Have you ever lost something on Metro-North? All of it, whether lost on a train in Poughkeepsie or at a station in Stamford, gets collected and sent to Grand Central’s lost and found facility, located on the lower level of the terminal next to track 100. It is there that all of the forgotten items, approximately 2,500 per month, are sorted, stored, and hopefully soon returned to their owner.
Photo courtesy Metro North
Inside the Grand Central lost and found facility, there are stacks of bins labeled by month and the type of item lost: October Gloves, September Airpods, August Personal Items, and so on. There is a snaking clothing rack full of coats and lockers stuffed with forgotten finds. The most common items people lose are predictably keys, eyeglasses, umbrellas, and the like, but there have been some very unusual and very pricey finds. Once, a Paralympian left running blades on the train. Other notable recoveries include a “Festivus” pole and wedding dresses. iPods, laptops, and cellphones are usually the most expensive items that make their way to the Metro-North lost and found facility.
Bins inside the Grand Central Lost and Found facility sorted by item and month. Photo courtesy Metro North.
Luckily for those who have lost something, the lost and found has a 54% return rate. Of the 30,406 recovered items found in 2019, 16,435 made it back to rightful hands. Unfortunately, if you leave your sandwich behind on the way to work, it won’t make it to the lost and found. Perishable items are discarded immediately. As per a Metro North spokesperson we spoke to, nobody has turned in masks during the COVID crisis. They also tell us that the Lost & Found has been pushing for “contactless recovery” using FedEx, and 185 items this year have been delivered that way.
All other recovered property is held in for a minimum of ninety days from the day it is recovered. In accordance with New York state property law, higher value items are held for longer periods of time. If an item isn’t claimed after the required period of time, it becomes the property of MTA Metro-North and is then disposed of via a contractual agreement.
Photo courtesy Metro North
If you ever get that sinking feeling when you pat your pocket after departing from a train and feel that it is empty, don’t worry, you can easily get in touch with Metro-North lost and found. If you lose an item, the first step is to submit an inquiry. You can fill out a Grand Central lost and found form online here, or call 511 and speak to a representative. Lost and found staff review submitted inquires against the property recovered to make a match, then contact the owner. Customers can collect their property in person at the Grand Central lost and found facility or have it shipped via FedEx at their own expense. Grand Central lost and found hours are weekdays from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM. The facility is closed on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.
Want to learn more about the inner workings of Grand Central and uncover the hidden secrets of the terminal? Join Untapped New York for an upcoming Secrets of Grand Central Terminal Tour!
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