Week of October 10–16, 2014
Riders this past week: 15,821
Rider miles this past week: 86,411
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Actors Bob Balaban and Alec Baldwin were seen chattering away on a subway car going from Southampton to Water Mill with Stuart Match Suna, Anne Chaisson and David Nugent last Wednesday, but our spotter was not close enough to hear what it was all about.
NOW IT CAN BE TOLD
Several riders who care about these things have noticed that we slow the train down going around the bend at Trout Pond in Noyac more than we used to and that the rest of the line seems to have sped up. They are not wrong about this. And we have not written about this, but now we have to.
For four months now, a family of piping plover birds, which are endangered, have been nesting next to the third rail in the tunnel just below Trout Pond, and we decided, back then, to just slow the subway train down to a crawl as we approached this nest and continue that way until we were past so as not to disturb them. To accommodate this, Subway Commissioner Aspinall instructed the motormen to speed up on the rest of the route, from the allowable maximum of 38 miles and hour to an allowable maximum of 41 miles an hour. We hoped people would not notice.
Three weeks ago, a second family of piping plovers built a nest on this curve just a hundred yards down from the first. To facilitate this new nest, it would be necessary to slow down twice as long and to increase maximum speeds to a very dangerous 43 miles an hour elsewhere, and the Commissioner rejected this approach. Instead, he bought large nets and gave them to half a dozen workmen, instructing them to scoop up the plovers and nests and set them free, perhaps, along the shores of the pond overhead. They were unsuccessful on the first day, with the birds fluttering around escaping them, and on thesecond day the police came and arrested the workmen.
Not only is there a fine connected with this, there is also jail time for tampering with endangered species. Commissioner Aspinall says he only “asked” the workmen to do this, and never would have them break any laws, whatever they might have been, so the 12 workmen, “The Plover 12” as they are now called, are under the gun. Donations to help them pay their legal bills should be sent to The Plover 12, Hampton Subway Headquarters, Ponquogue Avenue, Hampton Bays. Do not send cash.
Until then, the subways on the rest of the line will have a top speed of 40 miles an hour. Just hang on tight.
AS WE GO TO PRESS:
We’ve now been informed that an infestation of endangered Croatian Mollusks has been found not alongside, but on top of, the third rail between Southampton and Water Mill. They seem to enjoy the electricity there, as they are glowing and warm to the touch. But don’t you do that.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
This weekend is the Hamptons International Film Festival and we expect it to be a great time for participants to be on Hampton Subway to get around from one venue to another. But please remember our dress code.
There is to be nobody dressed up in funny animal suits, superhero costumes or Dracula capes on the subway, regardless of what you have heard. There are many people on Hampton Subway going thither and yon who would rather not be disturbed by such things as they attend to their other business.