Chapter 05: Tunnels: Hudson River Tunnels...

From nycsubway.org

Rapid Transit in New York City and in the Other Great Cities · Chamber of Commerce, 1906

The North River Problem. Greater problems than those involved in the making of an easy way across from Manhattan Island to Brooklyn were involved in the proposition to provide transit facilities to the section of New Jersey opposite New York City. The Hudson is a full mile wide. Up and down the river vessels of all sorts are constantly plying. They must have an unobstructed passage, not only at the center of the stream, but at all points between the banks. From time to time proposals were advanced to build a bridge over the river. To this moment no individual or interest has made progress in that direction. Ferryboats are still carrying passengers and teams over it. Freight is transported largely in cars placed on floats and towed by steam vessels. Some barges, large enough to take on board passenger coaches, are used to facilitate transit with New England connections.

D. C. Haskin. In 1871 an individual who was neither a citizen of New York nor connected with the business of New York; who was not even an engineer, although he had been concerned in railroad construction, conceived the idea of making a tunnel under the river. He had come from the Pacific coast via Omaha, and had seen there work going on building piers for a great railroad bridge over the Missouri. This was done by setting up iron cylinders at points suitable for piers. In order to sink these to bedrock they were so made that compressed air could be pumped into them, and workmen and materials could be taken into them through so-called air locks at the top. The water having been driven out at the bottom by air pressure, the men were able to remove earth, and drop the cylinders by degrees until rock was reached. The structure was then filled with concrete masonry, and sure foundations provided for the superstructure.

Pneumatic Tunneling. Seeing this work, this man of engineering turn and enterprise, of long foresight and undaunted courage, conceived the idea that the iron cylinders, fitted with air locks, could be placed horizontally, starting out below water-level from a shaft provided for the purpose; that the earth could be excavated in front, the compressed air providing a safe place for the workmen; that successive rings of iron could be added to the cylinder, and so a tunnel constructed from shore to shore of any river or arm of the sea. Having reached his conception he cast about for a place of importance to begin work, and very naturally decided that the best location would be under the Hudson at New York. He did not live to see his great project completed; but it may be doubted whether the actual fact would have added to the certitude of his mind. He was one of those men whose faith in their ideas, wild though they may seem to others, is absolute.

So while the work of sinking the piers for the Brooklyn bridge was under way, and no step had yet been taken to string cables across the East River, he set to work to solve the problem of transit to New Jersey on a different and more venturesome line, declaring to his friends that tunnels, not bridges, were practical, and that in the long run the world would so decide. And so convinced was he of the merit of his proposed enterprise that he would not seek state or municipal aid, or the aid of the great railroads centering in Jersey City, but would do it all himself, out of his own means and the means of friends who might have faith in the enormous values he proposed to create. It is almost unnecessary to say that he died in poverty. He was blind in his latter days, yet his courage never failed. To the end he believed that he had pointed the way, shown others how a great work should be done, and that he would be called a great benefactor long after his critics were forgotten.

Natural Conditions. The originality of Mr. Haskin's plan was not more conspicuous than its extreme simplicity. The silt forming the bed of the Hudson is a deposit due to the washing away of the rocks of the upper river. When dry it is an impalpable powder, and when saturated with water it is as difficult to control as any waterbearing sand. But between these two conditions, that of extreme dryness and wetness, is a stage in which the silt assumes almost the consistency and characteristics of clay. When carrying a certain of degree of moisture, it will stand up like clay, and may be handled in the same way. This fact was taken advantage of, and because of it the first part of the work was done successfully. The scheme was to maintain within the heading an air pressure as nearly equal as possible to the hydrostatic head. In this way it was thought that the silt, having just the right amount of moisture, would form a barrier or partition that would effectually prevent the entrance of water and permit the heading to be worked. The result proved the soundness of this reasoning. The heading was advanced without support of any description and the tunnel advanced without resort to timbering.

