20. Abandoned Tunnels at Times Square/42nd Street

The Times Square/42nd Street subway station holds many remnants of the original station that was built there in 1904 including a secret door to the Knickerbocker Hotel, original railings, remnants of the first ticket booth and turnstiles, and exposed infrastructure from the original tracks which you can see right from the platform of the shuttle to Grand Central Terminal.

Door to the Knickerbocker Hotel inside Times Square

If you’ve ever taken the shuttle, you may have noticed that the industrial looking square columns that line the platforms are different than the round columns which line the walls and stand at other parts of the station. That is because the tracks that the shuttle uses today were not supposed to have platforms seen by riders, they were active local and express tracks for the IRT’s 4, 5 and 6 lines. Those lines ran from the now decommissioned City Hall Station, through Grand Central and Times Square and then on to a terminus at 145th Street, as opposed to ending where they do now. While walking towards Track 4 (over a somewhat dubious looking metal platform which stands above what used to be the northbound local track between the current platforms for Track 3 and 4), if you look to your left you will have a clear view of currently active tracks used by the Time Square Shuttle and vestiges of the original 4, 5, and 6 lines. There are four distinct arches that run almost perpendicular to current tracks and show the curved paths the lines once travelled.