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Spending as little time as possible in New York’s Penn Station is a goal for nearly any New Yorker. The dark, dirty maze of a station is home to the regional train lines: New Jersey Transit and Long Island railroads, as well as Amtrak and some of its most profitable routes along the Northeastern Corridor.
In 2016 it was announced that Penn was finally getting a much needed renovation and now Amtrak is upping its game too, enough to where Amtrak passengers may actually want to spend time at the station before their ride. Penn Station will expand into a building across the street from its current location, the historic James A. Farley Post Office, transforming into Moynihan Train Hall.
The refresh of the Penn Station will cost $1.6 billion and hopefully be completed by early 2021. Amtrak says the station will feature massive improvements to the passenger experience, “including more spacious boarding conditions, dedicated customer waiting areas with private restrooms, complementary Wi-Fi in all customer spaces, dedicated lactation lounge for nursing mothers, combined ticketing and baggage area.”
With this renovation, the train operator has released renderings of the its new lounge, called the Metropolitan Lounge (formerly ClubAcela) that will be located in Moynihan Hall. It will be replacing the current Club Acela, which lacks windows and features sparse amenities and food offerings.
Amtrak plans on opening the space in 2021, which will be available for passengers traveling in Amtrak’s premium cabins, including passengers traveling in Acela First Class, sleeping cars, plus Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus and Select Executive members. The train operator released renderings of the new space, showcasing a much more light-filled and spacious lounge than before.
“The Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan Train Hall will also include priority boarding, dedicated customer service agents, comfortable seating and tables with access to electrical outlets and USB ports, a dedicated family seating area, expanded food and beverage offerings, a business center and multiple conference rooms as part of the Executive Conference Center, and a 20 feet tall balcony overlooking the Train Hall,” Amtrak said in a press release. Conde Nast Traveler reports that unlike the current ClubAcela, booze will be available at the Metropolitan Lounge.
There will be multiple conference rooms that look out onto New York City’s streets.
The renderings show off plenty of seating options and the modern, open design lends itself to a more inviting atmosphere than the current ClubAcela. Lounge guests will have access to balcony seating for those who want to check out all the action below.
In addition to those traveling in Amtrak’s premium cars, United Club members and those traveling in United Polaris’ international routes (on a same-day ticket) will have access to the new Metropolitan Lounge. Amtrak has been upgrading its lounges across the country, it recently renovated its Boston and Chicago lounges and plans on opening refreshed lounges in Philadelphia and Washington DC’s Union Station. The train operator is refreshing its train car’s interiors and hired ex-Delta CEO Richard Anderson to help the company build a sustainable business model.
All images courtesy of Amtrak.
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