Hottest Hot Spot of All

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  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 9,586 posts
Hottest Hot Spot of All
Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, April 21, 2012 10:39 AM

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They call it Herald Square. But that is not its name, for Herald Square is north of 34th Street. Its real name is Greely Square, and it runs from 31st Street to 34th Street, between 6th Avenue on the west, and Broadway on the east. The area in question is less than 500 feet long by 200 feet wide at its widest point, yet it is the busiest of all railroad hotspots in the world, boasting of more than 2500 trains daily, and it is right in the middle of midtown New York City.

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East and west, the Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak all run trains under 33rd Street and under 32nd Street. These lines connect New York’s Pennsylvania Station to Long Island and via the Hell Gate Bridge to Connecticut. The Long Island Rail Road is by far the busiest service using these tracks, and almost all Amtrak trains also us them since their yards are in Long Island City. New Jersey Transit does not have any passenger service to Long Island, but they also use the Sunnyside Yards in Long Island City.


The BMT subway follows Broadway through this part of Manhattan; its four tracks carry both local and express trains through Greely Square. Below the Broadway tracks, the Independent Subway, the IND lines also has a four track main line under Sixth Avenue, also with both express and local service. Woven between and around the tracks of the IND, the PATH subway from New Jersey arrives at “33rd Street”. They call it 33rd Street, but when the IND subway was built, it was cut back to 31st Street. This is a two track line, with a three track terminal.


In addition to the railroad tunnels, there is any number of pedestrian tunnels that connect these services. Some of the tunnels, the old “Gimble’s Tunnel” to Penn Station on 7th Avenue, and the mezzanine tunnel along 6th Avenue to 42nd Street are now closed to the public, but a labyrinth of underground passageways remain for the unwary visitor to become lost in.


And all of these trains are underground. Not one can be seen from the street level, and no one line can be seen from the platforms of the other lines, though the rumbling of the trains can make their presence known. As for photography, it is permitted throughout the MTA including the subways, the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro North Railroad, just so long as flash or other lighting or ancillary equipment such as tripods are not used, and you do not obstruct the flow of passengers. New Jersey Transit also permits photography as does Amtrak, but the Port Authority (PATH service) does not.  You may photograph any equipment or infrastructure visible from any public place. Unfortunately, many employees or police officers are unaware of these policies or flat out do not care about them and may try to stop people from taking pictures. See section 1050.9  for the same details I just told you about.

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    August 2012
  • 3,727 posts
Posted by John WR on Saturday, December 22, 2012 5:08 PM

I just stumbled on this post, Lion.  I've known about Penn Station and 33rd Street for many years but I never realized just how extensive they were.  Thanks for the information.  

One thing it does is to remind me that Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal are separated and ne'er the twain shall meet.  


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