Why Moynihan Station Has Negative Transportation Value

Amtrak has been making noises again about the need for Moynihan Station as a replacement concourse for Penn Station for Amtrak travelers, but makes it clear it does not want to pay almost anything for it. While former Amtrak President David Gunn withdrew from the project on the grounds that it would not increase track capacity, and another former president criticized the project for the same reason, today’s Amtrak is interested in the prospects of not sharing concourse space with commuter trains.

The irony is that what Amtrak perceives as the value of Moynihan Station is actually negative value. Penn Station already has a problem with concourse integration – different concourses have different train arrival boards, and different ticket-vending machines. The need to change concourses lengthens access time, in my experience by a minute or two. Right now, Amtrak has just gotten $450 million to increase top speed in New Jersey from 135 mph to 160 mph for a 24-mile stretch (150 under current regulations), for a time saving of 100 seconds (64 if only 150 mph is possible) minus acceleration and deceleration time. From my perspective as a passenger, the minute or two I lose every time I need to change concourses at Penn Station is worse than a minute or two spent on a train.

Separating the concourses completely is even worse when it comes to access and egress times. In comments on Second Avenue Sagas, Jim (who comments here as well) says that the move one block to the west is not too bad for intercity travelers, because to get to Midtown hotels, people would take the E anyway. However, people who live in New York and wish to travel elsewhere, or people who visit but do not stay at Midtown hotels, are likelier to take the 1/2/3, and Amtrak as well as local Moynihan Station boosters want them (us) to need to travel an extra crosstown block to travel. That’s 3 extra minutes of access time; at current costs, how many extra billions would have to spent to save them on the train?

Even the stated purpose of Moynihan Station, bringing people to the city in grandeur, fails. The building is a former post office rather than a train station; its former main entrance (still leading to the post office – thanks to Jim for the clarification) requires people to climb stairs. There are planned to be step-free entrances, but those remove much of the neo-classical grandeur.

From the perspective of intercity rail passengers, the biggest problem with Penn Station is the tracks and track access. The platforms are narrow, and visibility is obscured by columns, staircases, escalators, and elevators. But even what exists is not used to its fullest extent. Although Amtrak checks all passengers’ tickets on board, it also conducts a prior check at the station, funneling all passengers through just one access point and lengthening the boarding process. It’s possible to go around the check by boarding from the lower concourse, but Amtrak trains are not posted there, requiring passengers to loiter on the upper concourse, see what track the train arrives on (information which is typically posted only 15 minutes before departure), and scramble. As a result of the convoluted boarding process, Regional trains dwell 15 minutes at Penn Station, and Acela trains dwell 10 minutes. Many of those minutes could be saved by just better station throughput.

If more infrastructure is needed, it is not a separate passenger concourse, but better platforms and platform access. Some of the platforms – namely, the southern ones, hosting New Jersey Transit trains but not Amtrak trains – have too few access points, and require additional staircases and escalators.

More radically, platforms may need to be widened, at the expense of the number of tracks. This is one of the advantages of regional rail through-running, though in reality, even today clearing a full rush-hour commuter train is fast enough (about 1.5-2 minutes on the LIRR) that at least the LIRR could stand to have tracks paved over and still have enough terminal capacity for its current needs; New Jersey Transit, which has fewer tracks and trains with worse door placement and smaller vestibules, may have problems, but Amtrak doesn’t use its regular tracks because they do not connect eastward.

Amtrak’s history with Moynihan Station is especially telling about the company’s priorities. Clearly, Moynihan is not a priority – that’s why Amtrak says it has no money for it, and that’s why Gunn removed it from the company’s list of projects. The biggest supporters of Moynihan are local boosters and developers, who want the extra retail space. The planned expenditure on the project is $14 billion: $2 billion in public money for the train station, the rest in private money for development around it. The family of Daniel Moynihan is a strong backer of a monument named after the late Senator. It is not surprising that a project whose benefit goes entirely to power brokers and not to transportation users is backed by the locals the most: Amtrak and federal agencies may be dysfunctional, but they are models of efficiency compared to the local governments in the US.

However, Amtrak is incapable of saying no to monuments and megaprojects that it thinks will benefit it. More crucially, it will argue for their construction. Its symbiotic relationship with local governments seems to be, we’ll support your boondoggles if you support ours. Today’s Amtrak is not Gunn’s Amtrak, but the Amtrak that fired Gunn for refusing to defer maintenance in order to boost on-paper profitability.

