Subway Bibliography

From nycsubway.org

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Required Reading

Along the Way: MTA Arts for Transit

Sandra Bloodworth

Hardcover: 240 pages
November 2, 2006
ISBN: 1580931731

Along the Way is a tour through New York's underground museum of contemporary art, works commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit for the subway system. Vivid murals by Roy Lichtenstein and Romare Bearden convey the energy of Times Square while Robert Wilson's Coney Island Baby captures the festive spirit of the city's playland. Currently underway are a photographic installation by Mike and Doug Starn at the new Fulton Street Transit Center and an intricate skylight by James Carpenter at the South Ferry complex. Initiated in 1985, this collection of site-specific public art now encompasses more than 150 pieces in mosaic, terra-cotta, bronze, faceted glass, and mixed media. The program takes its cue from the original mandate that the subways be "designed, constructed, and maintained with a view to the beauty of their appearance, as well as to their efficiency." Arts for Transit is committed to the preservation and restoration of the original ornament of the system and to commissioning new works that will exemplify the principles of public art, relating directly to the places in which they are installed and the community around them.

Century of Subways, A: Celebrating 100 Years of New York's Underground Railways

Brian Cudahy

Hardcover, 360 pages
Fordham University Press
October 1, 2003
ISBN: 0823222926

Summary from amazon.com: Brian Cudahy offers a fascinating tribute to the world the subway created. Taking a fresh look at one of the marvels of the 20th century, Cudahy creates a vivid sense of this extraordinary achievement-- how the city was transformed once New Yorkers started riding in a hole in the ground.

City Beneath Us, The: Building the New York Subway

NY Transit Museum/Vivian Heller

Hardcover, 224 pages
W. W. Norton & Company
October 30, 2004
ISBN: 0393057976

Amazon.com Writeup: Drawn from a newly discovered cache of 8 x 10-inch glass negatives, these images show the incredible construction techniques and details involved in creating the underground marvel that is today's New York subway. From "cut and cover", sinking under-river tubes and disastrous cave-ins, the photographs are awe-inspiring. The pictures are accompanied by an engaging history of the subway system.

Interborough Fleet, The

Joe Cunningham

Xplorer Press, P.O. Box 614, Belleville, NJ 07109
December 1, 1997
ISBN: 0964576538

This book, in the same vein of Greller's New York City Subway Cars and Subway Cars of the BMT, is a photo tour of the cars of the Interborough Rapid Transit. Old photos detail the earliest composite cars up through the IRT's final purchase of World's Fair Low-V cars. A section on Belmont's Mineola and some color photographs of IRT Low-Vs in service complete the book.

Malbone Street Wreck, The

Brian J. Cudahy

Fordham University Press, Box L, 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458
ISBN: 0823219313 (hardcover), 0823219321 (paperback)

A scholarly review of the incidents leading up to, during, and after the Malbone Street subway accident of November 1, 1918, in which 90+ people perished. A full review can be found on the Rapidtransit.net web site at http://www.rapidtransit.com/net/book/reviews/malbone.htm.

New York City Subway Cars

James C. Greller

Xplorer Press, P.O. Box 614, Belleville, NJ 07109
ISBN: 0964576503

This excellent color photo book chronicles the history of NYC Subway rolling stock, beginning with the IND Subway 1930's R-1 car, up through the R-110A and R-110B technology test trains from the early 1990s. A must-have companion to the Interborough Fleet and Subway Cars of the BMT books, NYC Subway Cars picks up where those other books leave off, covering the "R-series" subway cars. The full-color photography is excellent. It includes some diagrams of subway car specifications but in this respect is not as inclusive as Evolution of New York City Subways.

New York Subway, The: Its Construction and Equipment

Various editions.

First published in October 1904 by the Interborough Rapid Transit Corporation, the company that built New York's first underground railway, this unique facsimile edition is a lavishly illustrated guide to one of the century's greatest engineering feats. Here in twelve detailed chapters, are the routes, stations, and tracks, the rolling stock, signal systems, and electric supply stations of the new subway that ran under the streets of Manhattan and the Bronx. Beautifully reproduced photographs, maps, line drawings, and other illustrations complement the text, written by the IRT's own engineers. It covers the construction methods, architecture, station and rolling stock design, and the political groups responsible for the creation of New York City's first subway. An online version is available: The New York Subway: Its Construction and Equipment (1904)

New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars, Centennial Edition

Gene Sansone

Hardcover, 432 pages
Johns Hopkins University Press; Centennial edition
October 30, 2004
ISBN: 0801879221

The centennial edition of this book is the definitive guide to the rolling stock of the NYC subway and elevated system, covering the first elevated line in 1867 thru the R-142 car contract of 1997. Each car type is illustrated with photos, mostly black & white, and a writeup, as well as the diagram sheets from the NYCT internal publication Revenue and Non-Revenue Car Drawings where available. This book is a good general introduction to the car types, but the other books in this section go into further detail and illustration about the "sub-classes" (no pun intended) of the cars (early IRT, early BMT, and R-types). There are some color photos but New York City Subway Cars is the clear winner in that category. This book is unique in one other respect: it is the first comprehensive book about any aspect of subway history published by MTA New York City Transit, and hopefully not the last. This book is a necessary addition to any subway fan's collection. First two editions titled "The Evolution of New York City Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars, 1867-1997."

New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway

Christopher Payne

112 pages, paperback
Princeton Architectural Press
ISBN: 1568983557

Anyone interested in subway power technology or the remarkable buildings which housed it should inspect or obtain a copy of this book. This remarkable and inexpensive volume features dozens of high-quality, artistic and evocative monochrome photos of substation interiors, exteriors, and equipment in their last days (all were decommissioned by 1999), as well as explanations, history, diagrams, and contemporary maps of feeder cables, substation locations, and the like, as well as exploring the romance and fascination of this then centenarian antique technology. This is now the definitive volume on the Rotary Converter in New York City.

