AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
- Aug 24, 2003
Unlike the North River Tubes into Penn Station, the PATH tunnels have been completely rebuilt during the 9/11 reconstruction. None of the tunnels really need the outer steel ring structure to be fiddled with. All of it has to do with the inner concrete linings which have decayed over time. That is what will be rebuilt in the North River Tubes when they can be taken out of service.While having as many transportation lines in one place has its merits, for easy transfer and connections, there may be a point where it is too much. I would assume that the PATH tunnels may also have to be replaced someday (they are even older than the PRR tunnels). Perhaps an alternative would be a new tunnel from Hoboken, or Jersey City to the World Trade Center area, to accommodate NJT trains rather than PATH, allowing one seat rides for most. Having more than one line is also helpful if one or the other has a major disruption. Perhaps the LIRR Brooklyn line could also be extended into a new WTC area terminal, shared with NJT. Even Amtrak might route a few regional's that way...
I do agree however, that focusing everything on Penn Station is wrong headed and completely opposite of what all large cities of the world are doing. The trend is to disperse arrival points to multiple ones around the city and then connect them together with local transit. Most European and Asian cities were originally set up that way and are just growing on that theme. None of them are getting rid of any of their dispersed city terminals unlike New York which got rid of most of them with great alacrity, and then landed themselves in the current soup.
Cities that were transit poor and have grown in the 20th and early 21st century have all used dispersed points of termination of services coming into the city and then connected those terminal together with local transit.
A prime example is New Delhi which had two terminal stations in 1947 and no local transit system, other than buses, to speak of, and it was a much much smaller city. Today it is a huge metropolis with a subway system imminently growing to 20 lines linked with subway systems in adjacent cities of Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, and with more than half a dozen terminal stations, with one peripheral station for lines coming in from each direction in addition to the city center terminals:
City Center: New Delhi Jn., Delhi Jn.
Peripheral: Anand Vihar (E), Hazrat Nizamuddin Jn. (S), Sarai Rohilla (W), Azadpur (N)
Others: Ghaziabad Jn. (E), Shakurbasti (W), Gurgaon (SW)
New York currently has four terminal stations Penn, Grand Central, Jamaica and Newark/Hoboken (though not much other than RVL really terminates in Newark, but it is a major connecting point to PATH). There is a serious need to offload Penn Station which has been burdened with everything that remains from the multiple trans-Hudson terminals that were accessed by ferries from New York and not already accommodated in Hoboken, though there has been a trend to shortchange Hoboken and try to load up stuff into Penn too.
In this context I do agree that ideally a south main branch from possibly west of Newark, perhaps taking off at CP Lane and following the Greenville Branch to the Hudson waterfront, through the Jersey City Area, onto WTC Terminal in lower Manhattan onto Brooklyn and then on to Jamaica would be desirable, though I don't see the political will for it yet. There could also be a connection to the Fresh Pond branch thus providing a link towards New England over the Hell Gate from this line. But as I said, all just dreamin'. A City like London would have been actively working on such already.