New York City’s Grand Central Terminal turns 100!

The photo featured in this post was taken by me (HARTride 2012) during my 2011 visit to New York City.

Greetings everyone!

Grand Central Terminal, located in the heart of New York City, reached a significant milestone…it’s Centennial Birthday! 100 Years! With that said, I would like to take some time to share my own travels through Grand Central.

The first time that I traveled through Grand Central was in October of 1997, when my family and I rode Line 7 from Flushing (located in the borough of Queens) into the heart of Manhattan. During this time, the World’s Fair era “Redbird” trains were still in operation along Line 7 (and continued to operate on the line until 2003). However, I was far too young at the time to really appreciate the grandeur of Grand Central Terminal and I didn’t have much time to look around the station either, because my family and I were doing a lot of sightseeing.

My second visit to Grand Central in March of 2011 was much more humbling, as I was able to spend some time looking around the station’s many shops, snap some pictures of the main hall, and eat lunch (New York style pizza) in the underground food court. The thing I like the most about Grand Central is the main hall, and all of its beauty. From 1994 through the 2000s, Grand Central underwent a massive renovation to modernize and restore the facility. One of the key restoration projects was the ceiling of the main hall, which comprises of a painted mosaic. Over time, shopping and dining establishments were added to the facility to allow passengers to grab a quick bite to eat, and do a bit of shopping while waiting for their next train. In fact, according to the Grand Central Terminal website, there are nearly 70 shops and 35 dining establishments for passengers to take advantage of. One of the businesses in the terminal opened on December 9, 2011…can you guess which business this is? Find out the answer by clicking “Continue Reading”.

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Paris RER E Extension Approved

Happy February everyone!

For those of you who reside in Paris, I have some wonderful news to report! The planned extension of the commuter rail line E has been approved, making way for a possible start of construction date in 2014!

Note: I’ve obtained some the information used for this blog post from the International Railway Journal article, Paris RER Line E extension approved. I’ve provided a formal citation at the end of this post using the MLA format (via Citation Machine). The remaining parts of this post uses info from Symbioz, which is in French. You can use a translating service to view Symbioz in your respective language.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Parisian transports, Line E is part of the RER Commuter Rail network in Paris, France. RER stands for Réseau Express Régional, or Regional Express Rail. Much of the system was built in segments during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, with some segments utilizing former passenger rail lines that were established long ago (such as the Ligne de Sceaux, which is a part of the RER Line B today). Line E opened to passengers in 1999 and is the fifth line to be constructed in the RER system. The line was originally known as project EOLE (which meant Est Ouest Liaison Express) during its planning and construction [1][2].

The current route connects Gare St. Lazare and Gare du Nord (via station Magenta, where connections to RER Lines B & D are available) to the western suburbs of Noisy-le-Sec, Chelles-Gournay, Val de Fontenay (where it connects to RER Line A), Villier-sur-Marne, and Tournan (among many others) [1]. The planned extension would bring the RER E to Mantes-la-Jolie via the La Defense district,  partially via the existing infrastructure of SNCF (which is the French National Railway) and one of the branches of the RER A. The other segment of the extension will consist of a new 8km tunnel that would be dug between Gare St. Lazare and La Defense, paralleling it with Line A near station Auber. Once the extension is complete, it is expected that travel time between La Defense and the western suburbs will be reduced by roughly 15 minutes. The extension will also relieve congestion on parts of Lines A & B [3].

With final approval granted for the extension of Line E (which is known as the Declaration of Public Utility), construction is set to begin sometime in 2014, with completion estimated to be sometime in 2020 [3].

Citations:

[1] “Le RER E.” Symbioz. Symbioz Corp, 27 Apr 2010. Web. 3 Feb 2013. <http://www.symbioz.net/index.php?id=74&gt;.

[2] “La ligne de Sceaux.” Symbioz. Symbioz Corp, 23 Dec 2007. Web. 3 Feb 2013. <http://www.symbioz.net/index.php?id=70&gt;.

[3] Briginshaw, David. “Paris RER Line E extension approved.”International Railway Journal. 01 Feb 2013: n. page. Web. 3 Feb. 2013. <http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/commuter-rail/paris-rer-line-e-railway-extension-approved.html?channel=641&gt;.

 

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012