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The Eighth Avenue Line is the original rapid transit line of the Independent Subway System (IND), now run by the New York City Transit Authority as part of the New York City Subway system. For more than three decades from its inception in 1932, many New Yorkers called the entire IND system the Eighth Avenue Subway. Although it was the first portion of the IND put into service, this was never its official name. Most of the line is quadruple-tracked (with one local and one express track in each direction), except for the extreme north and south ends (which have just two tracks). The northern section of the Eighth Avenue Line (above 145th Street) was once designated the Washington Heights Line (entrance signage read "Wash. Hgts.-8th Av."). For this reason, some A trains (R32 and R38 only) have rollsigns designations that read "Washington Heights–8 Avenue–Fulton Street".

Extent and serviceEdit

Services that use the Eighth Avenue Line through Midtown and Lower Manhattan are colored blue on station signs, the NYC Subway Map and on train front and/or side route signs depending on the equipment used.

The following services use part or all of the Eighth Avenue Line:

Service Section of line
A Express (local late nights) Full line
B Local (morning rush hour through early evening) 145th Street to 59th Street
C Local (no service late nights) South of 168th Street
D Express 145th Street to 59th Street
E Local 50th Street to World Trade Center
Section of line Tracks Services
North of 168th Street All A always
168th Street to 145th Street Local A late nights, C all but late nights
Express A all but late nights
145th Street to 59th Street Local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights
Express A all but late nights, D always
59th Street to 50th Street Local A late nights, C all but late nights
Express A all but late nights
50th Street to Canal Street Local A late nights, C all but late nights, E always
Express A all but late nights
Canal Street to Chambers Street–World Trade Center Local E always
Express A always, C all but late nights
South of Chambers Street All A always, C all but late nights

The Eighth Avenue Line, running from uptown Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, begins at 207th Street as a two-track subway. Two tracks from the 207th Street Yard join at a flying junction, and there are four tracks through Dyckman Street before the extra tracks end. Two local tracks begin at 174th Street Yard, north of 168th Street. They come in between the existing tracks, running through the center of 168th Street before moving to the outside. At that point, A service stays on the express tracks, and C service begins on the local tracks.

At 145th Street station, the IND Concourse Line (B   D) joins, with a flying junction just to the south to connect the tracks. Except during rush hours, B service begins at 145th Street; D trains switch there to the express tracks. Between 59th Street and 50th Street, a flying junction connects both express and local tracks from the north to the beginning of the IND Sixth Avenue Line (B   D) under 53rd Street, and another flying junction south of 50th Street connects the tracks from the south to the IND Queens Boulevard Line, also under 53rd Street (E).

South of these junctions, the line continues down Eighth Avenue to 14th Street, where it turns southeast under Greenwich Avenue to connect again with the Sixth Avenue Line (B   D F V  ) at the eight-track, bi-level West Fourth Street station. At this point, local tracks of both lines interconnect south of the station in another elaborate flying junction which allows local trains of either line to continue south on either the Eighth Avenue Line to Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn or on the Sixth Avenue Line to the Lower East Side and Brooklyn. As of 2005, no services transfer.

The line then continues south under Sixth Avenue (which was built as part of the subway project) and Church Street. North of Chambers Street, the local tracks form a separate but parallel line to stub-end at World Trade Center, just east of the express tracks. These tracks are now the terminal for the E train. This part of the line was originally planned to continue south of the World Trade Center beneath the East River via a new tunnel to Brooklyn. A bellmouth for this never-built section is visible from southbound trains on the route from Canal Street to the World Trade Center terminal.

The C train switches to the express tracks at Canal Street. The express tracks continue south and east under Fulton Street and under the East River through the Cranberry Street Tunnel to Brooklyn. After briefly running under Cranberry Street, the tracks turn south under Jay Street, meeting two tracks of the Sixth Avenue Line (F) coming from the Rutgers Street Tunnel. The final station is Jay Street; south of here service can either continue along the IND Culver Line (Template:NYCS Jay Street local) or the IND Fulton Street Line (A C  ).

