But Penn Station’s new West End Concourse, the first phase of the Moynihan Train Hall project, is anything but. And as NY1’s Pat Kiernan put it, “For a change, people are talking about something they like about Penn Station.”
Good news involving our nation’s busiest rail station is rare, so MTR decided to have a closer look at the new facility, which opened today.
Here’s the entrance at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street:
And the interior just after entering at 33rd Street:
Here’s the view from just beyond the entrance at 31st Street:
The concourse is brightly lit and decked out in a not-so-subtle New York State color palette.
The concourse ceilings are low, not unlike what you’ll find at Penn Station across the street, but the lighting and reflective paneling helps disguise just how low they are.
The stairs down to the tracks are somewhat more inviting — and certainly more colorful — than the track access points at Penn Station, which look like they might be utility closets.
Here’s the first glimpse of the new concourse from a disembarking passenger’s perspective:
There are a handful of enormous LED screens which display track information as well as panoramic photos of attractions around New York…
… and of course, there are charging stations.
Signage throughout the interior is big and bold.
If you look closely, you can see Penn Station across 8th Avenue.
And look who we spotted on the street: NY1’s very own Jose Martinez.
Access to Penn Station on the west side of 8th Avenue is certainly useful, and this new concourse is a welcome addition. But in order to take on the biggest challenges facing the congested, overcrowded rail hub, much more needs to be done.