Posted on September 16, 2009
All aboard: Amtrak will most likely be chugging into a new home...across the street. New York City’s main post office will house Amtrak’s ticketing, boarding, and waiting areas, which will move from Penn Station to the James A. Farley Post Office directly across the street; a date for the move has not been set. The new station will be named after Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who died in 2003. Moynihan was inspired by the impressive former Penn Station, which stood above ground but was demolished in 1963. Amtrak originally pulled out of the project several years ago, citing the enormous costs associated with the move. Under the new proposal, which was arrived at after six months of negotiations, Amtrak will have the opportunity to share revenue from retail outlets in the new space, and will also have a voice in some design changes. As part of the move, a splashy new entrance will be built for Penn Station, and capacity will be expanded. New tracks will also be built for the railway’s high-speed trains. The project, estimated at more than $1 billion, still has a way to go—most of the money still needs to be raised. At the moment, more than $200 million in federal funds has been designated for the project, and stimulus funds are a possibility--but that still leaves a lot of money to be found. Higher train fares, anyone?