Anyone who has waited for a train during the evening rush hour knows that Penn Station gets unbelievably crammed with commuters. So it's nice to read this Star-Ledger piece confirming its status as the busiest train station in the country: "Every day, these train station equivalents of air traffic controllers try to figure out how to fit 5 pounds of potatoes into a 3-pound sack."

There's a great photo gallery of the Amtrak control center and all the displays showing platform activity. The control center is located two blocks from the station. The Star-Ledger reports:

Inside the Penn Station Control Center, dispatchers stare at the 75-foot-wide screen showing movements of trains from the Philadelphia outskirts to Long Island and try once more to do the improbable:

Funnel 1,200 trains a day through century-old tunnels into a maze-like station that has subways down below and is corked by Madison Square Garden...

The dispatchers are the St. Peters of the tracks — gatekeepers who decide whether your train can enter Manhattan, in a jigsaw puzzle of a transit hub that handles 650,000 people a day — twice as busy as America’s most-used airport in Atlanta and busier than Newark, LaGuardia and JFK airports combined.

There's work being done to expand capacity. Drew Galloway, Amtrak's chief of Northeast Corridor planning and performance, noted that the high speed trains that will go 160 mph and trail improvements will help, "You’re going to go from two or three trains an hour, in some respects, to 10 or 12 trains an hour."

Until then, brace yourself for Thanksgiving madness—or just the regular everyday madness: