The New York Subway Part 12


The floors are covered with hard maple strips, securely fastened to the floor with ovalhead brass screws, thus providing a clean, dry floor for all conditions of weather.

Six single incandescent lamps are placed on the upper deck ceiling, and a row of ten on each side deck ceiling is provided. There are two lamps placed in a white porcelain dome over each platform, and the pressure gauge is also provided with a miniature lamp.


The head linings are of composite board. The interior finish is of mahogany of light color. A mahogany handrail extends the full length of the clerestory on each side of the car, supported in brass sockets at the ends and by heavy brass brackets on each side. The handrail on each side of the car carries thirty-eight leather straps.

Each ventilator sash is secured on the inside to a brass operating arm, manipulated by means of rods running along each side of the clerestory, and each rod is operated by means of a brass lever, having a fulcrum secured to the inside of the clerestory.

All hardware is of bronze, of best quality and heavy pattern, including locks, pulls, handles, sash fittings, window guards, railing brackets and sockets, bell cord thimbles, chafing strips, hinges, and all other trimmings. The upright panels between the windows and the corner of the car are of plain mahogany, as are also the single post pilasters, all of which are decorated with marquetry inlaid. The end finish is of mahogany, forming a casing for the end door.


[Sidenote: _Steel Cars_]

At the time of placing the first contract for the rolling stock of the subway, the question of using an all-steel car was carefully considered by the management. Such a type of car, in many respects, presented desirable features for subway work as representing the ultimate of absolute incombustibility. Certain practical reasons, however, prevented the adoption of an all-steel car in the spring of 1902 when it became necessary to place the orders mentioned above for the first 500 cars. Principal among these reasons was the fact that no cars of this kind had ever been constructed, and as the car building works of the country were in a very congested condition all of the larger companies declined to consider any standard specifications even for a short-time delivery, while for cars involving the extensive use of metal the question was impossible of immediate solution. Again, there were a number of very serious mechanical difficulties to be studied and overcome in the construction of such a car, such as avoidance of excessive weight, a serious element in a rapid transit service, insulation from the extremes of heat and cold, and the prevention of undue noise in operation. It was decided, therefore, to bend all energies to the production of a wooden car with sufficient metal for strength and protection from accident, i. e., a stronger, safer, and better constructed car than had heretofore been put in use on any electric railway in the world. These properties it is believed are embodied in the car which has just been described.


The plan of an all-metal car, however, was not abandoned, and although none was in use in passenger service anywhere, steps were immediately taken to design a car of this type and conduct the necessary tests to determine whether it would be suitable for railway service. None of the car-building companies was willing to undertake the work, but the courteous cooperation of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company was secured in placing its manufacturing facilities at Altoona at the disposal of the Interborough Rapid Transit Railway Company.

Plans were prepared for an all-metal car, and after about fourteen months of work a sample type was completed in December, 1903, which was in every way creditable as a first attempt.

The sample car naturally embodied some faults which only experience could correct, the principal one being that the car was not only too heavy for use on the elevated lines of the company, but attained an undesirable weight for subway operation. From this original design, however, a second design involving very original features has been worked out, and a contract has been given by the Interborough Company for 200 all-steel cars, which are now being constructed. While the expense of producing this new type of car has obviously been great, this consideration has not influenced the management of the company in developing an equipment which promised the maximum of operating safety.


[Sidenote: _The General Arrangements_]

The general dimensions of the all-steel car differ only slightly from those of the wooden car. The following table gives the dimensions of the two cars, and also that of the Manhattan Railway cars:

Wooden All-Steel Manhattan Cars. Cars. Cars.

