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Grand Central Station vs Penn Station: Differences? [2024]

Grand Central Station vs Penn Station: Differences? [2024]

Grand Central Station vs Penn Station: It is super convenient to travel across beautiful locations in the US by train, and when you wish to travel in New York City and have two of the most popular train stations near each other — it just gets better. 

While we have millions of Americans using both stations every week — people have some questions regarding the two. For instance, why are these two stations so close to each other? What is the difference between the two? 

To be more clear – citizens want to know the differences and similarities between the two stations across multiple categories like histories, architecture, amenities, and such. 

Now coming to you, if you are one of them, then we are here to cut short your research and offer a detailed comparison between Grand Central Station vs Penn Station, mentioned right below, in this article.


Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station, also called Grand Central Terminal, is one of the most popular and busy stations in the US. It is a commuter rail terminal at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, New York City. 

Additionally, the Grand Central Station is the South terminus of Hudson, New Haven Lines, and Harlem, also offering services to the northern parts of the New York Metropolitan locations. 

Penn Station

Penn Station

Penn Station, also called Pennsylvania Station, is another popular station in the US. It is the main intercity railroad station located in New York City and the probably busiest transportation facility within the borders of the western hemisphere.

In addition to that, Penn Station seems to be serving over 600,000 passengers every weekday, as per the records from 2019, with the amount gradually increasing on weekends and at times of festivals and peak seasons. 

Differences & Similarities 


Starting with the locations of the two, Penn Station is located in New York, NY 10119, US. On the other hand, we have Grand Central Station located at 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, the US.

The approximate distance between the two stations is only 1.1 miles through all the available roads, and the fastest you can travel from one to another is within 14 minutes.


Grand Central Station follows the architectural style of Beaux-Art, beautifully handled by Reed and Stem along with Warren and Wetmore. 

As for the Penn Station, the art was done by a popular American artist called William Rutherford Mead, who was a part of a well-known Gilded Age architectural firm. 

Historical Significance 

As you might have guessed, the historical significance of the two stations differ significantly, and there is practically no connection between their histories.

Grand Central Station was seen as the biggest Railroad station in the world. It has 12 tracks accommodating about 150 train cars all at once.

In addition to that, it also had the biggest interior space in North America, and its storage yard reached the north to 58th Street. 

On the contrary, the original Penn Station was initially an ornate station building. It was designed by Mead, McKim, and White — usually considered a masterpiece. 

Moreover, the station was completed somewhere in 1910 and helped in starting direct rail access to New York City from the South for the very first time in history. 


Since we are talking about one of the most popular train stations in the US, there is no way you won’t get the usual amenities you get at any common train station, but you can also get special amenities as its specialties.

To be clear, it is one of the prime attractions of New York City, including a satisfying mixture of rich history, exquisite dining, architectural details, and assorted shopping. 

Moving forward, Penn Station has similar highlights, and you get all the usual amenities you commonly get, including a food court, Wi-Fi, restroom, bag storage, lactation rooms, premium lounge, checked bag service, and much more. 

Train Services & Connectivity 

Grand Central Station connects the North East and Yorkshire to London with two routes and has 5 daily services on the North East to London route — running between Sunderland and London King’s Cross. In total, it has 67 tracks.

For Penn Station, we have 21 tracks and the station seems to be available from various subway lines. The 1, 2, and 3 trains halt directly at Penn Station while the N, Q, R, B, D, and F trains will help you get to 34th Street and 6th Avenue. 


Grand Central Station has 44 platforms and the tracks are settled on two different levels, where 41 tracks are situated in the upper area, and 26 tracks are situated in the lower one. 

Penn Station has 11 island stations, and as already mentioned, it has 21 tracks containing not only trains but also buses. 

Foot Traffic

It is quite hard to estimate the proper foot traffic rate, but Grand Central Station plays host to more than 750,000 citizens regularly, since it is also a crossroad for commuters, locals, and tourists globally. 

Similarly, we can’t mention a proper number, but since Penn Station is no less — it serves about 1300 arrivals and departures regularly, with over 600,000 commuter rail, Subway, and Amtrak passengers passing through regularly. 

Why is Grand Central Station so Different Than Penn Station?

There is no reason as to why Grand Central Station is so different from Penn Station. For those who think that both the stations are one thing, they are not, and they are two different stations at two different locations.

As for the differences and similarities mentioned above, along with the locations, even the art style and artists are distinct. Additionally, they also don’t share similar historical significance, even when they are so close to each other. 

Although they might have similar amenities, the daily passenger rates differ in number, and they offer different platforms and trains and serve different locations — with many more minor differences noticed.  

In the end, the two are different spots in New York City, and stand proud to be connecting millions of people every week — also two of the most prestigious locations in the US.

With that, we have reached the end of our comparison between Grand Central Station vs Penn Station, and we hope the article was helpful to you. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Grand Central Station and Penn Station the same thing?

No, although both the stations in New York City are awfully close to each other, they are not the same thing and are two different stations located in two different areas.

Is Grand Central Station near Penn Station?

Yes, Grand Central Station is near Penn Station. The distance between the two stations is 1.1 miles from all the 3 routes available, and the fastest you can travel from one station to another is within 15 minutes, without considering the traffic hours.