PATH spans 13.8 miles (22.2 km) of route mileage, not including any route overlap.
PATH trains only use tunnels in Manhattan and parts of New Jersey (specifically, 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 has an average weekday ridership of 246,000.
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. Indeed, construction did not resume until 1900 under the direction of William Gibbs McAdoo, an ambitious young lawyer who had moved to New York from Tennessee. McAdoo would later become president of what would, for many years, be known as the H&M, Hudson Tubes or McAdoo Tunnels.
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 in Manhattan, on the other hand, employed cut and cover construction methods.
Originally, the Hudson Tubes were designed to link the major railroad stations in New Jersey — the Lackawanna station in Hoboken, the Erie and PRR stations 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. At the turn of the 21st century the old rail yards at Pavonia and Exchange Place were replaced with large-scale office, residential, and retail developments.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.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.
The World Trade Center station, which is one of PATH's two New York terminals, was destroyed on September 11, 2001. 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. 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).
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 functional in its design. The temporary entrance was closed and demolished on July 1 2007 to make way for the permanent station, with the Church Street station open. 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 entrance is expected to open by the end of 2007. The permanent World Trade Center PATH station, expected to be complete by 2009 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.
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 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 Newark trains (between World Trade Center and Exchange Place), a short, zoetrope-like advertisement can be seen in the tunnels. Formerly, there was one on 33rd Street trains between 14th and 23rd Streets, but it was replaced by the current one not too long after the temporary WTC station was built.
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 service is the only line represented by two colors (yellow and blue), since it is an after-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.
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 travelling 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.
|State||City||Station||Services||Opened||Transfers and notes|
|NY||New York||33rd Street||HOB-33|
|November 10, 1910|| (IND Sixth Avenue Line)|
(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|
|June 15, 1908||(IND Sixth Avenue Line)|
|19th Street||closed||February 25, 1908||closed in 1954|
|February 25, 1908|| (IND Sixth Avenue Line)|
(BMT Canarsie Line)
(IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
|February 25, 1908|| (IND Sixth Avenue Line)|
(IND Eighth Avenue Line)
|February 25, 1908||(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)|| (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line) - station closed indefinitely|
(IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line) - connected to Park Place station
(IND Eighth Avenue Line)
(IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
(BMT Nassau Street Line)
(BMT Broadway Line) - station closed indefinitely
|February 25, 1908||Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NJ Transit|
originally Lackawanna Railroad
|August 2, 1909||Hudson-Bergen Light Rail|
originally Erie Railroad
|July 19, 1909||Hudson-Bergen Light Rail|
originally Pennsylvania Railroad (also served the Lehigh Valley Railroad and New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway)
|September 6, 1910||originally Grove-Henderson Streets|
|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)
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.
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 sell an 11 trip SmartLink card were installed at terminal stations. The cost of the card is $20 which includes 11 trips plus a $5 charge for the card. 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 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: 20 Trips - $26.00, 40 trips - $52.00, and 30 day unlimited - $54.00.
NJ Transit Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) selling PATH QuickCards are slowly being removed from most PATH stations, including Pavonia/Newport, Grove Street, and 33rd Street. In addition, PATH is in the process of removing cash turnstiles from PATH stations.
PATH has a fleet of 333 cars (reduced from 348 cars) that are in active revenue service. There are four models: PA1, PA2, PA3 and PA4. 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.
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. These are the newest cars in the current fleet. 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 (tentatively to be called the PA5), which will replace the system's entire aging fleet. With an average age of 33 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. These new cars are expected to go into service in 2008.
|Rolling stock||Year built||Builder||Car body||Car numbers||Active fleet total||Notes|
|PA1||1965||Saint Louis Car||painted aluminum||100-151 ("C" cars) |
600-709 ("A" cars)
|158||"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) |
|43||"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||38||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||94||All cab units, 3 doors per side|
845 is out of service
|PA5||2008||Kawasaki||Stainless steel||5601-5770 (A/cab cars) |
5101-5270 (B/non-cab cars)
|340 on order||All cab units, 3 doors per side, on-board video, closed-circuit television recording capability, improved lighting, air conditioning and heating, prerecorded station announcements, Better signs, Capability for passengers to communicate with the crew|
Notes: All PA1 through PA3 cars were general overhaul 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.
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, 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.
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.
Port Authority Trans Hudson (Path) has awarded a consortium of Siemens, Safetran, DA Builders, and LLC, a $US 321 million contract to supply and install CBTC on its 22km network.(New York)
Dec 01, 2009; Port Authority Trans Hudson (Path) has awarded a consortium of Siemens, Safetran, DA Builders, and LLC, a $US 321 million...