Work Started. In November, 1874, work was begun by sinking a shaft on the New Jersey side 83 feet back from the bulkhead wall. This shaft was circular in plan, 30 feet inside and 38 feet outside diameter, the brickwork being 4 feet thick at the bottom and 2.5 feet at the top. The bottom of the shaft was sunk to a depth of 54 feet below mean high water. Upon each of the east and west sides was built a false piece, 26 feet wide by 24 feet high, having an elliptical form, and which was finally to be removed to permit the passage of the tunnel. In the east side of the shaft, above the false piece, was an opening to receive an air-lock. The lock was 6 feet in diameter by 15 feet in length, and was provided with a door in each end in the usual manner. The so-called temporary entrance was then begun. This consisted of a series of 11 rings, formed of plates 2 feet wide. Each ring was 18 inches larger than the one preceding it and the largest was 20 feet in diameter. As the tops of these rings were in the same horizontal line, their bottoms formed steps leading up to the lock, the chamber forming a cone having its upper side at right angles to the diameter. From the base of this cone two tunnels were started, it having been decided to build two parallel single-track tunnels instead of one large one.

Method of Operating. The north tunnel was first begun. As the largest ring of the chamber was not large enough to embrace both tunnels, it was necessary to extend the sides and inverts beyond the ring. Plate by plate an iron ring or shell was built, of a size equal to the exterior of the north tunnel, and brickwork was laid in this 2 feet thick. The regular work of tunnel building was then begun. Silt was removed until the top center plate of a new ring could be put in and bolted to the one behind. Then a plate was inserted at each side and bolted to the center plate and to the ring already in place. When four rings of plates hod been put in and braced, the heading was cleaned out and the masonry laid, thus completing a section of 10 feet. The plates were of 1/4-inch boiler iron 2-1/2 feet wide by 3-1/2 feet long, and were flanged with angle iron on the four sides. The heading was cut into steps, upon which the men stood while shoveling, and was entirely exposed, no attempt being made to sheath any part of it. The air pressure was kept about equal to the hydrostatic head, and increased from 18 pounds at first to 36 at a distance of 1,800 feet from the shaft. The tunnel was 16 feet wide by 18 feet high inside.

Air Pressure. Early in the work it was found that no fixed rule could be adopted to govern the pressure of air, and that a pressure that served well one day would not be suitable the next. This was due to two causes. The excavated chamber, ready for the masonry, was about 23 feet in diameter, and the difference in water pressure between the top and bottom was, therefore, about 11 pounds per square inch. This was a disadvantage, and, in combination with the constantly changing nature of the material passed through, rendered it difficult to decide upon the air pressure that should be carried. Experience soon showed that a little less than the hydrostatic pressure at the axis of the tunnel was the most desirable under ordinary conditions. Even under these circumstances air would escape at the roof while water was weeping through at the bottom. It was more desirable to keep the silt at the top in perfect condition than at the bottom, for the reason that an excessive air pressure meant the forcing out of the water at the crown, thereby drying the silt and causing it to fall in lumps sometimes of considerable size. This was more to be dreaded than the weeping in of water at the invert, since the falling of a mass from the roof might open a pocket that would permit the air to rush out in such volume as to cause flooding. Leaks in the crown and top sides were detected by passing a candle over the surface, the flame being blown into a hole by the escaping air; larger openings could be detected by the sound of the outrushing air. Wet silt applied to the spot in right quantity remedied the trouble.

Removing Temporary Entrance. After the north tunnel had been finished to a distance of over a quarter of a mile the south one was started, and after this had been advanced some distance the two headings were closed with timber bulkheads, and the work of removing the temporary entrance was started. This entrance had been built through made ground, mostly of cinders, which had been disturbed by the sinking of the shaft and had given trouble during the placing of the air-lock by flowing down the side of the shaft. The first operations were directed toward the removal of the last or largest ring. The two plates adjoining the center one were taken down and the silt dug out, so that when the plates were re-inserted they were on the curve to be formed for the new work, the object being to construct a bridle, as it were, to cover both tunnels with one span or arch and leave a large chamber. This became known as the "working" chamber. In this way four rings were removed and the masonry built, after which the plates in the roof of the remaining rings were taken down, their place being supplied by the hood forming the crown of the new work. This hood reached from the completed work to the shaft, which it joined 3 feet above the lock, and then extended down each side and against the shaft as close as it could be fitted.

Accident. On the morning of July 21, 1880, a blow-out occurred at this point, the air escaping up along the side of the shaft. The falling earth and plates so wedged the inner lock door that it could not be opened to allow the men to escape and 20 were drowned. At the inquest that followed, the engineers employed upon the tunnel were vastly relieved when Mr. Haskin stated that he, and he alone, was responsible for the plans and for their execution. The accident itself injured the undertaking from a financial standpoint.

