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List of New York City Subway lines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Queens Boulevard viaduct of the IRT Flushing Line
Queens Boulevard viaduct of the IRT Flushing Line

The New York City Subway is a heavy-rail public transit system serving four of the five boroughs of New York City. The present New York City Subway system inherited the systems of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT), and the Independent Subway System (IND). New York City has owned the IND since its inception; the BMT and IRT were taken over by the city in 1940. The former IRT system is now known as the A Division, while the B Division is the combined former BMT and IND systems.

In the New York City Subway nomenclature, a "line" refers to the physical trackage used by trains that are used by numbered or lettered "services". Today, the division or company names are not used publicly, while the line names may occasionally be used. The services that run on certain lines change periodically, but the lines refer to static trackage.


In the nomenclature of the Subway, the terms "line" and "service" are not interchangeable with each other. While in popular usage the word "line" is often used synonymously with "service" (even sometimes on the website of the MTA[1]), this list will use the formal usage of the term "line."

A line is the physical structure and tracks that trains run over. Each section of the system is assigned a unique line name that begins with its original division (IRT, BMT or IND). For example, the line under Eighth Avenue is the IND Eighth Avenue Line. Some lines have changed names (and even divisions), but this happens relatively infrequently.

By contrast, a service refers to the route that a train takes across the various lines. A service can operate along several lines and even along different divisions. For example, the R service operates along the IND Queens Boulevard Line as well as the BMT Broadway Line and the BMT Fourth Avenue Line.

Each service is also assigned a color. Since 1979, each service's color corresponds to the line it primarily uses in Midtown Manhattan—defined as the trunk line—with these exceptions: the IND Crosstown Line, which doesn't carry services to Manhattan, is colored light green; and all shuttles are colored dark gray.[2] The list of trunk lines and colors is shown in the table below.

Line listing

There are currently 36 rail lines. The Archer Avenue Lines and the 63rd Street Lines are each classified as two separate lines due to their structure: both lines are able to serve two divisions (the BMT and the IND) on distinct sections of track.

In the list below, lines with colors next to them indicate trunk lines, which determine the colors that are used for services' route bullets and diamonds, as well as shuttle service lines. The opening date refers to the opening of the first section of track for the line. In the "division" column, the current division is followed by the original division in parentheses.

