Port Authority Trans-Hudson

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Port Authority Trans-Hudson
PATH Kawasaki 5602c.jpg
A PATH train of PA-5 cars crossing the Passaic River.
OwnerPort Authority of New York and New Jersey
LocaleNewark / Hudson County, New Jersey and Manhattan, New York
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines4
Number of stations13
Daily ridership262,900 (2012)
Began operationFebruary 25, 1908
Operator(s)Port Authority Trans-Hudson
System length13.8 mi (22.2 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)
Electrification600V (DC) Third Rail
System map
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Coordinates: 40°43′52.74″N 74°3′33.59″W / 40.7313167°N 74.0593306°W / 40.7313167; -74.0593306 (PATH)

Port Authority Trans-Hudson
PATH Kawasaki 5602c.jpg
A PATH train of PA-5 cars crossing the Passaic River.
OwnerPort Authority of New York and New Jersey
LocaleNewark / Hudson County, New Jersey and Manhattan, New York
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines4
Number of stations13
Daily ridership262,900 (2012)
Began operationFebruary 25, 1908
Operator(s)Port Authority Trans-Hudson
System length13.8 mi (22.2 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)
Electrification600V (DC) Third Rail
System map

Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) is a rapid transit railroad serving Newark, Harrison, Hoboken, and Jersey City in metropolitan northern New Jersey and Manhattan in New York City. It is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

PATH trains run 24 hours a day and is one of only five mass-transit rail lines in the United States to do so (the others being the PATCO Speedline, the Red and Blue Lines of the Chicago 'L', the Staten Island Railway, and the New York City Subway). The system has a route length of 13.8 miles (22.2 km), not including any route overlap.[1] As of 2012, PATH had an average weekday ridership of 262,900, making it one of the busiest rapid transit systems in the United States.[citation needed]

PATH trains only use tunnels in Manhattan, 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 route from Grove Street in Jersey City west to Newark runs in open cuts, at grade level, and on elevated track.

While some PATH stations are adjacent or connected to New York City Subway, Newark Light Rail, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and New Jersey Transit stations, there are no free transfers between these different, independently run transit systems; however, PATH does accept the same pay-per-ride MetroCard used by the New York City Subway, with the exception of Unlimited Ride and EasyPay MetroCards.[2]


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. Construction resumed in 1900 under the direction of William Gibbs McAdoo, an ambitious young lawyer who had moved to New York from Chattanooga, Tennessee. McAdoo later became president of what was known, for many years, as the H&M, Hudson Tubes or McAdoo Tunnels.[3]

Construction of the tunnels[edit]

The first tunnel (the more northern of the uptown pair) was originally built without an excavation shield or iron construction because the chief engineer of the time, Dewitt Haskin, believed that the river silt was strong enough to maintain the tunnel's form (with the help of compressed air) until a 2-foot-6-inch-thick (76 cm) brick lining could be constructed. Haskin's plan was to excavate the tunnel, then fill it with compressed air to expel the water and to hold the iron plate lining in place. They succeeded in building the tunnel out by approximately 1,200 feet (370 m) from Jersey City until a series of blowouts—including a particularly serious one in 1880 that took the lives of 20 workers—ended the project.[3]

When the New York and Jersey Tunnel Company resumed construction on the tunnels in 1902, chief engineer Charles M. Jacobs 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 was then placed into a chamber, where it was later shoveled into small cars that hauled it to the surface. In some cases, the silt was baked with kerosene torches to facilitate easier removal of the mud. The southern tunnel of the uptown pair was constructed using the tubular cast iron method.[3][4] Construction of the uptown tunnels was completed in 1906.[5] A second pair of tunnels was built about 1 14 miles (2.0 km) south of the first pair. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in 1909, also using the tubular cast iron method.[3][6]

The tunnels are separate for each track, which enables a better ventilation by so-called piston effect. When a train passes through the tunnel it pushes out the air in front of it toward the closest ventilation shaft in front, and "sucks-in" the air to the tunnel from the closest ventilation shaft behind it.[7]:241

