Interborough Rapid Transit Company.

Interborough Rapid Transit: the New York subway; its construction and equipment online

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relay has been installed at each section break to set a "stop" signal in the face ot an approaching train, which
holds the train until the abnormal condition is removed.


Block Section

"A" Block System, Without Overlaps.

400 SOO'

Ui.<rl.l|i Otvrhip


"B" Block System, With Overlaps.
The Block Section Ec|ual to Two Overlaps and a Block Section.

"C" Block Sjstera, With Overlaps.
Tlie Block Section Equal to Two Overlaps. .ini>"Di' i/~"

IMstanrc liflweon Signals KiOO' 1200 ' sot)'
" " Trains 3200' 3200' 2400'

Headway at 25 M. P. H. % sec. 06 sec. TS sec.



A N , I-: , U , ,- M K N T

**\ "-iscopDo *M_

Slop Up






f^ K - Jliniii


Caution Distance. 2 nd Train under Caution

Signal .it Danger

Signal at Caution

Signal at Clear

Clear Distance. '2 nil Train Running nilli Clear Signal



The to-and-fro movement of a dense traffic on a four-track railway requires a large amount ot switching,
especially when each movement is complicated by junctions of two or more lines. Practically every problem
of trunk line train movement, including two, three, and four-track operation, had to be provided for in the
switching plants ot the subway 7 . Further, the problem was complicated by the restricted clearances and
vision attendant upon tunnel construction. It was estimated that the utmost flexibility of operation should
be provided for, and also that every movement be certain, quick, and safe.

All of the above, which are referred to in the briefest terms only, demanded that all switching
movements should be made through the medium of power-operated interlocking plants. These plants in
the subway portions ot the line are in all cases electro-pneumatic, while in the elevated portions of the line
mechanical interlocking has been, in some cases, provided.

A list of the separate plants installed will be interesting, and is given below :


City Hall, j;

Spring Street, 2

1 4th Street, 2

1 8th Street, i

42d Street, 2

72d Street, 2

96th Street, 2


looth Street, i 6

iojd Street, i 6

i loth Street, 2 12

1 1 6th Street, 2 12





1 6




Interlocking Working

Machines. Levers.


Manhattan Viaduct, i 12

1 37th Street, 2 17

1 45th Street, 2 19

Dyckman Street, i 12

2 1 6th Street, i 14


1 3 5th Street, 2 6

Lenox Junction, i 7

1 45th Street, i 9

Lenox Avenue Yard, i 35

Third and Westchester Avenue Junction, i 13

St. Anna Avenue, i 24

Freeman Street, i 12

1 76th Street, 2 66

Total, 37 393

The total number ot signals, both block and interlocking, is as follows :

Home signals, 354

Dwarf signals, 1 50

Distant signals, 187

Total, 691

Total number of switches, 224

It will be noted that in the case of the City Hall Station three separate plants are required, all of con-
siderable size, and intended for constant use for a multiplicity of movements. It is, perhaps, unnecessary to
state that all the mechanism of these important interlocking plants is of the most substantial character and
provided with all the necessary safety appliances and means for rapidly setting up the various combina-
tions. The interlocking machines are housed in steel concrete "towers," so that the operators may be prop-
erly protected and isolated in the performance of their duties.



THE employment of water-proofing to the exterior surfaces of the masonry shell of the tunnel,
which is applied to the masonry, almost without a break along the entire subway construction, has
made it unnecessary to provide an extensive system of drains, or sump pits, of any magnitude, for
the collection and removal of water from the interior of the tunnel.

On the other hand, however, at each depression or point where water could collect from any cause, such
as by leakage through a cable manhole cover or by the breaking of an adjacent water pipe, or the like, a sump
pit or drain has been provided for carrying the water away from the interior of the tunnel.

Eor all locations, where such drains, or sump pits, are located above the line ot the adjacent sewer, the
carrying of the water away has been easy to accomplish by employing a drain pipe in connection with suitable
traps and valves.

In other cases, however, where it is necessary to elevate the water, the problem has been ot a different
character. In such cases, where possible, at each depression where water is liable to collect, a well, or sump
pit, has been constructed just outside the shell of the tunnel. The bottom of the well has been placed lower
than the floor of the tunnel, so that the water can flow into the well through a drain connecting to the tunnel.

