Penn Station’s Moynihan Train Hall Officially Opens to Public, in Midtown Manhattan

Interior view of Moynihan Train HallInterior view of Moynihan Train Hall. Photo: New York State

After decades of planning and three years of construction, Manhattan’s Moynihan Train Hall finally opened its doors today to commuters. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 255,000-square-foot redevelopment of the landmarked James A. Farley Post Office Building shines with a grand new hall for Penn Station’s Amtrak and Long Island Railroad service, replete with a 92-foot-high glass atrium that harkens back to the original terminal. The new space, which was unveiled on Wednesday by Governor Cuomo, will help relieve commuter congestion and improve train scheduling and capacity.

The facility is located immediately across from Penn Station on Eighth Avenue, and offers direct access to Amtrak, the Long Island Rail Road, and six existing subway lines that service the area. The project also included the addition of eight new train tracks, expanded ticketing and baggage check-in areas, lounge areas for premier customers, a business center, and free Wi-Fi throughout.

Exterior view of Moynihan Station

Exterior view of Moynihan Station. Photo: New York State

Commuter waiting area at Moynihan Train Hall

Commuter waiting area at Moynihan Train Hall. Photo: New York State

Interior view of Moynihan Train Hall

Interior view of Moynihan Train Hall. Photo: New York State

The facility’s most impressive component is its glass canopy, which features four arched vaults, each made of 500 panels within a graceful metal frame. This bright hall is an incomparable improvement over the tight, labyrinthian corridors of the subterranean Penn Station, and will make commuting through one of the busiest corners of New York City a sunnier affair.

Interior view of Moynihan Train Hall

Interior view of Moynihan Train Hall. Photo: New York State

Interior view of Moynihan Train Hall

Interior view of Moynihan Train Hall. Photo: New York State

The public-private redevelopment was led by a consortium of entities including Empire State Development, Vornado Realty Trust, Related Companies, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Amtrak, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Skanska served as construction manager for the project, which first broke ground in 2017.

Eighth Avenue Subway Entrance at Moynihan Station

Eighth Avenue Subway Entrance at Moynihan Station. Photo: New York State

Eighth Avenue Subway Entrance at Moynihan Station

Eighth Avenue Subway Entrance at Moynihan Station. Photo: New York State

The hall is part of a $1.6 billion project that will eventually include additional passageways, subway entrances, and a variety of retail and dining options for waiting passengers.

Subscribe to YIMBY’s daily e-mail

Follow YIMBYgram for real-time photo updates
Like YIMBY on Facebook
Follow YIMBY’s Twitter for the latest in YIMBYnews


34 Comments on "Penn Station’s Moynihan Train Hall Officially Opens to Public, in Midtown Manhattan"

  1. It obviously is a big improvement, but it pales next to the original Penn Station that I remember.

    • Me too. When I was a boy in the ’50s and passed through Penn Station with my mother, the space and ceiling were overwhelming. The new station is a wonderful reminder of what was destroyed. Indeed, it invokes the theme of what entering the “City” should be be.

    • Big Improvement??? Now for Amtrak passengers, they have to walk 2 long avenue blocks from Sixth Avenue Subways, and new train hall doesn’t have direct underground access yet to old Penn Station, so the must cross 7th Avenue and Eight Avenue, to use new fashy train hall there…
      And For LIRR, if they use old concourse, now lower ceiling, under renovation (one two three years???), and then big surprise for them awaiting, if they used old access to platforms, then they have a “pleasant” rat infested not safe block long walk to their new train stop… I don’t see any reason for them use still preserved LIRR concourse, now under multiyear construction/renovation, and for NJ Transit passengers using tracks 1 to 4, they will use old packed train hall, those who use tracks 5-16, may use vacated Amtrak area… Under multi-year hammer renovation… and traffic around new construction will be redirected to bring more congestion on other streets and avenues nearby…
      This what’s Cuomo Dream Empire Station will bring for Train passengers…
      P.S. but Moynihan Train Hall is really modern station hall what’s NYC missed for half of century!!! Unlike for the rest of project across the street is very questionable benefits…

  2. With so many buildings prioritizing function and cost over aesthetics, it’s great to see something that’s both and efficient and beautiful. It’s one giant improvement for commuters and the neighborhood.

  3. I’ve always loved the City’s subway and train stations. There’s something about them that just feels so nostalgiac. This new one is no different. I will say though, my favorite new station and transportation hub has been the Oculus at the World Trade Center.