Moynihan Station represents a failing of not only transportation planning, but also urban planning. More than any other project in New York, it brings back my original analogy between today’s urban boosterism and the modernist suburbanism of the first two-thirds of the 20th century. The project’s backers tell us a story: Penn Station was a magnificent edifice destroyed by thoughtless planners, and now we must repair the damage and restore style to passenger railroad travel. Since they base their conception of infrastructure on moral and aesthetic claims, which always seem to coincide with what gives them more money and kudos, they do not care whether the project is beneficial to users, and find the preexisting situation self-evidently bad.

Because the argument for Moynihan is entirely about the need for a grand, morally good projects, the backers spurn incremental improvement of what already exists, finding it so repulsive that it must be replaced no matter what. This is quite similar to how some proponents of suburbanization opposed improving tenements on the grounds that it would detract from the purpose of razing them and sending their residents out to single-family houses.

For example, both Moynihan backers and New Jersey Transit have complained about lack of space for passenger circulation at Penn Station; in reality, IRUM‘s George Haikalis has computed that about half of the lower concourse’s space is used for Amtrak back offices and concessions rather than for passenger circulation. In reality, Penn Station’s low ceilings make the station appear cramped, but the concourses are still fairly functional, and even at rush hour the crowding level is normal by the standards of what I’ve seen at Paris’s Gare de Lyon and at Nice’s main station.

This interplay between bad local governance and federal agencies that coddle it is part of what caused Amtrak’s Vision plan to be so bloated. The single worst component, the new tunnels through Philadelphia, appear to come from Amtrak’s belief that the local officials want strict separation of high-speed and commuter train infrastructure, coming from the fact that the locally-designed Penn plan included such tunnels. And in New York, Amtrak’s proposed its own marked-up version of ARC, one that is not too much better than the cavern plan that was under construction. On a smaller scale, the Harold Interlocking separation, primarily a New York State project benefiting commuter rail riders, made it to Amtrak’s list of desired incremental improvements, and is now receiving funding earmarked to high-speed rail.

The only special trait distinguishing Moynihan from those other unnecessary or bloated projects is that it’s harmful to riders, rather than neutral or insufficiently beneficial. The main backers of the project do not care much for transportation users, but Amtrak should. It seems to believe that its passengers want to spend time sitting at its train stations as if they were airline lounges; nowadays, not even air travelers like spending time at airports, which is why such time-saving features as printing boarding passes at home are so popular. The only positive thing to say about the project is that the cost is so high relative to the effect on passengers that the return on investment is very close to zero, rather than the -4% figures seen for long-distance Amtrak projects. And I don’t think that “This project only has an ROI of -0.2%” is a valid argument for construction.

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43 Responses to Why Moynihan Station Has Negative Transportation Value

  1. Danny says:

    Interesting. It is almost like a revival of the City Beautiful movement, which gave us a bunch of cool architecture, but completely failed every other goal it had. Sure, people like architecture, but it doesn’t make them more virtuous, doesn’t make them impractical, doesn’t make them trust government more, and rarely, if ever, is the reason why people choose to live in one city over another.

  2. Andy Likuski says:

    Having travelled several times this summer between NYC and Boston and Montreal, but rarely on the commuter rail, I will say that Penn Station is terrible place to depart from and arrive into the city. Time savings aside, I’d rather enter a roomy, aesthetically pleasing space like Grand Central than the bowels of Penn Station, which is the only place in the city that feels like a genuine security risk due to the large crowds in a confined space. New York CIty needs a better building for it’s largest regional terminal, and the post office seems like the most reasonable option, short of raising the Garden and rebuilding the old Penn Station. If we agree that a major improvement to Penn Station is needed long-term, what are the alternatives to the post office?

    • ant6n says:

      How about making as much space as possible – get rid of all the back offices and concessions, remove all possible walls, maybe install mirrors on the ceilings, widen every entrance as much as possible and add as many entrances as possible without having to do a complete rebuild (elevators, too).

      Widening the platforms could also create more space, together with allowing everybody to move everywhere, including platforms (tickets are supposed to be checked on trains, not platforms), that should create more space. The platform areas are also very dark, both in terms of lighting and wall color. So add more light (maybe there’s some way to direct natural light onto the concourses/platforms), and install bright tiles/paint the platform areas.

      Removing the walls/connecting concourses and other areas could also make for a simpler station layout. Together with putting a big map every 10 feet, this could give passengers a better sense of the overall space and layout, and help people feel less crowded.

