Pages

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Secret railway under the Waldorf Astoria Siding used by Roosevelt

These rusted and decaying railway tracks may seem like any of the thousands of feet of disused track that snake under midtown Manhattan.

But this discreet siding, Grand Central Terminal’s ‘Track 61′ – was once a vital tool in the arsenal of wartime President Franklin D Roosevelt – and could yet spring into action again. Hidden underneath the opulent Waldorf Astoria hotel, the secluded platform was one of many ways Roosevelt, stricken by polio and paralyzed from the waist down since 1921, would hide his affliction.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt car

When visiting New York City, often from his childhood home in Hyde Park, upstate New York, the siding would allow him to make it to the Waldorf’s Presidential suite without attracting public attention.
His private railway car – at that point still the luxury travel option of choice – was able to pull inside the station, at which point his limousine could drive straight off the carriage into an elevator connected directly to the hotel.
The elevator constructed for Roosevelt’s limo



Stairs leading to a subbasement