The High Line

August 8th, 2013 at 7:18 am by David Farrar

In 1929 constructed a 13 mile elevated train line, which was used to remove freight trains from 105 street level crossings (which had awful fatality records), so the trains could run above the streets.

As freight traffic dropped off, parts of the line closed in the 1960s, and the entire line closed in 1980. It became overgrown and an eyesore and locals demanded it be demolished. Two guys set up a group to lobby for it to be turned into a high line park instead, and in 2004 they got new Mayor Michael Bloomberg to agree, and the High Line was born.


It’s currently a one mile long walk, scores of metres above the city, so you get elevated views, and some lovely scenery. It has become one of the most popular features of New York City, and was a visionary idea to turn the lines into a park – rather than demolish them.


You can still see the original rail lines, with the gardens planted over them.


At some stages you walk on the old lines themselves.


The high line is near the Hudson River, down by around 12th Street.


You get some good views of the streets.


A lot of flowers nad plants growing up there.


All along the High Line, they have chairs, stools, sun beds etc that you can sit or lie on. Also a fair number of food and drink stalls.


A statue of Colin Powell. Many artworks up there also.



Some sections have lawn to sit on.



Is a very cool experience to be walking so high up through a mile long park. It opened in 2009, and a second section opened in 2011 and a third and final section including the old railyards is under design at the moment.

4 Responses to “The High Line”

  1. Viking2 (14,357 comments) says:

    What a neat idea.
    John Key needs one thru wellington so he can walk to work each day and keep things in perspective.
    Fat chance.

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  2. KiwiGreg (3,584 comments) says:

    It’s a really interesting park and a nice walk, like the little micro sculptures along the way and the different angle on buildings. If you get the chance go the the Cloisters at the northern tip of the island – nice park and interesting medieval collection.

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  3. RRM (12,544 comments) says:

    The track in your photo 2 looks like a recent fabrication, built to make it seem more real to the punters.

    Even our 3’6″ narrow gauge railway lines in New Zealand have much heavier timber sleepers than those to support the little toy trains we operate in this country. The standard gauge main freight line into New York City would have been a lot more substantial than that…

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  4. rouppe (1,231 comments) says:

    Ah, that’ll be why we didn’t know anything about it when we visited in 2004…

    We’re going back to NY next year so I think we’ll be having a stroll along there at some stage

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