Governor Cuomo Announces New Main Entrance to Penn Station and Expansion of LIRR Concourse

New Main Entrance with Direct Access to LIRR Corridor from Street Level Will Enhance Safety and Security for Customers

LIRR Concourse to Double in Size, Improving Passenger Flow and Reducing Crowding

Major Milestones in Moynihan Train Hall Construction; First Moynihan Train Hall Skylight Steel Installation Completed; Project is On-Time and On-Budget

Renderings of Final Design Options of the New Entrance, Wider Concourse and Images of the Completed Skylight Work Are Available Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on September 6, 2018, announced Penn Station will now feature a new entrance at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue providing direct access to the Long Island Rail Road Main Concourse and the New York City Subway. The announcement also included the expansion of the Long Island Rail Road corridor at Penn Station to improve safety, security and passenger flow, as well as significant milestones in the on-time, on-budget construction of the Moynihan Train Hall. In addition, the Long Island Rail Road Main Concourse between 7th and 8th Avenues will be roughly doubled in size and the ceiling will be raised by up to 11 feet. The improvements are part of the Governor's overarching vision to completely remake this transportation hub located at the heart of the New York's regional rail network.

"For years there has been talk about transforming Penn Station, but no action, forcing New York's commuters and visitors to endure congested and potentially unsafe conditions for far too long," Governor Cuomo said. "The projects currently underway, including a new, state-of-the-art entrance, will not only turn Penn Station into a world-class transit hub, but they will ease the flow for riders and improve the overall passenger experience for all who pass through."

At the centerpiece of this transformation - Moynihan Train Hall - the structure for the midblock skylight is now complete. The Train Hall is slated for substantial completion by the end of 2020, and the Long Island Rail Road improvements will open in 2022 - when East Side Access and the Penn Station Metro-North Access projects are expected to come online.

LIRR Penn Station Concourse Improvements

The new entrance at 7th Avenue and 33rd Street will accommodate tens of thousands of LIRR passengers a day. The entrance is ideally located to improve visibility, safety, and circulation, and will allow thousands of subway riders easier access to the subway system. Brand new stairwells and a trio of new escalators will be constructed to improve the movement of passengers.

In addition, the LIRR Main Concourse will be widened from its current 30 feet to 57 feet to allow easier access to trains and reduce potentially dangerous crowding. The design has been further developed so that the Concourse will be 18 feet high all the way across the new 57-foot width, eliminating the 7 and 8-foot high areas that have made the station experience feel less spacious. Lighting will be improved, with ceilings raised and more intuitive wayfinding. LIRR customers will have new direct sight lines to track level and there will be additional retail and dining options in the revitalized Concourse as well.

Moynihan Train Hall Milestones

Today, Governor Cuomo also announced the completion of the steel structure for the first of four vaults making up the Train Hall skylight—the centerpiece of the new Train Hall's design. The spectacular 92-foot high skylight will rest upon the building's historic and architecturally-dramatic steel trusses, flooding the concourse floor in light through over an acre of glass. The steel structure of the building's second signature skylight, located above the midblock hall, is also complete, with installation of the glass underway.

In the year since the Governor announced the start of major construction on the Moynihan Train Hall in August 2017, significant progress includes:

  • 1,025,000 construction hours worked
  • 2 tower cranes, 1 derrick crane, and 1 gantry crane erected
  • 6 platform escalators installed
  • 1,127 glass panels fabricated
  • 48 lattice steel frames installed for the skylight structures
  • 3,100 tons steel installed
  • 1,500 tons of steel removed
  • 32,000 cubic yards concrete removed
  • 2,300 cubic yards concreate poured

The Farley Building - home to the new Train Hall - was designed by McKim, Mead and White as a sister to their masterpiece—the original Pennsylvania Station. Five decades after the loss of the original structure, the Moynihan Train Hall will once again provide New Yorkers a grand entrance in a McKim, Mead and White architectural marvel. The Farley Building's train hall will bear the name of one of its great champions—the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

"These improvements at Penn Station will make the commute easier for New Yorkers and improve safety," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The construction project, including a new entrance to Penn Station and direct access to the Long Island Rail Road Corridor, will ease pedestrian traffic and improve overall experience. We're committed to providing expanded transportation options for New Yorkers, and continue to invest in transformational projects that support public transit and boost the economy."

MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber said, "Along with the construction of a world-class transportation hub at Moynihan Train Hall, the Governor is passionately committed to bringing Penn Station into the 21st century. After years of debate, we are moving forward with physical improvements that make existing Penn Station safer and easier to navigate for the 650,000-plus New Yorkers who use it daily. And the public-private partnership here shows how the MTA is changing its approach to deliver important projects faster, better and at lower cost."

ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Today's historic milestones - from the substantial progress on the Moynihan Train Hall to the announcement of a new, state-of-the-art entrance to Penn Station - bring New York one step closer to delivering a world-class transit hub that brings Penn Station out of the Dark Ages and into the 21st century. I commend Governor Cuomo for prioritizing and investing in critical infrastructure that is integral to a robust, growing economy."

New York City Transit President Andy Byford said, "With six subway lines running directly to Penn Station it is absolutely essential to improve access and passenger flow to our stations - and this announcement is a significant step in that direction. This is an excellent complement to our Fast Forward plan and shows that we're committed to truly modernizing our infrastructure and getting the job done for New Yorkers."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "Penn Station serves as a gateway to New York City for hundreds of thousands of people each day. The Governor has put forward a compelling vision to enhance the quality of the station and improve the safety of all who use it. We look forward to working closely with the Governor, the MTA, local officials and the community as this important project takes shape."

Senator Brad Hoylman said, "The new Moynihan Train Hall will be a critical new transportation asset that will greatly improve the travel experience for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers—New Yorkers who for too long have suffered through Penn Station. I thank Governor Cuomo for leading this effort, and I look forward to continuing to work together to build on the progress we have already made and create the train station that New Yorker deserve."

Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried said, "We are all excited about the transformation of the old Penn Station into a transit hub worthy of the Empire State. After decades of talk, Governor Cuomo is advancing a bold plan that delivers for the neighborhood and for the entire region. The expansion of the Long Island Rail Road corridor will improve the travel experience for commuters headed to and from Long Island and will have a transformative impact. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership and commend the community involvement that was taken into account to complete this project. I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor on this venture to deliver for all New Yorkers."

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said, "Transportation is the critical issue in New York City right now, and for too long Penn Station has been a symbol of congestion and frustration. This landmark used to be a point of pride, a beautiful gateway into our city. But now its state of disrepair not only annoys commuters and visitors alike on an almost daily basis, it has gotten to a point where real public safety concerns need to be addressed. Today is another step in the right direction towards fixing Penn Station and I thank Governor Cuomo for his efforts to address this dire need for our city and my district. I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor to improve our mass transportation and infrastructure systems in the years to come."

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said, "I'm glad to see Gov. Cuomo's administration is continuing to make progress on this long-overdue project. Manhattan has long deserved an intercity rail terminal worthy of the greatest city in the world. Today's milestones are positive steps toward the goal of a more accessible, welcoming, modern transit hub."

Michael Viggiano, Executive Vice President, Skanska USA said, "Skanska is proud to be a part of the progress showcased today on the iconic redevelopment of The Farley Building into the Moynihan Train Hall. It's emblematic of the way Governor Cuomo continues to lead the way by reimagining and investing in New York's critical infrastructure."

James Dolan, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Madison Square Garden Company, said, "We support the Governor's desire to improve Penn Station for the benefit of all New Yorkers and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively to achieve this goal."

Vikki Barbero, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 5 said, "Penn Station not only serves New Yorkers each and every day, but visitors and tourists as well, whose first impression of our great city is the moment they step off their train. All too often, this impression has been one of crowds, chaos, and congestion--not a warm welcome to the greatest city in the world. The improvements and upgrades announced today are a great first step toward meaningfully improving the every day experience for commuters, and will help provide visitors with the experience they deserve from the moment they arrive. We thank the Governor for his leadership on this project to ensure safe and secure travel through one of the busiest hubs in the world."

Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City, said, "Every day hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers commute through Penn Station and its high time they have a state of the art transit hub fit for the complexities of the 21st century. New York's employers are deeply appreciative that Governor Cuomo is providing the leadership required to ensure that commuters and visitors have the best possible travel experience. Nothing is more important to the continued economic vitality of our region."

All LIRR and Amtrak trains will be served by the nine platforms and 17 tracks that will be accessible from the Moynihan Train Hall, reached by eleven new platform escalators and seven elevators. The Train Hall will create direct access to the train station from 9th Avenue for the first time, bringing unparalleled regional transportation options within convenient reach of the booming Hudson Yards and Far West Side areas. The $1.6 billion project is being funded with $550 million from the State, $420 million from Amtrak, the MTA, the Port Authority and a federal grant, and $630 million from joint venture developers. The new Train Hall is targeted for substantial completion by the end of 2020. Empire State Development will undertake larger surrounding neighborhood improvement planning process in consultation with stakeholders and New York City.

Governor Cuomo is investing $100 billion in infrastructure projects across New York to promote economic development, create jobs, and expand opportunity. These investments enable New York to rebuild and modernize its roads, bridges, broadband networks, public buildings, and other critical infrastructure across the state while putting thousands of New Yorkers to work. Governor Cuomo has jumpstarted long-stalled or long-overdue projects, such as the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge (formerly the Tappan Zee Bridge), the transformation of LaGuardia and JFK Airports, the Jacob K. Javits Center expansion, and building a new Penn Station.