January 29, 2023

AT LAST: Grand Central Madison Opens

At long last, the new stop on the Long Island Rail Road has arrived. After 17 years of construction and $11.1 billion, Grand Central Madison is here. Originally called East Side Access, it was renamed by Governor Hochul and the MTA last year.

This deep-down tunnel comprises five blocks ‒ from 43rd to 48th Streets ‒ and three levels which can be reached via mammoth escalators.

The station-within-a-station's overall design owes a lot to Grand Central, with a modern twist to the same elegance of the 1913 building. Punctuating this are some permanent artworks by the artists Kiki Smith and Yayoi Kusama.

Above, Kiki Smith's work, which is installed in arched alcoves on the mezzanine level. The artworks are "The Spring," "The Presence," "The Sound," and "The Water's Way." 

Her other work, entitled "River Light," is an abstract depiction of sunlight playing on the East River.

Then there is the gigantic mosaic by Yayoi Kusama, "A Message of Love, Directly from My Heart unto the Universe." It is 120 feet long and brings some Pop influences to the affair.

Ms. Kusama is known for her polka-dot pumpkins and is 93 years old.

The mural is snappy enough for the Governor to hold her press conference beside it.

For the time being, the station is only offering service to Jamaica and back, but in weeks to come, full service will be gradually added, including the train to the plane for $13. Sweet.


  1. Wonderful article about an exciting change to Grand Central and the Long Island Railroad. Thanks!

  2. Rode the train from there this morning. Beautiful! Thanks for the photos.

  3. Thanks for posting!