Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grand opening of Moynihan Train Hall, a 255,000-square-foot train hall designed for the 21st century in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The $1.6 billion project transformed the more than 100-year-old James A. Farley Building into a world-class transportation hub that increases the existing Penn Station rail complex’s concourse space by 50 percent. The Governor also announced that the East End Gateway to Penn Station at 33rd Street and 7th Avenue opens on New Year’s Eve. The hall is named for former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
The train hall’s stunning design is a unique blend of classical and contemporary, and features a one-acre sky-lit atrium, a signature clock, cutting-edge technology, clear wayfinding, full accessibility, and museum-caliber public art. It also provides immediate benefits at this critical time while profoundly enhancing the convenience, health, and daily experience of hundreds of thousands of passengers, neighbors, and visitors. The project first emerged decades ago as the leading strategy to address many of Penn Station’s most notorious issues and overcame countless hurdles and red tape thanks to Governor Cuomo’s persistent and unwavering leadership.
Led by Empire State Development (ESD), the $1.6 billion project was accomplished through an innovative public-private partnership between ESD, Vornado Realty Trust, The Related Companies, Skanska, the MTA, the Long Island Rail Road, Amtrak, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It utilized a design-build approach to streamline construction and expedite completion. Construction of Moynihan Train Hall has generated an estimated economic impact of $5 billion, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs and 11,000 indirect jobs. Additionally, the core project management team was more than 42 percent women.
Moynihan Train Hall reshapes the travel experience of the busiest passenger transportation facility in the Western Hemisphere, used by more than 700,000 passengers per day – more than LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark International Airports combined. The main hall that once served as the Post Office’s mail sorting room is reminiscent of the original Penn Station’s vaulted concourse, showcasing a 92-foot-high skylight that holds an acre of glass. Supported by three of the building’s original steel trusses with an intricate lattice framework, the new skylight encloses soars above the train concourse, bathing passengers in natural light.
All LIRR and Amtrak trains are now served by the 17 tracks accessible from the train hall, while providing a direct connection to 9th Avenue and the 8th Avenue Subway. For LIRR, the train hall enhances and expands passenger options by offering world-class facilities and the convenience of full customer services and direct platform access points from 7th Avenue all the way to 9th Avenue. For Amtrak, the train hall becomes its new home in New York City—relocating and replacing all primary passenger operations from the existing station.
In partnership with the Public Art Fund, Moynihan Train Hall features a program of ambitious permanent art installations from three of the world’s leading artists—Stan Douglas, Kehinde Wiley, and artistic duo Elmgreen & Dragset. The landmark artworks created are emblematic of the dynamism and transformation that are quintessential to New York and this new transportation gateway. Ceiling installations by Wiley and Elmgreen & Dragset’s define two primary entrances to the train hall, while Douglas’s photo series appears in four 22-foot-long sections on the wall that span the passenger waiting area adjacent to the main boarding concourse. A testament to the city’s creativity, diversity and heritage, the three monumental commissions embrace the civic character of Moynihan Train Hall and offer a fresh perspective on the history and splendor of the original Penn Station and Farley Post Office.
Suspended from the central truss above the floor, a six-foot by 12-foot clock designed by Pennoyer Architects evokes nostalgia for the golden age of rail travel. More than 80,000 square feet of marble was used for the floors and walls of the main train hall, sourced from the same Tennessee quarries that provided the marble for Grand Central Terminal over 100 years ago.
With the health, safety and accessibility of travelers in mind, the project dramatically expands the concourse space and platform access capacity, and improves sanitation and air flow to support a healthier environment. These improvements reduce congestion and ease boarding, allowing for appropriate social distancing and facilitating safe and healthy travel. All platforms served have access to elevators, which expands the station’s total elevator capacity by more than 50 percent and supports travelers with accessibility needs. Additionally, the redesign of the LIRR Concourse nearly triples the width of the former corridor, significantly decreasing congestion with notably higher ceilings and enhanced lighting.
Moynihan Train Hall integrates clear, consistent, state-of-the-art wayfinding and messaging, including dozens of high-res LED and LCD displays throughout the facility that provide up-to-the-minute transit information. The upgraded commuter experience also features designated customer service locations for both railroads, a free public Wi-Fi network utilizing next-generation Wi-Fi 6, and a dedicated lounge for nursing mothers.
The Farley Building was one of the first buildings landmarked under preservation laws established in the wake of the destruction of its sister structure, the original Penn Station. The Farley Building’s 200,000-square-foot stone façade, 700 windows, copper roof and steel trusses are among the many unique details that have been fully restored. New exterior features include street and sidewalk improvements, restoration of the historic ‘dry moats’ and security enhancements. Moynihan Train Hall is pursuing LEED Silver certification for its sustainable design and construction.
The new East End Gateway effectively doubles the ingress and egress between the street level and the existing Penn Station’s LIRR Concourse and includes three new state-of-the-art escalators and a staircase. The escalators are equipped with smart features including heaters to ensure operation during cold weather and a “sleep mode” that will save energy and increase their longevity. The new entrance provides direct and easy access to the LIRR Concourse as well as New York City Transit’s 1/2/3 and A/C/E subway lines.
As part of the Governor’s initiative at the existing Penn Station, construction is underway to triple the width of the current LIRR corridor, further decreasing congestion while adding higher ceilings, better ventilation and first-rate passenger amenities to enhance health, convenience and comfort.
-via Press Release