required depth till either end touched the subway break on the two shores. Experienced engineers first laughed at the proposition, and then denounced it as foolhardy. John B. McDonald, however, made up his mind that the thing could be done ; and he went ahead and did it—without the loss of a single life and without a single deviation from the plan which had originally been decided upon. The metal tubes were enclosed in a
COURTESY OF "THE WORLD'S WORK."
DRAWING SHOWING PLAN OF SUBWAY AS COMPLETED AT 230 STREET AND 4TH AVENUE. The general relation between surface and subway accommodations at station points is here shown, though the
difference in level is frequently much greater.
SOME OF THE DIFFICULTIES IN THE WAY. An immense network of sewer, gas, and water pipes, of which a small portion is here shown, had to be diverted,
process controlled from the third rail.
The safeguards thrown about the passenger are the most complete ever de
The whole interior is brilliantly lighted from one end to the other, but lighted in such a cunning way that, though the illumination makes the tunnel like day, there is no blinding glare of lamps, and no glow or splutter of any kind to distress the eyes and the nerves.
Beautiful tiling of a quiet shade runs the whole length of the subway, except at the stations, where it bursts out into all sorts of beautiful designs, every one different from every other both in treatment and in coloring. In this way a traveler soon comes to recognize his station by its special color scheme. Conductors do not call the names of the stations. If a patron forgets or does not know the color of his station, he cannot pass his destination, for, before he reaches it, an electric signal in the center of his car shines out with the name of the approaching stop, by an automatic
City Hall STATION. vised in the history of transportation. From the moment he enters the subway stations from the street, walking down steps composed of alternate strips of brass, soft lead, and rubber to prevent his slipping, till he is landed at his destina
Escalators—otherwise moving stairways—are being provided at all the most congested stations, and some of these will not only run straight up and down, but will describe a complete circle, carrying passengers both to and from uptown and downtown trains in the one circular movement.
The cars are of steel throughout, and are the most handsomely and most comfortably furnished vehicles that have ever been built for electrical transportation. By the terms of its contract with the city, the operating company must have a universal five-cent fare, but is permitted to use parlor cars, at a ten-cent rate. No more than one of these, however, may be attached to each train. .
From beginning to end the whole subway is enclosed in what is nothing less than a waterproof envelope. One of the
COURTESY OF "THE WORLD'S WORK."
UNDER THE HARLEM RIVER.
tion, every known safety device is thrown
How THE SHIELDS WERE Placed in Position. tact with or cross one another.
At the stations, where, during the morning and afternoon rush hours, im- original stipulations was that under no mense crowds have already begun to con- circumstances should it become possible gregate, heavy brass railings keep safe for water to percolate to the subway at spaces between the passengers and the any spot in its course—an immensely oncoming trains. People on platforms difficult undertaking in any "cut-andget notice by brilliant automatic signals cover” system of construction. A conof the destination of every approaching tract was let, however, for the laying of car some time before it comes into sight. 8,000,000 cubic feet of asphalt and felt to
nothing could have been accomplished. This man is John B. McDonald, from whom a bond of $6,000,000 was demanded by the city before a pick was put in the ground. Mr. McDonald had command of no financial resources; but so great was the general faith in him that he obtained the sum demanded in forty-eight hours,
August Belmont heading COURTESY OF "THE WORLD'S WORK."
the company that seFINISHING West HALF OF TRENCH AT UNION Square. SHOWING METHOD OF cured the amount for WATERPROOFING BOTTOM AND SIDES.
him. cover entirely the top, bottom, and sides Mr. McDonald was born in Ireland in of the structure.
1844, the son of a day laborer, and was After the soil had been excavated to brought to this country when a few the required depth, a thick bed of con- months old. The boy's education was crete was first laid. Upon this was compassed by two years in night school. spread a layer of asphalt, molten hot; He has been connected with some of the and on the asphalt were pressed heavy largest public contracts ever let in sheets of felt. These layers were con- America. He never failed in one of tinued till twelve in all were in place them, and was never a day over his six of asphalt and six of felt; and within contract time. He finished the New York this solid mass, again, was laid a heavy subway four months within contract final coating of concrete. It is utterly time, and would have beaten it by a year impossible for a drop of water to reach and four months had it not been for labor the subway through this envelope.
strikes. While it is true that the completion of this great engineering task is a triumph for many men, all of whom are entitled to great credit, one name stands out from all the others as the genius of the work, the master mind without whom
Largest Building in the World Devoted Exclusively to the Production of Electrical Power.