Several years ago, we developed a WebSite on Mysterious Track 61 in Grand Central (as well as who owns Grand Central Terminal). Now the New York Gothamist has written one on “A Look Inside Track 61, The Secret Train Platform Under The Waldorf-Astoria“.
Pictured below is the “armored” baggage car reputed to have carried FDR’s car. Pictured below is FDR’s car reputed to have arrived by baggage car and brought up on elevator
Now some clips from the Gothamist article:
There are secrets under our feet, above our heads, and around every corner in New York City, many you may be passing by without even knowing it. Some of these special nooks are easier to access than others, and one time capsule that remains just out of reach is Track 61, which, at one end, is found behind a locked door on 49th Street.
This is the secret train platform that Franklin D. Roosevelt and other VIPs used to enter the Waldorf-Astoria (it was first used by General Pershing in 1938). It has been out of service for decades, but back in 2011 we visited the underground space, which still houses the tracks, the train car, and even the private elevator.
According to Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America, FDR, who most famously used the secret entrance, did so “in part to hide his disability from the public.” Everything was made so large that, according to the MTA’s Dan Brucker, it could fit FDR’s armor-plated Pierce Arrow car, which would drive off the train, onto the platform, and straight into the elevator.