Nosy Neighbor: What Are the Hudson Tubes?

On the downtown platform of the Cortlandt Street R/W station is a mosaic sign that reads, “To Hudson Tubes.” What are they? —E.*

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, that sign dates from 1917, swhen the platform was part of the Hudson Terminal, built in 1909. Joseph Brennan’s website, Abandoned Stations, explains further:

Hudson Terminal was the predecessor of the World Trade Center station on the PATH system. PATH is a subway connecting New York and New Jersey. Unlike the other subway lines in New York, it was not built by the city, but was constructed by the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad and its predecessor companies. [“The Hudson and Manhattan system was popularly known as the Hudson Tubes,” Brennan notes elsewhere.]

The main purpose of the H & M was to connect railroad and streetcar terminals on the New Jersey waterfront with points in Manhattan. The H & M’s only station downtown near Wall Street was designed to handle as many passengers as possible to meet the demands of rush hour traffic. […]

The H & M was sold to the Port of New York Authority in 1962 following years of bankruptcy. The efficient Hudson Terminal station was doomed by the new owners’ plans for the World Trade Center development, which included the Hudson Terminal site and many more neighboring blocks of old buildings. […] Some parts of the old station’s track level were incorporated into the World Trade Center, and that is why it is listed here as an abandoned station still partly in existence. But all of the mezzanine level was completely destroyed by 1972.

*Yes, that’s me. I’d rather answer your questions: email

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1 Comment

  1. The Hudson Tubes were also called the McAdoo Tunnels, named after William Gibbs McAdoo, who financed construction and led the efforts to link the two states by rail. McAdoo was touted as a serious candidate to run for the office of President in the 1920 US Presidential election, but political and personal issue (he was Woodrow Wilson’s brother-in-law) scuppered his campaign.