After the accident the tunnel was re-opened by means of a caisson that was sunk within a cofferdam, the latter being employed to confine the loose material. The caisson was 41.5 by 24 feet 10 inches. After it had reached the proper level it was united with the tunnels and shaft, and the interior lined with masonry. The work was now the same as before the accident, with the exception that the temporary entrance had been replaced by a substantial chamber of brick, and additional facilities had been made for entering the work.

Pilot. When building the tunnel proper it was found that the shell was at times forced out of line by the weight of silt resting upon it, making it difficult to maintain an accurate grade. The difficulty was overcome by the introduction of a "pilot." This was a tube of boiler iron, 6 feet in diameter and of a length sufficient to project a few feet into the undisturbed silt of the heading and also a few feet into the completed work. It thus formed a rigid hub, supported at each end, from which, as a foundation, braces radiated to support the plates. The pilot was built of flanged plates, all of the same size, so that those at the near end could be taken down and carried forward as the work advanced.

Properties of Silt. In view of the fact that other tunnels are building or to be built across the Hudson, it may not be amiss to dwell briefly upon some of the peculiar characteristics of the silt which forms the bed of the river. When it carries the proper degree of moisture it forms a compact, dense, tenacious mass, having such cohesion that it retains a given shape for an extended period of time. In this state it may be handled much as ordinary putty. It is not dirty, in the usual sense of that word; a little water quickly relieves the hands of its presence, and the flesh has a soft, almost oily, feeling afterward. Its most important feature in relation to tunneling operations, and one directly the outcome of its cohesiveness when of the proper degree of saturation, is that both air and water pass through it very slowly. When well mixed with a sufficient volume of water, it flows as freely as quicksand and is much more troublesome to control. It was found impossible to force the hand, either clenched or open, to any considerable depth into the exposed silt at the heading. The steps cut in the face of the heading retained their sharp outlines quite long enough to permit the placing of plates in the upper portion of a ring and excavating a new series of steps. It is impossible for an air pocket to remain in moist silt, because the gradually closing silt is bound to force the air out. These properties of silt make it a most reliable material through which to build a tunnel, since, once constructed, it may be safely assumed that the structure will remain in place indefinitely. Piles may be driven to almost any depth in silt, provided the blows are rapidly delivered and that the operation is continuous; and again if a pile be sunk too far it may be drawn up to the desired level, where it will remain firmly planted after the silt has had time to settle around it. Constant and uniform pressure has little or no effect upon this material, but a shock or jar disturbs it and partially or wholly destroys its grip. It was for this reason principally that the engineers of the Pennsylvania Tunnels decided to anchor the tubes by means of screw piles, as they feared the disturbing effects of heavy trains.

Starting New York End. The shaft method of reaching grade, as adopted at the western end, had proved costly and troublesome, and therefore the chief engineer of the work at this time, S. H. Finch, decided to start the tunnels at the New York end by means of a timber caisson, which measured 48 by 29.5 feet in plan. When the caisson had been sunk to a depth of 56 feet below mean high water it was almost wholly embedded in sand. Holes were bored through the west side of the caisson on the line of the outside of the tunnels. After the circle of holes had been nearly finished the upper part was cut out and a roof plate put in and held by braces. Others were inserted at the sides and in advance of this, until, at a distance of 12 feet from the caisson, a bulkhead of iron plates was started at the top and built down. In building the next section the same method was pursued, but the plates of the first bulkhead were always kept at a higher level than the bottom of those in advance, in order to prevent the entrance of water. As soon as it had been lined with iron the section was cleaned out and the brickwork laid. An idea of how this job was viewed by the technical press may be formed by the following extract, which was published after the tunnels had been carried forward some distance:

Tunneling Through Sand. "The fact that the caisson was embedded in sand led to the belief, among many engineers of high standing, that an outlet could not be obtained and the tunnel started by the system of working by compressed air. It has become unsafe to pronounce an unfavorable opinion in regard to any particular piece of work connected with the tunnel. In more than one instance obstacles which seemed to present an insurmountable barrier to all future progress have been met and conquered, and the work has gone forward. New devices and plans have kept pace with new difficulties. At a first glance the sand above mentioned seemed to contain all the characteristics requisite for a first-class insurmountable obstacle. Upon the least reduction of the air-pressure this material would follow the -water into the caisson; the smallest opening afforded a ready passage. The water and sand could be kept quiet as far down as the air-pressure was carried, and no farther; and if a trench were dug the upward pressure, due to the difference between the air-pressure and head of water, or depth of excavation, would fill the trench with sand and water faster than it could be taken out, and the adjacent material would be in no better condition than at first."

