SOM’s Moynihan Train Hall expansion for Penn Station opens January 1

Chugging along

SOM’s Moynihan Train Hall expansion for Penn Station opens January 1

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the long-awaiting expansion of Penn Station into the James A. Farley Building will be completed by New Year’s Eve and that trains will roll into the new Moynihan Train Hall starting January 1.

Work began in 2017 on the $1.6 billion conversion of the former post office into a transit hub, with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill leading the adaptive reuse project.

New Yorkers have known for decades that Penn Station needed to be reimagined—and after years of work, the Moynihan Train Hall will open on time and on budget at the end of 2020,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Named after New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an architecture buff who pushed for the project, the 255,000-square-foot train hall is located across 8th Avenue from the current Penn Station, between 31st and 33rd streets, and increases its capacity by 50 percent.

Announced by Cuomo in his 2016 State of the State Address, the train hall adds eight new tracks while honoring the design of the original Penn Station and housing ticketing and waiting areas for both Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road. It provides access to 17 tracks in all.

McKim, Mead & White designed both the Farley Building and the original Penn Station, which was torn down in 1963.

Connected to Penn Station by underground passageways, the train hall features a 92-foot-high glass skylight (a restoration of the original 1912 steel trusses), free WiFi, a business center, foodservice, and other features for passengers traveling to and from New York City.

It was completed as a partnership of Empire State Development, Vornado Realty Trust; Related Companies; Skanska, MTA/LIRR, Amtrak, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Cuomo said the project is able to open on time because of public health protocols and schedules that helped keep construction workers safe and on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This monumental project is a shot of hope as we come out of one of [the] darkest periods in our history and sends a clear message to the world that while we suffered greatly as a result of this once-in-a-century health crisis, the pandemic did not stop us from dreaming big and building for the future,” he said. “The new Moynihan Train Hall is the embodiment of New York Tough.”