This story is supposed to be true, but like many other legends about the Transit Authority, it is probably an exaggeration.
When the IND opened in 1932 it only operated between 207th Street and Hudson Terminal. Two services were provided, the 'A' express from 207th Street and the 'AA' local from 168th Street. About a year later, the Concourse line in the Bronx opened. A new service, the 'CC' train began operation between 205th Street and Hudson Terminal. The 'AA' train stopped running and the 'A' ran local to 145th Street.
The story of the missing train begins on the last night of 'AA' service. A motorman was told to take a train from 207th Street station to the yard. This motorman was relatively new and wasn't sure of what to do. The dispatcher told him to just follow the signals and he couldn't miss it. Although he knew the tracks to the yard were not too far away, he kept going until he reached 168th Street.
He stopped there to ask a signal maintainer where the yard was. There happens to be a small yard north of 168th Street (called the 174th Street Yard) which was used between the rush hours to store 'AA' trains. The signal maintainer thought the motorman was talking about 174th yard and said he would set up the switches and signals. The motorman changed ends of the train to go back north and put the train away in 174th Street.
Since the train was due in 207th Street, no record of it being put away in 174th Street was made. It seems that the motorman went on vacation and the signal maintaner went off sick right after this and no-one was told about where the train was put away.
One version of the story has it that the missing train was found when the motorman returned from vacation. However, the more interesting claim was the train remained missing through the 1930's until the Sixth Ave Line opened in 1940 when the 'AA' train was reinstated and 168th Street was again used as a terminal.
- The JoeKorNer