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Opinion

Photos: East Side Access past, present, future

This is a combination of older photos of the East Side Access construction project, dating as far back as 2010, renderings of what the project will look like when it's completed, and photographs taken during a recent tour of the project. The photos include scenes from the complex rail junction at Harold Interlocking in Queens, along with views from inside the tunnels and beneath Grand Central Terminal, where the future Long Island Rail Road tracks, platforms, and concourse will be. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: MTA

The cutter head of a tunnel boring machine used to excavate the tunnels leading to Grand Central Terminal, in January 2010.

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: MTA

This is what the East Side Access platform and cavern area looked like in February 2013, when workers were excavating and removing debris.

East side access editorial
Photo Credit: Mark Chiusano

The view from the future tracks of East Side Access, where trains will pull into the new LIRR terminal underneath Grand Central Terminal. This will be the lower level of two floors of tracks and platforms. Each level will hold four tracks. The bridge above will allow passengers to move between platforms. The concourse will be above both sets of tracks. 

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

A rendering of the view from the platform of the East Side Access project.There will be two floors of tracks and platforms and each level will hold four tracks. The bridge above will allow passengers to move between platforms. The concourse will be above both sets of tracks. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: MTA

During the excavation process, workers drilled and installed bolts for the initial rock support in the caverns that will be home to the East Side Access platforms and tracks. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: MTA

The February 2013 placement of a concrete leveling slab in the caverns below Grand Central, where the platforms and tracks for East Side Access are now taking shape. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

The view of the new platform now under construction where LIRR passengers will board their trains. There will be eight LIRR tracks at the new terminal - four on one level, and four above them. 

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

Renderings of the platform, elevator and trains that will eventually carry passengers from Long Island to the new terminal beneath Grand Central Terminal. 

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

A rendering showing where LIRR riders will be able to board trains from new platforms like this one, part of the railroad's East Side Access project to connect Long Island to Grand Central Terminal.

The tunnel being built under Manhattan to create
Photo Credit: Newsday photo/Lawrence Striegel

The tunnel being built under Manhattan to create East Side Access for the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal. View is from May 4, 2011. CREDIT: Newsday photo/Lawrence Striegel

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

The current view of a future escalator wellway from above. Passengers will head down to the platforms from a new LIRR concourse located on this level. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

Escalators, now installed, will take passengers from the lower platform of the new LIRR terminal to the concourse. These escalators are the longest in the MTA's entire system, at 160 feet in length.

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

Rendering of what the escalator path leading up towards the new LIRR concourse will look like. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

The curved-arch ceiling above the LIRR's East Side Access platform, far below Grand Central Terminal. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

Part of the ceiling above the platform at the future LIRR East Side Access terminal.

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

Rendering of the future LIRR concourse.

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: MTA

Workers inspecting the rock after a blast excavation of a tunnel approaching Grand Central Terminal at the end of 2013.

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: MTA

As of December 2013, this is what the initial support for the tunnels heading into Grand Central Terminal looked like. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: MTA

A 2014 view looking south into what will be the platforms and tracks of the LIRR's East Side Access terminal.

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

The current view of the East River tunnel, constructed decades ago, that will now be used for East Side Access to transport trains to the new LIRR terminal at Grand Central Terminal.

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

Stacks of the resilient rail tie blocks that will support the rails of the new East Side Access tracks.

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

At the railroad junction known as Harold Interlocking, the MTA is installing new infrastructure, including this overhead catenary used by Amtrak. 

East Side Access editorial
Photo Credit: Randi F. Marshall

In Sunnyside, workers are creating a new mid-day storage yard for Long Island Rail Road trains. 

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

Renderings of one future entrance to the LIRR's East Side Access terminal. 

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

Rendering of the future elevator bank that will take LIRR passengers down to the platforms. 

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

Rendering of future waiting area at the LIRR concourse beneath Grand Central Terminal. 

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

LIRR passengers will have a new terminal area, owned and managed by the Long Island Rail Road, that will sit below Grand Central Terminal.

East Side Access renderings for East Side Access
Photo Credit: MTA

A view of the path that will take LIRR riders up to the main concourse.

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