Higher, brand new ceilings revealed in Penn Station’s LIRR concourse


New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reached a significant milestone in its transformation project of Penn Station this month. 

Brand new 18-foot-high ceilings were unveiled at the Long Island Rail Road Concourse in Penn Station after the successful removal of the low-hanging six-foot-eight-inch beams, known as “Head Knockers,” earlier this year.

These new ceilings are just the start, as more is to be revealed at the revamped Penn Station in the upcoming months. 

MTA representatives said a major section of the completed 33rd Street Corridor will be open to the public this fall and the LIRR Concourse will be substantially completed by March 2023. 

“The moment LIRR customers have been waiting decades for is coming closer,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “During the pandemic, we started the process of fixing Penn by opening the major new entrance at 33rd Street and Moynihan Train Hall. Now, customers are getting a glimpse of what, when finished, will be a completely transformed and expanded LIRR Concourse at Penn Station.” 

In addition to the new ceilings, Penn Station riders can also expect to see enhancements to the station’s lighting and air flow, added modern finishes, more intuitive way-finding, and refined accessibility. 

Long Islanders can also expect service to Grand Central Madison, a new train concourse located beneath Grand Central Terminal and Madison Avenue from 43rd Street to 48th Street.

The nearly completed LIRR terminal at Grand Central Madison will connect LIRR passengers directly to the East Side of Manhattan and greatly benefit the entire downstate region by providing the LIRR with two entry points to Manhattan’s Central Business District, the MTA said. 

The new 700,000-square-foot terminal and its additional rail service is the largest expansion of LIRR service in 112 years. 

It is expected to open to the public by the end of this year.

Continue to follow for updates.

Top: Views of the West 33rd St. Concourse of Penn Station on Aug. 2, where a large section of the ceiling has been raised and lighted panels installed. Photo by Marc A. Hermann/MTA.