Port Authority Trans-Hudson: Wikis


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Coordinates: 40°43′52.74″N 74°3′33.59″W / 40.7313167°N 74.0593306°W / 40.7313167; -74.0593306 (PATH)

Port Authority Trans-Hudson
Wtc path station platform.jpg
A PATH train waits to depart the World Trade Center stop, bound for Newark.
Owner Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Locale Newark / Hudson County, New Jersey and Manhattan, New York
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 4
Number of stations 13
Daily ridership 246,000 (2007)
Began operation 1908
Operator(s) Port Authority Trans-Hudson
System length 13.8 mi (22.2 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) (standard gauge)
Route map
Unknown route-map component "uACCa"
Unknown route-map component "uWBRÜCKE"
Passaic River
Urban station on track
Unknown route-map component "ueBHF"
Manhattan Transfer Closed
Unknown route-map component "uWBRÜCKE"
Hackensack River
Unknown route-map component "uACC"
Journal Square
Enter urban tunnel Unknown route-map component "utACCa"
Hoboken Terminal
Urban tunnel station on track Urban tunnel straight track
Grove Street
Unknown route-map component "utABZld" Unknown route-map component "utHACC" Unknown route-map component "utABZrd"
Unknown route-map component "utACC" Urban tunnel straight track
Exchange Place
Urban tunnel below water + Unknown route-map component "exGRENZE legende"
Transverse water + Unknown route-map component "exGRENZE legende"
Urban tunnel below water + Unknown route-map component "exGRENZE legende"
Hudson River / NJ/NY Border
Unknown route-map component "utACCe" Urban tunnel straight track
World Trade Center
Urban tunnel station on track
Christopher Street
Urban tunnel station on track
9th Street
Urban tunnel station on track
14th Street
Unknown route-map component "uetBHF"
19th Street Closed
Urban tunnel station on track
23rd Street
Unknown route-map component "uetBHF"
28th Street Closed
Unknown route-map component "utACCe"
33rd Street

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) is a rapid transit railroad linking Manhattan, New York with New Jersey, and providing service to Jersey City, Hoboken, Harrison, and Newark. It is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. While some PATH stations are adjacent to New York City Subway, Newark Light Rail, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and New Jersey Transit stations, there are no free transfers between these different, independently run transit systems; however, PATH does accept the same pay-per-ride MetroCard used by the New York City Subway. PATH trains run 24 hours a day.

PATH has a route length of 13.8 miles (22.2 km), not including any route overlap.[1]

PATH trains only use tunnels in Manhattan, Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. The tracks cross the Hudson River through century-old cast iron tubes that rest on the river bottom under a thin layer of silt. PATH's routes from Grove Street in Jersey City west to Newark run in open cuts, at grade level, and on elevated track.

As of the 4th quarter of 2007, PATH had an average weekday ridership of 246,000.[2]



The history of PATH, originally known as the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad, predates the first underground line of the New York City Subway (the IRT). Although the railroad was first planned in 1874, existing technologies could not safely tunnel under the Hudson River. Construction began on the existing tunnels in 1890, but stopped shortly thereafter when funding ran out. Construction did not resume until 1900 under the direction of William Gibbs McAdoo, an ambitious young lawyer who had moved to New York from Chattanooga, Tennessee. McAdoo would later become president of what would, for many years, be known as the H&M, Hudson Tubes or McAdoo Tunnels.[3]


Construction of the tunnels

The first tunnel (the northernmost of the uptown pair) was originally built without an excavation shield or iron construction because the chief engineer of the time, Dewitt Haskin, believed that the river silt was strong enough to maintain the tunnel's form (with the help of compressed air) until a 2 1/2 foot (76 cm) thick brick lining could be constructed. Haskins' plan was to excavate the tunnel, then fill it with compressed air to expel the water and to hold the iron plate lining in place. They succeeded in building the tunnel out by approximately 1,200 feet (366 m) from Jersey City until a series of blowouts — including a particularly serious one in 1880 that took the lives of 20 workers — ended the project.[3]

When the New York and Jersey Tunnel Company resumed construction on the tunnels in 1902, they employed a different method of tunneling using tubular cast iron plating. An enormous mechanical shield was pushed through the silt at the bottom of the river. The displaced mud would then be placed into a chamber, where it would later be shoveled into small cars that hauled it to the surface. In some cases, the silt would be baked with kerosene torches to facilitate easier removal of the mud. The southernmost tunnel of the uptown pair, as well as the downtown tunnels, were all constructed using the tubular cast iron method.

