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Monday, May 13, 2013

Anniversary of the Passing of the Culver Shuttle May 11, 1975

I forgot that May 11 is the anniversary of the passing of the Culver Shuttle.  I remember when it used to go to Chambers Street in Manhattan when I was very young.  One of the best experiences that I had as a child with the Culver Shuttle was the joy of seeing IRT LO-V cars on the shuttle around 1960.  This is the time when two tracks were operational on the line between Ninth; Avenue and Ditmas Avenue.  The Low-V cars were modified so that the gap between the sidewall of the car and the platform edge was filled in.  Most young people will not remember this, but the old equipment and the lines that they ran on, had a "smell".  This was not an unpleasant smell but a smell sort of like camphor, creosote and motor oil.  Each of the three subway divisions  (BMT, IND or IRT) had its unique smell because I found out later, the subway cars needed motor oils.  Even though the Lo-V's ran on the BMT, they smelled distinctly of the IRT.  The PATH system had a different smell. more like mildew of a damp basement and it was studied by PATH officials regarding its' cause.  Today the subway is oderless or smells of urine. Please find below a picture that I could not give proper credit to.  It is probably a Conrad photo and shows a Lo-V IRT subway car in Culver Shuttle service.  It is resting in the pocket track at Ditmas Avenue, many years ago.  Notice another signature of the Lo-V's, metal destination plates.  This Lo-V is signed up for Culver Line Service.  Source:  The IRT Lo V cars had also a unique "groaning" sound when the train was going up a hill.  I remember this as the Lo-V's ascended the incline going to the Fort Hamilton Parkway station.

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