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East New York

The Worlds Oldest Subway Tunnel : Atlantic Avenue

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BHRA - The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel is officially the world's oldest subway tunnel. This tunnel was built in 1844 beneath a busy street in the City of Brooklyn (Brooklyn did not become part of NYC until a half-century later). The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel is a half-mile long and accommodated two standard gauge railroad tracks.

 

Tunnel_Aug_5_2007_MG_9432.jpg

Photo Courtesy BHRA

 

http://www.brooklynrail.net/proj_aatunnel.html

 

:cool:

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Interesting.

 

Though I wouldn't strictly call it a subway tunnel if it was intended for the LIRR. What's the first tunnel specifically designed for Intracity Metro Transit?

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Interesting.

 

Though I wouldn't strictly call it a subway tunnel if it was intended for the LIRR. What's the first tunnel specifically designed for Intracity Metro Transit?

 

1863: Metropolitan Railway opened from Paddington to Farringdom, cut-and-cover, part of the Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines.

 

1890: City & South London Railway opened from Stockwell to King William Street, the first rapid transit line built with third rail, deep-tube line, now part of the Northern Line.

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Interesting.

 

Though I wouldn't strictly call it a subway tunnel if it was intended for the LIRR. What's the first tunnel specifically designed for Intracity Metro Transit?

 

You're reading into this too much. There is nothing to analyze. The definition of subway is an underground railroad.

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You're reading into this too much. There is nothing to analyze. The definition of subway is an underground railroad.

 

Then why are the els in Bronx, Brooklyn, etc. considered part of the subway, but the Metro-North in Manhattan is not?

 

It could be that we think of the word "subway" the way we do just because we're most familiar with New York, but personally I've always defined subway as preferably underground but definitely rapid transit, which LIRR is/was not.

 

But this probably is the oldest underground railroad, so it's still really cool.

 

Edit: Actually, probably not. And it may not have even been the first in New York City, I've found at least one source that says parts of the Park Avenue Tunnel (the aforementioned Metro-North) were built as early as 1834 and 1837.

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Then why are the els in Bronx, Brooklyn, etc. considered part of the subway, but the Metro-North in Manhattan is not?

 

It could be that we think of the word "subway" the way we do just because we're most familiar with New York, but personally I've always defined subway as preferably underground but definitely rapid transit, which LIRR is/was not.

 

But this probably is the oldest underground railroad, so it's still really cool.

 

Edit: Actually, probably not. And it may not have even been the first in New York City, I've found at least one source that says parts of the Park Avenue Tunnel (the aforementioned Metro-North) were built as early as 1834 and 1837.

 

The first planned subway was however is supposedly LIRR Atlantic Avenue. It is officially recognized by the state and city of New York, as well as the U.S. Government as the world's oldest underground railroad, aka subway.

 

It is my understanding that the Atlantic Tunnel was the first on record to be built for trains.

 

And yes the El's are part of the NYC Subway system, but they are not actually subways unless they travel under ground.

 

Subway literally means underground passage way, but is most commonly referred to as what we know it to be today.

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If I am correct this wasn't originally constructed to be a tunnel. It was a cut into the ground like the Sea Beach Line, but they later on covered the cut when residents complained about the smoke and the noise that came out of there.

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It is my understanding that the Atlantic Tunnel was the first on record to be built for trains.

 

The 1834 date I found was for the "Murray Hill Tunnel" which is now the current vehicular tunnel between 33rd and 40th Streets (but was originally for trains). However, that was originally built as an open cut as Roadcruiser describes, and was not "tunnelized" until the 1850s. The 1837 date is for the "Yorkville Tunnel", but I'm having trouble finding anything else explaining exactly which section this refers to, or how it was constructed.

 

However, there were two other rail tunnels built in the United States in 1837, one in Connecticut and one in Pennsylvania, both of which are still in use today.

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