24 HOUR SALE: ALL T-SHIRTS 20% OFF!
NeatoShop's last T-shirt sale of the year: get 20% off all T-shirts. Expedited X-mas shipping available - get yours now before the sale ends Dec 19, 2014.

Secrets of Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal in New York City is the largest train station in the world, processing 700,000 visitors a day. It's an impressive demonstration of technology and logistics, and Daniel Terdiman at cnet has written an article about its many hidden secrets. Among them is a train station within it that was built to hide President Roosevelt's use of a wheelchair:

FDR was from New York state and often returned to New York City. Because his physical condition was not understood by a public that likely would have been unsympathetic to seeing the commander-in-chief in a wheelchair, the president would arrive in New York on a special private train.

But instead of pulling into a normal platform and having a normal train car, FDR arrived on a custom car that contained his 1932 armor-plated Pierce-Arrow limousine. By the time the train would get into the secret tunnels, the president would be inside the limo, and when it hit the platform, the car would be driven out through special, wide doors and then into a special wide elevator. He would then alight into the ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel above.

The secret train car was armor-clad, and had bullet-proof glass, which in those days meant little more than many, many layers of glass, Brucker said. In addition, a series of vents along the top of the train car were actually gun ports, and it featured unique wheel assemblies that allowed no lateral movement. That was because any such movement would have shaken FDR out of his wheelchair.


Link via Make | Photo by Flickr user bennie719 used under Creative Commons license

Newest 4
Newest 4 Comments

Neal - I am very familiar with General Myer. In 1977
I was a radioman in the military detachment of the USNS (U.S. Naval Ship) Albert J Myer (T-ARC 6). She was a cable layer and was originally operated by the U.S. Army. I find it interesting that General Myer joined the Army as a surgeon. He is the father of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Lastly, he is also the father of the U.S. Weather Bureau.

Rockit - I'm no expert on railroad stations but I do know a bit about English. Largest has nothing to do with being the busiest. Perhaps you would learn the difference before tossing around the word rubbish.
BTW word definitions are facts also.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
What a bunch of BS. Largest train station in the world??? Shinjuku Station in Tokyo moves 3 million people per day and Moscow Station moves 5 million per day. Get your facts straight before you write any more rubbish.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
You can sit in FDR's private train car if you live in Seattle!!

Go to Andy's Diner 2963 4th Ave S

The Private dining car from FDR's 1944 campaign is part of the 7-8 trains that make up the diner.

Oh crap. i see that Andys has gone under. oh crud....
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I thought this sounded a bit much; comment below is from the original link website:

here was NEVER a "secret platform" built for FDR. That platform was built duing the
original construction of the station pre-1912. It was built to serve the Adams Express Company (fore-
runner of the Railway Express Agency which was the UPS or Fed-Ex of the mid 20th Cent.). The Adams building was demolished to make way for the Waldorf Astoria, but the platform and elevator remained
in place. Should you have any doubt, I would refer you to the American Heritage History of Railroads in America. On pages 214 and 215, there is a detailed diagram of the lower level of GCT. The platform is
there along with the corridor and elevator clearly marked "Express Company Trucking Subway". FYI, (the trucks involved were two and four-wheeled handcarts used to move packages from the platform to the
sorting areas on the upper floors of the Adams Company building. (NOTE : there is absolutely NO evidence that FDR ever used that platform. In fact, on his only
documented visit to the Waldorf during his presidency, he arrived and departed by motorcade.)

Now, as far as the "Special bullet-proof car". That's a standard express-type car used for transporting
mail and packages. The so-called "gun ports" are merely clerestory windows installed to provided light on the interior of an otherwise windowless car. FDR did have a special bullet-proof Pullmann which
has been used by other presidents since (Ronald Reagan was the most recent), it's named the
"Ferdinand Magellan". It is an officially-designated National Landmark, and is is on public display. The US Army Signal Corps operated a specially-adapted baggage car named the General Albert Meyer that usually accompanied the Magellan, but it only carried the enormous and very heavy communications and encoding equipment in use at that time. It wasn't armored and didn't have "gun ports".
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Email This Post to a Friend
"Secrets of Grand Central Station"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window