Grand Central Station is Manhattan's main train interchange.
It was first opened in 1913, and has recently been renovated to its former glory.
It is fabulous! I have never seen such a station. There is a huge marble central hall, with atrium dining areas. There is also a large food hall below this and numerous shops and great bars.
It is certainly a whole lot more than just a train station!
At Grand Central, Metro North is the way to get to points north of NYC. It's a great way to visit interesting cities on the Hudson as well as cities in Connecticut not to mention the ease of traveling long distances in a shorter time frame without the added headache of driving.
I use to commute daily on the Metro North when I lived in Riverdale, these days I use Metro North to visit my daughter in White Plains when I just don't want to drive.
Check out their website for interesting day trips out of NYC.
New York's Grand Central Station (a.k.a. Grand Central Terminal or GCT) is the terminus for the Metro North Railway's Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven commuter rail lines. Used primarily by commuters, these rail lines can also get tourists to outlying cities such as Yonkers and White Plains. Conversely, thrifty travelers can stay outside of the city and commute in using the Metro North Railway. Once at GCT, travelers can transfer to the Subway easily, as the station is served by lines 4,5,6,7, and S. Amtrak trains do not go to GCT; they stop at Penn Station, located about 12 blocks away. There is currently no direct connection between GCT and Penn Station (though there is one under construction scheduled to open in 2016). To get from GCT to Penn Station, take the S train (or 7 train late nights) to 42nd Street/Times Square, then transfer to the 1,2, or 3 train to 34th Street/Penn Station.
The station itself is quite a tourist attraction, with grand halls, eateries, and shops. Gaping tour groups mix with commuters milling about the Grand Concourse. Especially on a rainy day, this is not a bad place to grab a coffee and pastry from a booth, relax, and people-watch.
While you can purchase Metro North Railway tickets on the train, you will pay a substantial surcharge. The easiest way to buy tickets is to use an MNR touch-screen machine at the station. Machines are multi-lingual and accept credit cards. While you can save a bit of money ordering advance tickets by mail or Internet, these are usually not practical options for tourists.
GCT (in addition to Penn Station) is the hub for commuters. If you are heading north of the city to get away to the country then this is your starting point. Unfortunately, once you get to your destination unless you have someone picking you up you will need a car. Trains run frequently and the tickets are reasonable.
People watching in Grand Central is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!! I recommend sitting down at one of the bars with a friend and spending a good hour there.
The United States is not exactly noted for its mass transit system which is not surprising considering the part it played in popularizing the automobile. While the latter development has brought about great individual freedom it has resulted in the ruination of what was once at least a plausible train network crossing the busiest parts of the admitted large land mass that is the US. Don't get me wrong, I love a road trip as much as anyone and I have done many in the most remote areas of the United States, but when it comes to traversing the densely populated East Coast, it would be nice to have more reasonably priced options. New York City not only has one of the best intercity mass transit systems, but is also about as well-connected by train as any city in the US. Amtrak runs from all the big cities of the east coast to New York City with the short 90 minute trip to Philadelphia making it a possible commute. Another negative of the deterioration of the train network in the US is the loss of some of the great old train stations. Thankfully, the cities that still have trains are sprucing up their grand old stations which was much needed and deserved. This are historical buildings and the truth is train travel in the US in not cheap and those using it should be catered to a bit. New York's Grand Central Station is a prime example of such restoration and the 1998 endeavor unveiled a gorgeous astronomical ceiling that had been covered for numerous years.
I have come into the City by train on past trips but our resent visit was from Florida and we flew into Philadelphia. The train would have been an option but a friend that we were going to the City with was driving up from Baltimore anyway so we got a ride with him. That said, Grand Central Station is one of those free attractions that New York is full of and we went over one morning and enjoyed walking around the historical old station which was quite photographic.
89 East 42nd Street at Park Avenue,
New York City, NY 10017
Grand Central Terminal (GCT) is indeed very grand! It, and nearby Penn Station, are the main access points for all trains to/from NYC.
GCT offers a host of shops, restaurants, and other services. A wonderful place to visit, even if you're not taking a train!
I've always called it "Grand Central Station," but technically it's a terminal because trains both originate and terminate here. The Metro North Railroad operates from here and trains connect NYC to the northern suburbs and Connecticut.
You can also catch the subway from here.
Many trains arrive in to Grand Central Terminal from surrounding areas, however, it is a site to see in itself. There is the famous clock and the turquoise backed astrological frescos on the ceilings, marble halls that lead from track to track...it is a lovely way to travel. Located on 42nd street between Madison and Lexington avenues
Grand Central now is nothing from what it used to be. Originally a shared depot on 42nd street it quickly became Grand Central Station. According to the official web site considered one of the three top engineering marvels of the 19th century for the glass and steel train shed.
The current version came about due to the ban of steam powered trains below 42nd street and also the horrid tunnel conditions from using steam power. So with electrification came the burial of the trains. Thus only needing the Terminal building at the end of the line. The new Grand Central Terminal opened in 1913.
In recent years it has undergone a major cleaning and refurbishing. You can still see what the ceiling used to look like if you look in the north west corner of the main floor. This may be viewed as a mistake but really there is only one mistake in the ceiling.
If you look closely, you will notice that the entire ceiling painting of the zodiac is backwards. Seems the artist that painted it had the picture sitting on top of his ladder so he would paint what he looked down on instead of holding it above and painting it correctly.
Grand Central Terminal (often still called Grand Central Station, although technically that is the name of the nearby post office and New York City Subway station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line) serves as a terminal stop for the Metro North Transit system as well as a station stop for several subway lines (4, 5, 6, 7, and S).
Originally opened in October of 1871 as the Grand Central Depot, it was torn down and rebuilt between the years 1903 and 1913 when it re-opened in it's current design. During the 1990s, the station was extensively renovated. These renovations were mostly finished in 1998, though some of the minor refits (such as the replacement of eletromechanical train info displays by the entry of each track with electronic displays) were not completed until 2000. The most striking effect was the restoration of the Main Concourse ceiling, revealing the painted skyscape and constellations which had been painted in 1912 by French artist Paul César Helleu and that had been hidden beneath soot and grime. Other modifications included a complete overhaul of the Terminal's superstructure and the replacement of the electromechanical Omega Board train arrival/departure display with a purely electronic display that was designed to fit into the architecture of the Terminal aesthetically.
In addition to it's bustling crowd, it's fuction in the transit system, Grand Central Terminal also houses numerous restaurants and shops of all varieties. It's can be considered a shopper's haven and I for one enjoy shopping at the Grand Central Market where I find authentic European hams and cheeses.
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