Hamptons Subway Newsletter: Week of January 8–14, 2016

Chewing gum is gumming up the Hamptons Subway's tracks
Chewing gum is gumming up the Hamptons Subway's tracks, Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Week of January 8–14, 2015
Riders this past week: 9,712
Rider miles this past week: 98,414

The Academy Awards may not be for another month, but Hamptons Subway has learned from a friend whose mother works as a secretary for the awards committee who all the winners are. It’s supposed to be kept secret so we can’t tell you their names at this time, but we can tell you that every one of them either owns or has rented a house in the Hamptons. You read this first in this column.

The sharp turn in the subway tunnel as the train goes around Trout Pond in Noyac has long been considered a big problem. The train slows. The wheels squeal. Now a solution is in the works. This sharp turn will be eliminated altogether courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who will temporarily lift up the pond, dig a new straight tunnel under it and then lower Trout Pond back on top of it. The cost, about $12 million, is to be paid by the federal government’s Subway Safety Bureau.

The Hamptons Subway Newsletter had its eighth birthday last Wednesday with a big dinner party for all employees, current and past, in the company cafeteria. Commissioner Aspinall spoke. So did Dan Rattiner, the Editor-in-Chief of Dan’s Papers, who has been graciously reprinting our weekly newsletters in Dan’s Papers since the beginning. Nobody from the present staff was there at the founding. A few former staffers came, ate, and quickly left. Apparently it was not a pleasant experience working at the Hamptons Subway Editorial Office back then. It’s not pleasant now either, but we current staffers came for the feed and sat through Commissioner Aspinall’s speech (he’s our boss), but then left before Mr. Rattiner spoke, to an empty room, I guess.

In the coming weeks, one or another of the subway stops will be bypassed as men with blowtorches deal with a small problem on the tracks that has been bedeviling maintenance this past year. It’s a bubble gum problem. In the past, our maintenance people just peeled it up when they found it during the nightly maintenances. But this summer, a new kind of chewing gum is a big seller, and it hardens very strongly after being chewed. After 24 hours it is impossible to remove from wherever it is found except by blowtorch. It’s made by Zeppelin Bubble Gum. At the request of Mr. Aspinall, Hamptons Subway has sent letters to Zeppelin explaining this problem, to the Pure Food and Drug Act officials and to the American Dental Association requesting that they mention this problem to all dentists around the country to relay to their patients. In the meantime, until we finish blowtorching, subway customers will just have to put up with the bumpy ride that takes place where the gum is.

Beginning last week, people running for president have been putting campaign posters on the subway walls at the closed-for-the-winter Georgica station. We’ve thought to remove these campaign posters. They are just a blur to people on the trains and campaigning is against our rules. But on second thought, we’ve decided to leave these posters up—they are for every single candidate—and we will bill each campaign for having them up there. The high rollers have summer homes in Georgica. The station will re-open in April. They will see the posters on the far wall. When that happens, we will bill the campaigns for the wall space. It will be for a lot and we can use the money.


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