MTA Money Train-Armored Train-Subway-370 Jay Street Tunnels-NYC-004

Last week, we reported on the MTA’s special armored money train that delivered fare collected from all over the transit system to a money room once located at 370 Jay Street, the subject of a current exhibit at the New York Transit Museum. This building was designed especially for this purpose, and selected for its location atop the Jay Street subway station. A crashgate along the Jay Street southbound F line subway track allowed the fares to be unloaded directly into the basement of the building, into special tunnels inside what looks like a uniform government building.

Today, we are pleased to share with you photographs of what these tunnels looked like inside 370 Jay Street, places that may have already been sealed off with the large-scale renovation of the building by New York University. These photographs were submitted to us from an anonymous source, and appear to be taken after the closing of the money room in 2006.


IND Subway Map-Station Colors-Vanshnookenraggen -NYCEarlier this week, one of our favorite mappers Vanshnookenraggen posted to his Tumblr a vision of the IND (Independent Subway) System, if its map had been colored according to an original coding system devised by Squire J. Vickers. Vickers was the chief architect of the New York City system, before and after its amalgamation and his background as a painter probably contributes to the creative color system. As Vanshnookenraggen writes, “Color coded stations were grouped between express stations to alert a rider which zone they were going through. At each express station, the colored tiles would change. Some station tile color patterns have been changed with repairs and renovations.” But, riding the trains lettered  A, B, C, D, E, F and G today you still get a sense of Vickers’ coloring system (the stations that have white tiles with a band of color and station name lettering in black and white tiles).


World's Fair Subway Line-R1-9 Train-1930-1940-Flushing Meadows Corona Park-Queens-NYCIND World’s Fair Subway LinePhoto via George Conrad Collection from NYC Subway

There is a line of the IND (Independent) subway that no longer exists, created specifically for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Near the Forest Hills-71st Street stop (along today’s M/R lines), the World’s Fair Line began at a flying junction (a rail crossing where tracks cross over ground level trucks via a bridge) and ran through Jamaica Yard. Two tracks that formerly went up to or through the yard storage area were extended, turning north along the east side of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park atop a pine wooden trestle built atop marshland (made famous as the Great Gatsby’s Valley of Ashes), and ending at a new station, the World’s Fair Terminal Station. The spur was a total of 2 miles, built at cost of $1.7 million.


nyc-nycta-graphics-standards-manual-massimo-vignelli-2Image via eventhree

When most people think about the New York City subway, they think of the Milanese graphic designer Massimo Vignelli. And when most people think about Vignelli, they think of the typeface Helvetica. Massimo Vignelli arrived in the United States in 1965, and soon started his first project with the New York City Transit Authority. His major work was the New York City Transit Authority Graphic Standards Manualwhich unfortunately, was loosely adhered by the NYCTA. The collaboration was not satisfactory to say the least, causing much frustration to the designers, the implementers as well as passengers. Here are 10 secrets of the graphics standard manual, which Vignelli would probably roll over in his graves had he seen the current “designs”. (more…)

New York Transit-Money Train-Revenue Room-370 Jay Street-Transit Museum-Secret lIfe of 370 Jay Street-NYC-004The New York Transit Money Train. Photo by Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit

You know about armored trucks, but what about an armored subway? From 1951 to 2006, the New York City transit system ran an armored train that moved all the subway and bus fares collected to a secret room at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn, the subject of the exhibit at the New York Transit Museum The Secret Life of 370 Jay Street.” A description in the exhibit describes that “most Money Trains were staffed by 12 collecting agents and one supervisor, all armed and wearing body armor.”


Urban Cowboy-High Line-Meatpacking-West Side-NYCPhoto via Livin’ the High Line

The “West Side Cowboys” in New York City, one of the most fun secrets of the High Line, were city-appointed safety vigilantes on horseback that once prevented pedestrian accidents along 10th Avenue, a thoroughfare nicknamed Death Avenue due to the large number of accidents between freight trains and pedestrians. The original High Line, opened in 1934, was an elevated freight viaduct for the New York Central railroad, built in response to the accidents. Vintage video footage discovered by historian Annik La Farge while writing the book On the High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Urban Park (Revised Edition) provides a rare glimpse into this once-popular symbol of the city’s west side.