Each well is then provided with a pumping outfit; but in the case of these wells and in other locations
where it is necessary to maintain pumping devices, it has not been possible to employ a uniform design ot
pumping equipment, as the various locations offer different conditions, each employing apparatus best suited
to the requirements.

In no case, except two, is an electric pump employed, as the employment ot compressed air was
considered more reliable.

The several depressions at which it is necessary to maintain a pumping plant are enumerated as
follows :

No. i Sump at the lowest point on City Hall Loop.

No. 2 Sump at intersection of Elm and White Streets.

No. j Sump at j8th Street in the Murray Hill Tunnel.

No. 4 Sump at intersection of 46th Street and Broadway.

No. 5 Sump at intersection of i i6th Street and Lenox Avenue.

No. 6 Sump at intersection ot i42d Street and Lenox Avenue.

No. 7 Sump at intersection ot Hyth Street and Lenox Avenue.

No. 8 Sump at about 1441(1 Street in Harlem River approach.

No. 9 Sump at the center of the Harlem River Tunnel.



No. 10 Sump at intersection of Gerard Avenue and I49th Street.

In addition to the above mentioned sumps, where pumping plants are maintained, it is necessary to
maintain pumping plants at the following points:

Location No. i At the cable tunnel constructed under the Subway at 2jd Street and Fourth Avenue.

Location No. 2 At the sub-subway at 4id Street and Broadway.

Location No. 3 At the portal of the Lenox Avenue extension at 1481)1 Street.

Location No. 4 At the southerly end of the Harlem River tube.

Location No. 5 At the northerly end of the Harlem River tube.

Location No. 6 At the portal at Bergen Avenue and 1491)1 Street.

In the case of the No. I sump a direct-connected electric triple-plunger pump is employed, situated in
a pump room about 40 feet distant from the sump pit. In the case of Nos. 2, 4, and 7 sumps, automatic
air lifts are employed. This apparatus is placed in those sump wells which are not easily accessible, and the
air lift was selected for the reason that no moving parts are conveyed in the air-lift construction other than
the movable ball float and valve which control the device. The air lift consists of concentric piping extend-
ing several feet into the ground below the bottom of the well, and the water is elevated by the air producing
a rising column ot water of less specific weight than the descending column of water which is in the pipe
extending below the bottom of the sump well.

In the case of Nos. 3 and 5 sumps, and tor Location No. I, automatic air-operated ejectors have
been employed, for the reason that the conditions did not warrant the employment of air lifts or electric or
air-operated pumps.

In the case ot Nos. 6, 8, 9, and 10 sumps and tor Locations Nos. 2, 4, and 5, air-operated reciprocating
pumps will be employed. These pumps will be placed in readily accessible locations, where air lifts could
not be used, and this type of pump was selected as being the most reliable device to employ.

In the case of Location No. 3, where provision has to be made to prevent a large amount of yard
drainage, during a storm, from entering the tunnel where it descends from the portal, it was considered best
to employ large submerged centrifugal pumps, operated by reciprocating air engines. Also tor the portal, at
Location No. 6, similar centrifugal pumps will be employed, but as compressed air is not available at this
point, these pumps will be operated by electric motors.

The air supply to the air-operating pumping devices will he independent trom the compressed air line
which supplies air to the switch and signal system, but break-down connections will be made between the
two systems, so that either system can help the other out in case of emergency.

A special air-compressor plant is located at the I48th Street repair shop, and another plant within the
subway at 415! Street, tor supplying air to the pumps, within the immediate locality of each compressor
plant. For the more remote pumps, air will be supplied by smaller air compressors located within passenger
stations. In one case, for the No. 2 sump, air will be taken from the switch and signal air-compressor
plant located at the No. I I sub-station.



WHILK popularly and not inaccurately known as the "Subway System," the lines of the Inter-
borough Company comprise also a large amount of trackage in the open air, and hence the rolling
stock which has already been described is devised with the view to satisfying all the peculiar and
special conditions thus involved. A necessary corollary is the requirement of adequate inspection and repair
shops, so that all the rolling stock may at all times be in the highest state of efficiency; and in this respect
the provision made by the company has been lavish and liberal to a degree.

