New Penn Station design will be led by Arup Group

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Amtrak announced that it has chosen to lead the design and engineering of new tracks and platforms to expand New York Penn Station.

London-based Arup Group, a firm that has worked on major transportation projects around the world, was tapped to lead the effort, according to an Amtrak release on Thursday.

The design work is expected to take two years and cost $ 73 million, a bill that will be paid by Amtrak, which owns New York Penn Station. NJ Transit and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Long Island Rail Road is a railroads tenant that uses the station.

“The design will focus on the development of new tracks and platforms, escalators and other vertical circulation elements, pedestrian concourses, and connections to existing and future facilities,” according to a press release announcing the firm.

The environmental review will be led by the MTA and could begin later this year.

New York, New Jersey and the three transportation agencies. That RFP, for which proposals are due July 23, is for renovations of the current New York Penn Station.

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Arup Group will be in charge of figuring out ways to increase the number of tracks that will have access to Penn. One proposal first highlighted in 2020 by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo would expand the station south with at least eight new tracks, but requires condemning at least a block of buildings including a church and several residential and commercial buildings.

The $ 12.6 billion project to build two new Hudson River rail tunnels into the transit hub and rehabilitate the two currently feeding station. Leaders from New York and New Jersey are working on a memorandum of understanding about how to split their costs of the project.

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Meanwhile, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign offers a plan to build just two new tracks south of New York Penn Station, and then in a second phase platforms so they’re wider. It would also extend the West End Concourse at Moynihan Train Hall.

This, author Liam Blank argues, would “allow trains to simultaneously load and load passengers, provide more space for stairs and elevators; circulation of people throughout the station. ”

The ultimate goal of this proposal, however, is a contingent on a much more comprehensive vision to unify the three commuter railroads to create a regional rail system, grounded in a model adopted all over Europe, known as through-running. This concept means trains continue to operate more centrally, moving passengers more efficiently. Currently, at New York Penn and Grand Central Station in Midtown Manhattan.

In other words, the proposal would have to go into Queens and Long Island and up to Westchester County or Connecticut, while Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains would continue into New Jersey. Other advocacy and research groups, including the Regional Plan Association and ReThink Penn Station, have voted for a similar idea and say that there are many new tracks.

Cuomo’s idea to build eight new tracks south of New York Penn Station included “Might not be completed until 2080, if ever,” according to the report.

The report, however, mentions several challenges to making regional rail work. Those include:

  • Investments to make the three railroads operate on the same power system. They are currently a mix of catenary, third rail and diesel-run trains
  • New rail yards to store trains
  • More efficient service for more service
  • Using a more regionalized fare and transfer payment system

Amtrak declined to comment on the report. NJ Transit did not respond to a request for comment on the report.

Eugene Resnick, the MTA spokesman, said the agency agreed on the “basic principle that the economic success of the New York metropolitan area hinges on expanding ties between communities.”

He added that the MTA already has some efforts to improve the connectivity of the railroads by expanding LIRR access to Grand Central and Metro-North to Penn, as well as new fare options.

Colleen Wilson covers the Port Authority and NJ Transit for NorthJersey.com. Covering the region’s transportation systems and how you affect your commute, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @colleenallreds

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