Governor Cuomo to Revamp Penn Station Add 8 Tracks

New 33rd Street Entrance, at 7th Avenue Madison Square Garden in background.
Broadway Entrance
Multi level view of New Penn Station Entrance for LIRR

WPCNR MAIN LINE. From the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. January 8, 2020:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled final design renderings Monday for the new main entrance to Penn Station.

The new entrance will be located at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, providing much needed direct access to the Long Island Rail Road Main Concourse and the New York City Subway.

The project, which will begin construction in June, will eliminate congestion by doubling customer access and egress capacity to the LIRR level when it is completed in 2020, enhancing safety and security for passengers.

The Governor also announced that the overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan – which includes the creation of the Moynihan Train Hall – continues to move forward, which will fully transform Penn Station into a modern, world-class transportation hub.

“Penn Station was one of the great railroad stations of the world, but now it’s not fit for the greatest city in the nation,” Governor Cuomo said. 

“That’s why we are creating a world class train hall at Moynihan and today we are announcing a new East End Gateway to bring more access, safety and light. Passengers will be able to come in that entrance and avoid the front of Penn Station, there will be less traffic and you’ll have access to the subway and the LIRR. It will be a gateway to a world class facility. This is not a proposal – we are getting to work now.”

The entrance will be the main entry point for passengers and is scheduled to open in December 2020.

Passenger traffic has more than tripled since the current Penn Station was built, increasing from 200,000 to 650,000 passengers daily.

Currently 250,000 people take the LIRR every day, along with 235,000 daily customers who use New Jersey Transit.

In addition, 115,000 people use the station each day solely to enter or leave the A/C/E and 1/2/3 subways or to patronize the on-site retail.

GOVERNOR CUOMO TALKS IN THE FOLLOWING NEWS CONFERENCE ON THE DETAILS OF THE NEW PENN STATION, 28 MINUTES:

New Moynihan Hall Overview, preserving the Farley Post Office Facade. reminsent of the former Penn Station and creating a 10 Store Glass Covered Concourse for NJ Transit, AMTRAK lines

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Moynihan Hall Multi Level View Showing Glass Covered Grand Concourse, a throwback to the former Penn Station Glass Canopy

Presently, the Penn Station entrance on 34th Street is the only direct way to enter the LIRR level, and the concourse and its existing egress facilities are highly congested, with congestion certain to increase in the future. By creating the new entrance at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, the project will relieve this potential congestion and the serious safety concerns it creates.

In doing so, the new entrance helps prepare the transit system for the implementation of Central Business District tolling, which will increase ridership as it reduces congestion in Manhattan and provides critical funding for further improvements.  

The new entrance will connect passengers directly to the LIRR Main Concourse from 33rd Street and 7th Avenue, and will include three escalators, a stairway and an elevator. The project will widen the LIRR 33rd Street Concourse from its current 30 feet to 57 feet to allow easier access to trains and reduce potentially dangerous crowding.

The design will also increase the ceiling height to 18 feet across the entire concourse, eliminating the 7 and 8-foot high areas that have, for decades, made the station experience feel cramped and less spacious. Lighting will be improved and more intuitive wayfinding will be provided to passengers. LIRR customers will also have new direct sight lines to track level and there will be additional retail and dining options in the concourse as well.

The project is estimated to cost approximately $600 million, with $170 million of the total being allocated from the current 2015-19 MTA capital program. The remaining funds are being allocated by the State of New York.

Today’s announcement is part of Governor Cuomo’s overall Penn Station redevelopment master plan, which is moving forward and includes additional work to redevelop the remaining areas of Penn Station , as well as completely transforming the old Farley Post Office building into the new Moynihan Train Hall.

As part of the master plan and in collaboration with the MTA, beginning this summer, a functional and operational assessment will take place to develop additional plans to reconfigure the station. This assessment will then be complemented with extensive community engagement to refine the plans.

Five decades after the loss of the original and iconic Pennsylvania Station, the Moynihan Train Hall will once again provide New Yorkers a grand entrance in a McKim, Mead and White architectural marvel. The train hall is also set to open in December of 2020 and will bear the name of one of its great champions – the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

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