Episode #4: Cincinnati’s Incomplete Subway

On the fourth episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, we listen to a talk given by Jake Mecklenborg at the Society for Industrial Archeology 2012 annual conference, which was held this year in Cincinnati.  Mecklenborg provides a history of the Cincinnati Subway project and an explanation of why it was cancelled.  He also sheds light on a number of urban legends that surround the project, such as false rumors that the tunnels are too small for modern rail vehicles or that parts of the tunnel have collapsed.  Finally, he explains how the tunnels could be used for future rail transit plans and even be counted as Cincinnati’s local match toward such a plan. All of this information and more is available in Mecklenborg’s book, Cincinnati’s Incomplete Subway: The Complete History, published in 2010 by The History Press.

On the following episodes of the podcast, we will bring you two additional talks on Cincinnati landmarks given at the SIA conference.  Next week, we’ll bring you Clifford W. Zink‘s talk, Public Works Should Educate Public Taste: John A. Roebling’s Design of the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge. The following week, we’ll bring you Arthur A. Hupp’s talk, Historic Cincinnati Union Terminal: Restoration and Renovation Master Plan.

View Jake Mecklenborg’s Presentation:

Show Links:

  • Any chance the slides can be posted online?

    • I’m trying to get ahold of the slideshows that go along with this & the two other talks we’ll be posting from this series. Once I do, I will add it to this post.

    • Great – thank you.

    • Sorry for the delay — the slides have been posted.

  • Mark Christol

    I saw Allen Singer do a presentation on his subway book before a local Libertarian group. He received the same response Mr Mecklenborg described. It’s pretty amazing. He clarified & debunked for about half an hour & then people started talking, regurgitating the old myths, like they hadn’t heard a tthing.

  • Man do I hate that “piston action” in American subways. In all seriousness, even after reading Jake’s book I didn’t realize that is why those odd vents are there. Interesting stuff.