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All but the Culver Line connect at DeKalb Avenue station in Downtown Brooklyn and proceed into Lower Manhattan; the Culver Line goes separately into Manhattan. The services eventually merge together onto two lines — the IND Sixth Avenue Line and the BMT Broadway Line — and serve points as far as the northern Bronx and Jamaica, Queens, all accessible by a single ride.
The Brighton and Culver Lines also stop at West Eighth Street–New York Aquarium, and Brighton trains also stop at Ocean Parkway and Brighton Beach. At Brighton Beach, express B (123a) service begins, heading north into Manhattan, and into the Bronx during rush hours.
The following buses go to Coney Island:
- B36: Sheepshead Bay – Sea Gate via Avenue Z/Surf Avenue
- B64: Bay Ridge – Coney Island via 86th Street/Bath Avenue
- B68: Windsor Terrace – Coney Island via Coney Island Avenue
- B74: Coney Island – Sea Gate via Mermaid Avenue
- B82: Starrett City – Coney Island via Kings Highway/Flatlands Avenue
- X29: Coney Island – Midtown Manhattan Express
All four Subway lines were once typical steam railroads:
- BMT Brighton Line — Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railway (popularly known as the Brighton Beach Line)
- BMT Culver Line — Park Avenue Railroad and Greenwood and Coney Island Railroad and New York and Coney Island Railroad → Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad (popularly known as the Culver Line, after its founder, Andrew Culver)
- BMT Sea Beach Line — New York and Sea Beach Railroad → New York and Sea Beach Railway → Sea Beach Railway
- BMT West End Line — Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road → Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad → Brooklyn, Bath and West End Railroad
All four were leased by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) and integrated into their system of elevated railways. The Culver Line passed into the Independent Subway System (IND) in October 1954, since which time it has been operated as part of that system. Further integration of service came in November 1967 with the Chrystie Street Connection, allowing IND trains to go to Coney Island via the Manhattan Bridge and any of the other lines.
Before being leased by the BRT, the Culver Line was operated as part of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) system, and the Brighton Line had various trackage rights agreements with the LIRR. A fifth line to Coney Island, the Manhattan Beach Line (New York, Brooklyn and Manhattan Beach Railroad, originally the New York and Manhattan Beach Railway), was operated in conjunction with the LIRR from October 1885 until passenger service ended in May 1924. A sixth line to Coney Island, the New York and Brighton Beach Railway, operated only for a month and a half in 1880. Later plans to reuse the line, including the innovative "Boynton Bicycle Railway", failed.
At first, each railroad had its own Coney Island terminal, some at hotels owned by the line operators; after much consolidation of terminals the current situation came about, where all lines end at Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.
Coney Island was also served by steamboats to several piers. Two short lines connected the terminals - the Marine Railway to the east and the Coney Island Elevated Railway (later the Sea View Railroad) in the center. The former was leased by the LIRR, the latter by the BRT.
The original terminalsEdit
The easternmost terminal was on the Manhattan Beach Line, near the Manhattan Hotel, the first luxury hotel on Coney Island. From there, the Marine Railway extended east to the east tip of the island and west to the Brighton Beach Hotel.
This hotel was the next terminal to the west, the terminal of the Brighton Line, a bit south of the current Brighton Beach station. The Coney Island Elevated Railway was built later to connect this terminal west to the other three, terminating just west of the Culver Terminal.
Not connecting with the elevated was the short-lived terminal of the New York and Brighton Beach Railway, which only operated for a month and a half during the summer of 1880. This terminal was just west of Ocean Parkway and just north of Brighton Beach Avenue (at the time known as Boulevard and Concourse, respectively).
The Culver Terminal on the Culver Line was located almost exactly where the West Eighth Street–New York Aquarium station is now. Trains could either terminate there or continue west along a private right-of-way to Norton's Point, at the west tip of Coney Island.
The West End Line ended at the West End Terminal, where Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue station is now. Sea Beach Palace, the end of the Sea Beach Line, was about halfway between the West End and Culver terminals.
- NYCSubway.org - Early Rapid Transit in Brooklyn, 1878 to 1913
- The Third Rail Online - Brooklyn's New Coney Island Terminal
- LIRR History - The New York and Manhattan Beach Railway