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Title Article: The New Hoboken Freight Terminal of the Lackawanna R.R.; in The Engineering Record, V. 53, No. 1, Jan. 6, 1906.
Object Name Article
Catalog Number 2011.005.0087
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. As published in The Engineering Record, Vol. 53, No. 1, Jan. 6, 1906, pp. 28-29. Leaves, two, removed from publication, 10" wide x 13-1/2" high. Text is in notes.

Figure captioned: The Present and Proposed Arrangement of Freight Terminal Piers and Slips of the Lackawanna R.R. at Hoboken, N.J.

The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad was at this time rebuilding the passenger terminal which was destroyed by a fire in August of 1905. The article describes plans for the D.L.& W. freight yard pier facilities which were south of the passenger terminal (Lackawanna Terminal) in Hoboken. The piers were mostly in Jersey City; the city line between Hoboken and Jersey City ran through the northern part of this plot, but is not indicated on it.

Except for the the top part of the plan where Ferry Slip No. 1 and Pier Nos. 3 and 4 (Pier Nos. 2 and 3) are seen, the southern piers were not part of the area affected by the fire. The re-design and re-building discussed in the article are improvements necessary for increased freight operations which apparently were connected to a related facility in Secaucus.

The coal operations were part of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Coal Co.
Notes 2011.005.0087
article published in The Engineering Record, Vol. 53. No. 1, Jan. 6, 1906, pp. 28-29

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 Qity, 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 con-
nected 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

Figure captioned: The Present and Proposed Arrangement of Freight Terminal Piers and Slips of the Lackawanna R.R. at Hoboken, N.J.

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 at
Secaucus, about 4 miles inland from the terminal,
and handle only the distribution, loading and
unloadingof cards in the yard at the terminal.
Even with this new arrangement congestion was
not fully relieved and the complete reconstruc-
tion 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 re-
mains to be completed, has just been put under

The first two slips south of the passenger ter-
minal serve open piers of more recent construc-
tion 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 190 x 1,330-ft. pier covered by two sheds, each
66 x 1,280 ft. One shed is on each side of the
pier, and the two are served by three tracks be-
tween them. Both sheds are of heavy, slow-burn-
ing timber construction, with wire glass sky-
lights and complete sprinkler system for fire pro-
tection. 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 be-
tween 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 30 x 1,070 ft.
in plan and will be removed eventually. At pres-
ent a low trestle carrying two tracks is erected on
it and grain traffic is handled by gravity be-
tween 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, car-
ries 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 com-
bined 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. 1 his 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 46 x 1,264 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 30 x 1,070-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

The remainder of the piers and slips along
the water front to the south are to be complete-
ly 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
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 de-
velopment 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 pro-
vision 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 neces-
sary 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 traf-
fic can be handled in the new yard at Secaucus.
The number of piers was thus limited from the
shore 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 develop-
ment 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 con-
struction offers no obstruction to the flow of the
tide and makes a fireproof footing for the super-

At the outer end of the floored-over area, be-
tween 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

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 100 x 600 ft. in
plan, and will carry a 6oxs8o-ft. one-story heavy
timber shed covered with corrugated iron. West-
bound 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 120 x 600 ft. in
plan and will carry an 80 x 580-ft. shed with two
tracks on one side. The following pier will be
120 x 600 ft. will carry an 8oxs8o-ft. warehouse,
three stories high. The last pier will be 130 x 600
ft. and will also carry a three-story warehouse,
90 x 580 ft. in plan. It is also the intention to
build a grain transfer elevator on the south side
of the bend in the canal. A single track will then
be carried on the same side to the end of the 145-
ft. wide portion.
The new arrangement of piers and slips in-
creases 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

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 direc-
tion 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 Coal Co.
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad
Lackawanna Terminal
Hudson River
Caption pg 28
Imagefile 089\20110050087-2.TIF
Classification Railroads
Business & Commerce
Business & Commerce