Deep in the bowels of Pennsylvania station, somewhere near the baggage check area near Track 1, there stands one of the last relics of when Penn Station served as a monumental entrance to the city.

Each track, from 1-21, had a metal and brass track indicator that also relayed the time when the next train would leave. Of course, all were demolished when the station was dismantled above the track entrance area. These days, trains are indicated by LED displays wedged onto screens featuring giant ads.

Sharp-eyed commuters, though, can still glimpse some past glory: some of the brass bannisters on the staircases down to the tracks, installed in 1910, are still in place.

This piece, though, should really wind up at the Transit Museum.

Photo: Mike Epstein


Categorized in: One Shots Signs Subways & Trains Tagged with:

6 Responses to PENN RELIC

  1. Tom says:

    Thanks for posting this….I’ve heard a track indicator survived near Baggage Claim / Track 1…..but haven’t had the time to search it out. I agree…it should go to a Transit Museum or the NYC Subway museum in Brooklyn. I was aware that the brass banisters go back to 1910…for the most part they are in decent shape. I doubt most people know their background. It isn’t fun getting down those staircases in rush hour traffic. Mad dash when the tracks are announced. Any news on Moynahan Station plans across the street at the Post Office? One of these days it may be fun to lead a trip to find the remains of Penn Station in the Meadowlands. Someone wrote a book about their search and they eventually were able to locate the large marble and brick remains dumped there in the mid-60s.

    • Gary Farkash says:

      Unfortunately, the property in NJ where most of the remains were dumped is now a trucking & storage site and under lock & key.
      I have heard that sometimes you can still get a glimpse of stone & marble while going through the meadowlands on NJT during the early spring/late fall.

  2. Steve says:

    Cool. Thought all these had been stripped years ago. There are fewer and fewer relics as the years go by. The most ubiquitous is probably the shot glass floors that used to allow light down to track level. They all remain, though covered with newer flooring.

  3. Jon Baker says:

    Also, the brass banisters and ironwork at the stairway from the IRT #1 southbound side, front of the train, down into the old corridor into Penn. The PENN RR TRAINS sign is still party visible in the corridor. About half the corridor is still old tilework, the Western end has largely been covered with new marble sheets as part of the new NJT cross-corridors.

  4. Brian Howald says:

    The Whippany Train Museum claims to have one of these.

    Perhaps more survive?

    • MG says:

      Oh yes. That is one of them. But sadly, they chopped it down to a very low height. Someone needs to go through penn station and protect what is leftoever before it goes missing. ITs bad enough all of the interior clocks are no where to be fouund.

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