Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
BMT Jamaica Line
The Jamaica Line runs from the Marcy Avenue , where it connects with the line over the Williamsburg Bridge to compass east of the 121st Street (BMT Jamaica Line station) where it continues as a lower level subway, the BMT Archer Avenue Line to Jamaica Center . It is served by the J, Z and M services.
The Jamaica Line includes the oldest existing elevated structure on the New York City subway system, as well as some of the newest.
The current line includes portions of lines built at different times under different names and several different companies. The portion from Marcy Avenue (originally from Broadway Ferry , dismantled) to the line's junction with the Lexington Avenue L was built by the Union Elevated Railroad and leased to the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad for operation. Later these companies combined as the Brooklyn Union Elevated Railroad . At Lexington Avenue, the line operated over the structure of the Lexington Avenue L, also known as the Old Main Line, the original elevated line in Brooklyn to Cypress Hills station, located on Crescent Street at the intersection of Jamaica Avenue near the Brooklyn-Queens border. The entire operation was leased to the , which described its elevated lines with the capital letter "L" (in common with Chicago, but unlike Manhattan and Boston), and was known as the Broadway L.
This portion of the Jamaica Line includes a variety of structures. From Marcy Avenue to a point just before Alabama Avenue (BMT Jamaica Line station) the line operates on the structure of the old Broadway L and Lexington Avenue L lines, but substantially rebuilt and upgraded to a three-track line around World War I under the Dual Contracts of 1913. From Alabama Avenue to just before the current Cypress Hills station, the Jamaica Line operates on the oldest elevated structure in New York City, the steel-reinforced cast iron line of the original Old Main Line.
At Cypress Hills, the line turns northeast onto Jamaica Avenue on what was known as the Jamaica Avenue Line, a Dual Contracts structure. This structure has provisions on its entire length for three tracks, but a center track was never built, with the except of a layup track at 111th Street (BMT Jamaica Line station) and another between 160th and 168th Streets on the now-demolished original end of the line.
After 121st Street, the line turns into the Archer Avenue Subway, opened in 1989, and one of the newest on the system, ending at Jamaica Center station.
The line name
From its accession by the BRT to and beyond city ownership in 1940, the portion of the line from its western terminus to Cypress Hills was known as the Broadway L or the Broadway-Brooklyn Line. Beyond that point it was known as the Jamaica Avenue Line. Subsequent to city takeover, the dividing line between the Broadway and Jamaica Avenue Lines was often considered to be the more westerly station at Eastern Parkway, now known as Broadway Junction.
Since the discontinuance of separate Broadway-Brooklyn services, the entire line is now known as the Jamaica Line.
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