9. Grand Central Shuttle
One side of the long walkway between the 42nd Street Shuttle and Grand Central Terminal was going to be a subway track and platform
The New York City subway system used to be made of private lines like the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit (BRT, later the BMT). As we showed in this vintage video of the first subway line, it ran up Park Avenue, crossed Manhattan at 42nd Street and then went up Broadway.
In 1913, the Public Service Commission created an initiative called the Dual System of Rapid Transit which required the IRT and BRT to operate portions of the new system. To fill in a 400 foot gap between the old system and the new at 42nd Street, a subway station was built. According to Brennan of Abandoned Stations, “trackways were built continuing east under 42 St, to bring those two tracks into the new station, which was a narrow island platform between the two tracks. It was expected that two tracks would be more than adequate for the shuttle.”
Demand for the Shuttle was far larger than expected and after a temporary closure, officials hastily finished up the tracks as a walkway between the Shuttle and Grand Central which is still in use today. The shuttle re-opened with three subway tracks.
The columns shown were intended to go down the middle of the station that was never finished. This shot is looking towards the Shuttle:
A new office has been been built for the Rapid Transit Operations (RTO)’s Cold Weather Reporting Station. This has further concealed remnants of this old subway platform and track:
Here’s a photograph from Joseph Brennan of the space in the early 2000s that show the narrow paired columns which has now been incorporated into the RTO office