This was the first and has remained the only instance of the building of a sub-aqueous tunnel through sand and gravel without the aid of a shield. It is safe to predict that it will never again be attempted, but as a specimen of what can be accomplished under the most discouraging surroundings it deserves record.

English Contractors. In 1888 the firm of S. Pearson & Son, of England, assumed the contract, with Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker, who had just finished the Forth Bridge, the greatest cantilever ever erected, as consulting engineers. The plans were immediately changed and the shield method substituted. The next most important change made was the use of heavy cast-iron plates in place of masonry. The light boiler plates used in the early work were never considered as being an integral and permanent part of the cylinder; they only served to keep the silt out until the masonry had been laid, after which their existence was a matter of no moment. Lack of funds forced the stoppage of work, and, although spasmodic attempts were made from time to time to resume operations, nothing of a serious nature was done until the early part of 1902.

New Company in Control; Change of Plan. The New York & New Jersey Railroad Company acquired the franchise and property of the old company in that year. The north tunnel has been opened from shore to shore and operations have been begun on the approaches. The plates in the south tunnel, which had been reduced in diameter to 15 feet 3 inches, were 6.5 feet long, 3 feet wide, 1-7-16 inches thick, 8 inches deep through the webs, and had flanges 1.5 inches thick. The sides of each plate were accurately faced, the long ones being in a plane at right angles with the axis of the tunnel and the short ones on a radius, so that they fitted together with great nicety. With these plates it was impossible to distort the circular section of the tunnel, and with the shield it was easy to follow the exact grade and alignment. The change in diameter was decided upon because the large size is not necessary for trolley service. The original plan was to use the tunnel for regular railway service. The same plan would have been adopted with the north tunnel but for the fact that the heading, when the present management assumed control, was at the lowest point below the surface of the river, and had but a few feet of silt overhead. Under these circumstances it was not thought expedient to make the change. The general method of working does not differ from that usually followed, and therefore needs no special description.

The charter of the company made no provision for connecting tunnels or roadways within the city. Application was made to the Rapid Transit Commission for authority to cross the city to Fourth avenue, and also by Sixth avenue to Thirty-third street. These applications were granted.

Franchise by Rapid Transit Commission. Beginning when these extensions shall have been finished, and ending in twenty-five years from the completion of the railroad under the Hudson, the company is to pay 50 cents per linear foot of single track and of station platform for the first 15 years, and $1 per annum per linear foot during the next 15 years. A further annual sum is to be paid of 3 per cent. of the gross receipts for the first 10 years and 5 per cent. afterward. The gross receipts are estimated by agreement at $300,000 a year for the first 10 years. After that the gross receipts are to be determined upon the basis of the information then available as to actual traffic returns, and fixed by agreement or by arbitration.

Rentals. The rental payable to the city, in accordance with the statute, is to be readjusted at the end of the period of 25 years above mentioned, and thereafter at intervals of 25 years. If the city and the company shall not agree upon the rates at the time of such readjustment, they are to be determined by the Supreme Court of this State.

The tunnel entrances are to be constructed entirely through private property, unless the Board shall approve of an exit or exits situated within the streets; this will do away with the use of kiosks in the streets. An important clause in the franchise is the following:

Cost. "As soon as the railroad is completed, the Tunnel Company is to file with the Board a statement of the cost of construction of the portions which the city has the right to acquire; and if those statements are disapproved by the Board, the whole subject of cost is to be submitted to arbitration forthwith. In this manner the actual cost of construction will be determined at the time, instead of being left to be determined under great difficulties many years afterwards."

The franchise contains provisions regarding the disposition of gas, water pipes, sewers and the like. The Tunnel Company agrees not to interfere with the construction of any rapid transit or street railroad over, along or under any portion of the streets occupied by it, provided they do not actually interfere with its structure.

