Of all the great cities in the world, few personify their country like New York City. As America's largest city and best known immigration gateway into the country, NYC represents the beauty, diversity, and sheer strength of the United States, a global financial center that has enticed people chasing the "American Dream" for centuries. One of the most significant needs of a growing civilization is an efficient transportation system, and by the time the burgeoning New York City had reached the latter half of the 19th century, the waterways and narrow streets were no longer sufficient to get people from one part of the city to another. Something new was needed, and in a place where real estate was already at a premium, building above ground was not an economically efficient option. As such, the leaders of the city commissioned companies to explore the world under the busy streets, and to build a rail system that would allow people to move quickly below the feet of those walking above. First one company and then another rose to the challenge, and the first decade of the 20th century found the city with one of the best subway systems in the nation. As the city grew, so did the companies, and they continued to dig like human gophers into more expansive areas. Perhaps not surprisingly, barely anything went smoothly, and for every mile of track put down, there was at least another mile of red tape that had to be cut through.
©2016 Charles River Editors (P)2017 Charles River Editors