Penn Station reconstruction alternatives released
New York – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Amtrak, and NJ TRANSIT unveiled two reconstruction alternatives for Penn Station as part of the proposed Empire Station Complex.
A two-level alternative would transform Penn Station by leveraging the existing configuration’s two-level boarding configuration while improving existing Penn Station layout, creating a central atrium, and repurposing some of Amtrak’s space for NJ Transit’s commuters and operations.
Penn Station rendering
This alternative can be combined with a grand new entrance on Eighth Avenue and the West Train Hall, increasing sightlines and better movement throughout the train hall. The two-level alternative could incorporate new vertical access points to platforms, significantly widened concourses throughout, and new entrances at sidewalk level along Eighth Avenue.
A single-level alternative would transform 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 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 space throughout the station with better sightlines and more direct access to both tracks and platforms, and to station entrances and exits.
It would 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. The single-level alternative could also be combined with a grand new entrance on Eighth Avenue and the West Train Hall.
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. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn Station served 600,000 passengers daily. Ridership is expected to grow to 830,000 daily users in 2038.
When an alternative is selected, the project partners will work with federal stakeholders on an Environmental Impact Statement for the Penn Expansion.