7 major projects changing the face of rail travel

There are seven major rail projects that have been in development for decades that are now coming to fruition all at once. Let's take a look at how rail travel will be changing in the near future.

1. Moynihan Train Hall - New York City

Project location in Midtown Manhattan

Opening to the public on January 1, 2021, the Moynihan Train Hall was created inside the existing the James A. Farley Post Office Building in Midtown Manhattan. This new station gives Amtrak and Long Island Railroad passengers a much less crowded and claustrophobic way to wait for their train. Future plans call for Metro North to also serve Moynihan, as part of the Penn Station Access project bringing Metro North trains in to Penn Station.

Photo by Daniel Herbin

Interior of Moynihan Train Hall - Photo by Daniel Herbin

Youtube: Inside NYC’s ornate new Penn Station train hall

2. Grand Central Madison and East Side Access - New York City

Project location in Midtown Manhattan

The Grand Central Madison and East Side Access project is the largest expansion of Long Island Railroad service since 1910 and will bring trains to a new station built under Grand Central Terminal called Grand Central Madison. A 700,000 square foot terminal was added below the existing Grand Central Terminal. Coming in at over $11 Billion, this station is scheduled to open this month. Currently, the Long Island railroad only goes to Penn Station, leaving Long Islanders with a subway ride back to the east side of Manhattan or to Grand Central if they want to continue north.

MTA Construction & Development Mega Projects

MTA Construction & Development Mega Projects

MTA Construction & Development Mega Projects

Youtube: Grand Central’s $11BN Underground Expansion

3. Brightline - Miami to Orlando International Airport

Brightline is the new passenger service that is currently operating from Miami to West Palm Beach on the Florida East Coast Railway. Nearing completion is the segment from West Palm Beach to the Orlando International Airport. Once fully operational in 2023, Brightline will run trains at 125 mph from Orlando International to Cocoa, and 110 mph from Cocoa to West Palm Beach. As a privately run passenger service with new stations, new track, new right-of-way, and new trainsets, there is nothing else like this in the United States.

Siemens Charger diesel locomotives with an aerodynamic nose cone are used to power Brightline trains

Interior view of a Siemens Venture Brightline coach.

Inside the West Palm Beach Brightline station.

Youtube: Brightline Construction: Progress on the New Aventura and Boca Raton Stations - November 2022