PATH (rail system)
|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||276,417 (2016)|
|Annual ridership||59,123,456 (2015)|
|Began operation||February 25, 1908|
|Operator(s)||Port Authority Trans-Hudson|
|System length||13.8 mi (22.2 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Electrification||600 V (DC) Third Rail|
The Port Authority Trans-Hudson, commonly called PATH, is a rapid transit system serving Newark, Harrison, Hoboken, and Jersey City in metropolitan northern New Jersey, as well as lower and midtown Manhattan in New York City. The PATH is operated by, and named after, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. PATH trains run 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
The system has a route length of 13.8 miles (22.2 km), not including any route overlap. As of October 2016, PATH had an average weekday ridership of 276,417. 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 route from Grove Street in Jersey City west to Newark runs in open cuts, at grade level, and on elevated track.
While some PATH stations are adjacent or connected 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. PATH does accept the same pay-per-ride MetroCard used by the New York City Transit system, but it does not accept unlimited ride, reduced fare, or EasyPay MetroCards.
Hudson and Manhattan Railroad
The PATH was originally known as the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (abbreviated as H&M). 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 resumed in 1900 under the direction of William Gibbs McAdoo, an ambitious young lawyer who had moved to New York from Chattanooga, Tennessee. McAdoo later became president of what was known, for many years, as the H&M, Hudson Tubes or McAdoo Tunnels.
The first tunnel (the more northern 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-foot-6-inch-thick (76 cm) brick lining could be constructed. Haskin's 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.
When the New York and Jersey Tunnel Company resumed construction on the tunnels in 1902, chief engineer Charles M. Jacobs 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 was then placed into a chamber, where it was later shoveled into small cars that hauled it to the surface. In some cases, the silt was baked with kerosene torches to facilitate easier removal of the mud. The southern tunnel of the uptown pair was constructed using the tubular cast iron method. Construction of the uptown tunnels was completed in 1906. A second pair of tunnels was built about 1 1⁄4 miles (2.0 km) south of the first pair. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in 1909, also 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 in front, and "sucks-in" the air to the tunnel from the closest ventilation shaft behind it.:241
By contrast, the eastern ends of the tunnels, located underneath Manhattan, employed cut and cover construction methods.
The first trains ran in 1907 and revenue service started between Hoboken Terminal and 19th Street at midnight on February 26, 1908, after President Theodore Roosevelt pressed a button at the White House that turned on the electric lines in the uptown tubes; an extension of the H&M from 19th Street to 23rd Street opened on June 12 of the same year.
On July 19, 1909, service began between the Hudson Terminal in Lower Manhattan and Exchange Place in Jersey City, through the downtown tubes. The connection between Exchange Place and the junction near Hoboken Terminal opened on August 2, 1909. On September 6, 1910, the H&M was extended from Exchange Place west to Grove Street, and on November 10 of that year was extended from 23rd Street to 33rd Street. On November 27, the PRR tunnel to New York Penn Station opened.
After the completion of the uptown Manhattan extension to 33rd Street and the westward extension to the now-defunct Manhattan Transfer and Park Place Newark terminus in 1911, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad was considered to be complete. The cost of the entire project was estimated at between $55 million to 60 million in 1909 dollars (about $1,451,000,000 to $1,583,000,000 today).
External relations and expansion
Originally, the Hudson Tubes were designed to link three of the major railroad terminals on the Hudson River in New Jersey—the Erie and Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in Jersey City and the Lackawanna in Hoboken—with New York City. While PATH still provides a connection to train stations in Hoboken and Newark, the commuter train stations at Pavonia (originally named Erie by the H&M, currently Newport) and Exchange Place (the PRR station) were eventually closed and subsequently demolished. Beginning in the latter part of the 20th century, the old rail yards at Pavonia and Exchange Place were replaced with large-scale office, residential, and retail developments.
There were early negotiations for Pennsylvania Station to also be shared by the two railroads. 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. The later construction of the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge further enticed people away from the railroad. All of these crossings, intended to increase the flow of automotive traffic, provided an alternative to the railway.
Manhattan Transfer was closed on June 20, 1937, and the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station from the Park Place terminus a quarter-mile north; the Harrison station across the Passaic River was moved several blocks south as a result. On the same day, the Newark City Subway was extended to Newark Penn Station. The upper level of the Centre Street Bridge to Park Place later became Route 158.
Port Authority operation
Bankruptcy and takeover
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 construction of 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.
In 1973, and again in 1978, PATH workers went on strike due to union disagreements with the Port Authority. The 1973 strike lasted 63 days, and the 1978 strike went on for 81 days. Both strikes were due to disputes over salary increases that the Port Authority was unwilling to grant.
