Parallel Tracks

Neil Gaiman wrote a novel about the London underground, centering around the London Tube system and the culture of homeless and forgotten people who inhabit a shadowy version of the city, existing between and underneath the sunlit and normal version of the city that we all know. It was called Neverwhere.

He hinted in the novel that every city has a shadow version of itself, and even gave a few details of the one in New York City, including the giant albino alligator that inhabits the depths.

Today I felt as if I had gotten a glimpse of that other world.

I was on the W headed towards Canal when another train passed us in the dark tunnel. I didn't pay very much attention to it until the train had fully passed and I got a look at the line indicator on the end of the car. There, shining in the dark was a blue circle emblazoned with a white "K." The blue was the same color as the current A, C, E line, the line I ride most often. the problem is that there is no K train. There hasn't been a K train since 1978 according to what I can find. You can see an old subway map here that shows the old K line, running from 57th street into East NY/Braodway in Brooklyn, combining portions of what is currently the B and J lines. the system was revamped in 1978 to simplify and eliminate several lines, and then again in 1980 bringing it closer to what we currently have.

But I prefer to think that in that magical shadow NY, (or in the parlance of Neverwhere, New York Below), the K train still runs and I caught a look at it today.

5 Response to "Parallel Tracks"

  • Terri Says:

    Wow Cully. I had goosebumps down my spine reading that. I think there is a lot out there we don't understand or simply choose to ignore and overlook. You must be a sensitive soul I think. :o) Thanks for sharing this story today. :o)


  • Karen Says:

    This brings to mind images of The Flying Dutchman, a ghost ship, or my friend's experience of visiting Gettysburg and seeing a soldier encampment that wasn't there when she took a second look. You got a rare glimpse into another time period, perhaps.


  • Sharon Says:

    How cool is that! I met a man on a bridge at Niagara Falls once and when I walked in the opposite direction and turned around, he was gone! We were on a bridge so I can't explain where he went! ~Sharon


  • Ester Says:

    I love your imagination. After reading this entry I felt kind of childlike, where I can look around me at every day objects and use my imagination in ways I haven't done in a long time. Thanks for that!


  • JF STRESS Says:

    that's kinda creepy, but really cool in the same.
    Hope i see it some day.