  4. Lovely build! Great work.
    Time to experience new network road on the go!

    • Does the new station include service for nj transit and I assume it replaces all of Penn Station

    • Really am sick and tired of the tacky rainbow LED lights. The Post Office is a beautiful classic building, why add garish lights? They need to hire an elegance consultant to avoid cliché and ugly trends.

      • “why add garish lights?”

        Because propaganda must be 24×7 or the proles might start asking uncomfortable questions.

  5. David in Bushwick | January 1, 2021 at 10:20 am | Reply

    Beautiful made easy with a stunning original building to start. Now with a new rational president, work can finally start on the critically needed new Hudson rail tunnels.

  6. I look forward to seeing this in person. From having seen Calatrava’s gazillion-dollar fish-bone phantasm downtown which looks like the would-be chapel for Star Fleet Academy, Moynihan looks like an actual modern train station for humans.

    • A Joyce Thompson | January 2, 2021 at 9:30 am | Reply

      What a great work! Now this is setting presidence for other surrounding new structures as they are tie into NEW York City!

  7. that’s not the 8th ave entrance…..the last picture is looking west from seventh ave…..two penn plaza is in the left foreground and msg drum is next, then the post office and then hudson yards in the background…..please change the subtitle description…..edtop40

  8. and the picture looking up the tube east towards the pennsylvania hotel is also on 7th ave

  9. To (badly) paraphrase Leonard Cohen:
    Where do all these train tracks go,
    now that we are free?
    The cities they’re all broke in half
    And the middlemen are gone
    But let me ask you one more time
    O children of the dusk
    All these hunters who are shrieking now
    Oh, do they speak for us?
    And where do all these highways go
    Now that we are free?
    Why are the armies marching still
    That were coming home to me?
    O lady with your legs so fine
    O stranger at your wheel
    You are locked into your suffering
    And your pleasures are the seal
    We are so small between the stars
    So large against the sky
    And lost among the subway crowds
    I try to catch your eye
    (from Stories of the Streets./Leonard Cohen)

  10. MSG will have to go and be replaced by a station building equal to the importance of the mass transit location it will serve, a landmark edifice of which New Yorkers and the nation can be proud. Only then will a colossal, historic mistake be addressed, even if only to a degree. Thank heavens for Mrs. Onassis, without whom Grand Central Terminal would likely have been lost as well.

  11. OneNYersOpinion | January 1, 2021 at 12:03 pm | Reply

    The last two pics are actually current enhancements to Penn Station proper (not Moynihan).

    Beyond that, Moynihan is a welcome expansion to this train complex. Beyond Amtrak & LRR, it will serve as an E-W link between new/upgraded development Herald Square and the Hudson River.

    The rest is up to Biden & Co to make new NJ rail tunnels and bridges happen. Bring it on !

  12. Michael Arnold | January 1, 2021 at 3:48 pm | Reply

    Sorry to be a “David in Bushwick” about this, but the new train hall is a massive waste of public money, all for zero improvement in transit capacity, and increased commute times for NJTransit users who now have to walk further to subway connections.

    If we were going to spend $1.6 billion, you think we could do it in a way that improved service or added capacity…

    • NJ Transit will get depart on from Penn Station. So don’t worry, you still will get your dumpy Penn Station when LIRR and Amtrak get a beautiful new area.

      If “we” were going to spend? You didn’t spend any money. The vast majority was paid for with private money from Vornado.

  13. So what will happen to the existing Penn Station?

    • It’s time to demolish old Penn station to ground, make temporary space for NJ Transit, while building a brand new combined train and bus station there, for NJ Transit rail, Greyhound, Megabus, Bolt. Also access to PATH tubes

    • What’s happening in “old Penn station”, almost nothing, more mess inside for remaining LIRR and all NJ Transit Rail passengers and subway enteances… new entrance opened to LIRR old concourse already under renovation, and from ” old Amtrak station” still Night Owl will depart early morning to Boston and Newport News, the rest of space (under heavy renovation) will be shared between remaining LIRR and NJ Transit and MTA Subway passengers. And confused Amtrak passengers who have to now walk 2 very big city blocks from Sixth Avenue Subway for new Moynihan Train Hall…
      Huge improvement for them too (sarcasm)…
      But at least we rebuilt modern Train Hall what’s NYC missed since demolition of Beaux Art Pennsylvania Station in 1960s…

  14. Visited the Moynihan Train Hall today and spent 4 plus hours photographing it as an homage to the original Penn Station.
    A wonderful combination of old and new ready to serve the public for the next 100 years.
    I also got to speak with AMTRAK officials and employees from Red Caps to the President of AMTRAK. Truly a grand day for for the public and transportation. Bravo!

