6. The Original Penn Station Was Just One Piece of a Larger Construction Project

Photo from Library of Congress

Pennsylvania Station was really just one piece of a larger $114 million (approximately $2.5 billion in today’s money) puzzle that included a new right-of-way from Newark to Manhattan, bridges, tunnels underneath the Hudson and East Rivers, and a new rail yard in Queens. At its peak of operation in the 1920s, Pennsylvania Railroad boasted 28,000 miles of track and 279,000 employees. At the same time, it was running 6,700 trains a day transporting fully 10 percent of all freight in America, and 20 percent of all passengers.

Still the scope of Penn Station is staggering: roughly 550,000 cubic feet of stone, 27,000 tons of steel, and 15 million bricks were used during construction of Penn Station