Schedule of Trains for the Subway Out (1904)
The New York Times · Tuesday, October 25th, 1904
Subject to Alteration After the Celebration Is Over.
JOHN B. MCDONALD TO SPEAK
Was Asked To, Anyway, Mr. Orr Says--Police Getting Ready for a Big Crush.
The schedule of trains in the rapid transit subway for the first days of operation has been arranged as follows:
LOCAL TRAINS, FIVE CARS EACH. 5:30 A.M. to 12 midnight, three-minute headway. 12 midnight to 5:30 A.M., from five to ten minute headway.
EXPRESS TRAINS, EIGHT CARS EACH. 6:30 to 7 A.M. five-minute headway. 7 to 9:30 A.M., four-minute headway. 9:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M., varying from five to ten minute headway, the trains running most infrequently about noon time. 2:30 to 4:30 P.M., five-minute headway. 4:80 to 8 P.M., four-minute headway. 8 P.M. to 12 midnight, five and six minute headway, 12 midnight to 6:30 A.M. no express trains at all.
This schedule is subject to alteration at any time. General Manager Frank Hedley said when he was asked about time-table plans:
"Nobody knows how many people are going to patronize the
road. I wish some one would tell me, so that I might know how to fix a permanent schedule. We shall be prepared to increase the number of trains to suit the demand. If it is necessary, we'll run them on aone-minute headway."
The express stations are at the Brooklyn Bridge, Fourteenth Street and Fourth Avenue, Forty-second Street and Park Avenue, Seventy-second Street and Broadway, and Ninety-sixth Street and Broadway. The last down-town express will leave Ninety-sixth Street at 11:30 P.M., and when it has completed its round-trip the express service for the day will be at an end.
The Opening Celebration. Commissioners Alexander E. Orr, Woodbury Langdon, and John M. Starin and Deputy Controller Stevenson, representing Controller Grout, met yesterday afternoon as a Celebration Committee of the Rapid Transit Board.
After the session Mr. Orr announced that Bishop Potter had been unable to accept the invitation to say the opening prayer. and that Coadjutor Bishop David H. Greer had agreed to take his place. The formal speeches at the opening in the Aldermanic Chamber of the City Hall on Thursday will be made by Mayor McClellan, Commissioner Orr, and Commissioner Starin. The Mayor, as presiding official, will call for informal talks from John B. McDonald, the contractor; August Belmont, President of the construction and operating companies, and William Barclay Parsons, chief engineer of the commission and designer of the subway. Others may speak extemporaneously.
The exercises in the City Hall are to begin at 1 P.M. After they are ended the special guests invited to take the first train will walk to the loop station under City Hall Park. The train, seating 250 passengers, will make a return trip to One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street and Broadway. By the time it has got a good start on the upward journey other trains for holders of invitations will be started. Until 6 P.M. the road is to be operated solely for the benefit of holders of these passes, the trains running on regular schedule according to the table given above. The invitations are good at any station.
Between 6 and 7 P.M. there will be an interval during which the company's officials will see that everything is ready for regular traffic, make any schedule changes that appear necessary, see that the stations are all properly manned, and make such other finishing touches as are desired. Promptly at 7 o'clock the agents from City Hall Park to One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street and Broadway will begin to sell tickets at 5 cents each.
Invitations to the opening have been sent out, and up to date President Orr has received many acceptances but not one refusal. He has not had time to hear from President Roosevelt or the other Federal officials, who received their invitations only yesterday. It is expected that some of them will accept.
McDonald To Speak, Anyway. At the meeting of the Celebration Committee, President Orr made public a letter he had received from Contractor John B. McDonald, who contradicted the published statements that he had not been invited to speak at the opening. He explained that he had been asked, but had refused on the ground that he was no speechmaker, adding that he was on the best of terms with the commission.
"As soon as I saw this report about friction over Mr. McDonald," said Mr. Orr at his office in the Produce Exchange, "I wrote to the contractor to say I knew of no such trouble. His letter is a reply to mine. As a matter of fact, our Celebration Committee invited Mr. McDonald to attend its meeting last week, and he was there. I said to him: 'Mr. Contractor, you certainly must be one of the speakers.' The other committeemen said the same, but he replied: 'Oh, you know I can't make a speech.' Then I said: 'Well, it doesn't make any difference whether you promise to talk or not, for we're going to call on you, anyway.'
"And we surely will call on him," added Mr. Orr. "Of course, he must say something, even. if it's only a few words. Mr. Belmont and Mr. Parsons, too, are to be called on. There may be other details arranged later, but the programme as it stands includes those three gentlemen, besides the Mayor, Mr. Starin, and myself."
When Mr. McDonald was asked yesterday what he had to say about the recently disputed question, "Who built the subway?" he replied:
"I'm sure I can't say, and I'm not going to engage in any controversy on the subject. A few years ago the public regarded subway building in this city as impracticable. After I had studied the subject, I decided that the public was wrong and undertook the job. The difficulties I found were great. They have been overcome, and the tunnel problem is solved for New York. I claim no special credit, except what may attach to the completion of what has been sometimes called my contract. The public is the chief beneficiary, and it must decide who is entitled to credit."
The contractor said he had not been slighted by the Rapid Transit Board, for he had declined an offer to make a speech.
William Barclay Parsons, Chief Engineer, was asked What was his view on "who built the subway?" He was reminded that Mr. Belmont said the credit was due to the Chief Engineer.
"Glory Enough For All." "Well," answered Mr. Parsons, "I guess there's glory enough for us all. The great thing is that the subway is built."
Alderman Grifenhagen appeared before the Celebration Committee and broached anew his plan of breaking a bottle of native champagne over the front of the first subway train. Mayor McClellan, however. vetoed the plan.
After a conference between the police officials and the Interborough Company's officers yesterday, the policing of the subway line on Thursday was placed in Chief Inspector Cortright's charge.
"Every policeman in the city will be on duty that day." said Commissioner McAdoo.
He said the extra detail for guarding the stations would be about 1,500 strong. Five hundred patrolmen will be in the City Hall Park. At each stairway of every station from City Hall to One Hundred and Forty-fifth Street will be two policemen, and there will be from five to fifteen inside each station. The city has sent out 500 invitations, and the Interborough Company 5,000, each of the cards admitting three persons, so that Commissioner McAdoo calculates the number of invited guests at more than 15,000. In addition to big city crowds, he will be ready to handle many who are coming to town on excursion trains.
The trial trains continued to run in the subway yesterday, and at times they were lees than five minutes apart. There was one accident on the line. August Heldelman, twenty years old, an electrician, of 271 West Sixty-third Street, was badly burned and may lose the sight of one eye as a result of the blowing out of a fuse in the block signal apparatus south of Bleecker Street, and his assistant, Herbert Endall of 226 West Sixtieth Street, suffered slight burns and a bruised forehead. Both of them were thrown violently across the trackbed. They were taken to St. Vincent's Hospital.