These Stunning Photos Show What Happens To Subway Cars Once They’re Retired

This may look bad at first glance to all of the environmentalists out there, but I assure you it is for the greater good. We are all very aware of how much trash is in the ocean by now. If you’re not, you can check out some of these places to get a look at the situation yourselves. And, in case you were ever wondering what happens to old New York City subway cars, here’s the answer: they are dumped into the Atlantic for a great cause.


First all the trains are stripped of anything that might still be useful or has value – chairs, wheels etc

Over 2,500 New York City subway cars have been used to create an underwater reef for crustaceans and fish in the Atlantic Ocean. For three years, photographer Stephen Mallon from the Front Room Gallery captured images of the carriages being escorted down into the sea.


It is below the surface where underwater creatures then “take care” of the stripped subway cars and basically convert them into their new homes. If you’re ever in New York City, you can check out the pictures in an exhibition. “I had never seen anything like this,” Mallon said. “And I’ve been in New York for over 20 years … there’s a sense of vertigo as they drop — you want to hold on as it falls.” The 42-year-old has an ongoing project entitled American Reclamation that explores the recycling industry in America.

The subway cars are then cleaned and stacked on a barge which transports them to the dropping point, where they are dropped with a hydraulic pump; this happens about once a month.


Dropping sites are not disclosed to the public, but according to the subway authorities, they are constantly monitored and studied



It seems they’re doing a great job at supporting marine wildlife – there’s an underwater penthouse boom


Here’s how the trains look after 5 years…
… and after 10 years.


We hope you enjoyed this feel good story. Don’t forget to share this with your friends on Facebook before you go. For more stories, subscribe to our e-mail list. (h/t zmescience) (photo credits: Stephen Mallon)