By contrast, the eastern ends of the tunnels, located underneath Manhattan, employed cut and cover construction methods.[citation needed]

Hudson and Manhattan Railroad years[edit]

One of the original plans, with branches to the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and the Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal

The first trains ran in 1907 and revenue service started between Hoboken and 19th Street at midnight on February 26, 1908, after President Theodore Roosevelt pressed a button at the White House that turned on the electric lines in the uptown tubes.[8] On July 19, 1909, service began between the Hudson Terminal in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City, through the downtown tubes. After the completion of the uptown Manhattan extension to 33rd Street and the westward extension to the now-defunct Manhattan Transfer and Park Place Newark terminus in 1911, the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad was considered to be complete. The cost of the entire project was estimated at between $55 and $60 million, equal to more than $1 billion in present-day.[9][10]

PATH bridge over Hackensack River
Bridge over Passaic River looking NW

Originally, the Hudson Tubes were designed to link three of the major railroad terminals on the Hudson River in New Jersey—the Lackawanna in Hoboken, the Erie and Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) 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 and been demolished. Towards the end of the 20th century the old rail yards at Pavonia and Exchange Place were replaced with large-scale office, residential, and retail developments.

There were early negotiations for Pennsylvania Station to also be shared by the two railroads.[11] 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.

Early timeline[edit]

Port Authority takeover[edit]

Promotions and other advertising proved ineffectual at slowing the financial decline. In the 1950s, H&M fell into bankruptcy, but continued to operate. It remained under bankruptcy court protection for years, a source of embarrassment. For decades, New Jersey politicians asked the Port Authority to operate the vital transit link, but Port Authority officials were reluctant to assume the money-losing operation, and New York politicians did not want extra Port Authority money spent in New Jersey.

Hoboken- and Newark-bound platform at Exchange Place station in Jersey City.

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.[23]

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.[24] In August 1990, the Port Authority put forth a $1 billion plan to renovate the PATH stations and add new rail cars.[25] To help provide revenue, the Port Authority installed video monitors in its stations that display advertising.[26] 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.[27] By 1992, the Port Authority had spent $900 million on infrastructure improvements, including track repairs, modernizing communications and signaling, new ventilation equipment, and installing elevators at most stations to accommodate the disabled. A new car maintenance facility was also added in Harrison, at a cost of $225 million.[28]

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 2,500–3,000-foot (760–910 m) 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 212 month strike in 1980.[29] When the 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred, a section of ceiling in the PATH station collapsed and trapped dozens.[30] Nonetheless, the PATH station did not suffer any structural damage.[31] Within a week, the Port Authority was able to resume PATH service to the World Trade Center.[32]

The Temporary World Trade Center station opened in 2003
Inaugural train arrives from Newark at PATH's temporary WTC station at 2:08 p.m., November 23, 2003, while passengers applaud its arrival
World Trade Center PATH station sign

September 11, 2001 and Recovery[edit]

The World Trade Center station, which is one of PATH's two New York terminals, was destroyed on September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers above it collapsed. 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.[33] 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).

Restoration of service to Exchange Place[edit]

Modifications were made to a stub end tunnel (also known as the Penn Pocket, which was originally built for short turn World Trade Center to Exchange Place runs to handle PRR commuters from Harborside Terminal) to allow trains from Newark to reach the Hoboken bound tunnel and vice versa. The modifications required PATH to bore through the bedrock dividing the stub tunnel and the tunnels to and from Newark. The new Exchange Place station opened in June 2003. Because of the original alignment of the tracks, trains to/from Hoboken use separate tunnels from the Newark service.[citation needed] From Newark, trains cross over to the Newark/Hoboken bound track just north of Exchange Place. The train then reversed direction and used a crossover switch to go to Hoboken. From Hoboken, trains enter on the Manhattan-bound track at Exchange Place. The train then reversed direction and used the same crossover switch to go to the Newark-bound tracks before entering Grove Street.[citation needed]

Restoration of service to World Trade Center[edit]

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. The temporary entrance was closed on July 1, 2007, and demolished to make way for the permanent station, while the Church Street entrance opened.[34] 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 new entrance opened in March 2008, and the entrance on Church Street has since been demolished. The permanent World Trade Center PATH station construction, 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.

