Read Part 2 and Part 3 of this story.

When I first came to New York, in 1977, I was fascinated by the subway. It is, after all, the lifeblood of the city, coursing along its arteries, from the head of the Bronx, through the body of Manhattan, to the limbs of Brooklyn, and Queens. Even though I was introduced to the trains at probably the worst time in their history, it was still a magical conveyance that could take you anywhere. Every car was covered in graffiti, and the heat, or the fans never worked, in the days before air conditioning, but still…New York! I was very taken by the different lines, the names and numbers, and the beauty that you could still see in the older stations, so I bought a book on the history of the subway system, and that was my first introduction to the story about the worst subway disaster in New York’s history; the Malbone Wreck. I didn’t live in Brooklyn at the time, so I had no idea where Malbone Street was. When Brooklyn became my home, and its streets became very familiar to me, the story resonated even more. If you aren’t familiar with what happened, and don’t know where Malbone Street is, don’t worry. You aren’t clueless. Malbone Street itself died with the nearly one hundred people who perished in the trains that horrible day, long ago in 1918. Today it is known as Empire Boulevard.