  • The tunnels are separate for each track, which enables a better ventilation by so-called piston effect. When a train passes through the tunnel it pushes out the air in front of it toward the closest ventilation shaft it front, and "sucks-in" the air to the tunnel from the closest ventilation shaft behind it.

The tunnels in Manhattan, on the other hand, employed cut and cover construction methods.

Hudson and Manhattan Railroad years

The first trains ran in 1907 and revenue service started between Hoboken and 19th Street at midnight on February 26, 1908. On July 19, 1909, service began between Lower Manhattan and Jersey City, through a set of tunnels located about 1¼ miles (2 km) south of the first pair. After the completion of the uptown Manhattan extension to 33rd Street and the westward extension to Newark and the now-defunct Manhattan Transfer in 1911, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad was considered to be complete. The cost of the entire project was estimated at between $55 and $60 million, equal to more than $1 billion in present-day dollars[4][5]

Originally, the Hudson Tubes were designed to link the three of the major railroad terminals on the Hudson River in New Jersey — the Lackawanna in Hoboken, the Erie and PRR in Jersey City — with New York City. While it still provides a connection to train stations in Hoboken and Newark, the commuter train stations at Erie (now Pavonia-Newport) and Exchange Place (the PRR station) have since closed. down. Towards the end of the 20th century the old rail yards at Pavonia and Exchange Place were replaced with large-scale office, residential, and retail developments.

PATH bridge over Hackensack River
Bridge over Passaic River

The original plan included an agreement between H&M and the Pennsylvania Railroad whereby PRR traffic headed for Lower Manhattan would transfer at Manhattan Transfer to the Hudson Tubes, and H&M would operate all traffic — ferry, train, or tube — between Lower Manhattan and Newark. The Tubes would also take over operation of the Jersey City Pennsylvania Railroad Harborside Terminal station at Exchange Place, when the new Pennsylvania Station in midtown Manhattan were to open, which would have its own tunnel under the Hudson River. Penn Station in Manhattan did open some ten years later, but the plans had changed; the PRR maintained operation of its Jersey City Station and they also maintained their ferries between Exchange Place and Lower Manhattan. Additionally, the route between Journal Square (then Summit Avenue) and Newark became a joint operation of the H&M and PRR.

There were early negotitions that Pennsylvania Station would also be shared by the two railroads.[6] Attempts to extend the Tubes to Astor Place and Grand Central Terminal failed, even after some construction began on the extension. There was also a plan to build an extension from the curve west of Hoboken Terminal to where Secaucus Junction is now, and a plan for a north-south connection from the 33rd Street Station south on Broadway to Union Square and then a new alignment to Hudson Terminal.

The opening of the Holland Tunnel in 1927, coupled with the Depression that began shortly after, marked the decline of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad. Later, the construction of the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge further enticed people away from the railroad. All of these tunnels were intended to increase the flow of auto-traffic, providing an alternative to the railway.

One of the original plans, with branches to the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and the Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal

Early timeline

Port Authority takeover

A drawing of the northern of the two underground junctions (known as "caissons") on the New Jersey side.
Hoboken- and Newark-bound platform at Exchange Place station in Jersey City.

Promotions and other advertising proved ineffectual at slowing the financial decline. In the 1950s, H&M fell into bankruptcy, but continued to operate. It remained under bankruptcy court protection for years, a source of embarrassment. For decades, New Jersey politicians asked the Port Authority to operate the vital transit link, but Port Authority officials were reluctant to assume the money-losing operation, and New York politicians did not want extra Port Authority money spent in New Jersey.

The World Trade Center finally enabled the three parties to compromise. The Port Authority agreed to purchase and maintain the Tubes in return for the rights to build the World Trade Center on the land occupied by H&M's Hudson Terminal, which was the Lower Manhattan terminus of the Tubes.

In 1962, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company ceased operation of the Hudson Tubes, and service began through the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH), a subsidiary organization of the Port Authority. Upon taking over the H&M Railroad, the Port Authority spent $70 million to modernize PATH's infrastructure.[19]

During the 1980s, the PATH system experienced substantial growth in ridership, which meant the infrastructure needed expansion and rehabilitation. The Port Authority announced a plan in 1988 to upgrade the infrastructure so that stations on the Newark-WTC line could accommodate longer 8-car trains while 7-car trains could operate between Journal Square and 33rd Street.[20] In August 1990, the Port Authority put forth a $1 billion plan to renovate the PATH stations and add new rail cars.[21] To help provide revenue, the Port Authority installed video monitors in its stations that display advertising.[22] At that time, the Port Authority incurred a $135 million deficit annually, which it sought to alleviate with a fare hike to reduce the per passenger subsidy.[23] By 1992, the Port Authority had spent $900 million on infrastructure improvements, including track repairs, modernizing communications and signaling, new ventilation equipment, and they installed elevators at most stations to accommodate the disabled. A new car maintenance facility was also added in Harrison, at a cost of $225 million.[24]