Operating Company Formed. In January of the present year the Hudson Company was incorporated, with a capital of $21,000,000, to take over and eventually operate the tunnels now under construction under the Hudson. These comprise the tunnel just described, and one to be built from Church and Cortlandt Streets in New York to Exchange Place in Jersey City, and by tunnel under Jersey City and Hoboken, with the depots of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, Erie, Pennsylvania and Jersey Central Railroads.

Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Tunnel

This is the line to be built from Cortlandt street, New York, to Jersey City, referred to above. The franchise granted by the Rapid Transit Commission provides for the construction of two tracks under Cortlandt street, to Church, to Fulton and thence to the State boundary line in the Hudson. Provision is also made for a subway for foot passengers from Church street station under Dey street and Broadway to John street to connect with the present subway. The payments by the company to the city for the first 25 years are as follows:

Terms of Franchise. "A charge of $100 per annum for the right to enter the city, including the approaches from the west to the pier line. A charge for the right within the pier line, and for the underground portions of streets, and for the passenger subway under Dey street and Broadway, at the rate of 50 cents per linear foot of single track or subway per annum for the first 10 years, and $1 per annum per linear foot during the next 15 years. A charge for the underground portions of Cortlandt, Dey and Fulton streets near the terminal station, and where the company's tunnel construction comes within 16 feet 8 inches of the surface, at the rate of 40 cents per superficial square foot per annum for the first 10 years, and 80 cents per annum per superficial square foot for the next 15 years. A further annual sum for tunnel rights under the street of 3 per cent. of the gross receipts of the New York portion of the railroad for 10 years, and 5 per cent. for the next 15 years. Such gross receipts are fixed for the first 25 years at $300,000 per annum, whether in fact such gross receipts shall be more or less."

The franchise is granted in perpetuity. In regard to this the Committee of the Board on Contracts said:

Readjustment. "The tunnel authorized by this franchise, at the west, ends at the boundary line between the States of New York and New Jersey; and from that line west the tunnel must be continued under the authority of the State of New Jersey. It is obvious that the New York grant is susceptible of use only in connection with the New Jersey part of the tunnel under the Hudson River. If the New York grant were limited, then at the end of the limited term the grant would be of no use or advantage to the city. A readjustment of rental charges at 25 year intervals will, in cases like this, give the city all the practical advantages of a limitation of the life of the grant."

The tunnels along the water front of Jersey City connecting the railroad depots will be two-track, as will also be the tunnels in New York, while the river will be crossed in each case by twin tunnels. The Hudson Companies are working in harmony with the railroads and with the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey, which controls the surface transportation facilities of Jersey City, Newark and other districts.

Pennsylvania Railroad Tunnels

Of more importance than the original enterprise of Mr. Haskin, extended as it has been by the company that now holds the franchise, is the great work being pressed forward by the Pennsylvania Railroad in order to provide terminals in the heart of New York City, and make connections with other systems.

Route of Tunnel. Its new roadway, devised for this purpose, will leave the main line a short distance east of Newark, N.J., and pass across the Hackensack Meadows to the west face of Bergen Hill. From this point the road will be entirely in tunnel under Bergen Hill, the North River, the Island of Manhattan, and the East River, reaching the surface about a mile east of the latter in Long Island City. The road will be double-tracked across the Meadows, and will pass under the North River in two parallel, single-track tunnels. These will be spaced 37 feet between centers, and at intervals of 300 feet will be connected by passageways that will ordinarily be closed by doors to prevent the air passing from one tunnel to the other. Under Manhattan Island the tubular construction will cease, and the two tracks will diverge into two tunnels, with three tracks each-- the main line and two sidings. These large tunnels will extend for about 1,000 feet, when they will unite into a four-track, single-arch tunnel, extending for a distance of 605 feet to the western end of a station or depot. The station will be 260 feet wide from Tenth to Ninth avenues, on the line of Thirty-second and Thirty-third streets; then about 560 feet wide to Seventh avenue. Its area will be about 27 acres, and it will contain about 16 miles of track. The lower level of the station will be devoted to the tracks; an intermediate level will contain waiting and baggage rooms, ticket offices, etc.

