It’s easy to take the subway for granted. Just like other subterranean marvels of engineering, it’s a system that’s deliberately hidden from view—you descend into a station, plunge into darkness, and arrive at your destination. In fact, you might forget you’re actually underground the whole time. But you are, and these new photos from the MTA serve as a nice reminder of how much work it takes to put you there.
The pictures show the current progress of the MTA’s East Side Access project, one which doesn’t actually involve a subway but rather will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal for the first time. It’s currently expected to open in 2019. It involves a lot of digging.
Thankfully, we’re not just sending people down there with shovels. These types of tunnels are excavated using a variety of heavy-duty machines, including massive 200-ton drills that are so big, and so unwieldy, that in some cases it’s actually far less expensive to just leave them down there after they’re done working—which is exactly what they did with one such machine involved in the East Side Access project last year.
[Hat tip: Gizmodo]