Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA
Grand Central Opens New Chapter as Central Point of Region’s Transportation Network Connecting Metro-North Railroad, the Long Island Rail Road and New York City Transit
Retail Recovery Booming in Last Year, With 68 of 92 Locations Now Open
Just eight days after the historic first train from Long Island, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials today celebrated the 110th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal, which opened its doors on Feb. 2, 1913, before becoming the home to Metro-North Railroad in 1983 and undergoing a complete renovation under the MTA between 1994 and 1998. In 1975 the terminal was threatened by a redevelopment project but was rescued by the advocacy from former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and approval by the United States Supreme Court.
One hundred and ten years after opening, 44 years after being saved from the demolition, 24 years after its rededication by the MTA, and 16 months after the MTA completed a historic upgrade to expand the capacity of the New York City Subway’s 42 St Shuttle, Grand Central has begun a new chapter as the expanded house of the two busiest commuter railroads in the country.
Grand Central’s renowned clock still sits in the middle of the terminal’s main concourse, but now a new facility the length of the Chrysler Building on its side sits more than a hundred feet below the terminal’s lower level. The opening of Grand Central Madison helps complete a decades’-long dream of a single complex serving two railroads and counties all over the region in one facility, uniting Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Putnam, Dutchess, the Bronx, Queens, and Connecticut all under one roof for the first time.
“There are few buildings that stood the test of time and have as much history between its walls as Grand Central Terminal. From its acorn lightbulbs to its iconic clock, the Terminal is the heart of New York City,” said Metro-North President and LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi. “And now with LIRR operating service to the Grand Central Madison concourse, even more New Yorkers will have occasion to pass through the historic Terminal. As the years move on, many things in New York City will change, but Grand Central Terminal will be here.”
“Railroads come to mind first when you think of Grand Central, but the subway station actually predates the terminal, opening in 1904 as one of the original subway stations,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “Today Grand Central remains one of the busiest stops in the system, serving the Lexington Avenue and 7 lines, along with the 42nd St Shuttle, and will continue to carry New Yorkers for more decades to come.”
Retail recovery has accelerated since last year, with 68 of 92 retail locations now open at the terminal. City Winery, located at Vanderbilt Hall, recently opened, and the renowned Oyster Bar has reopened on the Dining Concourse level.
At 1:19 p.m., the 110th anniversary train – a local train from Stamford to Grand Central – arrived on Track 27. MTA officials greeted passengers and distributed commemorative stickers.
“Grand Central Terminal is the epicenter of New York’s mass transit system, and now after more than half a century, the major infrastructure project resulting in the opening of Grand Central Madison Station has finally reached the finish line,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “Grand Central Madison finally connects Westchester to our neighboring counties and our fellow New Yorkers and offers Westchester residents the option to reach events such as the U.S. Open, the Belmont Stakes, and NY Rangers Hockey Games versus the New York Islanders, all without driving their car to the event. I want to thank our partners at the MTA for their steadfast commitment to seeing this project through, as we celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Grand Central Terminal.”
“It’s another historic day for the MTA as we celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Grand Central Terminal,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “This is a special anniversary because now for the first time it is possible to arrive at Grand Central Station from Long Island, a game changer for our region. Here’s to 110 more years of innovation and success for Long Island and New York driven by the architectural and transportation gem that is Grand Central Station.”
“Grand Central Terminal is both an architectural gem and a key transportation hub for the New York region that has served us so well for 110 years,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “The opening of Grand Central Madison has begun a new and exciting era for this magnificent terminal, as Grand Central is now directly accessible to those traveling from Queens and Long Island on the LIRR. I am so glad Queens residents now have an easier way to reach this amazing 110-year-old landmark.”
“It’s a widely known secret among Metro-North riders that the magic of New York City begins when arriving at Grand Central Terminal. What a great feeling to know that LIRR riders will now have the opportunity to experience the same with the opening of Grand Central Madison,” said Deputy Commissioner for Westchester County’s Planning Department and MTA Board Member Blanca Lopez. “The expansion of the terminal marks a new chapter in the rich history of this magnificent station. It is a perfect way to celebrate its 110th Anniversary by remembering its past and looking forward to its future. Metro-North Railroad commuters, in particular commuters from Westchester County, join in the celebration by wishing Grand Central Terminal a Happy 110th Anniversary!”
“Grand Central Terminal is truly the Grande Dame of transit hubs, and the nexus of the New York region in many ways,” said Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA Lisa Daglian. “This extraordinary terminal continues to grow and evolve with the times, showing that – even at 110 – you can teach an old train hall new tricks. The Beaux-Arts beauty is now home to the largest transit network in the world, bringing together riders from Metro-North, the Long Island Rail Road and five subway lines, with connections to buses, taxis and so much more right outside its gilded doors, all while offering a huge variety of food and shopping options under its twinkly roof. It is particularly fitting that we’re recognizing Grand Central’s 110th birthday during Transit Equity Week as it begins bringing in even more riders from across the region to opportunity, with discount fares like City Ticket that make it more affordable for more New Yorkers. Happy birthday Grand Central, your riders adore you!”
“Grand Central figures prominently in so many New York memories. My earliest reminiscence of being in Grand Central Terminal goes back to my childhood, when my parents put me on a train to go to summer camp aboard a New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad train,” said MTA Board Member and Chair of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council Randolph Glucksman. “I still remember how magnificent the surroundings were, as they continue to be to this day. I have been privileged to attend ceremonies that have been held in this wonderful space for various milestone anniversaries, along with ceremonies honoring one of GCT’s saviors, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and acknowledging John Bell and Peter Stangl, who were responsible for the renovation of this grand space.”
“After many years of planning and construction, LIRR riders will now get to experience the grandeur of Grand Central Terminal, the Cathedral of North American railways, as a result of the opening of the Grand Central Madison Station below the historic terminal,” said Chair of the LIRR Commuter Council and MTA Board Member Gerard Bringmann. “While brand new, this monumental station was designed in the same classic style as the magnificent terminal above and will now give commuters from Long Island direct access to Manhattan’s east side, saving them approximately 40 minutes a day. Truly a new Era has begun.”
Grand Central Terminal Fact Sheet
Feb. 2, 1913 – Grand Central Terminal Opens (built by the New York Central Railroad)
Early 1970s – The Terminal was threatened by a redevelopment project but was rescued by the advocacy from former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and approval by the United States Supreme Court.
On Jan. 25, 2023 – Terminal complex expanded five-fold, when Grand Central Madison opened bringing the Long Island Rail Road to the east side for the first time.
- 27 upper level
- 13 lower level
768 trains operate in and out of the terminal daily.
- 35,000-square feet
- At the center of the concourse is an information booth topped with a four-sided brass clock, one of Grand Central’s most recognizable icons.
The building’s massive Tiffany clock was installed in 1914. At the time it was the world’s largest Tiffany clock at around 14-feet.
One-Way Subway Trips Stopping at Grand Central
There are a total of eight tracks and four platforms on the subway lines that stop at Grand Central – four tracks and two platforms on the Lexington Avenue Line (4, 5, 6), two tracks and one platform on the Flushing Line (7), and two tracks and one platform on the 42nd Street Shuttle (S).
There are 768 Metro-North trains that travel in and out of Grand Central Terminal daily.
Grand Central Madison
- 714,000 square feet
- Runs from 43rd to 48th streets
- 17 escalators take passengers from the concourse level to track level
- 4 upper level
- 4 lower level
38 Grand Central Madison Direct shuttle trains run in and out of the terminal daily.
296 weekday trains will run in and out of Grand Central Madison daily once full service begins.
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