Feel the Rush at Grand Central Terminal
Imagine exiting a commuter train at one of the world’s most impressive stations. As you glance down to check the time on your watch you realize that you’re late to meet a loved one. You quickly push your way through the throngs of people inside the terminal. A few hurried steps later and you’re standing underneath the station’s most popular meeting place, showering your waiting friend with hugs and kisses.
Where is this famous meeting destination? Inside New York City’s Grand Central Station of course! From the iconic brass clock inside the station to the stunning Beaux-Arts architecture of the building’s exterior, there’s nothing quite like New York City’s Grand Central Train Station. Designed by architect Whitney Warren back in 1913, the regal Station is now one of the city’s most prized historical landmarks. This stunning fusion of technology, transportation and art is an absolute must-see, so why wait? Plan to take a trip down Memory Lane with a simple stop at Grand Central Station!
A State of Motion
Grand Central Terminal is a place of constant movement. Businessmen walk briskly toward their trains. Newly arrived travelers with suitcases look for an exit. Everyone is in a state of transition between where they came from and where they want to be.
There is a steady hum of noise as thousands of commuters move through Grand Central every day. They have that focused and determined look of New Yorkers who are trying to get somewhere. Most are in a hurry and every once in a while someone breaks into a run.
Not Your Average Railroad Station
This is no ordinary train station. With a vast and spacious main room that was modeled after a Roman bath, high-end restaurants, and shops selling unique specialty items, the word grandiose actually comes to mind.
Beyond the splendor, the place is quite functional as a transportation hub. The terminal is operated by Metro-North Railroad and is the world’s busiest railroad station. It has 44 platforms and 67 tracks. The trains that depart from Grand Central carry commuters north of the city, fanning out in New York and Connecticut.
The Grand Central Main Concourse is at the center of the action. With its cathedral ceiling and immense size, it is unmistakable. Natural light floods in though the large windows during the day.
This is where people meet up with each other, purchase train tickets, and study the boards to see which track their train is on. An information booth is located in the middle of the Main Concourse.
Essential New York City Guide Tips
There are two great spots for viewing the Main Concourse.
1. At the risk of getting swept away by the harried crowds, stand in the middle of the Main Concourse and feel the energy. Don’t forget to look up and admire the celestial ceiling.
2. A quieter spot is on one of the two balconies elevated above the main floor. There is one at the east end and another one the west end of the Main Concourse. This is a great place for people watching and picture taking.
The Don’t Call it “Grand” for Nothing!
New York City’s Grand Central Station is the largest train station in the world (by number of platforms). Located deep beneath the city, the station features two underground levels with 67 tracks and 44 platforms. Travelers can currently catch a train to a variety of nearby destinations including Westchester, Putnam and the Dutchess counties in New York. Both the inside and the outside of this immaculate building demand attention, so remember to stop and enjoy ever inch during your upcoming visit! When you first approach the station outside you’ll be faced with a handful of fantastic figures. These include the world’s largest example of Tiffany glass and sculptures of the Grecian gods Minerva, Hercules and Mercury.
Once inside the building, visitors will come face-to-face with pop culture’s perennial meeting place. The main information booth inside the Main Concourse proudly supports a four-sided clock that is easily the most recognizable item in the entire building. While wandering throughout the Main Concourse, we strongly encourage you to take a good, hard look up. The ceiling of Grand Central Station is covered in a interact mural depicting the constellations of the cosmos. This masterpiece was recently re-discovered in 1999 during the terminal’s extensive 12 year restoration program. It turns out that the mural, which had been painted back in 1912, was cruelly obscured by decades of cigarette smoke. From the Main Concourse, visitors are invited to head downstairs onto Grand Central Station’s official Dining Concourse. There are currently 95 retail stores and restaurants located on this concourse including Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse and the landmark Oyster Bar.
Don’t Miss the Train! Interesting Facts about New York’s Beloved Central Station
- Grand Central Station is not a station at all. It is a terminal. Trains can only come in and out of Grand Central one way. Therefore, all train rides “terminate” inside Grand Central.
- Over 125,000 local commuters utilize Grand Central Station every day. More than 575,000 visitors stop in to admire the station every day.
- An astonishing 98% of the trains at Grand Central Station arrive and depart on time.
- More than 19,000 items are currently logged at the Grand Central Station Lost and Found. The most common item? Coast and jackets. Grand Central boasts a 60% return rate for most lost items. This includes a 98% return rate on computes and iPods.
- More than 10,000 meals are served inside the terminal daily.
No visit to New York City would be complete without a stop at the national icon of transportation. If you would like to learn more about Grand Central Station before embarking on your upcoming New York City trip please visit the official website at www.grandcentralterminal.com. The main entrance to Grand Central Station is located at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. The station is open daily from 5:30am to 1:20am. Shops are normally open from 8am to 9pm.
Hungry? No Problem!
Grand Central has a surprising array of food establishments considering that it’s a railroad station. It houses expensive up-scale restaurants as well as more casual fare (food-court style), shops and a market with gourmet foods.
Be sure to check out the Grand Central Market, located on the east side of the terminal, for some fun and interesting food shopping.
Location and Directions
Grand Central Terminal is located at Park Avenue and 42nd Street.
By subway, take the 4, 5, 6, or 7 train to the Grand Central stop.