Division Line Borough(s) Service(s) Opened Structure
B (IND)      02Second Avenue Line Manhattan       M weekends and evenings
      N limited rush hour service only
      Q all times
      R one weekday a.m. rush hour trip in the northbound direction only
January 1, 2017[6] underground
B (BMT) 04Fourth Avenue Line Brooklyn       D all times
      N all times
      R all times
      W limited rush hour service only
June 22, 1915[7] underground
B (IND)      06Sixth Avenue Line Manhattan
      B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      D all times
      F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
      M all times except late nights
January 1936[8] underground
B (IND)      08Eighth Avenue Line Manhattan
      A all times
      B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      C all except late nights
      D all times
      E all times
September 10, 1932[9] underground
A (IRT)      42nd Street Shuttle Manhattan       S all except late nights October 27, 1904[10] underground[a]
B (BMT) 63rd Street Line Manhattan       N limited weekday rush hour service only
      Q all times
      R one a.m. rush hour trip in the northbound direction only
October 29, 1989[9] underground
B (IND) 63rd Street Line Manhattan
      F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction October 29, 1989[9] underground
B (BMT) Archer Avenue Line Queens       J all times
      Z rush hours, peak direction
December 11, 1988[7] underground
B (IND) Archer Avenue Line Queens       E all times December 11, 1988[9] underground
B (BMT) Astoria Line Queens       N all times
      W weekdays only
April 21, 1917[11] elevated
B (BMT) Brighton Line Brooklyn       B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      Q all times
July 2, 1878[12] underground, open cut, embankment, elevated
B (BMT)      Broadway Line Manhattan       N all times
      Q all times
      R all except late nights
      W weekdays only
September 4, 1917[7] underground
A (IRT)      Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line Bronx
      1 all times
      2 all times
      3 all times
October 27, 1904[10] elevated[a], embankment, underground
B (BMT)      Canarsie Line Manhattan
      L all times October 21, 1865[13] underground, elevated, at-grade
B (IND) Concourse Line Bronx
      B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      D all times
July 1, 1933[9] underground
B (IND)      Crosstown Line Brooklyn
      G all times August 19, 1933[9] underground
B (IND) Culver Line Brooklyn       F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
      G all times
March 16, 1919[7] underground, elevated[c]
A (IRT) Dyre Avenue Line Bronx       5 all times May 15, 1941 elevated[b], embankment, open-cut, underground
A (IRT) Eastern Parkway Line Brooklyn       2 all times
      3 all except late nights
      4 all times
      5 weekdays only
January 9, 1908[10] underground
A (IRT)      Flushing Line Manhattan
      7 all times <7> rush hours until 9:30 p.m., peak direction June 22, 1915[10] underground, elevated
B (BMT)      Franklin Avenue Line Brooklyn       S all times July 2, 1878[12] elevated, embankment, open cut
B (IND) Fulton Street Line Brooklyn
      A all times
      C all except late nights
April 9, 1936[9] underground, elevated[d]
B (BMT) Jamaica Line Brooklyn
      J all times
      M all times
      Z rush hours, peak direction
February 2, 1885[7] elevated
A (IRT) Jerome Avenue Line Bronx       4 all times
      5 all except late nights
June 12, 1917[10] elevated, underground
A (IRT) Lenox Avenue Line Manhattan       2 all times
      3 all times
November 23, 1904[10] at-grade, underground
A (IRT)      Lexington Avenue Line Manhattan       4 all times
      5 all times except late nights
      6 all times <6> weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction
October 27, 1904[10] underground[a]
B (BMT) Myrtle Avenue Line Brooklyn
      M all times December 19, 1889[7] elevated, embankment, at-grade
B (BMT)      Nassau Street Line Manhattan       J all times
      M all times except late nights
      Z rush hours, peak direction
September 16, 1908[7] underground
A (IRT) New Lots Line Brooklyn       2 limited rush hour service in the peak direction
      3 all except late nights
      4 late nights, and limited rush hour service in the peak direction
      5 limited a.m. rush hour service in the northbound direction only
November 23, 1920[10] elevated
A (IRT) Nostrand Avenue Line Brooklyn       2 all times
      5 weekdays only
August 23, 1920[10] underground
A (IRT) Pelham Line Bronx       6 all times <6> weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction August 1, 1918[10] underground, elevated
B (IND) Queens Boulevard Line Manhattan
      E all times
      F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
      M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      R all hours except late nights
August 19, 1933[9] underground
B (IND) Rockaway Line Queens       A all times
      S all times
June 28, 1956 at-grade, embankment, elevated[e]
B (BMT) Sea Beach Line Brooklyn       N all times
      W selected rush-hour trips
June 22, 1915[7] open cut, elevated
B (BMT) West End Line Brooklyn       D all times June 24, 1916[7] open-cut, elevated
A (IRT) White Plains Road Line Bronx       2 all times
      5 all times
July 10, 1905[10] elevated, underground

Inter-division connections

The following list shows the connections between the different divisions of the New York City Subway.[14]


These connections can be used by trains in revenue service:

This connection is not for revenue service due to the differing widths of the trains:


These connections are located within the subway's rail yards and are not intended for revenue service.


Unused connections in the same division

In some places, there are track connections within the same division that are unused in regular service.[15]




Unused center tracks

Many of the New York City Subway's lines have express tracks, unused in revenue service and generally only used for re-routes.[16]

The Bronx




Above ground sections

Map of New York City Subway by line placement. Underground in orange; elevated, at-grade, embankment, open-cut in blue.
Map of New York City Subway by line placement. Underground in orange; elevated, at-grade, embankment, open-cut in blue.

Most of the New York City Subway is underground, except for the following segments.[17]

The Bronx





Map of New York City Subway by number of tracks on line segments.
Map of New York City Subway by number of tracks on line segments.

