Secrets deep below Grand Central Terminal - KMSP-TV

Secrets deep below Grand Central Terminal

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A piece of 20th Century history is preserved in pristine condition 13 stories deep into the cavernous bowels of Grand Central Terminal. It is the deepest basement in New York City. Now it is just a little known location, but at one time it was super secretive.

During World War II, guards were ordered to shoot on sight anyone who came close to the rotary converters, which power the trains. Gunshots almost rang out in 1942 when Hitler sent spies to pour sand in the converters, according to Dan Brucker, Grand Central Terminal historian. But back then, it was the first iteration of the "See something, say something" campaign that saved commuters and their trains from certain death and destruction: the FBI checked everybody's baggage for security reasons and found luggage that had to belong to Nazi espionage agents, thwarting a sinister plan.

In another section under Grand Central, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his very own secret train track, which would bring him directly into the Waldorf-Astoria, sight unseen.

All 33 miles of track kept under watch by the first electronic computer designed by Westinghouse back in 1913. The old-school system was still several hundred million years younger than the rock below grand central.

Bruce Einsohn, a geologist, says the rock dates back 600 million years.

The new Grand Central nerve system was installed in 1992.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Thousands participate in annual NYRR 5th Avenue Mile

    Thousands participate in annual NYRR 5th Avenue Mile

    Sunday, September 14 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-09-14 04:01:13 GMT
    Thousands of runners hit the concrete jungle on Saturday for the annual New York Road Runners 5th Avenue Mile. Olympians, world champions and runners of all ranks and abilities hammered out the mile-long course along Fifth Avenue starting at 80th Street and ending on 60th.
    Thousands of runners hit the concrete jungle on Saturday for the annual New York Road Runners 5th Avenue Mile. Olympians, world champions and runners of all ranks and abilities hammered out the mile-long course along Fifth Avenue starting at 80th Street and ending on 60th.
  • Sandy-damaged NYC subway tunnel to be reopened

    Sandy-damaged NYC subway tunnel to be reopened

    Saturday, September 13 2014 2:50 PM EDT2014-09-13 18:50:13 GMT
    A subway tunnel connecting Brooklyn and lower Manhattan that was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy is set to be reopened.
    A subway tunnel connecting Brooklyn and lower Manhattan that was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy is set to be reopened.
  • New York Fashion Week: weird and wonderful

    New York Fashion Week: weird and wonderful

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-09-13 02:30:23 GMT
    Modern dancers, writhing half-naked in front of giant weather-themed video installations. Miley Cyrus, not twerking, but working — in a new gig making jewelry with children's beads. A guy mowing a fake indoor lawn in a suit, top hat and fishnet tights. We didn't need to tell you that Fashion Week isn't only about hemlines and tailoring, did we? Some weird or wonderful (and sometimes both) moments of New York Fashion Week...
    Modern dancers, writhing half-naked in front of giant weather-themed video installations. Miley Cyrus, not twerking, but working — in a new gig making jewelry with children's beads. A guy mowing a fake indoor lawn in a suit, top hat and fishnet tights. We didn't need to tell you that Fashion Week isn't only about hemlines and tailoring, did we? Some weird or wonderful (and sometimes both) moments of New York Fashion Week...
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices