2 restored PATH train cars give a haunting look into life during the 9/11 attacks

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Evan Jennings

Today is the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the largest and most destructive terrorist attack that ever took place on US soil.

Remnants of the attack remain. Today, two museums – the Shoreline Trolley Museum and the Trolley Museum of New York of Kingston, New York – have opened exhibits of two preserved PATH train cars. These were the only two PATH train cars out of seven that have survived the attacks below the World Trade Center as it crumbled.

Though New York City has plenty of other memorials and museums dedicated to the victims of the attack, these trains give a totally immersive look into one of the most haunting moments in US history. Take a look inside.


The cars were purchased by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1965. The train ran through Newark, New Jersey, and Manhattan for 35 years until the day of the attacks.

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Omar Pagan

Inside, you can see the distinct 1960’s designs, from the earth tones to the faux wood side paneling.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

The two cars were preserved differently. The Shoreline Trolley Museum restored the car to its appearance before the attacks, but the Kingston Trolley Museum decided to keep the cosmetic damage, including paint chips and body damage.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

While the Kingston Trolley Museum’s car still has paint chipping, the museum decided to fix a hole in the roof and restore electricity to the car.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

You can see the details of the Shoreline Trolley’s restoration in the ad inserts. In one of them is a newspaper clipping announcing the museum’s plan to use the car as a museum exhibit.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

Outside of one of the cars, you can see the original PATH logo and signage.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

The train cars also have the old metal holders that straphangers used to hold onto during their commutes.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

There’s also a map of the old PATH line.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

Though the interiors and roof are in good shape, the Kingston Trolley Museum says the train was sitting in a few feet of salt water long enough to ruin the traction motors and controls.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.

The train hadn’t moved in the 15 years it remained in storage.

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Michael J Gambino, Jr.