Archive for September, 2009

Free vitaminwater10 at Penn Station this morning

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


As I exited the rat hole that is the current Penn Station, I was offered my choice of four new flavors of glaceau’s vitaminwater10 “low cal nutrient enhanced water beverage”. I went for “recoup”, which is “peach-mandarin”. Don’t recall what the other three new flavors were. I picked up my bottle at the corner of 8 Av and 31 St. They weren’t on ice, though the chilly morning has the bottle feeling a tad cold. I’ll cool it down in the fridge anyhow before trying it.

Wait, I found a list of the new flavors in a press release from earlier this month:

  • go-go (mixed berry)
  • mega-c (grape raspberry)
  • recoup (peach-mandarin)
  • revitalize (green tea)

MTA Metro-North Railroad Renews Study of Access to Penn Station

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009


Metro-North has announced that they are FINALLY reviving their Penn Station Access Study. The first part of study, formally called the Metro-North Penn Station Access Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS), was carried out from 1999 to 2002. Since then, it seems it has been dormant. Railfans and transit planners used to speak about it in hushed tones and with tears in their eyes. The “DEIS” part of the study never came to fruition, even though it was promised for “Fall 2003”.

Now the study is back in a big way, with an Environmental Assessment (EA) scheduled for completion in 2011. Thankfully “analyses performed to date on [the proposed “Build”] alternative reveal no significant impacts that cannot be mitigated. Therefore, Metro-North has decided to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA), rather than an EIS.” That should save some time and money.

Click here for the press release: MTA Metro-North Railroad Renews Study of Access to Pennsylvania Station

The proposed “Build” alternative consists of Hudson Line service to Penn Station via Amtrak’s West Side line + Empire Connection, and New Haven Line service to Penn Station via the Hell Gate line. There would be five new stations built:

Hudson Line trains

  • West 125th Street
  • Upper West Side

New Haven Line trains

  • Co-op City
  • Parkchester
  • Hunts Point

Penn Station Access Build Alternative

I say that this service can’t come soon enough. For people who work near Penn Station or along the 8th Avenue IND or 7th Avenue IRT subway lines, this service could possibly significantly reduce their commuting times.

For a lot more information about the work done so far on this project (1999-2002), check out the Penn Station Access Study website on The site appears to have been updated to reflect that the EA will be done in 2011, and with a proposed “Build” alternative graphic that shows the station formerly called “West 59th Street” to now be called “Upper West Side”.

Bonus: a graphic from a past version of the Penn Station Access Study website.


New Street Entrance To NJ Transit Concourse Opens At New York Penn Station

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009


NJ Transit finally opened yesterday its new entrance to Penn Station.

Summary info from the website:

The new entrance is located at the corner of 7th Avenue and West 31st Street at street level and is adjacent to the NJ TRANSIT Customer Service Office inside the station.

The new entrance will provide customers with direct access to and from our 7th Avenue Concourse for the first time.

The new entrance is fully accessible with ADA-compliant elevators, as well as escalators and stairs that connect the NJ TRANSIT concourse with the street at 7th Avenue.

The 31st Street entrance also includes lighting, signage and electronic train information displays for customer convenience.

I’ll have to go check it out soon. In the meantime, here’s an interior photo from NJT’s website, and some exterior photos I took back in July: