PATH tunnel Christmas tree
Since everyone was “good,” and didn’t break the PATH rules by snapping photos, I’ve pulled this contest. I’ll give away gift certificates or something at the Hoboken411 Christmas Gathering instead. No photos in the PATH!
However, I did get my hands on what the tree looks like from a PATH official. Below is actually what you see when the train whizzes by. (The area surrounding the tree was removed for security reasons!)
In a tradition that has been in place since the 1950’s, every year around Thanksgiving, PATH employees install and decorate a lit Christmas tree at a switching station in the tunnel used by trains running from 33rd Street and Hoboken into the Pavonia/Newport station. This all started when a signal operator, Joe Wojtowicz, started hanging a simple set of Christmas lights in the tunnel.
Initially, PATH officials were concerned about putting up decorations in the tunnel, they later changed their mind and the tradition has continued ever since. Also, after the 9/11 attacks, a U.S. flag was also put up beside the tree to pay tribute to the victims that lost their lives.
I’ve been told that the train occasionally slows down or stops when it nears this tree.
If you’re on the train, try and take a clear picture or video of this Christmas tree, and you could win a $50 gift certificate to either Cornerstone Pets or Helmers’ Restaurant! The best submission I get over the next 12 days wins the prize. If no submissions are received, my dog Oscar will get an extra $50 worth of toys and snacks instead. I need to bulk him up anyway, because I’m tired of him getting his ass kicked at the dog park every day by dogs twice his size.
Even if your picture is craptastic, send it in anyway. It might be funny to see how hard it is to get a good shot. You never know, you still might win!