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Construction Description

Click to see full size image, then click 2. Construction Description to return The heart of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Co.  / Hudson Tubes consisted [and still consists] of a series of double tube tunnels, each tube with a diameter of just over 15 feet; this trait gave the  entire system the nickname, Hudson Tubes or The Tubes. Expand image and then click 2. Construction History to return

There were two river crossings tying together a series of stations in New Jersey (with one exception, all in Hudson County) with a series of stations in Manhattan. The southern set of trans-river tunnels connected Cortlandt Street (at Church Street) in Manhattan's financial district with lower Jersey City where the Pennsylvania Railroad's main New York station was located. The expandable image to the right is an idealized view from an H&M stock certificate, showing the downtown connection between the Pennsylvania RR Station in Jersey City on the left and the new Hudson Terminal [later replaced by the World Trade Center] in Manhattan on the right with the Tubes running under the river.

 Above the Tubes' Cortlandt Street station rose Singer and Hudson Terminal (53930 bytes)Hudson Terminal. At the time of its construction the 22 story twin towers of the "Hudson Terminal Buildings" made up the largest office complex in the world.Expand image and then click 2. Construction History to return

Beneath Sixth Avenue in Manhattan a pair of parallel2paralleltubesbeforeopening.gif tunnels ran south from 33rd Street 1.2 miles to Christopher Street. At that point the line curved sharply to the west, running under Christopher Street to the river. Then, after a double jog, the route crossed the river, which here is close to a mile wide, through the 5,600 foot tunnels originally begun in 1874. 

gleisdreieckcutaway.jpg (69199 bytes)Just under the New Jersey shore,  approximately at the Jersey City Hoboken boundary line, there was a complicated junction inside a double deck caisson that was sunk 86 feet below high water and the tubes split. A short northbound extension went through a series of very sharp curves ending in Hoboken underneath the former DL&W Railroad Terminal.  Expand image to the left for a good view of this complicated junction as presented in a contemporary issue of Scribner's Magazine  and then click 2. Construction History to return Further south, near Exchange Place, there was a similar junction, although not  in a caisson, for the Hudson Terminal / Hoboken / Journal Square segments of the Tubes.

Two other tunnels left the junction and headed southward, parallel to the river until just before Grove Street Station when they combined with the two tunnels coming from Lower Manhattan and headed westwardsschematic.gif (10682 bytes) through Jersey City.  For an interesting schematic of the entire subterranean Tube layout - from the New York City Subway Resources website - Expand image and then click 2. Construction History to return

The combined tunnel route came to the surface cutting through the ridge of the Palisades in Jersey City at Journal Square (originally called Summit Avenue) and continued westward through the marshy Meadows through Manhattan Transfer and Harrison to Newark. The section of the Tubes west of Journal Square, was a joint operation of the Pennsylvania RR and the H&M operated under the legal name "Joint Service Electric Railroad".

BKlapouchy 1987-2001
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Updated October-28-2001 using HTMLpad.