    • This project along with ESA will relieve pressure on Penn and allow the expansion and reconstruction of Penn to proceed. Keep moving forward. Second Ave subway Phase 2 as well.

  15. It looks good. A few trees and plants in that atrium might make it even better.

  16. Definite improvement over the dungeon that it is replacing..but did they really need to make the Moynihan signage so gigantic and distracting?

  17. Really there is no 8 new tracks under Moynihan Train Hall, no space for them, until they building Penn Station South extension from current one, what is actually will be modern replica of current 1960s Penn Station with modern Office empty buildings and hotels on the ground!!! In place of Penn Station under Cuomo 18 year plan they rebuilt modern train multimodal hub, where is MSG go, nobody knows, and rebuilt 2 Penn Plaza, as well new skyscraper built next to One Penn Plaza, in place of Pennsylvania hotel, and underground connection to Sixth Avenue Subways. By 2038, if it’s ever happens…
    Now they just open very modern entrance to crappy old LIRR concourse, what’s very “precious” to be demolished, just raising ceilings, using vacated Amtrak portion of Penn Station… multi-year mess of construction and renovation, also Moynihan Train Hall have direct access for LIRR and Amtrak extended platforms only on tracks 5-21, leaving access to 1-4 tracks to LIRR underground concourse and NJ Transit train hall in Penn Station… Not a single Subway entrance are directly connect to new Moynihan Train Hall, you have to cross 8th Avenue and walk now 2 big blocks for Sixth Avenue subways, or use Old Penn Station to get to 8th Avenue Subways. Very smart relocation too…
    Next time people who use Amtrak and Six Avenue Subways need walk on street level 2 avenue blocks or one block then use old Penn Station and cross 8th Avenue to get access to bright and flashy Moynihan Train Hall… So, NJ and LIRR have still being used facilities of old underground labyrinth of corridors and halls, while Amtrak passengers needs walking extra blocks or cross 2 Avenues… For LIRR customers, their trains will depart from Moynihan Train Hall extended platforms, or by using old Penn Station stairs and escalators, they simple walk on underground platforms to their new location, I don’t think this safe and smart option for them, so I don’t know if any sense left for preserve LIRR still in Penn Station old concourse… They should close this part of Amtrak station, LIRR concourse, while built temporary quick access to tracks 1-4, from NJ Transit terminal space.
    For #66/67 Amtrak night train service they may use vacated at night NJ Transit terminal space, then they may do faster renovation of this Penn Station, building underground passages from 6th and 7th Avenues to new Moynihan Train Hall and rebuilt modern waiting space and access to tracks for NJ Transit. Amtrak doesn’t need 2 Train Halls, neither LIRR, new one now have enough space for both railroads!!! NJ transit doesn’t need a whole Penn Station complex vacated only for them either!!!
    Just modern suburban style access to their trains and modern waiting areas, with bigger restrooms, and quick access in widened corridors to all of track platforms they using. The Penn Station South doesn’t have to be built at all, and neither 8 new tracks!!! MSG and 2 Penn have to be renovated, rebuilt, but do we need really taller buildings there, lets Manhattan West and ESB and One Penn Plaza be tallest one from 5th Avenue to 9th Avenue corridor!!! If MSG can be moved, then better built open air area, green plazaz, open air cafes, small scale stores. New Moyniham Train Hall is enough now for fully accomodations for LIRR and Amtrak, they must just built direct underground wide connection from existing Subway stations and NJ Transit trains, and remove anything else from underground space in basement of 2 Penn Plaza and MSG. Make this draconian rebuilt 21st Century Direct Subway to Train Access to New Train Hall across 8th Avenue!!! And you don’t have to spent for this another 20 years!!!

  18. When will the focus be on safety? Clean up the homeless and crime or many will continue to avoid Penn Station at all cost.

  19. Pls forward me application.Mr Marion Brooks 3021 Briggs Ave 1F Bronx NY 10458

  20. All of that is very nice indeed.
    Just when Cuomo banned all travelers from New York (unless you want to quarantine or get multiple covid tests for nothing).
    These people are either completely delusional, stupid …or simply evil.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.