Eastern Division; Connections. The eastern division, beginning at Seventh avenue, will comprise two lines of triple-track arched tunnels, one underneath Thirty-second and the other underneath Thirty-third street. These will be continued for 1,600 feet, when each set of three tracks will unite into a double-track arched tunnel for a distance of 2,400 feet. The East River will be crossed by four single-track tubes, coming to the surface at Thompson avenue, Long Island City. At this point there will be a terminal yard, where cars will be stored, and where the motive power will be changed to electricity or steam, according to the direction in which the train is traveling. Electric power only will be used in the tunnels. Connection will be made from this yard, by bridge and railroad, with the Long Island system and, via Hell Gate, with the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad on the north shore of Long Island Sound. A large freight terminal is being built at Greenville, N.J., from which cars will be transferred to Bay Ridge, L.I., and will then be taken to the Hell Gate Bridge by means of a connecting railroad. The total length of railway to be constructed in New York is 4.2 miles; and the total length of main track, exclusive of side tracks or track in the station, will be 22.6 miles. The distance from the surface of the ground at Twelfth avenue to the base of the rail will be 65 feet, and at Fifth avenue 75 feet.

Fourth Avenue Station. The franchise provides also for a station at Fourth avenue and Thirty-third street, but this does "not include any right to connect at this point the tracks of the railway of the tunnel company with the tracks of any other railroad, for the continuous operation of trains over such tracks of the tunnel company and of any other railroad."

The undertaking is divided into two parts, and is being carried forward by two distinct companies. That portion lying in New Jersey, west of the State boundary line, which is about midway of the North River, is being built by the Pennsylvania, New Jersey & New York Railroad, while that portion east of the boundary and lying in New York is being constructed by the Pennsylvania, New York & Long Island Railroad. The eastern section is under the direction of Alfred Noble and the western under Charles M. Jacobs, chief engineers.

Cast-Iron Screw Piles. The sub-aqueous portions of the work are being built by means of shields in the usual manner. All of the tunnels under the two rivers will be lined with cast-iron plates. In the North River tunnels a novel engineering feature has been introduced. The silt forming the bed is sufficiently firm to preserve the tunnel in perfect alignment, but it was thought that if the heavy motors are allowed to bear directly upon the shell their weight, and particularly the shock due to movement, may produce settlements, or set up stresses, that would result in fracture and consequent leakage. This difficulty will be overcome by the introduction of cast-iron piles placed beneath the center of the inverts, at every 15 feet, and extended, if necessary, to a depth of I50 feet. The tops of the piles are to be filled with concrete to a depth of 15 feet. The load will be distributed by a system of stringers capping the piles and carrying the rails. Should there be any movement of the piles, under the loads carried, it will not affect the tubes, which will serve their proper purpose as enveloping casings. After a certain length of shell has been completed it will be bulkheaded, placed under air pressure, and the piles screwed down from the interior. The piles are 27 inches in outside diameter, the screws being cast upon a shell 1.25 inches in thickness, and are made in sections 7 feet long. The screw, formed upon the lowest section, is 4 feet 8 inches in diameter. After one section has been screwed down another will be bolted to it, the process continuing until firm material has been reached. Grout under heavy pressure will be forced around the outside of the shell in both soft material and rock, and each tunnel will be lined with concrete.

Cross-Section. The tunnel is of new design in its cross section. The track is to be laid in a trough slightly greater in width than the widest car, the sides of which extend nearly up to the window sills. Sidewalks will be formed upon each side at the top. Within the sides there will be conduits for telegraph and telephone wires, with high and low tension circuits. By the terms of the franchise the company pays the city $200 a year for the privilege of passing beneath the two rivers. Concerning this requirement, the committee appointed by the Rapid Transit Board to carry on preliminary negotiations with the railroad company said:

Franchise. "The annual payment of $200 for the routes under the North and East Rivers outside of pier head-lines is more than nominal, though it is not important. It may be said in general that. anyone who bridges a navigable river, or tunnels it so as to bring the opposite banks into easy communication without interference with navigation, confers great benefits upon the communities upon both sides of the river. Nevertheless, it is not practicable to certainly forecast the future, and your committee has, therefore, deemed it wise to affirm the principle of compensation, although making the rate for the first period of 25 years so small as not to be a material burden to the Pennsylvania Company."

