Empire Station Complex: NYC Penn Station Reconstruction

Empire Station Complex: NYC Penn Station Reconstruction

United States

The existing Penn Station served 600,000 passengers daily prior to the pandemic and is critical for sustaining rail service and connecting people to jobs throughout the Northeast region, yet much of the current station is substandard, overburdened and aesthetically unpleasant. The reconstruction of Penn Station will result in an interconnected, welcoming and modern station worthy of New York.

This iconic project, in combination with the new tracks and platforms to be built as part of Penn Station Expansion, will be capable of accommodating the future volume of customers using both the existing Penn Station and the newly expanded facility. Ridership is expected to grow to 830,000 daily users in 2038, about 54 percent of whom will be MTA customers using LIRR, Metro-North and the subway, and 42 percent NJ TRANSIT customers, with the balance being Amtrak customers.

During the yearlong strategic re-envisioning, the MTA, NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak examined a number of options for the reconstruction of existing Penn and the result is two fundamental approaches. Key elements of the vision - under either alternative - include:

Increasing concourse space to reduce congestion and handle future growth,
-Unifying station operations such as ticketing, waiting areas, and cleaning services for all railroads,
-Adding more stairs, escalators and elevators to spread riders along the narrow platforms, resulting in a total of 30 new ways to reach platforms,
-Providing full accessibility in accordance with the Americans with -Disabilities Act and introducing new retail opportunities.

One alternative would retain the station’s two-level boarding configuration but would add a central atrium and a new entrance on Eighth Avenue, as well as widened concourses and more access points to train platforms. The new entrance would require the purchase of Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.

The second alternative would create an open, single-level concourse larger than the iconic Great Hall of Grand Central Terminal, with two new entrances on the Seventh Avenue side and a multi-story atrium in a former taxiway between the station and adjacent 2 Penn Plaza that has been closed since 9/11.

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