You've Seen Them Around the NYC Subway, So What is This Weird Box Actually Used For?

What is this machine? It's in some subway stations and it makes interesting noises.
What is this machine? It's in some subway stations and it makes interesting noises.
Photo: r/nyc

You've probably seen this weird metal box while riding the New York City subway at some point. I remember thinking the first time I saw one that it certainly looked suspicious, and I couldn't figure out what it could be used for. Redditor Jak0zilla recently figured out what they were:

Outdoor Rated, Continuous Duty, Mobile Cart Air Sampling Systems: This extremely popular, outdoor rated continuous duty air sampling system is intended for secure outdoor ambient particulate and/or gaseous air sampling. The pump, control valve, and control panel are all hard mounted in a heavy gauge TIG welded aluminum, fully lockable, fan cooled, weather proof enclosure.

Turns out they actually cares about the air down there in the subway! Thanks MTA!

via reddit

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