Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby JamesRR » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:23 am

Another often ignored fact is just how much of the station was carved up into space for personnel and storage. Even though much of the underground portions of Penn today are the same as when the station was built, Amtrak has a ton of space used for operations, which encroaches on much of the space originally accessible to passengers (waiting room area, corridors, etc). Even relocating some of this facility to another nearby location (say, accessible in a nearby offsite building) would allow more space to be opened up. Because the PRR did have offices in the building above the station which was torn down = space that had to be moved somewhere else.
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby gokeefe » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:47 am

I got the impression that some of Amtrak's operational space might be moved into the Farley building. Is that true?
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby EuroStar » Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:42 am

I know that was the plan 10 or so years ago when the Moynihan Project was first awarded to Vornado and Related. I do not know if with the second go around spirit headed by Cuomo that is still the case though. Amtrak or LIRR operational space means less space for the real estate partners to lease out, so it might have been dropped. Other than some artist renderings I have not seen more detailed plans/drawings what they are doing there. Has anyone else seen anything more?
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby russellsal8 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:36 am

Has there been any movement on extending the Central Concourse to cover all of the NJ Transit tracks? I remember this was discussed a few years ago. Currently the Central Concourse covers tracks 13-21. The following website has the best diagrams of all the levels in Penn Station. It's out of date since it doesn't show the west end extension, but everything else appears accurate:

http://jasongibbs.com/pennstation/

This really underscores how much better LIRR customers have it than NJ Transit, as LIRR has access to four corridors, while NJ Transit has access to 3 (minus tracks 1-4, so maybe more like 2.5 corridors?). The technical problems for accessing tracks 1-4 from the west side concourse have been documented in this topic, but I'm wondering if extending the Central corridor has similar issues?
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby JamesRR » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:28 am

That's a good question. I've often wondered that, too. I always assumed the Central Concourse was always there, and that it was built specifically for LIRR trackage when the station was originally built. (The current Amtrak waiting area was the main PRR Departure area, the EXIT concourse was for arriving passengers, and the central concourse and main gate area of LIRR was for LIRR customers).

It underscores how segregating the railroads really doesn't work well. Redeveloping the station as a unified facility would give all riders better access to the tracks - rather than the "branded" areas they currently operate.
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby Defiant » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:04 am

electricron wrote:
In every European example where tracks are exposed to natural light, there's nothing substantial built above the tracks.

There is nothing substantial built above the floor area in this design either. As far as I can see from all the renderings, there is just a skylight above the floor. This floor could've been easily opened up to allow natural light to the tracks so that people are not boarding the train in a cavern like environment.

electricron wrote:
I wouldn't consider the existing plan instant gratification, it's taken over 10 years of planning and scheming to get to where it is today. Eventually, MSG will be replaced with something new. Only the future knows what it will be.

I am not really sure anymore. The best place to move MSG is to the Farley building. Now that it is a station by itself, this is no longer possible. I am not sure where else in Manhattan MSG can go that is accessible to mass transit.
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby Defiant » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:10 am

JamesRR wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:Could a new MSG be built as part of Penn South?

In any case, though, demo of MSG would be painstaking, and really, what would you put there? An office tower? Hotel?


One architect had a rather interesting plan - keep the Garden, but rip out the old Felt Forum theatre (now the Theatre at MSG). This theatre is actually what sits right above Penn's current waiting area. The Garden sits much higher.

Ripping the theatre out would allow the ceiling of the waiting room to be opened up more to the sky.


And I have read that this plan is way too complex and risky since it involves working above the existing Penn station and below the MSG. I believe the governor's office had some RFPs for this work that did not attract any interest from anyone. The best way to transform Penn station is to actually repurpose MSG for that station. That way no structural demolition work is required.
Last edited by Defiant on Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby electricron » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:35 am

electricron wrote:In every European example where tracks are exposed to natural light, there's nothing substantial built above the tracks.


There is nothing substantial built above the floor area in this design either. As far as I can see from all the renderings, there is just a skylight above the floor. This floor could've been easily opened up to allow natural light to the tracks so that people are not boarding the train in a cavern like environment.
In European examples, the main waiting hall isn't immediately above the tracks as it will be at Farley. There is a difference between a mezzanine platform and a waiting hall.
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:49 am

Most European cities don't deal with the space constraints of Midtown Manhattan. There's space for the waiting room in a headhouse or other structure to one side of the trainshed.
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Re: Penn Station Renovation & Expansion & Moynihan Station

Postby JamesRR » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:55 pm

Defiant wrote:
JamesRR wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:Could a new MSG be built as part of Penn South?

In any case, though, demo of MSG would be painstaking, and really, what would you put there? An office tower? Hotel?


One architect had a rather interesting plan - keep the Garden, but rip out the old Felt Forum theatre (now the Theatre at MSG). This theatre is actually what sits right above Penn's current waiting area. The Garden sits much higher.

Ripping the theatre out would allow the ceiling of the waiting room to be opened up more to the sky.


And I have read that this plan is way too complex and risky since it involves working above the existing Penn station and below the MSG. I believe the governor's office had some RFPs for this work that did not attract any interest from anyone. The best way to transform Penn station is to actually repurpose MSG for that station. That way no structural demolition work is required.


But they managed to build the entire arena and theater over the tracks, while keeping them running - so I imagine it could be figured out. I don't actually think it was anything more than a proposal, not a plan that was RFP'ed out.
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