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.
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
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.
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.
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.