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Final Stop for New York City Subway Cars

New York City 1980s; I had to deal with this crap (and so did that crazy lady I drove to work every day).
And this is the respect I get?!

New York City Subway Cars prepare to being tossed into the ocean.
New York City Subway Cars always travel together.
New York City Subway Cars time to say goodbye.
New York City Subway Cars being lifted.
Subway Car is thinking "I wish that Cat would fall instead of I".
New York City Subway Car's final seconds.
New York City Subway Car's Plunge.
Last stop (bottom) Coney Island.
Will someone just please close those doors!

Final Stop for New York City Subway Cars: believe it or not.

There is something unbelievably troubling and sinister about these images.  Is the MTA/New York City Transit Authority for real?  At least they could have given these hard working subway cars a nice retirement spot in Florida somewhere.  These poor subway cars probably went through New York City 1980's hell and as a final reward end up on the bottom of the ocean.  And Rodney Dangerfield thought he was the only one who could get no respect... And of course, it is all good for nature according to the MTA since these cars are going to form a nice little reef for happy little fishies (I can bet your New York Derriere - look that up will you - that the MTA will have ticket booths - unmanned of course - installed right at the bottom of the ocean)!  No way these fishies are in for a free ride.


New York City subway trains stop at 468 stations each day. But whatever their regular route, many cars no longer fit to run the rails have the same final destination: the bottom of the ocean.

The external structure of a subway car contains asbestos, which isn’t harmful once submerged in water, but is expensive to recycle on land. Since 2001, New York City Transit has given its retired Redbird cars a second life by sending them to Davy Jones’s locker in five states, forming artificial reefs that benefit the ocean’s ecosystem. Because of its proximity, Delaware has received the majority of NYC’s cars (1,329 to date).

Much of the ocean floor is naturally muddy and often sandy, with very few rocks to be found. The stainless-steel cars, with their windows and internal components removed, are the perfect structures to encourage marine life such as muscles and oysters, which require a firm surface to grow. Jeff Tinsman, Delaware’s artificial-reef program manager, says divers monitor the reef on a regular basis. Since the first cars were sunk, the team has “seen a 400-fold increase in the amount of invertebrate biomass available as food for fish on the reef structure, when you compare it to what would occur on the natural bottom.” The cars also provide the fish with shelter from predators.

While New York has no more trains heading for retirement in the near future, the reef will continue to expand. Delaware has partnered with New Jersey and Maryland to sink a 563-foot-long navy destroyer in the next few months.

Credits: Jacqueline Nelson for bottom part of text after the * and Stephen Mallon for photographs.