Will the PATH (NJ->Manhattan) shut down if there's too much snow?
February 13, 2014 6:49 AM   Subscribe

One of my coworkers said that the PATH will shut down if the snow accumulates past the height of the 3rd rail. But the line is underground (except outside where there are wires above head-height handling the charge) - could that actually happen. Has the PATH ever been shut down due to snow accumulation before?
posted by ch3cooh to Travel & Transportation around New Jersey (6 answers total)
The PATH trains do NOT use overhead catenary wires. They use a third rail even when they're outside.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:04 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I haven't independently verified this but my coworker lives in Jersey City and as little as a few weeks ago he said the interstate trains were suspended due to snow and he couldn't get home to NJ.
posted by telegraph at 7:07 AM on February 13, 2014

Just to stress the point: the PATH runs overground from Journal Square to Newark, so there is a long overground stretch. It isn't NJ Transit however, (which I think is what telegraph is referring to) which was indeed suspended last week due to ice (as was Amtrak but for less time.)

A bit of anecdata: I take both PATH and Amtrak regularly and PATH was running perfectly well during last week's snow and ice. Amtrak got up and running again fairly well (at least going south from NYC) but NJ Transit is the one that gets snarled. I know that's only a partial answer to your question, but there it is.
posted by ob at 7:27 AM on February 13, 2014

And I now see that PATH is currently suspended from NWK-WTC, but that might just be a temporary thing. Still, that's the line that will get stuck for the reason I outlined above.
posted by ob at 7:29 AM on February 13, 2014

I've been commuting to NYC from Jersey City since 1999 - other than the Hurricane Sandy flooding, I can't recall a time where snow caused a complete PATH system shutdown (the NJ Transit system trains/light rail is a whole other animal, snow can definitely cause that to shut down.)

Since only the Newark-to-Journal Square leg of the run is above ground, that's the only part they have to keep cleared, and I've always assumed that some of the snow gets moved/melted by the train itself.

I expect that the schedule will get out of whack today from signal failures & whatnot, and they will periodically halt service on one line or another, but I'm not actually worried about being stranded on the wrong side of the river now that I'm here at my NYC work-desk.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:38 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this shut down is temporary. Like you say, Sandy was the outlier, PATH is solid.
posted by ob at 7:47 AM on February 13, 2014

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