New York Subway: Then and Now
In this colorized image, they are working on the cable car lines, one of the earlier public transit options.
The modern subway got its start from elevated and excursion railroads over major avenues, although there was an underground railroad, the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel, as early as 1844. It had no underground stops, only existing to create a right of way for the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad. It led to South Ferry, where passengers could take a ferry to Manhattan. In 1869, Alfred Ely Beach and his Beach Pneumatic Transit Company started to construct the first real subway under Broadway. It took 58 days to finish, ran from Murray to Warren, and since Beach failed to get permission to expand it until 1873, it closed shortly after.