For passing under the docks and bulkheads the payment is to be $0.50 per annum for the first 10 years and $1 for the next 15 years, for each linear foot of single track. The same rate is required for passing under the streets, with the exception of Thirty-second and Thirty-third streets, between Seventh and Ninth avenues. For the latter privilege the company will pay $14,000 per annum for the first 10 years and $28,000 for the next 15 years.

For the station at Thirty-third street and Fourth avenue the payment will be $14,000 a year for the first 10 and $28,000 for the next 15 years.

For the privilege of its main station the company will pay $36,000 per annum for 25 years, after which the compensation is to be readjusted. These annual payments cease if the company buys, for the sum of $788,600, that portion of Thirty-second street used by it. The franchise allows five years for the completion of the work.

In regard to the rental for the space within pier lines and streets, at so great a depth as not to interfere with underground structures or future rapid transit railroads, the committee said:

Principle Involved. "The Pennsylvania Company claimed, and not without reason, that its enterprise involved a large investment and serious risk; that it would bring enormous advantage to the city; that it would promptly and greatly increase the assessed valuations within a considerable area of the city, from which, in the increase of taxes, the city would derive a large and immediate increase in revenue; that the underground portions of the streets, nowhere approaching within 19 feet of the surface, had no present value; that the city itself made no use of such portions of its streets and might never use them; that, with unimportant exceptions, the city had never derived and may never derive revenue from them; that in foreign cities, and in other American cities, like rights had been accorded without compensation; that, in the city of Washington, the Pennsylvania Company had itself recently received such a right without rental, and that for the very enterprise now proposed the Pennsylvania Company has secured in Jersey City a right without rental. On these and other grounds the Pennsylvania Company claimed that the city ought not to require the payment of rental for the use of such underground portions of streets and dock property."

Franchise Valuable; Rate Law Determined. "Nevertheless, your committee was of the opinion that the franchise sought was in itself very valuable; that, although the enterprise would secure to the city highly important advantages, it was equally true that the advantages were mutual. Heretofore it has been usual in this city, as in other large American cities, to grant free of rental to railroad corporations traversing large sections of the country and which cannot be classed as urban, rights of way, over, on, or under any streets. But conceding that such a liberal policy in the past has benefited cities and helped to build them up with marvelous rapidity, it is also true that the railroad corporations themselves have been benefited in equal, and oftentimes in far greater measure. It would have been better for the cities, and more in consonance with sound policy in dealing with public property, that municipal authorities should have better appreciated the future value of their franchises. Your committee insisted that in this case a departure from the rule heretofore too generally prevailing must be made, and that in fixing the rental it ought to be assumed that, as the franchise was valuable to the company, and as it granted use of city property, the company should pay a fair rental. The committee was without precedent in determining the precise amount, but finally concluded that the best theory to adopt was that of an annual payment for trackage, and to fix the rate at one dollar per foot."

Balance of Values. The report concludes with the following pertinent remarks:

"It is estimated that in the city of New York there are elevated, surface and steam railroads aggregating nearly 1,500 miles of single track. While it is not the purpose of your committee to imply that every mile of them is equal in franchise value to each mile of the Pennsylvania tracks now to be authorized, your committee is decidedly of the opinion that very many miles, and especially those of some of the steam railroads, have now a corresponding franchise value, and that if there had been a reasonable appreciation of the future value of all these railroad franchises (elevated, surface, and steam) by the municipal authorities when they were granted, the city would at the present time enjoy, and in the future continue to enjoy, a fair proportion of the pecuniary benefit which now goes wholly to the railroads; not solely as the result of their operation, but, in very great measure, of the continuous development of the city."

Permanent Control. When this franchise was under consideration, the Pennsylvania Railroad firmly insisted upon the granting of certain privileges which it considered of vital importance to its plans. In building and developing its terminal, and in providing the necessary connections with existing steam railroads, it would spend from $35,000,000 to $50,000,000. The company expected to provide all the needed capital solely from its own resources. In time the business would assume proportions of great magnitude, and the city would be sure to derive its share of the benefits accruing therefrom. The company was, therefore, fixed in its determination to abandon the project if it were not assured of the permanent control of the improvements it was prepared to create. Without a grant in perpetuity the railroad might, at the expiration of its franchise, be deprived of all the results of its work. These considerations led to the changing of the rapid transit act so as to provide for grants of this character.

