Peeking under “new” Grand Central Terminal

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of Grand Central Terminal.

But the train station is brand-new according to this vintage postcard, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the many layers underneath the street-level station.


It’s hard to read the faded print. But just below the street is the triborough train concourse, followed by the suburban train concourse, which is on the same level as the West Side, Bronx, and Brooklyn subway concourse.

Below that is the McAdoo Tube to New Jersey, then the Belmont Tube to Long Island. When did trains from Grand Central stop going to Jersey and Long Island?

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9 Responses to “Peeking under “new” Grand Central Terminal”

  1. D Mader Says:

    Belmont Tube would be the 7 subway, Flushing line. Maybe a connection to the former Hudson tubes (PATH) never got beyond the planning stage?

    • TheMaven Says:

      The “McAdoo Tube” would indeed be a reference to an unconstructed PATH extension. Here’s a great article from the Boston Evening Transcript, March 31, 1909.,3564177

      A relevant excerpt: “In the tactical battle that is now in progress between the Interborough Rapid Transit Company and the other bidders for subway franchises . . . it is being more and more clearly demonstrated that William G. McAdoo, the head of the Hudson companies, has decidedly outmanoeuvered the traction interests who have for so long had a monopoly above the surface, on it and below it. The McAdoo application for an extension from Thirty-third street and Sixth avenue to the Grand Central Station is sure to go through the Public Service Commission with favorable action . . .”

      The article goes on to discuss the engineering issues relating to the multiple layers of tunnels (“on the level between the present subway and the Steinway tunnel”) and the development of a “comprehensive plan” for city and regional transit. Browsing the rest of that day’s newspaper is pretty fascinating, too.

  2. PC Says:

    Penn Station (1910 – 1963) = Baths of Caracalla.

  3. David Says:

    The McAdoo tubes are the tubes that carried the H&M, now the PATH. My guess is this diagram is aspirational. Originally the hope was that these trains would be extended to GCT but that never happened. Now, because of the placement of the 6th Avenue IND at Herald Sqaure, such an extension would be impossible.

  4. Ricky Says:

    I hate the way Park Avenue above Grand Central shakes up and down because of the tunnels underneath. It always make me a little anxious…

  5. PC Says:

    The roadways that encircle GCT undulate from the traffic, not from the train tunnels.

  6. A faded war memorial in Grand Central Terminal | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] the network of rail lines bringing thousands of visitors and commuters in and out of the city every […]

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