Alfred E. Beach and New York’s First Subway

  • Roger P. Roess
  • Gene Sansone
Part of the Springer Tracts on Transportation and Traffic book series (STTT, volume 1)


On February 26, 1870, while Harvey, Gilbert and others were working on a practical elevated railroad, Alfred Ely Beach introduced a one-block demonstration subway to the public, charging $0.25 fare per ride. All of the proceeds were donated to the Union Home for Orphans of Soldiers and Sailors. The subway ran for one block under Broadway, between Warren and Cedar Streets, and was powered by air pressure. Thirty-four years would pass before another subway opened its doors in New York.


Transit System Rapid Transit Pneumatic System Pneumatic Propulsion Tunneling Shield 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Transportation EngineeringPolytechnic Institute of New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.MTA New York City TransitPolytechnic Institute of New York University New YorkUSA

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