Home Open Account Help 254 users online

Passenger Trains > North River Tunnel West Portals


Date: 05/22/23 18:20
North River Tunnel West Portals
Author: tq-07fan

I thought I would see what kind of shots are available at the West Portals of the North River Tunnel. Not much, is the answer, at least looking toward the portals from US Hwy 1-9.  Looking the other way may reveal better shots but I didn't want to cross the highway.
1) Southbound or Westbound NJT.
2) Looking at the portals. I took this sticking my camera up above the spark fence.
3) Eastbound NJT pushing into the tunnel.

Thank you for looking!

Jim








Date: 05/22/23 18:32
Re: North River Tunnel West Portals
Author: POW

What is the building above the tunnels? With the windows it appears to have been some kind of office. It appears to be abandoned.



Date: 05/22/23 22:04
Re: North River Tunnel West Portals
Author: illini73

POW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What is the building above the tunnels? With the windows it appears to have been some kind of office. It appears to be abandoned.

Though it's been there since 1910, I've yet to find a description of the structure.  It's on top of a short cut-and-cover section of the tunnels immediately behind the portals.  It might simply decorate the retaining wall used to hold up the hillside when the cuts were again covered.  Everything else (and then some) you might want to know about the PRR Bergen Hill Tunnels (the North River Tunnels actually begin at the Weehawken Shaft east of Bergen Hill, a location no longer open to the sky) can be found in the Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Paper  No. 1154, presented at a meeting of the ASCE in April of 1910, and available online at:

ASCE Paper 1154- The Bergen Hill Tunnels



Date: 05/22/23 22:10
Re: North River Tunnel West Portals
Author: pdt

I would guess it has something to do with ventilation or electrical power.   

There used to be a power phase break just west of the tunnel portal.



Date: 05/23/23 13:32
Re: North River Tunnel West Portals
Author: thebluecomet

Here's a view not possible today.  Amtrak E60 967 exits the tunnel passing under Tonnelle Av. on August 7, 1977.




Date: 05/24/23 15:48
Re: North River Tunnel West Portals
Author: illini73

pdt Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would guess it has something to do with ventilation or electrical power.

Good guess.  A bit of further research turned up another ASCE paper, this time by George Gibbs, the Chief Electrical Engineer on the New York Tunnel Extension.  This paper describes the ventilation and electrical power arrangements for the tunnels.  The building over the portal contained (in 1910) one 60-inch blower fan introducing air into the eastbound tunnel at a rate of 87,000 cfm.  A corresponding 54-inch blower at the Weehawken Shaft ventilated the westbound tunnel with a 1 mph air current at 100,800 cfm (drive motor brake horsepower was higher westbound:  56.8 vs. 48.6).  There was also a traction power sub-station to convert AC power to 650-volt DC for the third rail (which at the time extended to Manhattan Transfer), using three 2,000 KW rotary converters.  Mystery solved!

The George Gibbs paper (ASCE Transactions Vol. LXIX, 1910, Paper no. 1165) is available online at Hathi Trust:  https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044020419503&view=1up&seq=7



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/23 16:15 by illini73.



Date: 05/25/23 04:12
Re: North River Tunnel West Portals
Author: wabash2800

Thanks for the series. Why was ventilation needed for trains powered by electricity?

Victor Baird

Edit: On page 300 of the referenced article ventilation is covered. The ventilation is for fresh air for passengers and provision in case of an accident. It is not for diesel or steam exhaust.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/23 10:42 by wabash2800.



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.076 seconds