Is it the beginning of the end?

I’m about one or two more back to back track fires away from taking cover in a bunker somewhere.  Seriously.  Things over the past couple weeks are just getting crazy.

It all started with summer showing up light a white hot freight train.  For weeks, we enjoyed beautiful mid 70’s each day.  Then, overnight it was 96 degrees outside…or 104 if you follow that “Real Feel” bullshit.

**Side note.  What the hell is a “Real Feel” temperature or heat index?  I know what it really means, but lets just make it easy.  Just tell me how damn hot it feels outside and leave it at that.  If it’s 86 outside but feels like 94, I want to know about the 94.  Screw the 86…who cares.  My ass is sweating.

Anyway, the heat showed up, and I started to brace for the subway heat as we’ve discussed at length in the past.  Interestingly, it was virtually the same day it hit as last year.  Also, we’ve discussed that it takes about a day or two for the heat to make it’s way underground.  Then it’s an oven.

So yeah, of course I was expecting the heat eventually, but not all this other crap.

Let’s start with the track fires.  It’s so damn hot that shit just randomly catches on fire on the PATH train tracks almost every week.  Switches, lights, and boxes in the subway blow up or short out.  How hot is it?  Hot enough to bring mass transit to it’s knees.

If there’s ever been an argument for better maintenance of the subway system (including upgrades), this is it.   Gas is hitting $5.00 a gallon all around us, more and more people are taking the trains, and we’re running a system from 1932.  Just wait and see how f-ed up it gets when the rain comes…

Then, there was last night.  I’m sitting in my apartment, and it’s perfectly quiet outside.  All of a sudden it sounds like rocks are being thrown at my windows.  I look outside, and it looks like a tornado is coming up the block.  I watches as a whole tree across the street became uprooted.

Then on the other side of the street, scaffolding started ripping off my neighbor’s building.  You know the scaffolding they put over the sidewalks?  Most usually have blue plywood walls put up around the first story of the scaffold.  Well, this wind started peeling off the 4×8 sheets of plywood like post-it notes.  They flew up the street doing cartwheels over the cars on the block. Read More »

Using the Water in the Subway for Good?

Subway Rat and Dirt

I can think of few things more disgusting than using the water collected in the subway for anything other than chemical weaponry. However, it seems that the MTA may be looking into that as part of the sustainability plan.

For example, MTA plans to power a “significant portion” of the Roosevelt Island Subway Station with renewable tidal energy generated in the East River; add a high-performance roof at MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Harmon Yard Shop, and a white roof at the MTA Long Island Rail Road Hillsdale facility; offer incentive packages from various state agencies to encourage development at or near MTA stations; and evaluate ways MTA New York City Transit can use water harvested from the subway system. [Progressive Railroading]

I’m all for sustainability, energy conservation, and saving the environment. HOWEVER, what possible good can come from doing anything with the subway water “harvested” from the system? Gross!