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JFK ALRT opens

The official opening of the ALRT line known as AirTrain, linking New York's JFK airport terminals with the Long Island RR etc. at Jamaica and with the NYC Subway at Howard Beach, takes place today 17 December 2003. The wholly-enclosed line has largely conventional technology: steel wheel on steel rail, 1435mm track gauge, 3rd rail power at 750 VDC, but linear induction motors are used. Trains can consist of up to 4 remotely-controlled cars, each with a capacity of between about 100 and 200 passengers depending on the amount of baggage they have with them.

The service from Penn Station in Manhattan to JFK's terminals is projected to take less than 45 minutes compared to more than two hours by car or taxi. The approximately eight-mile light-rail system is expected to serve 34,000 passengers per day initially.

The line has which cost some USD 1.9 billion has been criticised as it requires transfers for many prospective passengers and a call has been made for the line to be extended into Lower Manhattan. See the Port Authority * site for further details.

17 December 2003

* link updated November 2011

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