Between 2001 and 2011, New York City’s MTA had to dispose of approximately 2,500 old subway cars that had been replaced. And what better place to put them than the Atlantic Ocean?
Stephen Mallon, a New York based photographer, documented the final trip of dismissed New York subway cars from the MTA yard in Harlem to the coasts of Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, and Georgia, in his project Next Stop Atlantic.
In the past eight years, Mallon has documented the salvage of the US Air flight that emergency-landed in the Hudson River on Jan 15, 2009 and explored Prelude, the world’s biggest ship. His body of work will be exhibited in November at the Mark Miller Gallery in New York City.
Arguably, however, his most spectacular work—and definitely the most surreal—is Next Stop Atlantic. Something about the images of subway cars being dumped into the ocean doesn’t quite add up, and seems more an art performance, a commentary on humanity abusing the planet, than something that really happened.
The MTA has stopped releasing carts to the bottom of the Atlantic in 2010, after concerns emerged about disposing of the asbestos contained in the cars—though Mallon told Quartz, the cars created no harm to the environment, in fact, they have been employed as tenements to a variety of fish.
“This is definitely one of the craziest [disposals] I’ve seen,” Mallon told Quartz.