Monday, July 9, 2012

Move Over Grand Central: Moynihan Station Will Turn Heads

The new Moynihan intercity passenger rail station will extend the present terminal across 8th Avenue into the historic Farley Post Office Building to create a new signature station in New York. The Moyhnihan/Penn Station complex will create a consolidated Amtrak operation on Manhattan’s west side and the high level of service and connectivity required for next generation high speed rail service.

Here’s a first look at the future Moynihan Station, a sleek, airy and light-filled space expected to severely ease crowding in overflowing — and ugly — Penn Station.

The renderings, released yesterday by Amtrak, show the old James Farley Post Office redone in the manner of a continental European station, complete with soaring ceilings and clearly marked track space.

The first phase of the $267 million project is expected to open by 2016.

As pretty as it will be, the improvements for commuters will largely be cosmetic. No extra trains will be able to come into Penn or its gleaming new neighbor, Moynihan, because the tracks running under the Hudson are already operating at capacity.

But officials say that Moynihan will improve the times it takes people to get into and out of the station. The renderings were released in an Amtrak report, which detailed the future of high speed rail in the coming decades.

The railroad company is hoping to add track improvements to significantly reduce travel times on the busy Northeast Corridor, which links Boston to Washington, DC.

If implemented, those improvements could decrease travel time from New York to Boston or DC to 94 minutes by 2030, the report said. They could also reduce New York to Philadelphia trip to a mere 37 minutes, the report said