Bomb plot of 2006[edit]

On July 7, 2006, an alleged plot to detonate explosives in the PATH tunnels (initially said to be a plot to bomb the Holland Tunnel) was uncovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The plot included the detonation of a bomb that could significantly destroy and flood the tunnels, endangering all the occupants and vehicles in the tunnel at the time of the explosion. The terror planners believed that Lower Manhattan could, as a result of the explosion, be flooded due to river water surging up the remaining tunnel after the blast. Officials say that this plan was unsound due to the strength of the tunnels. Since semi-trailer trucks are currently not allowed to pass through the Holland Tunnel, and it was unfeasible to carry such a bomb on board a PATH train, it was very difficult to get sufficient explosives into the tunnel to accomplish the plan. If the tunnel were to explode and allow water from the Hudson River to flood the (Holland) tunnel, Lower Manhattan would be spared since the area is 2–10 feet (0.61–3.05 m) above sea level. Of the eight planners based in six different countries, three were arrested.[35]


2008 was PATH's centennial. To commemorate this occasion, PATH offered free rides to its passengers on February 25, 2008, between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.[36]

Hurricane Sandy[edit]

On October 29, 2012, PATH service was suspended system-wide due to Hurricane Sandy. The following day, Governor Christie of New Jersey stated that PATH train service would be out for 7–10 days as a result of the damage caused by the hurricane.[37] Storm surge from the hurricane caused significant flooding to PATH train stations in Hoboken and Jersey City, as well as at the World Trade Center.[37] An image captured from a PATH security camera showing the ingress of water at Hoboken at 8:23 p.m. on October 29, quickly spread across the Internet and became one of several representative images from the hurricane.[38][39]

The first revenue PATH trains after the hurricane were the Journal Square to 33rd Street service, which recommenced on November 6 with modifications, running from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Service was extended west to Harrison and Newark on November 12, in place of the Newark - World Trade Center service. Christopher Street and 9th Street stations initially remained closed due to overcrowding concerns; beginning November 17 these stations were opened on weekends.[40] Newark – World Trade Center service resumed on November 26, on weekdays only, during which time the Newark-33rd Street trains were shortened to Journal Square-33rd Street, and Christopher Street and 9th Street were fully opened to serve all trains.[41]

On November 27, 2012, it was estimated that Hoboken will cost about $300 million to repair while staying closed "for weeks" including damage to 50 trainsets, scattered debris, mud, rusted tracks, and destroyed critical electrical equipment after as much as eight feet (2.4 m) of water submerged the tunnels.[42] In order to expedite the return of Hoboken service, from December 8–9 to December 15–16 Newark – WTC service resumed operating on weekends, replacing Newark-33rd Street service to allow for uninterrupted weekend work windows in PATH's Caissons Wye tunnels under Hoboken.[43] As a result, Hoboken station reopened on December 19 for weekday Hoboken-33rd Street service,[44] followed by the resumption of weekday 24-hour PATH service on January 9, 2013[45] and the Hoboken – World Trade Center trains on January 29, with return of full PATH service at all stations at all times implemented by the weekend of March 1, following completion of repairs at Exchange Place and World Trade Center.[46]


Map of PATH system (regular service)
Map of PATH system (late-night hours and on weekends/holidays)
To-scale map of the PATH system.

PATH operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During regular 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 (via Hoboken) service is the only line represented by two colors (orange and blue), since it is a late-night 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.[47][48]


Between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. 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 9:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. 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 traveling 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.

