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Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:09 AM

Memorable moments in Grand Central's 100 years

For the most part, train terminals are desperate places. They're an unavoidable evil linking us to somewhere else -- but not before assaulting us with tepid coffee, drafty waiting rooms and smelly, ugly ticket halls.

Manhattan's Grand Central Terminal, which turns 100 this month, is a glorious exception.

But it's not just its iconic opal-faced clock (a century old and valued at more than $10 million), flawless marble staircases (modeled on those in the Paris Opera House) and gleaming chandeliers (fitted with 35,000 custom-designed, low-energy light bulbs) that lend Grand Central a sense of golden age grandeur.

The terminal -- not station, never station -- also has a fascinating history, with stories to rival Manhattan's better known, pointier landmarks.
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An entire history at this link: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/01/travel/grand-central-terminal-100-year-anniversary/index.html

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Reply Memorable moments in Grand Central's 100 years (Original post)
Renew Deal Feb 2013 OP
pinto Feb 2013 #1
JohnnyRingo Feb 2013 #2
jerseyjack Feb 2013 #3

Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:33 AM

1. Train fan here. Thanks for the post.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 10:45 AM

2. I took a train trip to NYC about 15 years ago.

It was on the 150 year old Broadway Special that travels from Chicago to Penn Station in Manhattan (That's the name of an age-old train route, not an actual train).

I got on in nearby Youngstown Ohio and rode in comfort through the back yards of Pennsylvania and around the historic Horseshoe Curve. We switched trains in Philly and zoomed along the urban tracks at about 90mph into New York City. I arrived hours before the New Years Eve celebration there, and walked up the steps into the sunlight of Manhattan. The next day I boarded with my hangover for the smooth rickety-rick ride home.

It was a long but very enjoyable ride. The seats were big and comfy with lots of leg room, and unlike airplane seats, actually reclined. When I got bored of watching the scenery roll by through the large window and reading, I wandered up to the bar car for a few beers and a game of cards with my fellow travelers.

People on cross country train trips are anxious to talk to you. They know they'll never see you again after that day, and really open up. We should absolutely revive rail travel in this country. Unfortunately, Amtrak closed the Youngstown station soon after my trip, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I still have the deck of Amtrac souvenir playing cards.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 11:38 AM

3. The iconic photo of the interior with the beams of light...

 

Smoking was allowed inside the building. I suspect the sunbeams were emphasized because of the smoke in the building.

I wonder if that photo could ever be duplicated.

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