A proposed Penn Station makeover that incorporates the landmark Farley Post Office Building into the transit complex has been on the drawing board for a couple of decades. NY1's Jose Martinez has more on the latest in a long line of plans.
With its low ceilings and cramped corridors, Penn Station is anything but beloved by train travelers.
"It is decrepit, and it's an affront to riders who use it," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "Well, why are you so negative on Penn Station? Because it's terrible!"
On Tuesday, Cuomo unveiled the latest proposal to make Penn Station a glorious terminal again.
The $1.6 billion renovation would move Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road across Eighth Avenue into the Farley Post Office Building, to be renamed Moynihan Train Hall.
"New York will not have seen anything like it in decades," Cuomo said.
As part of the plan, the cramped concourses inside the existing Penn Station will be renovated and expanded to ease the space crunch for commuters.
"Right now, it's about 25 feet wide, so everybody's channeled in that cattle-call area," Cuomo said.
Cuomo says all the needed approvals and funding have been obtained, and that after decades of delays, the dream of a new Penn Station will finally be realized.
"I don't announce plans with caveats. This is what is going to happen," Cuomo said.
The Penn Station renovation is connected to another massive transportation project, the building of a new rail tunnel in the Hudson River.
Opened in 1910, the existing rail tunnel into Penn Station flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Officials have said it needs to be replaced.
Funding for the so-called Gateway Project isn't clear yet, though the key players agree a new tunnel must be built, and soon.
"We have the wind at our back in the sense that we have a federal government, we have two states, we have Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority all absolutely committed to this project," said John Porcari, interim director of the Gateway Development Corp.
The feds have said they will pay for half the project, but it's not yet clear how New York and New Jersey will pay for the remainder.
"Everyone is supporting it, but no one has actually written a check yet," said Denise Richardson, executive director of the General Contractors Association.
Thus far, the only visible signs of progress are in the Hudson Yards, where a concrete casing designed to eventually connect to the tunnel is being built.
"There is dirt flying and there is work underway," Porcari said.
Something that might eventually be said for Penn Station.