On December 11, 1992, a storm caused extensive flooding in the PATH tunnels, resulting in the system being out of service for 10 days. A 2,500 to 3,000 ft section of track between Hoboken and Pavonia was flooded, as were other locations within the system. This was the longest period of disruption since a 2 1/2 month strike in 1980.[25] When the 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred, a section of ceiling in the PATH station collapsed and trapped dozens.[26] Nonetheless, the PATH station did not suffer any structural damage.[27] Within a week, the Port Authority was able to resume PATH service to the World Trade Center.[28]

After September 11th

The Temporary World Trade Center station opened in 2003.

The World Trade Center station, which is one of PATH's two New York terminals, was destroyed on September 11, 2001 when the buildings above it collapsed. Just prior to the collapse, the station was closed and any waiting passengers that were in the station were evacuated by a train that was already inside the terminal.

With the station destroyed, service to Lower Manhattan was suspended for over two years. Exchange Place, the next station on the Newark–World Trade Center line, also had to be closed because it could not operate as a "terminal" station.[29] Instead, two uptown services (Newark–33rd Street (red) and Hoboken–33rd Street (blue)) and one intrastate New Jersey service (Hoboken-Journal Square (green)) were put into operation. Only one after-hours train was put into service, Newark–33rd Street (via Hoboken).

Restoration of service to Exchange Place

Modifications were made to a stub end tunnel (also known as the Penn Pocket, which was originally built for short turn World Trade Center to Exchange Place runs to handle PRR commuters from Harborside Terminal) to allow trains from Newark to reach the Hoboken bound tunnel and vice versa. The modifications required PATH to bore through the bedrock dividing the stub tunnel and the tunnels to and from Newark. The new Exchange Place station opened in June 2003. Because of the original alignment of the tracks, trains to/from Hoboken use separate tunnels from the Newark service. From Newark, trains would cross over to the Newark/Hoboken bound track just north of Exchange Place. The train would then reverse direction and go to Hoboken. From Hoboken, trains would enter on the Manhattan bound track at Exchange Place. The train would then reverse direction and use several switches west of the station to go to the Newark bound tracks before entering Grove Street.

Restoration of service to World Trade Center

World Trade Center PATH station sign.

PATH service to Lower Manhattan was restored when a $323 million temporary station opened on November 23, 2003; the inaugural train was the same one that had been used for the evacuation. The new station still contains portions of the original station but it does not have heating or air conditioning systems installed, and is very utilitarian in its design. The temporary entrance was closed on July 1, 2007 and demolished to make way for the permanent station, while the Church Street entrance opened.[30] On April 11, 2007, the Port Authority announced that it will build a new entrance to the World Trade Center PATH station on Vesey Street. The new entrance opened in March 2008, and the entrance on Church Street has since been demolished. The permanent World Trade Center PATH station, expected to be complete by 2011 at a cost of $2 billion, will likely be paid for through insurance settlements relating to the events of September 11th and through taxpayer funds from the states of New York and New Jersey. This project, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, has been awarded to a joint-venture of Granite Construction North-East (formally Granite Halmar), Fluor Enterprises, Bovis Lend Lease, and Slattery Skanska.

Bomb plot of 2006

On July 7, 2006, an alleged plot to detonate explosives in the PATH tunnels (initially said to be a plot to bomb the Holland Tunnel) was uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The plot included the detonation of a bomb that could significantly destroy and flood the tunnels, endangering all the occupants and vehicles in the tunnel at the time of the explosion. The terror planners believed that Lower Manhattan could, as a result of the explosion, be flooded due to river water surging up the remaining tunnel after the blast. Officials say that this plan was unsound due to the strength of the tunnels, and that it would require a large amount of explosives to explode. Since semi-trailer trucks are currently not allowed to pass through the Holland Tunnel, and it would be unfeasible to carry such a bomb on board a PATH train, it would be very difficult to get sufficient explosives into the tunnel to accomplish the plan. If the tunnel were to explode and allow water from the Hudson River to flood the (Holland) tunnel, Lower Manhattan would be spared since the area is 2–10 feet (1-3 meters) above sea level. Of the eight planners based in six different countries, three were arrested.[31]


2008 was PATH's centenary. To commemorate this occasion, PATH offered free rides to its passengers on February 25, 2008 between 6AM and 11PM.[32]

