NYC subway photos: See off-limits and abandoned stops

See another side of the NYC subway in these photos of off-limits stops by photographers Shane Perez and Steve Duncan.

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It’s easy to forget that the NYC subway includes more than a century’s worth of old tracks, abandoned platforms and deserted tunnels, the majority of which most New Yorkers will never see—unless you’re an urban explorer with a camera and a case of subterranean wanderlust. Photographer Shane Perez (shaneperez.com) and self-proclaimed “guerrilla historian” Steve Duncan (undercity.org) have gone spelunking in the NYC subway for the better part of the last decade. From an old wine cellar in a vault beneath the Brooklyn Bridge to a flooded dead-end tunnel that still holds dust from the World Trade Center, here are a few glimpses of the vast world below.


RECOMMENDED: All public transportation in NYC


  • Photograph: Shane Perez

    "The abandoned Bowery subway station off the J/Z/M was originally part of an express line that no longer runs down there. It’s one of my favorite spots, because there are so many interconnecting lines and abandoned stations in that area—you can literally connect to at least three entirely different lines without going above ground."—Shane Perez

  • Photograph: Shane Perez

    “This shot was taken in a dead-end tunnel off of the R line between the Cortlandt St station and City Hall. It’s a weird little tunnel that seems to be permanently flooded because of sloping roofs at its dead end. The gray dust you see on the surface of the water is actually dust from the World Trade Center collapse that blew in there and became trapped. [It’s] another forgotten place that holds a significant reminder of our city’s history.”—Shane Perez

Photograph: Shane Perez

"The abandoned Bowery subway station off the J/Z/M was originally part of an express line that no longer runs down there. It’s one of my favorite spots, because there are so many interconnecting lines and abandoned stations in that area—you can literally connect to at least three entirely different lines without going above ground."—Shane Perez

  1. Shane Perez
  2. Steve Duncan

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