Connecting Long Island to Manhattan
New York City’s next great transportation hub
A much-anticipated, one-seat ride to and from Manhattan is now a reality with the opening of Grand Central Madison. The new 700,000-square-foot rail terminal and concourse, located 10 stories below Grand Central Station, offers eight new tracks on four platforms — enabling direct Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service to Manhattan’s Midtown East business district while providing direct connections to existing Metro North Railroad and New York City Transit subway services.
Previously known as East Side Access, this new transit terminal — the largest in the United States — marks a generational shift for transit and for travelers in the region. The opening of Grand Central Madison allows the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to greatly expand LIRR service, which in turn will shorten daily commutes. In addition to serving LIRR passengers, the new terminal will relieve congestion at Penn Station on Manhattan’s west side.
Easier travel and smoother connections
The new service to Manhattan’s East Side, made possible by Grand Central Madison, delivers on key MTA goals to increase capacity and deliver easier travel and smoother connections. The agency estimates that more than 160,000 passengers per day will save up to 40 minutes on their trips.
In addition to shaving time off train travel, new tunnel connections in eastern Queens linking the LIRR Main Line and Port Washington Branch to the 63rd Street Tunnel under the East River, are expected to increase train capacity in and out of Manhattan by almost 50 percent. The influx of new passengers, combined with easier commutes, is expected to allow for growth along the East Side route and positively impact economic recovery efforts for neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and Queens.
MTA’s largest construction project
We served as the overall program manager and construction manager for Grand Central Madison — the largest construction project ever undertaken by the MTA. Our team also provided the design of the new terminal as the Architects of Record and delivered structural design services as a subconsultant to the general engineering consultant, a joint venture composed of WSP, STV and Parsons Corporation.
Grand Central Madison’s concourse is located within the footprint of the existing Madison Yard on Grand Central Terminal’s lower level, with design features that complement one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable public transit spaces. The new terminal includes escalator, elevator and stair connections to the dining concourse and the old arrivals waiting room, along with connections to the 45th Street and 47th Street cross-passages.
A winning formula for the New York Region
Realizing a vision that was decades in the making, the new Grand Central Madison is a transformational transit terminal. Offering a one-seat ride to and from Manhattan, appreciably shorter commute times and enhanced economic development opportunities for communities served by this line, the new terminal and its expanded transit service is life-changing.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul, among the first passengers as the train pulled into the terminal on opening day, summed it up best: “Infrastructure is all about connections, and this project is an extraordinary step forward to better connect millions of New Yorkers with their homes, their families and their jobs.”
Banner photo credit: MTA