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Today, just a little after 1pm, we rode the inaugural 7 Line train from Times Square to Hudson Yards. As a pristine new subway train pulled into the station, the crowd of excited passengers–which was as diverse in age, ethnicity and temperament as New Yorkers can get–applauded. There was even a doomsday transit man, proclaiming to whoever gave accidental eye contact that the system was never supposed to be this way. None of this dampened the spirit, as applause returned again as the overhead speakers announced that this would be the first train ride to Hudson Yards.

En route, the tunnel was notable mostly for its lack of graffiti–a condition that will surely soon change. Analogously, as the doors opened to the new station platform (with more applause) a rider exclaimed: “Look how clean it is!” And indeed, the new station is a gleaming monument to efficiency with its large platform, triple-wide staircases, metal handrails and no-nonsense Helvetica lettering.

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On the concourse level of the station, one floor above the tracks, animated screens announced the new station. A new subway map was handed out in honor of the occasion. The only artwork (so far) exists outside the turnstiles, two mosaics by Xenobia Bailey called Funktional Vibrations–one in an interior domed ceiling and the other a 140 foot-wide entryway over the bank of escalators.

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The $2.4 billion project was a long time coming, heralding the new Hudson Yards development currently underway. In fact, by 2025 the MTA anticipates that it will be the busiest station in all of New York City. The station looks much like described to us on our visit deep down into the construction in 2011. In order to bypass the Lincoln Tunnel, the Hudson Yards station is deeper than many stations at over 80 feet below street level (though not close to the deepest, which is 191st Street at 180 feet below).

Here are many more photographs from the station and the ride from Times Square:

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7 Line Extension-Funiculaire-Escalator-Subway Station-Hudson Yards-Times Square-Opening Day-NYC_12A funicular-style elevator like the one at Chatelet in Paris

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Next, see photos of the 7 Line Extension under construction and check out the Top 12 Secrets of the NYC subway. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich

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