      • Adirondacker12800 says:

        They are going to move the back offices out – to the Farley building. Along with the Acela lounge, baggage, ticket counters etc.

        • Nathanael says:

          This.

          Admittedly, *all* the problems come from the unwillingness of LIRR to play nice with Amtrak, but changing LIRR culture seems to be completely impossible short of shutting it down and firing everyone at once.

  3. jim says:

    For the record, I agree with you that Moynihan Station is a very bad idea. New York State shouldn’t be planning to spend any money on it (but then, New York shouldn’t be planning to spend money replacing the Tappan Zee bridge, either, which is going to cost a lot more than Moynihan). Neither should the Port Authority.

    If I were dictator (or even if I were just running Amtrak), I would have some of the office and retail space in the existing Penn Station converted to public space, more departure and arrival display screens spread widely across the Penn Station public space and adequate wayfinding introduced into the station. And, yes, I’d get rid of the pre-boarding ticket check (Amtrak does this at Philadelphia, too, but there they do it before the train arrives at the platform, so that passengers are already spread out on the platform when the train arrives; I assume they don’t do that in New York because of the narrow, encumbered platforms).

    But what I was trying to do in the SAS comment was to understand why Amtrak (or rather the piece of Amtrak that Drew Galloway speaks for) was taking the position that it was.

    There is a passenger flow problem. At peak, the Seventh Avenue street accesses and all the subway accesses are at LOS D: V/C > 1. This is what Galloway was referring to when he made the crack about the running of the bulls. So is the LIRR concourse. Intercity passengers transferring from LIRR have to push their way through the LIRR concourse and the mob surrounding the Seventh Avenue/32nd Street access to get to the Amtrak concourse. And Moynihan does fix that. LIRR/Intercity passengers will use the Western Concourse to go between the LIRR platforms and Moynihan. Intercity passengers won’t use the Seventh Avenue accesses. There isn’t that much distance between the present platform accesses in the Amtrak concourse in the existing Penn Station and the planned platform accesses in Moynihan. Whether you walk to the one under 32nd Street or walk to the other along 33rd Street doesn’t make much difference in elapsed time.

    There is a passenger waiting space problem. Intercity passengers are booked on a specific train. They, therefore, arrive a bit before the train is scheduled to avoid missing it. Commuters don’t. They arrive when they arrive and take the next available train. In some countries (I believe Japan) intercity trains work like that, too. But Amtrak doesn’t. Passengers for any particular train accumulate in the waiting room until that train is ready for boarding. The current space allocated to general passengers is inadequate. Moynihan will fix that.

    I repeat, these problems are fixable within the existing Penn Station and it’s a waste of New York, PA and Federal money to fix them by building Moynihan. But if someone else wants to fix them at no cost to Amtrak, it’s hard for Amtrak to say no.

    Platform vertical access is trickier. Tracks 1-4 currently clear within two minutes of the arrival of a fully loaded NJT train. Partly this is because they can only handle eight-car trains. But new vertical accesses probably won’t make much difference. The tracks that LIRR uses — 13 to 21 — also all clear within three minutes of the arrival of a fully loaded train: they have eight or nine vertical accesses and LIRR trains are single level. It’s the central platforms that don’t have enough vertical accesses: tracks 5-8 have only five and tracks 9-12, six. Theoretical capacity is under 500 pedestrians/minute. If a fully loaded NJT train arrives on one of these tracks it will take around six minutes to clear the platform. The Western Concourse extension, the funded piece of Moynihan, will provide two new staircases, each nominally 6′ wide, to each of these platforms. That may take the platform clearance time for a fully loaded NJT train down to four minutes or so.

    For Amtrak trains, though, as opposed to NJT, 400-500 pedestrians/minute is fine. An eight-car Regional terminating at New York isn’t going to dump more than 500 passengers onto the platform, and it will take a minute or two to get them from the train to the platform. If it takes a couple of minutes to clear the platform, that’s not a problem. For Amtrak, lack of vertical accesses isn’t what causes the dwell problem. FWIW, I suspect the scheduled New York dwells are a form of schedule padding. As long as Amtrak thinks it needs to plan for schedule recovery, it’ll schedule those dwells, regardless of what happens to the station infrastructure.

    • Nathanael says:

      Smart posting. Amtrak has, indeed, developed the mentality of piggybacking on anything which gives Amtrak an incremental benefit. And this is a reasonable mentality for an agency which has been on a starvation budget for 40 years.

