The Tunnels

the begining of the rock tunnelThe Metro Rail tunnels, or underground section, run from the portal at Main Street between Goodell and Tupper, to the University at Buffalo's city campus. The tunnels consist of one inbound and outbound track each, which run parallel to each other. The tunnels themselves were constructed in two ways; the southern portion of the tunnels, from the portal to just beyond the big bend after the Utica Street station, is the cut and cover section, the northern portion of the underground section are known as the "rock tunnel."

Cut and cover construction is done by digging a ditch and then covering it, creating a tunnel. This was done at the southern end of the tunnels due to the fact that the ground is much softer and the tunnels also would not have to be dug so deep. Cut and cover is of course cheaper and easier. At the northern end of the tunnel however, the earth becomes solid rock and had to be tunneled through using a huge machine that bored through the rock, all the way to the UB city campus. In fact the rock tunnel is actually two parallel tunnels, bored separately. I heard a story while I was working in the tunnels from a friend that when the construction of the rock tunnel was going on, they hit a huge rats nest and rats were running amuck throughout the city, in a panic. I'm not too sure if that story is true or not and I'm sure the egg-heads in charge at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority would not like that rumor to get out, seeing that people might think that there might still be rats in their subway tunnels and Lord knows we can't have that, but it's a funny story and I'm a funny guy and this is my web site, not theirs, so lighten up guys, will ya?

Now that I'm back on the subject of the egg-heads in charge at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority being just a tad bit touchy about their subway system, I'd like to share with you another reason why those paranoid individuals wanted this web site ahh, sparkling clean refreshmentremoved a little over a year ago. See that substance seeping out of the walls of the tunnel? Well, in the old web site I described it as "See that substance oozing out of the walls of the tunnel?" It was my use of the word "ooze" that caused quite a stir, if you can believe that? In an inter-office memo at the NFTA it was stated that the use of the word "ooze" might, if saw by the general public on this web site, might be considered to be something bad, or toxic and might make the general public leery of riding the Metro Rail. Let me be the first one to tell everyone, I meant in no way to imply that that stuff is toxic. In fact, I'm going to go as far as to say that that stuff is actually sparking clean spring water. I drank some every night and believe me when I say, I always had that silly nervous tick, long before I ever worked in the tunnels.

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