Riders this past week: 9,121
Rider miles this past week: 101,412
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Chuck Close was seen riding on the subway between Wainscott and East Hampton. He said he was on his way to Guild Hall to see Ruth Appelhof. Bill Clinton, carrying golf clubs, was seen on the subway heading east from Southampton. He was carrying a shopping bag from Hildreth’s.
NEW RAILS ARRIVE!
The Hamptons Subway is finally about to receive a complete new set of tracks. The old tracks, which everybody always complains about since they give such a jerky ride, are from when the subway was built in 1932.
The new tracks will arrive here Saturday. They should be bolted in place in time for the big Memorial Day weekend.
Commissioner Aspinall filled out the forms requesting the new trackage in 2007. The estimated cost was to be $1.1 billion. But when Wall Street collapsed, the application was put on hold. But our Commissioner persevered. Then, the $1.1 billion was approved, which would actually be $0.9 billion after Sequestration, not really enough.
Two weeks ago, it was found there was too much money allocated by FEMA for the Sandy cleanup, so Aspinall’s assistant Ben Leo swooped in and grabbed $300 million to complete the project.
The new tracks are made of seamless titanium, forged at the mill in California that formerly forged titanium for the now-defunct Space Shuttle program, and they are, some of them for the straightaways, over 1000 feet long. It was originally planned to ferry the titanium here by helicopters crossing the country in relays, but when it was learned that the choppers would only be permitted to land at airports, it was decided to bring the tracks here by oceangoing freighters, loading up at the Navy Pier in San Diego, coming through the Panama Canal and then to Long Wharf in Sag Harbor, where, next Saturday, a group of strong volunteers will carry each piece on their shoulders down Main Street in Sag Harbor and then off to the nearest subway station to be carefully threaded down the stairs and into the tunnels, a job expected to take six weeks.
The old tracks will be unbolted and removed in sections—they were constructed in sections—and then carried up the escalators and hauled off over to the various charities in this community and given to them for nothing. When the job is done, subway riders will find their morning commute for now and for the next 900 years, the lifespan of titanium, to be as smooth as glass.
THE PARADE ROUTE
Everyone is invited to come see the Hamptons Subway trackage parade, beginning on Main Street at 11 a.m. this coming Saturday.
The Bay Shore Bagpipers will be here, the Hampton Harbor Marching Band and Fire Baton Twirlers and a whole host of parade floats built by Pierson High School (Sag Harbor) students. Mayor Bloomberg from New York will NOT be leading the parade as previously announced. It will be led by Amy Aspinall, the daughter of Bill Aspinall.
Dear Hamptons Subway:
Many of us longtime riders of Hamptons Subway do not want any new trackage on the line. We each love the various large lurches on our commutes to work. How dare you spring this on us without any input from the ridership. You will be hearing from our lawyers shortly.
Perry O’Dontist, SOT, Save Our Tracks
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
I am in Cannes.
I didn’t know the tracks are arriving Saturday.
I will do my best to be there.