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The Q Broadway Express is a service of the New York City Subway. It is colored yellow on the route sign, on station signs and the official subway map, as it represents a service provided on the BMT Broadway Line through Manhattan.
The Q service operates at all times. The normal service pattern for the Q is from 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan to Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn via Broadway and the BMT Brighton Line operating express in Manhattan and local in Brooklyn. The Q is one of only four services that has an express section around the clock (the others being the D, F, and 3).
"Q" designation history
A Stillwell Avenue-bound Q
Q was introduced as a service identifier for the Brighton Beach Express via Broadway (Manhattan) on the rollsigns of the R27 class of subway cars as they were delivered beginning in 1960 and on all subsequent equipment ordered for the IND/BMT divisions of the New York City subway system. The former designation for the service was the number 1, itself introduced in 1924, a designation shared by all Brighton Line mainline services. The letter designations did not appear on earlier equipment that carried the former route numbers until after the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection in 1967. Therefore older equipment that carried the number 1 (notably the D-type Triplex) continued to be signed 1 until they were withdrawn in 1965.
Also with the introduction of the R27 class subway cars, the mainline local services on the Brighton Line (and other BMT services) were given double letters in conformance with IND practice. Ordinarily this would have produced a QQ service, but this designation was never used. There were two local services, the Brighton Local via Montague Street Tunnel, designated QT, which operated when the express service was running, and the Brighton Local via Manhattan Bridge, designated QB, which operated when the express did not. The so-called "Banker's Special" express, which operated a few trains in the morning and evening rush hours to the Wall Street financial district was not given a separate designation. As this service continued to use older equipment for years after the letters were introduced, this was not usually a problem. When R27 and later cars were used on these specials, they often carried the M designation in the morning that was originally (and eventually) used on Myrtle Avenue trains, and the evening sometimes carried Q or sometimes no designation at all.
With the advent of the Chrystie Street services, the Q designation was suspended as Brighton Line express service was provided by the D service via 6th Avenue in Manhattan. The QT and QB designations were both to be dropped as the Brighton Locals were rerouted to the Nassau Street Loop in lower Manhattan and through routed to Jamaica via the BMT Jamaica Line. This service was designated QJ. The QB designation was retained as it was decided to run a few special local trains up the BMT Broadway Line to answer complaints that the new services provided no access to the Broadway Line.
The service history below includes predecessor services that became the Q service before the identifier was introduced.
History of "Q" services and their predecessors
- On July 2, 1878 steam railroad trains of the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railway began operations from Prospect Park to the Brighton Beach Hotel, which opened at the same time, located on Coney Island at the Atlantic Ocean at the foot of modern-day Coney Island Avenue at The Boardwalk. Passengers could make connections with the horsecars of the Brooklyn City Railroad at the Prospect Park terminal.
- On August 18, 1878 service was extended north from Prospect Park to Atlantic Avenue west of Franklin Avenue, a location known as Bedford Terminal of the BB&CI and Bedford Station of the Long Island Rail Road. A physical connection was made there both east and west to the LIRR as Bedford Junction. By mutual agreement trains of the BB&CI operated on the LIRR to its terminal at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, provided a much better connection to Downtown Brooklyn and ferries to Manhattan. LIRR trains also operated to Brighton Beach from Flatbush and Atlantic and from its own terminal in Long Island City, with ferry access to Midtown Manhattan. Initially, service operated during the summer season only.
- At the end of the 1882 summer season, the LIRR abrogated its agreement to allow Brighton trains to access its Flatbush Avenue terminal and beginning with the 1883 summer season, only BF&CI trains operated between Bedford Terminal and Brighton Beach.
- In 1896, a short northerly elevated extension of the Brighton Line (since reorganized as the Brooklyn & Brighton Beach Railroad) to the corner of Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street allowed rapid transit trains of the Fulton Street Line of the Kings County Elevated Railroad to operate from the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge to Brighton Beach, where a walking or cable car service connection over the bridge allowed access to New York City Hall at Park Row. Around the turn of the century, elevated trains were through-routed to Park Row without need to change trains.