Subway and the City, The

Stan Fischler

Hardcover, 568 pages
Frank Merriwell Inc.
July 2004
ISBN: 0837395518

Amazon.com writeup: An audacious and all-encompassing book about New York's underground, The Subway and the City has everything a fan of the city and its trains could want. 568 Pages with more than 400 photographs, including over 375 vintage photographs never before seen in print!

Subway Cars of the B.M.T.

James C. Greller

Xplorer Press, 1996, P.O. Box 614, Belleville, NJ 07109
ISBN: 0964576511

This long-awaited companion to New York City Subway Cars features over 200 black and white photos and diagrams of the BMT rolling stock, including the BMT Standard, D-Type Triplex, Bluebird articulated train, and many more of the BMT Subway oddities.

Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway

New York Transit Museum

Hardcover: 252 pages Stewart, Tabori and Chang October 1, 2004 ISBN: 158479349X

This is the NY Transit Museum's second major book about the history of the subway (following Evolution of New York City Subways). Amazon.com Writeup: Produced with the New York City Transit Museum, Subway Style documents the aesthetic experience of the system through more than 250 exclusive pictures. The book includes newly commissioned color photographs of historic and contemporary station ornamentation as well as imagery from the Museum's archives. The images span the full century, from the system's inception in the early 1900s up to and including architectural renderings for the still-to-be-built Second Avenue line.

Subways: The Tracks That Built New York City

Lorraine B. Diehl

Hardcover, 128 pages
Clarkson Potter
October 5, 2004
ISBN: 1400052270

Amazon.com writeup: In celebration of the New York City subway system's 100th birthday, [this book] offers up this easy-to-read, informative history. From its beginnings as an underground amusement ride, to the development of the IRT, BMT and IND rail systems, to its crime-ridden and graffiti-covered fall in the 70's and, finally, to its current revival, the system has had a more colorful history than most straphangers and tourists realize. Diehl's well-pitched nostalgia leads readers to appreciate the wonder of the subway's nascent period and to imagine how incalculably different New York would be today had the transit option that is so taken for granted not been created how and when it was.

Tracks of the New York City Subway

Peter Dougherty

Published by the author

The definitive guide to the track layout of the subway. 68 pages of maps are supplemented by information regarding the signal system, radio codes, and locations of abandoned stations. A must-have for the railfan subway rider. Updated yearly.

Under the Sidewalks of New York

Brian J. Cudahy

2nd Rev Edition, Paperback
Fordham Univ Press, Box L, 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458
September 1, 1995
ISBN: 0823216187

Probably the definitive general history, this book is an excellent introduction to the New York subway system. Starting with a brief overview of the Els of the 1800's and the Beach pneumatic subway, it then discusses in depth the 1900 groundbreaking of the IRT. The BRT/BMT and IND are well covered, as are more recent developments in the subway, from the creation of the Transit Authority to the present. Now in its second edition.

General History

722 Miles: the Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York

Clifton Hood

Paperback, 335 pages
Johns Hopkins Univ Press
October 1, 1995
ISBN: 0801852447

The "political" and legal history of the subways, up through the establishment of the Transit Authority in 1953.

The BMT: A Technical and Operational History

Alfred E. Fazio

BRT Services
401 Maryland Avenue, Havertown, PA 19083
ISBN: 9781607028642
Available from http://www.railpace.com/store/storebooks.htm

This extensive history of the BMT covers the gamut from the beginning of transit in Brooklyn, through the Dual Contracts period, Unification, and the post-Chrystie Street period. Includes many photos, maps, and diagrams.

Brooklyn Elevated, The

James C. Greller and Edward B. Watson

N.J. International, 77 West Nicholai Street, Hicksville, NY 11801 ISBN: 0934088209

Photographs and track maps.

Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit: A History as Seen Through the Company's Maps, Guides, and other Documents, 1923-1939.

James Poulos

ISBN: 1466260165

This book reproduces, in full color, BMT route maps, service guides, track maps, rosters, and promotional material from the period 1923-1939.

Bulletin of the New York Division, Electric Railroaders' Association

New York Division ERA

Box 3001, New York 10008

Indispensible for anyone interested in history and current events in the New York area. Generally about 10-12 pages. Included with membership in the division, which requires membership in the national Electric Railroaders Assn. (This includes the monthly Headlights magazine, which sometimes has features on New York).

BQT: The Brooklyn & Queens Transit, From Coney Island to Flushing

Harold A. Smith and Frederick A. Kramer

Railroad Avenue Enterprises Publishing
Box 114, Flanders, NJ 07836
ISBN: 1882727193 2002 Contains a brief historical review of B&QT operations and many b&w photographs of trolleycars in Brooklyn and Queens, including the PCC cars.

By the El: Third Avenue and Its El at Mid-Century

Lawrence Stelter, Lothar Stelter

H&M Productions

Over 160 color photos of the Third Avenue El and the neighborhoods it traversed. "Seldom have I seen a collection of unique images that is so comprehensive and realistic." - Joe Franklin.

Ceramic Ornament in the New York Subway System

Susan Tunick

New York: Italian Tile Center
Italy: Assopiastrelle, 1989

Elevated and Subway Cars of the Interborough Rapid Transit Co.

Roger Arcara

Published by the author

Based on the IRT's equipment diagrams.

Gotham Turnstiles

John Henderson

H & M Productions, 193-07 45th Ave. Flushing, NY 11358
May 1992
ISBN: 0962903787

This excellent book features color photographs of the subways, Hudson & Manhattan, Staten Island Rapid Transit, and Newark City Subway, mostly from the 1960s when many of the first-generation cars were still around.

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story

Paul Shaw

Blue Pencil Editions/MIT Press
ISBN: 026201548X

This interesting book covers an aspect of New York City transit that no other book has ever tackled: the use of the Helvetica font on its signage, and the various MTA agencies' style guides that implement signs around the system.

