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New York City Subway Secrets: Bar Car, Colored Globes and 'Money Room'

13.05.2021, 16: 00 EST

Vita Popova

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New York subway hides many secrets. For example, a wagon-bar, a fake townhouse, secret tunnels, a “money room” and a voice that will help you get through the mazes of underground stations. This publication writes Untapped Cities.

Photo: Shutterstock
  1. 1960s bar car: champagne and bagels

Today, drinking alcohol in the subway is prohibited. And once, in the early 1960's, such convenience was available to passengers on the train that ran from Times Square to South Ferry in New York.

Inside the car was made so that people feel: they are going first class. It had plush coverings, draped curtains, dim lights and, of course, a bar in which the bartender served champagne and bagels.

  1. What is hiding a fake townhouse

An attentive pedestrian, walking along the building No. 58 on Joralemon Street in Brooklyn, will notice: something is wrong here, because the windows in it are completely dark. It turns out that this structure is not at all what it seems.

“An underground fan is hidden behind a fake brown stone (for the metro. - Ed.). It also functions as an emergency exit, ”the source said.

People who live in neighboring houses say they are used to a constant hum.

However, rumor has it that a fake brown stone on Joralemon Street hides a secret passage to trains running in a tunnel underground.

  1. Why are there thermometers on the ceiling?

Small stickers with thermometers on the ceilings of subway cars are not tricks of anti-global warming organizations, or guerrilla installations, as many might think.

“These are temperature setting plates for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems,” explains the source.

According to Kevin Ortiz, representative of the New York Metro, these signs were installed in 2008 on every carriage that has air conditioning.

"Using a laser, MTA employees scan these stickers to determine the temperature of the subway car, and then make the necessary adjustments to keep the temperature within 14-25 degrees," said an MTA official.

  1. Secret tunnels leading to the money room

From 1951 to 2006, an armored train ran in the New York subway for a year. He transported the money collected for the journey on the subway and delivered it to a secret room - the so-called money room of the income department. This room was inside an 13-story building on JN Street, 370, in Brooklyn.

On the subject: What you need to know about the metro in New York

“Once the money was collected and handed over through one of the locks, it was transported through an empty tunnel to one of the two revenue-only elevators, and then transferred to a money storage room on the second floor. The cash department had a storage cage and many CCTV cameras to track the movement of employees (they all wore special clothes without pockets), ”the source writes.

  1. Purpose of colored globes

Colored globes at the upper entrances to the metro are not just decorations or lamps, as it might seem at first glance. The colors on the globes convey certain information about the stations they decorate, the newspaper said.

"The color-coded system was originally created in the 1980s, when tokens were used as a fare (then they used a traffic light color scheme - green, yellow and red)," the message says.

Today you can see only globes of red or green colors.

“A fully and half green ball indicates that the entrance to a particular station is open. A red or half-red ball means that the station is intended only for an exit, that it is permanently closed, or that this is an entrance exclusively for metro workers, ”the source said.

Photo: Shutterstock
  1. Subway voice

Do you know whose voice speaks to you when you use the subway in New York? Did you think that this voice belongs to one person?

“In fact, five people, men and women, are the voice of the metro,” we read in the publication.

Closing the doors is reported by Charlie Pelle, news anchor and reporter for radio station Bloomberg. Another voice is Bernie Wagenblast, a transit expert who also voiced announcements for AirTrain at JFK and Newark airports. The female voice on the new trains belongs to Queens resident Velina Mitchell. She also works as an announcer at the Railroad Control Center.

It is also reported that recently in the MTA decided to make the ads in the subway more humane. Now, instead of the generally accepted “ladies and gentlemen,” some announcements begin with a gender-neutral message of “attention to everyone.”

  1. Metro Line “Lost World”

New York subway is constantly evolving. Over the past 100 over the years, much has changed, preserved or disappeared.

For example, for the first World Fair organized by New York in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in 1939, a new metro line was created. It allowed drivers from Manhattan to reach the World Fair terminus, the source said.

On the subject: Study: a trip to the subway in New York may increase the risk of cancer

The construction of the branch cost $ 1,7 million. However, due to political forces, financial reasons and the fact that at that time the line did not meet the standards for the construction of permanent lines, it was demolished almost immediately after the end of the fair in 1941.

  1. Decommissioned City Hall Metro Station

In 1904, one of the most luxurious subway stations was built in New York. It was decorated with stained glass windows, Roman bricks, tiled vaults, arches and brass chandeliers. However, due to the curved platform, the station could not accommodate the longer trains that we see today - this would require a large-scale reconstruction. Therefore, in 1945, the station was decommissioned.

However, today you can get to the unique metro station by visiting the MTA Transit Museum. “Or you can stay in the car of the 6th train after the final stop at the Brooklyn Bridge: if the old station is lit, there is a chance to catch a glimpse of its platform,” the source suggests.

  1. Abandoned Tunnels in Times Square

Times Square / 42 Street metro station has retained many traces of the original station built there in 1904. Today you can see the secret door to the Knickerbocker Hotel, the remains of the first ticket office and turnstiles, as well as the original railings and tracks.

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