Through this particular assessment, the possibility of creating the link that exists between the transport system and the economic as well as social development of the society being catered upon in this reading.
THE tunnel diggers gazed in disbelief at what they had uncovered. The year was 1912. Deep beneath the streets of New York City, while excavating an extension of the newly built subway, they had broken into a large hidden chamber. The room was magnificently furnished-like a palace! Along its length were mirrors, chandeliers, and frescoes. Wood paneling, crumbling with age, still adorned the walls. In the middle of the room stood a decorative fountain, its bubbling long silent.
The room led to a tunnel. To the workers' astonishment, there sat a graciously decorated 22-passenger subway car on its rails. Had there been another subway under New York before the one they were digging Who could have built this place
Underground passages have been in use for mining, supplying water, and military exploits for thousands of years. Mechanized underground transport of passengers, however, came about much more recently. In the early 1800's, thoroughfares in London, England, were choked with every imaginable type of contemporary vehicle, not to mention pedestrian traffic. Thousands crossed the Thames daily, either by ferry or over London Bridge. At times, progress was so slow that merchants could only watch helplessly as the produce they were trying to get to market withered in the sun.
Marc Isambard Brunel, a French engineer living in England, had an idea that would eventually help to alleviate some of London's transportation troubles. Brunel had once observed a shipworm working its way through a piece of hard oak. He noted that only the head of the little mollusk was protected by a shell. The shipworm used the serrated edges of its shell to bore through the wood. As it progressed, it left behind in its burrow a smooth protective coating of lime. Applying this principle, Brunel patented a large cast-iron tunneling shield, to be pushed forward through the ground by jacks. As workers removed the earth from inside the shield, the shield would prevent collapse. As the shield progressed, other workers would lay bricks on the inside surface of the new tunnel to support it.
Using his shield, Brunel successfully completed the world's first underwater tunnel through soft earth, under the Thames, in 1843. In doing so, he demonstrated the feasibility of tunnel construction and prepared the way for the development of modern subways. In 1863, the world's first subway system opened between principal railroad terminals in London, and in 1865, Brunel's tunnel was purchased to expand the system. That tunnel still forms part of the London Underground.
On Safety and Legitimacy
Subterranean transport has never been without its opposers. In the 1800's many people, believing that a fiery hell lay somewhere inside the earth, feared going underground. Additionally, many