If you weren’t around to experience it yourself, you’ve probably heard all about the New York City subway system in the 1970s: gritty, practically bankrupt, and a lot more dangerous than it is today.
But one subway line had a dicier reputation than the others. The IRT Lexington Avenue line—today’s 4, 5, and 6 trains—earned the nickname the “muggers’ express” because so many passengers were robbed on board.
Some sources have it that only the 4 train was the muggers’ express. It’s hard to say if the 4 was worse than the 5 or 6, though; all three lines went through some pretty rough neighborhoods in Manhattan and the Bronx, and the 4 and 5 went deep into Brooklyn too, just as they do today.
[Top photo: Jim Pickerell/US National Archives and Records Administration; second photo: UPI; third photo: Wikipedia]