Armored trucks are a highly publicized thing, right? Sure, you've seen them. What you may not have seen though, were these: armored subways.
Untapped Cities reported that from 1951 to 2006, the New York City transit system had an armored train carrying the treasures of all the subway and bus fares in the city.
What happened to all those fares? They were collected and brought to a secret room at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn.
Yes, the very same room that's the current subject of the New York Transit Museum's "The Secret Life of 370 Jay Street."
If you saw that train roll past, you could assume it was staffed by 12 collecting agents and one supervisor, all of whom were armed and wearing body armor.
Here's how it used to work: On six nights out of the week, multiple Money Trains would hit the tracks, collecting fares from 25 to 40 stations on each run. The two-car train contained the collecting agents in one car and the money in the other.
10 sets of R21 and R22 trains were converted into Money Train units in 1988.
It makes sense, doesn't it? This was before everything was digitized, so obviously the physical money had to be collected somehow.
Collections would be delivered to the Department of Revenue's Money Room, located inside 13-story 370 Jay Street, into a room designed specifically for safeguarding the processing of fares.
The room had a special security system, a secret second floor elevator, and special tunnels hidden behind a normal-looking building. There's even a secret gate against the wall at the Jay Street subway station where money would enter the building.
The old school subway token was introduced two years after the opening of 370 Jay Street.
The building was chosen strategically, as transit system planners knew it was located atop a station where tunnels could be built connecting the lines from IND, BMT, and IRT, which are the private companies who used to operate the subways.
The armored subway car's collection process continued into the era of the MetroCard, even though collecting revenue from MetroCard machines took longer than picking up a bag of coins from booths.
The final trip of the Money Train was in January in 2006. The Money Room at 370 Jay Street closed on the same day. Rest in peace, Money Train. Sounds like you were really badass.
Check out How This New Yorker Got Strangers on the NYC Subway to Hand Out Roses.[via Untapped Cities] [Feature Image Courtesy Untapped Cities]