• Sixth Street Embankment (Harsimus Stem) HBLR / Rail Trail

  • General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.
General discussion related to Rail Trails nationwide, including proposed rail trail routes. The official site of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy can be found here: www.railstotrails.org.

Moderator: railtrailbiker

  by umtrr-author
 
It certainly was. I lived right across the street from there.

I have my fingers crossed for this project (and put a contribution behind it as well). I walked the Embankment long after the tracks were torn up but before the bridges across the streets were taken down. It was a genuine treat to see the view that the engineers of GG-1s and E-44s saw for many years. I hope that others will also be able to walk the path as well.
  by raytylicki
 
The Wikipedia mentions Exchange Place Station--Of Course I know the Path Station now but I cant find a picture of the old PRR Exchange Place Station as it existed in 1962.
  by umtrr-author
 
Pictures of the Pennsy's Exchange Place station aren't that easy to find. I can't get to my research material right now but I do know that they are scattered among several books, one or two here or there. I think there's one in the Arcadia Publishing's "Railroads of Hoboken and Jersey City" book for example and I believe there is at least one in the Morning Sun book "PRR: Hudson to Horseshoe."

Please note, though, that the line to Exchange Place was a viaduct above Railroad Avenue, now Christopher Columbus Boulvard, which was torn out around the same time that Exchange Place was closed. The "Embankment" is a different former line, which is between Fifth and Sixth Streets and was the freight line to the Jersey City Waterfront.
  by raytylicki
 
Last time I went thru there there were still GG1s parked in that hood...also there still is that tunnel under the cemetary in North Bergen.
  by ExCon90
 
raytylicki wrote:The Wikipedia mentions Exchange Place Station--Of Course I know the Path Station now but I cant find a picture of the old PRR Exchange Place Station as it existed in 1962.
There's a good photo of it (tracks and platforms) in a book called "Triumph III" (one of a series). I can give you the page number and publication data on Wednesday, when I'll be able to check. (Although, as umtrr-author pointed out, "you couldn't get there from here"). Morning Sun Books has a two-volume set of photo books on railroad facilities in New York Harbor which almost certainly contains at least one photo of the waterfront terminal reached by the line that used the embankment; look for Harsimus Cove. It had float bridges and a lighterage pier.
  by ExCon90
 
I cited the wrong volume, relying on memory -- it's Trumph V / Philadelphia to New York 1830-2002, by David W. Messer and Charles S. Roberts, published by Barnard, Roberts & Co., Baltimore (ISBN 0-934118-27-2). Beginning on page 197 it has a good many photos (and some historical text) of the Jersey City passenger terminal, which had a trainshed similar to that at Broad St. in Philadelphia until it was demolished in 1921 and replaced by butterfly sheds. Continuing through page 226 there are photos and track plans of both the passenger station and the freight facilities at Harsimus Cove reached by the embankment being considered for the rail trail. (Photos of the passenger terminal in its latter days are on pages 206 and 207.) Also, there is a book called The Port of New York, by Carl W. Condit, published by the University of Chicago Press (ISBN 0-226-11460-0), which I don't have, but I recall that it has good coverage of railroad facilities in New York Harbor, although not as heavy on photographs as the Triumph book -- it may be easier to find than the Triumph book, however.
  by Jeff Smith
 
I merged some disparate topics into one covering the 6th St. Embankment and developement. Some of the merged threads mostly concerned it.

I'm going to cross-post this in several forums but will leave it in NJ Railfan at the end. I see no mention of LR in this final proposal:

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB1 ... hare_email
An abandoned elevated railway known as the Sixth Street Embankment has been the subject of a litigious preservation effort for more than a decade. Local groups and city officials want to transform the half-a-mile long stone structure into a grassy, landscaped park with skyline views, spanning Jersey City's gentrifying neighborhoods.

...

Even with Conrail's approval, the Jersey City version of the High Line may be a long way from reality. Initial construction could begin next year, Mr. Matsikoudis said, but designs haven't been finalized for the 110-year-old structure, formally known as the Harsimus Stem Embankment. The city would likely hold a design competition.