At minimum, in normal revenue service, all lines have two tracks, with one exception: the BMT Franklin Avenue Line has a single track between Franklin Avenue and Park Place.

Three-tracked portions

The New York City Subway has fewer triple track sections than it has quadruple track sections. These sections are listed below. The third track, when in use, is generally for peak-direction express service or reroutes, with exceptions noted below.

  1. IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line (1 train) from south of Van Cortlandt Park–242nd Street to north of Dyckman Street and from north of 145th Street to north of 96th Street
  2. IRT White Plains Road Line (2 and ​5 trains) from south of Wakefield–241st Street to east of Third Avenue–149th Street
  3. IRT Lenox Avenue Line (2 and ​3 trains) at 135th Street – center track is not usable in revenue service
  4. IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 train) – entire line, except for Woodlawn
  5. IRT Dyre Avenue Line (5 train) – entire line
  6. IRT Pelham Line (6 and <6>​ trains) – entire line
  7. IRT Flushing Line (7 and <7>​ trains) – from 33rd Street–Rawson Street to Flushing–Main Street
  8. IRT New Lots Line (2, ​3, ​4, and ​5 trains) at Junius Street – center track is not usable in revenue service
  9. IND Fulton Street Line (A train) – from west of 80th Street to west of Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard
  10. BMT West End Line (D train) – from Ninth Avenue to Bay 50th Street
  11. IND Concourse Line (B and ​D trains) – from 145th Street to Bedford Park Boulevard
  12. IND Culver Line (F and <F>​ trains) – from south of Church Avenue to Avenue X
  13. BMT Jamaica Line (J, M, and Z​ trains) – from Marcy Avenue to Broadway Junction. Also, at 111th Street, the center track is not usable in revenue service.
  14. BMT Canarsie Line (L train) at East 105th Street – easternmost track is not usable in revenue service
  15. BMT Astoria Line (N and ​W trains) – from east of Queensboro Plaza to south of Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard
  16. IND Crosstown Line (G train) at Bedford–Nostrand Avenues – middle track can be used to turn trains coming from either direction
  17. IRT 42nd Street Shuttle (S train) is operationally three tracks with one train on each; there is a fourth disused trackway that was disconnected in the 1960s.

Additionally, there are several pocket tracks in the subway where the line temporarily widens from two to three tracks, such as east of Eighth Avenue on the BMT Canarsie Line, and south of Court Square on the IND Crosstown Line.

Four-tracked portions

Quadruple-tracked portions of track are fairly common in the subway system. This makes it unique among most metro systems in the world, as most others only have two tracks per line. Generally, these portions are a pair of express and a pair of local tracks unless otherwise noted.

  1. Trunk lines:
    1. IND Sixth Avenue Line between Broadway– Lafayette Street and 47th–50th Streets
    2. IND Eighth Avenue Line between Chambers Street–World Trade Center and 168th Street, and again at Dyckman Street (two local tracks and two tracks leading to the 207th Street Yard)
    3. IRT Lexington Avenue Line between Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall and 125th Street
    4. IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line between Chambers and 96th Streets
    5. BMT Broadway Line between Canal Street and 57th Street–Seventh Avenue
    6. BMT Nassau Street Line at Chambers Street (originally a four platform station)
  2. Branch lines:
    Manhattan branches:
    1. 63rd Street Lines at Lexington Avenue (two levels of one-direction tracks, with both levels containing one track each of IND and BMT, with connections between lines on both levels)
    2. Chrystie Street Connection (one pair IND and one pair BMT)
    3. Manhattan Bridge (one pair of tracks on each of the north and south sides of the bridge)
    Queens branches:
    1. IND Queens Boulevard Line east of Queens Plaza
    2. IND Rockaway Line north of Jamaica Bay
    3. Archer Avenue Lines from Sutphin Boulevard and east (two levels of paired tracks: all IND on one, all BMT on the other, without connections between lines)
    4. IRT Flushing Line and BMT Astoria Line at Queensboro Plaza (two levels of one-direction tracks, with both levels containing one track each of IRT and BMT, with a non-revenue connection between lines on upper level)
    Brooklyn branches:
    1. IRT Eastern Parkway Line (entire line)
    2. IND Culver Line north of Church Avenue
    3. IND Fulton Street Line between Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets and Euclid Avenue
    4. BMT Brighton Line between Ocean Parkway and Prospect Park
    5. BMT Fourth Avenue Line north of 59th Street
    6. Manhattan Bridge (one pair of tracks on each of the north and south sides of the bridge)
    7. BMT Sea Beach Line (entire line)

