The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway by Doug MostIn the late nineteenth century, as cities like Boston and New York grew more congested, the streets became clogged with plodding, horse-drawn carts. When the great blizzard of 1888 crippled the entire northeast, a solution had to be found. Two brothers from one of the nations great families-Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York-pursued the dream of his city digging Americas first subway, and the great race was on. The competition between Boston and New York played out in an era not unlike our own, one of economic upheaval, life-changing innovations, class warfare, bitter political tensions, and the question of Americas place in the world.
The Race Underground is peopled with the famous, like Boss Tweed, Grover Cleveland and Thomas Edison, and the not-so-famous, from brilliant engineers to the countless sandhogs who shoveled, hoisted and blasted their way into the earths crust, sometimes losing their lives in the construction of the tunnels. Doug Most chronicles the science of the subway, looks at the centuries of fears people overcame about traveling underground and tells a story as exciting as any ever ripped from the pages of U.S. history. The Race Underground is a great American saga of two rival American cities, their rich, powerful and sometimes corrupt interests, and an invention that changed the lives of millions.
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The history of rapid transit began in London with the opening of the Metropolitan Railway, The first urban underground railway was the Metropolitan Railway, which began operations on January 10, Later subway lines built in Boston carry heavy rail trains; the Green Line still operates with light rail equipment.
List of metro systems
The industrial revolution was the primary catalyst for the advent of underground transportation; without it the iron horse that pulled the trains, the tunneling technology that bored through the earth, and the iron walls that held those tunnels up would have been impossible. The Boston subway only came about due to the specific invention of the electric motor in the late 19th century. Since Americans were not keen on the idea of a subway like one in London, England, which was a steam train that ran in dark tunnels and spewed ash and soot everywhere, an alternative method of generating power would be needed to build a subway in the U. Fortunately, an American inventor named Frank Sprague solved this problem when he invented an electric motor in After Sprague successfully installed his motor in trolleys in Richmond, Virginia, in , it prompted Henry Whitney, the owner of the West End Railway in Boston, Mass, to upgrade his trolleys to run on electricity the following year.
From the oldest Underground system of London to the busiest today, in Beijing, subway transportation all began with the idea of freeing up congested streets to provide an option below the ground where people could quickly get to where they needed to go. Overcoming obstacles of engineering, funding, and wartime delays along the way, these feats of engineering forged forward. As these subway transit systems progressed, trains were electrified using what is called a third rail. Though things have changed since that very first passenger ride, the history of transit in metro populated areas remains rich and interesting. Beijing may be one of the newer systems worldwide but is the oldest in China, and it is one of the busiest and most bustling subway in the entire world with an average of about 10 million riders who rely on its lines every day. If wars had not delayed the progress, this transit line would have been bustling long before its time as plans date back to the Roman Empire when Tsars ruled. Once the Moscow transit system was opened and fitting with the governmental power, Stalin is said to have been the first passenger aboard.
This list of metro systems includes electrified rapid transit train systems worldwide . In some parts of the world, metro systems are referred to as subways, The London Underground first opened as an "underground railway" in and its «Стрелка» [In Nizhny Novgorod, the metro station Strelka, built for the World Cup.
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The history of rapid transit began in London with the opening of the Metropolitan Railway , which is now part of the London Underground , in In the 21st century, China became the world's leader by number of rapid transit systems as well as the fastest growth of such systems, [ citation needed ] and many other Asian countries began construction of their own rapid transit systems.
This list of metro systems includes electrified rapid transit train systems worldwide. In some parts of the world, metro systems are referred to as subways , U-Bahnen or undergrounds. The London Underground first opened as an "underground railway" in and its first electrified underground line opened in ,  making it the world's oldest metro system. The International Association of Public Transport L'Union Internationale des Transports Publics, or UITP defines metro systems as urban passenger transport systems, "operated on their own right of way and segregated from general road and pedestrian traffic". The dividing line between metro and other modes of public transport , such as light rail   and commuter rail ,   is not always clear, and while UITP only makes distinctions between "metros" and "light rail",  the American Public Transportation Association APTA and Federal Transit Administration FTA distinguish all three modes. While light rail systems may share roads or have level crossings , a metro system runs, almost always, on a grade-separated exclusive right-of-way , with no access for pedestrians and other traffic.
Metro systems are subways, U-Bahns or underground electrified rapid transit train systems worldwide. As at , cities in over 50 countries around the world are homes to over metro systems. London Underground, which is the earliest metro system, was initially opened as an underground railway in The first electrified underground line was opened in London in making it the first metro system in the world. Shanghai Metro has the longest route length while the busiest metro system is the Beijing Subway. Some of the oldest metro systems around the world include:.
The Thames Tunnel was the world's very first tunnel that was built underneath a river and it was described as the Eighth Wonder of the World. The Thames Tunnel - the world's first tunnel built underneath a river - was opened. It was built by an engineer called Sir Marc Brunel and his son Isambard to allow cargo to be transported underneath the busy river Thames. They ran out of money though, so to begin with it just opened as an attraction for pedestrians. On the first day, 50, people walked through the tunnel. By the end of the first three months, a million people — that was half of the population of London at the time — passed through, making it the most successful visitor attraction in the world. This print shows commuters waving their hats in the air during a trial journey on the London Metropolitan Underground railway.