New Rochelle is seeing the largest economic development initiative in its history, driven by the MTA’s Penn Station Access Project, which is extending connections to Penn Station and significantly reducing travel times into Manhattan. When the project is complete, New Rochelle will become the only city in southern Westchester to offer direct access to both the East and West sides of Manhattan. Soon to become such a rich transit-oriented location, New Rochelle will realize an unprecedented 9.2 million square feet of new residential development in its downtown area that is prioritizing the repair of urban renewal mistakes and addressing long-standing issues of equity. Beginning with the New Rochelle historic train station, which will soon see its own reimagining, we will visit several new residential developments and the new public park that is knitting together previously separated communities.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority has made sweeping investments across all three transit systems: commuter rail, subway, and national rail platforms. This tour by rail will begin at Grand Central Station to explore East Side Access, the MTA’s largest capital project, costing $11.1 billion and completed in 2023. The finished project provides Long Island Rail Road riders with 40 miles of new tracks, a new terminal beneath Grand Central, and the modernization of the busiest intersection of passenger train lines in North America.
The tour will continue to take the No. 7 subway line extension to Hudson Yards. The extension, built to facilitate West Side development, stretches 1.5 miles southwest from its previous terminus at Times Square, at Seventh Avenue and 41st Street, to one new station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue. The city and the MTA reached an agreement for the funding and construction of the No. 7 line extension in September 2006 with construction commencing in late 2007. Revenue (passenger) service began in September 2015.
We will then walk to Moynihan Train Hall where the tour will conclude. Moynihan Train Hall is an expansion of Pennsylvania Station, the main intercity and commuter rail station in New York City, into the city’s former main post office building, the James A. Farley Building, serving 17 of the station’s 21 tracks for Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road passengers. The 486,000 square foot complex was built to alleviate congestion in Penn Station, and the $1.6 billion renovation restored the Farley Building, including a retail space, a 320-seat waiting area for ticket-holding passengers, and public restrooms. Moynihan Train Hall facilitates the redevelopment of the larger Penn District.