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Tunnel Lighting


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The first tunnels to have non incandescent lighting from the beginning were the tunnels in the vicinity of Grant Avenue station on the IND Fulton Street (A) Line. The reason that most railfans dont see them is because they are on the yard leads under Grant Av station leading to Pitkin Yd. The lighting fixtures are single fluorescent tubes attached to the roof of the tunnels rather than on the sides and since I haven't been there in several years they may have been replaced by now. Those of you who are (NYCT) employees may be able to access the area to see what I mean. Although this area opened in 1956, it's interesting to note that the much newer Chrystie St connection and even the tunnels to 57/6 made use of the incandescent lamps. It could be that the TA felt that the earlier installation was not successful.

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In at least the early 70's, there was a string of mercury lighting in the southbound Montague tunnel from Whitehall to the middle of the tunnel, for some reason. When going to work with my mother, on the way home, I used to like to go that way (over the bridge or (6) to Bway Laf for the (D)) just to see those. Looked futuristic, with the "electric" bluish white with a hint of pink. The fixures were lower than the others. Almost on the catwalk.

These actually lasted until the 90's, when new mercury fixtures were being installed everywhere, and they placed new ones right above the old (which were then turned off), but then those were all converted to the current compact-fluoresent.


They also did tests other places as well. The the strip on the Lexington south of 59th, that got early "Philips earth light" style compact flourescents, then they tried high pressure-sodium, (peach color), and then low pressure sodium (brilliant amber, like on the emergency exits in places that got mercuries). An early version of the current compact fluorescent was tested on the Fulton line right before Hoyt-Schermoerhorn on the Mahnattan bound track. These were for some reason removed, and the incandescents remain.


There's that first early blue LED bulb that's shaped like the compact flourescents that went at the north end of 42nd/8th in in 2001, and is still there, lit. Newer ones were tried at Pacific St. but quickly swiped. Then, the newest ones that are shaped like regular bulbs in the stretch between Utica and Grant. They're good as the color is so saturated as to be just as noticeable, without being so bright, as the blue fluorescents.

Be nice if they held off converting anything else to fluoresent until the white LED's get bright and cheap enough that they can be used as tunnel lighting. Those would be the best.

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