American Experience

Powering New York's Subway System

Clip: Season 9 | 2m 6s

Running the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) required the most powerful electrical plant in the world. The central powerhouse generated alternating current, which could be sent over long distances. Rotary converters were then built to change the alternating current into direct current needed to run the trains. These rotary converters were placed in substations scattered throughout the city.

Aired: 02/17/97

Rating: NR

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