Danger in the Tunnels
Clip: Season 9 | 20s
One of the most dangerous sections on the Interborough Rapid Transit's route was assigned to a subcontractor, Ira Shaler, who was also a friend of chief engineer, William Parsons. On June 17th, 1902, Parsons inspected Shaler's work in the east tunnel. During the inspection, a boulder fell on Shaler. He died a few days later, bringing work in the east tunnel to a halt.
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Running New York's subway would require the most powerful electrical plant in the world.
In the late 19th-century, an engineer was regarded as a god-like figure.
At least 7,700 men would be needed to build the Interborough Rapid Transit, or IRT.
New York’s topography presented a special engineering challenge for subway planners.
Alfred Ely Beach had an idea for a pneumatic subway, pulled by a rope of air.
The first effort to build a subway dates back to the 1850s with Alfred Ely Beach.
The Pennsylvania Railroad announced they would be tunneling into Manhattan.
The masonry work on Pennsylvania Station began in 1908.
Measurements showed that the Pennsylvania RR Hudson River tunnels were shifting.
Tunneling under the Hudson river proved easy, but the East River was becoming a nightmare.
In 1961 the Pennsylvania Railroad announced it had sold the air rights above Penn Station.
Two city blocks, or 28 acres, were initially cleared for Penn Station’s construction.
Excavation workers, called “sandhogs,” faced many dangers working in a confined space.
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