Week of December 14–20, 2018
Riders this past week: 28,412
Rider miles this past week: 83,333
DOWN IN THE TUBE
Carl Ichan was seen on the subway riding from East Hampton to Georgica studying the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was seen riding the subway between Shinnecock and Southampton reading the New York Times on Friday. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was seen riding from Bridgehampton to Sagaponack on Friday reading the New York Post.
The board of directors of The Hamptons Subway, taking a cue East Hampton Village which is considering banning smoking in any public place in that community, have passed a new rule, a first, making it illegal to smoke anywhere on the subway system—on the platforms, in the cars or on the escalators. Opponents of the smoking ban have hired Alan Fried, a well known trial lawyer, to fight the ban on the grounds that smoking is one of the “rights” offered by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. He smokes himself. “It’s my choice,” he said while lighting up a cigar.
Fried also asked if the “Toot Toot Train,” the beloved coal fired steam train that runs around on the Hamptons
Subway system during the holiday season would be banned.
Commissioner Aspinall rushed to the defense of the Toot Toot Train.
“The Toot Toot Train has been a children’s favorite for four years,” he said. “It is the exception that proves the rule. It will continue as always.”
Everyone in the Hamptons is familiar with the Toot Toot Train. Ordinarily, six trains make the rounds at any one time. All are diesels. But from November 1 until December 31, one of the regular subway trains is taken out of service and replaced by the Toot Toot. There’s a fireman on board who shovels the coal into the furnace. There’s an engineer and an assistant who toots the whistle and operates the smokestack damper as the Toot Toot chuff-chuffs through the tunnels. Smoke pours up and along the ceilings, sometimes arriving before the train actually appears. The straphangers wave and shout and the black smoke billows happily over the many children and their parents who stand on the platform cheering and clapping. Then the Toot Toot opens and closes the sliding door like any other and the passengers get off and on, many of them happily coughing.
“No,” Commissioner Aspinall shouted, banging his fist. “Toot Toot stays. Climate change be damned!”
There are those who say this will wind up before the Supreme Court.
Commissioner Aspinall, in keeping with his mandate of replacing all those liberal mid-level managers on the Subway system with conservatives who’ve had to deal with disastrous decisions they make at other subway systems, has now hired Charles Nickerbocker of the Chicago Subway system as its new Director of Speed Control.
“Charlie was the cause of that big crash on the Chicago System three years ago where he speeded up the trains that were off schedule,” the Commissioner said. “He won’t be doing that again.”
“No, I won’t” Nickerbocker said.
COMMISSIONER ASPINALL’S MESSAGE
It was unfortunate last Thursday evening when the front car of subway train #7 hooked onto Christmas decorations while leaving Water Mill station. We regret that this unfortunate hooking pulled down our entire Christmas display lighting everywhere on the system and we had to ask passengers to stay motionless in the darkness wherever they were while repairs were made. We did play “Jingle Bells” throughout the subway cars for that half hour and we hope that helped.