1st trip 2008. 3 year later I return and here are some pictures. 1st some History,
The New York Central Railroad was forced to electrify its lines into Manhattan as a result of a horrific wreck in the Park Avenue Tunnel in 1902 caused by smoke from steam locomotives. The present Grand Central Terminal, along with its very extensive electrified underground rail yards, formally opened in 1913.
This electrification used conventional 600 volt D.C. third rail technology and the equipment was supplied primarily by the General Electric Company. The power supply to several rotary converter substations located along the line was 11,000 volt, three-phase, 25-cycle alternating current that was generated at two power houses.
The No.1 station was on the East River, between Hell Gate and Rikers Island. The No.4 station still stands on the east bank of the Hudson River. No.1 station was completed in 1906 and No.4 in 1907. The designs of the two steam generating stations were virtually identical.
Rotary substation No. 1 supplied the third rail in the Park Avenue Tunnel into Grand Central Terminal, as well as the Grand Central yards. Originally, it was located at Park Avenue and 50th Street along with a steam plant that supplied steam for heating Grand Central. During the 1930â€™s, however, this facility was demolished for the construction of the present Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The rotary substation was moved to a location beneath Grand Central Terminal itself, where it remains today (now using solid-state rectifiers instead of rotary converters).
Substation No. 2 was located in The Bronx which was the junction point for the â€œHudsonâ€ and â€œHarlemâ€ divisions of the railroad. Substations No. 3 through No. 6 were along the Hudson Division. Substations No. 7 through No. 9 were along the Harlem Division.
In 1927, the operation of both stations had been taken over by the New York Edison Company (the predecessor of Consolidated Edison).
The stations continued to be operated by Consolidated Edison, but No.1 was retired in 1952 and had been demolished by the late 1980â€™s.
The No.4 was retired in the early 1960â€™s. The derelict structure still stands today and plans have been proposed for decades for its adaptive re-use. As late as the year 2011, its original two smokestacks were still standing !
3.This Picture is from 1906.