Thu, 8 July 2010
Before there were subways, New York City transported travelers up and down the length of Manhattan by elevated railroad, an almost unreal spectacle to consider today. Steam engines sat high above several avenues in the city, offering passengers not just a faster trek to the northern reaches of Manhattan, but a totally new way to see the city in the 19th century.
Welcome to our second podcast in our series Bowery Boys On The Go, a look at the history of New York City transportation. Before we get to those famous 'El' trains, we explore the earliest travel options in the city -- the omnibuses and horse-drawn railcars, the early steam successes of the New York and Harlem Railroad and Hudson River Railroads, and something affectionately nicknamed the one-legged railroad.
What were some of the more peculiar ideas for improving travel? And why was the idea of a subway immediately shot down by the city? Let's just say -- Boss Tweed and Jay Gould are involved.
ALSO: What were the different motivations driving transportation progress in the city of Brooklyn? Well, it has something to do with the beach.