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Author River of Slime: The Real Deal
ILOVEECTO1
Ghosthead



Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posted: Jun 02, 2003 5:52 AM

Okay, for the last week some of you may've noticed I've been posting about the real Pneumatic Transit System. Well, now I got more info to share.

In 1870, Alfred Beach was determined to create the first subway system in NYC powered by air pressure. Using $350,000 of his own money, his crew worked for 58 days to build a tunnel 312 feet long across the street from City Hall.

The work was done in secret in the basement of Devlin's clothing store. As of this moment, I have two sources that proclaim its location in two different spots. However, the tunnel was built curving outwards into the middle of Broadway where the current R line runs, connecting the Southern block of Murray street to the South Western Corner of Warren. The tunnel was 312 feet long.

Beach opened it to the media and then the public for 25 cents a ride, impressing all but the corrupt Tweed administration currently in power within the city. Beach attempted to get support to make his Pneumatic system larger for $5 Million, but Tweed and his cronies squashed it. After Tweed was arrested, Beach tried again, but this time landlords interfered, fearing tunneling could weaken their buildings' foundations. Beach closed his line.

Deviln's store burned down in 1878 and the rubble removied to reveal the sealed up entrance to the secret subway. It was opened once for inspection, then resealed as a new building was constructed. In 1912, those contracted to build the modern subway wanted to take posession of the forgotten tunnel, causing a legal battle with Beach's son, citing his company owned it. A portion of the tunnel was taken out to make room for the new line, but the rest exists, marked by a plaque in the now closed lower section of the City Hall station.

Ghostbusters II blended fiction with reality nicely. While their Pneumatic Transit System ran under the length of First Avenue, the tunnel work matched that used within the subway stations in the birth of the Metro Transit System. Even though the set encompassed 2 different centuries of architectural innovations, it's still one helluva ride.

That was the short version. Want the long ones? Take your pick below.
Abandoned Subways
PTS
NYC Map

_____________

--ECTO-1
[email protected]
You can see my picture here.
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venkmanfan49
Ghosthead


Joined: Jul 25, 2002
Posted: Jun 02, 2003 6:01 PM

Cool. Good researching man. smile

Matt

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Ghostbusters: The Website: New Message Board
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They murdered my family. They thought they murdered me. My actions are not vengeance. No, not vengeance...Punishment
The Punisher 2004

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Kingpin
Ghosthead


Joined: Aug 17, 2001
Posted: Jun 02, 2003 6:22 PM

Wow, that's some good research, consider it part of The Ghostbusters Fact List now, I now instill the priviledges therein, mention for disovery of information, congrats.

_____________

"We have the tools, we have the talent"
The sun never sets on the British Empire...because God can't trust us in the dark! evil grin
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mrshowtime3740
Ghosthead


Joined: Aug 15, 2002
Posted: Jun 02, 2003 9:49 PM

Excellent research, bro...

Reminds me of the Elevated Lines here in Chicago

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ILOVEECTO1
Ghosthead


Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posted: Jun 02, 2003 11:53 PM

The Els were the first lines here in NY too, tho most of them are now gone.

UPDATE:
New pictures!

PTS2

Unfortunately, I'm no closer to determining Deviln's exact location. Different sources proclaim it to be on either Murray or Warren.

_____________

--ECTO-1
[email protected]
You can see my picture here.
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Kingpin
Ghosthead


Joined: Aug 17, 2001
Posted: Jun 04, 2003 8:47 AM

Found this intresting article, could this be the true location of the Pneumatic Transit?

TITLE: Beach Pneumatic Transit
AUTHOR: Joseph Brennan ([email protected])
SOURCE: http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/rails/beach.html
COPYRIGHT: Joseph Brennan 1998
DATE: August 1998

Beach Pneumatic Transit
The splendors of the Beach Pneumatic Transit demonstration line of 1870 have been the subject of special sections in many books about the New York subway. Although I have long considered the attention paid to it far out of proportion to its place in history, now I find myself also devoting a little feature to it, specifically to its place as an abandoned subway station.

Most of the books say the Beach tunnel had been long forgotten, and that workers building the Broadway subway in 1912 were surprised when they broke into it and discovered the car on the tracks and the station with its fountain gone dry. Wrong. Say it often enough and some people believe it, but it didn't happen.