Cultural relevance

Every year, around Thanksgiving, PATH employees light a decorated Christmas tree at a switching station in the tunnel used by trains running from 33rd Street and Hoboken into the Pavonia/Newport station. This tradition has continued since the 1950s when a signal operator, Joe Wojtowicz, started hanging a string of Christmas lights in the tunnel. While PATH officials were initially concerned about putting up decorations in the tunnel, they later acquiesced and the tradition continues to this day. After the September 11th, 2001 attacks, a back-lit U.S. flag was put up beside the tree as a tribute to the victims of the attacks.[33]

Photography is prohibited on any PATH trains, or stations. A permit must be requested in advance with the Port Authority and the photographer must be accompanied by Port Authority personnel, but enforcement of this rule is spotty. However, PATH trains and stations have occasionally been the setting for music videos, commercials, and TV programs, sometimes as a stand-in for the New York City Subway. Notable examples are the video for the White Stripes's song "The Hardest Button to Button," which was taped at the 33rd Street Station[34] and the video for the song Rattled By The Rush by the band Pavement which was taped at Pavonia/Newport, in addition to the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Control," and the Law & Order episode "Tabula Rasa."

On trains bound for Newark or Hoboken from World Trade Center, a short, zoetrope-like advertisement can be seen in the tunnel before entering Exchange Place. There is also one on 33rd Street trains between 14th and 23rd Streets near the abandoned 19th Street Station.[35]


Map of PATH system (regular service)
Map of PATH system (late-night hours and on weekends/holidays)

PATH operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During normal hours, PATH operates four train services, using three terminals in New Jersey and two in Manhattan. Each line is represented by a unique color, which also corresponds to the color of the lights on the front of the trains. The Journal Square–33rd Street (via Hoboken) service is the only line represented by two colors (yellow and blue), since it is a late-night hours combination of the Journal Square–33rd Street and Hoboken–33rd Street services.

PATH management has two principal passenger outreach initiatives: the "PATHways" newsletter, distributed free at terminals, and the Patron Advisory Committee.[36][37]


After 23:00 and before 06:00 Monday to Friday, and all-day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, PATH operates two train services:

Prior to April 9, 2006, Hoboken–World Trade Center and Journal Square–33rd Street services were offered on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays between 09:00 and 19:30. Ongoing construction of the permanent World Trade Center Station in Manhattan prompted the indefinite discontinuation of these services on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. They have been replaced with an all-day Journal Square–33rd Street service on those days. Passengers traveling from Hoboken to the World Trade Center must take the Journal Square–33rd Street service to Grove Street and transfer to the Newark–World Trade Center train.

Station listing

There are currently 13 active PATH stations:

State City Station Services Opened Connections and notes
NY New York 33rd Street HOB-33
November 10, 1910 B D F V (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
N Q R W (BMT Broadway Line)
New York Penn Station (Amtrak, NJ Transit, LIRR) accessible via city roads only
28th Street closed November 10, 1910 closed in 1937 when the 33rd Street station was extended southward
23rd Street HOB-33
June 15, 1908 F V (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
19th Street closed February 25, 1908 closed in 1954 to accelerate service
14th Street HOB-33
February 25, 1908 F V (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
L (BMT Canarsie Line)
1 2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
9th Street HOB-33
February 25, 1908 B D F V (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
A C E (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
Christopher Street HOB-33
February 25, 1908 1 2 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
Hudson Terminal closed July 19, 1909 closed in 1971 when service opened to World Trade Center
World Trade Center NWK-WTC
July 4, 1971 (reopened November 23, 2003) 1 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line) - station closed indefinitely
2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line) - connected to Park Place station
A C E (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
4 5 (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
J M Z (BMT Nassau Street Line)
N R W (BMT Broadway Line) - connect with Northbound NYCS trains only
NJ Hoboken Hoboken HOB-WTC
February 25, 1908 Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NJ Transit
originally Lackawanna Railroad
Jersey City Pavonia/Newport HOB-WTC
August 2, 1909 Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
originally Erie Railroad
Exchange Place NWK-WTC
July 19, 1909 Hudson-Bergen Light Rail
originally Pennsylvania Railroad (also served the Lehigh Valley Railroad and New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway)
Grove Street NWK-WTC
September 6, 1910 originally Grove-Henderson Streets
Journal Square NWK-WTC
April 14, 1912 Journal Square Transportation Center
originally Summit Avenue
Harrison Manhattan Transfer closed October 1, 1911 closed in 1937 when the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station
Harrison NWK-WTC June 20, 1937 originally several blocks north (opened November 26, 1911)
Newark Newark NWK-WTC June 20, 1937 Newark Penn Station (Amtrak, NJ Transit, Newark City Subway)
originally at Park Place (opened November 26, 1911)


As of March 2, 2008, the one-way fare is $1.75. A 20 trip multi-fare purchase costs $26 and 40 trips cost $52. A 10 trip fare option is $13. For unlimited ride cards, one-day cards cost $6, 7-day cards cost $18, and 30-day cards will cost $54. Senior fares are $1, but seniors are only able to pay the reduced fare with a SmartLink card.

