Manuscript Group 872, Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Corporation Records, 1902 – 1962

 

New
Jersey Historical Society Library

 

Manuscript
Collection

 

 

 

Manuscript
Group # 872

 

Hudson
and Manhattan Railroad Corporation

 

Records,
1902 – 1962

 

28
linear feet

 

 

 

 

Updated by Steve
Sullivan

 

March 2000

 

 

Scope and Content
Notes:

 

 

The Hudson and
Manhattan Railroad Records collection contains general
correspondence, annual reports, inventories, ledgers, daily
station reports, photographs and drawings, and spans the years
1902-1962.   These records also contain records of the
Hudson Rapid Transit Corporation until its merger in 1962 with
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  A copy of a
typed, item level description is available in the data file.
It has not been reproduced here due to length.

 

 

 

 

 

Organizational
History:

 

 

 

The Hudson and
Manhattan Railroad, presently the Port Authority, was an
electrically operated passenger railroad serving the Borough of
Manhattan, New York and also the New Jersey cities of Jersey
City, Hoboken, Harrison and Newark.

 

 

In 1906 the Hudson
and Manhattan grew out of a merger between the Hudson Companies
and four other railroad corporations: The New York and Jersey
Railroad Company; Hoboken and Manhattan Railroad Company; Hudson
and Manhattan Railroad Company, Hudson and Manhattan Railroad
Company Number One.  The Hudson companies were to provide
each of the above companies with a completed segment of the
railroad to be paid for in the securities of the railroad
corporations.  Following this, the four railroad
corporations were consolidated into the Hudson and Manhattan
Railroad Corporation, which survived until the reorganization
which became effective January 1, 1962.  By the end of 1906
all of the franchises and property rights were owned by the
Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Corporation, and the Hudson
companies held the contracts for the construction and equipping
of the railroad and office buildings.

 

 

Construction of the
Hudson Tunnels was started in 1878 and the project was abandoned
in 1880 after about 1,200 feet of tunnel had been built.  In
1890 an English company resumed the work and after adding 1,800
feet of brick and masonary tunnel, they too failed.  The
project was revived in 1902 by William G. McAdoo and the first
uptown tunnels were opened the following year.  The railroad
began operation of its various sections between the dates of
February 1908 and September 1910; extending its operation in 1911
to Manhattan Transfer and in 1937 to Market Street in beautiful,
downtown Newark.

 

 

At the time of its
cour ordered reorganization in 1956 the Hudson and manhattan had
two terminals in Manhattan: the Hudson Terminal located at 30-50
Church Street and the 33rd Street Terminal at 33rd Street and 6th
Avenue.  The railroad owned approximately 7.9 miles of
double track main line railroad, all of which consisted of
underground or under river tunnels.  It had  also
leased from the Pennsylvania Railroad approximately .6 mile of
double track lkine from Penn Station, Newark to the west end of
its tunnels.  Transfer connections were provided with the
Pennsylvania and Earie Railroad in Jersey City, with the Delaware
and Lackawanna Railroad in Hoboken, with the New York subway
system at Hudson Terminal as well as along 6th Avenue at 14th
Street, 23rd Street, and 33rd Street.  There were also
stations at Christopher Street and 9th Street on the 33rd Street
branch.

 

 

The Hudson and
Manhattan had four single track tubes under the Hudson River,
each approximately 6,000 feet long.  The tubes crossed the
river from Exchange Place in Jersey City, connection with the
Hudson Terminal on the east and extending to Journal Square on
the west.  The other two tubes crossed the river at Hoboken
to Christopher Street, Manhattan, connecting with tunnels
northeasterly and northerly to 33rd Street and 6thg Avenue.
The railroad connected at Journal Square in Jersey City with the
Pennsylvania Main Line near Newark.  The Hudson and
Manhattan and the Pennsylvania Railroad operated a joint
passenger service between Newark and Journal Square over this
line and thence via Hudson and Manhattan tunnels to Hudson
Terminal  The cars used in this service were jointly owned
ny the two railroads.  The Pennsylvania Railroad also
operated its own service between Newark and Jersey City over its
own track.  At the Pennsylvania Railroad Jersey City
terminal, Pennsylvania Railroad passengers could transfer to and
from the Hudson and Manhattan at Exchange Place Station in Jersey
City.

 

 

There are a number of
reasons for the decline of the H&M between 1908 and 1954 when
the company was declared bankrupt.  Bankruptcy and the
reorganization proceeding resulted from the fact that the H&M
would obviously be unable to meet its obligations of over $60
million on its bonds upon their maturity on February 1, 1957.
Some of the more important factors contributing to this condition
as indicated by the court appointed trustee were the following:

 

 

 

1.
The over capitalization of the H&M at the time of the
original 1906 merger.  The funded

 

debt
was excessive in relation to the company’s physical
properties.

 
2.  Failure to replace or rehabilitate worn out or
inefficient rolling stock and other equipment

 

although
funds had been set aside for this purpose.

 

3.
The sharp decline in passenger traffic, an experience similar to
all commuter railroads at

 

the
time, from 113, 142,000 riders in 1927 to 31,400.000 in 1959.

 

4.
Tremendous increases in operating costs, particularly labor costs
coupled with the inability to retain traffic and thereby increase
revenues under fare increases.

 

5.
State and local taxes amounting to nearly $1 million a year.

 

6.
Failure to modernize the Hudson Terminal Buildings.  This
prevented the H&M from obtaining higher rentals for its
office space.

 

 

At the time the
reorganization petition was filed in 1954, the H&M’s
funded debt was over $46 million.  All of which was due
February 1, 1957.  Upon the filing of the petition in 1954,
the court acquired exclusive jurisdiction of the debtor railroad
and all its property.  Mr. Herman T. Stichman, the Trustee
appointed by the court in the reorganization proceeding,
submitted a proposed plan of reorganization on August 11, 1960
and by the court on April 21, 1960.

 

 

The Hudson Rapid
Tubes Corporation was established as a result of the
reorganization in Bankruptcy of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad
Corporation and took over all of the railway properties formerly
held by the latter company at January 1, 1962.  It was owned
entirely by the Hudson and Manhattan corporation which took over
the Hudson Terminal buildings and other real estate buildings of
the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Corporation.  The Hudson
Rapid Tubes Corporation subsequently merged with the Port of New
Jersey and the Port of New York to form the Port Authority
Trans-Hudson Corporation.

 

 

Provenance:

 

 

The Hudson and
Manhattan Railroad Corporation Records collection was donated to
the Society as a gift from the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad
Corporation in1972.

 

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