Subway Cars Thrown Into The Ocean Produce An Amazing Environmental Result

Back in 2001, New York City transit officials realized they had a problem: they had over 2,500 decommissioned subway cars and nowhere to put them.

Soon, it was decided that the cars would be loaded up on barges, carried out into the ocean, and dumped overboard. But this solution proved to not only be a uniquely surreal sight — it also produced a fascinating environmental results.

Back around 2001, New York City had a bit of a problem.

subway cars ocean

The city had over 2,500 decommissioned subway cars taking up space and gathering rust.

subway cars ocean

So it was decided to load the subway cars onto barges.

subway cars ocean

They were then carried out into the ocean…

subway cars ocean

…And dumped overboard.

subway cars ocean

Trains which once carried millions of people now became flotsam and jetsam at the bottom of the sea.

subway cars ocean

Barges full of these cars let them loose in the water off the shores between Delaware and South Carolina.

subway cars ocean

It was a uniquely surreal sight, one that grabbed the attention of photographer Stephen Mallon, who snapped these incredible images.

subway cars ocean

Eventually, they had to stop dumping the cars in the ocean.

subway cars ocean

Fears of asbestos in the train walls were a major factor to the end of this effort.

subway cars ocean

But after ten years, there was no sign of contamination.

subway cars ocean

In fact, it turned out that the cars were playing an interesting role in the ecosystem.

subway cars ocean

The surfaces of the cars were actually excellent beds for coral growth, with good water circulation and lots of places for fish to hide.

subway cars ocean

Species like black sea bass, sumer flounder, and tautog now call these trains home.

subway cars ocean

Here’s what some of the cars looked like after ten years underwater.

subway cars ocean

They had become fully integrated into the aquatic environment.

subway cars ocean

These images are simply incredible. Wouldn’t it just be amazing to dive down and swim through the old subway cars?

(Source)

If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”