PHOTOS: Go Inside the NYC Subway Cars Dumped in the Atlantic Over a Decade Ago

Posted On Fri, October 23, 2015 By

Posted On Fri, October 23, 2015 By In Art, photography, Transportation

Image via Gothamist

By now, you’ve probably seen Stephen Mallon’s insane photo series showing thousands of subway cars being tossed into the ocean. The unlikely MTA initiative was undertaken more than ten years ago with the goal of creating artificial reefs that would support sea life along the Eastern seabed. Now fast forward a decade plus, and the fruits of the agency’s environmental efforts can finally be seen in these incredible underwater images from Express Water Sports.

Stephen Mallon, NYC subway cars, Next Stop AtlanticImage by Stephen Mallon. More from his series can be seen here >>

NYC subway cars, subway car reefs, artificial reefs, subways being dumped in the ocean, nyc subway car reefs

The idea to dump the cars came to the MTA when they were looking for a way to recycle their decommissioned Redbird cars. They learned that marine organisms love hard surfaces and these same organisms serve as food for other sea creatures. By using the cars as makeshift reefs, they’d be able to promote a healthier and more productive ocean environment—”[they are] boxes with good water circulation and lots of nooks and crannies for fish,” Nat Geo once said. Close to 3,000 cars have made their way into the ocean, from Delaware to South Carolina, since the program’s beginnings.

NYC subway cars, subway car reefs, artificial reefs, subways being dumped in the ocean, nyc subway car reefs

NYC subway cars, subway car reefs, artificial reefs, subways being dumped in the ocean, nyc subway car reefs

It’s quite surreal to see the trains are stripped of their windows, doors, seats and steel wheels, now teeming with sea life. The photos seen in the collection at hand show the Bill Perry Reef system in Myrtle Beach, SC, where there about 40 cars currently sit at 65 feet under water. The video below shows scuba divers making their way through the site on a tour (skip to 2:45 to get to the real action), which apparently is open to any novice divers through Express Water Sports for just $105.

Check it out:

[Via Gothamist]

Images via Gothamist courtesy of Express Water Sports

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