Friday, June 27, 2008

Is this really the best use for subway cars?

In artificial reefs? Does no other system or planned system possibly have a use for them (with refurbishing)?

They carried commuters across New York City for 40 years, but in less than two hours Thursday, 44 subway cars from the Big Apple were sunk off the Virginia coast, becoming part of a large artificial fishing reef.

About six miles off Chincoteague on the Eastern Shore, a specially rigged crane dropped the 16-ton cars, one by one, off a barge and into about 65 feet of water. The impact each time created a loud smack and sent thick spray into the air.

The steel shells, stripped of their doors, windows, seats, plastics and asbestos, joined surplus Army tanks and 50 other rail cars from New York City that had been similarly deployed here several years ago as part of Virginia's man-made reefing program.

Five more loads of subway cars will be sent to the ocean bottom in the coming years, under a contract between the state and the New York City Transit Authority. Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, South Carolina and Georgia also utilize New York's old subway cars in this manner.

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