WE-EF Delivers All-Weather Lighting to New York’s Moynihan Train Hall Connector


Elevating Midtown’s pedestrian experience, the illuminated Connector links the iconic High Line to Moynihan Train Hall. Designed by SOM and James Corner Field Operations, this timber and woodland bridge blends seamlessly into the urban landscape, enhancing safety and providing a vibrant, inviting journey for millions of visitors annually.

Projects Challenges

Tillotson Design Associates faced several challenges during the design development phase in 2021 for a pedestrian bridge project. The initial design included mounting cylinders under the bridge structure, but the walking surface above was not watertight. Additionally, the cut sheet specified that the cylinders needed to be mounted to a “recessed junction box,” which raised concerns.

To address these issues, the following steps were taken:

  1. Side Conduit Entry: The original mounting method required a recessed junction box, which wasn’t feasible given the design constraints. Instead, a side conduit entry option was suggested and implemented, providing a practical mounting solution.
  2. Lumen Output Adjustment: To achieve the desired footcandle levels and control the beam spread in a linear fashion, the lumen output needed to be de-rated by 30-40%.
  3. Fixture Modification: Engineers modified the fixtures to meet the new requirements. The lumens were adjusted to 4,408, and an IO180 spread lens was used to control the beam spread effectively.

These solutions ensured that the lighting design met both the aesthetic and functional requirements of the project, providing appropriate illumination levels and addressing the structural concerns.

Bridging journeys in Midtown Manhattan

Linking the High Line—one of the most prominent pedestrian paths in New York City—to the Moynihan Train Hall, the Connector creates a seamless journey upon a 600-foot linear park from the bustling avenues of Midtown West to the lush gardens and scenic public walkways of the High Line.

Designed by SOM and James Corner Field Operations, the Connector features a timber bridge made from sustainably sourced wood and a woodland bridge built upon weathered columns and angled brackets that evoke the historic structure of the elevated High Line. With gathering spaces, gardens for native pollinators, public art installations, and millions of visitors a year, this public walkway establishes a vital thoroughfare that is accessed day and night in all seasons.

A lighting solution for a busy, urban walkway

When considering the lighting design for the bridge, Tillotson Design Associates needed a fixture that could withstand mounting under a walking surface that was not watertight. WE-EF’s DAC240 surface mounted luminaires were chosen for their marine-grade aluminum and 5CE+ Primer anti-corrosion coating which ensure long-lasting performance backed by a 10-year warranty. A medium beam spread with a linear spread lens was selected to control light where it is needed and avoid any light spill. The design blends seamlessly into the timber bridge and surrounding urban landscape, providing minimal visual impact on the vehicles below during the day, and warm, ambient lighting for people passing under the bridge at night.

The installation of DAC240 ensures pedestrian safety and creates an inviting journey to the elevated Connector, helping to realize a decades-long transformation of a former industrial area into a community-oriented destination.

Some Facts

High Line Moynihan Connector
New York, NY
Completed 2023
Owner: Brookfield Properties – New York
Architect/Designer: SOM
Landscape Designer: James Corner Field Operations
Lighting Designer: Tillotson Design Associates

All the photos are from Andrew Frasz Photography

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