How Many Penn Stations Are There? A Look into the Number of Penn Stations Around the World

Penn Station is a name that resonates with commuters, travelers, and history enthusiasts alike. Synonymous with bustling transportation hubs and architectural landmarks, Penn Station has become an iconic term associated with major cities across the globe. However, unbeknownst to many, there is not just one, but multiple Penn Stations scattered around the world. This article delves into the intriguing phenomenon of the various Penn Stations, exploring their histories, significance, and the unique qualities that set them apart from one another.

Standing as a testament to transportation development, these Penn Stations serve as epicenters for bustling urban connectivity. From New York City to Baltimore, from Toronto to Newark, these stations embody the inherent vitality essential to modern cityscapes. As one investigates further, it becomes evident that each Penn Station has its own rich narrative, reflecting the evolution of transportation and urban planning in its respective locale. By examining and understanding the number of Penn Stations that exist and their distinctive characteristics, we gain a deeper appreciation for the influential role they play in shaping global transportation networks and the unique identities of their cities.

Brief history of the original Penn Station in New York

Origins and Design

The original Penn Station in New York City was built in 1910 by the Pennsylvania Railroad company. It was designed by architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, known for their Beaux-Arts style. The station was a magnificent architectural masterpiece, featuring a grand concourse with 84-foot high ceilings, marble columns, and a stunning glass and steel train shed. The designers sought to create a grand entrance to the city, rivaling the opulence of European train stations.

Demolition and Public Outcry

Despite its architectural significance, the original Penn Station faced challenges in the mid-20th century due to changing transportation needs and financial difficulties. In 1963, the Pennsylvania Railroad decided to demolish the station and replace it with an office complex and an underground train station. The demolition sparked a public outcry, with preservationists and citizens protesting the loss of a beloved landmark.

Legacy and Preservation Efforts

The demolition of the original Penn Station led to the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965, which aimed to protect historically significant buildings from future destruction. Additionally, the public outcry over the loss of Penn Station ignited a broader interest in historic preservation across the United States.

Rebuilding and Replicas

While the original Penn Station did not survive, efforts have been made to commemorate its architectural legacy. The current Penn Station in New York, built in 1968, is located underground and is often associated with controversy, leading to ongoing discussions about potential renovations. Furthermore, replicas or imitations of the original Penn Station design can be found in other cities, both in the United States and abroad.

IPenn Stations in the United States

A. Penn Station, New York

1. Description and location

Penn Station, New York, usually referred to as Pennsylvania Station, is the main intercity railroad station in New York City. Located beneath Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan, it serves as a major transportation hub for Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and New Jersey Transit.

2. Major transportation services

Penn Station, New York, offers numerous transportation services, allowing passengers to travel both locally and long distances. It serves as a crucial link between the northeastern United States, making it an essential transportation gateway for commuters, tourists, and business travelers.

B. Other Penn Stations in the United States

1. Penn Station, Baltimore

Penn Station in Baltimore, Maryland, is another notable transportation hub. It is located at 1515 N. Charles Street and serves as an important Amtrak station, serving the Northeast Corridor and other regional routes.

2. Penn Station, Philadelphia

Penn Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, officially known as Philadelphia 30th Street Station, is a major transit center serving the city and the surrounding region. It is located at 2955 Market Street and is one of the busiest stations in the United States.

3. Penn Station, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also houses a Penn Station. Serving as the city’s main train station, it is located in the Grant Street Transportation Center and is an important stop on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited and Pennsylvanian routes.

Penn Stations in the United States

Penn Station, New York

Penn Station, located in New York City, is the most well-known and iconic Penn Station in the United States. Situated in Midtown Manhattan, it serves as a major transportation hub and is one of the busiest train stations in the country. The station is owned by Amtrak and also serves the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New Jersey Transit (NJT).

With its distinctive Beaux-Arts architectural style, Penn Station is an impressive structure. It has multiple levels and is connected to Madison Square Garden, which further adds to its prominence. The station covers an area of 8 acres and has 21 tracks, making it a crucial transportation hub for commuters and travelers alike.

Other Penn Stations in the United States

While Penn Station, New York may be the most famous, there are several other Penn Stations scattered throughout the United States. These stations were named after the original Penn Station and share similar purposes as transportation hubs.

One example is Penn Station in Baltimore, Maryland. It serves as a transportation center for the Maryland Transit Administration’s commuter trains and offers connections to Amtrak, as well as local bus services. Similarly, Penn Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an important train station serving Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. It connects passengers to major cities along the East Coast, including Boston, New York, and Washington D.C.

