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Grand Central Terminal, New York - Iconic Railway Stations


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One of the Big Apple's most famous landmarks, Grand Central Terminal officially opened in February 1913, ten years after construction began, at a cost of more than $2bn in today’s money.

At the time, it was New York’s largest construction project ever, with 32 miles of track connecting to 46 tracks and 30 platforms. It was also one of the world’s first all-electric buildings.

Currently, Grand Central has 44 platforms and the main concourse is 275ft long, 120ftwide and 125ft high. Its architectural grandeur, including the ceiling decorated with the signs of the zodiac, has long been celebrated, with historian David Cannadine describing it as "one of the 20th century’s most elaborate and majestic buildings".

The threat of demolition first presented itself in the 1950s, when railroad companies were fast losing money. However, a public campaign successfully ensured the continuation of Grand Central as a transport hub.

This was followed by a refurbishment period, and the station was returned to its former glory. Works included the restoration of the main concourse ceiling, an overhaul of the terminal’s superstructure and the installation of a purely electronic arrival/departure display board.

Developers SL Green has also announced plans to invest $210m in renovations, as part of plans for the 65-storey One Vanderbilt tower, west of Grand Central Terminal.

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