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No Whoosh, No ‘All Aboard’

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No Whoosh, No ‘All Aboard’

By ALEX MINDLIN

NY TIMES

April 20, 2008

 

[float=right]port190.jpg

Enlarge Photo

Tyler Hicks/NY Times

A tunnel near an unused platform

beneath the subway station at

the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

[/float]THE doorways have mostly been walled up and tiled over, the escalator dismantled and carted away. Other than subway buffs, few people know about this long-empty platform in the underbelly of the subway station at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

 

But the platform endures, gathering dust and grime. And it has seen more activity this year than in the previous few decades. Workers are preparing to demolish part of the platform so that the extended No. 7 line can cut across the space on its way westward. Other sections of the platform will be turned into electrical and hydraulic rooms; the rest will be walled off. The work should be complete in about four years.

 

The platform was finished in the early 1950s, but apart from a short stint in the early 1970s serving E trains it was never used much. For two decades starting in 1959, special trains for Aqueduct Race Track stopped here several times a day. Joe Cunningham, a subway historian, remembers glimpsing the empty platform as a child in the 1960s, through chinks in a fence.

 

“It was very mysterious,” Mr. Cunningham said. “You’d see this long platform with dim incandescent lights stretching off into the distance.”

 

Although much of the old equipment has been removed, some old signs remain, directing the reader to now-empty stairways in a crisp, earnest typeface that was used on the Independent subway line. Opposite the escalator space, a dust-clogged emergency stop button is still attached to a pillar, near a sign that warns against “meddling with this escalator or its mechanism.”

 

Several films have been shot here; the track walls bear some “47-50” signs that, at this 42nd Street station, must have been intended for a movie. In the best-known scene shot at the location, from the 1990 film “Ghost,” Patrick Swayze stands on the empty platform and learns from another ghost how to move objects with his mind.

 

Photo Gallery: nytimes_logo.gif icon_offsite.png - April 22, 2008

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Hmm, you know what would be really cool? If they used it as a station for the extending (7) so we don't have to walk forever to get over there. Too bad they're messing with the mysterious old place, but I suppose it's for the better.

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Thats an interesting site. I like the pics. You guys make me want to explore the subway more

 

That site is what got me started on my various exploration missions. If you got your metrocard, a few bucks, and some time to spare, you can really see a lot of the city over the span of a day.

 

Next month i am planning my first trip to staten island, taking the (1) from rector street to south ferry in the morning, then taking the SIF to the SIR and ride it from top to bottom and back, then ride the SIF back, then walk through battery park up towards the WTC site and get on the newark PATH train there. If all goes well it should cost 1 swipe of the metrocard on the (1), 2 on the SIR (one each way), 2 for PATH (one each way), and one set of round trip off peak NJT tickets. About 24 dollars total. Not bad for a day spent traveling!

 

- Andy

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That site is what got me started on my various exploration missions. If you got your metrocard, a few bucks, and some time to spare, you can really see a lot of the city over the span of a day.

 

Next month i am planning my first trip to staten island, taking the (1) from rector street to south ferry in the morning, then taking the SIF to the SIR and ride it from top to bottom and back, then ride the SIF back, then walk through battery park up towards the WTC site and get on the newark PATH train there. If all goes well it should cost 1 swipe of the metrocard on the (1), 2 on the SIR (one each way), 2 for PATH (one each way), and one set of round trip off peak NJT tickets. About 24 dollars total. Not bad for a day spent traveling!

 

- Andy

 

I have been to staten island before, but it was driving from bethpage to my house in pennsylvania, not stopping. :cool:

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I have been to staten island before, but it was driving from bethpage to my house in pennsylvania, not stopping. :cool:

 

I was a passenger, not driver (sorry, no edit button).

 

- Andy

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If anybody wanted to know what 42nd street lower level looked like. Heres a video from the movie ghost...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0Sdt5fUCYk&feature=related

 

 

I hope if anyone did die there, in real life, they respect that with a plaque or something. I wonder if t here's a list somewhere of all subway related deaths and where/when they happened.

 

- Andy

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