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Boston Elevated Railway

The Boston Elevated Railway was a streetcar and rapid transit railroad operated on, below, the streets of Boston and surrounding communities. Founded in 1894, it acquired the West End Street Railway via lease and merger to become the city's primary mass transit provider, its modern successor is the state-run Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which continues to operate in part on infrastructure developed by BERy and its predecessors. Intended to build a short electric trolley line to Brookline, the West End Street Railway was organized in 1887. By the next year it had consolidated ownership of a number of horse-drawn streetcar lines, composing a fleet of 7816 horses and 1480 rail vehicles; as the system grew, a switch to underground pulled-cable propulsion was contemplated. After visiting Frank Sprague and witnessing the Richmond, Virginia system in action, WESR President Henry Whitney chose to deploy electric propulsion systems. A section of track was used to test the Bentley-Knight underground power line, but this was abandoned because of failures and safety concerns.

After competing in operational tests with the Sprague streetcar system, the Thomson-Houston company was chosen for system-wide deployment of overhead wires. The electrified rapid transit system was named an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering in 2004; the first electric trolley line built by the West End Street Railway was between Union Square and Park Square, via Harvard Street, Beacon Street, Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street. Trolleys first ran in 1889; the Green Line "A" Branch served the same purpose. The last horse car line was along Marlborough Street in the Back Bay, was never electrified, it was closed around 1900. In the late 19th century, the electric power industry was in its infancy; the railway company constructed its own power stations. By 1904, the system had 36 megawatts of generating capacity, 421 miles of track for over 1550 street cars, 16 miles of elevated track for 174 elevated cars. On 7 November 1916, Boston Elevated Railway Co. street car No. 393 smashed through the warning gates of the open Summer Street drawbridge in Boston, plunging into the frigid waters of Fort Point Channel, killing 46 people.

The first bus route was in 1922, between Union Square and Faneuil Street. In 1933 this was merged with the Union Square - Central bus and became the 64 bus. In 1890, the West End Railway was authorized by the state to construct elevated railways, but did not pursue this possibility; the state authorized a new franchise for such an endeavor, which resulted in the founding in 1894 in the establishment of the Boston Elevated Railway. The first stretch of elevated track was put in service in 1901, between Sullivan Square in Charlestown and Dudley Square in Roxbury. In 1897, BERy acquired a long-term lease on the West End's lines, the two companies were formally merged in 1922; the elevated network was expanded to include six end-points, with vehicles run on the tracks in routes designed to allow passengers to reach any destination without changing trains. The difficulty of transporting coal over land from the Port of Boston and the short range of the direct current system prevented significant expansion inland.

In 1911, a large generating station was built in South Boston which produced 25 Hertz alternating current, which could be transmitted long distances at high voltage, to substations which would drop the voltage and convert it to direct current for use by trains. The system was converted until completion in 1931, when 14 substations were in place; this station would operate until 1981, when the MBTA had completed converting all of the active substations to be able to use 60 Hertz alternating current, could switch to purchasing energy from local utility companies instead of running its own generators. The first route of the Boston trackless trolley system was opened by BERy, on April 11, 1936, it was Harvard -- Lechmere via Cambridge Street. Trackless trolleys still run from Harvard station, but only to the west and north, not east to Lechmere since 1963; the company's rapid transit lines have evolved into the Red and Orange Lines. The only streetcars that remain are the various branches of the Green Line and the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line.

The Boston Elevated Railway operated in the following cities and towns: Arlington Belmont Boston and the municipalities that have been merged into it Brookline Cambridge Chelsea Everett Malden Medford Newton Revere Somerville Stoneham WatertownAdditionally, streetcars from adjoining towns, run by other companies, operated over Boston Elevated Railway trackage. Operations of the companies were taken over by the Metropolitan Transit Authority, now the MBTA, in 1947. Cheney, Frank; when Boston rode the El. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. ISBN 978-0-7385-0462-9; the Boston Elevated Railway Company. Library records, 1884-1967 are located in the Northeastern University Libraries and Special Collections Department, Boston, MA. Annual Reports, 1919-1946, Internet Archive

V slepých uličkách

"V slepých uličkách" is a duet by Miro Žbirka and Marika Gombitová released on OPUS in 1980. The song, written by Žbirka and Kamil Peteraj was issued as B-side of the Žbirka's solo single "Klaun z domu č. 6", taken from his debut studio album Doktor Sen. An international, however solo version of the composition entitled "The Love Song" featured on the Žbirka's export album Doctor Dream. In 2007, the duet competed in the Slovak national poll organized by Slovenská televízia, being nominated as Hit storočia, but lost in favor of Gombitová's solo track "Vyznanie". "V slepých uličkách" - original version, duet, 1980 "The Love Song" - international version, only solo, 1981 "You Know I Love You" - re-released international version, only solo, 2008 Miro Žbirka - lead vocal, acoustic guitar Marika Gombitová - lead vocal, writer Kamil Peteraj - lyrics Laco Lučenič - bass, percussion Janko Lehotský - keyboards Dušan Hájek - drums, percussion Karel Witz - guitar Martin Karvaš - synthesizer Ján Lauko - producer Jozef Hanák - sound director, harmonica Štefan Danko - responsible editor The Hit storočia was a national TV competition organized by Slovenská televízia.

Within its three-month run, the viewers voted live the most popular Slovak songs from the 1930s to 1990s. Overall, nine songs were picked to compete in the Finale evening. Gombitová entered the show overall with three songs, however winning with a song written by Janko Lehotský and Kamil Peteraj, "Vyznanie" from 1979. A solo version of the composition performed by Žbirka himself at a music festival in Villach, Austria in 1982 won the main award, he received an award from Ö3 radio station broadcast by ORF. A new international version of the song, entitled "You Know I Love You", Miro Žbirka recorded for his remixed greatest hits set Like a Hero: The Best of Miro, released on Universal Music. Although, with no contribution by Gombitová, the new record appeared as the second album's track. In 2005, the American actor/director Eli Roth used the original version of the duet, "V slepých uličkách", in a sequence of his horror film Hostel, co-produced by Quentin Tarantino in 2005; the composition wasn't attached to the original soundtrack album, however.

Marika Gombitová discography Marika Gombitová awards Miro Žbirka at AllMusic Marika Gombitová at AllMusic