Home of Phoebe Snow

The Beaux Arts Lackawanna railway station in Hoboken, New Jersey went up in 1907, built at the site of an old ferry landing.  It was designed as an intermodal transportation hub serving trains, ferries, and street cars.  Today there are no street cars but you can add light rail, the PATH Tube (a subway rapid transit system between New York and New Jersey) and busses.

Until 1910, when the first mainline railway tunnel opened, Passengers going west from New York took a ferry to one of 4 railway stations on the Jersey Side.  Many lines, like the Lackawanna and Eire never crossed the Hudson and started their westward run in Jersey.

Today most Jersey commuter lines still end in Hoboken.   Commuters transfer to either to the Tube or Ferry to continue to the city.  And while now the station is only used for commuters in the past it hosted fabled long distance trains.  The most famous to leave Hoboken was the Phoebe Snow to Buffalo.  Its steam engine was painted white to advertise its use of “non-polluting” (sic) anthracite coal.  The advertising slogan; “The Lady in White on The Route of the Anthracite.”

My memories of the station as a teenager commuting to New York, was of a dirty, dingy and dreary place.   It was featured, in its decrepitude, as set for movies and music videos.  Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton have all shot here.  This was the first time I’ve been in the terminal in 20 years A lot of restoration work is going on.  The Tiffany glass skylights have been cleaned and restored and, after being flooded in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, a lot of overall work has been done to the waiting room and ferry slips.  Today the Hoboken Lackawanna terminal is in fine shape.

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