25Hz wrote:There were plans to build to communipaw and add tunnels and track connections between communipaw and hudson terminal. That plan was abandoned before it ever got started.
I'm not aware of any plan to tunnel from the Central RR under the river. There were provisions at Grove St. for a diverging route on the west end of the station to go to CRRNJ, as well as a partial provision to go straight southbound at the junction where currently left = EXP and right = Grove. There's a brief section of the eastbound Grove/EXP line that is in rings for added reinforcement in case there was a future tunnel to CRRNJ crossing over/under it.
The only fully-surveyed and started "extra" tunnels* were the ones from Hudson Terminal to Erie (Pavonia/Newport). The bellmouths were constructed in Hudson Terminal, and short segments of the two tunnels were built and lined where they crossed E and F (the two existing downtown tunnels). These would have run to a dedicated platform at Erie and then joined the main line at the junction leading to Hoboken or 33rd - that's why the Scribner's drawing
shows an X crossover and not a Y.
If they had dug those 2 additional hudson river tunnels with the aldene plan you'd have 4 downtown tunnels, which could instead have been hooked to two brand new tunnels between exp and the portal, but that's all moot because it never happened. To extend two new tunnels between the portal and exp would mean a lot of complicated below grade doings under columbus ave & re-working the portal area to accommodate the 2 new tunnels. Currently grove street is a single island. This would need to be changed to two islands. I don't even know if that is possible especially taking into account ADA requirements plus all the infrastructure located above and below grade there.
There were actually plans to convert the entire H&M system to 4-track. Different alternatives were considered, and I have 2 different drawings for Grove St in my collection. Here's the title for one of them:
However, the opening of the Hudson River Vehicular Tunnel (Holland) and the stock market crash and ensuing Depression essentially put an end to any H&M expansion plans. And then the New York City IND subway rearranged the H&M stations from 14th to 33rd, preventing any expansion there.
* Trivia - there are 3 H&M tunnels that go partially out into the river but which were "completed". There are the inlet and outlet lines for the powerhouse cooling water, which are miniature versions of the standard E/F iron-ring-segment tunnels, and there is a vertical
tunnel just south of the Exchange Place station, with a concrete cap. This is where the excavated material from the original station construction was offloaded onto barges. It ends up near the river end of the eastbound platform - there are 2 stainless steel doors on the wall which lead to a horizontal drift to that vertical section.