• Empire Station Complex, aka New York Pennsylvania Station

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by Jeff Smith
 
Cross-threaded in Amtrak, LIRR, MNRR, NJT, and home to NYC-Wide: https://www.amny.com/news/revitalized-p ... ht-access/

I guess it's important to talk about not just Moynihan and Penn South, but Penn "proper":
A new vision for the aesthetics of the revitalization of Penn Station is taking shape as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled new renderings of what the nation’s largest transit hub could look like in the coming years.

During the MTA’s Wednesday board meeting, Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber presented the new look which will provide grand entrances and glass ceilings to flood the concourses with sunlight; a departure from the cavernous, contemporary conditions commuters experience daily.
...
“It will have substantial transportation benefits for Long Island Rail Road customers, Metro-North customers, subway customers, as well as commuters on New Jersey Transit and those traveling from Boston and Washington and other places on Amtrak,” Foye said. “Obviously, no decision is close to being made, but a compelling opportunity in the beginning of a serious public discussion about the options for Penn Station.”
...
Factored into the renderings in Lieber’s presentation is more access to and from the platforms to get people in and out faster. Lieber also wants Penn Station, buried beneath Madison Square Garden for the most part, to be more visible to people who may not be familiar with where they need to go to board a train.
Image
  by J.D. Lang
 
Looks like MSG isn't going to go so most of the station will still be under it. I assume the glass skylight portion will be in the the new south part of the buildout.
  by Ridgefielder
 
J.D. Lang wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:40 pm Looks like MSG isn't going to go so most of the station will still be under it. I assume the glass skylight portion will be in the the new south part of the buildout.
Skylight would be in the old taxi ramp between MSG and One Penn Plaza, which is located here: https://goo.gl/maps/ZKRSHgA9NRRMYYxf6 As the deck notes the ramp has been closed for 20 years, since 9/11.

The actual floor of MSG itself is a couple stories above street level. Immediately above the old Amtrak concourse is what's now the Hulu Theater, formerly the Theater at MSG and originally known as the Felt Forum. If you blow out the old Forum you gain 2-3 extra stories of room above the current floor level, and make it possible to install a bank of windows facing Eighth Ave.
  by J.D. Lang
 
Thanks for the info. I guess I'll look at the link that Mr. Wolf posted above. Raising the ceiling a couple of stories up will definitely improve the atmosphere of the place.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Okay, going from my past experience... remove the old Felt Forum to have a glass enclosure and get some sunshine in. Ground floor lounges/restaurants overseeing the below concourse. Everything else the same, although access to LIRR tracks is split between the two buildings.

Yeah, can't hurt to try it. Just... make sure nobody tries to remake the Federal Express.
  by Jeff Smith
 
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/govern ... art-empire

SNIP:
...
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.
Two-Level Alternative
The first approach would transform Penn Station by leveraging the existing configuration's two-level boarding configuration while improving existing Penn's layout, creating a central atrium, and repurposing some of Amtrak's space for NJ Transit's commuters and operations. This alternative can be combined with a grand new entrance on Eighth Avenue and the light-filled West Train Hall in the space currently occupied by Madison Square Garden's 5,600-seat Hulu Theater by purchasing the theater from MSG, increasing sightlines and better movement throughout the train hall. The two-level alternative could also incorporate new vertical access points to platforms, significantly widened concourses throughout, and new entrances at sidewalk level along Eighth Avenue.

Single-Level Alternative
This approach transforms Penn Station into an open, single-level concourse, eliminating all low ceiling heights and simplifying entry and exit routes from trains and the street level while also creating new large circulation areas bigger than the Great Hall of Grand Central Terminal. This alternative would remove 40 percent of the upper level so that all the public concourses could be two or three stories high, resulting in a more open, airy space throughout the station with better sightlines and more direct access to both tracks and platforms, and to station entrances/exits.

It would also feature a spacious, light-filled mid-block Train Hall with prominent new entrances on 33rd and 31st Streets near Seventh Avenue. The hall would bring in natural light with a new multi-story atrium built in the former taxiway between Madison Square Garden and 2 Penn Plaza, which has been closed for security since Sept. 11, 2001. This alternative moves MSG loading off 33rd Street, allowing 33rd Street to become a pedestrian-oriented shared street - greatly improving the streetscape.

The single-level alternative could also be combined with a grand new entrance on Eighth Avenue and the light-filled West Train Hall in the space currently occupied by Madison Square Garden's 5,600-seat Hulu Theater by purchasing the theater from MSG.

Next Steps
The transformation of the existing Penn Station represents the latest milestone in the Governor's 2020 State of the State proposal to create the new Empire Station Complex. On December 30, Governor Cuomo announced the long-awaited grand opening of the Moynihan Train Hall, the first step in realizing that vision.

Following the Biden Administration's roll-out of the American Jobs Plan, Governor Cuomo, the MTA, Amtrak and NJ Transit will continue to work with the New York Congressional delegation and other state and federal partners to secure funding for the Gateway Program and the related Penn Station reconstruction and expansion projects.

Input on these alternatives will inform how the MTA, Amtrak and NJ Transit advance the designs. The public is invited to comment on the proposed station design alternatives by visiting https://new.mta.info/system_modernizati ... nstruction.

When an alternative is selected, the MTA, Amtrak and NJ Transit will work with federal partners on an Environmental Impact Statement for Penn Expansion, together with other federally-required processes, all in concert with ongoing public review.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Vote: Single Level.
Image
  by Arborwayfan
 
The description of the two-level alternative mentions leveraging the existing configuration's two-level boarding configuration". What do they mean? "Leverage" means to take advantage of something in order to get some good thing, but they don't explain what the advantage of the current configuration is. Do the two levels make boarding better in some way? Or has someone just said "leverage" because it sounds more profound than "keep"?

Looking forward to replies from those who know Penn Station and those who like to talk about language. :-D
  by Greg Moore
 
In THEORY (and somewhat in practice) all boarding is done from the upper level and arrivals leads most to the 2nd level. (and this was the original intent).
In reality it's hit or miss. For Empire Service trains a lot of veterans will go to the lower, arrival level and sneak down the stair case to grab a good window seat early.

For arrivals, they tend to run the escalator up to the arrival level, so depending on where you get off and the closest staircase/escalator you might find your self on either level.

One of the problems that will remain by leaving MSG around is the extra support columns that narrow the platforms in places.
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:55 pm Okay, going from my past experience... remove the old Felt Forum to have a glass enclosure and get some sunshine in. Ground floor lounges/restaurants overseeing the below concourse. Everything else the same, although access to LIRR tracks is split between the two buildings.

Yeah, can't hurt to try it. Just... make sure nobody tries to remake the Federal Express.
Silver streak into the concourse! LEROY JENKINS!
  by STrRedWolf
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:29 am Silver streak into the concourse! LEROY JENKINS!
I can so see motorcyclists crashing into Penn Station, landing and going down the steps to platform level... followed by police cars going YOLO over the upper level. (I now wonder about the viability of escaping by bike in the Hudson tunnels)
  by Railjunkie
 
This is all very interesting EXCEPT Amtrak really isn't using Penn anymore. Need a ticket go to Moynihan. Baggage, Moynihan. Arrive or depart Moynihan. Just dumped a boat load of cash into a building you didn't need now this??? The one good thing I have seen going on is the replacement of some wafer thin (using my best John Cleese french accent) beams and supports in and around track 5
  by STrRedWolf
 
Yeah. I can see Penn Empire being the commuter hall and Penn Moynihan being the full travel hall.