The largest train station in the world by platforms is an architectural marvel with more than 100 years of history

The largest train station in the world by platforms is an architectural marvel with more than 100 years of history
The largest train station in the world by platforms is an architectural marvel with more than 100 years of history
  • Grand Central Terminal spans 19 hectares and has 44 platforms and 67 tracks.

  • Additionally, it is home to several restaurants, clothing stores, and an App Store.

If we were to ask where the largest train station in the world by number of platforms is located, we would probably many would say that in China. The Asian giant loves megastructures, so this response would not be crazy at all. However, so far he has not managed to lift this title.

The correct answer is the United States.

Grand Central Terminal is located in New York City. It is a transportation center whose immensity and global recognition do not go unnoticed. We are talking about a train station inaugurated in 1913 that extends over 19 hectares and has 44 platforms and 67 tracks.

Grand Central Terminal, an icon of New York

There is no other terminal station on the planet with a similar number of platforms. The Grand Central Terminal It was built at a time in history when it was believed that long-distance rail transportation would continue to grow. This would force many vehicles to be left patiently parked until their next trip.

The station, in fact, began to be built in 1903 in a poorly developed area of ​​the American metropolis. This decision resulted in criticism, but proponents of the project were confident that this terminal would serve as an engine of economic growth. And so it was, the neighborhood began to prosper in an extraordinary way.

In what we now know as Midtown Manhattan, skyscrapers were erected and a gallery was opened at the station and an art school, a cinema and a museum of railway history. By 1930 it was the busiest train station in the United States and the epicenter of long-distance trains such as Fast Mail and Water-Level Limited.

The facade of Gran Central Terminal seen from 42nd Street

But not everything was rosy for the season. The world of transportation evolved. After breaking annual passenger records in the mid-1940s, a decline began to show. Passengers had several alternatives to the railway for their long-distance trips, such as the plane or the car (also thanks to the new roads).

The sector and the railway company behind Grand Central Terminal were not having the best of times, so in the 1950s and 1960s several proposals arose. to demolish the terminal. In 1967, however, the station was designated a city landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

In Grand Central Terminal all the platforms are underground and are distributed on two levels

Although this imposing facility managed to avoid the threat of closure, even after several improvements at both an operational and commercial level, the lack of maintenance caused the structure to suffer the passage of time. There were leaks in the roof, loose masonry, rust on structural steel and more.

Towards the end of the 1980s the revitalization stage began. Metro-North took the lead in a plan to improve 435 million dollars. The work included cleaning the main concourse roof, lobby improvements and structural repairs. In other words, a comprehensive tune-up.

The four-sided clock at the Grand Central Terminal information booth

Today, Grand Central Terminal is among the most visited tourist sites in New York City. In addition, the Beaux-Arts style building on the outside and with elements such as the tiled roof by Valencian Rafael Guastavino stands out nationally for its architectural beauty.

The station is open to the public every day from 05:15 to 02:00. This is a place with many highlights. Among them we find the main information post, on which there is a four face clock decorated with the Vanderbilt acorn (the family crest of the station’s original builder).

Main Concourse, the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal

It seems that clocks are important at the station since there is another one in the main lobby that indicates Eastern Time. Outside, there is also the largest Tiffany clock in the world. The ceiling, for its part, has the Zodiac painted on it. Let us remember that we are in front of a building that is much more than a train station.

There is a food court with a dozen options, although there is one that stands out above the rest. This is the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, which is the oldest restaurant in the station. It offers up to 25 types of fish, 30 varieties of oysters, selected wines and more. As we can see, it is a famous restaurant.

There are also clothing stores like Banana Republic and technology stores like an Apple store. The Cupertino company opened this App Store in December 2011. It is a huge space with a lot of spaces in which to try all the devices in its catalog.

Images | Apple | Wikimedia Commons | Mike Peel CC-BY-SA-4.0 | Eric Baetscher | MTA

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