Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,062 pages of information and 218,544 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Hudson and Manhattan Railroad

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of New York

In 1873 Col. D. C. Haskins conceived the idea of linking New Jersey and Manhattan Island by an underground railway. He thought that tunelling under the Hudson River could be accomplished without shields, using compressed air. Work started in 1880, but a disastrous blowout resulted in the drowning of 20 men. Work continued with various setbacks until 1887, when it was abandoned when the money ran out. Haskins recommenced work after obtaining British financial backing, but the backers failed in 1890.

In 1901 William Gibbs McAdoo was inspired to take on the project, and in 1902, with financial backing form Harvey Fisk & Sons, work was recommenced with the establishment of New York and Jersey Tunnel Co., who would be responsible for construction. The system would be taken over by the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad. The two tunnels, north and south were completed and the system officially opened in 1908.

The Chief Engineer was Charles M. Jacobs, with John Vipond Davies as his deputy, both from Britain.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Hoboken Historical Museum: Online 46 page pdf: 'The Hudson and Manhattan Tunnels in Picture and Story' published in 1908 by the American Photographic Co.
  • 'Engineering Wonders of the World' ed. Archibald Williams, Thomas Nelson & Sons