The Enormous Caverns Below New York City Are Starting To Look Like Train Tunnels

The Enormous Caverns Below New York City Are Starting To Look Like Train Tunnels
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It’s been several months since we last checked in with New York City’s perennially delayed, incredibly expensive infrastructural wonder: The East Side Access project, a plan to build a new station beneath Grand Central station that will connect Manhattan and Queens. Deep below the city, work continues — and now, the MTA has given us an update.

Back in March, the MTA told Gizmodo about the process of building out the huge tunnels that will one day shuttle hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers deep below the city. Back then, the bored tunnels were still just holes in the bedrock of Manhattan, cluttered with tools and machinery. But as a new set of updated photos from the MTA illustrates, work is coming along on the long-delayed project, which will extend the Long Island Rail Road into Manhattan:

The new photos show us plenty of what’s going on inside the deep caverns below Manhattan, which are now being lined with concrete and outfitted with all of the infrastructure that will make it functional — from waterproofing to electrical systems.

In April, the president of MTA Capital Construction had the following to say about what’s going on inside the caverns, speaking to DNA Info about a new contract for work on the infrastructure:

A cavern that is presently a raw concrete space will get communications networks that will be used by tens of thousands of people each day. When Long Island Rail Road riders come to Grand Central, the systems that will be put in place through these contracts will serve as an unseen backbone making train service possible.

Now, several months later, we’re seeing some clear evidence of those systems, from the yellow waterproofing, to the rail ties, to the rebar awaiting a layer of concrete.

The photos, uploaded on July 29, also show the action on the Queens side of the tunnel, in the form of the superstructure that will eventually serve as the access point on the other end of the tunnel, including massive substations:

In short, these spaces are starting to look a lot more like the subway stations that millions of New Yorkers will know them as for decades (hopefully, centuries) to come. Head over to the MTA’s Flickr page for more.

Pictures: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin