Week of January 3–9, 2017
Riders this past week: 38,745
Rider miles this past week: 86,988
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton were seen on the Hamptons Subway heading from North Sea to Noyac late on New Year’s Eve. Also seen was Justin Bieber, who had to be awakened in the lead car at the Amagansett station to tell him the subway was now shutting down for the night and heading to the Montauk Yards. He got off.
POLAR BEARS REOPEN COOPERS BEACH
Residents and visitors alike picked the lock on the steel door at the Coopers Beach station in Southampton at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day to have it open for the Polar Bear Plunge. This has never happened before. It’s illegal. Nevertheless, bathers could get on the subway at Jobs Lane and take the closed-for-the-winter spur down to the beach wearing their bathing suits. Although the heat was off, it was warmer down there then up top. “It beat the hell out of running through town in a bathing suit,” said one plunger. Subway employees arrived and found the lock picked, with bathers rushing through and into the ocean for the plunge and then returning to the stop’s platform for hot chocolate and coffee. Subway officials decided not to kick everybody out at that time, and so waited until the plunge ended at 11 a.m. and everyone went home. Then they locked it. Afterwards, the subway system was flooded with complimentary emails from plungers about the subway’s good deed.
TROUT POND HUMP
Everyone is familiar with the lurch the train makes in the tunnel as it passes over the underground hump while making the sharp turn under Trout Pond in Noyac. It’s been there since the Subway opened. Last November, as one of his last acts in office, President Obama authorized the $8 million appropriation to fix the hump. Thirty workers labored down there for two months, necessitating trains going in either direction to use just one track, which did cause delays. However, last Thursday, the hump was gone and the closed track re-opened. Within an hour, however, the hump was back. It just popped back up. Nobody knows why. Some say they were glad it was back. They’d steadied themselves for it to happen every day for years, and then it would. So now it does it again.
STARRY SKIES SCRUBBED OFF
At the beginning of December, the third graders at the Mecox School in Water Mill took on a class project painting luminous white stars on the ceilings of the tunnel between Bridgehampton and Sagaponack. The idea was to give the people in the lead car looking forward—namely the motorman—a starry sky as his headlight shone on the tunnel ceiling during that three-mile stretch. The starry sky would cheer the motorman up for the holiday season and help him think good, safe thoughts while driving. The kids went down there with ladders and teachers three days at dawn before the system opened for the day to do the work and it did look terrific when done. Motormen were indeed pleased. It was all removed on New Year’s Day, however. A rich seam of coal was discovered in that tunnel, and on January 2, 20 miners from West Virginia came in with jackhammers, picks and coal cars to get to work. They are there today. Staying pressed against the walls to avoid oncoming trains, they say, is just as dangerous as the mine collapses that many of them had lived through back home.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
We say adios to 2017 and bon jour to 2018 as the year turns. Don’t forget to turn back your clocks.