Tag Archives: NYC

A billion here, a billion there …

At Trade Center Transit Hub, Vision Gives Way to Reality

Pretty soon, it’s real money.  The new subway station profiled above replaces the one damaged on a Tuesday morning in September a few years back.

This new station replaces a temporary station that was opened in 2003 and uses the same track layout.  The 2003 temporary station used the same track layout as the original PATH station built in 1971.  (PATH is the Port Authority Trans Hudson subway system operated by the Port Authority of NY and NJ that runs from Newark and other points in New Jersey through two different sets of tubes to several points in Lower Manhattan.  It’s not part of the NYC Transit Authority.)

The 1971 station replaced the original Hudson Terminal of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad who opened it in 1909.  The H&M was a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad who built the line to allow passengers headed to Manhattan to connect from several main line train stations in New Jersey.  The terminal was purchased in the early 1960s by the Port Authority to be used as the site for a World Trade Center.  They bought the railroad, too.

The original Hudson Terminal had more platforms than the current station.

Cost of the stations?

1909 – $8,000,000 (at least $189M adjusted for inflation, but this number also included a huge, for the time, office complex)

1971 – $35,000,000 ($202M adjusted)

2003 – $253,000,000 ($321M, adjusted)

2014 – $3,400,000,000

Yet Another Reason why you can can’t compare anything else in the US to the New York area.


As a bit of a follow-up to the discussion in class the other day, I looked up densities for NYC and Hong Kong and came up with the following:

  • NYC: 27,550/sq mi (10,640/km2)
    • Boro of Manhattan: 70,518/sq mi (27,227/km2)
  • Hong Kong: 17,024/sq mi (6,544/km2)

NYC, is over 8 million people spread over about 303 sq mi (784 km2  – water excluded) but Manhattan is even more dense

Now, I know virtually nothing of Hong Kong, but I expect that, like in NYC, there is an area of higher density.  Wikipedia lists it as having 426 sq mi (1,104 km2 – including about 5% water) and a pop of 7 million.

Maybe I should look up Tokyo?


Rapid Transit in NYC

Those of you in the Infrastructure class saw most of this already …

Beach Pneumatic – Alfred Beach’s Pneumatic Subway and the beginnings of rapid transit in New York

Jim E and I were yakking after class about NYC and how much of an outlier it is compared to the rest of the country — e.g., the IRT Lexington Ave line carries more passengers in a day (1.9M) than Boston’s MBTA (~1.3M)  and more than the Washington, DC, Metro system (~750k) and  the SF Muni (~700k) combined [1]) —  and the conversation did, of course, roll around to rapid transit.

I used to be on a train-related mailing list with a fellow named Joe Brennan who does similar work as me but at Columbia College in NYC.  He put together a great web-based “book” about the history of rapid transit in New York and surroundings (remember, Brooklyn was a separate city before 1898 and Queens was a county full of rural towns).  If you’re into that kind of stuff (I am, obviously, and so is Jim and probably Patrick) it’s a good read if a little long.

I think I like the work because it’s much more historical than it is nostalgic and lord knows there is plenty of railroad nostalgia stuff out there.  :eyeroll:

There are a few other “outlier” examples cluttering my head but I’ll save that for another post.

Bottom line is that when you hear someone say “Yeah, well in New York City they …” you should be skeptical of whatever the person says next!