Late at night and on weekends, the MTA stores a significant number of subway trains underground. Some of these trains are parked in dedicated underground subway yards, while others are stored on express tracks and tracks that were originally built as part of subway routes that were never completed. As a follow-up to our previous article on where New York City’s wheels and hooves go at night, here are seven below-ground overnight homes for the city’s subway cars.
New York subway stations, active and abandoned, are endlessly fascinating. They produce a unique cultural enclave that define New York as a whole. At Untapped Cities, we’ve tried to dissect various aspects of the subway to understand “what it all means.” We’ve asked questions like, “why are the bathrooms in the subway locked?” or “how did the subway lines get their colors?” But, perhaps, the key to unlocking “the truth” behind what makes subway stations such an enigmatic part of New York’s identity isn’t by looking at them through a micro lens, but through a macro lens, as the recent filmmakers from Snowday recently did in their video Stations: A Quick Scan Through NYC.
In September 2014, we reported on the S.S. Columbia Project, an initiative to bring America’s oldest surviving passenger steamship to New York. While it served its previous life in Detroit as one of the Boblo Boats, it will get new life reinvigorating the Hudson Valley‘s connection with its river and will serve as a floating mobile museum and cultural space along the Hudson River. Over the last year, the S.S. Columbia moved from Detroit to Toledo, where it wintered and had its hull repaired with 3,791 square feet of new steel welded below the waterline. On September 2nd, 2015 it arrived in New York State and will be docked at Silo City on the Buffalo River for the upcoming winter, before more rehabilitation is done to the boat next year.
A new video shares beautiful footage inside the S.S. Columbia and tells an oral history of the ship’s role in Detroit’s cultural memory.
While the abandoned subway stations of New York City are well-documented, there are also numerous rarely seen abandoned station entrances and mezzanines – many of which are located within active stations. Here’s a compilation of these lesser-known spots:
Last year, Adam Chang, who runs the design firm Same Tomorrow embarked on the New York Train Project to illustrate all the mosaics of the New York City subway system. When we first reported about the project, Chang had finished all the stations Manhattan (using only 9 subway swipes). The nicely laid out website includes a tidbit about each station.
Now, Chang informs us he’s finished the signage on the 157 stations in Brooklyn which you can see at the New York Train Project. With many of the above ground stations and non-mosaics in Brooklyn, many of the graphics also show the infrastructure around the signage like columns and more. Here are some highlights you’ll see as you scroll through the site, which changes color to match what subway line you are looking at:
Earlier this month, we wrote about the semi-abandoned East New York freight tunnel, a popular backdrop for television and films. Our source, who came across the rail line by poring over old maps, has recently shared more images from his exploration there. The tunnel, built in 1918, has four tracks but only one is active today – “a short haul freight run from Fresh Pond yard (to the north) running down to Bay Ridge.”