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New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars Hardcover – October 25, 2004

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

From Reviews of our Previous Edition: The humble New York subway car has its fans, as Gene Sansone demonstrates in his exhaustive survey. Featuring such curios as a private subway car built in 1904 for the director of the subway, his work also provides useful insights into such imponderables as why the cars on the F line are longer than those on, say, the 1 and 9 lines.

(Leo Carey New Yorker)

Offers the reader a comprehensive, accurate, well-illustrated, highly documented catalog of the nearly 5,800 current New York City subway cars, along with the many thousands of long-gone cars. Every subway student or enthusiast will return to it often to browse the pages or to research a specific car series. It is an indispensable companion to prior or future general histories of one of the world's greatest people movers.

(Richard L. Allman Railroad History)

Subway train enthusiasts, students of New York City history, and specialists in the history of technology will appreciate this reference on the city's subway system.

(Book News)

Sansone clearly knows his subject inside and out, and presents it in a fascinating, entertaining manner.

(Nate MacMaster Railfan and Railroad)

Sansone comprehensively examines more than 5,000 New York City subway cars... The book can be enjoyed by readers interested in transit car history while subway enthusiasts will appreciate the ease with which specific cars can be researched.

(Choice)

Offers an encyclopedic amount of information and is organized in a precise and thorough manner. The book contains a wealth of history and detail for tourists and transit buffs alike.

(Amy Wanggaard, New York Transit Museum)

This is the first comprehensive examination of the history and development of the system's rolling stock. Sansone has performed a real service by pulling it together, providing useful illustrations of the cars, and vetting it all for accuracy. Sansone knows his subject thoroughly and he's clearly done his homework.

(Clifton Hood, author of 722 Miles)

Well organized and provides an abundance of data in both written and pictorial form.

(Efstathios I. Pappas Industrial Archaeology)

The product of years of meticulous research... Subway and train enthusiasts, students of New York City history, and specialists in the history of technology will appreciate this updated and authoritative reference work.

(NJ News)

About the Author

Gene Sansone is the assistant chief mechanical officer of Car Equipment Engineering and Technical Support of MTA New York City Transit and an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Polytechnic University of New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press (October 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801879221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801879227
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Sandewicz on December 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When Evolution of New York Subways was published in 1997, I bought a copy immediately. Back then, I thought the book was an incredible tribute to the rolling stock of the New York City subway system. I also thought it would be a very long time before such a volume could be surpassed in any way. In 2004 (the centennial year for the original IRT subway)we have New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars. This book is even better than its predecessor. It boasts a vertical format that is easier to handle and read. Many of the original photos have been improved, information is updated to reflect the latest subway rolling stock, and the color section has been expanded. Congratulations to Gene Sansone on an outstanding effort! Simply put, if you are a fan of the New York City Subway system, this is a must-have addition to your book collection.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I got a gift certificate for $25 from a relative in CA I only met once, and I bought it on this book! It's really cool! They have all the info about every subway car, they have pics and technical data, and they even have info abotu the soon-to-arrive R160! I can even use this to ask my brothers what kind of subway car they rode! As a railfan who knows all the makes and models of the subway cars, this book pwnz! So if you ride the NYC Subway, or your'e just into it, buying this book that has all the current info is a must!
[...]
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Palal on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The title says it all! This an all-in-one encyclopedia for NYC Subway cars. There is a lot of emphasis on cars prior to the unification in the 30s, and the information is very much up to date.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Hough on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Johns Hopkins University Press has published an updated "Centennial Edition" of Gene Sansone's landmark study of New York's rapid transit rolling stock. The initial version of the book was published in 1997 by the New York Transit Museum Press and was updated by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2002. To commemorate the centennial of the opening of the first section of the Interborough Rapid Transit [IRT] subway on October 27, 1904, the book has been updated to include the latest R143 cars that are now operating on the Canarsie line. This revised version is an improvement over its predecessor, correcting some problems that were identified in earlier editions.

The body of published literature covering the New York City subway system is reasonably extensive and incorporates traditional histories like "Under the Sidewalks of New York" by Brian Cudahy and more human-interest type books like "Subway Lives" by Jim Dwyer. Stan Fischler's "Uptown Downtown" falls somewhere in between. There is even an entire book by Mr. Cudahy devoted to the tragic Malbone Street wreck of 1918. But missing was an in-depth study of subway rolling stock from the 19th century to the present day.

Enter Gene Sansone. Hired by the New York City Transit Authority in 1973, Mr. Sansone rose through the agency's ranks and at the time the book was published was an Assistant Chief Mechanical Officer in New York City Transit's Car Equipment Department, in charge of Car Equipment Engineering and Technical Support. In his spare time, Mr. Sansone teaches a graduate class at Brooklyn's Polytechnic University, which this reviewer attended in the mid-1990s. A required paper for this class became an article about regional rail in Southern California, published in a national railroad publication.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Cohn on August 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book has super great pictures of most El and Subway cars, going back into the 19'th century. Most pictures are connected well to the text, except for the earliest cars where one is uncertain which car is being pictured. More disappointing are the data appendices on most cars. These have inconsistent information and formatting. For some cars the balancing speed, accelerations and decelerations are given, but not the motors' horsepower. For other cars, the motor horsepower's are given, but not the other data. The most troubling inconsistency is the various values given for the balancing speed of the BMT Standards throughout the text.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Olesnicki on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars Great book for the subway fan. It is a comprehensive history of the cars, well illustrated. Also includes a complete set of drawings and specifications, valuable for modelers. Writing style a little repetitious and awkward at times.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eric Garzon on August 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was extremely well researched and offers an excellent overview of one of the world marvels, the New York City Subway.
A must have for any rail buff in the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shirley D on October 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book with so much information that is interesting and fun for both adults and children. Some friends saw it in my living room bookcase and loved it so I bought one for them too!
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New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars
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