The Hamptons Subway Newsletter: September 27 – October 3, 2013

Big Duck Hamptons Subway
The Hamptons Subway may create a Big Duck stop in Flanders, Photo: Gen Horsbough

Week of September 27 – October 3, 2013
Riders this past week: 5,125
Rider miles this past week: 66,912

The Vienna Philharmonic, with their instruments, took Hamptons Subway from the Westhampton stop to Bridgehampton, where they gave a performance of a Schubert Symphony at the Bridgehampton Community Center last Wednesday afternoon. School busses ferried them from their chartered jet at Gabreski Airport to the subway in that town. It turned out they left a tuba on a seat in the subway when they got off in Bridgehampton. It was soon thereafter turned in by a good Samaritan, and was transported to the Community Center to arrive just before the beginning of the third movement, so the audience had to listen to the first two movements without it. Also seen on the subway Wednesday were Paul Simon and Alec Baldwin, between Montauk and Napeague and Southampton and Water Mill respectively.

Hamptons Subway is considering digging a tunnel between Hampton Bays and Flanders, which would terminate at the Big Duck, the 30-foot white sculpture of that creature, which sits along the side of Route 24 there. We are inviting public comment until October 31.

A 22-minute delay occurred on the eastbound subway train heading from Wainscott to East Hampton on Thursday evening at 9 p.m. when two white swans were found to be sitting on the tracks. After the train stopped, the swans walked over and began pecking at the headlight of the lead car. Finally, they stopped doing that and walked away to climb a flight of stairs that we didn’t know about until that time, which got them to Town Pond. We regret the delay.

Hamptons Subway is one of the few subway systems in America that still use flagmen in the tunnels to signal trains coming through to either stop or keep going. It’s a red flag for stop, a green flag for go. They have little glass booths to stand in down there in the tunnels to get shelter from the dust and grime in the tunnels when not signaling. They come out of the booths to signal. There are those in the EPA and on the State Transit Commission who say that this primitive system of keeping the trains from bumping into each other is very out of date. Almost all other subway systems have it all done by red and green lights attached to a central computer that touches off one light or the other as trains cross a spot on the tracks. They urge change, but that’s all they can do because Hamptons Subway is a private system. It would cost the company $40 million to change over to this system. Our Commissioner has not agreed to it. There are jobs at stake here. And we agree.

Trains will not be stopping at the Amagansett Station from either direction on October 2 so workmen can repair the tracks on the local line. Get off in East Hampton or Napeague instead on that day, and you should have alternate plans in place because, fact is, you will be getting off at Napeague or East Hampton anyway since the train won’t stop in Amagansett.

I’m excited to announce a photo contest that will begin on October 1. Take photos down in the subway. The best one we get before November 1 according to our panel of distinguished judges will receive a one month free pass on the system. Details next week.

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