History of the New York City Subway System, A

Joseph Cunningham and Leonard De Hart

Published by the authors

Vol 1: The Manhattan Els and the I.R.T.; Vol 2. Rapid Transit in Brooklyn; Vol 3. The Independent System and City Ownership. Hard to find history of the Manhattan els and the Interborough; Brooklyn els and the BMT; and the Independent subway and city operation.

How We Got to Coney Island: The Development of Mass Transportation in Brooklyn and Kings County

Brian J. Cudahy with George M. Smerk

Paperback, 320 pages
Fordham University Press
ISBN: 0823222098

How We Got to Coney Island is the definitive history of mass transportation in Brooklyn. Covering 150 years of extraordinary growth, Cudahy tells the complete story of the trolleys, street cars, steamboats, and railways that helped create New York's largest borough---and the remarkable system that grew to connect the world's most famous seaside resort with, Brooklyn, New York City across the river, and, ultimately, the rest of the world. Tables, charts, photographs, and maps.

Humanizing Subway Entrances: Opportunity on Second Avenue

Bethani Probst

New York Dept. of City Planning

Based on the work of the Second Avenue Study Group.

Making All Stops, New York City Subway Photography from 1970 to 1989 (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2)

by O. S. Funk

Only The Best Books, LLC, 75-22 37th Avenue, No. 313, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
MakingAllStops.com, onlythebestbooks@yahoo.com

Features photos from the well known subway photographers Doug Grotjahn, Steve Zabel, Joe Testagrose, and others.

New York City Subway Calendars

Photography by Don Harold and William R. Mangahas

Newkirk Images

These calendars (published since 1993) have some amazing photographs of the subway, from the 50s to present day. The calendar is available at a number of locations including the New York Transit Museum gift shops.

New York City Transit's Facts and Figures

MTA New York City Transit

Various Editions

This booklet, first published as part of the celebration of the IRT's 90th birthday, contains much factual information about NYC Transit, including the subways, bus system, police force, governance and administration, and history, with many interesting statistics.

New York Elevated, The

Robert C. Reed

Cranbury, NJ: A.S. Barnes and Co.
ISBN: 0498021386

The elevated railroads in Manhattan, concentrating on the early, steam-powered period.

New York Subways and Stations, 1970-1990

Tod Lange

Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Rd, Atglen, PA 19310
ISBN: 0764338498 // ISBN-13: 9780764338496

Many full color, never-before-published photos by well known subway photographers like Bill Pollman, Steve Zabel, and Bill Myers, covering the "dark days" of transit in New York City, i.e. lots of graffiti and grime.

New York Subway System, the (Building History Series)

Tim McNeese

Lucent Books
March 1997
ISBN: 1560064277

This book is part of a series about major engineering projects in history. It is aimed to a junior high or high school student level but makes a nice concise history of the New York subway.

New York Transit Memories

Harold A. Smith

New York: Quadrant Press, 19 West 44th St., New York, NY 10036
ISBN: 0915276569

Rare photographs of trolley and subway operations in New York City, including Third Avenue Railway System trolleys, Queensborough Bridge trolleys and el trains, Brooklyn elevated lines, the early subway cars of the BMT, and more.

Power Broker, The: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Robert A. Caro

Paperback, 1246 pages
Random House
July 1, 1975
ISBN: 0394720245

While Robert Moses may have been the antithesis to rapid transit in New York, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book is a detailed chronicle of his life, and a good history of politics and urban planning in 20th Century New York City. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography.

Rolling Thunder: The Elevated Railroad and the Urbanization of New York

Eric Dale Smith

America House, Frederick, MD
2000 ISBN: 1588518221

Part of a series called "A Tale of Ten Cities", "Rolling Thunder: The Elevated Railroad and the Urbanization of New York" is a social history of the El which examines the role it played in expanding the urban boundaries of Greater New York.

Sea Beach to Coney Island, The

William W. Fausser


A self-published history of the Sea Beach line, from its early steam days, to its Dual Contracts reconstruction to a subway line.

Second Avenue El in Manhattan, The

N.J. International, 77 West Nicholai St. Hicksville NY 11801)

ISBN: 093408833E0

Many black & white photos and track maps of the Second Avenue El in Manhattan, with a brief history.

Silver Connections

Phillip Ashforth Coppola

Four Oceans Press, 17 Oakland Road, Maplewood, NJ 07040

This ongoing series is a self-published work by Mr. Coppola, and each edition is only available in limited numbers. Coppola's goal is to give a detailed account of the present condition of the entire NYC rapid transit system (a truly lofty goal). Each volume examines the physical state of a portion of the system, detailing, for example, exactly how specific stations have changed since they opened, and how evidence of these changes is still visible. The volumes are accompanied by Coppola's excellent drawings of various parts of the system and stations. In the process, Coppola tells the story of how the subway came to be what it is now, in a fluid, engaging manner. The amount of work that has been spent on this work is evident on every page. Volume 1 examined the original IRT, and Volume 2 looks at Brooklyn, particularly the els. Vol. I (2 books) - IRT contract I in Manhattan. Vol. II - BRT els. Vol. III - IRT contract I in Bronx, & IRT contract II in Brooklyn. Vol. IV - H & M RR/PATH. Upcoming Vol. V - Centre St. Loop, Steinway Tunnel in Manhattan, & 4 Ave. Subway.

Subway, The: A Trip Through Time on New York's Rapid Transit

Stan Fischler

H & M Productions, 193-07 45th Ave. Flushing, NY 11358
ISBN: 1882608194

This is an updated version of Fischler's previous book Uptown/Downtown which has been out of print for some time. A good general history of the elevated lines and subway, with sections on disasters, the Hudson Tubes, Beach's pneumatic subway, and more. Filled with anecdotal reports from people whose lives have been affected by the subway, the book ends with a "report card", rating each line on its railfan value.

