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Booker surveys Sandy-damaged Hudson River rail tunnels
Booker surveys Sandy-damaged Hudson River rail tunnels
Published: 2015/05/04
Channel: NJ.com
tunnel ride under Hudson river to Penn Station, NYC
tunnel ride under Hudson river to Penn Station, NYC
Published: 2015/07/21
Channel: Konstantin Gorakine
Hudson River Tunnel and North Jersey Rail Connection
Hudson River Tunnel and North Jersey Rail Connection
Published: 2014/11/08
Channel: Webeo Transportation
North River Tunnel
North River Tunnel
Published: 2009/02/09
Channel: trainriders1031
Hudson River Tunnel
Hudson River Tunnel
Published: 2015/11/12
Channel: CBS New York
Hudson & East River Amtrak Tunnels Falling Apart
Hudson & East River Amtrak Tunnels Falling Apart
Published: 2014/10/15
Channel: Chasing News
Entering the North River Tunnels
Entering the North River Tunnels
Published: 2013/08/25
Channel: Winson Thai
Riding the Northeast Corridor and North River Tunnel into New York Penn Station
Riding the Northeast Corridor and North River Tunnel into New York Penn Station
Published: 2014/11/18
Channel: Kevin Wong
Fixing Penn Station and Hudson River Tunnels
Fixing Penn Station and Hudson River Tunnels
Published: 2017/05/22
Channel: Webeo Transportation
The Longest Tunnel in The World
The Longest Tunnel in The World
Published: 2014/02/20
Channel: Largest Dams
Hudson River Tunnels are Falling Down
Hudson River Tunnels are Falling Down
Published: 2015/08/18
Channel: Modern Wall Street
North River Tunnel to Newark
North River Tunnel to Newark
Published: 2008/07/09
Channel: veyoung52
Adventure through the Etowah River Mine Tunnel
Adventure through the Etowah River Mine Tunnel
Published: 2011/05/30
Channel: Neal Piper
Entering the East River Tunnels
Entering the East River Tunnels
Published: 2016/09/10
Channel: thesubwaynut2
Newark to North River Tunnel
Newark to North River Tunnel
Published: 2008/07/10
Channel: veyoung52
Old bypass tunnels at Narrows Dam in Badin, NC.
Old bypass tunnels at Narrows Dam in Badin, NC.
Published: 2014/07/07
Channel: rodmauldin
Journey of a tunnel boring machine
Journey of a tunnel boring machine
Published: 2014/05/09
Channel: Transport For NSW
Tunnels Access
Tunnels Access
Published: 2012/05/29
Channel: Greg Felt
REAR VIEW FOOTAGE - Hudson River Tunnels to Newark Penn Station
REAR VIEW FOOTAGE - Hudson River Tunnels to Newark Penn Station
Published: 2011/12/02
Channel: traindude80
Entering New York City from the North River Tunnel 5/25/09
Entering New York City from the North River Tunnel 5/25/09
Published: 2009/06/23
Channel: PeterLydenIV
Secaucus Interlocks to the Hudson River Tunnels
Secaucus Interlocks to the Hudson River Tunnels
Published: 2010/07/14
Channel: Nexis4Jersey
Amtrak Keystone Railfan Window from Secaucus to North River Portal
Amtrak Keystone Railfan Window from Secaucus to North River Portal
Published: 2010/06/17
Channel: Brian Weinberg
Orica Case Study: Managing blast vibration whilst increasing tunnel advance rates
Orica Case Study: Managing blast vibration whilst increasing tunnel advance rates
Published: 2015/04/02
Channel: Orica
North Jersey Coast line Train : Seacacus JCT to Hudson River Tunnels
North Jersey Coast line Train : Seacacus JCT to Hudson River Tunnels
Published: 2010/05/26
Channel: Nexis4Jersey
Abandon railroad tunnel in Edgewater/Fairview N.J.
Abandon railroad tunnel in Edgewater/Fairview N.J.
Published: 2014/06/06
Channel: S1eazy-D
The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway: Tunnels Under The Thames
The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway: Tunnels Under The Thames
Published: 2014/08/27
Channel: The Vision Capital
Penn Station: 100 Years and Still Going Strong
Penn Station: 100 Years and Still Going Strong
Published: 2010/10/04
Channel: MTA LIRR
