Subway Lines Odor

Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

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pwelt
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:11 pm

Subway Lines Odor

Post by pwelt »

I just returned from NY, while riding the subway I remember years ago growing up there
I could tell what subway line I was on just by the smell in the tunnels, even the H&M
has its own distinct odor. I guess it was the different cars that the lines used.
Today I guess there is no IRT, BMT or IND.

Allan
Posts: 421
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:10 am
Location: Bronx, NY

Re: Subway Lines Odor

Post by Allan »

pwelt wrote:I just returned from NY, while riding the subway I remember years ago growing up there
I could tell what subway line I was on just by the smell in the tunnels, even the H&M
has its own distinct odor. I guess it was the different cars that the lines used.
Today I guess there is no IRT, BMT or IND.

You could tell the lines by the odor? Interesting. Most people went by the signs on the front and side of the cars. I will say that the IRT Lo-Vs and IND R1/9 cars had their own distinctive sounds. The R142 and R142A and R143, R160 cars all have certain distinctive sounds when taking on power.

The IRT, BMT and IND still exist. While officially the MTA does not use that nomenclature, you will find some conductors still say "Change for the BMT" or "Change for the IRT" etc when they make manual announcements.

When conversing with other railfans IRT, BMT and IND is still used sometimes or A division (IRT), B1 (BMT) or B2 (IND). We know what we are saying to each other.


On another note PATH (former H&M) tunnels still have a "certain odor". Of course the New PA-5 cars have that new car smell to them.

ExCon90
Posts: 4610
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:22 pm

Re: Subway Lines Odor

Post by ExCon90 »

I think we should cool all discussion of identifying lines by odor before Congress decides to add it to the list of ADA requirements.

keyboardkat
Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Ocean County, NJ

Re: Subway Lines Odor

Post by keyboardkat »

I remember as a kid entering the 179th St. station on Hillside Ave in Jamaica, the distinctive smell of subway cars (R-1s, R-4s etc.). Whether it was hot motors, hot resistor coils, I don't know. My dad thought it had something to do with the ozone present around high-voltage electrical equipment. The LIRR's MP-54 MU cars, each of which had two 250hp motors, also had that distinctive electric motor car smell. But the newer cars, like the R-38s, R-40s, etc. never seemed to have that smell.

And the new R-160s, which have different propulsion technology, don't have it, either.
Fairbanks-Morse forever!

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