New York City's extreme nature leads to a plethora of love/hate sentiments and conflicted feelings. Many threaten to leave and never do - I wrote about this phenomenon in Not Going Anywhere. Having to commute daily using the New York City subway system is, for many, one of the greatest pains they have to endure.
When under fire, however, the transit system is often defended by its very detractors - just another example of the love/hate relationship New Yorkers have with this city.
The city's transit system has much to defend. It is one of the world's busiest and most extensive. In tandem with the bus system, one can get to virtually any destination within the five boroughs using public transportation alone.
The subway system runs 24/7, making maintenance and repair an extreme challenge. All track work has to be done while the system operates and thus necessitates frequent service suspension, disruptions and changes. This is a necessary evil and way of life for the underground rider.
I have traveled by this train yard numerous times, always by car on the Belt Parkway, and I have been amazed at this vast sea of subway cars. On this particular occasion, traffic was very heavy and gave me an opportunity to take photos while driving, reaching across the passenger side and bracing the camera as well as I could against the the passenger window frame.
This is the New York City Transit Complex at Coney Island - one of the largest transportation facilities in North America. Opened in 1926, the Coney Island Complex occupies 75 acres of land in the southern part of Brooklyn, New York.
There are three storage yards which have the capacity for storing nearly 1,800 subway cars. The Coney Island Tower serves as a command center coordinating the moves of subway cars. The car wash cleans the exteriors of over 1,000 cars approximately once a week for a yearly total of 50,000 washes.
The complex consists of a number of shops:
Overhaul & Repair Shop. The overhaul shop also works on maintaining and restoring the cars in the fleet of the New York Transit Museum. Within the Overhaul Shop, there are four 30-ton cranes capable of moving entire subway cars from one work station to another.
There is also: Paint Shop, Wheel, Truck, & Axle Shop, Maintenance/Inspection Shop, Pneumatic Shop, Traction Motor Shop, Small Motor Shop, Shoe Beam Shop, Battery Shop, and Training facilities.
New York City is full of surprises. With all of its miscreants, vandals, abusers, and users, it really is a miracle that all our systems work so reliably - power, water, sanitation, transportation - all managed by civil servants, a group popular for bashing. Perhaps the MTA should make the Coney Island Complex a subway stop for complainers :)