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If you're thinking about making a mad, last minute dash to New York's Time Square to celebrate New Year's Eve this evening, AMTRAK does still have tickets and space available.
The first available return train from New York to Philadelphia is the 3AM number 67 Northeast Regional on January 1, 2011 which prices out at $83 per person. Sandy LylePhiladelphia Train Travel ExaminerSandy Lyle is a life-long Philadelphia resident and a professional travel agent specializing in train travel. Gillen and his friend Matt Turk were among dozens of musicians and performers who made their way to Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall on Tuesday to audition for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Music Under New York program. While plenty of people toot horns or sing their way through the system, there are only about 100 or so acts that are officially recognized by the MTA, getting prime performing spaces in some of the busiest stations. Tuesday's auditions, with about 70 performers taken from 200 submissions, covered a musical range, from folk rock to electric violin. Sixteen-year-old Banks Harris, of Brooklyn, skipped school along with companion Kane Dulaney Balser, also 16, for the chance to audition in front of more than two dozen judges, impressing many with her deep, powerful singing voice. While they have made some money doing it, Harris said the main draw was the chance to perform. The program, which started as a pilot in 1985, is part of the MTA's Arts for Transit, which also places visual art in the subway system. The artists on the roster are given the chance every two weeks to call in and make requests for time slots. Participating in the program has been a boon for some, Bloodworth said, because of the exposure it provides. The artists who do make it add a certain something to the experience of subway travel, even if their audience only hears them for a fleeting moment, said Jenneth Webster, producer of Lincoln Center's Out of Doors Festival and an audition judge.
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NEW YORK (AP) - The agency that runs the city's subway system has put in place new track safety measures following the deaths of two workers. New York City Transit on Thursday sharpened its focus on safety after the workers were hit and killed by trains inside tunnels in separate incidents late last month. Supervisors have been given radios to improve communication with train controllers, and maintenance workers have been retrained on track safety.
In addition, transit officials are testing devices that would sound alarms when trains approach crews working on the tracks.
The measures will be in place until reports are completed by an inquiry board and a newly formed track safety task force. When the train turned electric, moved underground and became the subway, there were those who remained enraptured. Most visitors yesterday were entranced by close-up looks at undercarriages, wrenches the length of a man’s leg and opportunities to sit in the worn red seat of a subway cab, the part of the car where the motorman leans out the window. Some visitors even took photographs of a pile of metal shavings, for no particular reason other than that they were transportation authority metal shavings.
Greg Orlando, 50, who grew to love the subways as a child in Howard Beach, Queens, is now a firefighter in Staten Island. James Weider, 17, a senior at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, chose the subway as a senior research topic. The visitors walked into a trench, so the bottom of a subway car’s door, at foot level in a station, was about a foot or so above their heads. The Corona facility, about 11 months old, has the look and feel of a clean room where computers are assembled, except for the undercarriages of the cars, which are coated with soot, and, up close, have the whiff of stables. On one track was a set of clean subway wheels, 34 inches in diameter and lacking a car above them. NEW YORK, May 18 (Reuters) - New York's mass transit agency said on Friday it was probing whether revamping subway stations and other upgrades will cost $500 million to $2 billion more than planned, though this work does not even include its mega-projects, such as the new Second Avenue subway. Adding he will not have a hard estimate of the extra expenses until the transit arm of the busiest U.S.
In addition to upgrading subway stations, the huge extra sum might be needed to modernize repair shops and rail yards, and update signals and communication systems, he said.
Pressed by Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who led the oversight hearing, to say whether subway fares and bridge tolls will go up in 2008, Sander said this was premature. The MTA, which has a long history of cost overruns, gets a share of city and state real estate-based taxes, and soaring apartment and commercial prices have pumped up its revenues.

The various MTA agencies, which also run its commuter rail lines, city buses, and East River bridges and tunnels, all have been asked to determine how they could prune spending by 2 percent and by 4 percent, Sander said.
Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to charge rush hour Manhattan drivers $8 to encourage them to use mass transit. But Bloomberg has not proposed giving the MTA more operating aid to cope with the additional 1 million residents anticipated to move to New York by 2030. The MTA's five-year $21 billion capital plan, now in its third year, faces even more risks. The Federal Transit Administration, guarding against the ballooning expenses racked up by Boston's Big Dig tunnel project, told the MTA to boost its cost contingencies for the Second Avenue subway to 15 percent from 12 percent, Sander said.
Phase One of Manhattan's first new subway line in decades is still $800 million short, and the federal agency also sees the work taking six months longer than planned, he added.
Various commissions are studying how the MTA can curb costs, by hiring more small contractors, for example, as well as how it can cope with rising prices for steel, and the higher wages construction workers now earn, thanks to the real estate boom, Sander said. The MTA is scrounging for cash, partly because it must close $4.1 billion of budget gaps by 2010. And he made it clear he was conducting an extensive analysis of MTA's operations, including, for example, getting its police officers out of their patrol cars and onto commuter rail cars -- where only six or seven previously were assigned. The perfect solution would be for all Metro North trains to run through Grand Central and terminate at Penn.
The rush and crush of people getting in and out should not be so surprising in a city like New York. I've wondered about the same thing, as well I'm an out-of-towner who often makes the transfer between Grand Central and Penn stations. The MTA's East Side Access project - which brings Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal - reached another milestone on Saturday when a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) completed its journey from Italy and arrived on U.S. The bi-level 63rd Street tunnel was constructed starting in 1969, designed to carry both subway and commuter rail trains. To many, Penn Station is the utilitarian underground plaza beneath New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden. Constructed of pink granite and marked by an imposing, classical colonnade, Pennsylvania Station was served by twin carriageways modeled after Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate. This article revisits the original structure in pictures, highlighting the beginning of the end of American rail travel’s glory days.
Keep reading – explore 20 vintage railway scenes from the glory days of train travel. Images of a completely empty New York City subway system can usually only be seen in movies, but this time they're for real. New York City's subways and train stations were closed in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, a category 1 hurricane expected to bring a storm surge to the mid-Atlantic coast on Monday evening and early Tuesday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has published photos of the mostly empty stations, including iconic locations such as the Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. Check out the photos in the gallery above (the entire gallery is available on Flickr), and follow our coverage of Hurricane Sandy here. Music Under New York organizes more than 150 performances a week at 25 locations, including Grand Central Terminal, Pennsylvania Station and the subway stations at Times Square and Union Square. She pointed to the example of Susan Cagle, the singer-songwriter who signed a record contract and has appeared on Oprah Winfrey's television talk show. Artists have to have more than just talent, they have to have a performance that can translate in the crowded, noisy subway system.
In both cases, investigators suspect the workers didn't hear approaching trains until it was too late.
Using loud diesel generators at work sites is discouraged, and non-emergency work has been banned in areas where emergency telephones and alarm boxes aren't working, transit officials said.
He took the tour with six friends, who are members of The New Jersey HiRailers in Paterson, N.J. Sander said the MTA has enough buses and trains to take on the extra 85,000 people expected to quit driving. This map shows that there are unused 5th tracks between Times Square and Penn Station down both Seventh AND Eighth Avenue. Due to budget shortfalls, the tunnel remained unused until 1989, when F train service was routed through the tunnel's upper level to 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue. But from 1910 to 1963, the site was occupied by a Beaux-Arts masterpiece designed by McKim, Mead & White that is still considered one of the architectural jewels of New York City.

Its main waiting room was inspired by the Roman Baths of Caracalla and at 150 feet high, it was the largest indoor space in New York City and one of the largest indoor public spaces in the world. I would travel on the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, the Empire Builder to Seattle and, finally, the Coast Starlight to Los Angeles.
Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe. The artists, as street performers, are allowed to take whatever money they are given from passers-by. They are building a miniature reproduction of the subway, complete with a Times Square station and a Washington Heights repair yard at 207th street.
He explained that the facility runs 24 hours a day, employs 162 workers and services 409 subway cars, nearly all of them No. Could the 'S' trains somehow be connected to either (or both) of these tracks, and continue to Penn? East Side Access is a $6.3 billion project that will provide access to Grand Central Terminal for Long Island Rail Road commuters. Its trailing gear and the smaller components that make up the rest of the machine will arrive separately later this month. The lower level currently terminates at 63rd Street and 2nd Avenue, where the TBM will pick up shortly to begin boring toward Grand Central. These trains, two of Amtrak's best and one of its most improved, would show me a huge slice of America for the next week.During my 3,582-mile journey in March, the scenically mundane mixed in with the magnificent, and that was fine with me.
This would mean some pretty significant reconstruction at Times Square but maybe it would be worth it.
If it's a common trip then this might be worthwhile, but if my case was unusual then just forget I mentioned it.
Connecting tunnels will be completed in Queens to link the tunnel to the LIRR's Main Line and Port Washington branch tracks. But the connection between these two terminals is pretty inconvenient, particularly if you're carrying luggage. Once the shipment has cleared customs, the pieces will be taken by truckload to Long Island City, Queens, where they will be lowered into the 63rd Street tunnel via a massive excavation.
Both urban and small-town America scrolled past my windows, along with less-peopled spaces in between. The most spectacular a€” the Hudson River, the Rockies and the Cascades, Puget Sound, the Pacific a€” proved unforgettable.Most of Amtrak's long-distance trains use double-deck Superliner equipment, but those cars won't fit through the tunnels into New York City, so overnight trains fanning out from there a€” to Florida, New Orleans and on two routes to Chicago a€” use single-level equipment.
The TBM will be assembled in the launch box and will begin digging its way toward Grand Central later this summer. Sleeping cars are Viewliners, so named because the two levels of windows provide views from upper and lower berths. Still, I find them perfectly functional, even attractive, and they are a source of nostalgia for longtime train riders.I've been a train rider all my life.
There was a run of beautiful bridges: the George Washington, the Tappan Zee, the Bear Mountain, the Mid-Hudson and, in Poughkeepsie, a leggy railroad bridge, long abandoned but reopened just last year as a pedestrian walkway.
There was West Point, looking formidable, and the 1850s military surplus warehouse Bannerman Castle, crumbling. The route guide I'd found in my roomette (all the trains I rode had them) told me about this, plus much more. My lamb shank dinner was just fine a€” as was my omelet with bacon and a biscuit the next morning.West of Chicago, it's a bigger and better Amtrak world. At Union Station, my wife, Laurel (she made the balance of the trip with me), and I walked along an impressive string of tall, gleaming Superliners, searching for our sleeper, No. Because it was a two-night journey, we had sprung for this relatively posh accommodation: a chair, table, sofa (which can be turned into an oversized lower berth), an upper berth that folds down, a basin in the room and an annex with a toilet and shower. She brought mimosas to our room, and she always struck the right balance between friendliness and professionalism.Dorothy was new to Amtrak, having been hired in June 2009, "the first time Amtrak had hired in years," she said. Among hundreds of applicants, only eight were chosen, and Dorothy, who had been a restaurant manager, was happy to be one of them.We whiled away the first afternoon watching the Illinois and Wisconsin countryside from our seats in the Sightseer Lounge a€” a bright, airy car with broad, high windows and skylights in the ceiling shoulders.

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