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IRT Lexington Avenue Line

Services that use the IRT Lexington Avenue Line have been colored green since 1979. The original IRT numbering system provided for 4, 5, and 6 on the line.
Overview
Type Rapid transit line
System New York City Subway
Status Operational
Locale Manhattan, New York City, NY
Termini 125th Street
South Ferry
Stations 27 (23 in use)
Services 1
Daily ridership 1.3 million (about 338 million annually)
Operation
Opened 27 October 1904
Owner City of New York
Operator(s) New York City Transit Authority
Rolling stock R142
R142A
Technical
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification 600V DC third rail

The Lexington Avenue Line is one of the lines of the IRT division of the New York City Subway, stretching from Downtown Brooklyn or Lower Manhattan north to 125th Street in East Harlem.[1] The portion in Lower and Midtown Manhattan was part of the first subway line in New York. The line is served by 4, 5, and 6 trains.

The line is also known as the IRT East Side Line, as it is currently the only line in Manhattan to directly serve the Upper East Side and East Midtown; this four-track line is the most used rapid transit line in the United States. Its average of 1.3 million daily riders is "more than the combined ridership of San Francisco and Boston's entire transit systems" (Second Avenue Subway FEIS, p. 1–6). Its ridership also exceeds that of the 798,456 daily trips on the entire Washington Metro.[2 ] Construction has started on the Second Avenue Line to alleviate the severe overcrowding caused by the Lexington Avenue Line's high usage.

Several stations along this line have been abandoned. When platforms were lengthened to fit ten cars, it was deemed most beneficial to close these stations and open new entrances for adjacent stations. For example, 14th Street–Union Square has an entrance on 16th Street, the 18th Street station was abandoned because of the proximity to both 14th Street–Union Square and 23rd Street.

Contents

Extent and service

Services that use the Lexington Avenue Line are colored green. The following services use part or all of the Lexington Avenue Line:

current service section of line
4 express (local late nights) full line
5 express (no late night service) full line (weekdays)

north of Bowling Green (evenings & weekends)

6 local north of Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall
IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Legend
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
IRT Jerome Avenue and Pelham Lines
Waterway turning to left Unknown route-map component "uABZlr" Waterway turning to right
Unknown route-map component "uWTUNNEL1"
Lexington Avenue Tunnel
Urban station on track
Handicapped/disabled access 125th Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
116th Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
110th Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
103rd Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
96th Street
Urban station on track
86th Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
77th Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
68th Street – Hunter College
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
63rd Street Line
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uTHSTo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
59th Street / BMT Broadway Line
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
IND Queens Boulevard Line
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
Handicapped/disabled access 51st Street
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Urban track turning from right Urban straight track
42nd Street Shuttle
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uTHSTo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
Handicapped/disabled access Grand Central – 42nd Street / IRT Flushing Line
Waterway turning to left Unknown route-map component "uABZlg"
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
33rd Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
28th Street
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
23rd Street
Unknown route-map component "ueHST"
18th Street
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uTHSTo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
14th Street – Union Square / BMT Canarsie Line
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
Astor Place
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
Bleecker Street
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
IND Sixth Avenue Line
Unknown route-map component "uHST"
Spring Street
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uTHSTo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
Handicapped/disabled access Canal Street / BMT Broadway Line
Unknown route-map component "ueHST"
Worth Street
Urban station on track
Handicapped/disabled access Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall
Waterway turning from left Unknown route-map component "uABZrf"
Unknown route-map component "ueHST" Urban straight track
City Hall
Waterway turning to left Unknown route-map component "uABZrf"
Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uHLUECKE"
IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line
Urban station on track
Fulton Street
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE" Urban station on track
Wall Street
Waterway turning to left Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Urban track turning from right
BMT Broadway Line
Unknown route-map component "uexCPICla" Left side of urban cross-platform interchange Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
Handicapped/disabled access Bowling Green (shuttle platform and mainline)
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE" Unknown route-map component "uxABZrg" Unknown route-map component "uABZdf" Unknown route-map component "uABZ3lg" Urban track turning from right
Urban junction to left Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uKRZo" Unknown route-map component "uABZlg"
IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line
Urban straight track Urban straight track Urban straight track Unknown route-map component "ueHST" Urban straight track
South Ferry (inner loop)
Urban straight track Urban junction to left Unknown route-map component "uKRZu" Waterway turning to right Unknown route-map component "ueHST"
South Ferry (outer loop)
Waterway turning to left Unknown route-map component "uABZ3lf" Unknown route-map component "uKRZu" Urban transverse track Waterway turning to right
Unknown route-map component "uWTUNNEL"
Joralemon Street Tunnel
Unknown route-map component "uLUECKE"
IRT Eastern Parkway Line

The Lexington Avenue Line begins at the inner loop at South Ferry station, which is currently used to turn 5 trains, evenings and weekends. North of the station is a merge with the tracks of the Joralemon Street Tunnel from Brooklyn, which become the express tracks. These run north under Broadway and Park Row to Centre Street. At the south end of Center Street, directly under New York City Hall, is the City Hall Loop and its abandoned station, which was the southern terminus of the original IRT subway line. The loop is still used to turn 6 service; the Lexington Avenue local tracks, which feed the loop, rise up to join the express tracks just south of Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall station.

