? about Penn station

Nov 1st, 2008, 06:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,412
? about Penn station

We will be in NYC for 5 days with 2 suitcases and 2 smaller carryons. Had not planned for a train to NJ but family illness has made this necessary. .. so we are going to the city first for 5 days and will take a train to Milburn NJ

Now I am worried about getting around in Penn Station. My husband is 81 (but fit)..I am of a certain age too. Are there
stairs we have to maneuver?Are there porters around to help? Just need a clue as to what to expect...
loisco is offline  
Nov 1st, 2008, 06:31 PM
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There are escalators instead of stairs in most/all of Penn Station. There will not be any porters in the NJ Transit trains area as these are mainly commuter trains.
Penn Station is a very big and crowded station, and I personally (and quite a bit younger )would not want to do this with a full sized suitcase and carryon bag per person.

Have you checked if there are buses that might work for you? Is there an option for you to take a more expensive private car service (like a taxi, but with a set fare)to take you to NJ?
nyer is offline  
Nov 1st, 2008, 07:14 PM
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Car service may be a good idea. Try www.dial7.com as an option
seafox is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 09:43 AM
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There are no porters for NJ Transit - only Amtrak - which is in a different part of the station and different tracks.

There are escalators in some places - but usually you have to walk down a couple of flights of stairs to get to the platforms. Also, platforms are announced only about 10 minutes in advance - so that's how long you have to make you way to the track and down the stairs - with a pack of other people. Many will be rushing and some will be running - literally - esp if you're near rush hour - when seats are scarce. (At busiest times some people may have to stand - the ticket gets you on the train but doesn't guarantee a seat.)

I don;t know Milburn- but I would check if bus is an option - since it might be less stressful.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 11:10 AM
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One correction, all of the NJ Transit platforms have escalators and elevators. (However, at times the escalator is turned off, but that's not that common.) Getting around Penn Station is reasonably easy. I would avoid rush hour if at all possible as train can be packed (as in standing in the aisles). Assuming you're taking a taxi to the station, get dropped off as close as possible to the 32nd St/7th Ave entrance. There is an escalator right there. There is an NJ Transit waiting area with chairs on the left past the stairs and down the "hall" (where there are also ticket machines). This is also the section with the platform elevators (at least for 1-10, 11 & 12 are elsewhere). This is all on the same level, so no stairs after the escalator at the entrance.

sanschag is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2008, 07:19 PM
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Hmm. I have been helped by porters when using NJ Transit.
sobster is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 01:37 AM
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I think you really should consider a car service, which I think will cost you in the neighborhood of $65 to Milburn. First of all, even if there are porters at the station, you may have a hard time getting one at the taxi-drop off area, and after that, IMO, you troubles are not over. First of all, you have to make sure that you donít take a train which will require a change in Newark Broad Street station (see NJtransit.com for schedules). Secondly, NJ Transit trains are not really made for luggage, so donít go during rush hours or you may really be struggling to get on and especially off the train (and at any time IMO you will have a hard time finding places to put the luggage). Finally, to the best of my recollection you will have to use stairs and/or a tunnel to get to the station/parking area in Milburn, and I think that the trains here even require a step or two down from the train to reach the platform; you may want to check with relatives, or make sure they meet you at the train to help. (I think you would have the same issue at Short Hills Station, the only really accessible station I know on the line is Summit, they have escalators and the train is level with the platform.) Finally, between the taxi fare down to Penn Station from your hotel (which I know is in the West 80s), then possible porter tips you will spend some money, and a car service may not be too unreasonable in comparison, not to mention not having to deal with the luggage. (I assume you arenít planning on taking the subway down to Penn Station with all those bags, as you definitely will have stairs to get down to the subway.) Dial 7 cars which is mentioned above is very reliable and has been around a long time, call them for a quote for the trip. If car service to Milburn is expensive, then perhaps a relative could meet you someplace on the New Jersey side which would be cheaper for the car service, like Newark Airport (about $50).

My parents are in their early 80s and in good health too, but I would not want to think of them dragging 4 suitcases around Penn Station (and my Dad commuted into it for 30 years so knows his way around it, but you donítÖ.).

A bus is an option too, and the Port Authority does provide free ďred capĒ porter services at the bus terminal, see http://www.panynj.gov/commutingtrave...tml/tinfo.html. However, finding one outside the station at the taxi drop-off point may be another issue.

If you do take the train, IMO you really need to be dropped off at the entrance at 8th and 33rd St, esp with luggage, as this will be closer to the NJ Transit area and you will avoid the LIRR traffic.

Cicerone is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 08:41 AM
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The main NJ Transit area has been moved more to the 7th Ave side of Penn Station.
ellenem is online now  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 11:54 AM
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I would not send my 80 year old mother to Penn Station even without luggage. Yes there are escalators, but if you ever have been at Penn Stateion when the announce the track, you would understand why. It is always a mad rush to the train. I agree with the others that the best way to get to Millburn would be to take a car service.
LindaLa is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 12:10 PM
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NJ Transit trains share the tracks with Amtrak.

Where you enter the station will make a big difference in terms of accessability to the porter and escalators.

The 7th Avenue side of the station will likely not have porters.

If you enter the station at the 8th Avenue side of the building, you will only need to head down one small escalator to get to the area that NJ transit and Amtrak use jointly.

Are there two levels of entry to the tracks. Tracks 1 to 4 ONLY have access from the lower level. Tracks 6 and on can have access from the main level via an escalator but not always. They are replacing the escalators with one track out at a time.

The porters work for Amtrak. Whether they will be available may depend on whether or not there is an Amtrak train at the same time.

In terms a car service, it may be quite a bit more expensive then the $65 price. From Newark airport is roughly $50. Executive cars coming from the city can charge quite a bit more. It's about $110 - $125 to my town which is about 5 miles west of Millburn.

You also might want to keep in mind that you'll need to get off the train in Millburn by heading down three steps. I would suggest you alert a conductor and see if he can help.

If you take the train, you will need to take a Morris and Essex line train. (Green schedules.) If you take the train during rush hour you need to be careful as not all trains stop at Millburn and often times the trains that do and do not stop at Millburn leave within two minutes of each other and across the track from one another.

If you could, I might suggest you check your luggage with the hotel you're leaving from and take a smaller overnight bag.

If you can't do that, then take a cab and have him drop you off at the corner of 8th Avenue and 31st Street. That entrance will bring you right next to the NJ Transit/Amtrak area and NJ transit ticket machines.

Ryan is offline  

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