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A symbol Eighth Avenue Express
Northern end Inwood – 207th Street
Southern end Lefferts Boulevard, Far Rockaway, or Rockaway Park
Stations 66

A map
Note: dashed line shows rush hour only service

The A Eighth Avenue Express is a rapid transit service of the New York City Subway. It is colored blue on route signs, station signs, and the official subway map, since it runs on the IND Eighth Avenue Line through Manhattan. It is the longest one-seat ride in the subway system: over 31 miles[1] (50 km) from 207th Street in Inwood, Manhattan, to Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, Queens.

The A service operates at all times. The usual service pattern is from Inwood – 207th Street to Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue or to Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill, Queens via Central Park West and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, and Fulton Street in Brooklyn, running express in Manhattan and Brooklyn and local in Queens.

Five rush hour trips designated A Diamond (NYCS-bull-trans-Ad.svg) run from Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park, Queens to Manhattan during the morning hours and five rush hour trips run to Beach 116th Street from Manhattan during the late afternoon hours. At all times, a shuttle train service (the Rockaway Park Shuttle) connects Rockaway Park to the mainline at the Broad Channel station.

Late evenings and nights, approximately 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. (Saturdays to 6 a.m.; Sundays to 7 a.m.), the A service makes all local stops in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, terminating at Far Rockaway only. During these times, S shuttle trains run between Euclid Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard.

The A is the only service that has a transfer to each of the three shuttle services (42nd Street, Franklin Avenue, and Rockaway Park) in the system.

Contents

History

An A train of R44 cars, entering the Broad Channel station.
Queens-bound A train of R32s at Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets
A train of R46 cars in A service enters 190th Street station.

The A and AA were the first services on the IND Eighth Avenue Line when it opened on September 10, 1932. The A ran express between 207th Street and Chambers Street (adjacent to Hudson Terminal), and the AA was a local between 168th Street and Hudson Terminal (today's World Trade Center station). During late nights and Sundays, the A did not run and the AA made all stops along the line.

The A was extended to Jay Street – Borough Hall on February 1, 1933, when the Cranberry Street Tunnel to Brooklyn opened; an extension to Bergen Street opened on March 20, and to Church Avenue on October 7.

On April 9, 1936, the IND Fulton Street Line was opened to Rockaway Avenue. The 1936 completion played an integral part in the establishment of Bedford-Stuyvesant as Brooklyn's central African American community. The A train connected Harlem, Manhattan's central African American community to areas of Bedford-Stuyvesant that provided residential opportunities for African Americans not found throughout the rest of New York City.[2]

On December 30, 1946 and November 28, 1948, the line was extended to Broadway – East New York (now Broadway Junction) and Euclid Avenue, respectively.

On April 29, 1956, Grant Avenue was opened, and the line was extended over the BMT Fulton Street Line to Lefferts Boulevard. Two months later, on June 28, 1956, the former Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Line was converted to subway specifications, and service began to Rockaway Park and Wavecrest (Beach 25th Street). At this time, rush hour express service on the Fulton Street Line with the E train began.

On January 16, 1958, a new terminal was created at Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue, and the through connection to the Long Island Rail Road's Far Rockaway station was severed. In 1963, the E train was extended to the Rockaways, and the A train ran local to Euclid Avenue or Lefferts Boulevard at all times. (HH shuttle service from Euclid Avenue provided all service to the Rockaways). On July 9, 1967, the A train was extended to Far Rockaway middays, evenings, and weekends, replacing the HH shuttle on that branch. Five years later, it would also be extended during rush hours. On January 2, 1973, the A train became the express service along Fulton Street and the E train became the local. Finally, in 1976, the C became the Fulton Street Local during rush hours.

In 1985, the Independent Subway System's practice of using double letters to indicate local service was discontinued. The AA service was renamed the K. In 1988, it was discontinued and replaced by the C.