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. In August 1990, the Port Authority put forth a $1 billion plan to renovate the PATH stations and add new rail cars. To help provide revenue, the Port Authority installed video monitors in its stations that display advertising. 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. By 1992, the Port Authority had spent $900 million on infrastructure improvements, including track repairs, modernizing communications and signaling, new ventilation equipment, and installing elevators at most stations to accommodate the disabled. A new car maintenance facility was also added in Harrison, at a cost of $225 million.
Around 1990, the new maintenance yard at Harrison was opened. On October 12, 1990, PATH's old Henderson Street Yard - a below-grade, open-air train storage yard at the northeast corner of Marin Boulevard and Christopher Columbus Drive just east of the Grove Street station - was closed.
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 2,500–3,000-foot (760–910 m) 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. When the 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred, a section of ceiling in the PATH station collapsed and trapped dozens. Nonetheless, the PATH station did not suffer any structural damage. Within a week, the Port Authority was able to resume PATH service to the World Trade Center.
September 11, 2001, and recovery
The World Trade Center station in Lower Manhattan, under the World Trade Center, is one of PATH's two New York terminals. The first station at the site, which replaced the old Hudson Terminal at the same place in 1971, was destroyed during the September 11 attacks, when the Twin Towers above it collapsed. Just prior to the collapse, the station was closed and any waiting passengers that were in the station were evacuated.
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. 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).
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 cross over to the Newark/Hoboken bound track just north of Exchange Place. The train then reversed direction and used a crossover switch to go to Hoboken. From Hoboken, trains enter on the Manhattan-bound track at Exchange Place. The train then reversed direction and used the same crossover switch to go to the Newark-bound tracks before entering Grove Street.
PATH service to Lower Manhattan was restored when a new, $323 million second station opened on November 23, 2003; the inaugural train was the same one that had been used for the evacuation. The second, temporary station contained portions of the original station, but did not have heating or air conditioning systems installed. The temporary entrance was closed on July 1, 2007, and demolished to make way for the third, permanent station; around the same time, the Church Street entrance opened. 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 contract to build the permanent World Trade Center PATH station, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark, was awarded to a joint-venture of Granite Construction North-East (formally Granite Halmar), Fluor Enterprises, Bovis Lend Lease, and Slattery Skanska. Platform A, the first platform of the permanent station, opened February 25, 2014, serving Hoboken-bound riders.
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. Since semi-trailer trucks are currently not allowed to pass through the Holland Tunnel, and it was unfeasible to carry such a bomb on board a PATH train, it was 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 (0.61–3.05 m) above sea level. Of the eight planners based in six different countries, three were arrested.
In January 2010, Siemens announced that PATH would be spending $321 million to upgrade its signal system using Siemens' Trainguard MT CBTC to accommodate anticipated growth in ridership. The system will reduce the headway time between trains, so trains move more efficiently through the system and passenger wait times are reduced. Trainguard MT CBTC will equip the tracks and 130 of the 340 new EMU being constructed by Kawasaki Railcar. The goal is to increase passenger capacity from the current 240,000 passengers to 290,000 passengers per day. The entire system is expected to become operational in 2017.
On October 29, 2012, PATH service was suspended system-wide due to Hurricane Sandy. The following day, Governor Christie of New Jersey stated that PATH train service would be out for 7–10 days as a result of the damage caused by the hurricane. Storm surge from the hurricane caused significant flooding to PATH train stations in Hoboken and Jersey City, as well as at the World Trade Center. An image captured from a PATH security camera showing the ingress of water at Hoboken at 8:23 p.m. on October 29, quickly spread across the Internet and became one of several representative images from the hurricane.
The first revenue PATH trains after the hurricane were the Journal Square to 33rd Street service, which recommenced on November 6 with modifications, running from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Service was extended west to Harrison and Newark on November 12, in place of the Newark - World Trade Center service. Christopher Street and 9th Street stations initially remained closed due to overcrowding concerns; beginning November 17 these stations were opened on weekends. Newark – World Trade Center service resumed on November 26, on weekdays only, during which time the Newark-33rd Street trains were shortened to Journal Square-33rd Street, and Christopher Street and 9th Street were fully opened to serve all trains.
