Long-Awaited Penn Station Refurb Gets Green Light

By Paul Riegler on 6 January 2016
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Amtrak ticket counter at Penn Station

Amtrak ticket counter at Penn Station

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $3 billion project that will result in a train terminal that is less crowded with no kind words for the “warren” that is the current Penn Station.

“Penn Station is un-New York,” said the governor at a meeting at Madison Square Garden, which sits atop part of the terminal, on Tuesday. “It is dark, it’s constrained. It is ugly,” he said, noting that it makes “a terrible first impression” on visitors to New York.

As originally envisioned in the long-stalled Moynihan Station project, the new undertaking – which carries the name Empire Station Complex – will convert the Farley post office building on Eighth Avenue into a grand concourse for Amtrak train passengers. The project will be developed in conjunction with both Amtrak and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the Long Island Rail Road commuter rail service and the 1, 2, and 3 subway lines that serve Penn Station.

The relocation of Amtrak’s waiting area would make it possible to redevelop the concourses used by NJ Transit and the Long Island Rail Road.

Pennsylvania Station, referred to frequently as Penn Station, is New York’s main intercity railroad terminal and is the busiest passenger transportation facility in North America, with over 650,000 commuters and long-distance rail passengers using it each day.

Located in Midtown Manhattan, it first opened in 1910 and was named after the Pennsylvania Railroad, its builder and original tenant. The original Beaux-Arts style station was demolished in 1963, and the station was moved underground to its current quarters.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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