  4. anonymouse says:

    This seems like an opportune moment to mention one of the big differences in the conception of train stations in the US compared to Europe. In Europe, railroad infrastructure was fairly substantial from the start, including the stations, which tended and tend toward grand buildings, often with a grand arch over all the tracks. In the US, traffic density was lower, and cost was much more of a concern, so railroad stations tended toward frontier-style minimalism, often just a shack next to the tracks a a train yard. And these different historical circumstances seem to have embedded themselves in the countries’ differing conceptions of train stations: Europe generally tends to include the trains and tracks inside the station, with passengers waiting on the platform being considered normal. The US, on the other hand, tends to separate the “station” and trains, with passengers waiting in the station, because it’s not safe or comfortable to wait in the middle of a train yard. Even in Grand Central, which is full of architectural splendor, the track areas are dingy and bland. (As a side note, I suspect that this is also why NYCT insists on painting the station ceiling above trackways black)

    • Michael John says:

      What can we do to make the track areas at grand central as good as the rest of it? How much would it cost and what would we have to do?

      • Alon Levy says:

        Well, Grand Central has 42 or so platform-facing tracks, and based on its traffic doesn’t need more than about 10. So tracks could be paved over and given over to concessions. Raising the ceiling and improving lighting might be harder, though.

        • Steve says:

          IIRC (based on some old GCT track diagrams I saw) there are two platform levels at Grand Central. So moving all the trains to the lower level and chopping the upper level out completely would create a platform cavern.

          Dunno about improving lighting, though.

          • Alon Levy says:

            Yes, there are two levels. Not sure why I didn’t think about it. The question, though, is how feasible this gutting would be; unlike paving over single tracks, it would involve a lot of heavy lifting, literally, and could disrupt existing operations even on tracks that are not to be removed.

          • Nathanael says:

            Big waste though. I don’t think platforms should be removed from GCT; instead, the platforms should be connected to something. (Alternative G….)

            Unlike in Penn, the platforms are plenty wide enough at GCT.

            The main reason GCT’s platform areas seem nasty is that the platform edges are crumbling. Just repair the concrete, paint the steel, and install nicer lighting, and everyone will say how marvelous the platforms are.

      • anonymouse says:

        It’s not really about looking good, it’s more that this is evidence of a certain mindset, which has effects not just on appearance, but also on operating practices, and an attempt to point out that other places with different mindsets have different operating practices, which may be more efficient.

  5. Yesterday afternoon I passed through Penn Station with my spouse, my five-month-old son in a stroller, and three large bags. We were headed home on public transit from Newark Airport. We came in on NJT on track 8 I think and left via the IRT uptown local.

    What I notice every time travelling with the stroller is that the elevators are sub-functional. The single elevator from track 8 left us on the Amtrak concourse; we then had to use the elevator behind the Krispy Kreme to descend to the LIRR concourse, then fight our way through the LIRR crowds and the NYCT lines in order to get to the 33rd St entrance, which has the elevator to platform level.

    • Adirondacker12800 says:

      Or you could have taken the A or C to Columbus Circle and used the elevators there.

      • No, because the token booth on the lower level of the Penn Station IND stop is no longer staffed, and therefore there’s nobody to open the gate for you in order for the stroller to enter.

        • Adirondacker12800 says:

          From the MTA’s website
          34 St-Penn Station A C E
          Elevator at southeast corner of 34th Street and Eighth Avenue to uptown local C E platform level. For other service, after paying fare use elevator # 226 to mezzanine level and take elevator # 227 for uptown and downtown A service or elevator # 228 for downtown C E service.

          • Are you seriously suggesting that one should use the same smelly elevator behind the Krispy Kreme in the middle of the Amtrak floor to get to street level, then cross 33rd St on the east side of 8th Ave, go up one block to 34th St through holiday-week pedestrian traffic, then down one elevator to the platform level? If you’re just mentioning it for completeness’ sake, that’s OK, but don’t tell me it’s a reasonable alternative for two adults with a stroller and three large heavy bags.

            The advantage of the mezzanine-level entrance at 33rd & 8th is that there’s a ramp down to it from the LIRR platform, but NYCT makes it useless by not having a clerk in the token booth there.

        • Adirondacker12800 says:

          I have no friggin idea where the bleeding elevators are. If I had a toddler in tow I would spring for the 15 dollar cab ride instead of whining about how a century old train station doesn’t make it possible for you to take half your wardrobe along with you on a weekend trip.

