7 train at Queensboro Plaza

There is a rich and hidden history in the vast subterranean system of tunnels that make up much of the New York City subway system. The millions of riders are often oblivious to the secrets that are all around them, but if you know where to look, you can discover what makes the New York subway so unique. The Midtown and Queens subway lines pass through some of the busiest and oldest stations in the whole system and are where you can find everything from art, abandoned history, and the relics of different generations in the city.

Untapped New York Insiders are invited to join Rayn Riel, licensed tour guide and subway expert, as he leads you down into the stations like Times Square, Columbus Circle, and Queensboro Plaza, all while telling the history of the world’s most famous subway system and pointing out hidden details that most New Yorkers miss. This event will take place in person on May 21st from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is free for Untapped New York Insiders. If you’re not a member, become one now (and use the code JOINUS to get your first month free).

42nd street subway

Discover Midtown/Queens Subway Secrets

1. 42nd Street-Port Authority Abandoned Platform

abandoned tunnel at 42nd street port authority

It may be strange to think that one of the busiest subway stations in New York City could have an entire section that most of the public is completely unaware of, but hidden beneath Times Square–42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal station, there is an entire unused platform.

The out-of-service lower level was constructed in the 1950s and supported a special express line to the Aqueduct Racetrack. The platform had limited use even when it was operational, and part of it has been demolished since its service was halted.