Rail Workers Built Secret Man Cave Under Train Tracks In New York’s Grand Central Terminal
A secret ‘man cave’ complete with a flat-screen TV, sofa bed and fridge has been discovered below the train tracks at New York’s Grand Central Terminal.
The discovery was made by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA), when an internal watchdog found the lounge behind a plasterboard wall in an unused locksmith shop located below Track 114 in the station’s lower level.
Investigators paid a surprise visit to the hidden room last year, though a report on the findings has only been released today, September 24.
The agency’s inspector general stated that at least three MTA employees transformed the room, which station management admitted they didn’t even know existed.
Metro-North’s security manager did not have a working key for the room, and the supervisor of the locksmith shop – who is not a licensed locksmith themselves – could not access the room because only actual locksmiths had access.
The three employees, identified as a wireman, a carpenter foreman and an electrical foreman, allegedly filled their lounge with a futon, TV, exercise equipment, a fridge and beds, though they were busted after complaints were made about them using the space to ‘hang out and get drunk and party’, the report states.
The inspector general’s office said it determined that Metro-North Security failed to take any steps to investigate the initial complaint about the room, and it opened its own probe more than a year ago after receiving multiple anonymous complaints.
In a statement about the discovery, MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny said:
Many a New Yorker has fantasized about kicking back with a cold beer in a prime piece of Manhattan real estate – especially one this close to good transportation.
But few would have the chutzpah to commandeer a secret room beneath Grand Central Terminal & make it their very own man-cave, sustained with MTA resources, and maintained at our riders’ expense.
The employees, who were not named due to ongoing disciplinary proceedings, denied ever having been in the room, though Pokorny’s office said the evidence linking them to the lounge was ‘overwhelming’.
When confronted by the inspector general, the electrical foreman admitted to having a copy of the key to the locksmith shop despite not having worked with locksmiths for at least five years.
Investigators found wooden cabinets that appeared to be specifically placed to conceal the TV and sofa bed, along with a pull-out bed sitting just outside the room. A half-empty beer sat in the fridge, and the employees’ fingerprints were found in the lounge, the New York Post reports.
An Amazon streaming device was attached to the TV and had the carpenter foreman’s mobile hotspot on its list of available Wi-Fi networks. The device itself was registered to the electrical foreman, whose name was also on a pull-up bar box and two 2018 datebooks found in the room.
A receipt with the wireman’s name printed on it was found inside an air mattress box in the room.
The three employees have been suspended without pay pending resolution of disciplinary cases. Metro-North is now working on a project to map all of the rooms in Grand Central and determine how well they are locked to ensure there aren’t any other ‘man caves’ that the authority doesn’t know about.
Metro-North is also implementing a process to better track complaints.
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New York Post
MTA Inspector General/Twitter
Metropolitan Transport Authority