More spacious LIRR Concourse at NY Penn Station unveiled

Sept. 7, 2022
The wider and brighter concourse is one element to overhaul the station into a ‘world-class transit hub.’

State officials joined Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) representatives Sept. 6 to unveil a more spacious Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Concourse at New York Penn Station. The concourse’s width has nearly doubled to 57 feet from 30 feet and its ceiling height has nearly tripled to 18 feet from six feet, 10 inches in some places. The taller ceilings also feature 9,500-square feet of programmable color changing LED lights.

The concourse is located between Seventh Avenue near the 1/2/3 subway and Eighth Avenue near the A/C/E subway. The first section of the new concourse featuring 18-foot ceilings opened in early August near the East End Gateway entrance, which is a high-capacity entrance that opened at the end of 2020 in tandem with the Moynihan Train Hall.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says the reopening of the concourse marks progress toward a larger overhaul of New York Penn Station.

"Penn Station isn't just the busiest transit hub in North America, it is also the beating heart of New York City, and for too long it hasn't provided an experience worthy of New Yorkers," said Gov. Hochul. "Today, we're raising the roof on Penn Station — literally and figuratively —and paving the way for a better future as we unveil a wider, brighter Long Island Rail Road concourse. We're one step closer to making Penn a world-class transit hub and making New York an even more livable, and lovable, city."

More than half of Penn Station’s daily users pass through the LIRR concourse and while users can use experience portions of the project, the full LIRR Concourse project is scheduled to be complete in early 2023 and will feature:

  • New mechanical systems that allow for better air circulation and an expanded volume of fresh air.
  • Enhanced accessibility including a new elevator entrance, the replacement of four elevators and new elevator communication systems.
  • Intuitive wayfinding.
  • More retail and dining options.

"This wider, brighter LIRR concourse is just a glimpse of what is coming — not only LIRR riders but for all New Yorkers. Gov. Hochul has prioritized fixing Penn Station, and this project shows the MTA is ready to finish transforming the crummy terminal New Yorkers have been suffering with for 50-plus years into a world-class facility,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.

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