Grand Central Terminal Endures as Transportation Icon

Posted on April 24, 2013 by Janna Starcic, Executive Editor

Page 1 of 2

Designed in the French Beaux-Arts style, the structure features the world’s largest Tiffany clock.
Designed in the French Beaux-Arts style, the structure features the world’s largest Tiffany clock.
This year, New York City’s Grand Central Terminal celebrates its 100th anniversary. The iconic building, which began its storied history as the “gateway to America” has since survived the threat of the wrecking ball, decline and disrepair, to emerge revitalized as a popular destination and lasting monument to the city’s rebirth.

“Hundredth anniversaries come and go, but when it’s a building that you almost lost, it’s sort of a reminder that we didn’t,” says historian and lecturer Anthony W. Robins, who recently co-authored, with the staff of the New York Transit Museum, a new book commemorating the landmark.

Storied beginnings
Acclaimed as the “largest and greatest railway terminal in the world,” Grand Central was completed in 1913, after 10 years of construction, at a cost of $80 million. Before the terminal’s construction, steam trains serviced the original Grand Central Station. But, after a horrific accident in 1902, when trains collided in a smoke-filled tunnel, the switch to electric trains began. With electrification, engineer William J. Wilgus developed the idea of sinking the train tracks underground. This would create prime real estate above the rail yard, which could be sold or leased to help pay for the cost of the project. This followed the new concept of “air rights.”

Serving commuter and long distance rail lines, the terminal encompassed nearly 70 acres, with two levels of underground track. The terminal building had separate concourses for the various incoming and outgoing trains to help with passenger flow, who reached the different levels of the underground terminal using ramps. It was the first terminal to make use of this element as a mechanism to move people.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Bombardier contracted to extend Phoenix airport people mover

The contract is valued at approximately $305 million and includes options for three additional vehicles as well as for various vehicle retrofits and upgrades.  

Siemens, partners deliver automated peoplemover for Frankfurt Airport

The company will deliver 12 fully automated two-car trains equipped with GoA4 Communication Based Train Control Trainguard MT CBTC, the track work equipment, the station platform doors, communication system, depot equipment, and the power supply system.

FRA taking proactive approach to help railroads meet PTC requirement

At the direction of Secretary Elaine L. Chao, the FRA is taking a proactive approach to ensure railroads acquire, install, test, and fully implement certified PTC systems in time to meet the congressional interim deadline of Dec. 31, 2018.

Despite federal uncertainty, N.C. light rail project optimistic about funding

Half of the Durham-Orange light rail’s cost — totaling over a billion dollars — is expected to come from the federal government.

Las Vegas Monorail unveils Google Pay mobile ticketing

The Monorail now offers riders the ability to quickly and easily purchase fares online and use their phone at the fare gates for immediate transit access to everything along the Las Vegas Strip.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close