From Brooklyn Bridge, the line continues northward in a four-across track layout under Centre Street, Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue, and Park Avenue South until 42nd Street. At this point, the beginning of Metro-North Railroad's Park Avenue tunnel in Grand Central Terminal forces the Lexington Avenue Line to shift slightly eastward to Lexington Avenue; its 42nd Street–Grand Central station is located on the diagonal between Park and Lexington. Just south of Grand Central, a single non-revenue track connects the IRT 42nd Street Shuttle to the southbound local track; this was part of the original IRT subway alignment.

Under Lexington Avenue, the line assumes a two-over-two track configuration, with the local tracks running on the upper level and the express on the lower, although it briefly returns to a four-across layout between 96th Street and 116th Street stations. 125th Street station maintains this two-over-two layout, although here the upper level is used by northbound trains (both local and express) and the lower level by southbound trains (again, both local and express). North of 125th Street, a flying junction marks the end of the line, where it splits into the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 and 5) and the IRT Pelham Line (6 and <6>).

History

1st earth from Lexington Avenue subway line in 1913

The part of the line from City Hall to just south of 42nd Street was part of the original IRT line, opened on October 27, 1904. An extension to Fulton Street opened at 12:01 a.m. on January 16, 1905. The next station, Wall Street, was opened on June 12, 1905.[3]

The first revenue train on the South Ferry extension left South Ferry at 11:59 p.m. on July 9, 1905; the extension of the IRT White Plains Road Line to West Farms opened just after. The first train ran through the Joralemon Street Tunnel to Brooklyn about 12:45 a.m. on January 9, 1908.

The original plan for what became the extension north of 42nd Street was to continue it south through Irving Place and into what is now the BMT Broadway Line at Ninth Street and Broadway. Contracts awarded on July 21, 1911 included Section 6 between 26th Street and 40th Street; at the time, the IRT had withdrawn from the talks, and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) was to operate on Lexington Avenue. The IRT submitted an offer for what became its portion of the Dual Contracts on February 27, 1912,[4] and construction was soon halted on Section 6.[5]

The rest of the line, north to 125th Street, opened on July 17, 1918. However, until the evening of August 1, 1918, it ran as a shuttle on the local tracks only, terminating at 42nd Street and at 167th Street on the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (where the connection from the elevated IRT Ninth Avenue Line merged). On August 1, service patterns were changed, and the Lexington Avenue Line became a through route. The IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line also switched from shuttle operation at that time, and the IRT 42nd Street Shuttle was formed along the old connection between the sides. Due to the shape of the system, it was referred to as the "H system". Also on August 1, the first section of the IRT Pelham Line opened to Third Avenue–138th Street.

Station listing

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 all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction
Stops rush hours only Stops rush hours only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
Time period details
Handicapped/disabled access Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
Begins as a merge of the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 all times 5 all except late nights) and IRT Pelham Line (6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction).
Handicapped/disabled access 125th Street all 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918 Connection to Metro-North Railroad at Harlem–125th Street
116th Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
110th Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
103rd Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
96th Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
86th Street all 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
77th Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
68th Street – Hunter College local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
59th Street all 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918
(1962, express)
N all times R all except late nights W weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (BMT Broadway Line at Lexington Avenue)
MetroCard-only transfer to F all times (IND 63rd Street Line at Lexington Avenue–63rd Street)
Roosevelt Island Tramway
This station was originally a local station. The lower level for express trains was opened in 1962.
Handicapped/disabled access 51st Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918 E all times V weekdays until midnight (IND Queens Boulevard Line at Lexington Avenue–53rd Street)
Handicapped/disabled access Grand Central–42nd Street all 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction July 17, 1918 7 all times <7>weekdays until 10:00 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line)
S all except late nights (42nd Street Shuttle)
Connection to Metro-North Railroad at Grand Central Terminal
merge on southbound local track to IRT 42nd Street Shuttle (no regular service)
33rd Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904
28th Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904
23rd Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904
18th Street local October 27, 1904 closed November 7, 1948
14th Street–Union Square all 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904 L all times (BMT Canarsie Line)
N all times Q all times R all except late nights W weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (BMT Broadway Line)
originally 14th Street
Astor Place local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904
Bleecker Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904 B weekdays until 9:30 p.m. D all times F all times V weekdays until midnight (Sixth Avenue Line at Broadway–Lafayette Street; transfer from downtown platform only)
Spring Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904 Abandoned trackway exists between express tracks
Handicapped/disabled access Canal Street local 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904 N all times Q all times R all except late nights W weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (BMT Broadway main line)
N all except late nights Q all times (Manhattan Bridge)
J all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. Z rush hours, peak direction (BMT Nassau Street Line)
Worth Street local October 27, 1904 closed September 1, 1962
Handicapped/disabled access Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall all 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction October 27, 1904 J all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. Z rush hours, peak direction (BMT Nassau Street Line at Chambers Street)
originally Brooklyn Bridge, then Brooklyn Bridge–Worth Street
 
