Preliminary Worries with the Pennsylvania Railroad Tunnels
Clip: Season 26 Episode 5 | 2m 6s
When the Pennsylvania Railroad announced they would be tunneling into Manhattan, rather than building a bridge, people were stunned. Tunneling underwater was known to be dangerous, and once they were built, the tunnels would need to withstand hundreds of trains traveling through them every day. With a typical Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train weighing 700 tons, this was no small challenge.
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The masonry work on Pennsylvania Station began in 1908.
Measurements showed that the Pennsylvania RR Hudson River tunnels were shifting.
Tunneling under the Hudson river proved easy, but the East River was becoming a nightmare.
In 1961 the Pennsylvania Railroad announced it had sold the air rights above Penn Station.
Two city blocks, or 28 acres, were initially cleared for Penn Station’s construction.
Excavation workers, called “sandhogs,” faced many dangers working in a confined space.
Compressed air was used to keep the water out of the Pennsylvania RR's Manhattan tunnels.
Map history with us! See how engineering has changed America with our new map!
The monumental building that was supposed to last forever was destroyed after 53 years.
The engineering feat and architectural achievement that was torn down after just 53 years.
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