Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Title Article: The New Hoboken Freight Terminal of the Lackawanna R.R.. Published in The Engineering Record, V.53, N.1, Jan. 6, 1906.
Object Name Article
Catalog Number 2013.005.0114
Collection Hoboken Railroad Collection
Credit Museum Collections. Gift of a Friend of the Museum.
Scope & Content Article: The New Hoboken Freight Terminal of the Lackawanna R.R.. Published in The Engineering Record, Vol. 53, No. 1, January 6, 1906, pp. 28-29.

Two leaves removed from publication as received. Full text is in notes. PDF and text document on file.

One illustration.

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad
Notes Archives 2013.005.0114 (Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad / D.L. & W.)

The Engineering Record
Vol. 53. No. 1. January 6, 1906.

page 28

The New Hoboken Freight Terminal of the Lackawanna R. R.

The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R. has recently commenced the construction of several new piers for handling freight traffic at its Hoboken terminal. The railroad company owns a frontage of 2,550 ft. along the New Jersey shore of the Hudson River opposite the lower end of New York City, and controls an area of about that width which extends back from the river for 1/2 to 3/4 mile. This area has been developed with freight and passenger yards and terminal piers and warehouses as the traffic required, more or less without any definite general plan. The north end of the area is occupied by the passenger terminal and the yards connected with it. The design of a new passenger terminal station and some of the interesting methods of over-water work that are being followed in its construction were described in The Engineering Record for April 29, 1905, and Nov. 11, 1905, respectively. A complete new trackage arrangement for this station has also been developed and is being carried out as rapidly as possible. When these improvements have been completed the facilities will be ample to handle the passenger traffic of the road, which amounts to more than 225 trains a day at the present.

The old freight yard connected with the terminal piers and warehouses was laid out for storage and classification as well as for the distribution of traffic to the different piers. The freight traffic of the Lackawanna has increased so materially in recent years that it became necessary to build a large storage and classification yard at Secaucus, about 4 miles inland from the terminal, and handle only the distribution, loading and unloading of cars in the yard at the terminal. Even with this new arrangement congestion was not fully relieved and the complete reconstruction of the old freight yard and the piers and warehouses connected with it was undertaken. A part of this work has already been carried out, but a large and more interesting portion, which remains to be completed, has just been put under construction.

The first two slips south of the passenger terminal serve open piers of more recent construction and are used in handling various classes of bulky freight, such as lumber and machinery. Between the south one of these two piers, Pier No. 3 in the new arrangement, and Pier No. 4 is a ship canal, 3,270 ft. long, 120 ft. wide for 950 ft. from its outer end and 100 ft. wide for the remainder of its length. This canal is also used in handling boats carrying bulky freight and is served by tracks on each side.

On the south side at the outer end of the canal is a 190x1,330-ft. pir [sic - pier] covered by two sheds, each 66x1,280 ft. One shed is on each side of the pier, and the two are served by three tracks between them. Both sheds are of heavy, slow-burning timber construction, with wire glass skylights and complete sprinkler system for fire protection. The south shed is divided in four parts by three transverse concrete fire walls built up from the low-water line to above the roof line. The other shed has one large room. These sheds are built to handle more perishable freight between the cars and ships and for the storage of this class of traffic. They have been completed within the last year and are a part of the new terminal arrangement.

The next pier, old Pier No. 7, is 30x1,070 ft. in plan and will be removed eventually. At present a low trestle carrying two tracks is erected on it and grain traffic is handled by gravity between the cars on the tracks and the boats in the slips. Another old narrow pier carrying a trestle and tracks which formerly stood close to this one was destroyed by a fire in May, 1904, and was not rebuilt. This same fire also completely burned over the next four piers to the south.

The first of these piers, new Pier No. 6, carries two McMyler coal-car dumping machines and the tracks which serve them. The arrangement of the dumpers and the tracks on this pier were fully described in The Engineering Record for Dec. 9, 1905. The two machines have a combined normal capacity of dumping 12,000 tons of coal every 10 hr. from the cars to coal boats in the slips. They are supplied with cars from a large storage yard for the loaded and light cars used in the coal traffic. Ihis yard is a part of the new freight terminal arrangement and has a capacity of 600 cars.

The first pier beyond the one carrying the car dumpers is 46x1,264 ft. in plan. A high timber-bent trestle with three tracks has just been erected on the site of the old pier destroyed by fire, and a portion of the coal traffic is at present handled by gravity on it. This leaves a slip with a minimum width of 175 ft. between it and the car-dumper pier. The removal of the 30x1,070-ft. pier to the north of the latter will leave a slip with a minimum width of 260 ft. on that side of the car-dumper pier. The large number of coal boats, however, that have to be laid up in these two slips pending the arrival of the coal intended for them, require at least this amount of water area.

