If you’re anything like us, you’re fascinated by the secret worlds of underground transportation. What goes on in abandoned subway stations? Do mole people exist? Have we been approaching Platform 9¾ at the wrong angle? A couple months ago, we brought you a collection of beautiful abandoned train stations from all over the world. Now, we’re going underground to bring you the bizarre stories behind some of the world’s coolest and eeriest abandoned subways. Check ’em out after the jump, and hit the comments to let us know of any other secret stations on your radar.
City Hall Station — New York, NY
Image credit: Visual News
Have you ever ridden the 6 beyond the Brooklyn Bridge stop? If so, you may have already caught a glimpse of the abandoned City Hall platform where the train does its end-of-the-line loop. The gorgeous station was built in 1904 and in use until 1945, at which point it was unfortunately retired due to its small capacity and unsafe gap. Few have had the opportunity to visit the site on foot, but photos reveal magnificent arches, tiles, and windows. Who knew?
West Ashfield Station — London, England
Image credit: IanVisits
This secret station is a special one. Yes, it looks like a fully functioning modern tube stop, but it’s not actually open to the public. London’s West Ashfield Station is, in fact, on the third floor of an office building and used to train newly hired employees. Now, let’s finally get some proof that the Queen has her own secret subway line, shall we?
Lower Queen Station — Toronto, ONT
Image credit: Transit Toronto
Toronto has several abandoned underground stations, the most famous being Lower Bay, which was in use for a grand total of six months after its opening in 1966. Lesser known is Lower Queen, which was built for streetcars in 1949 but never used.
Waldorf-Astoria platform at Grand Central Station — New York, NY
Image credit: Gothamist
Below Grand Central Station is a secret platform known as “Track 61” — a platform built to hide Franklin D. Roosevelt’s polio from the public. Legend has it, FDR’s limo would drive off the train car (photographed above) and into a large, private elevator that would take the vehicle straight to the Waldorf-Astoria garage. Another fun fact from Gothamist: Andy Warhol threw a party here in 1965.
South Fourth Street Station — Brooklyn, NY
Image credit: The Measure
South Williamsburg’s South Fourth Street Station has never been used. Its construction was halted by World War II and rails were never installed, leaving behind a big concrete shell of an underground structure. In recent years, dozens have been arrested trying to sneak peeks of the graffiti that now lives in the station, as provided by the Underbelly Project.
Cincinnati Subway — Cincinnati, OH
Image credit: Cincinnati-Transit
In 1910, plans were made to build a Cincinnati subway system out of sections of the Erie Canal. In 1927, however, after seven miles were already prepared, the project became too expensive and was scrapped. The Cincinnati subway remains the longest abandoned subway tunnel in the US.
Rochester Industrial and Rapid Transit Railway — Rochester, NY
Image credit: Urban Ghosts Media
The folks in Rochester had the same idea as the Cincinnati subway planners — they built a system from part of the Erie Canal. The tunnels were filled with streetcars from 1937 until 1956, at which point the system shut down as a result of the growing popularity of cars.
Metro-2 — Moscow, Russia
Image credit: Wikipedia
No one’s really sure if there’s a secret subway system paralleling Moscow’s non-secret subway system, but if there is, it was built during Stalin’s reign and it resembles the above map. We’ll let Wikipedia give you the lowdown on Metro-2 theories and conspiracies.