IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - July/August 2014 - 86

figure 5. An overview of Substations 1T and 1L from the east end (photo courtesy of Gerald Weinstein, photographer).

the constant struggle to keep public attention diverted from his need for a wheelchair due to his affliction with polio.
The flat cars containing electrical
equipment were maneuvered to the lowerlevel train yard at designated hours of the
day so as not to unduly interrupt normal
train traffic. Then, beneath the terminal,
the pieces had to be lowered through another hatchway a distance of 50 ft (15.2 m)
to the floor of the new substation space.

Temporary rope block-and-tackle arrangements were used for lowering parts
at both locations, and a total of 850 tons
(863.6 metric tons) of electrical equipment was eventually moved in this
manner. A new 35-ton (35.6-metric ton)
overhead traveling crane was used to reassemble the rotary converters and other
equipment in Substation 1T.
The space just above the new Substation 1T, which formerly had served as a

figure 6. The 600-V traction (third rail) rotary converters in Substation 1T
(photo courtesy of Gerald Weinstein, photographer).
86

ieee power & energy magazine

steam supply metering room, was adapted to house ventilating fans to circulate
air through the substation below. The exhaust air was then directed up what originally had been the smokestack built into
the corner of the Commodore Hotel.
Additional space was carved out beneath the adjoining Graybar Building to
house heaters and pumps utilizing part
of the now-purchased steam to produce
hot water and circulate it throughout the
terminal and to neighboring buildings.
The space above the ventilating room
over Substation 1T, which originally had
contained coal bunkers for the boilers
below, was adapted as a new home for
the backup battery from the 50th Street
battery room. In this case, the battery
sections actually had to be raised from
the lower track level along which they
had been transported from 50th Street,
since the former coal bunker space was
located just below street level.
The battery consisted of 160 cells, each
of which measured 7 ft (2.13 m) in length
by 2 ft (0.61 m) in width and stood about
3-ft (0.91-m) high. Each cell, containing
lead plates and filled with sulfuric acid
solution, weighed 4,550 lb (2,063.8 kg).
Not only was it impractical to move
these cells at street level, it was also illegal to transport open acid containers
along the street. Each cell was jacked up
and mounted onto a trailer that then was
towed by a battery-powered tractor (ironically) to another hatchway in the floor
of the 50th Street substation. The cell,
on its trailer, was then lowered by block
and tackle a distance of 55 ft (16.8 m) to
a trucking "subway" associated with the
lower train yard level. It was then towed,
using another electric tractor, south to the
terminal along a wide trucking platform
that ran along the east side of the lower
yard. There, an existing elevator was used
to raise it to the level of the former coal
bunker space, now the battery room.
This complex moving operation was
begun in March 1929 and was completed,
ahead of schedule, by Christmas of that
year. The operation was under the direction of F.B. Freeman, the chief engineer of
the New York Central Railroad. The actual
work was performed by the ThompsonStarrett Contracting Company and was
july/august 2014



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

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