The remainder of the piers and slips along the water front to the south are to be completely reconstructed. The limited water front had to be developed to the fullest possible extent in order to accommodate the traffic that is tributary to the


[illustration: site plan]
Present and Proposed Arrangement of Freight Terminal Piers and Slips of the Lackawanna R, R. at Hoboken N, J.


page 29

Hoboken terminal. The railroad company owns 170 water craft of various types, varying from 80 to 2,000 tons capacity, and if all of these craft were at the home port at one time they could just barely be docked in the present slips. The passenger terminal to the north and the necessary arrangement of the freight piers between it and the south line of the slip on the south side of the car-dumper pier precluded any more complete development of the water front north of that line. A frontage of 750 ft. along the bulkhead line is thus all that is available for future development. As this frontage is extremely valuable and provision had to be made to handle a very heavy traffic which is rapidly increasing it was essential that the greatest possible length of pier frontage should be provided. The only track yard necessary in the rear of this part of the terminal is that sufficient to supply the latter with cars at all times, as the storage and classification of traffic can be handled in the new yard at Secaucus. The number of piers was thus limited from the sljpre end by the capacity of the distribution yard only, and as this could be made much greater than that required by any pier arrangement that could be obtained, the most complete development of the water front was practicable and desirable.

A ship canal 2,700 ft. long will be built in along the south line of the railroad company's property, from the pierhead line, and four diagonal slips built from the canal on the north side, as shown in the accompanying plan, for the new terminal arrangement. The canal and slips will have a minimum depth of 30 ft. at low water. The former will be 175 ft. wide for 1,200 ft. of its length from the outer end and 145 ft. wide in the remainder, the reduction in width being made on the south side to provide space for a bulkhead. The slips will make an angle of 30 deg. with the canal and will be uniformly 112 ft. wide and 600 ft. long. The end of the canal will also turn at an angle of 30 deg. to the main part of it so that five piers will be provided with water on both sides.

Between the inner ends of the slips and the north line of new Pier No. 7 that is to replace old Pier No. 10 is a space 280 ft. wide. That pier will occupy 46 ft. of this width and will have open water on one side only. The remainder of the space will be filled in out to the exterior line for solid fill; outside of that line it will be floored over by a special low-water construction. This construction is similar to that employed in a portion of the new passenger terminal yard. It consists of a heavy, tight timber floor laid on caps on piles cut off at low tide, with a concrete retaining wall, also built on the pile caps, around the sides of the floor. The space included in the walls will be filled with cinders or other material and the tracks laid on this shallow fill. This construction offers no obstruction to the flow of the tide and makes a fireproof footing for the superstructure.

At the outer end of the floored-over area, between the new Pier No. 7 and the outer one of the diagonal piers, now Pier No. 8, six transfer bridges will be built for car floats. The space available for these bridges was so narrow that the latter have been arranged in a slightly fan-shaped position, which is accomplished without interfering with the operation of Pier No. 8. The tracks serving the bridges and the diagonal piers will be laid on the floored-over and filled-in area between the ends of the latter and new Pier No. 7. A distributing yard, with a capacity of 1,000 cars, exclusive of the tracks on the piers and three open tracks, is to be built in connection with the distributing tracks, and will be entirely separate from the coal handling and other yards to the north.

The outer one of the five diagonal piers is to be 64 ft. wide and will carry three tracks with an outside platform on each side. Produce and fruit traffic bound in both directions will be handled on this pier. The next pier is to be 100x600 ft. in plan, and will carry a 60xs80-ft. one-story heavy timber shed covered with corrugated iron. Westbound traffic will be handled in this shed, which will be served by two tracks along the pier on one side. The next pier will be 120x600 ft. in plan and will carry an 80x580-ft. shed with
The new arrangement of piers and slips increases the length of docks and bulkheads of the terminal 3,000 ft., or 11 per cent.; the water area is increased 270,000 sq. ft., or 16.1 per cent, at the same time. When the improvements on which work has been started are completed and additional facilities for handling traffic between the Secaucus yard and the Hoboken terminal are carried out the freight handling arrangement will be capable of providing for traffic for several years.

The plans for the work that has been done and that is under way in the reconstruction of the piers and slips have been made under the direction of Mr. L. Bush, chief engineer of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R. R., by Mr. Geo. T. Hand, assistant engineer. The construction work is carried on under the supervision of Mr. Bush and the immediate direction of Mr. J. E. Snell, superintendent of buildings and docks.


Date 1906
Year Range from 1906
Year Range to 1906
Search Terms Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad
Lackawanna Railroad
Lackawanna Terminal
Caption pg 28
Imagefile 205\20130050114.TIF
Classification Railroads