PATH does not normally operate directly from Newark to Midtown Manhattan. However, after 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, a special Newark – 33rd Street service was operated to compensate for the loss of other lines and stations. The post-9/11 service from 2001 to 2003 used the red line color of the Newark – World Trade Center service on the PATH system map, while the post-Sandy service of 2012–13 used the yellow color of the Journal Square – 33rd Street service from which it was extended.

33rd Street station

Station listing[edit]

There are currently 13 active PATH stations:

NYNew York33rd StreetHOB–33
November 10, 1910
28th StreetClosedNovember 10, 1910Closed in 1937 when the 33rd Street station was extended southward
23rd StreetHOB–33
June 15, 1908
19th StreetClosedFebruary 25, 1908Closed in 1954 to accelerate service
14th StreetHOB–33
February 25, 1908
9th StreetHOB–33
February 25, 1908
Christopher StreetHOB–33
February 25, 1908
Hudson TerminalClosedJuly 19, 1909Closed in 1971 when service opened to World Trade Center.
World Trade CenterNWK–WTC
July 4, 1971 (reopened November 23, 2003)
NJHobokenHoboken TerminalHOB–WTC
February 25, 1908
Jersey CityNewportHOB–WTC
August 2, 1909Originally a station for the Erie Railroad
Exchange PlaceNWK–WTC
July 19, 1909
Grove StreetNWK–WTC
September 6, 1910Originally Grove-Henderson Streets
Journal Square
Transportation Center
April 14, 1912Originally Summit Avenue
HarrisonHarrisonNWK–WTCJune 20, 1937Originally several blocks north (opened November 26, 1911)
Manhattan TransferClosedOctober 1, 1911Closed in 1937 when the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station
NewarkNewarkNWK–WTCJune 20, 1937Replacement for Park Place and Manhattan Transfer stations
Park PlaceClosedNovember 26, 1911Closed in 1937 when the H&M was realigned to Newark Penn Station


As of October 1, 2013,

Ride TypePriceEffective Price Per Ride
Single Ride$2.50$2.50
1-Day Unlimited$7.50Varies by use
7-Day Unlimited$26Varies by use
30-Day Unlimited$80Varies by use
Senior SmartLink$1$1

Single ride tickets are valid for two hours from time of purchase.[49]

Payment methods[edit]

Quick Cards[edit]

On October 24, 2008, the Port Authority announced that as of November 30, 2008, NJ Transit ticket machines on NJ Transit stations will no longer sell the QuickCard and as of December 31, 2008, NJ Transit ticket machines in PATH stations (Newark, Hoboken, Journal Square, Exchange Place, and Pavonia -Newport) will no longer sell the cards. The machines at the 33rd Street, Grove Street and WTC stations were removed earlier in 2008.[50]

By the third quarter of 2008, PATH had completed the inactivation of all turnstiles that accepted cash (in addition to the QuickCard, MetroCard and SmartLink card). These turnstiles will continue to accept the various cards as fare payment.

In 2010, PATH introduced a two-trip card costing $4.00 using the standard MetroCard form. Vending machines selling this card are in major PATH stations including 33rd St, World Trade Center and Journal Square. The front of the card is the standard MetroCard (gold and blue) but on the reverse it has the text "PATH 2-Trip Card", "Valid for two (2) PATH trips only" and "No refills on this card". The user had to dispose of the card after the trips are used up because the turnstiles do not keep (or capture) the card as was done with the discontinued QuickCard.

At the end of 2010, the QuickCard was discontinued and replaced with the SmartLink Gray card which is a non-refillable, disposable version of the SmartLink card. This card is sold at selected newsstand vendors and is available in 10, 20 and 40 trips. Unlike the regular SmartLink cards, the SmartLink Gray cards will have an expiration date.


SmartLink turnstiles at the WTC station accept both PATH Smartlink cards and MTA MetroCards.