January 23, 2005 fireEdit

Around 2:00 p.m. on January 23, 2005, a fire destroyed the interlocking plant at Chambers Street. This caused restriction of A service and complete suspension of C service. Specifically, about one-third of the normal number of A trains ran. Some newspaper articles have blamed the fire on a homeless person trying to keep warm, but that has not been confirmed.


The C in Brooklyn (east of Jay Street) was replaced by an extension of V service on weekdays. The upper level platforms of the Eighth Avenue Line at 50th Street are only served by the C, and were thus closed; the only uptown service to 50th Street was via the Queens Boulevard Line's connection (E service) into the lower level of the station.


Additionally, the A, which had formerly used the express tracks on the Eighth Avenue Line south of 168th Street (the C's northern terminus), switched to local at 145th Street, serving the two local stations that were only served by the C (155th Street and 163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue).


The A also used the local tracks in Brooklyn, serving all stations. Direct rush-hour A trips to Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street were suspended in favor of the always-running S (connecting Rockaway Park Shuttle).


Before the fire, on weekday nights from 9 p.m. to midnight, the C was the only service on the local tracks north of 59th Street; the D was switched to local to cover this. The A was switched to local service on weekends to pick up the slack. During rush hour, extra B trains were added, starting on or before January 28.

Until the morning of January 28, the MTA moved the A to the parallel Sixth Avenue Line, Rutgers Street Tunnel and Culver Line (the route used by regular F service) from West Fourth Street to Jay Street between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., in order to perform critical repairs.

The last suspended service, rush-hour trips to Beach 116th Street, was restored on February 14, 2005; until then those trips required a transfer to the S Rockaway Park Shuttle.

Initial estimates gave a time of three to five years to restore full service, due to the rareness of the destroyed equipment. That was later cut back to six to nine months to bring back normal operations. However, C service and 70% of A service was restored at 5 a.m. on February 2, 2005, only ten days after the fire. On April 21, full service was restored.

BackgroundEdit

The Eighth Avenue Line, and the remainder of the IND system were built by the City of New York partly to provide modern rapid transit facilities and partly to compete with the private companies, the BMT and IRT.

A subway under Eighth Avenue was an early goal of transit planners in the city. The BMT, in particular, hoped to operate the Eighth Avenue Line as an extension of its Broadway Line, operating under Central Park West (Eighth Avenue) to the upper reaches of Manhattan. For this purpose, the express tracks north of the BMT's 57th Street station were continued north and stub-ended in anticipation of the service. These tracks have since been connected to the BMT 63rd Street Line, with future connections to the planned Second Avenue Line to the Upper East Side and Harlem.

The whole line north of Chambers Street opened at midnight on the morning of September 10, 1932; the short section under Fulton Street, Cranberry Street, and Jay Street (including the Cranberry Street Tunnel) opened on February 11, 1933.

The express tracks were always served by the A service. AA service ran local, and was renamed to K in 1986 and C in 1988.

Chaining informationEdit

The Eighth Avenue Line is chained IND A. This chaining then continues through the Cranberry Street Tunnel to the IND Fulton Street Line, running to Euclid Avenue. The south end of West Fourth Street station is defined as chaining point 969+25 (Mile Post 18.357), and numbers increase to the north and decrease to the south.

Station listingEdit

Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
Inwood–207th Street local A always September 10, 1932
Dyckman Street(200th Street) local A always September 10, 1932
190th Street-Cloisters local A always September 10, 1932
181st Street local A always September 10, 1932
175th Street-George Washington Bridge local A always September 10, 1932 George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal
Washington Heights-168th Street all A always, C all but late nights September 10, 1932 1 (IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line)
163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue local A late nights, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
155th Street local A late nights, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
Sugar Hill-145th Street all A always, C all but late nights September 10, 1932 B

  D (IND Concourse Line)

IND Concourse Line (B morning rush hour through early evening, D always) joins
135th Street local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
125th Street all A always, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights, D always September 10, 1932
116th Street local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
110th Street–Cathedral Parkway local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
103rd Street local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
96th Street local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
86th Street local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
81st Street–Museum of Natural History local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
72nd Street local A late nights, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights September 10, 1932
59th Street–Columbus Circle all A always, B morning rush hour through early evening, C all but late nights, D always September 10, 1932 1 2 (5) (IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line)
IND Sixth Avenue Line (B morning rush hours through early evening, D always) splits
50th Street local A late nights, C all but late nights September 10, 1932 E (IND Queens Boulevard Line)
Queens Boulevard Line (E always) joins
42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal all A always, C all but late nights, E always September 10, 1932 1 2 3

  (IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line)
7 <7>    (IRT Flushing Line)
N,Q & R(BMT Broadway Line)
S   (IRT 42nd Street Shuttle)

34th Street–Penn Station all A always, C all but late nights, E always September 10, 1932 M34 & M34A Select Bus Service & connection to Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit at New York Penn Station
23rd Street local A late nights, C all but late nights, E always September 10, 1932
14th Street all A always, C all but late nights, E always September 10, 1932 L (BMT Canarsie Line)
West Fourth Street–Washington Square all A always, C all but late nights, E always September 10, 1932 B,D,F & M(IND Sixth Avenue Line)
local transfer tracks to/from IND Sixth Avenue Line (no services switch)
Spring Street local A late nights, C all but late nights, E always September 10, 1932
Canal Street all A always, C all but late nights, E always September 10, 1932 originally Canal Street–Holland Tunnel
Chambers Street express A always, C all but late nights September 10, 1932 two parts of the same station; originally Chambers Street–Hudson Terminal. Local tracks end.
2 3 (1234) (IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line)
transfer to PATH
World Trade Center local E always September 10, 1932
Fulton St-Broadway–Nassau Street express A always, C all but late nights February 11, 1933 2 3 (1234) (IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line)
4

  5   (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
J & Z(BMT Nassau Street Line)

continues through the Cranberry Street Tunnel
High Street–Brooklyn Bridge express A always, C all but late nights February 11, 1933
IND Sixth Avenue Line (F always) merges
Jay Street–MetroTech express A always, C all but late nights, F always February 11, 1933

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit


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New York City Subway Lines
IRT Manhattan: 42nd St ShuttleBroadway-7th AvLenox AvLexington Av
Bronx: Dyre AvJerome AvPelhamWhite Plains Rd
Brooklyn/Queens: Eastern PkwyFlushingNostrand Av
Former: 2nd Av3rd Av6th Av9th Av
BMT Manhattan trunks and branches: 63rd StAstoriaBroadwayManhattan BridgeNassau St
Eastern Division: Archer AvCanarsieJamaicaMyrtle Av
Southern Division: 4th AvBrightonCulverFranklin AvSea BeachWest End
Former: 3rd Av5th AvBrooklyn BridgeFulton StLexington Av
IND Manhattan/Bronx trunks: 6th Av8th AvConcourse
Brooklyn/Queens: 63rd StArcher AvCrosstownCulverFulton StRockawayQueens Blvd
Former: World's Fair
Connections Chrystie St60th St
Future 2nd Av


 v  d  e 
MTA: New York City Subway
Routes NYCS Route 1NYCS Route 2NYCS Route 3NYCS Route 4NYCS Route 5NYCS Route 6NYCS Route 6dNYCS Route 7NYCS Route 7dNYCS Route ANYCS Route BNYCS Route CNYCS Route DNYCS Route ENYCS Route FNYCS Route GNYCS Route JNYCS Route LNYCS Route MNYCS Route NNYCS Route QNYCS Route RNYCS Route Z
Shuttles NYCS Route S (42nd StreetFranklin AvenueRockaway Park)
Defunct NYCS 89HKTVWJFK Express
BMT 12345678910111213141516Brooklyn Loops
Shuttles 63rd StreetBowling GreenCulverGrand StreetOther
Unused 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • P • U • X • Y
Expansion Second Avenue Subway7 Subway ExtensionFulton Street Transit Center
Divisions A Division: IRTB Division: BMTIND (Second System)
Lists Inter-division connectionsInter-division transfersLinesServicesStationsTerminalsYards
Miscellaneous AccessibilityChainingHistoryMetroCardNomenclatureRolling stock
Other NYC transit Rail: AirTrain JFKAmtrakLIRRMetro-NorthNJT (rail)PATHStaten Island Railway
Other: NJT (buses)NYCT busesRoosevelt Island Tramway

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