In February 1912, a few days before the contract was awarded for that section of the new subway, and therefore obviously before any construction began, a little feature ran in the New York Times about the Beach tunnel. If any Times reader hadn't known about it, they did after reading that day's editorial page. When the construction contract was awarded to the Degnon Construction company, the first thing Degnon did was to "take possession" of the tunnel. Several company and City officials went down to look at it with reporters.

Their means of entry was not the basement of the building at Warren Street and Broadway, which was anyway not the same building that had been there in 1870. Instead they went down through the ventilation shaft in City Hall Park. A photograph that ran in the "Scientific American" in 1912 shows the top of the shaft to be a grill about five feet square, located where the Nathan Hale statue is now, just inside the park across from Murray Street. The size of this grill further belies the idea that the tunnel had been totally forgotten. There was obviously something substantial underground at this location.

Accounts in the newspapers and the "Scientific American" report that the thin iron rails had rusted away but that the iron rings of the tunnel were still very solid. The remains of the wooden car stood near the end of the tunnel. The shield was still across the end of the tunnel, intact except for small wooden parts.

Some photos were taken showing the car and the tunnel. The one below appeared in the Annual Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District for 1912. The slight curve in the foreground would be the end of the turn from Warren Street into Broadway, built with iron rings, and therefore we are looking south into the bricklined straight section under Broadway. Hidden in the dark distance is the remains of the car and then the shield.

Nothing is said in any of the press articles about the station, and no photographs show it. Since they detailed everything else, I am convinced the inspection team did not see it, and that the north end of the tunnel was walled off. This of course would also be the reason to enter through a shaft instead of simply walking in from the building and through the station. The sole room for doubt is that the north end of the tunnel is not described at all.

Degnon engineers remarked on the solidness of the structure after so many years and suggested it might be as much work to remove it as it had been to build it.

The New York Parcel Dispatch Company, which was the same as the Beach Pneumatic Transit Company after three name changes, brought a suit against the City for taking their property. What became of this has not been recorded any place I have found, but some friendly agreement must have been reached, because the shield, one of the first ever used in tunnel construction, was given special treatment and handed over to Beach's son.

As the new subway was constructed, it was agreed to leave the shield in place temporarily and dig out around it. A photograph in the "Scientific American" from late 1912 shows the shield with open excavated space all around it. The article states that after it had been exposed and documented, the shield was cut up and brought out, and then sent to Cornell University for an exhibition. It is not at Cornell now, and what became of it is unknown.

One of the stories about Beach's construction in 1869-70 was the workers coming across an old stone wall they thought to be a Dutch fort. They removed the stones one at a time and continued through. The larger excavation done in 1912 proved the stone wall to be an old but later cistern.

The matter of the station still lingers. The most likely truth is that it was destroyed when the new building at Warren Street and Broadway was put up, the same one that is still there today. And yet one can speculate. Grates in the sidewalk of Warren Street show there is something underground right there. At least, the space dug out by Beach and his workmen there has not been filled in.


_____________

"We have the tools, we have the talent"
The sun never sets on the British Empire...because God can't trust us in the dark! evil grin
Nightsquad gets chatting
Egon and Janine forever! Everything else is wrong
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Veedramon
Ghosthead


Joined: Feb 03, 2003
Posted: Jun 05, 2003 12:15 PM

The Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline has been revised to include some of this great info. ILOVEECTO1, Kingpin, superb research.

_____________

--Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, Mad Scientist and Official Historian of Ghostbusters: West Coast Division
Also known as GBCentral's Doc Fritz
Visit The Digibusters Ectozone, home of the Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline!!!!! and the New Ghostbusters Timeline!. The Ectozone is a member of the GB Community Board
Also visit The Ghostbusters Fact List!
And read one of my Fan Fictions Pretty Please?
Egon and Janine Forever!!!
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ILOVEECTO1
Ghosthead


Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posted: Jun 05, 2003 7:28 PM

I heard something about that grating, however it doesn't really match up with a variety of other sources that say the tunnel curves. Also, there's the 312 foot length to consider.

_____________

--ECTO-1
[email protected]
You can see my picture here.
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