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The Most Awful Transit Center in America


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#21 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:55 PM

I would call it a shopping mall connected to the train station, really.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#22 VentureForth

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:38 PM

Aren't the platforms essentially the same as they were in the Pennsylvania RR days? I mean, aren't they the same width and length? If so, then yes, refurbishing the concourse would be a huge improvement to the Penn Station experience. With new tunnel proposals, I haven't seen any indication of widening the platforms.

Just out of curiosity, can they dig new tunnels under the existing ones with a new set of platforms 25-50 feet below the existing ones? That's the ONLY way I see relief on the platforms and perhaps maintaining or increasing capacity.

Tokyo station isn't really that much different, style wise, on the platforms. It's a huge gated station with additional gates to Shinkansen. But once through the ticket wickets, there are hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail, stairs, platforms, moving sidewalks, customer service, etc. The main station is at ground level and there are 10 platforms with 20 tracks above 2 stories higher. There are also two separate areas with two platforms and four stubs each 4 stories underground. When I was in high school, I had to walk between almost the furthest two points in the station. Tokyo Station has around 450,000 boardings daily. Doesn't include through traffic. So, not much unlike Penn Station.

I say that to say this: they literally raised two or three platforms and associated tracks in the 90's without disrupting service. When there is a will, there is funding. When there is funding, there is a way. Chronic problem in New York seems to be overruns every time a project starts. I'm not going to claim corruption, but there's a HUGE difference in how money is spent when the Government provides funding vs when a private enterprise spends theirs.

Edited by VentureForth, 11 January 2018 - 02:51 PM.

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#23 jis

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 02:46 PM

Apparently not as was discovered during the design work for ARC. Incompetent Rocks they said.

But Gateway does have a viable plan for adding platforms.


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Edited by jis, 11 January 2018 - 02:47 PM.


#24 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:14 PM

There really isn’t a need to increase the number of platforms; in fact, I would take the stubs out of service. What you really need is to run it as a through station. All LIRR trains through to West Side, all NJTs through to Sunnyside.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#25 zephyr17

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:49 PM

Aren't the platforms essentially the same as they were in the Pennsylvania RR days? I mean, aren't they the same width and length? If so, then yes, refurbishing the concourse would be a huge improvement to the Penn Station experience. With new tunnel proposals, I haven't seen any indication of widening the platforms.

Just out of curiosity, can they dig new tunnels under the existing ones with a new set of platforms 25-50 feet below the existing ones? That's the ONLY way I see relief on the platforms and perhaps maintaining or increasing capacity.

Tokyo station isn't really that much different, style wise, on the platforms. It's a huge gated station with additional gates to Shinkansen. But once through the ticket wickets, there are hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail, stairs, platforms, moving sidewalks, customer service, etc. The main station is at ground level and there are 10 platforms with 20 tracks above 2 stories higher. There are also two separate areas with two platforms and four stubs each 4 stories underground. When I was in high school, I had to walk between almost the furthest two points in the station. Tokyo Station has around 450,000 boardings daily. Doesn't include through traffic. So, not much unlike Penn Station.

I say that to say this: they literally raised two or three platforms and associated tracks in the 90's without disrupting service. When there is a will, there is funding. When there is funding, there is a way. Chronic problem in New York seems to be overruns every time a project starts. I'm not going to claim corruption, but there's a HUGE difference in how money is spent when the Government provides funding vs when a private enterprise spends theirs.

Yes, they are the same platforms, although the extra supports for Madison Square Garden obstruct platform space considerably more than what it was before they demolished the original Penn Station and built MSG.  In fact all three operational levels of Penn Station (tracks, mezzanine/LIRR, and main waiting room) are at the levels they originally were and have the pretty much the same overall footprint, although the floorplan of the the LIRR and main waiting room levels is considerably different.  Old Penn was demolished and New Penn/MSG was built around them and they were in continuous use throughout the demolition/construction.  I bought a really interesting book on the subject, whose name escapes me since I am at work, not at home and can't refer to it.


Edited by zephyr17, 11 January 2018 - 04:50 PM.

Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
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#26 Chey

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:27 PM

I thought it would be TRE--but my commute through there is a breeze compared to this.
 
Whenever I go to New England from NJ, the worst part of the journey (actually, the only bad part) is going through the tunnel--I am always afraid it will collapse right then and there.
 
To be fair, the one near Baltimore is pretty scary, too.


I've never been North of WAS on the East coast, but every time I go to California I fear earthquakes. I realize that millions of people have chosen to live there, including family members whose earthquake experiences have so far been pretty mild.
At one time I lived in central Arizona and appreciated that the only natural hazard there was the heat. But I left it to live in tornado alley (cost of living was cheaper - at the time).

