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For one reason or another, certain cultural phenomena in this country drive people to hysterics. Some will travel through glen and glade to see where Elvis ate his last ham sandwich. Others pay top dollar for an undershirt worn by a midget on the set of Star Trek. Add the New York City Subway System to the list of things that inspire in some a, well, inexplicable exuberance. Hardcore subway devotees get a thrill out of every subterranean clack, screech and whine. And most can draw you a map of exactly where the IND, BMT, and IRT used to stop. For these folks and interested others, there’s the unofficial site on the history of the New York City subway system, located at www.nycsubway.org. The site has a staggering amount of information about the system, including detailed (and well-written) descriptions of its financing and construction, pictures of the maintenance facilities, and a trove of New York Timesarticles that ran the day the IRT opened for business (October 27, 1904). Even the most blase strap-hanger will likely find something interesting on the site. (How’s this: the 28th Street Station on the 6 line hosts the system’s lone token booth built into a wall. Who knew?) But the most impressive part of the site are the pictures. From musty old black-and-whites to colorful shots of the newest cars, the pictures set the site apart. It’s like a trip to a museum. And best of all — it’s one you don’t have to pay a fare to get to.

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