          • Your lack of sympathy to those who can’t get up or down stairways is noted. Good luck to you when you start a family, or lose the use of your lower extremities.

            If you want to have a discussion about concourse integration for local and regional rail, it is appropriate to point out how the current layout is poorly designed for people and families who can’t climb stairs. I think therefore the appropriate comment would have been, “You know, I hadn’t thought of that; it sounds like a real hassle.”

          • Adirondacker12800 says:

            Fine we’ll close Penn Station for ten years, tear down Madison Square Garden and 5 Penn Plaza, rebuild all the platforms and the subway stations to your liking. Shouldn’t cost more than 10-15 billion dollars so that you don’t have to walk 2/3rds of a block to save on cab fare.

          • Richard Mlynarik says:

            Jonathan, ignore the troll.

            As a counter-example to all this, In Zürich they put customers first and care about convenience and travel time.

            In support of this, a few years that put in (technically a major lengthening and widening of) an entire new underground access point beneath the active platforms of a 2000 train/day 300000 passenger/day station, adding escalators and (cool, non-vertical) elevators and connecting either boths ends directly into the surrounding city streets. No concourses, no fare gates, no token booths, none of that nonsense of course: the point is to allow people to get where they’re going quickly, of course.

            The result, “Passage Sihlquai” isn’t a great architectural marvel, and could never be so given its location, but it’s extremely serviceable, massively heavily used, pleasant enough to traverse, and does the job.

            A pretty good set of photos is here: http://www.stevesgallery.net/displayimage.php?album=121&pos=0 (I hope that link comes out.)

          • Adirondacker12800 says:

            Very clever of them making the 20,000 seat arena over the station transparent so the skylights get sunlight.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:One_Penn_Plaza.jpg

          • Nathanael says:

            There has been talk of ADA lawsuits against Amtrak for the lack of elevator access to Penn Station.

            The platforms have a fairly decent bank of elevators to the LIRR level, and some of those go to the NJT/Amtrak level, but there is a total of ONE, very well hidden, elevator from the surface to the interior.

  6. Rob Durchola says:

    One minor point – Amtrak trains are posted on SOME monitors on the lower concourse level, specifically in the tracks 1-8 (NJ Transit) area. One takes the main stairway from the main (upper) concouse level down to that area or walks to that area if coming off of NJ Transit or LIRR trains or the subway. The negatives are that there is no seating and no AMTRAK ticket machines anywhere near those monitors.

  7. I can agree and somewhat disagree. I do agree on the part that the primary emphasis should be on better platforms and circulation for priority number one. However, I do still think there should be a massive asethetic improvement to the station. With the Farley building conversion, that should be a significant help with adding another set of access points to the platforms but they still need some significant widening. That will be equally expensive though. Adding the new tracks should probably be the first item on the agenda, from there, start rennovating the other platforms.

    • Nathanael says:

      Platform widening is a pain; “practically impossible” might be the right phrase. Basically, to do it, you have to remove tracks first. Now, how to remove tracks from Penn Station? Well, either you have to add new tracks first (hence “Penn Station South” or the NJT deep cavern), or you have to change operational procedures (which would involve LIRR cooperating with NJT, which is impossible — LIRR wouldn’t even agree to merge with Metro-North, its sister agency).

      Personally, I say dissolve the LIRR, sack everyone, and hand it to NJT to operate, but I don’t think that’s politically viable as long as NJT and NY are separate states.

      • Alon Levy says:

        Serious question: is the LIRR really that much worse than NJT? After all, NJT picked ARC Alt P-Cavern over Alt G, and NJT clings to terrible rolling stock decisions like the ALPs, while the LIRR gets M7s.

        • Nathanael says:

          OK, I got back to this two years later. The answer is that NJT merely makes bad choices, but LIRR *refuses to cooperate with anyone else*. The former problem can be addressed by pressure from the organizations NJT is cooperating with. I find the latter problem less correctable.

          • Adirondacker12800 says:

            Locomotive hauled trains meant they are able to squeeze another 30 percent more passengers into Penn Station on the same length of train. A good decision considering that back in the 80s when NJTransit, the LIRR and Amtrak were saying that they will run out of capacity in the early 2000s and we better start building something now, which everybody ignored. They ran out of capacity in 1994 when Midtown Direct turned out to be wildly successful.

