Penn Station in New York: The Complete Guide

People ride an escalator inside the new entrance to Penn Station and the Moynihan Train Hall on March 10, 2021 in New York City.

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As New York City’s busiest commuter hub, Pennsylvania Station (more commonly known as Penn Station) serves three passenger railroad lines: Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the Long Island Railroad. The station also connects to the New York City subway, Penn Plaza, and Madison Square Garden and is just a short walk from Herald Square in midtown Manhattan.

The main entrance to Penn Station is located on 7th Avenue between 31st and 33rd streets, but there are also entrances via subway stations at 34th Street and 7th Avenue and on 34th Street and 8th Avenue. Penn Station is always open. In 2021, the brand new Moynihan Hall opened across the street between 31st and 33rd street. The new hall services Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers, but tracks 1 through 4, are only accessible through the old location.

TripSavvy / Jiaqi Zhou

How to Get There

Penn Station is easily accessible by subway via the 1, 2, and 3 trains to 34th Street and 7th Avenue, which take you directly to the station, or the N, Q, and R or B, D, F, and M trains to 6th Avenue and 34th Street, near Macy’s and Herald Square. Additionally, the A, C, and E trains connect you to nearby 34th Street and 8th Ave with underground access to Penn Station, and there is also the 7 stop at 34th Street at the nearby Hudson Yards. Furthermore, the M34 bus is the only MTA city bus connecting directly to Penn Station.

Train Operators

Three train operators base their arrivals and departures into and out of New York City in Pennsylvania Station: Amtrak, New Jersey Transit (NJT), and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR).

Amtrak offers short and long-distance transit to destinations in the United States and Canada, including Montreal, Boston, Albany, and Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Transit trains run from Penn Station to various destinations across New Jersey, including Newark Airport. The Long Island Rail Road operates over 700 trains daily, carrying over 300,000 travelers to and from all points along Long Island.

The LIRR from Penn Station also connects you to Jamaica Station, which offers access to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) via the AirTrain, as do the A and C subway lines. Penn Station has no direct access to LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

Station Layout

Learning where to find these train hubs and the layout of Penn Station before your trip will help you avoid any undue travel stress like missing a train because you got lost in the station. The old Penn Station has two primary levels above the train platforms—the upper and lower concourses—both of which are accessible by elevators, escalators, and stairs. Moynihan Hall has an upper level and a street level.

  • Moynihan Train Hall Upper Level: On this level, you'll find the Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge and the post office.
  • Moynihan Train Hall Street Level: This is the main train hall, where you can buy Amtrak and LIRR tickets and access Tracks 5 to 17.
  • Upper Concourse: In the old station, you can access Amtrak (Tracks 7 to 16) and NJ Transit (Tracks 1 - 10).
  • Lower Concourse: Only accessible in the old Penn Station, where you'll find more gates to access all tracks and the A, C, and E subway lines. On this level, you can take the connecting concourse between the old Penn Station and Moynihan Hall.
Jane Jacobs and others picket to save Penn Station from demolition, 1963
Walter Daran/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

History and Future of Pennsylvania Station

The original Penn Station—heralded as a "pink marble architectural masterpiece"—was built in 1910 and designed by the legendary McKim, Meade, and White. For more than 50 years, New York's Penn Station was one of the country's busiest passenger train hubs, but train travel declined dramatically with the advent of the jet engine.

As a result, the underutilized Penn Station was demolished in the 1960s to make way for Madison Square Garden and the new, smaller Penn Station. The destruction of this New York architectural landmark caused outrage and is said to be the primary catalyst for many of New York's current landmark preservation statutes.

In 2018, construction of the brand-new train station in the magnificent Farley Post Office Building (a landmark also designed by McKim, Meade, and White) began. Named Moynihan Station after long-time New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan—the station's main hall is now located in the old mail-sorting room, which features 92-foot high ceilings and a glass atrium that fills the spacious waiting area with light. The hall was completed in 2021, and more plans for a food court and new western train tunnels are in the works.