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there is another Penn Station. Although not as busy as its counterparts in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, it provides service for Amtrak trains and several bus lines.

These Penn Stations outside of New York each contribute to the country’s rail network and facilitate efficient travel within their respective regions.

Similar stations named differently

Grand Central Terminal, New York

While Penn Station in New York is the most popular station, Grand Central Terminal, also located in New York City, is another significant transportation hub. Unlike Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal primarily serves Metro-North Railroad, which connects commuters with suburbs in New York and Connecticut.

Union Station, Washington D.C.

Another notable station is Union Station in Washington D.C., which serves Amtrak, MARC commuter trains, and the Washington Metro. While not named Penn Station, it shares similarities in terms of its purpose as a major transportation center.

These different stations, though named differently, contribute to the overall infrastructure and connectivity of the transportation network and play crucial roles in serving their respective regions.


The presence of Penn Stations across the United States, along with other stations like Grand Central Terminal and Union Station, demonstrates the significance of these transportation hubs in facilitating travel and ensuring efficient connectivity within and between cities. These stations not only serve as crucial transit points but also hold cultural and historical significance for the cities they are located in. As the original Penn Station in New York continues to undergo renovations and future plans are made, it is clear that the influence it has had on station names and architecture extends far beyond the United States, making Penn Station a widely recognized and influential transportation concept worldwide.

Penn Stations outside the United States

A. Penn Station, Toronto

Penn Station Toronto, located in Toronto, Canada, is another notable train station bearing the Penn Station name. It is a major transportation hub in the city and is situated in the city’s downtown core. Originally known as Union Station, it was renamed as Penn Station Toronto in 1967 as a tribute to the original Penn Station in New York.

Penn Station Toronto serves as a central hub for various transportation services, including intercity trains, regional commuter trains, and subway lines. It is the busiest transportation facility in Canada and connects Toronto to other major cities in the country and the United States.

The station features stunning architecture, reminiscent of classical Beaux-Arts design, and is renowned for its grand entrance hall and expansive concourse. It has been recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada and is an iconic landmark in Toronto.

B. Penn Station, Newark

Penn Station Newark, located in Newark, New Jersey, is another Penn Station found outside the United States. This train station serves as a vital transportation hub for the Greater Newark area, connecting it to various destinations throughout the region.

Similar to its counterparts, Penn Station Newark offers a range of transportation services, including regional and intercity train services. It is operated by Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and PATH, providing convenient access to both local commuters and travelers from neighboring cities.

Penn Station Newark features modern architecture, with its main concourse offering a spacious and inviting environment. The station underwent significant renovations in recent years to accommodate the growing passenger traffic and improve its facilities.

While Penn Station Newark may not share the same historical significance as the original Penn Station in New York, it remains an important transportation center for the region and continues to serve as a link between various communities.

Similar stations named differently

A. Grand Central Terminal, New York

While not officially known as Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal in New York City is often mistakenly referred to as Penn Station. It stands as a significant transportation hub in the city and is widely recognized for its grand architecture and iconic status.

Grand Central Terminal is located in Midtown Manhattan and serves as a major transportation hub for commuters and travelers alike. It primarily operates as a railway station, connecting New York City with various destinations in the surrounding suburbs and beyond.

The station features stunning Beaux-Arts architecture, with its famous main concourse often hailed as a marvel of design. Grand Central Terminal has been featured in numerous movies, showcasing its iconic status on the silver screen.

B. Union Station, Washington D.C.

Union Station in Washington D.C. is another station that often gets confused with Penn Station due to its architectural similarity. This landmark transportation hub serves as a major train station and transit center in the nation’s capital, connecting passengers to a multitude of destinations.

Union Station boasts Beaux-Arts and Classical Revival architecture, reminiscent of the original Penn Station in New York. With its stunning design and prominent location, it has become an iconic landmark in Washington D.C., attracting both tourists and commuters alike.

The station not only provides train services but also accommodates various bus lines, metro lines, and is a popular shopping and dining destination. Its central location and exquisite architecture have solidified Union Station’s place as one of the city’s most recognized landmarks.

Overall, while these stations may not officially bear the name Penn Station, they share similar architectural elements and serve as important transportation hubs. They contribute to the rich history of train travel and continue to play significant roles in their respective cities and regions.

