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Long Island Live Steamers, Southaven Park Long Island, The Best kept secret of Long Island
The next scheduled
Public Run Day
can be found

Come early and stay late, but plan now for a great family day of Train Riding Action.

Long Island Live Steamers Membership information and Members Only Area
LI Live Steamers operations are all outdoors and are dependent upon reasonable weather for safe operation. Always check the weather before making your way to the track.

Hot Stations and Hotter Cars: The Subways

By John Scala

As you descended down to the train platforms, there were three things that caught your eye: tiles, the advertising billboards, and the steel girders. Topping it all off was a thin film of dirt that covered everything in sight.

All of the subway stations walls were literally covered with tile. They were either square or rectangular in shape and almost all were white. The station stop and directions to other lines and exits were spelled out using different color tiles. A distinct color tile border was engrained towards the top of the walls. Since each of the subway divisions were built at different times of last century, each used the tiles in different designs in creating station designs, information signs and directions. The details on some on these designs are works of art.

They must have employed hundreds of workers, at the turn of the century, which painstakingly applied inch size ceramic tiles and molded casts to make the stone signs and borders. Since the length of most stations exceeds 600 feet, not including all the passage ways, the scope of some of their work is amazing. There were also many small concrete billboards that were cut into the station walls. These were about 6' x 4' in size. Large print and colorful advertisements would show the circus coming to the Garden, a new show at Radio City or Broadway or a now movie appearing at the movie theaters. I always kept thinking why their print was so bold and large. It was probably since the subway lighting was so bad it made it easier to read. It was not unusual to see one of a number of workers who hung these advertisements come along with the latest ones. Usually armed with rolls of paper under his arms and carrying a pail of glue and brush they went from station to station hanging the advertisements. You even got to know their routine, put down the pail/ brush and paper rolls, select the correct roll to hang, scrape off the old advertisement, slap on a fresh coat of glue and then size and hang the paper. A favorite pastime, while waiting for a train, was to find an edge that was not glued down and start peeling. Although the NYC Subway frowned upon it, peeling the advertisements was a time honored tradition. Today, it is tougher to peel; instead of applying paste to the wall they now use measured self-sticking paper that securely and evenly fits the advertisements to the billboards.
The forest of steel girders, both horizontal and vertical, lining the platforms and passageways were painted in a drab green that seemed to make the stations appear darker. The platforms always seemed to be cluttered, dirty and uttered with papers. There were gum machines and station address signs bolted onto almost every vertical girder, small newsstands and benches in the middle of the platform or against the walls and a number of passenger stairwells.The concrete station platforms were dark with grime and black spots on the platforms from discarded chewing gum. ^The track bed down along side the platforms were covered with grease and grime and with litter stuck in the drainage pans running down the middle of the track. The electrified 600 volt third rail usually was positioned on the far side of the track, away from the platforms. A continuous line of wooden planks sheltered the third rail and provide some measure of safety for the track gangs. Continued Next Page - Click Here.
Our Public Run days are usually scheduled for the second and last Sundays of the month from May through October.