The repair and inspection shop ot the Interborough R'apid Transit Company adjoins the car yards of
the company and occupies the entire block between Seventh Avenue on the west, Lenox Avenue and the
Harlem River on the east, i_|.Xth Street on the south, ami 14910 Street on the north. The electric subway
trains will enter the shops and car yard by means of the Lenox Avenue extension, which runs directly
north from the junction at i-pd Street and Lenox Avenue ot the Last Side main line. The branch
leaves the main line at I42d Street, gradually approaches the surface, and emerges at about i4jth

The inspection shed is at the southern end ot the property and occupies an area of approximately 336
feet by 240 feet. It is divided into three bays, ot which the north bay is equipped with four tracks running -4 r
its entire length, and the middle bay \\ith five tracks. The south bay contains the machine-tool equipment,
and consists of eighteen electrically driven machines, locker and wash rooms, heating boilers, etc., and has
only one track extending through it.

The construction of the inspection shops is that which is ordinarily known as "reinforced concrete," (Construction
and no wood is employed in the walls or roof. The building is a steel structure made up of four rows of
center columns, which consist ot twenty-one bays ot 16 feet each, supporting the roof trusses. The founda-
tions for these center columns are concrete piers mounted on piles. After the erection ot the steel skeleton,
the sides of the building and the interior walls are constructed by the use of i^-inch furring channels,
located 16 inches apart, on which are fastened a series ot expanded metal laths. The concrete is then
applied to these laths in six coats, three on each side, and termed respectively the scratch coat, the rough
coat, and the fining coat. In the later, the concrete is made with white sand, to give a finished appearance to
the building.

The roof is composed of concrete slabs, reinforced with expanded metal laths and finished with cement
and mortar. It is then water-proofed with vulcanite water-proofing atld gravel.

In this connection it might be said that, although this system of construction has been employed before,
the building under consideration is the largest example of this kind of work yet done in the neighborhood of





Pit Room





Heating and


New York City. It was adopted instead of corrugated iron, as it is much more substantial, and it was con-
sidered preferable to brick, as the later would have required much more extensive foundations.

The doors at each of the bays of the building are of rolling steel shutter type, and are composed of
rolled-steel strips which mterloop with each other, so that while the entire door is of steel, it can easily be
raised and lowered.

All ot the tracks in the north and middle bays are supplied with pits for inspecting purposes, and as
each track has a length sufficient to hold six cars, the capacity of these two bays is fifty-four cars.

The inspection pits are heated by steam and lighted by electric light, for which latter purpose frequent
sockets are provided, and are also equipped with gas pipes, so that gas torches can be used instead of

As usual in shops of this kind, the third rail is not carried into the shops, but the cars will be moved
about by means of a special trolley. In the middle bay this trolley consists of a four-wheeled light-frame
carriage, which will run on a conductor located in the pit. The carriage has attached to it a flexible wire
which can be connected to the shoe-hanger of the truck or to the end plug of the car, so that the cars can
be moved around in the shops by means ot their own motors. In the north bay, where the pits are very
shallow, the conductor is carried overhead and consists of an 8-pound T-rail supported from the roof girders.

The middle bay is provided with a 50-1011 electric crane, which spans all of the tracks in this shop and
is so arranged that it can serve any one of the thirty cars on the five tracks, and can deliver the trucks, wheels,
motors, and other repair parts at either end ot the shops, where they can be transferred to the telpherage

One of the most interesting features of the shops is the electric telpherage system. This system runs
the entire length of the north and south bays crossing the middle bay or erection shop at each end, so that
the telpherage hoist can pick up in the main room any wheels, trucks, or other apparatus which may be
required, and can take them either into the north bay for painting, or into the south bay or machine shop for
machine-tool work. The telpherage system extends across the transfer table pit at the west end of the shops
and into the storehouse and blacksmith shop at the Seventh Avenue end of the grounds.

The traveling telpherage hoist has a capacity of 6,000 pounds. The girders upon which it runs consist
ot 1 2-inch I-beams, which are hung trom the roof trusses. The car has a weight of one ton and is
supported by and runs on the I-beam girders by means of four 9-inch diameter wheels, one on each side.
The hoist is equipped with two motors. The driving motor of two horse-power is geared by double
reduction gearing to the driving wheels at one end of the hoist. The hoist motor is of eight horse power, and
is connected by worm gearing and then by triple reduction gearing to the hoist drum. The motors are
controlled by rheostatic controllers, one for each motor. The hoist motor is also fitted with an electric brake
by which, when the power is cut off", a band brake is applied to the hoisting drum. There is also an
automatic cut-out, consisting of a lever operated by a nut, which travels on the threaded extension of the
hoisting drum shaft, and by which the current on the motor is cut off and the brake applied if the chain
hook is wound up too close to the hoist.