Similar stations named differently

A. Grand Central Terminal, New York

While not officially named “Penn Station,” Grand Central Terminal is another major railway station in New York City that often gets confused with Penn Station. Located on East 42nd Street in Manhattan, Grand Central Terminal is a world-famous landmark and serves as the main transit hub for commuters traveling within the city and to neighboring suburbs.

Designed in the Beaux-Arts style, Grand Central Terminal was opened in 1913 and is known for its stunning architectural features, including its iconic clock and astronomical ceiling mural. With its rich history and elegant design, Grand Central Terminal has become a popular tourist attraction and is often visited by locals and tourists alike.

While Penn Station primarily serves as a hub for intercity and regional trains, Grand Central Terminal is mainly focused on serving commuters within the city. The station connects various subway lines and offers easy access to nearby office buildings, shopping centers, and tourist destinations.

B. Union Station, Washington D.C.

Similar to Grand Central Terminal, Union Station in Washington D.C. is another prominent transportation hub often compared to Penn Station. Located at 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Union Station is not only a train station but also a mixed-use complex that features restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.

Union Station was designed in the Beaux-Arts style and opened in 1907. It serves as a major transportation hub for the D.C. metropolitan area, connecting intercity trains, commuter trains, and buses. The station’s main waiting room, known as the Main Hall, is an impressive space adorned with high ceilings, marble floors, and grand archways.

Similar to Penn Station, Union Station has historical significance and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It attracts millions of visitors each year, not only for its transportation services but also for its stunning architecture and various dining and shopping options.

Influence of the original Penn Station on station names worldwide

The original Penn Station in New York City had a profound influence on the naming of railway stations worldwide. Its grand design and architectural significance inspired the creation of numerous stations that adopted the “Penn Station” name, even if they were not directly affiliated with the Pennsylvania Railroad.

These stations sought to replicate the grandeur and prestige associated with the original Penn Station, showcasing the impact it had on the architectural and cultural landscape. While some stations, like those mentioned earlier, borrowed elements from the Beaux-Arts style, others simply adopted the name as a symbol of sophistication and urban connectivity.

Through its prominence and legacy, the original Penn Station set a high standard for railway stations worldwide, leading to the creation of iconic structures that aimed to capture its essence. This influence can still be seen today, with various stations across different countries paying homage to the original Penn Station through their names or architectural designs.

In conclusion, the original Penn Station in New York City not only left behind a rich history but also had a lasting impact on the development of railway stations both within and outside the United States. The stations named after it, such as Grand Central Terminal and Union Station, stand as notable examples of its profound influence on transportation infrastructure and architectural design.

Influence of the original Penn Station on station names worldwide

Penn Stations as a Symbol of Progress and Modernity

The original Penn Station in New York City, which was hailed as a marvel of architectural beauty and engineering, served as an inspiration for numerous train stations around the world. Its grandeur and innovative design left an indelible mark on the transportation industry, making it a sought-after model for modern station development.

Replicating the Concept of a Central Transportation Hub

The concept of a central transportation hub originated with the original Penn Station, which integrated multiple modes of transportation into a single location. This revolutionary approach to urban planning was embraced in various cities across the United States and abroad.

Adapting the Name “Penn Station”

The name “Penn Station” became synonymous with the idea of a bustling transportation hub, and many cities opted to adopt the name for their own stations. The influence of the original Penn Station is particularly evident in the United States, where several cities established their own versions of Penn Station.

The Impact on International Stations

The influence of the original Penn Station extends beyond the United States. In Toronto, Canada, the city’s main transportation hub was named “Penn Station” in honor of the American landmark. Similarly, Newark, New Jersey, also has its own Penn Station, reflecting the widespread recognition of the original station’s significance.

A Global Tribute to the Original Penn Station

The widespread adoption of the name “Penn Station” for various transportation hubs around the world is a testament to the enduring legacy of the original station. It represents a tribute to its architectural brilliance and the impact it had on the development of transportation infrastructure worldwide.

Continuing the Legacy with Renovations and Future Plans

Recognizing the historical importance and cultural significance of these stations, many cities are investing in renovations and future plans for their Penn Stations. By preserving the architectural elements that reflect the original Penn Station’s grandeur while incorporating modern amenities, these stations are ensuring that the legacy of the original station lives on.

