Kid Free Travel

A world of fascinating…train stations?

I know, I know…when you think of train stations “fascinating” probably isn’t the word that comes to mind. If you happened to check out CNN’s site today they agree that there are some AMAZING train stations in the world. To check out there list go HERE.

I have to say that I never thought of a train station as being spectacular or fascinating until I went to Grand Central Station a few years ago. It sounds cliche, but I was amazed when I finally saw the station in person. The architecture, the amazing ceiling, the light streaming in from the windows…it all added to a surreal almost old world effect that was gorgeous.

image via Mike_fleming (flickr)

image via Mike_fleming (flickr)

Grand Central Terminal (aka Grand Central Station) is located in the heart of New York City at 89 East 42nd Street at Park Avenue. Grand Central Depot, as it was named in its original form, was opened in 1871 and served three main rail lines in the city. The station has undergone several rebuilds over its history and the most recent incarnation turned 100 years old just this year.

I was reading up on Grand Central Terminal today and the history surrounding something that most think is rather mundane, a train station, is quite fascinating. Some of the fun facts about the station:

  • With its official opening at 12:01am on Sunday, February 2, 1913 Grand Central Terminal welcomed over 150,000 visitor on that first day
  • The terminal has 44 platforms and 67 tracks
  • The stars painted on the terminal ceiling are oddly painted backwards, some think this is because it was painted as being from God’s point of view.
  • There was so much tar from nicotine smoke that it took cleaners over a year to remove all of the grime
  • It was the first all-electric station (when the original station opened in 1871 it serviced steam locomotives)
  • The clock in the main concourse has an opal face that is valued at over $10 million.
  • There is a secret sub-basement known as M42 under the terminal which does not appear in maps
  • Travel and Leisure magazine recently named Grand Central Station as #6 in a list of the World’s Most -Visited Tourist Attractions, with an astounding 21.6 million annual visitors.
  • The Oyster Bar is the oldest restaurant in the terminal and opened with it in 1913

I’d love to take a tour of the station at some point and get the details on more of the history of the station.

Of the train stations you have visited in your travels, which have been the most memorable? Share your favs in the comment section below!


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