The buildings are heated throughout with steam, with vacuum system of return. The steam is supplied
by two 100 horse power return tubular boilers, located at the southeastern corner of the building and
provided with a 28-inch stack 60 feet high. The heat is distributed at 15 pounds pressure throughout the





three bays by means of coil radiators, which are placed vertically against the side walls of the shop and
storeroom. In addition, heating pipes are carried through the pits as already described. The shops are well
lighted by large windows and skylights, and at night by enclosed arc lights.

The shops and yards are equipped throughout with fire hydrants and fire plugs, hose and - fire
extinguishers. The water supply taps the city main at the corner of Fifth Avenue and I48th Street, and
pipes are carried along the side of the north and south shops, with three reel connections on each
line. A fire line is also carried through the yards, where there are four hydrants, also into the general

The general storeroom, oil room, and blacksmith shop occupy a building 199 feet by 22 feet in the
southwestern corner of the property. This building is of the same general construction as that of the inspec-
tion shops. The general storeroom, which is that fronting on 1481)1 Street, is below the street grade, so that
supplies can be loaded directly onto the telpherage hoist at the time of their receipt, and can be carried to any
part of the works, or transferred to the proper compartments in the storeroom. Adjoining the general room
is the oil and paint storeroom, which is separated from the rest of the building by fire walls. This room is
fitted with a set of eight tanks, each with a capacity of 200 gallons. As the barrels filled with oil and other
combustible material are brought into this room by the telpherage system they are deposited on elevated
platforms, from which their contents can be tapped directly into the tank.

The final division of the west shops is that in the northeastern corner, which is devoted to a blacksmith


Store Room




shop. This shop contains six down-draught forges ;md one drop-hummer, and is also served by the
telpherage system.

Connecting the mam shops with the storeroom and blacksmith or west shops is a rotary transfer table
-I-6 ^ eet '6 1: -' (i inches long and with a run ot 219 feet. The transfer table is driven by a large electric
motor the current being supplied through a conductor rail and sliding contact shoe. The transfer table runs
on two tracks and is mounted on jj-inch standard car wheels.

^ ' le sout:rl s 'de ot the shop is fitted with offices for the Master Mechanic and his department.

The working force will comprise about 250 in the shops, and their lockers, lavatories, etc., are located
in the south bay.



The scope of this hook does not permit an enumeration of all the sub-contractors who have done
work on the Rapid Transit Railroad. The following list, however, includes the sub-contractors for all the
more important parts of the construction and equipment of the road.

General Construction, Sub-section Contracts, Track and Track Material,
Station Finish, and Miscellaneous Contracts

S. L. F. DEYO, Chief Engineer.


For construction purposes the road was divided into sub-sections, and sub-contracts were let which
included excavation, construction and re-construction of sub-surface structures, support of surface railway
tracks and abutting buildings, erection ot steel (underground and viaduct), masonry work and tunnel work
under the rivers ; also the plastering and painting of the inside of tunnel walls and restoration of street surface.

Bradley, William, Sub-sections 6 A and 6 B, 6oth
Street to io_).th Street.

Degnon- McLean Contracting Company ( Degnon
Contracting Company), Sub-section i, 2 and
5 A, Post-office to Great Jones Street and 4ist
Street and Park Avenue to 47th Street and

Farrell, F.. J., Sub-section, Lenox Avenue Extension,
I42d Street to i4Xth Street.

Farrell & Hopper (Farrell, Hopper & Company),

Sub-sections 7 and S, ioj;d Street and Broad-
way to i J 5th Street and Lenox Avenue.

Holbrook, Cabot & Daly ( Holbrook, Cabot &: Daly
Contracting Company), Sub-section 3, Great
Jones Street to jjd Street.

McCabe &: Brother, L. B. (R. C. Hunt, Superin-
tendent), Sub-sections ij and 14, ijjd Street
to Hillside Avenue.

McMullen &: McBean, Sub -section 9 A, 13 5th
Street and Lenox Avenue to Gerard Avenue
and 1 49th Street.