PATH QuickCards can be purchased from NJ Transit ticket vending machines, and from some private vendors in the vicinity of PATH stations. Single ride PATH tickets, valid for 2 hours from time of purchase, are available from MetroCard Vending Machines inside all PATH stations.[38]

On October 24, 2008, the Port Authority announced that as of November 30, 2008, NJ Transit ticket machines on NJ Transit stations will no longer sell the QuickCard and as of December 31, 2008 NJ Transit ticket machines in PATH stations (Newark, Hoboken, Journal Square, Exchange Place, and Pavonia -Newport) will no longer sell the cards. The machines at the 33rd Street, Grove Street and WTC stations were removed earlier in 2008.[39]

As of the 3rd Quarter of 2008, PATH has completed the inactivation of all turnstiles that accepted cash (in addition to the QuickCard, MetroCard and SmartLink card). These turnstiles will continue to accept the various cards as fare payment.


SmartLink turnstiles at the WTC station accept both PATH QuickCards and MTA MetroCards.

The Port Authority installed new fare collection turnstiles at all PATH stations in 2005 and 2006. These turnstiles allow passengers to pay their fare with a PATH QuickCard or an MTA Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard — and, as of 2007, with a smart card, known as SmartLink. The project is part of a Port Authority project to implement usage of a regional smart card that could be used on transit systems throughout the New York metropolitan area. The new turnstile program first began at the World Trade Center station. PATH QuickCards are still only valid on the PATH rail system.

In the fall of 2005, PATH and the MTA installed a number of MetroCard Vending Machines (MVM) on the concourse at the World Trade Center station and at the 30th Street entrance of the 33rd Street station. By the summer of 2006, MVMs were installed in all stations. These machines sell Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards and allow riders to refill SmartLink cards once they are introduced in 2007. In addition, these machines sell Single Ride PATH tickets for use only on the PATH system.

The initial testing phase of the SmartLink system was delayed by several months due to software problems. It was originally intended to start in August 2006 and then was postponed to October 2006. Continuing problems moved the testing phase for Senior SmartLink cards to February 2007.

The week of July 2, 2007, PATH began an initial roll out of the SmartLink card to the general public at the World Trade Center station. On July 23 the card was introduced at the 33rd Street terminal. On August 6 the card was introduced at the Hoboken terminal. Special vending machines that sold an 11 trip SmartLink card were installed at terminal stations. The cost of the card at $20 which includes 11 trips plus a $5 charge for the card. In 2008 when the fare was increased to $1.75, these machines were upgraded to sell an $18 card which included 10 trips at $1.30 plus the $5.00 card fee. Also a machine selling just the card for $5.00 was installed. The cards can be registered online, allowing riders to retain unused trips in case the card is lost or stolen. A charge of $5 is assessed for a replacement card.[40] In the initial stage, the SmartLink card will allow riders to place the same value on it as if they were purchasing a QuickCard by using machines located in PATH stations. A later stage will allow the rider to register the card to be automatically be refilled if the value on the card reaches a pre-set minimum. In June 2008, PATH inaugurated an online web account system allowing a cardholder to register the card and monitor its usage. It also allows for an automatic replenishment (linked to a credit card) when the card balance gets to 5 trips or 5 remaining days, depending on the type of trips on the card. The present automatic replenishment amounts are: 10 Trips - $13.00, 20 Trips - $26.00, 40 trips - $52.00, and 30 day unlimited - $54.00.


All terminals (33rd Street, Hoboken, World Trade Center, Journal Square and Newark) are wheelchair accessible, as are Exchange Place and Pavonia/Newport. The Port Authority's 2007-2016 Capital Plan has allocated over $17 million to renovate Grove Street, with a little over $750,000 allocated for 2007. The renovation will include compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. When completed, only five stations, Harrison in New Jersey and four of the stations along Sixth Avenue in New York City, will not be accessible to the disabled.

