train, carrying only a conductor and
an engineer, zipped under the Hudson
River and eased into a bare-bones
station at Ground Zero yesterday. The
commuter train came to a stop at 1:42
p.m. - weeks ahead of schedule.
was no fanfare. No political speeches.
But the moment foreshadowed a
significant triumph in the long, hard
recovery of lower Manhattan.
also marked a painful moment for some
who lost loved ones and consider the
disaster site sacred ground.
the seven-car test train rolled into
The Pit yesterday, Patricia Reilly,
whose sister Lorraine Lee died in the
attacks, began to cry.
never got any of my sister back,"
Reilly said as she stared at the
train. "Just her
$566 million in repairs, PATH will
resume normal service to the World
Trade Center site next month, allowing
thousands of commuters to get to and
from the city's southern tip with
greater ease. Final checks - including
three test runs of the train yesterday
- are being completed to remove any
reopening of the PATH will be a
momentous occasion and a true
milestone, as we continue to rebuild
and revitalize lower Manhattan,"
said Mollie Fullington, a spokeswoman
for Gov. Pataki.
67,000 riders took PATH to the Trade
Center daily before a pair of hijacked
jets destroyed the twin towers on
Sept. 11, 2001.
one died in PATH tubes or stations
during the attacks, although an empty
train at the Trade Center was buried
century-old, cast-iron tunnels held
strong, but water from broken mains
flooded the tubes all the way to
Jersey City, short-circuiting
electrical systems. Roughly 18,600
feet of new track had to be laid, some
trespassing on the twin towers'
footprints, where the vast majority of
dead were recovered.
coalition of victims' families opposes
a Port Authority plan to expand the
PATH station to accommodate more
trains by 2006. The $2 billion
terminal would encroach on both
they leave the station [configured]
the way it is now, we will not be
upset," said Jack Lynch, whose
son Michael, a firefighter, died at
is difficult," he added, staring
at the train.