Naughton & Company (Naughton Company), Sub-
section fB, 47th Street to 6oth Street.

Roberts, E. P., Sub-sections 10,12, and 15, Founda-
tions (Viaducts), Brook Avenue to Bronx Park,
1 15th Street to ijjd Street, and Hillside
Avenue to Bailey Avenue.

Rodders, John C., Sub-section 96, Gerard Avenue
to Brook Avenue.

Shaler, Ira A. (Estate of Ira A. Shaler), Sub-section

4, jjd Street to 4ist Street.

Shields, John, Sub-section i i, iO4th Street to i 25th

Terry & Tench Construction Company (Terry &
Tench Company), Sub-sections 10, 12, and 15,
Steel Erection (Viaducts), Brook Avenue to
Bronx Park, i 251)1 Street to I33d Street, and
Hillside Avenue to Bailey Avenue.


Cranford & McNamee, Sub-section 3, Clinton Street
to Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, Brooklyn.

Uegnon-McLean Contracting Company (Degnon
Contracting Company), Sub-section i, Park
Row to Bridge Street, Manhattan.



Onderdonk, Andrew (New York Tunnel Company),
Sub-sections 2 and aA, Bridge Street, Manhat-
tan, to Clinton and Joralemon Streets, Brooklyn.


American Iron & Steel Manufacturing Company,
Track Bolts.

Baxter & Company, G. S., Ties.
Connecticut Trap Rock Quarries, Ballast.
Dilworth, Porter & Company, Spikes.

Holbrook, Cabot & Rollins (Holbrook, Cabot &
Rollins Corporation ), Track Laying, City
Hall to Broadway and 42d Street.

Long Clove Trap Rock Company, Ballast.
Malleable Iron Fittings Company, Cup Washers.

Naughton Company, Track Laying, Underground
Portion of Road north of 42d Street and

Pennsylvania Steel Company, Running Rails, Angle
Bars, Tie Plates and Guard Rails.

Ramapo Iron Works, Frogs and Switches, Filler
Blocks and Washers.

Sizer & Company, Robert R., Ties.

Terry & Tench Construction Company (Terry &
Tench Company), Timber Decks for Viaduct
Portions, and Laying and Surfacing Track on
Viaduct Portions.

Weber Railway Joint Manufacturing Company,
Weber Rail Joints.


American Mason Safety Tread Company, Safety

Atlantic Terra Cotta Company, Terra Cotta.

Boote Company, Alfred, Glazed Tile and Art
Ceramic Tile.

Byrne & Murphy, Plumbing, 86th Street Station.

Dowd & Maslen, Brick Work for City Hall and other
Stations and Superstructures for jid Street,
iojd Street and Columbia University Stations.

Empire City Marble Company, Marble.
Grueby Faience Company, Faience.

Guastavino Company, Guastavino Arch, City Hall

Hecla Iron Works, Kiosks and Eight Stations on
Elevated Structure.

Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company, Safes.

Holbrook, Cabot & Rollins Corporation, Painting

Howden Tile Company, Glazed Tile and Art
Ceramic Tile.

Laheny Company, J. E., Painting Kiosks.

Manhattan Glass Tile Company, Glass Tile, and
Art Ceramic Tile.

Parry, John H., Glass Tile and Art Ceramic Tile.

Pulsifer & Larson Company, Illuminated Station

Rookwood Pottery Company, Faience

Russell & Irwin Manufacturing Company, Hardware

Simmons Company, John, Railings and Gates.

Tracy Plumbing Company, Plumbing.

Tucker & Vinton, Strap Anchors for Kiosks.

Turner Construction Company, Stairways, Platforms,
and Platform Overhangs.

Vulcanite Paving Company, Granolithic Floors.


American Bridge Company, Structural Steel.
American Vitrified Conduit Company, Ducts.

Blanchite Process Paint Company, Plaster Work
and Blanchite Enamel Finish on Tunnel Side

Brown Hoisting Machinery Company, Signal
Houses at Four Stations.

Camp Company, H. B., Ducts.

Cunningham & Kearns, Sewer Construction, Mul-
berry Street, East loth Street, and East 22d
Street Sewers.

Fox & Company, John, Cast Iron.

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Online LibraryInterborough Rapid Transit CompanyInterborough Rapid Transit: the New York subway; its construction and equipment → online text (page 12 of 13)