Home View from Underground A 1 train above ground while underground

A 1 train above ground while underground

by Benjamin Kabak

Photo by Fred R. Conrad/New York Times

What you see here is a view of the subway from the former World Trade Center site. What most travelers heading to and from South Ferry don’t realize about the 1 train is that, as it passes the Cortlandt St. station and the area around Ground Zero, the subway itself is running through a concrete box suspended 50 feet above ground by pillars and beams.

This past weekend, in a extensive spread in the Metropolitan section, The Times explored the goings-on at Ground Zero ahead of the nine-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The piece includes a photogallery that highlights everything happening below street level, and the subway box looms over the eastern end of the work zone as construction crews build around it. Eventually, the subway will again be encased underground, and according to the Port Authority’s latest status report, the Cortlandt St. station will reopen some time during the third quarter of 2011.

You may also like


Mike September 7, 2010 - 6:27 pm


Has the Cortland St Station been closed since 9/11 or if I am not mistaken didnt it re-open and then close again?

Someone January 19, 2013 - 2:02 pm

The 1 station has been closed since 9/11. The N/R station has re-opened and then re-closed.

Mike September 7, 2010 - 6:28 pm

Actually what I wanted to know was if the 1 train at Cortland was going to re-open…Ben?

Benjamin Kabak September 7, 2010 - 6:56 pm

It reopened and then closed again, and now it’s going to supposedly reopen next year for good.

Jerrold September 7, 2010 - 8:56 pm

Wait a minute!
It was the Cortlandt St. station on the N and R trains that reopened, then closed again, then reopened northbound only at least for now.
The Cortlandt St. station on the #1 was totally destroyed on 9/11 and has never reopened. It is expected to reopen as part of the “Transportation Center” that will be part of the new World Trade Center.

Benjamin Kabak September 7, 2010 - 10:41 pm

You’re right, Jerrold. My mistake. The 1 train station hasn’t reopened, and it was entirely destroyed during 9/11. It’s now closed due to the work at the WTC site and the PATH station. The BMT stop at Cortlandt St. reopened after 9/11 and then was shut again in the mid-2000s. The northbound stop opened late last year, and the southbound stop should reopen next year.

Brian September 8, 2010 - 1:11 am

Cortlandt Street BMT was reopened in September of 2002 and closed again on August 27th, 2005. The cause was to begin work on the Dey Street Underpass and work on both the Fulton Street Transit Center and the ongoing reconstruction at the World Trade Center site.

Mike September 7, 2010 - 8:54 pm

So we have two Cortland stations re-opening next year? The Northbound side of the N/R and the 1 at Cortland?

Jerrold September 7, 2010 - 9:09 pm

It’s the SOUTHBOUND side of the N and R that is supposed to reopen in late 2011. The NORTHBOUND side has already reopened.

Kris Datta September 8, 2010 - 1:13 pm

Yes, both are expected to reopen by the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It’s part of the Port Authority’s list of things to reopen by that date.

Someone January 19, 2013 - 2:02 pm

No, actually it’s 2014.

Adam September 7, 2010 - 10:35 pm

Where is this in relation to the PATH station? The PATH is deeper I presume.

Son of Spam September 8, 2010 - 1:48 am

The PATH tracks are on the floor of the “bathtub”, just west of and below the “elevated” IRT line.

John September 8, 2010 - 10:49 am

Considering the work still to be done, if Cortlandt on the 1 reopens next year, my guess is it again opens as it was pre-9/11, with the main entrance actually on Vescey Street, across from the WTC 7 building.

Hopefully, when all the work does wrap up, there will be a better and more accessible entrance within the new WTC complex than there was under the old set-up, when the IRT connection took a very distant back seat in the complex to the Port Authority than the PATH entrance did.

Kris Datta September 8, 2010 - 1:14 pm

Since they are planning to reopen Greenwich St. by either 2011 or 2012 (I forgot which), there probably will be an exit to Greenwich Street as well.

Jerrold September 8, 2010 - 5:32 pm

It probably won’t be called Cortlandt St. anymore.
At least, it SHOULD be called “World Trade Center”.

Pre-9/11, it was still called Cortlandt St., which was an anachronism. That name dated from the time BEFORE the original World Trade Center was built, when Cortlandt St. ran westward through that area, as did Dey St. and Fulton St.

There ARE plans now to “put back” Fulton St. to run through the new World Trade Center, but NOT to put back Cortlandt St. or Dey St.

Jerrold September 8, 2010 - 5:37 pm

Just to clarify, I meant to say “That station probably won’t be called “Cortlandt St.” anymore.

John September 8, 2010 - 11:27 pm

If so, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to rename the station “Fulton Street”, if they actually put an exit in the area. As it was before — and will probably be next year — the 24-hour entrance was all the way at the north end of the station, while if Cortlandt Street was still around, an exit there would be located closer to the station’s south end.

The intersection of a reborn Fulton Street connecting with a reborn Greenwich St. at the WTC site would be rooughly right at the midpoint of the station, and of course Fulton itself is a far better known downtown street than Cortlandt is to begin with (even if the name chance would irk a few traditionalists).

Someone January 19, 2013 - 2:03 pm

Cool. “Aboveground while underground”…

More like “in a covered bridge.”


Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy