Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Grand Central-42nd Street (New York City Subway station)
ManhattanOctober 27, 1904 (original station)
Grand Central-42nd Street is a major hub in the New York City Subway, and was the second busiest station in 1994. It lies next to and beneath Grand Central Terminal, which serves all Metro-North Railroad lines east of the Hudson River. This puts it at the intersection of Park Avenue and 42nd Street, with parts of the station extending east to Lexington Avenue.
42nd Street Shuttle platforms
|- |width=20% align=right|Line||IRT 42nd Street Shuttle
|- |width=20% align=right|Services||
|- |width=20% align=right|Crossovers||
|- |width=20% align=right|Next north||
|- |width=20% align=right|Next south||terminal
|- |width=20% align=right|Opened||October 27, 1904 The Grand Central-42nd Street shuttle platforms date from the original subway, opened in 1904. Grand Central, as it was called then, was an express stop with two island platforms between the local and express tracks.
Nowadays, the shuttle has three tracks coming into the station; the old southbound express track is gone. There is no connection between the northbound local track and the other two. Platforms are located between both pairs of tracks and to the north (railroad east) of the far track; the southernmost platform is wide, including the area where the southbound express track had gone. All three platforms connect directly, since all tracks but the south (railroad west) one end. The south track continues to a merge with the southbound local track of the Lexington Avenue Line; the other three tracks used similar paths until the Lexington Avenue Line was extended north, turning this part into a shuttle.
Flushing Line platform
|Line||IRT Flushing Line|
|Next north||Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue (7 <7> (1a2a3b))|
|Next south||Fifth Avenue-Bryant Park (7 <7> (1a2a3b))|
|Opened||June 22, 1915|
Grand Central-42nd Street on the Flushing Line has a single island platform. There is a large round ceiling, making the station similar to the London Underground, Paris Metro and systems in Eastern Europe. Along the platforms are stairs and escalators to the Grand Central Terminal concourse and other lines. Exits and entrances are located at the center, west and east ends of the platform. There is an ADA-accessible elevator toward the west end. A newsstand/snack shop is located on the platform towards the east end.
Lexington Avenue Line platforms
|Line||IRT Lexington Avenue Line|
|Crossovers||free access between directions|
|Next north||local: 51st Street ()|
express: 59th Street ()
|Next south||local: 33rd Street (4 (5) 6 <6> (12))|
express: 14th Street-Union Square (4 (1234) 5 (1234) <5> (1a))
|Opened||August 1, 1918|
42nd Street-Grand Central on the Lexington Avenue Line was also known as the Diagonal Station at time of construction, being oriented 45 degrees from the street grid. It has two island platforms, one on each side between the local and express tracks, and includes a crossover and a crossunder. The columns and beams here are massive, in order to support part of Grand Central Terminal and the office towers next to it.
On one wall, there is a stylised steam locomotive mosaic. The northbound platform's side wall includes tile depicting a big passageway; the first room, as seen from the platform, has doors to a second room which appears to be a mechanical room. There is a correctly oriented compass rose inlaid on the floor of the mezzanine.
The southbound local track south of the station merges into a lead from the 42nd Street Shuttle; this track was part of the original four-track IRT subway. This track is now used for moving trains to and from the shuttle and for launching railfan trips from the shuttle tracks.
The Grand Central complex is home to the master tower which controls the entire Lexington Avenue Line, located south of the Lexington Avenue Line platforms.
The New York City Transportation Authority had a scheme in the early 1950s to make a lower level to the station, also of four tracks. It would tap into the express tracks beyond the station and be used as an intermediate terminal stop for certain lines. There is room between the station and the Flushing Line for such a new level.
The complex as a whole
The station is currently in the process of being renovated. At the same time, a project is ongoing to air condition the station in conjunction with Metro-North Railroad project to cool Grand Central Terminal. When the project is done, it will be the only artificially cooled station in the New York City Subway.
Original plans for (at that time the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad) had it extending north and east from its current end to Grand Central. Space was left for the platforms and line, but it was never built.
Except the the 42nd Street Shuttle (which is inaccessible at its other station at Times Square-42nd Street), the whole station is handicapped accessible, as is the connection to Grand Central Terminal (see Metro-North Railroad accessibility ).
- Metro-North Railroad upper level, 20 feet below street
- 42nd Street Shuttle, 20 feet
- Lexington Avenue Line, 50 feet
- Metro-North Railroad lower level, 60 feet
- Flushing Line, 80 feet
IRT Third Avenue Line transfers
For a while, free transfers were provided between the subway station and 42nd Street on the elevated IRT Third Avenue Line. This started on June 14, 1942, the day after the IRT Second Avenue Line , which provided access to Queensboro Plaza and the IRT Flushing Line, was closed. The IRT Third Avenue Line closed on May 12, 1955, ending the transfer.
- Abandoned Stations - proposed Grand Central shuttle platform (includes a track diagram)
- NYCsubway.org - IRT East Side: Grand Central (text used with permission)
- NYCsubway.org - IRT Flushing Line: Grand Central
- NYCsubway.org - IRT Grand Central/Times Square Shuttle
- 'El' Will Cease Saturday, New York Times June 7, 1942 page 31
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