Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Hunt Continues

Good evening, G Train believers and skeptics.

I apologize for my lack of updates. Rest assured that quest to uncover the truth about the G Train continues unabated. In fact, it is because I was so mired in my research that I was unable to inform and educate my reading public about this mysterious and misunderstood subway line.

This platform claims to lead to the G Train...but does it?

I spent all of April and the better part of May of this year living beneath the surface of this fair city. Hunkered down in in the Long Island City/Court Square station, equipped with a digital video camera and an ample supply of canned goods, I intended to wait out the elusive G Train and ultimately either capture proof of or definitively deny its existence. I chose this station because I believe it is one where one is highly likely to see a G Train during its operational hours, if said hours exist, and because of its proximity to 5 Points Graffiti Museum, which I think is cool.

I had forgotten both the battery charger for my camera and a can opener, which seemed to doom my project on the first day. However, I refused to give up so easily and decided that my own eyewitness accounts or findings would be ample proof for my fellow G Train hunters. At no time have I attempted to glorify this dangerous and often urine-soaked mission, nor have I sought fame and glory in my commitment to such. Therefore, to think I would fabricate or misinterpret a sighting would imply that one thought I was crazy.

This is the last picture I took before the battery in my camera ran out.

I subsisted on discarded food and drink encountered in the train station, which was actually more than sufficient. One day I found and entire uneaten lobster thermador and a mixed salad laying next to a garbage can near where the G Train station connects with the 7 Train. Another time I pulled an unopened and chilled(!) bottle of champagne from a garbage can. To be quite honest, I ate better from subway refuse than I do above ground.

I thought I had only been in that station for two weeks, but it turns out that due to an erratic sleeping pattern where I slept two hours some times and fifty-three hours other times, I stayed in that subterranean cavern for over six weeks, emerging only two days ago after I had the most startling and life-changing experience of my life.

Fellow G Train hunters, I saw an actual G Train with my own eyes!

It was on the fateful evening of May 18th of 2008 that I woke up from a ten-minute nap (that I figured later must have lasted in the neighborhood of ten days) to hear the slow shuffle of a subway train pulling into the G Train station. Until that time, I had heard the familiar click of the track brakes and the gentle hum of an approaching train a few times, but never saw the mythical subway cars materialize. And now, my eyes still bleary and bones weary from having used a soda can for a pillow and a slimy concrete slab as my bed for ever a week, I saw a train pull into the station. I rubbed my eyes, and saw a green circle on the front. I blinked, and confirmed a sans serif letter G emblazoned within this circle. This was it, ladies and gentlemen: the holy G-rail.

Leaping to my feet, I ran down the length of the platform to get a closer look. Almost beside myself with glee, I jumped onto the train with reckless abandon in hopes of traveling with it to its nefarious destination. But alas, as my senses began to fully clear, I realized I was not on a passenger subway car at all, but a work train, as evidenced by a row of lockers and three very confused uniformed transit workers looking up at me.

I didn't get a picture of the actual transit workers, but perhaps they were involved in this 2006 strike.

The three of them shrugged their shoulders, then stood up and began to file out of the car. I followed them and found they were in the station to tape some "WET PAINT" signs to several supporting girders, without applying any paint. Their task done, they entered the solitary car coupled with the G Train engine car, the doors closed, and the train shuffled off to parts unknown.

It was then that I realized I had not seen a G Train, but an engine car pulling a work train along the track. However, the very fact that the G Train was advertised on the front leads me to believe that the G Train existed, at least, during one point and time during the hundred-plus year-old history of the New York City subway. And though I was ejected moments later by two very gruff and rude members of the Transit Police, my search for the truth will continue!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


In my search to uncover the legend of the G train, I have met many like-minded and well-meaning individuals who are also interested in the mysteries of this elusive train line. Almost all of them have had their own G train experiences which were catalysts to their own hunt for the truth. However, there are people who purposefully create G train hoaxes in order to discredit and defame the scientific pursuit to discover the G train. Beware! Know that a full 80-90 per cent of all G train spottings are, in fact, false. Most often, the spotter believes he or she has seen the G train, but there are a few out there who claim sightings with a more malicious intent.

"It was 3 AM on a Thursday morning, I was waiting for the Brooklyn-Bound at Chambers Street. Over the din of my iPod, I heard a louder hissing noise, and in the tunnel, I saw the headlights of an approaching train in the distance. The entire station filled with a thick fog, obscuring the approaching subway train, and it wasn't until it was upon me that I realized it was a G train! The cars rumbled through the station slowly, but did not stop, and I only thought to retrieve my cell phone to take a picture once it had already left the station." - Leo G., Brooklyn

Careful readers will realize that this entire story is a LIE! For one thing, the G train, if it does exist, only travels between the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn in New York City, according to the MTA website. It would never travel past the Chambers Street station in Manhattan. For another thing, no realistic description is given of the G train in this story, i.e. number of cars, style of train, timbre of the approaching train rattle. More credible eyewitness sightings come with at least some account of the train, and it is the duty of every G train hunter to know these stories' commonalities in order to weed out the less credible and completely fabricated accounts.

"I was staking out the Greenpoint Ave. station in Brooklyn late one Saturday night, when, without warning, a G train came hurtling through the station at a terrific speed! The most incredible thing about it was that I heard no tell-tale clackety clack or other warning sounds that this train was on its way. It flew through the station and didn't stop, but I was able to get this snapshot to prove my account." - Anonymous

A passing G train?