Subway Ceramics: A History And Iconography

Lee Stookey

L. Stookey (stookey@sover.net), 42 North St., Brattleboro, Vt., 05301, 800-257-4694
ISBN: 0963548611

This small book is a collection of photographs taken by the author of the great range of mosaics and tile work in the stations of the New York subway (the IRT and BMT, actually). From the beavers at Astor Place and the eagles at 33rd Street to the Wilson Avenue station on the L, Stookey describes the evolution of the subway station from 1904 Heins and Lafarge to Squire Vickers and the BMT. Published by and available from the author. Now in its second edition with 43 color plates. Also available from the author are four boxed sets of notecards with different themes: Waterfront, History and Architecture, Subway Ceramic Art, Brooklyn Heights Scenes and Signs, and a set of "women" cards, all from plates available in the book. Each set of 8 cards is $10, the book is $15, plus postage, available from the author.

Subway City: Riding the Trains, Reading New York

Michael W. Brooks

Hardcover, 295 pages
Rutgers University Press
August 1, 1997
ISBN: 0813523966

This book takes a look at the role of the subway in history, culture, arts, and spirit of New York City. Chapters about the subway in literature, in photography, and in the news paint the picture of New York and its subway.

Subway Lives: 24 Hours in the Life of the New York City Subway

Jim Dwyer

Crown Publishing
October 1991
ISBN: 051758445X

This book chronicles a day in the lives of several people whose life is affected by the New York subway, from a token booth clerk to a conductor to a group of graffiti artists, and how they all relate to each other. Along the way, Dwyer throws in many tidbits of history. The net result is to give an excellent picture of what makes the New York subway the greatest in the world.

Subwayland: Adventures in the World Beneath New York

Randy Kennedy

Paperback: 240 pages
St. Martin's Griffin February 19, 2004
ISBN: 0312324340

Amazon.com Writeup: Now, as the subway celebrates its centennial anniversary, the creator of The New York Times's award-winning "Tunnel Vision" column leads us on an extended tour of this storied subterranean land, revealing its inhabitants, its wildlife, its taboos and its secret histories.

Subways of New York City in Vintage Photographs

Oscar Israelowitz and Brian Merlis, with Joe Cunningham

Israelowitz Publishing
PO Box 228, Brooklyn, NY 11229
ISBN: 1878741632

Over 250 period photos and postcards from approximately 1970-1949. Includes some full color pages. Covers the Manhattan and Brooklyn els, the IRT subway, and more.

They Moved the Millions

Ed Davis Sr.

111 S. 6th St., Livingston MT 59047

Reprinted in 1996 but now out of print, this book is an interesting history of the various subway cars used by the IRT, BMT, and NYCT transit lines. Many B&W photos of old cars and elevated lines.

The author has graciously allowed nycsubway.org to put the text of this book online: They Moved The Millions

The Third Avenue El Demolition in the Bronx: 149th Street to Tremont Avenue

Michael J. Fusco


The pictures in this book are part a rare one-of- a-kind private collection of almost 1400 slides of the Third Avenue El demolition in The Bronx in the 1970’s taken by the author. They are being made available to the public for the first time for the 40th anniversary of the closing of the El in April 1973. The companion volume to this book is The Third Avenue El Demolition in the Bronx – Tremont Avenue to Gun Hill Road. Both volumes will appeal not only to train fans but also to anyone interested in autos, buses, Bronx and New York history and fans of the 1970’s.

The Third Avenue El Demolition in the Bronx: Tremont Avenue to Gun Hill Road

Michael J. Fusco


Companion book to the above volume covering 149th to Tremont Ave.

Tracks of New York, The

Alan Paul Kahn and Jack May

Electric Railroaders' Association
P.O. Box 3323, New York NY, 10163-9998

Detailled track maps, plus photographs and routing information. Two of the three volumes cover the Manhattan and Brooklyn elevated systems. The other volume is the Metropolitan Street Railway.

Tunneling to the Future: The Story of the Great Subway Expansion that Saved New York

Peter Derrick

Hardcover, 384 pages
New York University Press
ISBN: 0814719104

The book delivers what it promises: a discussion of the Dual Contracts and its impact on the City. Whereas 722 Miles emphasized the political history of the subway system, "Tunneling" looks more closely at the social necessity for the massive expansion envisioned and rapidly carried out under the Dual Contracts. The "saving" refers to the relief of physical and social overcrowding which was not sufficiently eased by the existing elevated system and first subway. There's plenty of politics, too, and we get an even sharper picture of the some of the IRT's machinations in trying to preserve its subway monopoly. Derrick's primary story ends, however, with the signing of the Contracts. If you're looking to find much about the company (the BRT) whose intervention made the Contracts "Dual" there is not too much. What Derrick does, that reading the source material here does not, is put the material together, and add research and evaluation, which explains how and why the system came to be. In the process, we realize why the Dual Contracts were important (beyond the obvious of its creating new lines).--Review by Paul Matus

Twelve Historical New York City Street and Transit Maps, 1860-1967

John Landers

H&M Productions 1997
ISBN: 188260816X

A truly fantastic book (4 stars). If you enjoy N.Y.C. transit-related maps this is the book for you. The book's editor has taken 12 of his favorite maps, reproduced them to original size and colors, put them into their own envelope sleeves (for safe keeping) and detailed a brief history of each map. Said maps are suitable for research and/or framing. The book is out of print and getting harder to locate, but can still be found on barnesandnoble.com under "12 Hist. Maps of NYC", even though that is not the correct title. Go get your copy today, you will be glad you did. Review by John93059@aol.com

