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IRT Lexington Avenue Line

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Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at IRT Lexington Avenue Line. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Metro Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).
This article is about the IRT New York City Subway line in Manhattan. For former BMT elevated line in Brooklyn, see BMT Lexington Avenue Line.

The Lexington Avenue Line (sometimes called the Lex, the 4-5-6 or the IRT East Side Line) is one of the major IRT lines in the New York City Subway. A large segment of it used to be part of the first subway line in New York. Being the only line in Manhattan to directly serve the Upper East Side and East Midtown, the four-track IRT Lexington Avenue Line is the most crowded in the country. Its average of 1.3 million daily riders is "more than the combined ridership of San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston's entire transit systems." (Second Avenue Subway FEIS, p. 1–6). Its ridership also exceeds that of the 614,000 daily trips on the entire Washington Metro (SAS FEIS, p. 1–5). The Second Avenue Line has been proposed to fix this problem.

Several stations along this line have been abandoned. When platforms were lengthened to fit 10 cars, 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 serviceEdit

Services that use the Lexington Avenue Line are colored green. The following services use part or all of the Lexington Avenue Line:

current service section of line
3 express (local late nights) full line
3 express (no late night service) north of Bowling Green (full line rush hours)
3 local north of Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall

The line sees 2 service limited rush hours in the peak direction-two trains heading to Brooklyn and four trains heading to the Bronx-to clear congestion.

The Lexington Avenue Line begins at the inner loop at South Ferry station, which is currently used to turn 5 trains at all times except rush hours. North of the station is a merge with the tracks of the Joralemon Street Tunnel from Brooklyn, which become the express tracks. These run north under Broadway and Park Row to Centre Street. At the south end of Center Street, directly under New York City Hall, is the abandoned City Hall loop and station, which was the southern terminus of the original IRT subway line. The loop is still used to turn 6 service; the Lexington Avenue local tracks, which feed the loop, rise up to join the express tracks just south of Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall station.

From Brooklyn Bridge, the line continues northward in a four-across track layout under Centre Street, Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue, and Park Avenue South until 42nd Street. At this point, the beginning of Metro-North Railroad's Park Avenue tunnel in Grand Central Terminal forces the Lexington Avenue Line to shift slightly eastward to Lexington Avenue; its 42nd Street-Grand Central station is located on the diagonal between Park and Lexington. Just south of Grand Central, a single non-revenue track connects the IRT 42nd Street Shuttle to the southbound local track; this was part of the original IRT subway alignment.

Under Lexington Avenue, the line assumes a two-over-two track configuration, with the local tracks running on the upper level and the express on the lower, although it briefly returns to a four-across layout between 96th Street and 116th Street stations. 125th Street station maintains this two-over-two layout, although here the upper level is used by northbound trains (both local and express) and the lower level by southbound trains (again, both local and express). North of 125th Street, a flying junction marks the end of the line, where it splits into the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 and 5) and the IRT Pelham Line (6 and <6>).

HistoryEdit

The part of the line from City Hall to just south of 42nd Street was part of the original IRT line, opened on October 27, 1904. An extension to Fulton Street opened at 12:01 a.m. on January 16, 1905. The next station, Wall Street, was opened on June 12, 1905. [1]

The first revenue train on the South Ferry extension left South Ferry at 11:59 p.m. 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 12:45 a.m. 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 IRT 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 section of the IRT Pelham Line opened to Third Avenue-138th Street.

Station listingEdit

Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
begins as a merge of the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (3 always, 3 all but late nights) and the IRT Pelham Line (3 always,

<6> rush hours in peak direction)

125th Street all 3 always,
3 all but late nights,
3 always,

<6> rush hours in peak direction

July 17, 1918 connection to Metro-North Railroad at Harlem-125th Street
116th Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
July 17, 1918
110th Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
July 17, 1918
103rd Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
July 17, 1918
96th Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
July 17, 1918
86th Street all 3 always,
3 all but late nights,
3 always,

<6> rush hours in peak direction

July 17, 1918
77th Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
July 17, 1918
68th Street–Hunter College local 3 late nights,
3 always
July 17, 1918
59th Street all 3 always,
3 all but late nights,
3 always,