I guess the thing about Penn Station is it wouldn't even take a natural disaster to bring it down.

Edited by Chey, 11 January 2018 - 06:28 PM.


#27 Chas

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:31 PM

Cracks in a new floor are giving some of the news media another stick to beat Amtrak with.

https://nypost.com/2...-falling-apart/



#28 HP_Lovecraft

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 06:56 PM

I would call it a shopping mall connected to the train station, really.

 

The expensive Oculus station ended up being a glorified mall.

 

Don't get me wrong, I was excited to see the new station last year when I visited NYC. At first, I was very impressed with its design, layout, etc.  Until you work your way in, and find out its just an underground mall. And nobody was shopping, at least when I was there.

 

I guess the argument is they could never have built such an expensive station without funding from the mall section, but what happens if the mall fails?



#29 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 07:34 PM

When. When it fails. NYC is a historically awful place for shopping malls. There are whole avenues that are miles long out door malls; creating artificial indoor ones is silly.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#30 jis

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:10 PM

The mall in Oculus actually happened after it was built. It was not part of the original plan and the Oculus does not depend on the success of the mall, or at least originally it did not. The fastidious Calatrava objected vociferously about the later addition of the mall.

I do not mind the mall in the Moynihan Concourse. I find it odd trying to give an additional entranceway to a pre-existing station a name that gives the wrong impression that it is a separate station. It is a bit disingenuous and pretentious IMHO. It is like trying to pretend that the Marunouchi exit concourse of Tokyo Central Station is Marunouchi Station.


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Edited by jis, 11 January 2018 - 08:18 PM.


#31 dlagrua

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:02 AM

IMO any replacement for the cave that is now called Penn Station is a step up. Most of the time passengers spend is  in the waiting area. To have a big spacious area rather than a claustrophobic low ceiling cavern to wait for your train should be a huge improvement.  I am speaking as one who uses that station for NJT and not Amtrak but if you've seen the artists.depiction of the completed Moynihan station I would say most would agree that its a big step up. As for it being a mall. Look at whats in Penn Station now.



#32 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 08:17 AM

I miss Papaya Dog. A lot.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#33 VentureForth

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:02 AM

I do not mind the mall in the Moynihan Concourse. I find it odd trying to give an additional entranceway to a pre-existing station a name that gives the wrong impression that it is a separate station. It is a bit disingenuous and pretentious IMHO. It is like trying to pretend that the Marunouchi exit concourse of Tokyo Central Station is Marunouchi Station.

True. Tokyo Station has two unique names for their entrances - Marunouchi and Yaesu. Yet Shinjuku calls out East and West. Interestingly, these two examples tell you which side of the tracks you'll be exiting on. Moynihan, on the other hand, is inline with the MSG exit. It is odd that they actually call it the Moynihan Station rather than Concourse,Entrance or Access.

So, I guess the question is, what is the "Station"? Tickets, gate, stairs and platform? Or is it the "whole" experience?

Edited by VentureForth, 12 January 2018 - 01:42 PM.

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Completed Routes: Capitol Limited, Palmetto
Also Ridden: Carolinian, Crescent, Pacific Surfliner, Piedmont, Southwest Chief, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Texas Eagle


#34 railiner

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:29 PM

I believe that Moynihan proponents were pushing for the renaming  of Penn Station into "Moynihan Station", but New Yorker's are very resistant to renaming of their institution's, and so they had to settle for just the new part on the old Post Office property to bear that name...


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#35 jis

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:22 AM

And they could have just settled for Moynihan Concourse. But no. Of course not. Why stop when you can aid and abet confusion and make people believe they are getting a whole new station. It is amazing how many people believe that there will be new tracks and platforms and argue the point until the cows come home.


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#36 neroden

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:31 PM

I would call it a shopping mall connected to the train station, really.

You'd be wrong.  I've been in those (uh... DC, for example)... this is not that.

 

Basically Moynihan is a new waiting room.  And contrary to the uninformed opinion of those who never take the last Empire Service of the day out of Penn, a new waiting room is badly, badly needed.  Seems a little expensive for a waiting room, but that's NYC mobbed-up construction prices for you.


Edited by neroden, 13 January 2018 - 04:32 PM.

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#37 PVD

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 05:04 PM

You are correct about the need to expand the waiting area, but in addition, you are also creating access on the West side of 8th Avenue, and considering the amount of office development on that side the ability to enter without crossing 8th makes complete sense.



#38 Anderson

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 07:28 PM

Worth noting is that the article discusses the tunnels alongside the station.  The issues are quite related and entangled, don't get me wrong, but NYP's "internal" issues are not the same as the need to repair/replace/augment the Hudson tunnels.


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