Elevated pneumatic road proposed in New York City

Gilbert Elevated Railroad


Dr. Rufus Henry Gilbert received a charter for his plan but could not attract enough investors and the financial panic of 1873 ended his plan which was : to place along the street, at distances from fifty to one hundred feet, compound Gothic iron arches, which shall span the street from curb to curb, at such an elevation as shall not interfere with the ordinary uses of the street. On these arches, a double line of atmospheric tubes, eight or nine feet in diameter, are to be secured. Through the tubes, supported as described, cars, carrying passengers, are to be propelled by atmospheric power. There is also provision in the same set of arches for two or more sets of tubes for the transportation of mails and packages. The stations will be situated at distances of about one mile apart along the line, and will be provided with pneumatic elevators to raise passengers to and from the place of transit with perfect safety, thus obviating the necessity of going up and down stairs for transit.

Proposal, 1870
Constructed, 1878