In conclusion, the influence of the original Penn Station on station names worldwide is undeniable. Its revolutionary design, which integrated various modes of transportation into one central location, inspired cities across the United States and beyond. The adoption of the name “Penn Station” became symbolic of progress and modernity in the transportation industry. Today, these stations continue to honor the legacy of the original by undergoing renovations and planning for the future, ensuring that the spirit of the original Penn Station remains alive and vibrant.

VRenovations and Future Plans for Penn Stations

The iconic Penn Station in New York City, known as the “gateway to the nation,” has undergone significant changes throughout its history. Originally opened in 1910, it was a grand Beaux-Arts station, but unfortunately, it was demolished in the 1960s. Since then, efforts have been made to honor its legacy and improve the station’s facilities. Additionally, other Penn Stations in the United States have also seen renovations and future plans to enhance their transportation services.

A. Penn Station, New York
Planned renovations for Penn Station in New York are expected to transform the station into a world-class transportation hub. The current station, often criticized for its cramped conditions and lack of amenities, is set to undergo a major overhaul. The renovation plans include expanding the station’s concourses and platforms, improving air circulation, and adding numerous retail and dining options. Additionally, the renovation aims to improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities, ensuring they can easily navigate the station.

B. Penn Station, Philadelphia
Penn Station in Philadelphia has also seen recent renovations and future plans. Known as 30th Street Station, it is the third busiest Amtrak station in the United States. Renovations have focused on improving the station’s infrastructure and amenities. The main concourse has been updated with new flooring, lighting, and modern amenities, providing passengers with a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Future plans for this station include expanding the platforms and improving connections to local transportation systems.

C. Penn Station, Baltimore
Baltimore’s Penn Station is another transportation hub that has seen renovations and future plans. This station serves as the northern terminus for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. Renovations have focused on restoring the station’s historic architectural features while also modernizing the facilities. The waiting area has been updated with new seating, lighting, and improved amenities. Future plans for Baltimore’s Penn Station include expanding the platform capacity to accommodate more trains and improving connections to local transit options.

As these renovations and future plans demonstrate, the various Penn Stations throughout the United States are committed to providing passengers with improved facilities and amenities. By investing in upgrades and expansion projects, these stations aim to meet the growing demands of modern transportation and enhance the overall passenger experience.

Overall, the continued efforts to renovate and improve the different Penn Stations not only honor the legacy of the original New York station but also ensure that these important transportation hubs remain vital and efficient in the years to come.

Penn Stations in popular culture

A. Movie references

Penn Stations around the world have become iconic landmarks, not only for their historical significance, but also for their appearance in various movies. These stations have served as settings and backdrops for many memorable film scenes, adding to their cultural significance and popularity.

One of the most famous movie references to Penn Station is the 1993 film “The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford. In this action thriller, Penn Station in Chicago is featured during a pivotal chase scene, where Ford’s character tries to evade capture by law enforcement. The station’s grand architecture and bustling atmosphere contributed to the intensity and suspense of the scene.

Another notable movie reference is the 2002 drama film “Men in Black II,” in which Penn Station in New York is featured. In the film, the main characters navigate through the station’s underground tunnels to save the world from an alien threat. The station’s underground passages and distinctive design elements added a sense of mystery and intrigue to the movie’s plot.

B. Literature references

Penn Stations have also made appearances in numerous works of literature, further cementing their cultural significance. One notable literary reference is found in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon. The novel features Penn Station in New York as a significant location, where the main characters meet and embark on a journey that intertwines their lives with the station’s history.

Additionally, Penn Station in New York plays a significant role in the classic detective novel “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” by John Godey. The story revolves around the hijacking of a subway train departing from Penn Station, showcasing the station as a central hub of transportation and a setting for thrilling action.

These movie and literature references demonstrate the enduring cultural impact of Penn Stations around the world. They have become synonymous with urban life, travel, and adventure, and continue to inspire artists across different mediums.

In conclusion, Penn Stations have not only shaped the transportation landscape but have also influenced popular culture through their appearances in movies and literature. These stations have become more than just transportation hubs; they are symbols of architectural beauty, historical significance, and the human experience of commuting. Whether it is through thrilling movie scenes or captivating literary narratives, Penn Stations continue to capture the imagination and leave an indelible mark on popular culture.

# Other stations inspired by Penn Station architecture

## A. Stations in the United States

One of the most significant legacies of the original Penn Station in New York is its architectural influence on other stations across the United States. The grandeur and magnificence of the structure served as an inspiration for numerous architects, leading to the creation of stations that bear a resemblance to Penn Station’s iconic design.

