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North River Tunnels
Western portal at Bergen Hill
Line Northeast Corridor
Location Hudson River
Coordinates 40°45′31″N 74°00′45″W / 40.7585°N 74.0125°W / 40.7585; -74.0125Coordinates: 40°45′31″N 74°00′45″W / 40.7585°N 74.0125°W / 40.7585; -74.0125
System Amtrak and NJ Transit
Start Secaucus Junction in Secaucus (NJT); Newark Pennsylvania Station in Newark (Amtrak)
End Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, New York City
Opened November 27, 1910[1]
Owner Amtrak
Length 6,100 feet (1,900 m)[2]
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrified Third rail and Overhead lines
Lowest elevation 100 feet (30.5 m) below Hudson River, 175 feet (53 m) below Bergen Hill[3]
Grade 1.30% in Weehawken, 1.923% in Manhattan[3]

The North River Tunnels carry Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and New Jersey Transit rail lines under the Hudson River between Weehawken, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, New York City. Completed in 1910 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the tunnels allowed the Pennsylvania Railroad to access Manhattan.[4]

The tunnels' western portal is in North Bergen, on the western edge of the New Jersey Palisades near the eastern terminus of Route 3 at U.S. Route 1/9 (40°46′17″N 74°02′31″W / 40.771434°N 74.041892°W / 40.771434; -74.041892). They travel far underground beneath North Bergen, Union City, and Weehawken.

1907 exposition display showing cross-section of East and North River railroad tunnels
Electrified tunnels, 1910s

As of 2006, the tunnels operate near 100 percent capacity during peak hours. There are a total of two tubes; the northern tube is for trains traveling westbound (to New Jersey), while the southern tube carries trains going eastbound (to Manhattan). Since there are only two tubes (one in each direction), trains have to wait to cross into Manhattan. Sometimes, this can cause delays, especially if a train breaks down in the tunnel. During peak hours, one train can go through the tunnel every 2–3 minutes.

The Mass Transit Tunnel began construction in June, 2009, and is planned to supplement the North River Tunnels.


See also


  1. ^ Guide to Civil Engineering Projects In and Around New York City (2nd ed.). Metropolitan Section, American Society of Civil Engineers. 2009. p. 58.  
  2. ^ Belson, Ken (April 6, 2008). "TUNNEL MILESTONE, AND MORE TO COME". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-30.  
  3. ^ a b "" Pennsy's" North River Tunnel a Marvel of Skill; Bores Meeting Head-on Under the River Only an Eighth of an Inch Out of Alignment and Three-fourths of an Inch Out of Grade". New York Times. September 9, 1906.  
  4. ^ * Cudahy, Brian J. (2002). Rails under the mighty Hudson: The Story of the Hudson Tubes, the Pennsy Tunnels and Manhattan Transfer. Hudson Valley Heritage Series (2nd ed.). New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 0-8232-2189-X.  

Further reading

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