Underground Rapid Transit for New York.
The latest scheme for the solution of the problem of rapid transit for New York and the adjoining cities is that which has been laid before the rapid-transit commissioners by Austin Corbin, representing a company consisting of some of the most prominent financiers and public men of the country.
The plan is a comprehensive one, and provides, in brief, for the construction of a double-track railway tunnel from the foot of Atlantic avenue, Brooklyn, under the East river to the Battery in New York, and a continuation of it under the Hudson river to York street, near the Pennsylvania Railroad passenger station at Jersey City; and for a connecting system at a depth approximating generally about 100 feet from the surface under New York city from the Battery to Van Courtlandt park, extending along both sides of and across the city.
The preliminary work for the scheme, in the shape of surveys and borings has been going on quietly for some time, and has already cost, it is stated, about $30,000. The borings developed the fact that the whole of the proposed 42 or 43 miles of tunnels could be run through solid rock, except for a space ol about 2400 feet under the Hudson river and a short distance at Canal street, New York. The cost of driving the tunnels is estimated at $i,2$o,ooo j>er mile, while the cost of excavation for underground stations, for real estate and surface stations, ventilating ami lighting plants and other equipments will, it is calculated, bring the total exjwmse up to $3,000,000 jar mile for the first section and about $2,000,000 per mile for the subsequent sections.
This first section of the jmqiosed work embraces the tunnel between New York ami Brooklyn. To build it. there has been incorporated at Albany, under the general railroad act of 1850, the Metrojaditan Underground Railway Company, with a capital stock of $3,000,000. The directors for the first year are Austin Corbin, K. Norton, Frederick T. Brown, John Sloanc, Horace Porter, Daniel C. Corbin, J. Edward Simmons and Edward Lauterbach, New York city; Benjamin F. Tracy (Secretary of the Navy), Edwin F. Knowhon and William B. Kendall, Brooklyn; Albert B. Board man, New Brighton, and W. B. Dickerman, Mamaroneck. The subscribers to the capital stock include all the directors and Gen. John Newton, Abraham S. Hewitt, F. P. Olcott, Vice-President Levi P. Morton, C. S. Smith, Samuel Thomas, C. P. Huntington and Edward F. Winslow, New York city, and Calvin S. Brice, Timothy I.. Woodruff and A. E. Orr, Brooklyn.
The organization covered by the papers filed at Albany is strictly for the construction of the tunnel between New York and Brooklyn. No organization has been made ot a company to construct the lines through the city, and, it is stated, none will be until after the raj>id-transit commissioners shall have decided whether or not the plan is one that will meet with their approval.
The plans of the projectors, however, as staled by The New York Herald, to which paper we are indebted for the annexed drawings of the proposed work, embrace six sections, as follows:
SECTION NO. I. A submarine doub’e track tunnel from Whitehall street, New York, to Atlantic avenue, Brooklyn, to connect with all the elevated roads both east and west side in this city and with the Long Island Railroad and extensions of the elevated roads in Brooklyn.
SEC. NO. 2. A continuation of this first section across and beneath Batter)’ Park to a station in Jersey City.
SEC. NO. 3. A double track tunnel from the foot of Whitehall street, under Broadway, to the post office, with intermediate stations at or near Wall street and Bowling Green.
SEC. No. 4. A continuation of this line from the post office, under Broadway, to Union square, where it diverges to the left, continuing under Broadway to and under the Boulevard to One Hundred and Fifty-fifth street. Also branching east from Union square northeasterly to the line of Third avenue at Eighteenth street, and continuing north under Third avenue to Harlem bridge; thence northwesterly in close proximity to the line of the Harlem river until it reaches the line of One Hundred and Fifty-fifth street, so forming a complete circuit.
SEC. NO. 5. A loop extending from the terminal station at the foot of Whitehall street northeasterly under Front and Water streets to the line of Essex street, continuing northerly beneath Essex street and Avenue A to Tenth street; thence northwest to a connection with the Third avenue line at Twenty-third street. Commencing again at Whitehall street station northwesterly under West street on a line with the piers and general warehouses to Twelfth street, and thence northerly beneath Tenth avenue to a junction with the Broadway line at Seventysecond street.
SEC. NO. 6. A line to meet the wants developed by the growth of the city north in the annexed districts. This will be a continuation of the Boulevard line north from One Hundred and Fifty-fifth street on the Kingsbridge road to Kingsbridge, and north from Harlem Bridge, through Third avenue, having connection with the west line at Kingsbridge—forming a circuit around the present Jerome Park.
The proposed tunnel from New York to Brooklyn is to be 6050 feet in length, 5000 feet being between stations, the rest being devoted to sidings. The height will be twenty feet and width twenty-six feet. It will be driven through solid rock and lined with brick. The New York and Brooklyn underground stations, according to the plans, are to be both alike— 330 feet long, sixty feet wide and thirty feet high from the rail level to the crown of the arch. They arc to be connected with the stations on the street level immediately above them by shafts eighty feet long and seventeen feet wide, containing six elevators and a staircase.
The crowm of the arch on the New York side is to be ninety feet below the street level at Whitehall street, and that in Brooklyn 118 feet below the street level. The platforms extend along the centre of the underground stations, with a single track on either side, and these converge again together beyond the platforms. Down the centre of the platforms will be the large elevator shafts, which “Sre to have distinct arrival and departure sides, so that no confusion can arise between passengers arriving at and leaving the stations.
In the centre of each station platform the elevator shafts will be divided into seven compartments—six for elevator cars (the seventh for an emergency staircase of stone), capable of conveying at each station 340 passengers per minute. They will have double sliding doors, one opening on the departure and the other on the arrival platform. Three of the elevators in the New York station are to ascend to the level of the elevated railroad stations, and the others to the street level.
The New’ York station aboveground at Whitehall and South streets is designed to be two stories high, with a foot bridge from the upper story to the elevated railroad station. The station on the Brooklyn side will lack the high-level platform.
It is calculated to provide for a train and elevator service of 12,000 passengers an hour,and to use electricity for motive power and lighting. Ventilation will be provided for by wrought iron circular shafts suspended from the crown of the arch, running into and toward the centre of the tunnel from each station. 1 he distance at the centre of the tunnel between the openings of these shafts will be fifty feet. At each station a large centrifugal fan will be provided. The air will be drawn through these shafts from the centre of the tunnel to each end and discharged at the surface, the vacuum thus created being filled by a current of fresh air passing down the large main shafts.
As to the feasibility of the scheme, General Newton is quoted as of the opinion that the plans for the construction and operation of the tunnel are practical, and that there are no difficulties in the way of its construction. With regard to the extension of the tunnel system through the city, it is understood that the details have not been decided upon, and that little is likely to be done in that direction until the East river section shall have been completed and put in successful operation.
In the accompanying map the routes of the entire projected system of tunnels are shown except a small portion at the northern extremity, forming a loop above Jerome Park, omitted here for lack of space.