Interior of a R42-type train – New York City Subway

Transportation – Land, Sea, Air – Trains, Boats, Planes

Moving people and things


  • standardized shipping containers

Environment & Transportation

  • [/Aerospace Aerospace] – Concerns mechanical engineering of aircraft and manned/unmanned spacecraft design, including adaptive (“smart”) structures and materials, propulsion systems life support equipment.
  • [/Environmental Environmental] – air, ground and water pollution control technologies, environmental remediation,and waste management.
  • [/Acoustics Noise Control and Acoustics] – noise control and acoustics principles and its applications to noise control engineering.
  • [/Rail%20Transportation Rail Transportation] – engineering of railroad and mass transit systems, locomotives, freight, passenger, and commuter cars.
  • Materials And [/Energy%20recovery Energy Recovery] – the design, construction and operation of solid waste processing facilities.

Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is a 4.6 miles (7.4 km) crossing for Interstate 664 in Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA. It is a four-lane bridge-tunnel composed of bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under a portion of the Hampton Roads harbor where the James, Nansemond, and Elizabeth Rivers come together in the southeastern portion of Virginia.
Whatever moves you
Sax battle in New York subway (video) – The New York City subway is a great example of a mass transit system that has been moving millions of people daily for more than 100 years. Times have changed, and so has the subway. In addition to the original requirements, the subway has had to overcome problems that the engineers and builders never imagined would be necessary. But as each new challenge arose, the planners and engineers followed the steps in the [/Engineering%20Design%20Process Engineering Design Process] to keep the subway running and ready to accommodate even more passengers.

  • Ask – The New York City subway is the most extensive public transportation system in the world by number of stations, with 468 stations in operation. It is also one of the world’s oldest public transit systems, operating above ground since 1868 and the underground portion has operated since 1904. Overall, the system contains 209 mi (337 km) of routes. In 2012, the subway delivered over 1.65 billion rides, averaging approximately 5.3 million rides on weekdays, about half that on weekend days. Since the majority of the system was built before 1990, the year the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect, many New York City Subway stations were not designed to be handicapped-accessible. Why did New York need underground transportation? What problems had to be resolved to provide access to the subway for people with disabilities?
D Train New York City Subway at Grand Street Station. NYC
  • Imagine – There were several demonstrations of underground transportation build before the first part of the system that is still in use today. Now, it is a law that the subway must be accessible by people with disabilities. What are some ways to provide access to underground subway stations to people with disabilities? What are some limitations? Can these solutions be used by other people?
  • Design, Build – Elevators have been built in newly constructed stations to comply with the ADA. As of June 2011, there are 89 currently accessible stations; many of them have AutoGate access. What other solutions were used for the above-ground stations? How do other transit systems address accessibility? What [/features%20that%20improve%20accessibility features that improve accessibility] for customers with visual, hearing, and mobility disabilities. The addition of a ramp is simple solution that is often used to improve accessibility. what are the requirements for access ramps? Why would a ramp not be practical in the New York City subway?
  • Improve – The MTA identified “key stations,” high-traffic and/or geographically important stations, which must conform to the ADA when they are extensively renovated. What are some of the accessibility solutions that will be included in new stations? How are these better than the accommodations that were “retrofitted” into existing stations?

That’s engineering

  • viaducts – long bridges (for carrying a road or railway across a valley etc.) made up of sets of arches supported by rows of piers or towers.

Engineering ideas

  • accessibility, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), control systems, concrete-lined tunnel, excavation, concrete viaducts, embankments, flying junctions, interactive subway map, stairs, escalators, elevators, rolling stock, RFID card payment, dispatching and train routing, interlocking, signalling, electrified third rail, tunnel-boring machine (TBM)

Do it
Here are some challenges for you to work on…

  • explore the web for information about careers in transportation – land, sea and air
  • find some unusual forms of transportation
  • learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it affects the design and construction of public transit
  • design a route map for a portion of the New York City subway. Consider all the factors to ensure that visitors have enough information to navigate they system without becoming confused and disoriented.
  • learn more about subway engineers like Sanja Zlatanic, Chief tunneling Engineer
  • look through these old photographs of the New York subway. What do you notice? Have there been some changes since then?

Learn more…