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    Penn Station Access Facts

    Penn Station Access will create a new Metro-North Railroad link directly into Penn Station, providing critical system resiliency to protect service for more than 275,000 daily customers. The project will build four new Metro-North stations in the Bronx. This additional service will:

    • Substantially reduce travel times to and from Manhattan’s West Side
    • Introduce convenient, direct rail service to communities underserved by mass transit
    • Support economic development in the East Bronx
    • Improve mobility and regional connectivity

    Project Background

    In 1999 Metro-North initiated the PSA Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Study to evaluate options for improving access between its East-of-Hudson service territory and Penn Station. The initial study effort included the development and evaluation of a long list of multimodal alternatives including rail, bus, and ferry. This alternatives analysis also considered and screened over 20 potential new station locations. The PSA 2002 Comparative Screening Results Report recommended two alternatives for further consideration: 1) New Haven Line service via Amtrak’s Hell Gate Line with three new Metro-North stations in the eastern Bronx; and 2) Hudson Line service via Amtrak’s Empire Connection with two new Metro-North stations in Manhattan, one each in midtown and upper Manhattan.

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    Coordination with the current Penn Station rail operators: Amtrak, LIRR, and New Jersey Transit continued in order to assess the operational issues and constraints that would affect potential Metro-North service into Penn Station. Serious operational limitations were identified with the Hudson Line service alternative, mainly due to the Empire Line tunnel into Penn Station consisting of only one track. The Empire Line tunnel connects only to Penn Station Tracks 1-8, which are used primarily by NJ Transit, with some usage by Amtrak. It was determined that PSA Hudson Line service would require either: 1) substantial service reductions to those Penn Station tracks by NJ Transit and Amtrak or 2) significant infrastructure investments at Penn Station to allow Metro-North trains to access MTA/LIRR tracks in Penn Station via the Empire Line tunnel.

    Based on these operational constraints, Hudson Line service to Penn Station is not part of the current PSA project. Metro-North will continue to consider the introduction of Hudson Line service to Penn Station as long-term planning and discussion of capacity improvements at Penn Station occur, including future phases of the Gateway Trans-Hudson tunnels project.

    In 2012, Metro-North conducted outreach to the local communities in the Bronx that would be affected by the PSA project, with special attention paid to those communities where new stations would be constructed. Based on community input, Metro-North introduced a fourth new station at Morris Park.

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