Rolling stock

Inside the train
The front of a PA4 car-Cab

PATH has a fleet of 333 cars (reduced from 348 cars) that are in active revenue service. There are five models: PA1, PA2, PA3, PA4 and PA5. PATH cars are 51 ft (15.5 m) long, with a width of approximately 9'-2 3/4" (2.8 m). They can achieve a maximum speed of 70 mph (112 km/h). Each car seats 35 passengers, on seats that line the sides of the cars, with a larger number of standees in each car.

The PA1 cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1965. PA2 cars were built in 1966-67, also by St. Louis. Hawker Siddeley built the PA3 cars in 1972. The PA4s were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 1986-88. The PA5s are currently being built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 2008-09.

PA1, PA2, and PA3 cars have painted aluminum bodies, and have two doors on each side. Back-lit panels above the doors display the destination of that particular train: HOB for Hoboken, JSQ for Journal Square, NWK for Newark, 33 for 33rd Street, and WTC for World Trade Center. (Some of the older PA3 signs contain such overzealous punctuation as J.S.Q., N.W.K. and 33RD. ST.). The MBTA's Blue and Orange Line cars, built in 1978-79 and 1980-81 respectively are based on the PA3.

PA4 cars have stainless steel bodies, and have three doors on each side. Back-lit displays above the windows (between the doors) display the destination of that particular train.

In 1972, PATH revived the tradition of naming its passenger cars. Each car is named after a community whose residents rely on PATH service to reach their destinations. Most of the municipalities are in New Jersey, but there are also a few from Rockland County, New York, along with New York City itself. Each end of the interior of a named car features a brushed aluminum plaque bearing the name of the city or town along with a brief history and description of the area "today" (meaning in 1972), followed by the lines "This car is named in honor of (municipality name), one of more than 300 communities whose residents travel on the Port Authority Trans-Hudson interstate rail system."

The Port Authority awarded a $499 million contract to Kawasaki to design and build 340 new PATH cars (called the PA5), which will replace the system's entire aging fleet. With an average age of 42 years, the fleet is the oldest of any operating heavy rail line in the United States. The Port Authority announced that the new cars will be an updated version of MTA's R142A cars, which are currently in service on the New York City Subway's 4 and 6 lines. The first of these new cars entered revenue service July 10, 2009.[41]

As part of the fleet expansion program and signal system upgrade, the Port Authority is ordering a total of 119 additional PA5 cars as the option order. 44 of these cars will go to expanding the NWK-WTC line to 10 car operation while the remaining 75 cars will be used to increase service intervals once Communication-based train control (CBTC) has been implemented throughout the system.[42]

Current roster

A PA1 model leaving the 14th Street station.
The new PA5 PATH cars in service on February 27, 2009
Rolling stock Year built Builder Car body Car numbers Total Built Notes
PA1 1965 Saint Louis Car painted aluminum 100-151 ("C" cars)
600-709 ("A" cars)
162 "A" cars have cab units, "C" cars-trailers have no cabs, 2 doors per side
139, 143, and 612 are out of service, 694 is a work service car
PA2 1966 Saint Louis Car painted aluminum 152-181 ("C" cars)
710-723("A" cars)
44 "A" cars have cab units, "C" cars-trailers have no cabs
2 doors per side, 160 is out of service
PA3 1972 Hawker-Siddeley painted aluminum 724-769 46 All cab units, 2 doors per side
726, 754, 761, 765, 768 are work service cars. 745, 750 are out of service
PA4 1987 Kawasaki Stainless steel 800-894 95 All cab units, 3 doors per side
845 is out of service
PA5 2008 Kawasaki Stainless steel 5600-5769 (A cars)
5100-5269 (B cars)
Breakdown of option order is not yet known.
340 base order (At least 35 on property, 28 in service)
119 in fleet expansion option
"A" cars have cab units, "B" cars have no cabs
AC propulsion system, upgradable to CBTC signalling compatibility, 3 doors per side, on-board video, closed-circuit television recording capability, prerecorded station announcements, Capability for passengers to communicate with the crew

Notes: All PA1 through PA3 cars were general overhauled by Morrison Knudsen in the mid 1980s. Cars 139, 143, 160, 612, 745, 750, 845 were left under the World Trade Center on 9/11/01 and survived the collapse. They are currently stored out of service and stripped of usable parts. Several cars have been sent to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

FRA railroad status

The front of the train

While the PATH resembles a typical intraurban heavy rail rapid transit service, it is in fact a railroad under the jurisdiction of the Federal Railroad Administration.[43] PATH continues to be subject to FRA regulations because it used to share trackage with Pennsylvania Railroad in the section between Hudson interlocking near Harrison and Journal Square. In more recent past the line continued to have a connection to the Amtrak mainline near Harrison station and also near Hudson tower, but these connections have since been severed as the track layout at Hudson interlocking has been modified considerably. While the PATH does operate under a number of grandfather waivers, it is required to do things not typically seen on American transit systems. Some of these include the proper fitting of grab irons to all PATH rolling stock, the use of federally certified locomotive engineers, and compliance with the federal railroad hours of service regulations.

