Discuss all things Ghostbusters here, unless they would be better suited in one of the few forums below.
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By Rune31
Seeing the bootleg behind-the-scenes really shed some light on how the Van Horne station was done after years of watching as a kid up to now. Today I can see the matte painting seam lines that seperate the actual set and have read a big article on how the river was made and composited into the shot.

Anyone have any other revelations about one of the best sets in GB II?

:vinzclortho: "Yes have some!"
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By Kingpin
Rune31 wrote:Anyone have any other revelations about one of the best sets in GB II?

Heh, here's where I enter Wiki-mode...

Van Horne station is a composit of two real train stations, both in New York City.

Although deleted from the film, when they opened the air shaft Egon remarks (in reference to a cover emblazened with 'N.Y.P.R.R') that they've discovered the 'New York Pneumatic Railroad', a rail system which featured trains that were blown through a tube system by giant fans. It's like those pneumatic mail shutes, but much bigger.

The 'N.Y.P.R.R' is based on the 'Beach's Pneumatic Subway'. In the 1870s, Alfred Ely Beach constructed a working prototype of his pnuematic subway beneath Broadway which featured a station, a length of track and a cylindrical carriage.

Few photographs of his work exist to this day, but a pretty good interpretation of the pneumatic subway can be seen in An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island, where the station, train and waiting area are depicted, as well as the giant fan (although artist licence has probably been taken).

The idea didn't catch on, and eventually the New York Subway would be constructed... although before it was completed, the workers discovered Beach's old tunnel, and the decaying remains of the carriage.

In terms of legacy in Ghostbusters II, the station didn't just provide plot inspiration, as the tunnel entrance from Beach's subway is featured as an architectural element of Van Horne Station, the curved brick entrance with the '1870 - Pneumatic Transit' plaque.


The second inspiration is drawn from the successor to Beach's Subway. Like the London Underground, the New York Subway was originally separated into several train companies, one of them being the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. They built the first 28 stations of the New York Subway, and the most architecturally beautiful station of the line was the southernmost, City Hall Station, situated beneath City Hall Park:

The station served the system until around World War 2 where the development of the train carriages led to gaps forming between the train and the platform due to its curvature.

The station remains closed, although tours have visited it every now and then, and there have been a number of projects to restore it, and even reopen it as part of the Transit Museum.

Image Image

This station's contribution to Ghostbusters II is more significant, ranging from the tilework designs, the vaulted arches, the chandeliers, the staircase up to a ticket office, and so on.

Additionally, the station has also inspired the creation of several other fictional stations, which can be seen in TMNT 2 and 3, Mimmick and the game Indigo Prophecy (Farhenheit).
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By Rune31
Yeah, I've seen those pictures before. The production designer really did his homework when making sure the station bore a resemblance to its historical counterpart. Wonder what is left of that place, a museum of sorts?

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