THE PORT AUTHORITY OF NY & NJ

Press Release Article


PATH RAIL SET TO ENHANCE SAFETY, SECURITY AND SERVICE WITH MAJOR WORK THAT REQUIRES WEEKEND CLOSURES OF WORLD TRADE CENTER AND EXCHANGE PLACE STATIONS

Date: Feb 06, 2014
Press Release Number: 36-2014

PATH weekend service will continue between New Jersey and New York, despite up to 45 weekends of critically necessary WTC and Exchange Place closures

PATH is poised to become one of the nation’s first mass-transit rail systems to meet the federal government’s December 2015 deadline for implementing Positive Train Control, an advanced signal technology that enhances safety by automatically applying a train’s brakes if a collision appears imminent.

This project, which also will ensure time for other critical work like continued post-Superstorm Sandy cleanup and security improvements, will require the closure of the World Trade Center and Exchange Place PATH stations up to 45 weekends – excluding major holidays -- throughout the remainder of 2014 and possibly early 2015. Similar work and closures will be necessary on tunnels beneath the Hudson River serving PATH’s uptown 33rd Street line in 2015.

Work and closures will commence the weekend of Feb. 14-17, beginning late Friday night, Feb. 14 and continuing through 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 17.

Positive Train Control was mandated by federal law in 2008 and is designed to help reduce human or mechanical errors to avoid accidents and save lives. If a dangerous situation arises, a train’s braking system automatically engages to avoid accidents with other trains, derailments caused by excessive speed or wrong switching to tracks undergoing repairs. While PATH long has maintained an excellent safety record, this improvement is mandated to further enhance safety.

The Positive Train Control improvements are part of  a $580 million, comprehensive signals modernization program to replace PATH’s 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 ultimately improve service for PATH riders by enabling more frequent service in the future.

Throughout this year’s outages, there will be PATH service at all times on the weekends between New York and New Jersey on the Journal Square to 33rd Street via Hoboken line. PATH passengers can access the 33rd Street line, changing at Journal Square, from the Newark and Harrison stations as well.

The Port Authority regrets the inconvenience to its passengers, but stresses that this work is vital to upgrading PATH to improve current and future service. In addition to safety and security enhancements, this work will provide PATH riders increased reliability in the future, as well as laying the groundwork for increased passenger capacity as early as 2016.

“Positive Train Control is a vital part of our ‘PATH Forward’ plan in the coming years and we hope our passengers understand that inconvenience now will mean an even safer and better ride in the long run,’’ said Stephen Kingsberry, PATH’s director and general manager. “We are utilizing the out-of-service periods to maximize post-Sandy initiatives, installation of computerized signals and state-of-good-repair work on our tunnels and lines.”

This year’s work also is 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 WTC and Exchange Place stations during the closures to remove corrosive salt. They also will also replace 90 percent of the utilities in the tunnels, including power and communications equipment, rail, third rail, and track—all of which is corroding due to salt intrusion.

Just before the Superstorm Sandy hit in late October 2012, 55 percent 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.

Below are the specific impacts and travel alternatives for riders:

Station Closures

Friday nights, around-the-clock, through Monday mornings
All weekends in 2014, beginning February 14-16, excepting major holiday travel weekends

Impacts to World Trade Center to Newark (WTC-NWK) and NWK-WTC service
The last departure from WTC is 11:55 p.m., arriving at NWK at 12:17 a.m.
The last departure from NWK is 11:20 p.m., arriving at WTC at 11:42 p.m.
There are no impacts to WTC-Hoboken (HOB) and HOB-WTC service

The last departure from WTC is 10:56 p.m., arriving at HOB at 11:06 p.m.
The last departure from HOB is 11:11 p.m., arriving at WTC at 11:21 p.m.

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.

Alternatives for passengers during the 2014 weekend outages

PATH service between New York and New Jersey will continue throughout the scheduled weekend outages.  Additional service will be added to the Journal Square-33rd (HOB) line in both directions to accommodate additional traffic.

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 1 subway train from Christopher Street (exit PATH at Christopher Street), the A/C/E subway trains at West 4th Street (exit PATH at 9th Street), 2/3 subway trains from 14th Street (exit PATH at 14th Street), or the R train from 34th Street (exit PATH at 33RD Street).

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.

PATH riders also may seek information on alternative service from the Port Authority website, PATHAlerts and Twitter.

Website: http://www.panynj.gov/PATH
Follow us on Twitter: @PATHTrain
PATH service alerts: http://www.PATHAlerts.com/usersubscribe
Toll Free Information Line: 1-800-234-PATH (7284)
Email: PATHCommunity@panynj.gov
Notices: Posted in all PATH stations, onboard trains; PATHVISION
MTA Information: http://new.mta.info/nyct

CONTACT:
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
212-435-7777

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where construction crews are building the iconic One World Trade Center, which is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit http://www.panynj.gov.