Twelve Historical New York City Street and Transit Maps, Vol 2

John Landers

H&M Productions

Author John Landers in conjunction with H&M Productions have once again struck gold with the release of Twelve Historical New York City Street and Transit Maps Volume II, 1847 to 1939. If New York transit maps pique your interest then this boxed collection is a must buy. This collection includes a map issued in 1939 by the New York City Board of Transportation showing an ambitious expansion of the entire subway system, including a College Point line coming off the #7 Flushing Line and a Ft. Hamilton Parkway line in Brooklyn cutting through a Narrows tunnel to Staten Island, where it branches off in two directions. A Long Island Rail Road map from 1885 shows passenger service on the Long Beach branch to desolate sand dunes of Point Lookout and a fantastic 10 year comparison of the same map issued by Rand McNally in 1904 and again in 1914. In one decade the growth of the services within the boroughs is startling. There are 8 more delectable NYC transit-related maps. The collection also comes with a booklet in which the author chronicles each of the twelve maps in an informative and sometimes humorous manner. New York City transit maps from this era are very rare and when they do show up in an auction often sell for one hundred dollars or more. These reproductions match the original sizes and colors and are the next best thing to owning the actual map. They can be easily framed and are an excellent educational tool for today's student. (Review by SHARKAIDE@aol.com)

Underground Guide to New York City Subways

Dave Frattini

352 Pages
Griffin Trade Paperback

Frattini is a pretty young guy (in his foreword he cites Albert Belle, Kid Rock and "the hotties on the US Women's Soccer Team") but he has done his homework on the history of the IND, BMT and IND, and apparently, he has visited all 450+ NYC subway stations and gives a capsule review of each. The station reviews are kind of brief and superficial, but he does notice things like the old Subway Sun signs at the IND Broadway station, for example. But, there are occasional jarring errors, such as referring to lines by color throughout ("the A,C, E [the Blue Line])"; nobody I've ever met calls NYC subway lines by color. He also claims "The open cut stations of the N and R lines...pierce through the neighborhood backyards of Bensonhurst and Sunset Park in Brooklyn." First, the R does not travel in an open cut; secondly, it goes nowhere near Bensonhurst; and no NYC subway goes 'through' anyone's back yard. Frattini, besides his subway reviews, mentions a neighborhood eatery that's in the vicinity of each station, nearby landmarks, and local unusual spots. These are all quite helpful (but may become outdated in a couple of years). Basically, if you're looking for detailed, specific descriptions of NYC subway stations, stick with nycsubway.org. But, if you need a quick and dirty field guide when you're out rail fanning, this book is pretty decent for the money (abt $16). (Reviewed by Kevin Walsh)

Underneath New York

Harry Granick

Reprint Edition, Paperback, 211 pages
Fordham Univ Press, Box L, 441 East Fordham Road, Bronx, NY 10458
April 1, 1991
ISBN: 0823213129

First published in the 1940s, this was a WPA Writers Program book detailing the underbelly of New York City, from the subways to gas and steam distribution, etc.

Unifying the Subways: New York City's Rapid Transit System from Unification to the Transit Authority

Frederick A. Kramer

Railroad Avenue Enterprises Publishing
Box 114, Flanders, NJ 07836
ISBN: 1882727185

This book includes a brief history of New York City transit from 1940 to 1956, with many black and white photographs of the period, including various rolling stock and the end of the elevated lines in New York City.

Subway Construction

Building the Independent Subway

Frederick Kramer

New York: Quadrant Press, 19 West 44th St., New York, NY 10036
ISBN: 091527650X

This book describes the building of the IND from the political forces that brought about its existence through beginning of construction through later developments, and includes many excellent photos.

Building the New Rapid Transit System of New York City Circa 1915

Historical Reprint

Xplorer Press, P.O. Box 614, Belleville, NJ 07109
ISBN: 096457652X

A historical reprint of the engineering accounts in "Building the Dual Contract Lines for the City of New York", a series of articles from Engineering News in late 1915. Similar in scope to the Interborough Rapid Transit book The New York Subway: Its Construction and Equipment, this book includes many construction photographs and engineering illustrations of the Dual Contract subway and elevated lines.

Subway to the World's Fair

Frederick Kramer

Bells & Whistles, 932 Woodmere Dr., Westfield NJ 07090
June 1991
ISBN: 1882727037

A look at the extensions made to the subway lines to accomodate the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. Lots of photos not seen elsewhere.

Political & Social Aspects

Crime, Fear, and the New York City Subways: The Role of Citizen Action

Dennis Jay Kenney

Praeger Pub Text
January 1987
ISBN: 0275923223

This book is a study of the impact of citizen action on crime and on the fear of crime. The author obtained the consent and cooperation of the Guardian Angels to use their activities in Harlem and the Bronx as a model in determining the effectiveness of such operations. In addition, on-site interviews were conducted with 2,700 nighttime subway riders. Contradicting many previously held beliefs, these data show that actual incidents of subway crime are remarkably low and that fear of crime among nighttime riders, while high, is not exceptional when compared to fear previously found in above ground settings.

End of the Line, The: The Homeless and the Transportation Industry

Rita Schwartz

New York: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Mole People, The: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City

Jennifer Toth

1st Ed., Hardcover, 267 pages
Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 1556521901

A non-technical, somewhat fantastic analysis of the homeless living in subway tunnels and other underground structures of New York City. For an interesting analysis of this book, visit: Fantasy in The Mole People.

Tunnel, The: The Underground Homeless of New York City

Margaret Morton

Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300065590

This is a first-hand photo-documentary account of one of the oldest surviving homeless communities in New York City, which has existed in an underground train tunnel for over 20 years.

Subway Workers and Labor Conditions

I've Been Working on the Subway: The Folklore and Oral History of Transit

Sally Charnow and Steven Zeitlin

New York Transit Museum/City Lore, The New York Center for Urban Folk Culture
370 Jay Street, Box T, Brooklyn, NY, 11201

A look at the people aspects of the city subway: employees, jobs, skills, and stories via interviews with MTA employees and others. Includes an overview of the Transit Authority and curriculum ideas for teachers.

More Profile than Courage: The New York City Transit Strike of 1966

Michael Marmo

State Univ of New York Press
ISBN: 0791402622

A thorough academic study of labor relations and of this strike in particular; the confrontations between Mayor John Lindsay and union leader Michael Quill in the strike that paralyzed a city.

Transit Talk: New York's Bus and Subway Workers Tell Their Stories

Robert W. Snyder (1998)

Rutgers University Press
November, 1998
ISBN: 0813525772

Inspired partly by Subway Lives, this book is a slightly more academic study of the folklore and experiences of New York's subway and bus workers. Over 100 transit workers were interviewed (including some recognizable names from SubTalk). Normally unappreciated, you can get to know some of your transit workers through this book.

Underground Woman: My Four Years As a New York City Subway Conductor

Marian Swerdlow (1998)

Paperback, 262 pages
Temple University Press
March 1998
ISBN: 1566396107

A look at life on the subway from a conductor's point of view, and from that of a woman in a (at the time) mostly male occupation.

Art, Music, and Architecture

Art En Route: Your Guide To Art in the MTA Network

MTA Arts for Transit

Pamphlet New York: Metropolitan Transportation Authority 1993

This pamphlet published in 1993 was largely superceded by the excellent book Along the Way: MTA Arts for Transit, published in 2006.

Art In Transit

Federal Transit Administration

16 pages Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office Item 611-822

Art In Transit: Subway Drawings

Keith Haring

Crown Pub ISBN: 0517554240

Keith Haring's famous "subway poster" drawings reproduced in book format.

Design For Transportation - 1995 National Awards

National Endowment for the Arts

US Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office

Life Below: The New York City Subway

Christophe Agou

112 pages
Quantuck Lane Press
September 30, 2004
ISBN: 1593720084

From its beginnings in the early part of the 20th century, the New York City subway has captured the imaginations of photographers from Walker Evans to Bruce Davidson, and many more. But never has it been so powerfully and lyrically portrayed as in these carefully orchestrated sequences from Christophe Agou, a photographer whose searing images haunt and intrigue us at the same time. Bridging the worlds of documentary and art photography, Life Below is a series of frozen moments, revealing fear, love, affection, stress, and solitude. The compelling photographs are an intimate rendezvous with people in a meditative state: people from all walks of life who have not yet put on a mask. This is at times a dark, but always-sensitive view of a corner of our world. 75 duotone photographs.

Many Are Called

Walker Evans

Hardcover: 192 pages
Yale University Press
October 1, 2004
ISBN: 0300106173

Amazon.com writeup: This three-year photographic study of subway passengers made with a hidden camera was first published in 1966. Long out of print, Many Are Called is now being reissued with a new foreword and afterword and with exquisitely reproduced images from newly prepared digital scans. In 1938, Walker Evans began surreptitiously photographing people on the New York City subway. With his camera hidden in his coat - the lens peeking through a buttonhole - he captured the faces of riders hurtling through the dark tunnels, wrapped in their own private thoughts.

Poetry In Motion Postcard Book

MTA New York City Transit

In Cooperation with the Poetry Society of America
Cards Edition, Paperback
Published by Marlowe & Co
ISBN: 1569248052

The companion to "100 Poems from the Subways and Buses", this collection of postcards features reproductions of 24 of the most popular Poetry in Motion placards.

Poetry In Motion: 100 Poems from the Subways and Buses

MTA New York City Transit

In Cooperation with the Poetry Society of America
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996
ISBN: 0393314583

This book collects 100 of the poems found on the Poetry in Motion placards in the subways and buses of New York.

Street Dreams New York: Music from the Subways of New York City

Clay Dog Records, 445 E. Ohio, Suite 360, Chicago, IL 60611, 312-832-9000


A compilation of recordings by subway and street musicians recorded in their natural surroundings, featuring artists Kathleen Mock, Roger Ridley, Simon 7, and more.

Subplay: Subway Musicians of New York

As Is Entertainment, 85 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Over 30 musicians from the subway joined together to create ten studio recordings and 11 musical interludes recorded live in the subway.

Subway Memories

Camilo Vergara

Hardcover: 128 pages
October 8, 2004
ISBN: 1580931464

New York City's first subway system officially opened on October 27, 1904, operating along a nine-mile strip. Today, in it's centennial year, the subway stretches for 685 miles and carries well over four million passengers a day. An eclectic mix of New Yorkers from every age and nationality-- from commuters and street musicians to evangelists and curious tourists come together each day under New York's streets. Photographer and sociologist, Camilo Vergara captures these chance encuornters in colorful images. In addition to documenting trains and the diverse riders, Vergara depicts New York cityscapes, as seen from the elevated trains that rumble over bridges and wind their way through neighborhoods in Queens, Harlem, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Subway Pictures, The

Peter Peter

Hardcover: 160 pages
Random House
October 5, 2004
ISBN: 1400062845

Amazon.com writeup: In The Subway Pictures, Peter Peter shares his extraordinary images of life on the move, capturing ordinary New Yorkers in a remarkable give-and-take with their public surroundings.

Underground Harmonies

Susie J. Tanenbaum (1995)

Paperback, 270 pages
Cornell University Press
June 1, 1995
ISBN: 0801482224

Music and politics in the subways of New York. Kirkus Reviews calls it a "history of street entertainment in New York."

Walker Evans: Subways and Streets

Sarah Greenough

Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art

Catalog of an exhibition entitled "Walker Evans: Subway Photographs and Other Recent Acquisitions" held at the National Gallery of Art, Nov. 24, 1991-Mar. 1, 1992.

Graffiti Culture

Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in New York

Craig Castleman (1984)

Reprint Edition, Paperback
M.I.T. Press
ISBN: 0262530511

An academic look at the graffiti movement in New York City, with some photos by Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfont, and others.

Graffiti NYC

Hugo Martinez (2006)

Paperback: 152 pages
Prestel Publishing
September 30, 2006
ISBN: 3791336738

New York City is where the quintessential contemporary people's of graffiti was born. The top "writers" go "all city" when their tags can be seen throughout the five boroughs. This exhilarating selection of their work, assembled by Hugo Martinez, a leading authority on the history of street art in NYC, takes the reader on an "all-city" tour of New York, displaying the extraordinary range of its taggers and bombers. More than two hundred photographs showcase the artwork of the most prominent names of the past five years, including CASE 2, KEZ, M-SCO, SKUF, VFR, and MQ. As graffiti comes to be embraced as a medium in its own right, its most important practitioners in NYC confirm the power and creativity of this vital contemporary language.

