My friend Jim Mulqueeny works for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), so I forwarded him the article mentioning freight tunnels, especially thinking of the flooding of the Chicago tunnels a few years back. Here is his reply. He alludes to current use of the tunnels by cable companies. This may bring the tunnels back into the realm of living "media" == just barely.
Jim Mulqueeny (JimofDG@aol.com) wrote:
"Thanks for the article!
"The lamented Flood occurred April 13, 1992. On my way to work I had heard that the basements of my building (the Merchandise Mart), City Hall, and Marshall Field's were all flooding. I immediately knew the freight tunnels were the only thing these had in common. By the time I got to work the rest of town had figured it out and we were sent home (down darkened stairways) at 10 AM. Blue Line ridership hasn't been the same since.
"There is a book (and video) chronicling the tunnel system, by a friend of mine and co-worker, Bruce G. Moffat, called *Forty Feet Below.* Until the flood, the tunnels were fresh and clean. They're not too bad now, though construction of the two subways through them has broken up the network. They are still great for cable companies and may yet have other uses."