- In 1903, A surface extension of the Brighton Beach Line on what is now Brighton Beach Avenue permitted through service from Park Row, Manhattan west to Culver Depot at Surf Avenue near West 8th Street, much nearer to the growing amusement center known then as West Brighton and now simply as Coney Island.
- In 1908, a massive grade crossing elimination project was completed with a 4-track line from south of Church Avenue station to Neptune Avenue near the Coney Island Creek, permitting true local- and express service, as pioneered on the New York City subway that opened in 1904.
- In 1919, Brighton Beach local and express service was extended to New West End Terminal at Stillwell and Surf Avenues, still the location of the current union terminal at Coney Island for all subway lines.
- On August 1, 1920, subway service on the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company's Brighton Beach Line officially began upon opening of BMT Montague Street Tunnel and a two track line connecting Prospect Park and DeKalb Avenue. Brighton Express service was operated during the daytime every day except Sunday between Brighton Beach and Times Square via the Montague Street Tunnel while local service operated between Coney Island and 57th Street/7th Avenue via the north side of the Manhattan Bridge. During late nights, all trains used the tunnel.
- In 1923, the Brighton Locals and Expresses switched Manhattan access methods with the express using the bridge when it ran and the Locals using the tunnel except in the evenings and on Sunday, when it too used the bridge.
- During the 1930s, limited morning rush hour service ran via the south side of the Manhattan Bridge to Chambers Street. On June 29, 1950, trains began running there during the evening rush as well.
- On October 20, the IRT Astoria Line was successfully converted to the BMT. Local trains were extended via this line to Astoria – Ditmars Boulevard.
- QT was a new route on 10/17/1949.
- On June 26, 1952, all Brighton and Broadway express trains were extended to 57th Street/7th Avenue at all times.
- On December 1, 1955, the BMT 60th Street Tunnel Connection opened. Local trains were rerouted to this new connector to serve the IND Queens Boulevard Line to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue. They were replaced on the BMT Astoria Line by Brighton Express trains on weekdays. On May 4, 1957, express trains ran to Astoria on Saturdays as well, but made local stops in Manhattan as the local trains now ran to Chambers Street via the BMT Montague Street Line.
- On October 7, 1957, a strike shuts down half of the BMT Division. Brighton Local trains ran in two sections, from Coney Island via tunnel to 57th Street, and from Whitehall Street to Jamaica–179th Street.
- Beginning on October 24, local trains that ran via the bridge also ran local in Manhattan, and late night service now runs via Manhattan Bridge.
- Beginning on May 28, 1959, Q trains made local stops in Brooklyn midday. Nassau Specials returned, running via the Montague Street tunnel during the morning rush and via the bridge during the evening rush.
- Beginning June 6, local trains (#1) ran to Franklin Avenue on Saturdays, supplementing the 7 (Franklin Avenue Shuttle).
1960s to 1990
- On November 15, 1960, with the arrival of the R-27s, service on the Brighton Line was as follows: Express was designated as Q, local via tunnel as QT, and local via bridge as QB.
- Beginning on January 1, 1961, weekday service had the Q running from 57th Street/7th Avenue to Brighton Beach and the QT running from Ditmars Boulevard to Stillwell Avenue. On Saturdays, the QT ran to Franklin Avenue while the Q ran to Ditmars Boulevard as an express in Brooklyn and local in Manhattan. The QB remained unchanged.
- Beginning on April 2, 1962, Q trains no longer ran on Saturdays. QB trains made all local stops to Astoria during evenings, nights, and weekends.
- From February 10 to November 2, 1964, the Brighton Express tracks were closed for platform extension. Skip-stop service was instituted along the Brighton Line.