On November 27, 2012, it was estimated that Hoboken will cost about $300 million to repair while staying closed "for weeks" including damage to 50 trainsets, scattered debris, mud, rusted tracks, and destroyed critical electrical equipment after as much as eight feet (2.4 m) of water submerged the tunnels. In order to expedite the return of Hoboken service, from December 8–9 to December 15–16 Newark – WTC service resumed operating on weekends, replacing Newark-33rd Street service to allow for uninterrupted weekend work windows in PATH's Caissons Wye tunnels under Hoboken. As a result, Hoboken station reopened on December 19 for weekday Hoboken-33rd Street service, followed by the resumption of weekday 24-hour PATH service on January 9, 2013 and the Hoboken – World Trade Center trains on January 29, with return of full PATH service at all stations at all times implemented by the weekend of March 1, following completion of repairs at Exchange Place and World Trade Center.
Newark Airport extension
The Port Authority allocated $31 million to conduct a feasibility study of extending PATH two miles (3.2 km) south of Newark Penn Station to Newark Liberty International Airport. In September 2012, it was announced that work would commence on the study. The study estimated in 2004 the cost of the extension at $500 million. On September 11, 2013, Crain's reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will publicly support the PATH extension; its estimated cost grew to $1 billion. The governor asked that the airport's largest operator, United Airlines, consider flying to Atlantic City International Airport as an enticement to further the project.
On February 4, 2014, the Port Authority proposed a 10-year capital plan that included the PATH extension to the airport's New Jersey Transit station. The Board of Commissioners approved the Capital Plan, including the airport extension, on February 19, 2014. Plans include a planned $1.5 billion PATH extension to Newark Liberty International Airport. The alignment will follow the existing New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor Line approximately one mile further west to airport’s Rail Link Station, where a connection to AirTrain Newark is available. Construction is expected to begin in 2018 and last five years.
However, there were calls in late 2014 for reconsideration of Port Authority funding priorities, as the PATH extension was termed "redundant" of existing Manhattan-to-Newark Airport train service (on NJ Transit's Northeast Corridor Line and North Jersey Coast Line as well as Amtrak's Keystone Service and Northeast Regional), while funding was lacking for both the proposed Amtrak Gateway Tunnel for commuter trains under the Hudson River (a substitute for the cancelled ARC Tunnel), and the replacement of the aging and overcrowded Port Authority Bus Terminal.
In December 2014, the PANYNJ awarded a three-year, $6 million contract to HNTB to perform cost analysis on the Newark Airport extension.
- On October 21, 2009, a PATH train from Journal Square overran and crashed into the barricade as it arrived at 33rd Street, and jolted passengers. Approximately 13 of the 450 people riding the seven-car train suffered minor injuries, and seven people including two crew members and five passengers were taken to nearby hospitals. An investigation by the Port Authority determined that the accident was caused by human error.
- On May 8, 2011, a PATH train crashed into a platform in Hoboken Terminal, injuring 34 people.
- On January 7, 2013, an escalator at Exchange Place suddenly reversed itself, resulting in five injuries.
Port Authority Trans-Hudson
PATH operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During weekday 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 (orange and blue), since it is a late-night hours combination of the Journal Square – 33rd Street and Hoboken – 33rd Street services. During peak hours, trains operate every four to eight minutes on each service. Every PATH station except Newark and Harrison is served by a train every two to three minutes, for a peak-hour service of 20 to 30 trains per hour.
During the daytime on weekdays, four services operate:
- Newark – World Trade Center
- Hoboken – World Trade Center
- Journal Square – 33rd Street
- Hoboken – 33rd Street
Between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Monday to Friday, and all-day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, PATH operates two train services:
- Newark – World Trade Center
- Journal Square – 33rd Street (via Hoboken)
Prior to April 9, 2006, Hoboken – World Trade Center and Journal Square – 33rd Street services were offered on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays between 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Ongoing construction of the permanent World Trade Center Station in Manhattan prompted the indefinite discontinuation of these services on those times, being replaced with the Journal Square – 33rd Street (via Hoboken) service. 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.
PATH does not normally operate directly from Newark to Midtown Manhattan. However, after both 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, special Newark – 33rd Street services were operated to compensate for the loss of other lines and stations. The post-9/11 service from 2001 to 2003 used the red line color of the Newark – World Trade Center service on the PATH system map, while the post-Sandy service of 2012–13 used the yellow color of the Journal Square – 33rd Street service from which it was extended.
