The new Moynihan train station will open on January 1

Years in the making, the expansion of Penn Station to the old James A. Farley Post Office is rapidly underway to complete New Year’s Eve, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.

According to the governor’s office, train operations in the new Moynihan train hall will begin on January 1. The $ 1.6 billion project transforms the century-old Farley Post Office building into a transit center that increases the size of Penn Station by 50%.

“New Yorkers have known for decades that the Penn Station needs to be rethought – and after years of work, the Moynihan Train Hall will open on time and on budget by the end of 2020,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Construction of the train hall began in 2017, named after Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, who has been advocating for the project for years. The expansion plan was talked about for decades, and when it finally moved forward, it was criticized as a ‘tax farm-financed shopping center’ that could pay little attention to train services. In January, Cuomo unveiled a blueprint to add eight new tracks and increase Penn Station’s capacity by 40% by acquiring an entire block south of Midtown Center for a new terminal.

The Moynihan Railway is connected to Penn Station via underground corridors, and features a 92-foot-high skylight, extensive waiting areas for travelers, free Wi-Fi, a lounge for nursing mothers and other functions.

Amtrak has released this video which shows what commuters can expect:

The governor’s office said the team was able to avoid COVID-19 delays due to the “implementation of key health safety protocols and innovative work schedules” to protect workers. The project was a partnership between Empire State Development, Vornado Realty Trust, Related Companies, Skanska, the MTA and LIRR, Amtrak, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

‘This monumental achievement is a glimmer of hope as we emerge from one of the darkest periods in our history and send a clear message to the world that although we have suffered greatly as a result of this once-in-a-century health crisis, the pandemic did not stop us from dreaming big and building for the future, ”Cuomo said.

Despite some good news for the region’s transit system, the Gateway project – which would connect a new tunnel connecting NJ to NY and the existing Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnel – continues to recover without federal support for the multi-billion dollar project to fund. .

Politico reported earlier this month that the release of a controversial report showing that the Gateway project is not necessary to build a second tunnel feared that the project would only hamper further and make it more difficult to get federal funding. while the existing tunnels are still decaying. . Cuomo did not express support for any option in the project.

“There is an issue of rehabilitation of these tunnels so that it is safe,” Cuomo told a Manhattan press conference Sunday before Thanksgiving. “We have a report that says they can be rehabilitated. … There is also a desire by Amtrak and many people to build new tunnels, to have additional access to New York, which I think is a good idea is. the enemy of the other. ‘