Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
IRT Lexington Avenue Line
- Brooklyn had an elevated BMT Lexington Avenue Line until 1960.
The Lexington Avenue Line (sometimes called the Lex or the IRT East Side Line) is one of the major lines in the New York City Subway. Part of it was the first subway in New York. The line is the most crowded of the subway system, being the only line east of Central Park. The Second Avenue Line is proposed to fix this problem.
Several stations have been abandoned. When platforms were widened, new entrances were built for adjacent stations, making the abandoned ones redundant. For example, 14th Street-Union Square has an entrance on 16th, and 23rd Street has an entrance on 20th, so 18th Street station was abandoned.
Extent and service
|current service||section of line|
|4||express (local late nights)||full line|
|5||express (no late night service)||north of Bowling Green (full line rush hours)|
|6||local||north of Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall (where the local tracks end)|
The Lexington Avenue Line begins just north of 125th Street, at an underground flying junction of the Jerome Avenue Line (4 5) and the Pelham Line (6). 125th Street station is laid out interestingly, with uptown trains on the upper level and downtown trains on the lower level. The line runs south under Lexington Avenue to 42nd Street, at Grand Central Terminal. The Metro-North Railroad tunnel ends at Grand Central, allowing the Lexington Avenue Line to switch to Park Avenue south of it. At this shift, a single non-revenue track joins the Times Square-Grand Central Shuttle to the southbound local track, along the alignment of the original IRT subway.
Where Park Avenue ends, the subway shifts onto Fourth Avenue and then Lafayette Street. Lafayette Street merges into Centre Street; at the south end of Centre Street is the abandoned City Hall station, on the loop that the 6 service turns around at. This loop, which the local tracks end at, was the southern terminal of the original subway.
The express tracks of the Lexington Avenue Line then continue south along Park Row and Broadway, leading into the Joralemon Street Tunnel to Brooklyn. Just north of the tunnel, some trains used to run to an inner loop at South Ferry station; this loop is now used to turn 5 trains except during rush hour, when they continue into Brooklyn.
The part of the line from City Hall to 42nd Street was part of the original IRT line, opened on October 27, 1904. An extension to Fulton Street opened at 00:01 on January 16, 1905. The next station, Wall Street, was opened on June 12, 1905.
The first revenue train on the South Ferry extension left South Ferry at 23:58 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 00:45 on January 9, 1908.
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 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 bit of the IRT Pelham Line opened to Third Avenue.
|Station||Tracks||Services||Opened||Transfers and notes|
|begins as a merge of the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 always, 5 all but late nights, rush hours in peak direction) and the IRT Pelham Line (6 always, rush hours in peak direction)|
|125th Street||all||4 always, 5 all but late nights, <5> rush hours in peak direction, 6 always, <6> rush hours in peak direction||July 17, 1918||transfer to at Harlem-125th Street|
|116th Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||July 17, 1918|
|110th Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||July 17, 1918|
|103rd Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||July 17, 1918|
|96th Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||July 17, 1918|
|86th Street||all||4 always, 5 all but late nights, <5> rush hours in peak direction, 6 always, <6> rush hours in peak direction||July 17, 1918|
|77th Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||July 17, 1918|
|68th Street-Hunter College||local||4 late nights, 6 always||July 17, 1918|
|59th Street||all||4 always, 5 all but late nights, <5> rush hours in peak direction, 6 always, <6> rush hours in peak direction||July 17, 1918||free transfer to (BMT Broadway Line)|
free MetroCard transfer to (IND 63rd Street Line)
Roosevelt Island Tramway
|51st Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||July 17, 1918||free transfer to (Queens Boulevard Line)|
|42nd Street-Grand Central||all||July 17, 1918||free transfer to (Flushing Line)|
free transfer to (Times Square-Grand Central Shuttle)
transfer to Metro-North Railroad at Grand Central Terminal
originally Grand Central Station
|merge on southbound local track from IRT 42nd Street Shuttle (S)|
|33rd Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||October 27, 1904|
|28th Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||October 27, 1904|
|23rd Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||October 27, 1904|
|18th Street||October 27, 1904||closed November 7, 1948|
|14th Street-Union Square||all||October 27, 1904||free transfer to (Canarsie Line)|
free transfer to (Broadway Line)
originally 14th Street
|Astor Place-Eighth Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||October 27, 1904|
|Bleecker Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||October 27, 1904||free transfer between downtown platform and (Sixth Avenue Line)|
|Spring Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||October 27, 1904|
|Canal Street||local||4 late nights, 6 always||October 27, 1904||free transfer to N Q R (1234) W (123a) (Broadway Line)|
free transfer to (Nassau Street Line)
|Worth Street||October 27, 1904||closed September 1, 1962|
|Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall||all||October 27, 1904||free transfer to J M (12) Z (1a) (Nassau Street Line)|
originally Brooklyn Bridge, then Brooklyn Bridge-Worth Street
|City Hall||October 27, 1904||closed December 31, 1945|
|Fulton Street||express||4 always, 5 all but late nights, <5> rush hours in peak direction||January 16, 1905||free transfer to (Eighth Avenue Line)|
free transfer to (Nassau Street Line)
free transfer to (Brooklyn Branch )
|Wall Street||express||4 always, 5 all but late nights, <5> rush hours in peak direction||June 12, 1905|
|Bowling Green||express||4 always, 5 all but late nights, <5> rush hours in peak direction||July 10, 1905|
|South Ferry||July 1, 1918||closed February 12, 1977|
Lexington Avenue Line trains used the outer platform from July 10, 1905 to July 1, 1918
|continues as the Joralemon Street Tunnel (4 always, 5 all but late nights, <5> rush hours in peak direction)|
- Fulton St. Trains Monday, New York Times January 14, 1905 page 5
- Subway at Fulton Street Busy, New York Times January 17, 1905 page 9
- Subway Trains Run Again This Morning, New York Times June 13, 1905 page 1
- Subway Trains Running from Bronx to Battery, New York Times July 10, 1905 page 1
- Subway to Brooklyn Opened for Traffic, New York Times January 9, 1908 page 1
- Lexington Av. Line to be Opened Today, New York Times July 7, 1918, page 13
- Open New Subway Lines to Traffic; Called a Triumph, New York Times August 2, 1918 page 1
- Old City Hall Station of IRT to Close Monday, New York Times December 27, 1945 page 24
- IRT Station to be Closed, New York Times November 6, 1948 page 29
- New Platform for IRT Locals at Brooklyn Bridge to End Jams, New York Times September 1, 1962 page 42
- M.T.A. Expected to Save Franklin Avenue Shuttle, Once an Austerity Target, New York Times February 10, 1977 page 27
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