Amid all of the other unpleasantries at New York’s Penn Station—the claustrophobically low ceilings, the terrible wayfinding, the general ugliness of the place—the bathrooms on the Amtrak side of the station stand out as being particularly gross. (So much so that we recommended going to the other side of the train depot, where the marginally nicer Long Island Rail Road bathrooms are located, should nature call.)
Amtrak is aware of this—how could they not be?—and The New York Times reports that they’re actually going to do something about it: CEO Charles Moorman told the paper that the nasty restrooms will be fixed up “by the end of the year,” though he did not specify what, exactly, those changes will entail. (At this point, the best solution may be to just rip it all out and start from scratch.)
The rail company is currently working with a contractor on a plan forward, beginning with which restrooms—men’s or women’s—will get spiffed up first. It’s probably too much to ask for Bryant Park-like niceties in the bathrooms, but we can hope.
The only problem there: In order to make the necessary changes, Amtrak will need to close the Penn bathrooms and truck in port-a-potties to accommodate passengers’ needs (and, as the Times helpfully note, those “also quickly become quite rancid”).
The Penn bathrooms aren’t the only things Amtrak is planning to upgrade: The company also announced this week that it’ll replace seating, carpets, and bathrooms on trains on its Northeast and Midwest lines.