New York City has two main rail stations: Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. Grand Central is on the East Side, in Midtown, and Penn Station is on the West Side, just below Midtown. Both are served by numerous bus and subway lines. Metro-North Commuter Railroad, which goes to NYC suburbs in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, serves Grand Central. Penn Station serves Long Island Railroad (LIRR), a commuter railroad serving New York's Long Island; Amtrak, the U.S. national passenger railroad, serving many points throughout the U.S.; New Jersey Transit, a commuter line serving points in New Jersey; and PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson), a subway line serving Manhattan and New Jersey.
Grand Central Terminal
42nd Street and Park Avenue (between Lexington and Vanderbilt Avenues) 212-532-4900
Grand Central is on New York's East Side. Subway lines here include the 4, 5, 6, 7 and S (shuttle between Times Square and Grand Central). Buses stopping here include M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M42, M98, M101, M102, M104 and Q32. This is the main terminal for train service provided by Metro-North Railroad.
The main concourse is an immense 88,000 square feet of space, filled with light from the giant windows. The 12-story ceiling, meanwhile, is splashed with stars and the gilded constellations of the zodiac. Grand Central is also the world's largest terminal, covering 49 acres. Park Avenue is built on its roof.
31st to 33rd Streets between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
Penn Station is on Manhattan's West Side, just below Midtown. Subway lines serving the station are the A, C, E, 1, 2 and 3. Buses include the M4, M5, M6, M7, M34 and Q42. This is the central station for train service provided by Amtrak, Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit, PATH.
Penn Station is fully equipped to handle the thousands of passengers passing through every day. Information booths are plentiful on the main concourse, and there are restaurants, an enclosed waiting room, public restrooms and car rental offices nearby.
Amtrak is the country's national passenger railroad. It operates seven days a week, with destinations throughout the United States. Many packages and special deals are available. Rail passes are available for international visitors.
Long Island Railroad (LIRR)
This line operates out of Penn Station and serves 124 stations in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, providing service for some 81 million customers each year. Destinations include the racetrack Belmont Park, Shea Stadium, the beaches at the Hamptons and Montauk, Jones Beach and wineries. Packages are available.
Metro-North Commuter Railroad
Currently the second-largest commuter line in the United States, Metro-North operates from Grand Central Terminal. Metro-North's roots can be traced back to the New York & Harlem Railroad, which began in 1832 as a horse-car line in lower Manhattan. Today, with 384 route miles and 775 miles of track, Metro-North goes to 120 stations in seven counties in New York State—Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, the Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Rockland and Orange—and two counties in the state of Connecticut—New Haven and Fairfield.
New Jersey Transit
973-275-5555, TTY 800-772-2287
The rail system features 11 lines in three divisions (Hoboken, Newark and the Atlantic City Rail Line), with frequent rail service throughout New Jersey (with Atlantic City and the Jersey shore popular stops), and into and out of New York City. For schedules and fares, visit njtransit.com/sf.shtml.
PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson)
Rapid transit between several stops in New York City, along with Newark, Harrison, Jersey City and Hoboken in New Jersey. Operates round-trip from Penn Station in Newark, New Jersey, to lower and midtown Manhattan (including New York's Penn Station). Connections are also available from Newark Airport. PATH's 33rd Street Station (on Sixh Avenue, in Herald Square) in Manhattan is one block from Amtrak trains at NY's Penn Station.