Gariep River Tunnels Kakamas   Northern Cape
Gariep River Tunnels Kakamas Northern Cape
Published: 2011/12/13
Channel: Open Africa
[Wikipedia] North River (Hudson River)
[Wikipedia] North River (Hudson River)
Published: 2017/03/03
Channel: WikiTubia
Walking Around Penn Station in New York City
Walking Around Penn Station in New York City
Published: 2015/07/02
Channel: gatorpics09
Part 1 Amtrak
Part 1 Amtrak's great Pennsylvania Railroad, a backwards "Cab Ride"
Published: 2015/05/10
Channel: Walter Kebalo
This Amazing Bridge Turns Into An Underwater Tunnel Connecting Denmark And Sweden
This Amazing Bridge Turns Into An Underwater Tunnel Connecting Denmark And Sweden
Published: 2015/12/09
Channel: MovieCarScene
Elizabeth River Tunnels Project Overview
Elizabeth River Tunnels Project Overview
Published: 2013/08/06
Channel: Drive ERT
World Top 10 Longest Underwater Tunnels
World Top 10 Longest Underwater Tunnels
Published: 2014/04/18
Channel: WorlTop10
234. Minecraft Train Tunnel (Gradual Slope)
234. Minecraft Train Tunnel (Gradual Slope)
Published: 2014/07/25
Channel: 00crashtest
The Detroit Windsor Tunnel
The Detroit Windsor Tunnel
Published: 2013/02/27
Channel: Trevor Pearce
The Greatest Show on Earth, Train Magic Trick
The Greatest Show on Earth, Train Magic Trick
Published: 2016/02/23
Channel: Liberty Railfan Productions
East River Tunnel
East River Tunnel
Published: 2014/05/30
Channel: OMC GRMC
NJT ride Departing from Penn Station NY to New Jersey.
NJT ride Departing from Penn Station NY to New Jersey.
Published: 2017/03/04
Channel: Inquisitr Mikey
Hudson River Tunnels
Hudson River Tunnels
Published: 2015/05/23
Channel: Robert McV21
East River Mountain Tunnel on I-77 North in Virginia
East River Mountain Tunnel on I-77 North in Virginia
Published: 2009/06/29
Channel: Cincinnati
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel A Drive Over The Ocean
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel A Drive Over The Ocean
Published: 2014/05/18
Channel: Millenniumforce
TTC - building a subway tunnel
TTC - building a subway tunnel
Published: 2013/01/08
Channel: Toronto Transit Commission
Leaving Long Island Railroad Train at Penn Station in Manhattan
Leaving Long Island Railroad Train at Penn Station in Manhattan
Published: 2015/06/16
Channel: gatorpics09
China
China's Amazing Water Canal | China's Future MEGAPROJECTS: Part 2
Published: 2015/11/12
Channel: The Daily Conversation
Driving in USA - Hampton Roads Bridge Underwater Tunnel, Norfolk Virginia
Driving in USA - Hampton Roads Bridge Underwater Tunnel, Norfolk Virginia
Published: 2012/08/31
Channel: toande77
Long Island Railroad Diesel & EMU Trains at Merillon Ave, NY RR
Long Island Railroad Diesel & EMU Trains at Merillon Ave, NY RR
Published: 2016/02/13
Channel: The [Transport Net]
Train Simulator: NEC--Washington to NEW YORK!! Part 17 NEW YORK-PENN STATION
Train Simulator: NEC--Washington to NEW YORK!! Part 17 NEW YORK-PENN STATION
Published: 2009/04/25
Channel: murjax
Repairs Could Close Hudson River Train Tunnel for a Year
Repairs Could Close Hudson River Train Tunnel for a Year
Published: 2014/10/08
Channel: NJTV News
Top 5 Most DANGEROUS Roads In The World!
Top 5 Most DANGEROUS Roads In The World!
Published: 2017/01/07
Channel: Nuke's Top 5
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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North River Tunnels
NJT NEC enters Hudson Palisades.jpg
Western portal at Bergen Hill
Overview
Line Northeast Corridor
Location Hudson Palisades-Hudson River
Coordinates 40°45′31″N 74°00′45″W / 40.7585°N 74.0125°W / 40.7585; -74.0125Coordinates: 40°45′31″N 74°00′45″W / 40.7585°N 74.0125°W / 40.7585; -74.0125
System Amtrak and NJ Transit
Start Secaucus Junction in Secaucus (NJT); Newark Pennsylvania Station in Newark (Amtrak)
End

Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, New York City

Further information
Operation
Constructed 1904-1908
Opened November 27, 1910; 106 years ago (November 27, 1910)[1]
Owner Amtrak
Traffic Railroad
Character Passenger
Technical
Design engineer Charles M. Jacobs
Length 14,575 feet (4,442 m)[2]
No. of tracks 1 per tube
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrified Third rail and Overhead lines
Lowest elevation 175 feet (53.3 m) below Bergen Hill[3]
Depth of tunnel below water level 100 feet (30.5 m) below Hudson River
Depth of shipping channel above ?
Grade 1.30% in Weehawken, 1.923% in Manhattan[3]
North River Tunnels is located in New York City
North River Tunnels
North River Tunnels

The North River Tunnels are a pair of tunnels[4]:52 that carry Amtrak and New Jersey Transit rail lines under the Hudson River between Weehawken, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, New York City. Built between 1904 and 1908 by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) to allow its trains to reach Manhattan, they opened for passenger service in late 1910.[5]

Design and construction[edit]

Construction of the northern tube under the Hudson River in 1905

Led by Chief Engineer Charles M. Jacobs, the tunnel design team began work in 1902. After plans were complete in 1904, the first task was digging two shafts, one just east of 11th Avenue in Manhattan and a larger one a few hundred yards west of the river. The Weehawken Shaft was completed in September 1904 as a concrete-walled rectangular pit, 56 by 116 ft (17.1 by 35.4 m) at the bottom and 76 ft (23.2 m) deep.

When the shafts were complete, O'Rourke Engineering Construction Company began work on the tunnels proper. The project was divided into three parts, each managed by a resident engineer: The "Terminal Station" in Manhattan; the "River Tunnels", east from the Weehawken Shaft and under the Hudson River; and the Bergen Hill tunnels, west from the Weehawken Shaft to the tunnel portals on the west side of the Palisades.[4]:45 (At the time, "North River Tunnels" referred to the tunnels east of the Weehawken Shaft; in later years the term has come to include the Bergen Hill tunnels as well.)

The tunnels were built with drilling and blasting techniques and tunnelling shields,[6] digging west from Manhattan, east and west from Weehawken, and east from the Bergen portals.

Under the river itself, the tunnels started in rock, using drill and blast, but the strata under the river was pure mud for a considerable depth, so this part was driven under compressed air, using a Greathead shield, and lined with cast-iron segments bolted together. The mud was such that the shield was shoved blind, i.e. taking in no ground at all. But it was found easier to steer if some mud was taken in through holes at the front. The mud was the consistency of toothpaste.

The two ends of the northern tube under the river met in September 1906; at that time it was the longest underwater tunnel in the world.[3][7]

Meanwhile, the John Shields Construction Company had begun in 1905 to bore through Bergen Hill, the lower Hudson Palisades;[8] William Bradley took over in 1906 and the tunnels to the Hackensack Meadows were completed in April 1908.[9][10]

Portals[edit]

New Jersey portal of North River Tubes

The west portals are in North Bergen, at the west edge of the New Jersey Palisades near the east end of Route 3 at U.S. Route 1/9 (40°46′17″N 74°02′31″W / 40.7714°N 74.0419°W / 40.7714; -74.0419). They run beneath North Bergen, Union City, and Weehawken, to the east portals at the east edge of 10th Avenue at 32nd Street in Manhattan. (Since 1968 the east portals have been hidden beneath 450 West 33rd Street on the east side of 10th Ave.) When the top of the Weehawken Shaft was covered is a mystery; the two tracks may have remained open to the sky until catenary was added circa 1932.

