Subway

Joe Queenan celebrates the centenary of the New York subway.

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Episodes

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012004110920050509

This week he meets some of the 37,000 employees who work in the system, including platform announcer Millie Mendez.

01Redemption Song20150111

A multi-contributor series of specially-commissioned stories with subterranean settings.

Episode 1 (of 3): Redemption Song by Jami Attenberg

Early one morning, a woman insists that her casual lover accompanies her on her walk to the New York subway.

Jami Attenberg is the author of a collection of short stories and three novels. Her last, The Middlesteins, was a Book At Bedtime on BBC Radio 4 in 2013. Her next, Saint Mazie, will be published in 2015. Jami lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Read by Laurel Lefkow

Produced by Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

022004111620050510

In 1904, the mayor of New York drove the subway from City Hall to 145th St in Harlem.

But despite the celebrations, this wasn't the first subway in town.

Joe Queenan unearths the lavish and secret underground built three decades before, which was shut down by Boss Tweed, the head of Tammany Hall.

02Out Of The Depths20150118

A multi-contributor series of specially-commissioned stories with subterranean settings.

Episode 2: Out Of The Depths by Tom Connolly

Hoping to take his new relationship to the next level, Mike takes Mary and her kids to Paris on the Eurostar. A visit to the Catacombs with Mary's son is supposed to be a bonding exercise...

Tom Connolly is the producer and director of award winning short films for the BBC and Channel 4, including the critically acclaimed Dogfight. His debut novel The Spider Truces was shortlisted for the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize. His play The Man In The Lift was broadcast on Radio 4 in 2013.

Read by Barnaby Kay

Produced by Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

0320041123

This week he meets rail buffs or foamers, so called because they foam at the mouth at the sight of an attractive train.

03In Praise Of Radical Fish20150125

A multi-contributor series of specially-commissioned stories with subterranean settings.

Episode 3 (of 3): In Praise Of Radical Fish by Alison MacLeod

Believing themselves to be bound for Syria, three not-very radical young men prepare on Brighton beach.

Alison MacLeod lives in Brighton. She was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2011 and her story 'Solo, A Capella', about the Tottenham riots, featured in the Radio 4 series Where Were You... in 2012. Her previous works include The Changeling and The Wave Theory of Angels. Her novel Unexploded was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and was a Book At Bedtime on BBC Radio 4. Alison is Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester.

Read by Amir El-Masry

Produced by Jeremy Osborne

A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

042004113020050512
05 LAST2004120720050513

The series concludes with a tribute to the long suffering passenger and a feature about finding love on the Lexington Line.