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New York's terminus for interstate trains is undistinguished, but functional.

 

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New York City's Pennsylvania Station on the east side of Eighth Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets (map), has been expanded into the former Farley Post Office between 8th and 9th avenues, giving New York the sort of modern railroad facility it has long needed.

Named the Moynihan Train Hall after the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), who championed the project, the grand classical-style building just northwest of Madison Square Garden is now the city's principal facility for Long Island Rail Road suburban and regional trains from Manhattan to Long Island, and for Amtrak intercity and interstate trains to New England and other US regions.

Penn Station (as it is commonly called), along with the new Moynihan Train Hall, is the busiest train station in the USA, by far. (Here's info on trains to Boston.)

The mundane (well, actually, ugly) appearance of the old Penn Station, below Madison Square Garden at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street (map) does not reveal its function, so entrances to the old station are difficult for non-New Yorkers to find; but the new Moynihan building is easily identifiable by its Beaux-Arts Corinthian colonnade designed by McKim, Mead & White (1911-1914). Both of these buildings fill the blocks between 31st and 33rd streets, from 7th to 9th avenues. (The Moynihan's official address is 421 Eighth Avenue.)

Trains are in the station and available for boarding for only a few minutes, so the concourse is full of passengers waiting for the announcement of track numbers.

When the track number is announced—usually only five to eight minutes before train departure time—passengers go to track-numbered escalators and descend to the track to board the train.

Note that the old Penn Station is used for trains between 1:00am and 5:00 am.

Amtrak has a tidy waiting area for its Acela express train passengers. Show your Amtrak ticket to enter. There's free Wifi.

Shops, snack stands, a bar and restaurant are on the sides of the concourse.

Long Island Rail Road trains are boarded in a separate, lower part of the station. Follow the signs. Numerous MTA subway lines can also be accessed beneath the station's two buildings.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, New York's other major railway station, is for commuter and regional trains. It's located at Park Avenue and 42nd Street (map), 13 blocks (1.5 miles/2.41 km) northeast of Penn Station: walk north 9 blocks north on 7th Avenue, then 4 blocks east on 42nd Street.

You can walk between stations in about 45 minutes, 35 if you have no luggage and you walk fast. A taxi might take 15 minutes once you actually get in a cab (there may be a waiting line for taxis).

A Bit of History

The original Pennsylvania Station was once a grand Doric-temple monument to 20th-century progress, also designed by McKim, Mead and White, but it was razed in 1964 to make way for a new Madison Square Garden sports and show arena, and an office tower, with the charmless but functional station beneath.

Happily, the station has now reclaimed some of its former glory.


 Grand Central Terminal

Amtrak

Airtrain JFK Airport

Airtrain Newark Airport

New York Transport

New York <—> Boston

NE Train Transportation

 

 

 

Moynihan Train Hall, Pennsylvania Station, New York City. Photo by Jim Henderson; Wikimedia Commons Moynihan Train Hall at Pennsylvania Station.

 

 

Pennsylvania Station Entrance, New York City

Entrance to the old Pennsylvania Station from 33rd Street & Eight Avenue, New York City.

 

   
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