January 1st, 2021, a new chapter in New York City’s history began. Or, should the story begin back in 1963? Let’s begin there! It was one of the saddest years in railroad history. It was the year when the original Penn Station was demolished. The once grand terminal was torn down to make room for the world’s most famous arena-Madison Square Garden. Along with Madison Square Garden, Penn Plaza was constructed. Both buildings occupy the site where one the most glorious train terminals in the country once stood. Fast forwarding to New Year’s Day 2021, Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers can forget about ascending from the track platforms into a rat maze. Now, they enter a palace for the new generation to appreciate. They’re welcomed to the new Penn Station and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall.
Soon, the Coronavirus will be gone and the health and safety restrictions will be lifted. Then, Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers will bear true witness to how user-friendly this brand new train terminal will be. The sub-terrain train terminal which passengers spent 50+ “trying” years navigating, will be nothing but a thing of the past. Even though New Jersey Transit’s boarding area will remain in the basement of Madison Square Garden, there is no feeling more rejuvenating than entering a train terminal with the real meaning of “terminal”. So, what are the top 5 characteristics of the new Penn Station and Moynihan Train Hall? Without argument, many can agree on all five.
Starting the list of characteristics at #5 is spaciousness. The Moynihan Train Hall is spacious enough that even during evening rush hour, it’ll feel like the rat race vs. the pest control guy. That’s spacious! Moving down the list of characteristics is #4-allure. The new Penn Station and Moynihan Train Hall has the appeal that the original train terminal once had. The sense of allure-the desire to be surrounded by the wonders of the city and surrounded by history can be felt at all corners of the structure. Allure also lends itself to the elegance of railroad travel-the feeling of being greeted like royalty. Has anyone noticed that the new Penn Station is built inside the old Farely Post Office? It shows history, beauty, and royalty fused together. This leads to #3 on the list of characteristics-imaginative. Amtrak, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority came together and put their creativity and imagination in motion. From that imagination, a permanent solution to New York City’s 50+ year old nightmare was laid to rest. Imagination and creativity are what New York is all about. New York is a city that is always moving forward. The Moynihan Train Hall is the perfect reminder of that.
The second best of the new Penn Station’s characteristics is modernism. A train terminal like New York Penn Station and the Moynihan Train Hall should always sport a historic flavor, but speak the modern language of today. Undoubtedly, it does! Acela 1st Class and sleeping car passengers ought to make themselves at home at the new Metropolitan Lounge. There, sleeping car passengers and Acela 1st class passengers can relax and help themselves to light snacks and comfort foods, along with a full service cash bar. The Metropolitan Lounge is modernism and the New York lifestyle rolled into one. Topping the list of characteristics is a term that plain, pure, and simple, and sophisticated. These four words can’t sum up a more proper New York term; home. When Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers ascend up the escalator from the track platforms, they enter a station that they can instantly connect with. From now on, arriving at New York Penn Station will forever feel like arriving at home; not in a rat maze. No one felt like home arriving in the basement of Madison Square Garden. Who did?! Now, guess who will-everyone. To over eight million people, New York City is home. When it comes to traveling by train, home portrays an entirely new impression.
January 1st, 2021, New York City was presented with the keys to a whole new home. New York Penn Station and Moynihan Train Hall is the train terminal with a New York flavor and New York beat. Who can ask for a finer train terminal! It seems as if the demolition of the once grand terminal never happened. Yes, the demolition of the original Penn Station remains fresh in the minds of those who lived nearby. Many of them can still recall listening to the wrecking balls taking down every single one of her ornamental walls and entranceways. The creativity and vision of city officials, Amtrak, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority found a way to change all of that. The crowning solution can’t make Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers more proud. The station’s spaciousness, allure, imaginative nature, modernism, and the everlasting feeling of home all together present a mosaic-a mosaic now and forever depicting New York as the place to be; the mecca of railroad travel; the place where the world comes to audition. It is truly a wonder for the railroader’s eyes, speaking to the heart of travelers from all around the world.