Grand Central Terminal is a small village in one of the largest cities in the world. But this village has secret features that don’t appear on any map.
A hidden track
Through the decades of construction and renovation of Grand Central Terminal, one track remains a mystery. The secret track, Track 61, links Grand Central to the nearby Park Avenue Waldorf-Astoria, a hotel just five blocks away.
A publicly known connection between Track 61 and the Waldorf existed as early as 1929, but the rails never received much use. Track 61’s first official use came in the transportation of General John J. Pershing in 1938, who, after a near-fatal heart attack, traveled cross-country in a weakened state to attend his son’s wedding.
Grand Central Terminal authorities often kept a train car on Track 61 to handle emergency situations. FDR made use of the track at least once while in office. During this use, the train car on Track 61 held FDR’s favorite automobile, a bulletproof car by the now-defunct Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, and opened to allow for the car to be driven directly onto the Waldorf-Astoria’s freight elevator.
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