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New Yorkers know that Penn Station is one of those places that you’d rather run from than toward. It’s old, dirty, dark and overall pretty decrepit. So it comes as welcome news that Governor Andrew Cuomo just unveiled plans for a new — and drastically improved — Pennsylvania Station-Farley Complex. The best part of all: it’s all scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

The new Penn Station Farley Building will house the Moynihan Train Hall for Amtrak and LIRR passengers. The new hall looks like a major improvement, at 250,000 square feet and 10 stories tall, which makes it 50% larger than the existing Penn Station — and larger than nearby Grand Central Station.

The new Moynihan Train Hall is larger than Grand Central.
The new Moynihan Train Hall will be larger than Grand Central Station.

There will be new ticketing and waiting areas, as well as 700,000 square feet of retail and office space.

The new hall will be brighter and more open, with nicer ticketing and waiting areas.
The new hall will be brighter and more open, with nicer ticketing and waiting areas.

Tall glass arches will provide natural sunlight into the station, a welcome addition for anyone who’s traveled through Penn Station in its current condition.

Plenty of natural light and more retail options will make traveling through Penn Station much more pleasant.
Plenty of natural light and more retail options will make traveling through Penn Station a pleasant experience.

The LIRR corridor will also become more traveler-friendly, featuring wider hallways, brighter ceilings and more signage. Penn Station’s current hallways are 25 feet wide — which can be a real nightmare during rush hour — but with the new construction, they’ll be more than 70 feet wide.

The new LIRR corridor will feature better signage.
The new LIRR corridor will feature better signage as well.

The ceiling height, on the other hand, is somewhat limited, but will be expanded to 18 feet tall, two feet above its current level. In addition, the ceiling will feature an LED screen with bright skies and clouds.

The LED ceiling will make the corridor much brighter.
The new LED ceiling will make the LIRR corridor appear much brighter.

Both subway stations that are connected to Penn Station (the A/C/E and 1/2/3 lines) will be refreshed as well. You can also expect to find free Wi-Fi, USB and outlet power stations and real-time train updates throughout the station.

The three contractor companies that will be transforming the building include Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP and Skanska AB. In all, the project will cost a total of $1.6 billion. There’s no doubt that these changes, which are scheduled to be completed by 2020, are welcome for anyone who travels through it now — when the Governor actually refers to it as “the LaGuardia of train stations,” you know something needs to be changed!

H/T: Curbed New York

All images courtesy of the Governor’s Office.

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