The State of the Art Car in Brooklyn 
Page 2

SOAC Exterior Plans

The Traveler, showing something of his displacement to suburbia, stepped into the second car, more sumptuously outfitted for suburban-style service. if he was spoiled by the more genteel conditions on the modern LIRR equipment (compared to the familiar rush hour crowding of the subways) SOAC's design and colors carried it a step further. On the seat-of-the-future was a souvenir brochure for the entering rider. As the seat cushions were soft The Traveler and his companions snatched up the mementos of the occasion. (On the modern New York subway cars the seats are vandal- resistant hard, and a brochure or newspaper commonly serves as a cushion; on SOAC vandal-resistance was provided by a transit policeman.)
     SOAC floats! Ten years earlier The Traveler would leave Brighton Beach on the Triplex (D-type cars), whose roar was amplified by the heavy elevated structure. Now there was a train-powerful! Equipment which could have only gone into regular passenger service in 1927, the year Babe Ruth hit 60 homers. Now they were gone, and no less than six different types of modern subway car have operated out of Brighton Beach in the ensuing ten years, But SOAC, with strong, smooth, acceleration, floats.
     There is a tendency to rock—probably more due to the roadbed than the equipment, which is also the reason that the cars (like the latest R-44 subway cars), capable of speeds up to 80 miles per hour, do not exceed the system-wide limit of 50 m.p.h.
     By Kings Highway (two stops down the line) SOAC is full. The Traveler supposes that even in the future there will be standees--welcome to the future. But the present standees don't seem to mind. They are too busy paying mind to a riding experience they are evidently enjoying. As a man from Boeing Vertol intones a welcome and an inspirational message the passengers are actually smiling (like the time the conductor caught the Christmas spirit a few years earlier and used the p.a. system at each stop to wish all a Merry Christmas-even the most hardened, subway worn face broke into a smile every time he did it).
     "Isn't it beautiful," comments one. "This is nice, isn't it," a matronly lady inquires of her companion, and The Traveler thinks of another "first ride" he took several years ago, soon after PATCO had opened its modern, successful Lindenwold Line. At that time, too, he observed a trainload of happy, interested passengers-but those were people who had previously depended on auto or bus for their daily commuting. Rapid transit for them had been vague second-hand stories of tie-ups and frustration in New York. One happy group on that trip—mother, father and two children—didn't feel right about leaving until the family walked up to the motorman's console and the delighted young mother leaned forward and said, "thank you for a wonderful train ride." That comment from the young, supposedly "car-oriented" generation, and the similar reaction from the SOAC riders make you realize that rail rapid transit is the "new car" of the seventies and eighties. That interest and attention once lavished on the new car as it sat in the family driveway in a fading era now goes to the transportation to serve our future. If only the majority in the nation who have no choice could see what rapid transit can be Iike.

Continued on page 3







© 2000 by The Composing Stack Inc. Not responsible for typographical errors.

The Third Rail and The Third Rail logo are trademarks of The Composing Stack Inc.

Return to The Third Rail Online Home
Return to Home

Everything on this site is copyright © 2000 by The Composing Stack Inc., except as otherwise noted.
Materials with other copyrights are used by permission.
All rights reserved

Last updated Thursday, April 12, 2001