This story is also very unlikely and is quite possibly fabricated for the purpose of discrediting the G train movement. For one thing, the Greenpoint Ave. station is solely for the G train. If a G train happened to arrive at the station, it would most certainly stop. Also, the claim that the train arrived with no advance warning is suspect, the G train is elusive but there is no evidence to suggest it is a ghost or otherwise extra-dimensional, and it should follow the rules of any other subway train. The most damning evidence is the picture, which, besides not showing the marked train designation or any other tell-tale markings, seems to be from the London Underground, where "Mind the Gap" is a regular slogan that warns riders to watch their step when entering and exiting the train. All G train hunters should have a casual knowledge of other subway lines around the world, so they can spot obvious inconsistencies like this one, and discount falsified accounts when possible.

While the search for the G train can be unrewarding at times, it is important to keep your spirits up and not allow fakers to sway you from your task. Be skeptical, be critical, and most importantly, be alert!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A spine-chilling eyewitness account

One reader-turned-G train spotter sent in this spooky eyewitness account. Names are withheld at her request, but her words are quoted directly in the interest of accuracy:

I was waiting on the Manhattan-bound platform of the R and V train at 46th Street and Broadway in Queens. It is technically the local track for the R, V, and G train, but having never seen a G train before I assumed it was some typographical error on the sign. It was roughly one-thirty in the morning on a chill October evening last year, I believe it was during regular weekday service, but it may have been early weekend. I had been at a party, and had a few drinks, but I was not drunk and had all of my senses about me.

I watched two R's and a V train pass on the Queens-bound track, and before long I began to hear the metallic strumming of an approaching train. I stood up from the subway bench to welcome an R or V train, or perhaps the odd local E or F that uses this track late at night and on some weekends, when I saw that the sign at the front of the train was colored an unusual green. I squinted to see what train it was--perhaps the color was really a faded blue, and this was a wayward E train--and as it loomed closer to my view I saw it was a mythical G train! I was standing at the front of the platform, and stood frozen in place as the train pulled into the station. Almost as if to taunt me, it stopped short at the middle of the platform, a full three normal car lengths away.

I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought perhaps I had fallen asleep on that platform bench and I was having some kind of nightmare. But as the doors opened up and people actually got off, I realized I was having a special kind of experienced that many people never do. I began to walk towards the train, preparing to get on the G train and see the fantastical places it would go, but due to my hesitance to begin, I didn't make it to the truncated train in time, and the doors closed before I even neared the solemn motorman. Before I could even register what was happening, the G train pulled out of the station and was gone.

I ran to the station clerk, desperate to have some kind of corroboration for this incredible event. I stammered, "I just saw a G train! I actually saw a real G train!" The clerk rolled her eyes lazily towards me, and without any expression whatsoever, pointed to a schedule advisory posted on the wall behind her: "NO G TRAIN SERVICE TO THIS STATION, Sept. 2006 - February 2007".

"No! I saw it! I saw the G train!" I asserted, "I don't care what that poster says, the G train just pulled into this station!"

The clerk looked at me, the slightest trace of disdain creeping on her otherwise emotionless pan, then shook her head slightly and went back to reading her newspaper. I looked around for someone to support my allegation, but there was no one. I was completely alone, doubting my own personal experience.

It reads like that old yarn about the guy who stayed in a remote inn, only to discover the next day that the inn burned down twenty years ago to the night. Did this person actually see a G train? Or was she the victim of her own late-night exhaustion? Without any evidence, it is impossible to say. I encourage all readers to submit their own personal experiences, pictures, videos, or other evidence about this elusive and mysterious subway line.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NYCTV cable channel tacitly admits existence of G train

I just saw an episode of the Emmy Award-winning cable television program, Secrets of New York about the unknown underground mysteries that lay beneath the sidewalks of New York City. In a section about the abandoned City Hall station, an expert (whose name I unfortunately missed) said, "Every subway line, with the exception of the G, runs in Manhattan." (emphasis mine)

Is this an admission by NYCTV that the G train actually exists? Or that they merely subscribe to the theory that the G train actually exists? I do not know for certain, but I found the way it was surreptitiously slipped into the show to be very intriguing.
If anyone can provide the name of this expert, or a clip from the show, please contact me at legendofthegtrain@gmail.com.

Does the palatial and abandoned City Hall station hide the secret of the G train?

Monday, October 15, 2007

G Train: Fact or Hoax?

The New York City subway is one of the most massive in the world, with over seven-hundred miles of track and over twenty separate subway lines. These lines are signified by their own color code and number or letter, the former detailing the general track on which they run and the latter detailing the specific kind of service they provide. For example, the red number 1 line in Manhattan is a local train, while the red numbers 2 and 3 in Manhattan run express.

The elusive G train staying almost out of frame, as usual

Every subway line in New York City spends some time in Manhattan, except for two: the little-known but well-documented shuttle S line that serves the Rockaway extension of the blue A train*, and the mythical and legendary G train that purportedly runs between the Smith/Ninth Street station in Brooklyn and the 71st Street/Continental Ave. station in Queens. I say purportedly because very few have ever seen this elusive train. Many people who have used the subway for their entire lives never encountered this train. Though the line shows up on New York City subway maps and is listed on signs as stopping in various stations, the reality of this train is in question, and there is a growing segment of the straphanging population of New York that believes this train does not exist.

The line upon which the G train supposedly runs

This blog will serve to verify all facts and dispel all myths surrounding the G train. If you have seen a G train, have pictures or video of a G train, or if you just want to discuss this fascinating and confounding legend, you are requested to send an e-mail to legendofthegtrain@gmail.com. Please note that all correspondence and pictures may be used on this site, and your e-mail will not be published unless you request otherwise.

The best existing image of a G train; many G train hunters believe it to be a hoax

It is not the intention of the blog owner to confirm or deny the existence of the G train, but to create a running dialog with interested parties about this secretive subway line. If you have any information concerning the G train, please use the e-mail address above or comment on this blog.

*Yes, there is another S train that serves as a shuttle between Grand Central Terminal and Times Square, but that is irrelevant.