<6> rush hours in peak direction

July 17, 1918 free transfer to N R (1234) W (123a) (BMT Broadway Line)
free MetroCard transfer to Template:NYCS 63rd (IND 63rd Street Line)
Roosevelt Island Tramway
51st Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
July 17, 1918 free transfer to E V

  (IND Queens Boulevard Line)

42nd Street–Grand Central all 3 always,
3 all but late nights,
3 always,

<6> rush hours in peak direction

July 17, 1918 free transfer to 7 <7> 

  (IRT Flushing Line)
free transfer to S   (Times Square-Grand Central Shuttle)
connection 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 3 late nights,
3 always
October 27, 1904
28th Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
October 27, 1904
23rd Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
October 27, 1904
18th Street October 27, 1904 closed November 7, 1948
14th Street–Union Square all 3 always,
3 all but late nights,
3 always,

<6> rush hours in peak direction

October 27, 1904 free transfer to L (BMT Canarsie Line)
free transfer to N Q R

  W   (BMT Broadway Line)
originally 14th Street

Astor Place–Cooper Union local 3 late nights,
3 always
October 27, 1904
Bleecker Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
October 27, 1904 free transfer between downtown platform and B

  D F V   (Sixth Avenue Line)

Spring Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
October 27, 1904
Canal Street local 3 late nights,
3 always
October 27, 1904 free transfer to N Q R

  W   (BMT Broadway main line)
free transfer to N   Q (Manhattan Bridge)
free transfer to J M   Z   (BMT Nassau Street Line)

Worth Street October 27, 1904 closed September 1, 1962
local tracks split from express tracks (3 always)
Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall all 3 always,
3 all but late nights,
3 always,

<6> rush hours in peak direction

October 27, 1904 free transfer to J M

  Z   (BMT Nassau Street Line)
originally Brooklyn Bridge, then Brooklyn Bridge-Worth Street

local train short turn (3 all times)
City Hall October 27, 1904 closed December 31, 1945 Lexington Avenue Local trains stopped at station from 1904 to 1945 except late nghts when trains continued to South Ferry
express trains continue (3 always, 3 all but late nights)
Fulton Street express 3 always,
3 all but late nights
January 16, 1905 free transfer to Template:NYCS Eighth express (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
free transfer to J

  M   Z   (BMT Nassau Street Line)
free transfer to 2 3 (1234) (IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line)

Wall Street express 3 always, 3 all but late nights June 12, 1905
Bowling Green express 3 always, 3 all but late nights July 10, 1905
express train short turn (3 mid-days, evenings and weekends)
South Ferry July 10, 1905 Inner platform closed February 12, 1977
Lexington Avenue Line trains used the outer platform from July 10, 1905 to July 1, 1918 and from 1950 to February 12, 1977
continues into Brooklyn via the Joralemon Street Tunnel (3 always, 3 rush hours)
Borough Hall express 3 always, 3 all but late nights May 1, 1908

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • "Fulton St. Trains Monday," New York Times, January 14, 1905, p. 5
  • "Subway at Fulton Street Busy," New York Times, January 17, 1905, p.9
  • "Subway Trains Run Again This Morning," New York Times, June 13, 1905, p. 1
  • "Subway Trains Running from Bronx to Battery," New York Times, July 10, 1905, p. 1
  • "Subway to Brooklyn Opened for Traffic," New York Times, January 9, 1908, p. 1
  • "Lexington Av. Line to be Opened Today," New York Times, July 7, 1918, p. 13
  • "Open New Subway Lines to Traffic; Called a Triumph," New York Times, August 2, 1918, p. 1
  • "Old City Hall Station of IRT to Close Monday," New York Times, December 27, 1945, p. 24
  • "IRT Station to be Closed," New York Times, November 6, 1948, p. 29
  • "New Platform for IRT Locals at Brooklyn Bridge to End Jams," New York Times, September 1, 1962, p. 42
  • "M.T.A. Expected to Save Franklin Avenue Shuttle, Once an Austerity Target," New York Times, February 10, 1977, p. 27


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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


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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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