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The 6 Lexington Avenue Local is a service of the New York City Subway. It is colored green on station signs and the NYC Subway map, since it uses the IRT Lexington Avenue Line through midtown. Trains of the 3 service run at all times. The usual pattern is local service on the whole route. Some midday and rush hour trips run express in the peak direction in the Bronx, and are designated with a diamond rather than the standard circle. During those times (in peak direction), most local 3 trains terminate at Parkchester some local trains also run to Pelham Bay Park when the express runs in the late PM rush hour/early evening. Express trains switch to the local tracks north of there and continue to Pelham Bay Park.
On October 27, 1904, local and express service opened on the original subway in Manhattan, following the route of the present IRT Lexington Avenue Line from City Hall to 42nd Street–Grand Central. From there, the service traveled west on 42nd Street on the route of the present 42nd Street Shuttle, and then north on the present Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, and then the Lenox Avenue Line to 145th Street.
The current "H" configuration — with separate services along Lexington Avenue and Broadway–Seventh Avenues — was introduced in 1917. Full Lexington Avenue local service from City Hall to 125th Street opened on July 17, 1918.
On August 1, 1918, Third Avenue–138th Street opened.
On January 8, 1919, service was extended to Hunts Point Avenue.
On May 30, 1920, service was extended to Parkchester.
Five months later, service was extended to Westchester Square–East Tremont Avenue.
Two months later, the entire IRT Pelham Line was completed.
From that point on, service remained unchanged. Rush hour expresses operated from Pelham Bay Park and locals from Parkchester, and all stops other times to Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall. Until the 1970's, rush hour trains were extended to South Ferry (shuttle from Bowling Green on outer track, other times).
From March 4, 1985 until the following summer, there was a 3 leaving Third Avenue–138th Street bound for Brooklyn, turned at Atlantic Avenue, and returned to Pelham Bay Park. This was the only 3 service scheduled to operate to Brooklyn.
In the mid 1990s, express service in The Bronx was extended to middays (to Manhattan until about noon, then to Pelham Bay Park).
- In the 1974 film The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, a 3 train was hijacked, and hostages were held inside a subway car.
- Jennifer Lopez rode a 3 train into Manhattan to go to her dance studio. Her 1999 album is called On the 6, a reference to the train.
- On January 22, 2006, eight members of the Improv Everywhere comedy troup were arrested on a 3 train after participating in a city-wide prank dubbed "No Pants".
The following table shows the lines used by Route 6 and Route <6> trains, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|IRT Pelham Line (full line)||Pelham Bay Park||Castle Hill Avenue||local|
|Parkchester||Third Avenue – 138th Street||express|
|IRT Lexington Avenue Line||125th Street||Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall|
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops late nights only|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction|
|Stops rush hours in the peak direction only|