Length over body corner posts, 42' 7" 41' 1/2" 39' 10"

Length over buffers, 51' 2" 51' 2" 47' 1"

Length over draw-bars, 51' 5" 51' 5" 47' 4"

Width over side sills, 8' 8-3/8" 8' 6-3/4" 8' 6"

Width over sheathing, 8' 10" 8' 7" 8' 7"

Width over window sills, 8' 11-7/8" 9' 1/2" 8' 9"

Width over battens, 8' 10-3/4" 8' 7-1/4" 8' 7-7/8"

Width over eaves, 8' 8" 8' 8" 8' 9-1/2"

Height from under side of sill to top of plate, 7' 3-1/8" 7' 1" 7' 3"

Height of body from under side of center sill to top of roof, 8' 9-7/8" 8' 9-7/8" 9' 5-7/8"

Height of truck from rail to top of truck center plate (car light), 2' 8" 2' 8" 2' 5-3/4"

Height from top of rail to underside of side sill at truck center (car light), 3' 1-1/8" 3' 2-1/8" 3' 3-1/4"

Height from top of rail to top of roof not to exceed (car light), 12' 3/4" 12' 0" 12' 10-1/2"

The general frame plan of the all-steel car is clearly shown by the photograph on page 128. As will be seen, the floor framing is made up of two center longitudinal 6-inch I-beams and two longitudinal 5 x 3-inch steel side angles, extending in one piece from platform-end sill to platform-end sill. The end sills are angles and are secured to the side and center sills by cast-steel brackets, and in addition by steel anti-telescoping plates, which are placed on the under side of the sills and riveted thereto. The flooring is of galvanized, corrugated sheet iron, laid across the longitudinal sills and secured to longitudinal angles by rivets. This corrugated sheet holds the fireproof cement flooring called "monolith." On top of this latter are attached longitudinal floor strips for a wearing surface. The platform flooring is of steel plate covered with rubber matting cemented to the same. The side and end frame is composed of single and compound posts made of steel angles or T's and the roof framing of wrought-iron carlines and purlines. The sides of the cars are double and composed of steel plates on the outside, riveted to the side posts and belt rails, and lined with electrobestos. The outside roof is of fireproof composite board, covered with canvas. The headlinings are of fireproof composite, faced with aluminum sheets. The mouldings throughout are of aluminum. The wainscoting is of "transite" board and aluminum, and the end finish and window panels are of aluminum, lined with asbestos felt. The seat frames are of steel throughout, as are also the cushion frames. The sash is double, the lower part being stationary and the upper part movable. The doors are of mahogany, and are of the sliding type and are operated by the door operating device already described.


[Sidenote: _Trucks_]

Two types of trucks are being built, one for the motor end, the other for the trailer end of the car. The following are the principal dimensions of the trucks:

Motor Truck. Trailer Truck.

Gauge of track,............................. 4' 8-1/2" 4' 8-1/2"

Distance between backs of wheel flanges,.... 4' 5-3/8" 4' 5-3/8"

Height of truck center plate above rail, car body loaded with 15,000 pounds,....... 30" 30"

Height of truck side bearings above rail, car body loaded,.......................... 34" 34"

Wheel base of truck,........................ 6' 8" 5' 6"

Weight on center plate with car body loaded, about............................. 27,000 lbs.

Side frames, wrought-iron forged,........... 2-1/2" x 4" 1-1/2" x 3"

Pedestals, wrought-iron forged,.........................

Center transom, steel channel,..........................

Truck bolster,.............................. cast steel. wood and iron.

Equalizing bars, wrought iron,..........................

Center plate, cast steel,...............................

Spring plank, wrought iron,................. 1" x 3" white oak.

Bolster springs, elliptic, length, ......... 30" 32"

Equalizing springs, double coil, outside dimensions,................... 4-7/8" x 7-1/2" 3-5/8" x 6"

Wheels, cast steel spoke center, steel tired, diameter,.................... 33-3/4" 30"

Tires, tread M. C. B. Standard,......... 2-5/8" x 5-1/4" 2-5/8" x 5-1/4"

Axles, diameter at center,.................. 6-1/2" 4-3/4"

Axles, diameter at gear seat,............... 7-13/16"

Axles, diameter at wheel seat,.............. 7-3/4" 5-3/4"

Journals,................................... 5" x 9" 4-1/4" x 8"

Journal boxes, malleable iron, M. C. B. Standard,....................................

Both the motor and the trailer trucks have been designed with the greatest care for severe service, and their details are the outcome of years of practical experience.

Chapter end

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