OLDNYC.COM--> Virtual Tour --> High Line --> W 34th Street to W 49th Street Picture Gallery #2

The West 49th Street overpass looms in the background.  One can see how the cut slices through the west side of Manhattan.



Under the 49th Street overpass, a three track configuration is present.  The track located to the right is used as a lay-up track.  The middle track is used as the southbound track, and the left track is used as the northbound track.



Some of the buildings along the cut are built on top of the solid rock that reside underneath the building's foundation.  Vegetation grows on the surface of the rocks during he spring and summer.



The rock makes a nice retaining wall for the cut as the cut approaches another overpass.  One can barley see the snow covered tracks, located adjacent to the rock wall.



At 49th Street, the underpass for the street begins and following that, the ROW passes under several apartment buildings.  The line will continue to go under apartment buildings, then peek through the cut to see daylight, and then pass under more apartment buildings as it makes it's way up the West Side to Riverside Park.  At Riverside Park, the ROW goes in to a tunnel that was built using cut-and-cover engineering methodologies.  Once the ROW makes it's way through Riverside Park and Washington Heights, the ROW emerges to the surface to continue the rest of the journey up Manhattan Island, through the neighborhood of Inwood, across the Harlem River via a swing bridge, and on to the mainland of New York State.  It's truly a fascinating railroad right of way!



My Thoughts about the High Line:

The High Line poses an interesting challenge to Urban Planners, businesses, residents, and special interest groups alike.  There are basically a couple of plans that could determine the fate of the High Line.  Some plans are realistic, and some stem from my imagination.  They are, in no particular rank of importance:

Raze the High Line

    * Pros:

    * Cons: Leave the High Line as is by making it a landmark, and turning it over to the City

     * Pros:

    * Cons: Leave the High Line alone and let it decay

    * Pros:

    * Cons: Convert the High Line in to a greenway or pedestrian walkway via the rails-to-trails program

    * Pros:

    * Cons: Convert the High Line to a limited access parkway

    * Pros:

    * Cons: Reestablish the High Line as a freight railroad line

    * Pros:

    * Cons: Convert the High Line to a light rail line

    * Pros:

    * Cons: Integrate the High Line in to the New York City Subway system ** My choice! **

    * Pros:

    * Cons: OldNYC.com contributor James Guthrie has some other ideas for the High Line's future: "For the future,  how about going ahead with the 42nd Street LRT project, extending it to Javits Center and the Stadium site -- then on south to Chelsea Piers via the Elevated Line? Or -- more storage for LIRR trains by extending tracks up and around the loop to at least the Post Office.  At the same time, New Jersey Transit should have its New York yard moved from Sunnyside, Queens to the 6-track portion of the line for 72nd Street on south, getting their trains out of the East River Tunnels and making room for more LIRR trains; at the same time, the additional LIRR capacity gets rid of their deadheads, so the capacity of Penn Station is increased by 1/3 without building new tunnels.  Even the North River Tunnels could be one way for awhile in the AM and PM commission hours -- bringing 45-60 trains an hour into Manhattan (depending on the signaling and other factors)."

Epilogue:

Thanks for taking the virtual tour of the High Line on OldNYC.com!  I hope you enjoyed your journey.  Check back at OldNYC.com from time to time to participate in new virtual tours, and view updated commentary and pictures of OldNYC.com's current virtual tours.

References and Links:

Read about The Henry Hudson Parkway and the West Side Improvement project, as well as the Westside Highway and Westway Expressway on Steve Anderson's excellent nycroads.com web site.

The Village Voice article, One Track Mind, Chelsea Group Wants to Save an Abandoned Rail Line, by J.A. Lobbia, January 2nd, Towers & Tenements Section, is available on the web.

The New York Times, Which Track for the High Line?, by David W. Dunlap, December 31, Real Estate Section.
 

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