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Old Posted Dec 28, 2011, 9:51 PM
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NYguy NYguy is offline
New Yorker for life
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Borough of Jersey
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^ Yeah, it's being done in stages over 3 years.
Building a home for Amtrak they can’t afford

By Benjamin Kabak
December 28, 2011

Over the past decade and a half, spurred on first by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and later by supporters who wanted to continue his efforts, well-connected New Yorkers have fought for an expansion of Penn Station into the Farley Post Office. Part of their reasoning is to boost train service and ease customer congestion underneath Madison Square Garden while the rest of their efforts are driven by the idea of a Great Public Work. Penn Station, they rightfully say, is an eye sore. It’s dirt, dingy and ugly, and the post office would provide a setting of grandeur that could right the wrong of destroying the original Beaux Arts building.

To that end, the project has been divided into two parts. Phase 1 includes better egress points into the current Penn Station, and it is currently funded and ongoing. Phase 2, which will cost upwards of $1 billion, involves moving Amtrak’s operations into the Moynihan Station area and perhaps readying the station for high-speed rail if the stars and money align properly. That is more of a dream right now than anything else....

Amtrak Says It Needs NY Station That May Be Too Costly

By Lisa Caruso
Dec 15, 2011


For Amtrak to move more passengers on trains between Washington and Boston, its only profitable route, it must move out of New York’s Penn Station, said Drew Galloway, assistant vice president for the eastern region. The new space it covets is across the street, where New York state and two developers plan to transform the 97-year-old James A. Farley Post Office into a $1 billion train hall and retail complex.

The rub: Officials at U.S. taxpayer-subsidized Amtrak, which lost $1.3 billion last fiscal year, say they can’t afford to leave Penn Station, which the railroad owns, unless their new home is effectively rent-free. With the development’s finances unresolved, New York officials haven’t made guarantees. “Either we are able to expand the station capacity to accommodate more passengers, or we can’t expand the service on the corridor,” Galloway said. “It’s that simple.”

Other potential sources of project funding have dried up or face constraints. Congress last month killed the fiscal 2012 budget for President Barack Obama’s high-speed rail program and cut Amtrak’s annual subsidy by $65 million. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is managing construction for the state, raised tolls in August by 56 percent over five years to shore up its budget. The real estate developers will spend money on the project after negotiating final terms with the state, Timothy Gilchrist, president of Moynihan Station Development Corp., a unit of New York state’s business-investment agency, said in an interview.
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