IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - 83

surface tracks had been electrified temporarily to meet the 1908 deadline).
The electrification was to be dc at approximately 600 V distributed via third
rails with one track rail serving as the
return. Eventually, this power system
was extended through the Bronx and
into Westchester County to the north.
The entire installation was designed
by the General Electric Company and
included special electric locomotives
(known as "electric motors" or "S motors") to replace steam locomotives.
Since the previous Grand Central facilities had been chronically overcrowded
in spite of almost continual enlargements
of the station, Wilgus also convinced the
New York Central executives to construct
a truly huge new facility. It included two
underground track levels, the upper for
long distance trains and the lower for local suburban (commuter) trains. There
would be a total of 49 tracks at platforms
(32 on the upper level and 17 on the lower
level). The track configurations in the two
yards would be incredibly complex. The
two main interlocking machines for controlling switches and signals to avoid the
possibility of a collision had a total of 760
operating levers, 360 for the upper level
and 400 for the lower level.

The New Power Houses
Two large steam generating stations were
constructed to supply third-rail power
for the newly electrified Grand Central
operation. One station was located in the
Port Morris section of the Bronx and the
other in the Glenwood section of Yonkers
in Westchester County to the north. These
stations generated 11,000-V, three-phase,
25-Hz alternating current (ac) power that
was distributed to a series of rotary converter substations located along the routes
of the railroad. The rotary converter substations, in turn, provided 600-650-V dc
for the third rails (see Figure 2).
The Port Morris Station is long
gone, but the Glenwood Station survives today. It is in derelict condition,
but the most recent of a long series of
attempts to renovate it for adaptive reuse is currently underway.
In addition, a service plant was
constructed along the east side of Park
july/august 2014

Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets,
and this came to be known as the "50th
Street Plant." Its location was actually above part of the underground train
yards north of Grand Central.
One function of this service plant was
to supply both steam and hot water to
Grand Central Terminal and to buildings

located adjacent to it and along Park Avenue to the north. These services were
necessary because the underground train
yards eliminated the possibility of these
buildings having basements to contain
their own boiler rooms.
The 50th Street plant also generated
electric power for lighting and motor use

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83


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover1
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover2
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover3
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - Cover4
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