Track 61 Revisited

Gothamist ventured into the famed Track 61 train platform under the Waldorf-Astoria over the weekend, snapping some pix at the sight that former Trainjotting contributor Engine Bob (a.k.a. “FDR’s Funeral Train” author Robert Klara) called “the holy grail” of urban exploration.

As Gothamist notes, Track 61, now closed, “allowed VIPs to enter the hotel in a more private manner—most famously it was used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, possibly to hide the fact that he was in a wheelchair suffering from polio. The mysterious track, known as Track 61, still houses the train car and private elevator, which were both large enough for FDR’s armor-plated Pierce Arrow car. Legend has it that the car would drive off the train, onto the platform and straight into the elevator, which would lead to the hotel’s garage.”

Andy Warhol threw his infamous “Underground” party on the platform in 1965.

Thanks to Gothamist for linking to our original story, from February 2007, on Track 61.

 

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1 Response to Track 61 Revisited

  1. Paul says:

    The mystery was solved a couple of months back in an article in Trains magazine. The mysterious baggage car carries the same markings as the double ended wreck crane and associated flat car owned by Metro North. These cars were use by a contractor whose job was to clear derailments under Grand Central and repair any damage. The baggage car was used to house spare switch frogs and other equipment. As to the car that carried FDR’s auto, it was a “horse car” owned by the Baltimore and Ohio RR. The horse car was similar in design to a baggage car with the exception that it had only on very large central door on each side. The width of the door allowed for easy loading and unloading of horses and later FDR’s auto. The rest of the wreck repair equipment is located at a museum in Danbury Connecticut.

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