GRAND CENTRAL STATION
The terminal is the third-busiest train station in North America, after Toronto Union Station and New York Penn Station. The distinctive architecture and interior design of Grand Central Terminal’s station house have earned it several landmark designations, including as a National Historic Landmark. Its Beaux-Arts design incorporates numerous works of art. Grand Central Terminal is one of the world’s ten most visited tourist attractions, with 21.9 million visitors in 2013, excluding train and subway passengers. The terminal’s main concourse is often used as a meeting place, and is especially featured in films and television. Grand Central Terminal contains a variety of stores and food vendors, including a food court on its lower-level concourse. Grand Central Terminal was built by and named for the New York Central Railroad; it also served the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad and, later, successors to the New York Central. Opened in 1913, the terminal was built on the site of two similarly named predecessor stations, the first of which dates to 1871. Grand Central covers 48 acres and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. Its platforms, all below ground, serve 30 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower. Currently, 43 tracks are in use for passenger service; two dozen more serve as a rail yard and sidings. Unlike most stations in the Metro-North system, Grand Central Terminal is owned by Midtown Trackage Ventures, a private company, rather than by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates Metro-North and most of its stations, including Grand Central.