Except for a curve west of the west end of Pier 72 that totals just under a degree, the two tracks are straight (in plan view); they are 37 feet (11.3 m) apart from west of 11th Avenue to the Bergen Hill portals. The third rail now ends just west of the Bergen Hill portals.

Operation and useful life[edit]

The Hackensack portals, 1910
In this 1907 photo, workers in the Pennsylvania Railroad North River Tubes under the Hudson River tighten bolts and caulk the seams.
1907 exposition display showing cross-section of North and East River railroad tunnels

Since 2003, the tunnels have operated near capacity during peak hours.[2] Trains ordinarily travel west (to New Jersey) through the north tube and east (to Manhattan) through the south. During the busiest hour of morning rush, about 24 trains are scheduled through the south tube, and the same through the north tube in the afternoon.

In June 2009, the Access to the Region's Core project began building a set of parallel tunnels to supplement the North River Tunnels, but that project was canceled in October 2010 by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who cited budgets constraints. On February 7, 2011, Amtrak announced that it would spend $50 million on preliminary engineering and design work for a new tunnel project called the Gateway Project, estimated to cost $13.5 billion.[11]

The unprecedented storm surge from Hurricane Sandy flooded one of the North River Tunnels for the first time,[12] damaging overhead wires, electrical systems, concrete bench walls, and drainage systems.[13]

Failures and maintenance[edit]

In May 2014, Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman told the Regional Plan Association that less than 20 years remained before one or both of the tunnels would have to be shut down.[14]

Starting in 2016, service disruptions have increased substantially at Penn Station, mostly due to power failures and derailments on the station trackage and connected tunnels, including the North River tunnels. Service has been delayed, suspended, or reduced frequently on Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the Long Island Railroad. In March and April of 2017, a number of incidents led to increased public and political outcry. Some of the tunnel issues are blamed on repairs pending since Hurricane Sandy flooded them.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guide to Civil Engineering Projects In and Around New York City (2nd ed.). Metropolitan Section, American Society of Civil Engineers. 2009. p. 58. 
  2. ^ a b Belson, Ken (2008-04-06). "Tunnel Milestone, and More to Come". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  3. ^ a b c "'Pennsy's' North River Tunnel a Marvel of Skill; Bores Meeting Head-on Under the River Only an Eighth of an Inch Out of Alignment and Three-fourths of an Inch Out of Grade" (PDF). The New York Times. September 9, 1906. 
  4. ^ a b Jacobs, Charles M. (Sep 1910). "The New York Tunnel Extension of the Pennsylvania Railroad, The North River Division.". Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers. American Society of Civil Engineers. LXVIII. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Cudahy, Brian J. (2002). Rails Under the Mighty Hudson (2nd ed.). New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 0-8232-2190-3. OCLC 48376141. 
  6. ^ Hewett, B.H.M. (1912). "The North River Division". History of the Engineering Construction and Equipment of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's New York Terminal and Approaches. New York: Isaac H. Blanchard Co. pp. 35–53. 
  7. ^ "Meeting of the Pennsylvania Tunnel Shields". The Railway Age. Chicago: Wilson Co. 42 (12): 355. 1906-09-21. 
  8. ^ "Penn. Tunnel Award". The New York Times. March 14, 1905. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  9. ^ "Final Blast Opens Pennsylvania Tube". The New York Times. April 9, 1908. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  10. ^ "Another Tube Through". The New York Times. April 11, 1908. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  11. ^ "Senators propose tunnel linking New York and New Jersey". BBC. 2011-02-07. Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  12. ^ Frassinelli, Mike (November 8, 2012). "Transportation update: Amtrak to reopen flooded Hudson River rail tunnel". The Star Ledger. 
  13. ^ Higgs, Larry (September 1, 2014). "Amtrak: New tunnels needed after Sandy damage". Asbury Park Press. Retrieved 2014-09-30. 
  14. ^ Rubinstein, Dana (May 5, 2014). "Clock ticking on Hudson crossings, Amtrak warns". Capital. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  15. ^ Fitzsimmons, Emma G.; Mcgeehan, Patrick (2017-04-25). "Amtrak Said to Weigh Extended Track Closings for Penn Station Repairs". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-28. 

External links[edit]

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