While the PATH did once share trackage with the Pennsylvania Railroad, this joint running and all interlocking connections to the former rail lines have been cut, except for one diamond crossing on a siding near the Hudson tower. Due to its isolation from the national rail network, PATH could potentially end its status as a railroad. However this railroad status might prove valuable if PATH were to extend service along existing rail routes as normally transit lines are required to either run on separate rights of way or time share with FRA railroads.

The PATH shares a similar status with the Staten Island Railway, which is also an FRA railroad running on a somewhat different waiver.[44][45]

Future expansion

The Port Authority has allocated funds to conduct a feasibility study of extending PATH two miles (3.2 km) south of Newark Penn Station to Newark Liberty International Airport. If the project is deemed to be possible from an engineering, operational, and financial standpoint, the Port Authority would include funding for the project in its Capital Plan. The extension to Newark Airport is estimated to cost $500 million.[46]

Signal upgrades

In October 2007, PATH announced that it would be spending $500 million upgrading its signal system to accommodate anticipated growth in ridership. Construction of the new signal system is expected to be completed around 2014. The signals will reduce the time between trains, or headway, so trains move more efficiently through the system and passenger wait times are reduced.[47]

See also


  • Brennan, Joseph. "Abandoned stations". http://www.columbia.edu/~brennan/abandoned/.  
  • Carleton, Paul. (1990). The Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Revisited. D. Carleton Railbooks.  
  • Cudahy, Brian J. (2002). Rails Under the Mighty Hudson: The Story of the Hudson Tubes, the Pennsy Tunnels and Manhattan Transfer. Fordham University Press. ISBN 0823221903.  


