The Beach Pneumatic Subway Tunnel under Broadway, 1873.
New-York Historical Society # 70265
In 1869, folowing the use of pneumatic tubes for postal communication, Alfred Ely Beach started the construction of a pneumatic subway line beneath Brodway, in New York, from Warren Street to Murray Street. The air pressure inside the tubes pushed the car, in a prototype line that extended for no more than 95 m. Built in two months in 1870, this single tunnel had 2.4 m in diameter and the car could hold 22 passengers. The ride was controlled by a 44 t Roots blower, nicknamed “the Western Tornado. When the car reached the end, baffles on the blower system were reversed and the car was pulled back by the suction.
There were plans to extend the tunnel further, but for many reasons the project was never completed.
The Beach subway closed in 1873 and it was finnaly demolished in the 1910s, when the BMT Broadway Line was built.
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