Map of PATH system (regular service)
Map of PATH system (late-night hours and on weekends/holidays)
To-scale map of the PATH system
There are currently 13 active PATH stations:
|NY||New York||33rd Street||HOB–33
|November 10, 1910|
|28th Street||Closed||November 10, 1910||Closed September 24, 1939 when the 33rd Street station was extended southward.|
|June 15, 1908|
|19th Street||Closed||February 25, 1908||Closed in 1954 to accelerate service|
|February 25, 1908|
|February 25, 1908|
|February 25, 1908|
|Hudson Terminal||Closed||July 19, 1909||Closed in 1971 when service opened to World Trade Center.|
|World Trade Center||NWK–WTC
|July 4, 1971||Closed from September 11, 2001 to November 23, 2003|
|February 25, 1908|
|August 2, 1909||Originally a station for the Erie Railroad. Formerly known as Pavonia/Newport until 2011|
|July 19, 1909|
|September 6, 1910||Originally Grove-Henderson Streets|
|April 14, 1912||Originally Summit Avenue|
|Harrison||Harrison||NWK–WTC||June 20, 1937||Originally several blocks north (opened November 26, 1911)|
|Manhattan Transfer||Closed||October 1, 1911||Closed in 1937 when the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station|
|Newark||Newark||NWK–WTC||June 20, 1937||Replacement for Park Place and Manhattan Transfer stations|
|Park Place||Closed||November 26, 1911||Closed in 1937 when the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station|
|Ride Type||Price||Effective Price Per Ride|
|1-Day Unlimited||$8.25||Varies by use|
|7-Day Unlimited||$29||Varies by use|
|30-Day Unlimited||$89||Varies by use|
Single ride tickets are valid for two hours from time of purchase. As of October 1, 2014, a single PATH ride is $2.75; two-trip tickets are $5.50; 10-trip, $21; 20-trip, $42; 40-trip, $84 ($2.10 per trip); a seven-day unlimited, $29; and a 30-day unlimited, $89.
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.
By the third quarter of 2008, PATH had 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.
In 2010, PATH introduced a two-trip card costing $4.00 using the standard MetroCard form. Vending machines selling this card are in major PATH stations including 33rd St, World Trade Center and Journal Square. The front of the card is the standard MetroCard (gold and blue) but on the reverse it has the text "PATH 2-Trip Card", "Valid for two (2) PATH trips only" and "No refills on this card". The user had to dispose of the card after the trips are used up because the turnstiles do not keep (or capture) the card as was done with the discontinued QuickCard.
At the end of 2010, the QuickCard was discontinued and replaced with SmartLink Gray, a non-refillable, disposable version of the SmartLink card. This card was sold at selected newsstand vendors and was available in 10, 20 and 40 trips. Unlike regular SmartLink cards, SmartLink Gray cards had expiration dates. SmartLink Gray was itself discontinued in January 2016.
Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards, a brand of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s standard farecard, are accepted on PATH.
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 were introduced in 2007 (see below). In addition, these machines sell Single Ride PATH tickets for use only on the PATH system. The Port Authority installed new fare collection turnstiles at all PATH stations in 2005 and 2006. These turnstiles allowed passengers to pay their fare with a PATH QuickCard or an MTA Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard.
As of 2007, payment is also available 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. Until their discontinuance in December 2010, PATH QuickCards were only valid on the PATH rail 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. In 2011, the card was $20 ($15 for 10 trips + $5 for card) 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. Automatic replenishment is offered in 10-, 20-, and 40-trip increments, as well as weekly and monthly passes. Fares are the same as regular purchases.
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. Harrison is currently undergoing reconstruction and will also become accessible, scheduled for completion in April 2017. When completed, only the four stations along Sixth Avenue in New York City, will not be accessible to wheelchair users.
As of September 2011, there is only one model, the PA5. The cars are 51 feet (16 m) long, and 9.2 feet (2.8 m) wide. This is a smaller loading gauge compared to similar vehicles in the US, and is due to the restricted structure gauge through the tunnels under the Hudson River. They can achieve a maximum speed of 55 mph (89 km/h) in regular service. Each car seats 35 passengers, on longitudinal seating, with a larger number of standees in each car. PA5 cars have stainless steel bodies and three doors on each side. LCD displays above the windows (between the doors) display the destination of that particular train. The PA5 cars are coupled into seven-car formations, with conductors' cabs in the second and sixth cars and engineers' cabs in the first and seventh cars. The PATH operates fifty trainsets of PA5 cars, which brings the total number of PA5 cars to 350.
The Port Authority awarded a $499 million contract to Kawasaki to design and build 340 new PATH cars (called the PA5), which replaced the system's entire aging fleet. With an average age of 42 years, the fleet was the oldest of any operating heavy rail line in the United States. The Port Authority announced that the new cars would be updated versions of MTA's R142A cars. The first of these new cars entered revenue service July 10, 2009.
