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WTC PATH station to reopen Nov. 23

NEW YORK CITY -- The first train cars that will return to the rebuilt station under the World Trade Center were the last to leave it, moving terrified passengers as far as possible from the collapsing twin towers, according to this Associated Press report that appeared in the New York Times.

The eight PATH train cars come back Nov. 23 to a station that has the same name as before: "World Trade Center."

The sign, still in bubble wrap, hung Thursday on a platform that will open to the public for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001.

On the restored platform for Tracks 3 and 4, Gov. George Pataki stood with trade center leaseholder Larry Silverstein and his architects, Daniel Libeskind and David Childs, and looked at the space where the towers stood.

"You have the sense of the tragedy that happened here," Pataki said.

"And then," he said, turning to the sign. "you see the World Trade Center. That's what we have to do: move beyond and still remember."

The decision to keep the station's name was as deliberate as every other detail of the restored temporary rail station, which is expected to serve 50,000 daily commuters.

Most important was whether commuters would have views of the trade center site. The only view will be at the platform. On Thursday, those touring the site saw construction trailers, stacks of steel beams, an American flag.

At the top of the stairs, screens will shield the site from public view.

Victims' family members requested that passengers coming through the train station have only a limited view of the towers' footprints.

Above ground, passengers will enter the temporary station on Church Street and descend into a stark steel and concrete space.

The 16-month $253 million restoration of the temporary station involved gutting the train tunnels down to their iron frames and installing nearly 7,000 feet of track and 50,000 tons of steel.

(The preceding Associated Press report appeared in the New York Times Friday, Oct. 31, 2003.)

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