An old subway sign points the way to New Jersey

Downtown’s Cortlandt Street R train station has a surprising old New York secret: mosaic tablets telling riders how to get to the Hudson Tubes—one of the early 1900s name for today’s PATH train tunnels.


Until the late 1960s, the Hudson Terminal, which took riders through the Hudson Tubes to points in Hoboken and beyond, was located above ground near Cortlandt Street.

CortlandtstreetsubwaysignHudson Tubes signage still exists in other stations too, like at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street.

There the tiles point the way to the H&M Railroad, for Hudson and Manhattan, the line that used the Hudson Tubes.

It’s a much more illustrious name than PATH, no?

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5 Responses to “An old subway sign points the way to New Jersey”

  1. Ricky Says:

    I moved to Hoboken in 1981 when the Path train was 30¢. But then Hoboken was a much different place than it is today. We “yuppies” were looked on poorly for coming in and paying the very new high prices for an apartment. My roommate and I paid $525 to share our 1 bedroom apartment. I’ve since moved to Manhattan but I’m sure, like the the Path fare, rents are also considerably higher.

  2. Force Tube Avenue Says:

    Buried behind the new tile walls at the Chambers Street station on the 8th Avenue line are reminders of the “Hudson and Manhattan Tubes”. The tiles there used to read “H and M”, with the word “and” emblazoned on a single tile.

    Here’s a link to a photo:

  3. Meredith Hoppin Says:

    I grew up in NJ in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and my father commuted to the city every day, taking the train to Hoboken and then “the tube” (or “the tubes”) into the city. That’s what it was still called. Distinct from either the subway or the train. I don’t know when the nomenclature changed, but not (I think) until the 1970’s or 1980’s.

  4. Two 1930s tile signs point the way in a Bronx subway station | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] still be found on some platforms. Here’s an example at Chambers Street on the West Side, and another at the Cortlandt Street R train stop telling riders where to go to get to the “Hudson Tubes.” And of course, the stop […]

  5. Gary Says:

    Sorry I’m so late with this comment. In the late 50s I commuted to high school via the Tubes (never the tube — the tube is in London). The name got changed to PATH because of the World Trade Center.

    The H&M Tubes had been bankrupt for many years and were kept grudgingly alive by infusions of cash from NY and NJ. But they did have one big asset — the giant site in FiDi where the Port Authority wanted to build the WTC.

    The Port Authority wanted to get the land but not the ramshackle railroad. The states vetoed that so the PA wound up with a railroad it didn’t want (and still doesn’t want).

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