The W, that train you never have to take, is concluding its historic run
on New York City's BMT line on Friday. After not quite nine years of service (or, as all children of the MTA must agree, disservice), the MTA has made it one of their scapegoats for all the looting and pillaging going on up in Albany. (In other words, it's being axed due to "budget constraints.")
Luckily, the fun isn't over yet for the train that always reminds us of George Walker Bush. Late Friday night, Queens residents will hold a wake for their neighborhood train
by taking the final ride through Astoria.
As their Facebook page says, "At Union Square, we'll ... wait for the 11:02 W, which will be the final W train that comes back to Astoria." Excuse us while we recover from laughing at their classic naïveté
. An MTA train arriving on schedule
? Hilarious. They'll probably end up getting on the 8:37 train, which will arrive almost three hours late, thus missing the actual, final 11:02, which will arrive sometime between 4:30 Saturday morning and whenever the Mets win the Super Bowl.
All kidding aside, keep reading for our look back on the all-too-brief lifespan of the train that took us from Whitehall to wonderland: the W.
The W has always been there for you: in July 2001, when it first came into service, it saved B-train riders from having to get off their asses and walk when Manhattan Bridge repairs went into effect and the line was split into two separate tracks. Just a few weeks later, the little train that could stepped up when the 9/11 terror attacks
bodyslammed Whitehall Street and disrupted N service. The W did not complain, it simply started running into local N territory at night and pretty much saved America.
In the following year, the MTA
actually listened to whiny commuters and deleted the Astoria express line service. The W was once again the first at the scene, volunteering its time and man hours to cover 57th Street to Astoria Boulevard on weeknights. And when the Manhattan Bridge was up and running again, the W service did not complain, it simply returned to being New York City's bitch, doing the thankless job of covering track from Whitehall to hipster Queens, like the damn Giving Tree.
So, next time you hear someone whine about how the useless -- and still very young -- V train is being replaced by a greedy, power-hungry M, simply respond, "I prefer the W. It may not have been the L(ove Train) or the F(reakin' Yuppie Mobile), but it never complained and was always there to receive my offering of drunken vomit, no cleanup required."
Perhaps Awl commenter Rod Townsend's response to the W funeral party
put it best: "Ultimate way to say goodbye? Start biking to work. I started in May. Loving it. I never realized how much I really hate the subway." Good riddance, sucker, we'll keep taking the empty Z express and wave goodbye as we pass.
Vaya con dios, dubya.