Still, hopes are high. It is "equal to or better than New York's High Line," said city Mayor Jerramiah Healy in a statement.

The sandstone-and-granite structure rises to 27 feet at its highest point and once carried Pennsylvania Railroad freight trains along seven tracks to the Hudson River waterfront. Conrail took over the embankment in the 1970s, but rail traffic ceased and nature took over. Ivy covers the walls and the structure is now a regular way station for monarch butterflies migrating from Canada to Mexico.

...

Advocates want a "grand entrance" to the park's eastern section, while the western section would return to ground level and connect to the Bergen Arches, a railroad tunnel that runs through the Palisades.
  by N4J
 
To be honest , its better without the Rail. Theres alot of recent developments going up along the backside of Newport so i would to see the rest of Conrail's Riverline converted to LRT and and a line built from Hoboken Terminal to Secaucus JCT via the Bergen Arches thur there. These aren't small developments , there high density high rise , perfect for LRT.
  by JPhurst
 
The position of the Embankment Preservation Coalition has been open to rail, but the clear desire is for a park.

Re: Bergen Arches, back around 2001 or 2002, there was a study to determine transportation uses for the Bergen Arches, and one of the questions was, of course, what to do once you get out of the Arches. Continue along the Embankment to Newport is one, cutting North to Hoboken would be another.

You are correct that there is a lot of development around the "back" of Newport which could use light rail. I would also note that the area East of Marin Blvd where the Embankment ends is also slated for development. Right now it is largely big box stores (Bed Bath Beyond, Shop Rite, Pep Boys, BJs), but the city's master plan allows for high rise residential and mixed use. That may be a ways down the road but it is what is eventually in the cards. So rail could be useful there too.

Having said that, the park has potential to be a real beautiful amenity.
  by N4J
 
JPhurst wrote:The position of the Embankment Preservation Coalition has been open to rail, but the clear desire is for a park.

Re: Bergen Arches, back around 2001 or 2002, there was a study to determine transportation uses for the Bergen Arches, and one of the questions was, of course, what to do once you get out of the Arches. Continue along the Embankment to Newport is one, cutting North to Hoboken would be another.

You are correct that there is a lot of development around the "back" of Newport which could use light rail. I would also note that the area East of Marin Blvd where the Embankment ends is also slated for development. Right now it is largely big box stores (Bed Bath Beyond, Shop Rite, Pep Boys, BJs), but the city's master plan allows for high rise residential and mixed use. That may be a ways down the road but it is what is eventually in the cards. So rail could be useful there too.

Having said that, the park has potential to be a real beautiful amenity.
The High rise developments along the back have already started...

Image
DSCN1714 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

Image
DSCN1689 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr

Image
DSCN1664 by Nexis4Jersey09, on Flickr
  by Jeff Smith
 
Some websites I have come across:

http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xm ... -2007-CURR
Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) sold its Harsimus Embankment in Jersey City to developers. The City, together with others interested in the historic and environmental value of the Embankment, sued Conrail, alleging that the sale was unlawful because Conrail failed to obtain authority from the Surface Transportation Board to abandon the property. The district court, which has jurisdiction over this case because of the unique nature of the Harsimus Branch—it was transferred to Conrail as part of the Penn Central bankruptcy—dismissed the case for lack of standing. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we reverse.
http://www.embankment.org/

http://www.embankment.org/whitesite/main2.html

http://www.jclandmarks.org/6thStreetEmbankment.shtml
  by Jeff Smith
 
The project is moving forward: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2012 ... ges_t.html
The Jersey City City Council gave initial approval tonight to changes to a Downtown redevelopment plan that would allow a developer to build two towers on a portion of the historic Sixth Street Embankment.

The changes are required by a tentative settlement the city reached last month with developer Steve Hyman, who has battled the city for years over ownership rights to the embankment. As part of the agreement, the city would purchase most of the roughly mile-long parcel for $7 million, while Hyman would retain one block.