Hip-Hop: The Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music, and Graffiti

Steven Hager

St. Martins Press
ISBN: 0312373171

New York: Graffiti 1970-1995

by Markus Wiese

Unknown Binding: 101 pages
Edition Aragon
Language: German
ISBN: 3895354554

Subway Art

Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant

Henry Holt
ISBN: 0805006788

Subway purists may be turned off by this book, filled with photographs of NYC's finest rolling stock covered with grafitti. Some of it is rather artistic, but fortunately the days of the spraypainted stainless steel rolling canvas are long gone. Cooper and Chalfant also collaborated on a video entitled Style Wars, from which came many of the photos in this book.

Subway Graffiti: An Aesthetic Study of Graffiti on the Subway System of New York City, 1970-1978

Jack Stewart (1989)

New York: New York University
Ph.D. Thesis, New York University, School of Education


Brooklyn Trolleys

James C. Greller and Edward B. Watson

N.J. International, 77 West Nicholai St., Hicksville NY 11801
ISBN: 0934088179

Exhaustive photo-history of trolley operations in Brooklyn, 1898-1956. Includes some color photography and a fold-out map of trolley routes.

Confessions of a Trolley Dodger from Brooklyn

Stan Fischler

A memoir of growing up in Brooklyn, using the trolley lines as the organizing metaphor. Many photographs.

New York Railways: The Green Line

N.J. International, 77 West Nicholai Street, Hicksville, NY 11801

A detailed account of the New York Railways streetcar line in Manhattan, 1912-1936.

Other New York Area Railroads

Brooklyn's Waterfront Railways

Jay Bendersky

Weekend Chief Publishing, P.O. Box 1676, Mineola, NY 11501, 516-741-4047
ISBN: 0962023701

A photographic look at the terminal railroad operations of the Brooklyn waterfront, including the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal's locomotive and tug boat fleet, the South Brooklyn Railway operations of New York City Transit, and the current New York Cross Harbor Railroad. A fascinating look at little-seen rail operations along the edge of New York Harbor.

Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Revisited, The

Paul Carleton

D. Carleton Railbooks, P.O. Box 1827, Dunellon, Fla. 32630

History and photographs of the H&M, predecessor of the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) system.

Rails Under the Mighty Hudson

Brian J. Cudahy

Lexington, Mass.: Stephen Greene Press
ISBN: 0828902577

Extensive history of the H&M (PATH) system and the building of the PRR Hudson River tunnels. 2nd edition 2002 from Fordham University Press includes updates and more photos.

Westchester County's Million Dollar A Mile Railroad

Robert A. Bang

Subtitled "the graceful outlook/the destructive ending", this book, an interesting companion to Arcara's Westchester's Forgotten Railway details the building and the demoition of the New York, Westchester, and Boston Railway. Photos taken during the railroad's operation are compared with more modern photographs showing what's left of the NYW&B.

Westchester's Forgotten Railway: An Account of the New York, Westchester, and Boston Railway Company

Roger Arcara

3rd Edition
I&T Publishing, CSA Hobbies, P.O. Box 89, New Rochelle, NY, 10804

The pre-eminent history of the NYW&B railroad, which operated between the Bronx and White Plains and Port Chester in Westchester County, from 1912-1937. Many photographs accompany Arcara's description of the rise and fall of this state-of-the-art commuter railroad. The Third Edition includes "When the Westchester Was New", a collection of documents from various trade publications describing the construction and early operation of the railroad.

Other Cities: Boston

Boston's Main Line El: The Formative Years

George Chiasson, Jr. (1987)

Electric Railroader's Association, PO Box 3323, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163

A history of the original Orange Line elevated line, now mostly demolished and replaced by a tunnel/trench line through downtown Boston. Includes old photographs, track maps, and a detailed description of the route and stations.

From Boston to the Berkshires

Stephen P. Carlson and Thomas Harding

Boston Street Railway Assn., PO Box 181037, Boston, MA 02118-1037
ISBN: 093831503X

Subtitle: "A Pictorial Review of Electric Transportation in Massachusettes". Covers mostly the smaller trolley systems of Mass., but begins with the trolleys, rapid transit, and trolleybus lines of Boston.

Tremont Street Subway: A Century of Public Service

Bradley H. Clarke, and O.R. Cummings

Boston Street Railway Assn., PO Box 181037, Boston, MA 02118-1037
ISBN: 0938315048

A full history of the planning and construction of Boston's first subway. Covers the trolley rolling stock, the various Green Line branches, and the brief period where elevated trains ran in the Tremont subway.

Trolleys Under the Hub

Frank Cheney and Anthony Sammarco

Arcadia Publishing, 1 Washington Center, Dover, NJ 03820
ISBN: 0752409077

Another one of the books in the "Images of America" series, this installment covers the trolley lines of Boston, before, during, and after the construction of the Park St. Subway. Photos cover the period approximately beginning 1890, cover mostly the period up to 1935, with a few between then and the present, including the PCC's and Boeing LRV's.

Other Cities: Chicago

Forty Feet Below: The Story of Chicago's Freight Tunnels

Bruce Moffat

Interurban Press, PO Box 6444, Glendale, California 91205
ISBN: 0916374548

A complete, detailed history of the abandoned and little-known freight tunnel system under the city of Chicago. A companion videotape complete the tour of this fascinating system.

The "L": The Development of Chicago's Rapid Transit System

Bruce Moffat

Central Electric Railfan's Association, PO Box 503, Chicago, IL 60690
ISBN: 0915348306

An in-depth look at the beginnings of the Chicago elevated system from 1888 to 1932. Covers the Lake St. L, the West Side L, the Loop, and unification into the Chicago Rapid Transit Co. Includes two pull-out maps of the L system.