Until 1990, the main service was to Lefferts Boulevard, while the Far Rockaway service did not run late nights; at this time, a transfer to a shuttle at Euclid Avenue was available. In 1990, this pattern was switched, with late-night A service running to Far Rockaway only. A shuttle now provides service from Euclid Avenue to Lefferts Boulevard during late nights. A few years later, special A service began running from Rockaway Park to Dyckman Street during the morning rush, and from 59th Street – Columbus Circle to Rockaway Park during the evening rush.

In 1999, the A became the express on the Fulton Street Line on evenings and weekends after C service was moved from World Trade Center to Euclid Avenue during that time.

On January 23, 2005, a fire at the Chambers Street signal room crippled A and C service. Initial assessments suggested that it would take several years to restore normal service, but the damaged equipment was replaced with available spare parts, and normal service resumed on April 21.

Cultural references

  • Take the A Train is a jazz standard by Billy Strayhorn, referring to the A subway service that runs through New York City, going at that time from eastern Brooklyn up into Harlem and northern Manhattan, using the express tracks in Manhattan. It became the signature tune of Duke Ellington and often opened the shows of Ella Fitzgerald. Part of the significance of this is sociological: it connected the two largest Black neighborhoods in New York City, Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
  • There is also a play by New York playwright Stephen Adly Guirges called Jesus Hopped the A Train.
  • Cinderella & The "A" Train is a song by Joe Purdy. Purdy has several songs about (or with references to) New York City.
  • "Walking Down Madison" by Kirsty MacColl mentions the 'A-Train'.

In the Broadway musical In the Heights, during the title song, Usnavi tells the audience to "take the A Train" (to the melody of Strayhorn's Take the A Train) "even farther than Harlem to Northern Manhattan and maintain. Get off at 181st and take the escalator. I hope you're writing this down, I'm gonna test ya later."

Route

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Following lines

The following lines are used by the A service:

Line Tracks Time
IND Eighth Avenue Line north of 168th Street N/A all times
IND Eighth Avenue Line south of 168th Street express all times except late nights
local evenings and late nights
IND Fulton Street Line north of Euclid Avenue express all times except late nights
local evenings and late nights
IND Fulton Street Line south of Euclid Avenue all times
IND Rockaway Line to Far Rockaway N/A
IND Rockaway Line to Rockaway Park rush hours, peak direction only

