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A Century of Subways

Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways

A Century of Subways by Brian Cudahy
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US$ 19.99
I declare the subway open, said Mayor George B. McClelland at about 2 p.m. on October 27, 1904. His hand on the switch, McClelland drove the new electric-powered cars of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company out of the City Hall station for the ride under Broadway to 145th Street in Harlem. After a decade of digging, New York was moving uptown. And everything began to change. Brian Cudahy offers a fascinating tribute to the world the subway created. Taking a fresh look at one of the marvels of the 20th century, Cudahy creates a vivid sense of this extraordinary achievement?how the city was transformed once New Yorkers started riding in a hole in the ground. The story begins before 1904. For years, everyone knew only a new public transportation system could break the gridlock strangling the most crowded city in America. Cudahy?s hero is August Belmont, Jr., the banker who risked a fortune to finance the building of the IRT. Next, Cudahy moves to Boston and London, whose subways were older than New York?s, to compare the experiences of these great cities. And he explores the impact of the new IRT on New York?s commuter railroads and later on rail transportation from Buffalo to Los Angeles. New York simply would not be possible without its subways. With this spirited salute to the powerbrokers and politicians who planned it and the engineers and laborers who built it, Brian Cudahy helps us remember the real legacy of the subway?and the city it made.
Fordham University Press; October 2003
388 pages; ISBN 9780823222957
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Title: A Century of Subways
Author: Brian Cudahy
 
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