Amendment to Charter. On March 24, 1902, Mayor Seth Low sent to the Governor a bill entitled, "An act to amend the Greater New York Charter by adding a section in relation to franchises of tunnel corporations, for constructing and operating railroads to connect with other railroads, and form thereby a continuous line between points within and points without the City of New York." The following paragraphs from Mayor Low's memorandum on this bill are interesting:

"While the bill provides that a franchise may be granted in perpetuity for such a purpose, it carefully guards the right of the city to readjust the terms upon which the franchise shall be enjoyed, at intervals of not more than 25 years. The city is thus assured of the periodic opportunity to profit by any increase in the value of the franchise such as time may easily bring. The city is also assured of the right and opportunity to attach such conditions to the grant as public interests may require."

"Under these circumstances, I am of the opinion that a perpetual franchise in such a case may properly be granted; for the city is not deprived of the opportunity to profit by its increase in value. It is only deprived of the opportunity of using the franchise itself at the expiration of a limited grant. Inasmuch as the project in contemplation involves a tunnel under the North River for its completion. which tunnel lies outside of the city's control entirely; and inasmuch as that portion of the enterprise which the city does control is so vital to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company that it cannot afford to enter upon the undertaking except upon the grant of a franchise in perpetuity, I am of the opinion that this is a case in which good judgment justifies an exception to the general rule."

Basic Principle. "In this connection, it may not be amiss if I say that the provisions in the Greater New York Charter of I897, limiting the power to grant franchises to a grant for a term of years, which were the basis of the provisions of the present charter, were inserted at my suggestion, when a member of the first charter commission. It is also interesting to point out that the provision for a periodic opportunity for a readjustment of the terms of any franchises that may be granted, under Section 32 of the Rapid Transit Law, was also inserted at my instance, when I was a member of the Rapid Transit Board. It will not therefore be contended, I am sure, that I have ever been careless of the city's interests in these regards. The basic principle of the ground lease, which I have often urged as a model for the city in its dealings with its franchises, is the opportunity which such a lease affords for a periodic adjustment of the terms between the owner and the lessee. If this privilege is retained, it becomes to a certain extent a matter of discretion as to whether a franchise should be granted in perpetuity or not. I freely admit that I prefer grants for a limited period; but even so good a rule as this may sometimes suffer an exception in the public interest."

Law Enacted. The Governor sent to the Legislature an emergency message in behalf of the immediate enactment of the bill. It became a law; and established beyond question the power of the Board to grant such franchises as that desired by the Pennsylvania Company. This new legislation and the grants to the Pennsylvania and to the New Jersey tunnel companies have tended to establish the policy that, for all transportation purposes, the streets of the city, whether on the surface or below the surface, shall be dealt with in the first instance by the Rapid Transit Commission.

That Commission has consistently and effectively sought to guard against improvident grants of transportation franchises to private corporations. Whether railroad construction and operation be municipal or under control of private corporations, it has held that no railroad use of streets shall obstruct future rapid transit or other profitable use of the streets for transportation purposes; that the city shall receive compensation for the use of streets, and that the terms of such compensation shall be readjusted at reasonably brief intervals. If the Rapid Transit Commission had rendered no other service to the city than to promote and determine this policy, it deserves very high appreciation from the citizens of to-day and those who will come hereafter.

Usefulness. The stupendous work undertaken by the Pennsylvania Railroad will be useful in our city in a remarkable degree. The city will no longer be insular, so far as passenger transportation is concerned. It will have direct communication under the East and North rivers. This will serve greatly the convenience of people who are journeying to or from distant points, and also the convenience of the greater multitudes who go and come from their homes in the country or by the sea.

Future Effects. And this must follow. There are other railways that serve our city. For each of these new conditions will be created by the enterprise of the Pennsylvania people. It would be going far to say that these other systems must emulate in full the enterprise of that great railroad. But certainly they will be stirred to do what they can. And so we may expect more than one system of railway tunnels under the Hudson, and we may expect great improvements in the approaches from the north. Otherwise it will be said in the future that the Pennsylvania Railroad had the courage to provide not only for its own proper traffic, but also in such way as to gather to itself traffic that belongs normally to others-- that in fact it found great opportunities in the failures of rival lines. Some of these other lines command enormous resources. The real traffic of some of them is greater than that of the Pennsylvania. Surely it behooves them to look to the future.

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