The Port Authority installed new fare collection turnstiles at all PATH stations in 2005 and 2006. These turnstiles allowed 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. Until their discontinuance in December 2010, PATH QuickCards were 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 sold an 11-trip SmartLink card were installed at terminal stations. The cost of the card at $20 which includes 11 trips plus a $5 charge for the card. In 2008 when the fare was increased to $1.75, these machines were upgraded to sell an $18 card which included 10 trips at $1.30 plus the $5.00 card fee. Also a machine selling just the card for $5.00 was installed. 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.[51] In 2011, the card was $20 ($15 for 10 trips + $5 for 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. Automatic replenishment is offered in 10-, 20-, and 40-trip increments, as well as weekly and monthly passes. Fares are the same as regular purchases.

Planned fare increase[edit]

As of October 1, 2014, a single PATH ride will rise to $2.75; two-trip tickets will be $5.50; 10-trip, $21; 20-trip, $42; 40-trip, $84 ($2.10 per trip); a seven-day unlimited, $29; and a 30-day unlimited, $89.


All terminals (33rd Street, Hoboken, World Trade Center, Journal Square and Newark) are wheelchair accessible, as are Exchange Place and Pavonia/Newport. The Port Authority's 2007–2016 Capital Plan has allocated over $17 million to renovate Grove Street, with a little over $750,000 allocated for 2007. The renovation will include compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. When completed, only five stations, Harrison in New Jersey and four of the stations along Sixth Avenue in New York City, will not be accessible to the disabled. Harrison will become accessible with the reconstruction scheduled for completion in April 2017.[52]

Rolling stock[edit]

PATH has a fleet of 350 that are in active revenue service. As of September 2011, there is only one model, the PA5. The cars are 51-foot (16 m) long, with a width of approximately 9-foot-2 34-inch (2.813 m). They can achieve a maximum speed of 55 mph (89 km/h). Each car seats 35 passengers, on longitudinal seating, with a larger number of standees in each car.

PA5 cars have stainless steel bodies, and have three doors on each side. LCD displays above the windows (between the doors) display the destination of that particular train.

The Port Authority awarded a $499 million contract to Kawasaki to design and build 340 new PATH cars (called the PA5), which replaced the system's entire aging fleet. With an average age of 42 years, the fleet was the oldest of any operating heavy rail line in the United States. The Port Authority announced that the new cars would be updated versions of MTA's R142A cars, which are currently in service on the New York City Subway's 4 and 6 services. The first of these new cars entered revenue service July 10, 2009.[53]

As part of the fleet expansion program and signal system upgrade, the Port Authority ordered a total of 119 additional PA5 cars as the option order. 44 of these cars were to expand the Newark – WTC line to 10-car operation while the remaining 75 cars were to be used to increase service intervals once Communication-based train control (CBTC) is implemented throughout the system in 2017.[54]

Current roster[edit]

Rolling stockYear builtBuilderCar bodyCar numbersTotal builtNotes
PA52008–2012KawasakiStainless steel5600–5829 (A cars)
5100–5219 (C cars)
340 base order
119 in fleet expansion option (10 A cars exercised so far)[55]
"A" cars have cab units, "C" cars have no cabs[56]
Siemens SITRAC AC propulsion system, upgradable to CBTC signalling compatibility, 3 doors per side, prerecorded station announcements

NOTES: On May 4, 2011, cab car 5741 ran into the bumper block of a yard tail track near Journal Square station. The car was back in service by June 2012.[57]

Former roster[edit]

The PA1 cars were built by St. Louis Car in 1965. PA2 cars were built in 1966–67, also by St. Louis. Hawker Siddeley built the PA3 cars in 1972. The PA4s were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in 1986–88.

PA1, PA2, and PA3 cars had painted aluminum bodies, and two doors on each side. Back-lit panels above the doors displayed 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. The MBTA's Blue and Orange Line cars, built in 1978–79 and 1980–81 respectively were based on the PA3. All PA1-PA3 cars were overhauled by Kawasaki in the mid 1980s. PA4 cars had stainless steel bodies, and three doors on each side. Back-lit displays above the windows (between the doors) displayed the destination of that particular train.

