The Jet Age is often considered to have begun in 1958 with the use of Boeing 707s for domestic service. It heralded the end of the end of long cross country luxury train travel. It was only a few years later — in 1963 — that the original Pennsylvania Station in New York City was demolished. In many ways that symbolized the end of train travel being viewed as a luxury method of transportation.
The Moynihan Train Hall, a massive project under construction in NYC, seeks to bring some of that elegance back. The 1913 James A. Farley Post Office, located across from the current Pennsylvania Station, is being renovated to create a public space that offers a tangible link to New York’s grand history while adding much-needed capacity to the region’s rail system. The facility will also increase the concourse space of the current rail station and relieve platform congestion, all while raising the level of the rail experience for hundreds of thousands of travelers.
The Moynihan Train Hall will offer enhanced passenger facilities for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) and long-distance travelers, including more spacious boarding conditions, dedicated customer waiting for areas with private restrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi in all customer spaces, a dedicated lactation lounge for nursing mothers and a combined ticketing and baggage area. A big part of this renovation is a massive light-filled atrium in the center of the building that used to house the mail sorting facility. A second glass-vaulted atrium will enclose a central corridor extending from 31st Street to 33rd Street and offer additional access to the hall as well as retail and dining space.
As part of the renovation, Amtrak is offering a new club lounge dubbed the Metropolitan Lounge to provide the club level experience that many elite air travelers enjoy at modern airports.
“Our customers are going to love the new, modern amenities in the Moynihan Train Hall, and we expect these renderings to continue to build their excitement for the Train Hall’s opening in 2021,” said Amtrak EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner.
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 and a 20-foot tall balcony overlooking the Train Hall.
We love seeing new life breathed into historic buildings and think this is a marvelous idea. We can’t wait until the project is complete at the end of next year.