The Hamptons Subway

Patti Smith, Air Conditioning, Froggie

Week of August 5-11, 2011

Riders this week: 11,412

Rider miles this week: 138,322


Singer Patti Smith was seen strumming her guitar while riding between Southampton and Shinnecock. She will be performing in the “Escape to New York” concert at the Shinnecock Reservation there this weekend and said she was going over there to case the joint in advance.


George “Froggie” Accapella, called that nickname “Froggie” by all his friends and enemies, turns 26 this week. He works for Hampton Subway as a subway platform maintenance worker and has been with us for three years, God Bless. Happy birthday Froggie!! [expand]


Hampton Subway experienced a record number of delays this past week, in fact, the number was exactly one every day. We’ve never had system-wide delays every single day for a week before. This is a new record.

On Monday, at 10:32 a.m., a small child dropped a teddy bear down onto the tracks on the Water Mill platform and began carrying on to such a degree that the trains had to be halted. The delay was for 10 minutes.

On Tuesday, at 8 p.m., a live animal was seen on the tracks in the tunnel between North Sea and Noyac, the system shut down, the A.S.P.C.A. was called and there was a delay of 55 minutes until the animal, a raccoon, was able to be coaxed off the tracks.

On Wednesday at 5 a.m., the Subway system failed to start when activated by the pulling of the switch from our Hampton Bays office. There was an electrical outage somewhere, and the workmen had to track it down, which turned out to be between Sag Harbor and East Hampton, where a plug had slipped out of a socket. The delay was an hour and 10 minutes and the system reopened at 6:10 a.m.

The system automatically came to a halt when a metal plate attached to the bottom of one of the cars alongside the brake lining came loose and began touching the third rail at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday in the Westhampton Beach station. Smoke was seen outside the car where burning was taking place and the train was promptly evacuated and the security people boarded the train with fire extinguishers to put out the blaze, which—by spraying with the stuff and separating the plate from the third rail with tongs, they successfully did. The delay was 50 minutes.

At 9:14 a.m., right in the middle of rush hour on Thursday, all the trains came to a halt for 45 minutes when a hysterical woman said on a train parked in the Quogue Station that her wedding ring had slipped off her finger and had fallen down into the crack. Security people retrieved it for her, and she paid them a small reward from her purse. She was advised to keep the ring in her purse for the rest of the trip and she did.

The Friday delay came between 2 and 3:30 in the afternoon when a family of endangered piping plovers flew down the stairs, across the turnstiles and into the tunnel between Bridgehampton and Water Mill. Our environmental unit was called and used a handcar on the tracks to determine that the birds had not nested on the tracks there. In fact they were nowhere to be seen. Apparently they flew off or something.

The air conditioning system on the East Hampton platform started making a terrible noise on Saturday morning and repairmen came and turned it off to make a repair. The token clerk in charge there, with the heat of the day rising, then ordered the platform evacuated and the stop closed which triggered a closing of the whole system, but then the central office in Hampton Bays overruled her when they heard about it and ordered the system reopened but with signs put up warning people in delicate health not to walk faster than necessary to board the trains. The temperature did get over 90 degrees though. And the repairs were completed later in the day.

At 5 a.m. Sunday morning, the system reopened to discover that the Amagansett platform was now entirely populated with about 200 members of a religious sect having morning services sitting on the floor holding hands in anticipation of some peculiar cosmic events expected in that town later in the day that never materialized. It took subway security 40 minutes to shoo them away and during that time the subway system was not running and we apologize for this delay.


I am in Paris discussing developments here with the Paris Subway System authorities. I’m working without a translator and this does make it difficult. Will be home on Wednesday.

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