Train Hall Penn Station

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled plans to redevelop Penn Station in the US, as well as a neighbouring post office building into a grand gateway into Manhattan.

Dubbed the Empire Station Complex, the project will feature passenger improvements, including first-class amenities, natural light, increased train capacity, decreased congestion and improved signage to improve the travel experience.

Expected to cost $3bn, the project will be financed through a public-private partnership (PPP) and construction is scheduled to begin later this year and would be completed within the next three years.

"This proposal will fundamentally transform Penn Station for the 21st century."

The underground Penn station was designed to handle 200,000 passengers a day and the station, which lies beneath Madison Square Garden and between 7th and 8th Avenues. It currently serves more than 650,000 passengers every day.

The refurbished station will be capable of meeting the demands of increased ridership in the 21st century.

Cuomo said: "Penn Station is the heart of New York’s economy and transportation network, but it has been outdated, overcrowded, and unworthy of the Empire State for far too long.

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"We want to build Penn Station to be better than it ever was, and that is exactly what we are going to do. This proposal will fundamentally transform Penn Station for the 21st century."

Work under the project will include widening of existing corridors, reconfiguring ticketing and waiting areas, improve connectivity between the lower levels and street level, as well as bring natural light into the facility.

The redevelopment will also expand and upgrade the retail offerings and passenger amenities on all levels of the station, in addition to improve signage, simplify navigation and reduce congestion.

The new station will feature Wi-Fi, modernised train information displays and streamlined ticketing.

As part of the project, the Farley Post Office, which sits across 8th Avenue from Penn Station, will be redeveloped into a train hall for Amtrak, the new train hall, with services for passengers of the Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and the new Air Train to LaGuardia Airport.

The new train hall will be connected to Penn Station via an underground pedestrian concourse and increase the station’s size by 50%.

Image: The Farley Post Office will be redeveloped into a train hall for Amtrak. Photo: courtesy of New York State Government.