Sunday, 8 February 2009


Those walking through the Hudson River Park from the West Village to Battery Place and vice versa, or passengers on board ferries and tour boats, will have noticed a prominent structure on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River at Hoboken, marked "LACKAWANNA", and may have wondered what it was. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company was a railroad connecting Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Valley, rich in anthracite coal, to New York City, Buffalo and Oswego, New York. That visible from across the Hudson is the ferry terminal that was an integral part of the railway terminal at Hoboken.

Aerial shot of whole transport complex (left) and front of the Railway Station building

The complex, opened in 1907, was one of the world's first multi-modal transit hubs to combine rail, tram (later bus and light railway), ferry, and pedestrian services in one facility.With the construction of the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, however, commuter and freight traffic at the terminal declined and the ferry service ended in 1967. Service returned in 1989 and currently unites bus and light rail services in New Jersey with the ferry service (run by the Port Authority) and the PATH system to Manhattan.

The Erie Lackawanna Terminal (in !960 merged with its former rival, the Erie Railroad) is a must see. Whether you arrive by ferry, train or subway, don't miss the waiting room. With the dark wood benches, huge chandelier, sweeping staircase, you will feel like you're in an old movie. When you step outside onto the cobblestones, you'll see an old sign that says "Waiting Room", a clock on the sidewalk, and way at the top is the sign reading "Erie Lackawanna", - its just like being spirited back to another age. A few steps away is the Hudson River and a wonderful view of Manhattan.
The Erie Lackawanna ferry used to go from Hoboken terminal to Barclay Street in Manhattan. Now, NY Waterway runs from Hoboken to Battery Park Financial and also to Wall Street.

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