The first NYC subway extension in more than 25 years opened to the public yesterday with the new 7 train station at 34th Street-Hudson Yards.

The public is finally seeing the new 7 train station (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

The opening ceremonies were indeed grand, with politicians and MTA officials galore taking turns praising the engineering achievement of the extension—1.5 miles from Times Square at a cost of $2.42 billion—and promising that the Hudson Yards neighborhood springing up around the station will, in addition to creating vast amounts of retail space and office square footage, also deliver thousands of new jobs and provide 5,000 units of affordable housing.

All the cranes south of the station (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)

After all of the speeches, posturing and two ribbon-cutting ceremonies, the dignitaries led their many guests into the station itself. And everyone went for a ride to 42nd Street-Times Square, and then back again. Here's what that looked like:

A few 34th Street-Hudson Yards facts:

  • The platform is "air-tempered" to 72 to 78 degrees for year-round comfort.
  • The escalators are the longest inside any station in the system—the platforms are 10 stories underground and—if you just stand and ride (stay to the right, please) the journey will take you nearly a minute and half. To be precise: 1:29:02.
  • The two elevators from the turnstiles to the platform are inclined, like an indoor funicular, and your ride on one of these lasts almost a full two minutes. (The elevators travel 85 feet vertically and 152 horizontally, at 100 feet per minute, per the MTA.) There is a regular vertical elevator to take you from the street level to the token booth area.
  • The token booth is circular, a form that repeats itself throughout the station, designed by Dattner Architects.
  • There are 12 Help Point Intercoms, allowing riders to communicate with the station agent or the Rail Control Center in case of an emergency.
  • The notably wide platform is completely column-free, the longest such structure in the system. The tunnel leading from Times Square to 34th-Hudson Yards is also remarkably wide, with substantial platforms on both sides on the track. The MTA says the platform, at 36 feet wide and 585 feet long, is among the widest in the system.
  • Two public restrooms are available at the top of the larger escalator bank, one of which flooded out into the station during the ceremonies, prompting a frantic all-hands mop up.
  • Digital advertising screens, a dozen Help Point Intercoms, and, soon, countdown clocks, cell phone and Wi-Fi coverage are all part of the amenity package.
  • A pair of huge mosaic tile installations by artist Xenobia Bailey are prominently displayed in the ceiling above the main entrance.
  • What appears to be a second, smaller entrance is still under construction, a block away at 35th Street.

Adjoining the station is the brand-new, four acre Hudson Boulevard Park—we'll have more about that later.