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Archive for January 23rd, 2012

wondering uneasily

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Each one of the DE30AC Long Island Railroad engines one typically observes at the ancient Long Island City station at Hunters Point is rated to 3,000 Horsepower. So says the google.

As a humble narrator is given to literal interpretations of statements like this, an idea occurred, which might present an answer to the so called “hum” which bedevils area residents.

Horses.

from wikipedia

The LIRR chartered the New York and Jamaica Railroad on September 3, 1859, and a supplement to the LIRR’s charter passed March 12, 1860 authorized it to buy the NY&J and extend to Hunters Point. The LIRR carried through with the NY&J purchase on April 25, along with the purchase of a short piece of the Brooklyn and Jamaica at Jamaica, and the next day it cancelled its lease of the Brooklyn and Jamaica, but continued to operate over it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Logistical conundrums abound in this scheme of mine, mastering a team of 3,000 horses for instance, would be hubris enough to make a Roman blush.

A thousand pounds of horseflesh each, the 3,000 strong equine army would each require some 10-12 gallons of water and 1-1.5% of it’s body weight in food per day (US Army daily forage rations were given as 12 lbs of oats and 14 lbs of hay per 900 lb. horse). Marvelously enough, the mountains of manure generated by the animals could act as fertilizer for roof top farms which could in turn grow the food.

It would be a virtuous circle for all, except for the customers of the LIRR itself, who will be moving to Syosset at no more than 3mph.

from wikipedia

The DE30AC and DM30AC locomotives replaced aging GP38s, Alco FA1/FA2s, F7As and F9As, and MP15AC and SW1001 locomotives, with GP38s used to push and pull diesel trains and other locomotives used to provide HEP for the trains. The bodies of the DE30AC and the DM30AC are similar; the difference is the ability of the DM30AC to use electric third rail while the diesel engine is off, enabling the locomotive to use the East River Tunnels into New York Penn Station. DM30ACs have third rail contact shoes, permitting direct service from non-electrified lines in eastern Long Island via the western electrified main lines all the way to Penn Station. A few such trains a day run on the Port Jefferson, Oyster Bay, and Montauk Branches. The engines’ naming scheme: DM = Dual Mode, DE = Diesel Engine, 30 = 3000 hp, AC = Alternating Current traction motors.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Oh, and there’s also something like ten trains that use this station daily, so that’s actually 30,000 horses. That’s the estimated equine population of New Hampshire.

Imagine all the primate jobs this scheme would generate as well, hundreds if not thousands of green jobs- Veterinarians, Agriculturists, Teamsters, Roof-top Botanists.

from wikipedia

Long Island City station was built on June 26, 1854, and was rebuilt seven times during the 19th Century. On December 18, 1902, both the two-story station building, and an office building owned by the LIRR burned down. The station was rebuilt on April 26, 1903, and was electrified on June 16, 1910.

Before the East River Tunnels were built, the Long Island City station served as the terminus for Manhattan-bound passengers from Long Island, who took ferries to the East Side of Manhattan. The passenger ferry service was abandoned on March 3, 1925, although freight was carried by car floats (see Gantry Plaza State Park) to and from Manhattan until the middle twentieth century. Today ferry service is operated by NY Waterway.

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