The 174th street subway yard is a cavernous space under Washington Heights that is currently used to store C trains.
The subway was originally built by the IND, which was a forward thinking company plotting on building numerous subway routes that never came to fruition. It has been long said that this yard was actually built as a provisions for a subway route that was suppose to go over the George Washington Bridge. Indeed, the wall at the very end of this tunnel is right up against the Trans-Manhattan expressway.
It features 5 tracks – 4 of which are used to lay up C trains (the fifth track is too short to fit a full length subway – I’m not sure why it was built).
The two tracks come to a large cavern with a crossover allowing access to 2 sets of tracks. The 5th track splits off deeper into the yard.
At the northern edge of this cavern, there is an abandoned control tower.
The walls, of course, are all covered in graffiti – much of it historic in nature.
At the very end of the yard, the tracks dead end at the wall.
There’s a tiny utility room here, stocked with some subway car cleaning materials. I’m not sure why this room exists – car cleaners usually perform their duties in terminal stations, not deep into dark layup yards where there aren’t even bench walls to provide easy access.
The Short “A5” track is usually devoid of train cars, since it’s too short to fit an entire full length C train. (The track is perhaps 4-6 car lengths long at most). This track likely would have had some purpose had the route over the GW Bridge been built, though I haven’t seen any planning documents on what the intent of constructing this track was.
The walls all around the layup yard are covered in very old tags, and some slightly more recent
This is one of the darker, secluded layup yards in the subway system. It is far away from active subways passing by. It’s eerily quiet, and many workers rate it as one of their least favorite places to have to park a train at night.