          • Joey says:

            How exactly would locomotive hauled trains increase capacity? There might be some marginal benefit if you didn’t have to platform the locomotive but the interlockings are so close to the platforms at Penn that it’s not an option.

          • Alon Levy says:

            Bilevel coaches.

          • Adirondacker12800 says:

            when they have to bring the 12 car trains into the 12 car platforms the locomotive is past the end of the platform. Not much of a problem at the 16 car platforms. Can’t run 13 cars trains to the suburban stations because they have 12 car platforms. They can pack more people into each car when it’s a locomotive hauled train.

          • Alon Levy says:

            Ah, that’s a marginal improvement – the cab of an EMU doesn’t occupy that much space.

          • Adirondacker12800 says:

            They are push-pulls so there’s cabs in the loco hauled coaches too. When they started down this road 20 years ago there weren’t many AC MU bilevels, there certainly weren’t bi frequency bi level AC MUs. Power electronics have moved on since then. They’ve sent out requests for information for mulitlevel MUs. Dunno if they got any responses but they are looking at it. .

  8. jim says:

    One minor correction to the OP. The Eighth Avenue Stairs won’t lead to the station; they’ll continue to lead to the residual post office operation: the teller windows and post office boxes that they lead to today. Access to the train hall will be via two street level entrances flanking the stairs which will be built as part of the Western Concourse extension (the funded part). There are also planned to be midblock 31st Street and 33rd Street entrances, one of which will host the taxican queue.

    • Steve says:

      That detail in particular undermines some of Cap’n Transit’s critique.

      The larger issue, however, is the fact that the subway network developed around Penn Station being at 7th and 34th. Moynihan Station would be at 8th and 34th, an 800 ft. longer walk to the 7th Ave. subway.

      My dream would be a rebuilding of Penn Station the way the historical cores of European cities were rebuilt…although that’s not gonna happen.

    • Alon Levy says:

      (Sorry, it took me a few readings to realize what you were correcting.)

      Yeah, you’re right that there will be level entrances. As I said, the problem is that they rob some of the grandeur that Moynihan is supposed to restore.

  9. Patton says:

    There is NO Legislation renaming the Farley Post Office “Moynihan Station”…..the only piece of legislation passed in regards to this project designates Amtrak’s facilites “Moynihan Station”. I find it disturbing that some would suggest that the construction of Amtraks facilities allow the boosters of this project to effectively rename the Farley Post Office….which is a landmark. Postmaster Farley is a historical figure, and what that represents in regards to F.D.R……and “The New Deal”….are more important than recapturing the lost Glory of Penn Station. We are Americans and people want to destroy Farley’s monument to build something more “European”….i find the whole idea to be disturbing, and dangerous. I would take a hard look t those behind this project are…..who are there masters….and what is the real agenda here. Wasn’t NJ Transit supposed to be the tenant of Moynihan Station….it seems they are not concerned with whats good for the taxpayer…and that it does not matter who the tenant is ….they are building in the Post Office and that’s that. Where are the Preservationists now….Farley is a Landmark. How about they move everyone out of the Morgan processing facility that were originally in the Farley Building and raze Morgan, then Farley would be a fully functional Post Office again. Developers own this city…..Hudson Yards is where the Moynihan Station should go….but no the developers want the waterfront property!

    • Alon Levy says:

      The main tenant of Moynihan Station is intended to be Amtrak, not NJT. NJT’s original plan was to keep using the Penn Station concourse but switch to the new ARC tunnel, with some supplementary trains using the old tunnel – in other words, to change to a new platform area but not to a new concourse. I think the confusion comes from the fact that both ARC and Moynihan are/were white elephant projects involving Penn Station; I originally thought the same, that the plan was to move NJT to Moynihan and that this was part of ARC.

      • jim says:

        After Gunn pulled Amtrak out, there was an attempt to get NJT to sign up as the anchor tenant for Moynihan. It may well be that some sort of memorandum (of understanding or agreement) was signed. With Boardman bringing Amtrak sort of back in and ARC seeming to progress, NJT, if they had committed, presumably backed out. The 2010 Technical Memorandum updating the DEIS provided for two alternative internal structures: one where Amtrak was the principal tenant and one where it was not. Patton is, I’m afraid, right:

        it does not matter who the tenant is ….they are building in the Post Office and that’s that.

  10. Pingback: A glimpse of a future for Amtrak’s expensive waiting room :: Second Ave. Sagas

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