Arup picked for major New York rail scheme

Amtrak – in partnership with NJ Transit and in coordination with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) – has entered into a contract with Arup to begin designing options for the first new tracks, platforms and concourses connected to New York Penn Station in more than a century.

Arup’s contract covers preliminary design of the rail infrastructure. It will begin developing rail alignment concepts for additional track capacity to allow the expanded station to accommodate more trains. The design is expected to take approximately two years and cost approximately U$73 million.

The design team led by Arup also includes Grimshaw, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Hatch LTK and Lendlease.

The work is part of the overarching plan under the Gateway Program to roughly double capacity into Penn Station from the west. The project is aimed at relieving a major bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor by allowing more trains to serve the country’s busiest rail facility and improving reliability for customers.

Amtrak board chair Tony Coscia said: “An expansion of the tracks and platforms at Penn Station will help reduce our carbon footprint, create new jobs, and improve how people in the region work, live and travel.”

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“New York Penn Station is tremendously important to Amtrak, and as owners of the facility we are committed to ensuring its future for a new generation of intercity rail travellers and daily commuters,” said Stephen Gardner, Amtrak CEO. “We are eager to begin this important work with our partners that will help unlock service increases under the Gateway Program. Together we can develop a modern, holistic vision for an expanded station that integrates with an improved Penn Station and the community and improves the whole station experience.”

The preliminary design effort begins immediately and will produce rail concepts to be analysed as part of the federal environmental review for Penn Station expansion. The design will focus on development of new tracks and platforms, escalators and other vertical circulation elements, pedestrian concourses, and connections to existing and future facilities.

The design team will coordinate closely with Amtrak’s partners and the various planners and designers of other projects taking place throughout the Penn Station complex to integrate schedules and streamline delivery of work for all parties.

“The expansion of Penn Station New York is critical to ensuring the preeminence of the New York region as the center of global commerce,” said NJ Transit president & CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Ridership has tripled from 200,000 in 1968 to 600,000 today. The existing station, even when fully renovated, will still be woefully inadequate to meet current demand much less the anticipated growth for the coming decades. This design work is the foundation upon which this vital expansion project will be built, and sets the stage to realizing the full benefits the Gateway Program will deliver to this region.”

“We’re proud to partner with Amtrak on one of the most ambitious, technically challenging, and necessary proposals in New York’s history,” said Gillian Blake, Arup principal and project manager. “Penn Station’s expansion, in concert with the larger Gateway Program and Governor Hochul’s recently announced reconstruction plan, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade the station’s capacity and provide a world-class passenger experience. Our goal is to create a place that is easily navigable and accessible, and supports future growth in capacity, while maintaining and enhancing safe and efficient rail operations. Penn Station will be a civic asset for the wider community and the hundreds of thousands of daily riders.”

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