Other Cities: London

Docklands Light Rail Official Handbook

Alan Pearce, et al.

Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England
ISBN: 185414166X, 3rd Edition

The official guide to the DLR services. Planning, construction, technology, and a description of services, with many photographs.

Going Green - The Story of the District Line

Piers Connor (1994)

Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England
ISBN: 1854141627, 2nd Edition

A history of the District line, 1868-present.

London Underground Official Handbook

Bob Bayman and Piers Connor (1994)

Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England
ISBN: 1854141694, 3rd Edition

The official guide to the Underground. A brief overview of the early history of the Underground, and a visit to each of the Underground lines.

London Underground Rolling Stock

Brian Hardy (1993)

Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England
ISBN: 1854141643, 13th Edition

Photos and rosters of current and museum fleets of the London Underground.

London Underground Stations

David Leboff (1994)

ISBN: 0711022267
Ian Allen Publishing, Shepperton, Surrey, England

History and design of every Underground station.

London's Underground, An Illustrated History

John Glover (1996)

Eighth Edition, 1996 (First Published 1951)
Ian Allan Publishing, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 1HY

Many early photographs detail the early history of the Underground; it also covers development of the rolling stock, operations and control, and engineering, up to the construction of the Docklands Light Rail.

Mr. Beck's Underground Map

Ken Garland (1994)

ISBN: 1854141686
Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England

A detailed history of the development of the well known London tube map diagram.

Northern Wastes... Uncompleted Northern Line Extensions

Jim Blake and Jonathan James

Platform Ten Productions, 8 The Rowans, Palmers Green, London, N13 5AD
ISBN: 0326730402

A history of the planned extensions to the Northern Line. Includes maps and photos of the abandoned right of ways. The authors periodically host tours of the line (write to the above address).

Piccadilly Progress

Bob Greenaway, et al.

London Underground Limited, 30 The South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London

An overview to upgrades and refurbishments being made to the Piccadilly line.

Rails Through the Clay

Desmond F. Croome and Alan Jackson (1993)

ISBN: 1854141511
Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England

A full, scholarly history of the development of London's tube railways. Covers in depth the pioneering lines: the City & South London, the Brompton & Piccadilly, the Central London, and then follows the developments with the involvement of Charles Yerkes, an American financieer who helped develop the Chicago El system. The later line extensions and corporate mergers are covered, ending with the introduction of a unified London Transport. (Does not cover too deeply the "surface" - District, Circle, Metropolitan- lines that are now part of the Underground.)

The London Underground Tube Stock

J. Graeme Bruce (1988)

ISBN: 0711017077
Ian Allen Publishing, Shepperton, Surrey, England

A detailed look at Tube stock up to 1986 (does not include "surface" stock).

The Twopenny Tube - The Story of the Central Line

J. Graeme Bruce and Desmond F. Croome (1996)

ISBN: 1854141864
Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England

A history of the Central Line and the Central London Railway.

The Victoria Line - A Short History

M.A.C. Horne (1988)

ISBN: 1870354028
Douglas Rose, 35 Summers Lane, North Finchley, London, N12 0PE

A history of the Victoria line.

Other Cities: Paris

Le Metro

Jean-Claude Demory (1997)

Editions M.D.M., 96 rue de Paris, 92100 Bolougne, France
ISBN: 2909313352

This French-language book contains many black and white photos of the early development of the Paris Metro and a brief history.

Le Patrimoine de la RATP

Collection Le Patrimoine des Instuitutions Economiques

Flohic Editions, 28 avenue Jean-Jaures, 94220 Charenton-le-Pont, France
ISBN: 2842340078

This French-language book is one of the few available histories of the Paris Metro system. Instead of a written history, this book is arranged like a museum exhibit, with photographs and captions. It begins with early transport in Paris (horse-drawn, with and without rails), to the construction and opening of the first Metro line in 1900. It also covers Hector Guimard's kiosks and other artistic design elements. A third of the book is dedicated to Parisien bus transportation.

Paris Metro Handbook

Brian Hardy (1990)

ISBN: 1854141546
Capital Transport Publishing, Harrow, Middlesex, England

Probably the best English-language book about the Paris Metro. Each line's history is covered including photographs of various points of interest on each line. Part of the book is dedicated to the development of the rolling stock, including a car roster.

Other Cities: Philadelphia

Rail Transit Philadelphia: The PTC Years 1940-1968

Richard Vible and Henry Elsner (1992)

NJ International, 77 West Nicholai St., Hicksville, NY 11801
ISBN: 0934088284

Covers the era of the Peter Witts up to the PCC's on 80 pages of color photos. Includes a fold out route map of the PTC system.

Trains, Trolleys, & Transit: A Guide to Philadelphia Area Rail Transit

Gerry Williams (1998)

Railpace Company, Inc., PO Box 927, Piscataway, NJ 08855
ISBN: 0962154172

A similar book to Railpace's NJT Rail Operations, this book covers in depth all of the rail lines of Philadelphia: the Broad St. Subway, Market-Frankford, PATCO, SEPTA Suburban trolley operations, subway-surface trolley operations, and the Commuter Rail lines. Full color with many photos.

Other Cities: San Francisco

Cable Car

Christopher Swan (1978)

Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California
ISBN: 0898151457

A brief history and overview of the San Francisco cable car system.

MUNI Photographs

Jeffrey Moreau (1991)

Carbarn Press, PO Box 1990, Orangevale CA 95662
ISBN: 0934406049

A collection of full-color photographs of MUNI, including cable cars, light rail, trolley coaches, motor buses, and the trolley festivals.

San Francisco's Cable Cars

Lynn Thomas (1992)

Lawson Mardon Grp., Sparks, Nevada
ISBN: 0938765078

San Francisco's Cable Cars: Riding the Rope Through Past and Present

Joyce Jansen (1995)

Woodford Press, 660 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94104
ISBN: 0942627121

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