We have made major advances at the rail yards this summer.
Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn announced  that the City of New York has acquired the High Line at the rail yards from CSX Transportation, Inc., bringing us one step closer toward starting construction. Our next steps are fundraising to pay for transforming the rail yards section into a public park, and collaborating on the design with our City partners and the team of James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.
Last night we presented the latest design renderings at community input meeting , where more than 200 supporters joined us to share feedback and ask questions.
Follow us after the jump to view some of the new design renderings.
ABOVE Context Map. Highlighted above in green, the rail yards section of the High Line runs for one-half mile north of the portion of the High Line that has already opened as public space. The rail yards section is located between West 30th and West 34th Streets to the south and north, and 10th and 12th Avenues from the east and west. Once the rail yards section of the High Line is open to the public, the park will connect the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, as well as Hudson Yards, the new neighborhood planned by Related Companies. Image from Google Maps. Courtesy Friends of the High Line.
ABOVE Context Map Detail. The High Line at the rail yards wraps around the West Side Rail Yards, an active train yard for Long Island Rail Road. The owner of the West Side Rail Yards, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has leased the property to Related Companies to develop a platform over the yards. The platform will support the development of Hudson Yards , a 26-acre mixed-use neighborhood being developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group. This site will feature more than 12 million square feet of new office, residential, retail, and cultural uses, as well as more than 14 acres of public space. Wrapping around this new development, the High Line will be fully integrated open space within Hudson Yards, and provide an important link to the industrial history of Manhattan’s West Side. Image from Google Maps. Courtesy of Friends of the High Line.
ABOVE Rail Track Walk. View looking west along West 30th Street, just west of 10th Avenue. The rail yards section will extend the High Line’s distinct design vocabulary established south of West 30th Street, evoking the High Line’s history as an active freight rail line. Here, looking west along West 30th Street, planting beds featuring Piet Oudolf’s naturalistic landscape border a pathway embedded with the High Line’s original tracks, inviting visitors to walk along rails where trains once traveled. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York and Friends of the High Line.
ABOVE “Peel-Up” Bench Seating. Along the High Line that is currently open to the public, the park’s “peel-up” benches are an integral part of the landscape design, rising organically from the planks of the walkway. In the rail yards section of the High Line, the “peel-up” benches will evolve into a new family of design elements to create more seating, picnic areas, play features, and more. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York and Friends of the High Line.
ABOVE 11th Avenue Bridge. View looking southwest toward the Hudson River, just east of 11th Avenue. As the High Line travels over 11th Avenue, the primary pathway will slowly ramp up, creating an elevated catwalk that will raise visitors approximately two feet above the High Line level to take in panoramic views of the cityscape and Hudson River. Lush display gardens on either side of the catwalk will separate the primary pathway from the more intimate linear bench seating running along the railing on either side of the bridge. Just west of the intersection of 11th Avenue, a new stair will bridge over the historic railing, providing visitors with sweeping east-west views as they enter and exit the High Line. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York and Friends of the High Line.
ABOVE Beam Exploration Area. View looking east, just west of 11th Avenue. The third and final section of the High Line will feature a dedicated area for kids and families. Just west of 11th Avenue, the railway’s concrete deck will be removed, revealing the framework of the High Line’s original beams and girders, covered with a thick rubber safety coating, and transformed into a unique feature for kids to explore the High Line in a new way. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York and Friends of the High Line.
ABOVE Interim Walkway. View looking northwest, where the High Line curves north at the intersection of West 30th Street and 12th Avenue. While the Eastern Rail Yards will extend the design of the High Line that is currently open to the public, the Western Rail Yards will feature an interim solution – a simple path through the existing self-seeded landscape – that will allow the public to directly experience the wildflowers and grasses that grew between the tracks once travelled by the freight trains. Here, the walkway winds along the curve of the High Line at West 30th Street and 12th Avenue, and provides visitors a new opportunity to experience the original railroad tracks and Hudson River. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York and Friends of the High Line.
Thanks to all who attended Monday’s meeting to provide input, as well as those who attended the community input meetings in December, 2011  and March, 2012 . We would also like to extend a special thank you to the New York Community Trust—LuEsther T. Mertz Advised Fund for supporting our rail yards advocacy initiatives. Thanks to their critical funding, we are closer than ever before to opening the High Line at the rail yards to the public.
We are now working to complete the designs, and we look forward to sharing more updates very soon. Sign up for our email newsletter , like us on Facebook , and follow @highlinenyc on Twitter  for future updates on progress toward designing and building the High Line at the rail yards.