local tracks split from express tracks; local trains short turn (6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
City Hall loop October 27, 1904 Closed December 31, 1945; currently used for local trains to short turn with no station stop. Lexington Avenue Line local trains stopped at station from 1904 to 1945 except late nights, when trains continued to South Ferry.
 
express trains continue (4 all times 5 all except late nights)
Fulton Street express 4 all times 5 all except late nights January 16, 1905 A all times C all except late nights (IND Eighth Avenue Line at Broadway–Nassau Street)
J weekdays only M rush hours and evenings until 11:00 p.m. Z rush hours, peak direction (BMT Nassau Street Line)
2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
Connection to PATH at World Trade Center
Wall Street express 4 all times 5 all except late nights June 12, 1905
Handicapped/disabled access Bowling Green express 4 all times 5 all except late nights July 10, 1905
Splits to Brooklyn via the Joralemon Street Tunnel (4 all times 5 weekdays until 8:45 p.m.) to become the IRT Eastern Parkway Line Express tracks
 
express train short turn (5 weekdays 8:45 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.; weekends 6:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.)
South Ferry both loops July 10, 1905 Inner platform closed February 12, 1977; currently used for express trains to short turn with no station stop. Lexington Avenue Line trains used the outer platform from July 10, 1905 to July 1, [[1918] and from 1950 to February 12, 1977. The outer platform closed on March 16, 2009; which allows Lexington Avenue Line trains to again use both loop tracks.

References

  1. ^ MTA Capital Construction, Second Avenue Subway, Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 5B: Transportation—Subway and Commuter RailPDF (317 KiB)
  2. ^ WMATA (2007-07-05). "More than 200 million ride Metrorail for the second consecutive year". Press release. http://www.wmata.com/about/met_news/PressReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1706.  
  3. ^ nycsubway.org
  4. ^ James Blaine Walker, Fifty Years of Rapid Transit, 1864-1917, published 1918, pp. 230-233
  5. ^ "Petition for Subway in Lexington Ave.". New York Times. May 22, 1912. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00811FB3E5813738DDDAB0A94DD405B828DF1D3. Retrieved 2009-02-16. "A petition is being circulated among the residents and property owners of the section just south of the Grand Central Station, in Park and Lexington Avenues, protesting against the proposed abandonment of the construction of the Subway in Lexington Avenue, between Forty-third and Thirty-second Streets."  

External links

Further reading

  • "Fulton St. Trains Monday," New York Times, January 14, 1905, p. 5
  • "Subway at Fulton Street Busy," New York Times, January 17, 1905, p. 9
  • "Subway Trains Run Again This Morning," New York Times, June 13, 1905, p. 1
  • "Subway Trains Running from Bronx to Battery," New York Times, July 10, 1905, p. 1
  • "Subway to Brooklyn Opened for Traffic," New York Times, January 9, 1908, p. 1
  • "Lexington Av. Line to be Opened Today," New York Times, July 7, 1918, p. 13
  • "Open New Subway Lines to Traffic; Called a Triumph," New York Times, August 2, 1918, p. 1
  • "Old City Hall Station of IRT to Close Monday," New York Times, December 27, 1945, p. 24
  • "IRT Station to be Closed," New York Times, November 6, 1948, p. 29
  • "New Platform for IRT Locals at Brooklyn Bridge to End Jams," New York Times, September 1, 1962, p. 42
  • "M.T.A. Expected to Save Franklin Avenue Shuttle, Once an Austerity Target," New York Times, February 10, 1977, p. 27


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