### 1. Union Station, Washington D.C.

Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, Union Station showcases architectural influences from the original Penn Station. Designed by architect Daniel H. Burnham and opened in 1907, Union Station features a Beaux-Arts style, characterized by its grand façade, grand entrance hall, and monumental scale. The station’s concourse, with its high ceilings, arched windows, and grand chandeliers, pays homage to the open and airy design of Penn Station.

### 2. North Station, Boston

North Station in Boston is another example of a station inspired by the architectural legacy of Penn Station. Built in 1928, the station features a neoclassical design influenced by the Beaux-Arts style prominent during that period. The station’s exterior, with its grand colonnade and ornate detailing, reflects the grandeur of Penn Station’s original architecture. Although smaller in scale, North Station captures the spirit of Penn Station and its architectural impact.

### 3. Chicago Union Station, Chicago

Chicago Union Station, designed by architect Daniel H. Burnham and opened in 1925, draws inspiration from the iconic Penn Station in New York. The station’s Beaux-Arts design includes elements such as a grand entrance hall, soaring ceilings, and sweeping staircases reminiscent of the original Penn Station’s aesthetic. Chicago Union Station remains one of the most recognizable and architecturally significant transportation hubs in the United States.

## B. International Stations

The architectural influence of Penn Station extends beyond the United States, with several international stations also inspired by its design.

### 1. Gare de Lyon, Paris

Gare de Lyon in Paris, France, is a notable example of a station outside the United States that borrowed from the architectural elements of Penn Station. Built in 1900 for the Exposition Universelle, the station showcases a Beaux-Arts design inspired by the grandeur of Penn Station. From its imposing façade to its expansive concourse, Gare de Lyon pays homage to the iconic architecture of Penn Station.

### 2. Central Terminus, Sydney

Another station influenced by Penn Station’s architectural style is Central Terminus in Sydney, Australia. Designed by architect Walter Liberty Vernon and completed in 1906, the station’s grand entrance hall and vaulted ceilings draw inspiration from the monumental presence of Penn Station. Central Terminus stands as a testament to the global impact of Penn Station’s architectural design.

In conclusion, the architectural legacy of the original Penn Station extends beyond the United States, with stations both in the United States and internationally inspired by its grandeur. From iconic stations like Union Station in Washington D.C. and Chicago Union Station, to international stations like Gare de Lyon in Paris and Central Terminus in Sydney, these buildings pay tribute to the influential design of Penn Station. As the legacy of Penn Station lives on, so does its impact on the architecture of stations around the world.

X. Conclusion

In conclusion, there are several Penn Stations throughout the world, each with their own unique history and significance. The original Penn Station in New York holds a special place in history as a grand architectural masterpiece that was unfortunately demolished. However, it has inspired the creation of other Penn Stations in the United States and even outside of the country.

Penn Station, New York remains the most well-known and busiest transportation hub in the United States, serving millions of passengers every year. With its central location in Manhattan, it provides convenient access to various transportation services, including Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and New York City subway lines.

Other Penn Stations in the United States, such as Penn Station in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, also play important roles in their respective cities. These stations offer transportation services and connect commuters to other parts of the country.

Outside of the United States, there are two notable Penn Stations. Penn Station in Toronto serves as the primary intercity rail terminal in the city, connecting travelers to other parts of Canada and the United States. Penn Station in Newark, New Jersey serves as a vital transportation hub for the region, connecting passengers to various modes of transportation.

Although not named Penn Station, there are similar stations that hold prominence in their respective cities. Grand Central Terminal in New York City and Union Station in Washington D.C. are both iconic transportation hubs that rival the importance of Penn Station in their respective cities.

The influence of the original Penn Station can be felt worldwide, as many stations have drawn inspiration from its grand architecture and design. Renovations and future plans for Penn Stations in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore aim to improve the overall experience for commuters and preserve the historical significance of these stations.

Penn Stations have also made their mark in popular culture, with numerous references in movies and literature. The captivating architecture and bustling atmosphere of these stations have often been used as settings in various works of art.

Additionally, the architectural style of the original Penn Station has inspired the design of other stations worldwide. The grand columns, high ceilings, and impressive facades have become iconic elements that evoke a sense of grandeur and importance in railway architecture.

In conclusion, Penn Stations have left a lasting impact on the transportation landscape, with its influence felt not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world. These stations serve as hubs of connectivity, historical landmarks, and sources of inspiration for future architectural endeavors.

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