By the mid-1970's New York City found itself in deep crisis, with almost half a billion in its debt, the city eventually declared itself bankrupt. That one event itself had plunged the whole city and its people into poverty and dystopia -- especially for the middle class and the working class. More areas were impoverished -- take the Bowery for one -- and crime rate was on high. In 1979, 250 serious crimes were reported in the New York subway system alone, every week.
The subway would soon gain its infamous reputation as the most crime-ridden. The Swiss photographer Willy Spiller had taken the gamble into the train labyrinth, for a chronicle of the subway and the events occurring in it.
In this book Hell on Wheels: Photographs from New York Underground 1977 - 1984 is a record of of the New York subway system in notoriety.
Images are sourced from Zeit.