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U.S.A.: Grand Central Terminal

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Grand Central Terminal | U.S.A. | Americas

[Visited: April 2005]

Right in the heart of Manhattan, the Grand Central Terminal has a truly appropriate name. Although sometimes referred to as Grand Central Station, it really is a terminal since all train lines terminate or originate here. As so many other things in New York, the size of the Grand Central is the first thing to note. Entering through one of the side entrances, it is easy to walk for a long time without any train in sight. Restaurants, shopping malls, all clean and seemingly new, after the restoration works in the 1990s.

Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: people rushing through the main hall

The Grand Central Terminal was built in 1913, in the golden age of railways and way before airline travel overtook railways as the main means of transportation. Although unfortunately the outside of the station was completely covered when I last visited, the grandness of the design can still be appreciated from hints sticking through the scaffolding. It overpowers you once you step inside. This railway station is in fact so big that there are actually tours to give visitors a guided impression of its grandeur.

Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: part of the central hall

While the concourses, the lower levels, the entrances are all impressive in themselves, the real heart of the building is the main hall. This is the pulsating centre of Grand Central Terminal. It is here that you will see passengers waiting in line to buy their tickets, consulting the information signs for departure times, waving goodbye to loved ones, hurrying to their trains on tracks that are largely hidden behind doors. It is also here that you will feel small when you look up at the blue-greenish ceiling, representing an evening sky with gilded stars and constellations. The literal centre pieces of the hall is the four-sided clock above the information booth, a landmark in itself and an easy meeting point.

Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: waiting for a train in the subway station
Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: clock dwarfed by sheer size of the building
Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: one side of the central hall
Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: trains waiting for a ride
Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: one of the painted figures on the ceiling of the central hall
Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: lamps lighting up one of the concourses
Picture of Grand Central Terminal (U.S.A.): Grand Central Terminal: entrance to the dining concourse

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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