Places that Matter

High Line (formerly High Line Elevated Railroad)

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Railroad, Chester Burger
Railroad, Chester Burger
Martha Cooper - circa 2000
Beth Higgins - 2006
Digital, Beth Higgins - 2006
Beth Higgins - 2006
Martha Cooper - circa 2000
People are walking on the railroad, Chester Burger
People are walking on the railroad, Chester Burger
Manhattan's first and only elevated all-freight rail service, now an innovative park
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Place Matters Profile

The High Line is the elevated portion of the West Side Rail Line,which ran for 13 miles from Spuyten Duyvil in northern Manhattan to its terminus on Spring Street. This was Manhattan's first and only all-freight rail service, and was key to industrial businesses along the Hudson, particularly in the meat packing district. Several structures were built in conjunction with the High Line, designed so that the tracks could run through floors with loading platforms. Many other companies had private "sidings" for efficient loading outside the buildings' second floors.

When completed, the High Line was considered a major engineering and planning achievement for the city. Today, its future is uncertain as Manhattan's industrial areas give way to more gentrified uses. As an infrastructure artifact, the High Line is a window onto New York's fading industrial past.