In 1972, PATH revived the tradition of naming its passenger cars. Each car was named after a community whose residents rely on PATH service to reach their destinations. Most of the municipalities were in New Jersey, but there were also a few from Rockland County, New York, along with New York City itself. Each end of the interior of a named car featured 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."

All 4 were retired in 2011, with the PA4's remaining on site as work service cars.

Rolling stockYear builtBuilderCar bodyCar numbersTotal builtNotes
PA11965St. Louis Car Companypainted aluminum100–151 ("C" cars)
600–709 ("A" cars)
162"A" cars have cab units, "C" cars-trailers have no cabs, 2 doors per side
PA21966St. Louis Car Companypainted aluminum152–181 ("C" cars)
710–723("A" cars)
44"A" cars have cab units, "C" cars-trailers have no cabs, 2 doors per side
PA31972Hawker-Siddeleypainted aluminum724–76946All cab units, 2 doors per side
PA41987KawasakiStainless steel800–89495All cab units, 3 doors per side

NOTES: Cars 139, 143, 160, 612, 745, 750, 845 were left under the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and survived the collapse. They were stored out of service and stripped of usable parts. Several cars have been sent to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.


FRA railroad status[edit]

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.[58] 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.[citation needed]

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.[59][60]

Newark Airport extension[edit]

The Port Authority has allocated $31 million to conduct a feasibility study of extending PATH two miles (3.2 km) south of Newark Penn Station to Newark Liberty International Airport.[61] In September 2012, it announced that work would commence on the study.[62]

If the project is deemed to be possible from an engineering, operational, and financial standpoint, the Port Authority would include funding for the project in its Capital Plan. The extension to Newark Airport was estimated in 2004 to cost $500 million.[63] On September 11, 2013, Crain's reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will publicly support the PATH extension; its estimated cost has grown to $1 billion.[64] The governor has asked that the airport's largest operator, United Airlines, consider flying to Atlantic City International Airport as an enticement to further the project.[65]

Signal upgrades[edit]

In January 2010, Siemens announced that PATH would be spending $321 million to upgrade its signal system using Siemens' Trainguard MT CBTC to accommodate anticipated growth in ridership. The system will reduce the headway time between trains, so trains move more efficiently through the system and passenger wait times are reduced. Trainguard MT CBTC will equip the tracks and 130 of the 340 new EMU being constructed by Kawasaki Railcar. The goal is to increase passenger capacity from the current 240,000 passengers to 290,000 passengers per day. The entire system is expected to become operational in 2017.[66][67]


In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "PATH at a Glance – April 1995."
  2. ^ "PATH". Metrocard. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Fitzherbert, Anthony (June 1964). ""The Public Be Pleased": William G. McAdoo and the Hudson Tubes". Electric Railroaders Association, nycsubway.org. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
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  15. ^ "Erie Commuters Held Up". The New York Times. August 3, 1909. p. 1. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
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  24. ^ Wilson, Joyce Wells (April 1988). "No Free Rides Business". Journal of New Jersey. 
  25. ^ Yarrow, Andrew L. (August 12, 1990). "Port Authority Plans Outlined". The New York Times. 
  26. ^ "TV Ads Are Spreading To Subways and Malls". The New York Times. January 1, 1990. "The newest transit video network is now being installed in the PATH rail system, which shuttles 200,000 passengers daily between New Jersey and Manhattan. Three dozen 35-inch-screen monitors are already up and running in the World Trade Center station and the installation of the remaining 130 monitors in 12 PATH stations is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month." 
  27. ^ Levine, Richard (February 3, 1991). "As Economy Changes, the Port Authority Must Overcome Its Own Image". The New York Times. 
  28. ^ Romano, Jay (March 15, 1992). "For PATH, On-Time Record of 90 Percent". The New York Times. 
  29. ^ Peterson, Iver (December 22, 1992). "PATH Back In Operation After Repairs". The New York Times. 
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  31. ^ Newkirk, Pamela (February 28, 1993). "Now, the Cleanup, Work begins assessing the damage". Newsday (New York). 
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