Path cleared for new Moynihan Station

September 13, 2009 3:37:53 PM PDT
Governor David Paterson, Senator Charles Schumer and Amtrak President Joe Boardman announced Sunday that months of intensive negotiations have resulted in a general agreement and mutual understanding on the basic terms and conditions that will lead to the redevelopment of New York City's historic Farley Post Office Building into a new inter-city passenger train station and center for most of Amtrak's New York City service. The agreement, the terms of which will be finalized as soon as possible, will allow for final planning, design and financing efforts to proceed on the long-hoped for dream of Moynihan Station.

"I am extremely pleased to announce that an understanding has been reached between New York State and Amtrak on the future of Moynihan Station," Paterson said. " New York City is the lynchpin of Amtrak's service network in the Northeastern United States, and I welcome this long-term partnership with Amtrak to preserve and enhance the role of rail in New York State and across the region."

More than fifteen years ago, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan envisioned transforming the historic Farley Post Office Building into a new inter-city passenger rail station that would be a grand gateway to New York City and replace the original Penn Station, which was razed in 1963.

"This is a critical step forward in the effort to get the Moynihan Station back on track and keep it that way until it's done," Schumer said. "Amtrak has truly stepped up the plate here to make a commitment to Senator Moynihan's vision to transform the Farley Post office in to a world class gateway to New York City."

The project will provide for the relocation of Amtrak services to a new train hall to be constructed in the Farley Building, and also creates a partnership between New York State and Amtrak to plan for the long-term future of the station complex and the New York City intercity and regional rail network.

"This mutual understanding developed between the parties will the help lead to the development of a world-class passenger station for Amtrak service in New York City and commits all of us to the long-range task of expanding rail and terminal capacity so that Amtrak and the regional commuter operators can collectively meet the growing needs for passenger train service in New York and throughout the Northeast," Boardman said. "The building of Moynihan Station will provide the grand entrance that this great city deserves."

Pennsylvania Station is the busiest rail station in North America, with roughly 25 percent of all Amtrak passengers passing through Penn Station at some point on their journey. Rail ridership is projected to rise considerably in the coming years and station, terminal and track capacity must be expanded to meet these needs.

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