Secrets deep below Grand Central Terminal - KMSP-TV

Secrets deep below Grand Central Terminal

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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.

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