- On November 26, 1967, the IND Chrystie Street Connection opened. Originally, the D and QJ were to replace at three Q services. However, due to riders opposition to the expected loss of all Broadway service, two limited rush-hour only services were added. The QB ran in the Q's current service pattern, local in Brooklyn and express in Manhattan, and a "super express" NX service was introduced that operated from Brighton Beach compass west to Coney Island, then north via the BMT Sea Beach Line express tracks, making no stops at all on that line, then stopping at 59th Street (BMT Fourth Avenue Line) station and then N express stops to 57th Street and Seventh Avenue on the BMT Broadway Line.
- In 1985, the IND double-letter naming scheme was dropped. The Q resulted and ran between 57th Street/7th Avenue and Stillwell Avenue during rush hours, making express stops in Manhattan and local stops in Brooklyn. During construction on the Brighton express tracks, the Q ran skip-stop service with the D. At the same time, the north side of the Manhattan Bridge was closed for reconstruction.
The Q logo from 1988-2001 when it ran via 6th Avenue in Manhattan. The main logo for the 2003 musical Avenue Q
parodies this bullet.
- On December 11, 1988, the north side reopened and the south side was closed. The Q became the weekday Brighton Express and was rerouted via the north side of the bridge and the IND Sixth Avenue Line to 57th Street/6th Avenue, Midtown Manhattan (and to 21st Street – Queensbridge, Long Island City, beginning in 1989). On weekday evenings and late nights, a shuttle ran between 57th Street/Sixth Avenue and Lower East Side – Second Avenue. The evening shuttle was replaced by B service on September 30, 1990 and the late night one by the F later that year.
- In May 1995, the north side of the Manhattan Bridge was closed during midday and weekends. During this time, the Q ran local in Brooklyn and then via Montague Street to Canal Street on the Broadway Line. From there, it ran express to 21st Street – Queensbridge.
1990s to present
- On February 22, 1998, construction on the IND 63rd Street Line cut B and Q service to 57th Street/6th Avenue. Service on the 63rd Street Line was replaced by a shuttle to the BMT Broadway Line. Normal service resumed on May 22, 1999.
- On July 22, 2001, the north side of the Manhattan Bridge was closed and the south side had reopened. There were two Q lines. In Brooklyn, the circle Q replaced the D as the Brighton Local to Stillwell Avenue while the diamond Q replaced the Sixth Avenue Q as the Brighton Express to Brighton Beach. Both Qs used the south side of the Manhattan Bridge to travel into Manhattan and then ran to 57th Street/Seventh Avenue via Broadway Express.
- After September 11, 2001, R service was suspended. The Q local replaced it between Canal Street and Forest Hills – 71st Avenue at all times except late nights, when it terminated at 57th Street/7th Avenue. The R service was restored on October 28, and the Q service then went back to normal.
- On September 8, 2002, Stillwell Avenue was closed for reconstruction and the Q local terminated at Brighton Beach. It returned to Stillwell on May 23, 2004.
- From April 27 to November 2, 2003, the south side of the Manhattan Bridge was closed on weekends and Q service was rerouted via the Montague Street Tunnel.
- On February 22, 2004, the north side of the Manhattan Bridge reopened. The Q diamond was discontinued and replaced by the B in Brooklyn and N in Manhattan.
Current plans for the Second Avenue Subway provide for the Q to be extended northward from 57th Street via the BMT 63rd Street Line, which is currently used only during service disruptions. The Q would stop at Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street at the currently-hidden northern side of the platforms to provide a cross-platform transfer to the IND 63rd Street Line (currently served by the F train). East of Lexington Avenue, it would curve northward to merge with the Second Avenue Line at about 64th Street. The first phase of construction, due to be completed by 2015, will extend Q service north to Second Avenue at 96th Street. At the conclusion of the project's second phase, the Q's new northern terminal will be 125th Street, providing residents of Spanish Harlem and the Upper East Side with direct subway service via Second Avenue and Broadway to western Midtown, Lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
The following lines are used by the Q service:
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.
|Station service legend
||Stops all times
||Stops all times except late nights
||Stops late nights only
||Stops weekdays only
||Stops rush hours only
||Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
|Time period details