The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), also known as the "Pennsy" was established in 1846 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 1882 it had become the largest railroad, the largest transportation enterprise, and the largest corporation in the world. With 30,000 miles of track, it had longer mileage than any other country in the world, except Britain and France. Its budget was second only to the U.S. government. Its only formidable rival was the New York Central (NYC), which carried around three-quarters of PRR's ton-miles.
Until the early 20th century, the PRR's rail network terminated on the western side of the Hudson River at Exchange Place in Jersey City, New Jersey. Manhattan-bound passengers boarded ferries to cross the Hudson River. The rival New York Central Railroad's line ran down Manhattan from the north under Park Avenue and terminated at Grand Central Depot (later Grand Central Station, now Terminal) at 42nd Street.
The development of the electric locomotive made tunnels feasible and on November 27, 1910, Penn Station was fully opened to the public.
Penn Station head house that was demolished in 1963. The demolition was controversial and caused outrage internationally and became a catalyst for the architectural preservation movement in the United States. Within the decade, the Grand Central Terminal was protected under the NYC's new landmarks preservation act.
The current 1968's Penn Station is completely underground and sits below Madison Square Garden, 33rd Street, and Two Penn Plaza.