The First Subway

New York City's Hidden History

New York City is famous for many things, but one vital part of the city’s identity is its subway system.  With over 600 miles of track and 27 different lines, the NYC subway is the largest metro system in the US.  Without the subway, the city wouldn’t be able to function. In fact, the reason NYC built the subway was because of a public transportation crisis.  A blizzard in 1888 dropped 5 feet of snow over the city and the Northeastern US, shutting down all roads and public services.  This disaster prompted New York City to move its telegraph system underground and look into building a subway system.  

The first subway in the city was built by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT).  The company was building a massive rapid transit network in New York City and had been buying and building elevated railways in the years leading up…

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