  1. ^ Path At A Glance
  2. ^ American Public Transportation Association
  3. ^ a b Fitzherbert, Anthony. "The Public Be Pleased: William G. McAdoo and the Hudson Tubes", Electric Railroaders Association, 1964.
  4. ^ http://oregonstate.edu/cla/polisci/faculty-research/sahr/cv2008.pdf Consumer Price Index (CPI) Conversion Factors 1774 to estimated 2018 to Convert to Dollars of 2008, Robert Sahr, Associate Professor Oregon State University.
  5. ^ Calculate CPI from 1665-2012
  6. ^ McAdoo Co. to Use Pennsylvania Depot, New York Times September 2, 1908
  7. ^ "Trolley Tunnel Open to Jersey". New York Times. February 26, 1908. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9507E2D81F3EE233A25755C2A9649C946997D6CF. Retrieved 2008-10-27. "The natural barrier which has separated New York from New Jersey since those States came into existence was, figuratively speaking, wiped away at 3:40 1/2 o'clock yesterday afternoon when the first of the two twin tubes of the McAdoo tunnel system was formally opened, thus linking Manhattan with Hoboken, and establishing a rapid transit service beneath the Hudson River."  
  8. ^ "To Extend Hudson Tunnel", New York Times, 1908, June 12, p. 6.
  9. ^ "Under the Hudson by Four Tubes Now", The New York Times, 1909, July 18, p. 3.
  10. ^ "Another Ghost From Ground Zero’s Past Fades Away". New York Times. October 26, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/27/nyregion/27tunnel.html. Retrieved 2008-10-27. "The Hudson Terminal opened in 1909. Inbound trains from New Jersey approached the terminal from the south, looped along Church Street and ran outbound through a northern tube."  
  11. ^ "Erie Commuters Held Up", The New York Times, 1909, August 3, p. 1.
  12. ^ "Subway Station Not Closed", The New York Times, 1910, August 26, p. 6.
  13. ^ "M'Adoo Would Build A West Side Subway", The New York Times, 1910, September 16, p. 20.
  14. ^ "Open McAdoo Extension", The New York Times, 1910, November 10, p. 10.
  15. ^ "Open Pennsylvania Station To-night", New York Times, 1910, November 26, p. 5.
  16. ^ "Improved Transit Facilities by Newark High Speed Line", The New York Times, 1911, October 1, p. XX2.
  17. ^ "Tube Service to Newark", The New York Times, 1911, November 26, p. 9.
  18. ^ "New Station Open for Hudson Tubes", The New York Times, 1937, June 20, p. 35.
  19. ^ "Authority Trains Winning Plaudits". New York Times. September 4, 1967. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F4061FFC3D5B117B93C6A91782D85F438685F9. "Five years ago, the Port of New York Authority took over the bankrupt and antiquated Hudson Tubes. Yesterday the management, employes and commuters appeared reasonably pleased with the improvements made under the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation."  
  20. ^ Wilson, Joyce Wells (April 1988). "No Free Rides Business". Journal of New Jersey.  
  21. ^ Yarrow, Andrew L. (August 12, 1990). "Port Authority Plans Outlined". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE3D7133CF931A2575BC0A966958260.  
  22. ^ "TV Ads Are Spreading To Subways and Malls". New York Times. January 1, 1990. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE5DA173BF932A35752C0A966958260. "The newest transit video network is now being installed in the PATH rail system, which shuttles 200,000 passengers daily between New Jersey and Manhattan. Three dozen 35-inch-screen monitors are already up and running in the World Trade Center station and the installation of the remaining 130 monitors in 12 PATH stations is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month."  
  23. ^ Levine, Richard (February 3, 1991). "As Economy Changes, the Port Authority Must Overcome Its Own Image". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE4DA143BF930A35751C0A967958260.  
  24. ^ Romano, Jay (March 15, 1992). "For PATH, On-Time Record of 90 Percent". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE0DD163AF936A25750C0A964958260.  
  25. ^ Peterson, Iver (December 22, 1992). "PATH Back In Operation After Repairs". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CEEDD1F3DF931A15751C1A964958260.  
  26. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (February 27, 1993). "Blast Hits Trade Center, Bomb Suspected; 5 Killed, Thousands Flee Smoke In Towers". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE3DB103AF934A15751C0A965958260.  
  27. ^ Newkirk, Pamela (February 28, 1993). "Now, the Cleanup, Work begins assessing the damage". Newsday (New York).  
  28. ^ Marks, Peter (March 1, 1993). "PATH and Subway Service Is Being Restored". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE7DC133AF932A35750C0A965958260.  
  29. ^ Downtown Restoration Program
  30. ^ The path to a new PATH, 2007-06-29 to 2007-07-05, http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_216/thepathtoanew.html, retrieved 2007-07-10  
  31. ^ ThreatsWatch.Org: InBrief: Foreign Plot to Bomb Holland Tunnel Thwarted - Updated
  32. ^ wcbstv.com - For Centennial, PATH Offers Free Train Rides
  33. ^ "Holiday tree decorates PATH tunnel", Jersey Journal, December 20, 2001.
  34. ^ Lens Recap: White Stripes' 'Button' - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
  35. ^ The Ad at the End of the Tunnel
  36. ^ The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - PATH
  37. ^ "PATH Rapid-Transit System". The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. http://www.pathrail.com/CommutingTravel/path/html/patron.php. Retrieved 2008-10-27. "The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) was established in 1962 as a subsidiary of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The heavy rail transit system serves as the primary transit link between Manhattan and neighboring New Jersey urban communities and suburban railroads. PATH presently carries 242,000 passengers each weekday. This volume is expected to continue to increase with the anticipated growth in regional residential, commercial and business development."  
  38. ^ "Fares". The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. http://www.panynj.gov/CommutingTravel/path/html/fares.html. Retrieved 2008-10-27.  
  39. ^ http://panynj.gov/AboutthePortAuthority/PressCenter/PressReleases/PressRelease/index.php?id=1142
  40. ^ Marsico, Ron (2007-07-04). "Lower Manhattan now offers PATH to a smarter commute". The Star-Ledger. http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-7/1183523560182920.xml&coll=1. Retrieved 2007-07-10.  
  41. ^ [http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/traffic/ny_traffic_authority/090710_path_system_gets_new_cars New PATH Train Cars , MyFoxNY.com, published July 10, 2009, retrieved July 10, 2009]
  42. ^ Go to side menu: PATH → Updated 2007-2016 Capital Plan Overview → PATH Cars
  43. ^ "Federal Railroad Administration: Passenger Rail; Chapter 1". http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/886. Retrieved 2009-03-03.  
  44. ^ David Paul Gerber. "Staten Island Railway". http://stationreporter.net/sir.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-24.  
  45. ^ "SIRT: Staten Island Rapid Transit". http://nycsubway.org/lines/sirt.html. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  46. ^ FY 2004-06 Transportation Improvement Program (pdf) - Authority Projects FY 2003-2008
  47. ^ [1] - Officials Plan to Replace Signal System of PATH Line

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