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IRT Lexington Avenue LineEdit
This is the south terminal for the 3 train, which turns via the City Hall loop. Just north of the station are crossovers that allow trains to switch between the local and express tracks, which allow Lexington Avenue local trains to continue south via the express tracks if necessary (rather than using the City Hall loop). Due to the closure of City Hall station in 1945, Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (which had simply been Brooklyn Bridge) became the southernmost station on normal Lexington Avenue local service.
South of the station, the downtown local track splits into three tracks. The westmost loops around to the northbound local track through City Hall station. The other two are layup tracks parallel to the downtown express track. Until the 1960s, they merged into the downtown express track north of Fulton Street, but now they are spurs ending a little north of Fulton Street, occasionally used for train storage. Plans are on the books to rejoin the layup tracks to the express track.
The Brooklyn Bridge station has a number of abandoned areas as construction and service patterns have required changes to be made to the station. In addition to the two existing island platforms, there are two short local platforms on the outer edges of the station. Like those at 14th Street-Union Square and 96th Street, these local platforms were built to accommodate extra passenger volume and were built to the five-car length of the original IRT local trains. These side platforms did not see much use as they were located at express stations that required transfer via the island platforms, and, as trains were lengthened to their current ten-car length, it was impractical to lengthen both these small side platforms and the island platforms. They were closed in 1910 after only six years in operation and walled off along the platform edges.
The side platform on the southbound side is now home to some electrical equipment and a backup control tower for the Brooklyn Bridge interlocking, just north of the station. The tower is functional but not normally used, because the 42nd Street-Grand Central tower is the primary control point for the whole line. The interlocking board can be seen through a window along the wall along the southbound local trackway. The south end of the downtown side platform is still visible near the dispatcher's booth on the downtown island platform.
There are also some closed portions at the south ends of the existing express platforms. During the station lengthening projects it was easier to lengthen the express platform to the north. The curves at the south end proved impossible to rework so the station was lengthened northward (allowing Worth Street to be closed), and the curved southern ends of the express platform closed. Gap fillers and original mosaic tiles remain in the closed ends.
Artwork includes a 1996 work by Mark Gibian titled Cable Crossing.
BMT Nassau Street LineEdit
Chambers Street located at the intersection of Centre and Chambers Streets beneath the Manhattan Municipal Building, it is served by the J train (all times), the M train (all times except weekends and late nights), and the Z train (rush hours).There are four tracks, three island platforms, and one side platform (originally two). In 1931, the center island platform and both side platforms were closed as unnecessary. The west side platform was walled up and partly demolished when the Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line was rebuilt on the other side of the wall in 1960–62.
The J, M, and Z trains all use the outermost tracks during rush hours. The M train uses the two middle tracks to terminate and lay up trains during the middays. The J also uses these tracks during weekends, when service is not extended to Broad Street.
This was one of the earliest BMT subway stations opened in New York City, built at a time when Lower Manhattan was the city's principal business district. It was designed to be the BMT's Manhattan hub, with trains arriving from Brooklyn in both directions, and terminating here. Originally, trains arrived from the north via either the Williamsburg Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge.
The Nassau Street subway loop was completed in 1931, making Chambers Street a through station south to the Montague Street Tunnel to Brooklyn. The loop configuration permitted trains arriving in either direction from the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in Brooklyn to pass through Chambers Street and return to Fourth Avenue without turning around. A track connection to the Brooklyn Bridge, which would have made a similar loop through the Williamsburg Bridge, was planned in the station's design, but never built. (See BMT Brooklyn Loops.)
By the 1950s, Chambers Street was no longer as important a station, as many of the city's business interests had shifted to midtown. The Chrystie Street Connection, completed in 1967, severed the Nassau line's connection to the Manhattan Bridge, so that the bridge tracks could connect instead to the uptown IND Sixth Avenue Line. The tracks heading towards the Manhattan Bridge (now used for train storage) are clearly visible from northbound trains leaving Chambers Street.
Although altered over the years to account for changing ridership patterns, the station has not been renovated. In one poll, it was voted the ugliest station in the system:
- Station Reporter — Brooklyn Bridge/Chambers Street Complex
- Abandoned Stations — Brooklyn Bridge platforms