Rail

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

Feds wants more proof of local money for Durham-Orange light rail line

Go Triangle expects its Board of Trustees to vote April 26 on a $70 million engineering contract, which would be executed only after the FTA allows the project to advance.

SEPTA trains collide, injuring 4

Crews are still working to remove the 18 cars involved, with each car weighing about 37 tons. The NTSB is on the scene and fully in charge of the investigation.

Minn. legislators attempting to move $900M from rail to roads, bridges

GOP legislators have long sought to block planning and funding for light-rail projects, saying they put metro-area priorities above rural Minnesota.

Alstom secures $105M Australian trainset contract

The contract will expand PTV’s fleet to 101 trains (606 cars) delivered from Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Ballarat since 2002.

DC Streetcar fares to remain free

The decision to hold off on charging fares was based on two reasons — District Department of Transportation feared charging even $1 per ride would scare away passengers and charging a fare would actually cost the District money.

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

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