PATH service will be suspended to and from the World Trade Center and Exchange Place Stations in 2014 to allow the
Port Authority to advance critical signal system work, security work, and Sandy repair and resiliency work.
Friday nights, around-the-clock, through Monday mornings
All weekends in 2014, beginning February 14-16, with the exception of major holiday travel weekends
Impacts to World Trade Center to Newark (WTC-NWK) and NWK-WTC service
Last trains to WTC-Hoboken (HOB) and HOB-WTC
The World Trade Center and Exchange Place stations will be reopened each Monday at approximately 4:45 a.m.
The first departure out of the WTC will be the 5:10 a.m. train to NWK.
The West Concourse at WTC, providing underground connection to Brookfield Place, will remain open and accessible during these weekend outages.
PATH service between New York and New Jersey will continue throughout the scheduled outage. Additional service will be added to the Journal Square-33rd (HOB) line in both directions to accommodate additional traffic.
The Newark-WTC line only will operate between Newark and Journal Square in both directions. Passengers wishing to go to Grove Street from points east should transfer to the Journal Square-33rd (HOB) at Journal Square.
Passengers traveling to Lower Manhattan should use the Journal Square-33rd (HOB) and connect to NYC Transit subways or buses (a separate fare is required). Recommended transfer points include:
The NJ Transit Light Rail will also cross-honor PATH passengers at their Exchange Place, Newport, and Hoboken stations. Passengers should show a Metrocard or SmartLink card if asked by a fare enforcement officer, and indicate that they are transferring to/from PATH.
PATH riders also may seek information on alternative service from the Port Authority website, PATHAlerts and Twitter.
ABOUT THESE CLOSURES
Every weekend in 2014, beginning February 14-16 and excluding major holidays, PATH service will be suspended to and from the World Trade Center and Exchange Place Stations to allow the Port Authority to advance critical signal system work to meet the federal mandate of installing Positive Train Control technology by December 31, 2015, continuing security work, as well as ongoing post-Sandy repair and resiliency work. In addition to safety and security enhancements, this work will provide PATH riders increased reliability in the future, as well as laying the ground work for increased passenger capacity as early as 2016.
What is Positive Train Control?
Mandated by federal law in 2008, Positive Train Control technology is a type of signal system that provides an additional layer of safety by using technology designed to apply automatically a train's brakes to avoid accidents with other trains, derailments caused by excessive speed, or wrong switching to tracks undergoing repairs. While the types of Positive Train Control systems vary, they all are designed to help reduce human or mechanical errors to avoid accidents and save lives.
In 2009, PATH began construction work on a $580 million comprehensive signals modernization program to replace its antiquated mechanical train controls with state-of-the-art, computerized signals. In addition to replacing aging technology and making the system safer, this new signal system will make the PATH system more efficient by enabling more frequent service for passengers in the future and improve upon a safe PATH system.
Just before the Superstorm Sandy hit in late October 2012, 55% of the signal work had been awarded, the design of the new system was complete and installation of equipment was well underway. After the storm passed, all field activity for the signals program stopped for more than four months, with work gradually returning to normal activity over a three-month period. Continuing at this pace, the overall signal program would have been delayed more than three years.
Sandy Repair and Resiliency Work
This year's outages at World Trade Center and Exchange Place stations are also essential for PATH to continue its remediation efforts on rails, tunnels, and equipment due to ongoing deterioration from latent, corrosive salt residue from Superstorm Sandy. The storm's unprecedented flooding of 15 million gallons of corrosive salt water in each of the PATH tunnels left behind a salt residue that could not entirely be cleaned during the efforts to restore service in the months after the storm. To remedy this issue, workers will power wash the tunnels between World Trade Center and Exchange Place stations during the closures to remove corrosive salt. They also will also replace 90% of the utilities in the tunnel, including power and communications equipment, rail, third rail, and track—all of which is corroding due to salt intrusion.
Similar to the update posted on work conducted in November 2013, we will continue to update you as work progresses. You can find current news and previous updates in the section(s) below.
Over the weekends of November 9-10, 16-17, and 23-24, service in and out of Exchange Place and World Trade Center stations was suspended to allow for post-Sandy restoration and resiliency work. These three weekend outages provided workers with 48-hour blocks of time to complete a significant amount of work that cannot be accomplished when passenger service is operating at these stations.
Much of the work conducted over these weekends occurred in Tunnels E and F, which connect the PATH system to Lower Manhattan. These tunnels provide passage for over 100,000 trips each weekday on the Hoboken-World Trade Center (HOB-WTC) and Newark-World Trade Center (NWK-WTC) lines. During Superstorm Sandy, Tunnels E and F were flooded with millions of gallons of salt water. The tunnels were drained and cleaned to get service back up and running again. However, residual salt left behind must be removed during continued post-Sandy restoration and resiliency work to ensure the long-term safety and reliability of the entire system.
Power washing equipment staged on a work flat at Exchange Place Station.
A worker power washing walls to remove corrosive salt in Tunnel E.
A worker guides machinery over a rail to replace rail clips.
12,000 were replaced over three weekends.
New rail clips in Tunnel F.
WEEKEND WORK ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Work will continue on non-holiday weekends in alternating tunnels by utilizing a single-track operation. Though single-tracking requires passenger trains to be run farther apart, it allows one tunnel to be closed for intensive repairs and construction work.
In order to complete the restoration and resiliency work supported by the Federal Transit Administration, we expect additional closures in 2014. Our proposed schedule of closures will be shared in early 2014.
Thank you for your patience while we continue these very important projects that will reduce train delays and improve service.