Grand Central Terminal (NYCMTA)

Grand Central Terminal was built in 1913 by the New York Central Railroad, at the intersection of 42nd St. and Park Avenue in central Manhattan, New York City. The station is largely timeless and iconic in American culture, to the point where “Meet me at the clock” is synonymous with Grand Central. In the present day, it’s the terminus of Metro-North’s East of Hudson ops. In 2023 (a year ago as of writing this!), the MTA built East Side Access which brought the LIRR about 20 stories beneath Grand Central into a new concourse called “Grand Central Madison”. However, I’m just referring to the whole station (MNRR, LIRR, and subway) as “Grand Central Terminal”. With that out of the way, I present: GRAND! CENTRAL ! TERMINAL!!!!!!!

Station signage at the Flushing Line platform

So, starting off the station review at the Flushing Line platform, the platforms are largely normal, being an island configuration. You, of course, have benches and wastebaskest, usual stuff. The Lexington Ave. Line’s platforms are above the Flushing Line’s, and is the same deal, just with two islands and 4 tracks instead. From there, a very long concourse connects the two platforms over to the shuttle platform for Times Square service, and heading out through the concourses, it can get quite crowded. Bleh.

This was at Times Square, but it’s still a Flushing Line train no less.
Oh HELL NO, crowded concourse!
Mosaic at the Lexington Ave. line’s platform
An R62A
A veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long concourse
The shuttle platform
Finally, out of the subway station!

Entering the concourses from here, there’s entrances to Summit, TD Bank, and various other things, and at this point I got lost and just exited the station. So, off to the streets of Park Ave. and eventually back into Grand Central! Eventually, I reentered by where the shuttle exit is, and into Grand Central! WOOO!!! From here, I decided to check out the NYC Transit Museum, which was pretty cool, and then commence the full review of Grand Central’s headhouse. It was AMAZING!!! It’s so huge too! There’s shopping everywhere around the station, as if it’s a shopping mall in of itself. There’s a Metro-North ticket office in the center of the concourse, along with the famous clock and departure boards. There’s many other concourses here that are lined with many, many shops and behind the departure boards are the upper level Metro-North tracks. Neat! There’s even an Apple Store exclusive to the upper level! The lower level of Grand Central’s non-LIRR section has the dining concourse and even more tracks. Grand Central North is also pretty average and is much like the rest of the station.

The station headhouse. This is GORGEOUS!
The MetLife Building!
The entrance by Vanderbilt Ave.!
The Transit Museum
The Metro-North tracks
The main concourse. This is HUGE!
The Apple Store!
Even more shopping!
Grand Central Market!
The dining concourse!

Moving on to the LIRR concourse. It’s alright. I mean, it’s clean for what it is, and there’s amenities down there. Among them are your usual restrooms, ticketing office, waiting area, and 4 sets of tracks (tracks 201-204 and 301-304). However, where’s the seating at the tracks and in the concourse itself? Furthermore, the hike down to track level is REALLY REALLY LONG. LIKE, PERHAPS EVEN LONGER THAN PORTER SQUARE. YIKES! But overall, the concourse is alright, there’s signs that Andrew Cuomo was involved (if it says “EXCELSIOR!” it was probably Cuomo!), and there’s art in a couple of places.

The entryway into the LIRR concourse
A concourse
The main LIRR concourse
Departures. Actually very small vs. in MNRR’s concourse
An M9!
Towards limbo!

The good: The LIRR concourse is brand spankin’ new! Furthermore, the station is just outright gorgeous and is probably a 10/10 in appearances alone. The subway station is pretty good as well, even if the MTA prioritizes function over form. Metro-North also frequently departs from here and, at rush hour, it can get REALLY BUSY. Then again, this is also the THIRD BUSIEST STATION IN THE ENTIRE FREAKIN’ COUNTRY. YES, IT’S THAT MAJOR A STATION.

The bad: The LIRR concourse is a mile deep! It’s also a little easy to get lost… But, surely, it can’t get worse, right? Right??????

Nearby points of interest: The station itself! Bryant Park is nearby, and you have LITERALLY ALL OF EAST-OF-HUDSON METRO-NORTH AND MOST ELECTRIC LIRR TERRITORY. The Lexington Ave. Line runs here with the #s 4-6 routes running through as well, and the Flushing Line’s #7 route to Hudson Yards and, well, Flushing. There’s also many a local and express bus connection as well to the other boroughs.

Transit connections:
Metro-North (Harlem, Hudson, New Haven, New Canaan, Danbury)
LIRR (Port Washington, Hempstead, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Far Rockaway, Babylon, West Hempstead, Long Beach)
42nd St. Shuttle
Flushing (7)
Lexington Ave. (4, 5, 6)
MTA bus (M1, M2, M3, M4, M42, M101, M102, M103, Q32, BxM1, BxM3, BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM8, BxM9, BxM10, BxM11, BxM18, BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, BM5, QM21, QM31, QM32, QM34, QM35, QM36, QM40, QM42, QM44, SIM4C, SIM6, SIM8, SIM8X, SIM11, SIM22, SIM23, SIM24, SIM26, X27, X28, X34, X38, X63, X64, X68)

Overall, I really like Grand Central. It’s easily got to be the most gorgeous station I’ve reviewed thus far, and is probably a contender for “most beautiful stations I’ll ever visit”. Will anything beat it? I doubt it. Nevertheless, even the LIRR area is beautiful despite its flaws. And with that, that concludes the review of the 3rd busiest station in North America. I mean, it’s a great station, but a part of me feels like I can’t do it enough justice…

Rating: 10/10


Author: chelsea

i own this site and write.

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