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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / MTA to begin service to Grand Central Madison on Wednesday

MTA to begin service to Grand Central Madison on Wednesday

By | January 24, 2023

Launch of shuttles will mark beginning of operation for long-delayed East Side Access project

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Interior of new station
Interior of new station
Grand Central Madison, the long-awaited Long Island Rail Road facility beneath Grand Central Terminal, will open on Wednesday, Jan. 25. This is the concourse at 46th Street. MTA/Marc. A. Hermann

NEW YORK — More than a decade after it was first projected to begin — and after more than three weeks of ventilation-fan issues that delayed a final effort to open before the end of 2022  — New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will open its East Side Access project on Wednesday, bringing Long Island Rail Road service to a new station beneath Grand Central Terminal.

The first train is slated to arrive at Grand Central Madison, the new station some 140 feet below Park Avenue, at 11:07 a.m., after departing the Jamaica station in Queens at 10:45 a.m. The MTA had previously announced that initial service to Grand Central Madison would only be in the form of shuttles between Jamaica and the new station, operating hourly during weekday peak periods and half-hourly during other times [see “LIRR to begin Grand Central Madison operations with shuttle service …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 20, 2022]. Those frequencies reflect that the trains are being added to existing schedules. The LIRR has said it will provide at least three weeks’ notice before switching to a new schedule providing direct service to Grand Central Madison, as well as a 41% increase in overall trains.

More information, including schedules, is available here.

The $12.2 billion project was at one time projected to open in 2009 at a cost of $3 billion. Current MTA management had vowed to begin service in 2022 as part of a revamp of LIRR operations that will see 55% of trains continue to serve Penn Station while 45% go to the new facility. But efforts to make a ventilation fan move enough air to meet building codes, because of conflicting air movements from ventilation from existing fans at Grand Central Terminal, had stalled the effort [see “Ventilation fan effort continues to delay …,” News Wire, Jan. 12, 2023].

Escalators in train station
The escalators from the Grand Central Madison concourse to the mezzanine are the longest in the MTA system. MTA/Marc A. Hermann

8 thoughts on “MTA to begin service to Grand Central Madison on Wednesday

  1. Enough with the negative comments and references to the bad old days of the 60s and 70s. This new terminal is both an architectural and engineering feat that would surely make the orginal planners of Grand Central Terminal proud and this puts New York City on the map as a premier transportation hub and ceter for the nation if not the world. And when New York City does something big it shows in the design, planning and craftsmanship of both the builders and planners. As it can be said “that it was well worth the wait” The Long Island Railroad has another unique fact to add What other railroad can claim 3 terminals in the city ? they now serve Penn Station, Flatbush Avenue Barclays Center in Brooklyn and now Grand Central terminal and of course their headquarters in Jamaica Station in Queens Long Island where a lot of their trains start and end their runs as well
    Joseph C. Markfelder

  2. Pretty sure weekday peak service is half-hourly and hourly at other times which is the exact opposite of what’s written in the story.

    1. No, it’s exactly as it says, because they’re fitting it around the existing schedule, per the MTA’s own press releases: “Trains will run every 30 minutes in both directions during weekday midday periods and on weekends, and once per hour during peak periods (arriving in Grand Central between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. and departing between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)”

  3. Thank you Charles for the positive response. I agree. NYC today is far safer than when I lived in the area in the 60’s and 70’s.

  4. Too bad this wasn’t opened before the city went to crap. I would have been looking forward to a trip to NYC to ride in and out of GCM.

    1. Thousands of people will do just that tomorrow, and they will enjoy it. Only your preconceptions will keep you from joining them.

  5. I’m surely not the first to notice, or maybe it’s already been reported but I didn’t read it. From the top photo, the new concourse echos the architecture of the original GCT. Gorgeous!

    Another thing — here we have a public space that’s not wall-to-wall concessioners and advertising displays.

    1. Give the MTA some time to sell the space!
      The MTA wasn’t even sure when they would open this station.
      And one would expect advertising from day one! 🙂

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