Stations

For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Stops all times except late nights Stops all times except late nights
Stops late nights only Stops late nights only
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
Time period details
A service Stations Handicapped/disabled access Subway transfers Connections
Manhattan
Stops all times Inwood – 207th Street Handicapped/disabled access
Stops all times Dyckman Street
Stops all times 190th Street
Stops all times 181st Street
Stops all times 175th Street Handicapped/disabled access George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal
Stops all times 168th Street Handicapped/disabled access C all except late nights
1 all times (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line)
Stops late nights only 163rd Street – Amsterdam Avenue
Stops late nights only 155th Street
Stops all times 145th Street B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. C all except late nights D all times
Stops late nights only 135th Street
Stops all times 125th Street Handicapped/disabled access B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. C all except late nights D all times M60 bus to LaGuardia Airport
Stops late nights only 116th Street
Stops late nights only 110th Street – Cathedral Parkway
Stops late nights only 103rd Street
Stops late nights only 96th Street
Stops late nights only 86th Street
Stops late nights only 81st Street – Museum of Natural History
Stops late nights only 72nd Street
Stops all times 59th Street – Columbus Circle B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. C all except late nights D all times
1 all times 2 late nights (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line)
Stops late nights only 50th Street Handicapped/disabled access E all times Station is accessible in the southbound direction only
Stops all times 42nd Street – Port Authority Bus Terminal Handicapped/disabled access C all except late nights E all times
1 all times 2 all times 3 all times (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line)
7 all times <7>weekdays until 10:00 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line)
N all times Q all times R all except late nights W weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (BMT Broadway Line)
S all except late nights (42nd Street Shuttle)
at Times Square – 42nd Street
Port Authority Bus Terminal
Stops all times 34th Street – Penn Station Handicapped/disabled access C all except late nights E all times Amtrak, LIRR, NJ Transit at Pennsylvania Station
Stops late nights only 23rd Street E all times
Stops all times 14th Street Handicapped/disabled access C all except late nights E all times
L all times (BMT Canarsie Line)
Stops all times West Fourth Street – Washington Square Handicapped/disabled access C all except late nights E all times
B weekdays until 9:30 p.m. D all times F all times V weekdays until midnight (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
PATH at 9th Street
Stops late nights only Spring Street E all times
Stops all times Canal Street C all except late nights E all times
Stops all times Chambers Street C all except late nights E all times
2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line at Park Place)
PATH at World Trade Center
Stops all times Broadway – Nassau Street C all except late nights
2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line)
4 all times 5 all except late nights (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
J weekdays only M rush hours and evenings until 11:00 p.m. Z rush hours, peak direction (BMT Nassau Street Line)
Brooklyn
Stops all times High Street – Brooklyn Bridge C all except late nights
Stops all times Jay Street – Borough Hall C all except late nights
F all times (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
Stops all times Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets C all except late nights
G all times (IND Crosstown Line)
Stops late nights only Lafayette Avenue
Stops late nights only Clinton–Washington Avenues
Stops late nights only Franklin Avenue Handicapped/disabled access S all times (BMT Franklin Avenue Line)
Stops all times Nostrand Avenue C all except late nights LIRR Atlantic Branch at Nostrand Avenue
Stops late nights only Kingston–Throop Avenues B15 to JFK Airport
Stops all times Utica Avenue C all except late nights
Stops late nights only Ralph Avenue
Stops late nights only Rockaway Avenue
Stops all times Broadway Junction C all except late nights
J all times Z rush hours, peak direction (BMT Jamaica Line)
L all times (BMT Canarsie Line)
LIRR Atlantic Branch at East New York
Stops late nights only Liberty Avenue
Stops late nights only Van Siclen Avenue
Stops late nights only Shepherd Avenue
Stops all times Euclid Avenue Handicapped/disabled access C all except late nights
Stops all times Grant Avenue
Queens
Stops all times 80th Street
Stops all times 88th Street
Stops all times Rockaway Boulevard
Services to Lefferts Boulevard and The Rockaways split
Service to Lefferts Boulevard
Stops all times 104th Street
Stops all times 111th Street
Stops all times Ozone Park – Lefferts Boulevard Q10 to JFK Airport
Rockaway Line services
Station closed Aqueduct Racetrack Station serves northbound trains only, and is open between 11:00 AM–7:00 PM on racing days at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Stops all times Aqueduct – North Conduit Avenue
Stops all times Howard Beach – JFK Airport Handicapped/disabled access AirTrain JFK
Stops all times Broad Channel S all times (Rockaway Park Shuttle)
Services to Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park split
Service to Far Rockaway
Stops all times Beach 67th Street Far Rockaway-bound trains do not stop due to renovation
Stops all times Beach 60th Street
Stops all times Beach 44th Street Far Rockaway-bound trains do not stop due to renovation
Stops all times Beach 36th Street
Stops all times Beach 25th Street Far Rockaway-bound trains do not stop due to renovation
Stops all times Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue LIRR Far Rockaway Branch at Far Rockaway
NYCS-bull-trans-Ad.svg Service to Rockaway Park
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Beach 90th Street S all times (Rockaway Park Shuttle) Manhattan-bound trains do not stop due to renovation
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Beach 98th Street S all times (Rockaway Park Shuttle)
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Beach 105th Street S all times (Rockaway Park Shuttle) Manhattan-bound trains do not stop due to renovation
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Rockaway Park – Beach 116th Street Handicapped/disabled access S all times (Rockaway Park Shuttle)

References

  1. ^ "MTA NYC Transit — Info — Subways". http://www.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffsubway.htm. Retrieved 2006-07-08. 
  2. ^ Echanove, Matias. "Bed-Stuy on the Move". Master thesis. Urban Planning Program. Columbia University. Urbanology.org. 2003.

External links


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