As part of the fleet expansion program and signal system upgrade, the Port Authority has the option to order a total of 119 additional PA5 cars as the option order; 44 of these cars would be to expand the NWK–WTC line to 10-car operation while the remaining 75 cars would be used to increase service frequencies once Communication-based train control (CBTC) is implemented throughout the system in 2017.
|Rolling stock||Year built||Builder||Car body||Car numbers||Total built||Notes|
|PA5||2008–2012||Kawasaki||Stainless steel||5600–5829 (A cars)
5100–5219 (C cars)
|340 base order
119 in fleet expansion option (10 A cars exercised so far)
|"A" cars have cab units, "C" cars have no cabs|
Siemens SITRAC AC propulsion system, upgradable to CBTC signalling compatibility, 3 doors per side, prerecorded station announcements
The PA1 cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1965-66. 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 1986–87. All cars were factory equipped with 10 ton Stone Safety Air Conditioning units when built.
PA1, PA2, and PA3 cars had painted aluminum bodies, and two doors on each side. Back-lit panels above the doors displayed 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. The MBTA's Blue and Orange Line cars, built in 1978–79 and 1980–81 respectively were based on the PA3. All PA1-PA3 cars were overhauled by Kawasaki in the mid 1980s. PA4 cars had stainless steel bodies, and three doors on each side. Back-lit displays above the windows (between the doors) displayed the destination of that particular train.
In 1972, PATH revived the tradition of naming its passenger cars. Each car was named after a community whose residents rely on PATH service to reach their destinations. Most of the municipalities were in New Jersey, but there were also a few from Rockland County, New York, along with New York City itself. Each end of the interior of a named car featured 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."
All 4 were retired in 2011, with the PA4's remaining on site as work service cars.
|Rolling stock||Year built||Builder||Car body||Car numbers||Total built||Notes|
|PA1||1965-66||St. Louis Car Company||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|
|PA2||1966-67||St. Louis Car Company||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|
|PA3||1972||Hawker-Siddeley||painted aluminum||724–769||46||All cab units, 2 doors per side|
|PA4||1986-87||Kawasaki||Stainless steel||800–894||95||All cab units, 3 doors per side|
Rolling stock incidents
Cars 139, 143, 160, 612, 745, 750, 845 were left under the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and survived the collapse. They were stored out of service and all but two stripped of usable parts. Cars 143 and 745 have been stored, with the intention of placing them on display in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. However, the cars were deemed too large to be displayed in the museum; as a result, car 745 was instead donated to the Shore Line Trolley Museum, while car 143 was donated to the Trolley Museum of New York
On October 21, 2009, an unidentified PATH train from New Jersey crashed into the barricade as it arrived at the 33rd Street station.
On May 4, 2011, PA5 cab car 5741 ran into the bumper block of a yard tail track near Journal Square station. The car was back in service by June 2012.
The PA5 cars at WTC station.
PA4 at Journal Square Transportation Center
The front of a PA4 car, towards cab
A PA1 model leaving the 14th Street station
Inside a PA1 car
FRA railroad status
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. 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, installation of positive train control, 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 relative 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.
As of 2016, the (then current) PATH regulations are such that all photography not accompanied by a PATH representative and without the proper permit is forbidden. This includes photography by tourists and by railfans. Although there have been US Supreme Court decisions stating that casual photography is covered by the First Amendment, the case law is mixed. While it is clear that under the law PATH employees may not force a casual photographer to destroy or surrender his film or images, confiscations have occurred as have arrests. Litigation following such confiscations and/or arrests have generally (but not always) resulted in the dropping of charges and/or the awarding of damages.
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-bound trains between 14th and 23rd Streets near the abandoned 19th Street station.
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 11, 2001 attacks, a back-lit U.S. flag was put up beside the tree as a tribute to the victims of the attacks.
In popular culture
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, as well as the video for the song "Rattled by the Rush" by the band Pavement, which was taped at Newport. The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Control", and the Law & Order episode "Tabula Rasa" was also filmed in the PATH system.
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The natural barrier which has separated New York from New Jersey since those States came into existence was, figuratively speaking, wiped away at 3:40½ 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – PATH
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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.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Port Authority Trans-Hudson.|
- Official website
- NYCSubway.org PATH/Hudson & Manhattan site
- H&M Powerhouse
- Illustration of Incidents in Tunnel Construction – H.&M. R.R. Co.
- hudsoncity.net – Tube Stations
- PATH Profile - Railfanning.org
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. NJ-44, "PATH Transit System Bridge", 6 photos, 2 data pages, 1 photo caption page
- HAER No. NJ-108, "Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Repair Shops", 12 photos, 13 data pages, 1 photo caption page