The Bronx has no four-tracked lines. Pocket tracks are not included.

Defunct lines

The following New York City Subway lines are either entirely defunct or have major portions no longer in service. Defunct spur lines with one station, such as the South Ferry loops, are not included in this list, nor are surface transit lines.

Division Line Borough(s) Opened Closed Structure Status
A (IRT) 02Second Avenue Line Manhattan March 1, 1880 June 13, 1942 elevated Entirely demolished


Third Avenue Line Manhattan August 26, 1878 May 12, 1955 elevated Entirely demolished
Bronx April 28, 1973 Entirely demolished; had been replaced for a time by the Bx55 and then Bx15 Limited buses.
B (BMT) 03Third Avenue Line Brooklyn October 1, 1893 May 31, 1940 elevated Entirely demolished
B (BMT) 05Fifth Avenue Line Brooklyn 1888–1890 May 31, 1940 elevated Entirely demolished
A (IRT) 06Sixth Avenue Line Manhattan 1878 December 4, 1938 elevated Entirely demolished


Ninth Avenue Line Manhattan July 1, 1868 June 11, 1940 elevated Entirely demolished
Bronx August 31, 1958 Entirely demolished, except for the two underground stations at Sedgwick Avenue and Anderson–Jerome Avenues in the Bronx
B (BMT) Canarsie Line Brooklyn 1865 November 21, 1942 at-grade Line from Canarsie–Rockaway Parkway to Canarsie Pier replaced with a streetcar line, which itself was replaced by the B42 bus.
B (BMT) Culver Line Brooklyn 1875 elevated Line from Ditmas Avenue to Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue taken over by the IND in 1954[c]
May 11, 1975 Remainder of line to Ninth Avenue abandoned, then demolished in 1985.
B (BMT) Fulton Street Line Brooklyn 1888–1894 a) May 31, 1940
b) April 26, 1956
elevated a) Line demolished west of Rockaway Avenue.
b) Remainder of line in Brooklyn demolished.
Queens September 25, 1915 Line taken over by the IND in 1956, with the western two-block section rebuilt to connect with Grant Avenue.
A (IRT) IRT trunk line Manhattan 1904 underground Separated into the Broadway–Seventh Avenue, Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street Shuttle lines[a]
B (BMT) Lexington Avenue Line Brooklyn May 13, 1885 1889–1950 elevated Line west of Gates Avenue demolished
B (BMT) Jamaica Line Brooklyn 1885–1888 July 3, 1916 elevated Line west of Marcy Avenue demolished
Queens 1918 a) September 10, 1977
b) April 15, 1985
a) Line east of Queens Boulevard demolished.
b) Line east of 121st Street demolished.
Both segments were replaced with Q49 bus service, which itself was replaced in 1988 by the BMT Archer Avenue Line.
B (BMT) Myrtle Avenue Line Brooklyn 1888–1889 1944–1969 elevated Line west of Central Avenue through Broadway to Lewis Avenue abandoned. Remainder of line west of Lewis Avenue demolished.
B (IND) World's Fair Line Queens 1939 1940 at-grade Entirely demolished

Vestiges of former lines

See also



  1. ^ Subway Line Information Archived May 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Hogarty, Dave (August 3, 2007). "Michael Hertz, Designer of the NYC Subway Map". Gothamist. Archived from the original on August 18, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  3. ^ Official paint monikers since the colors were fixed in 1979: Grynbaum, Michael (May 10, 2010). "Take the Tomato 2 Stops to the Sunflower". New York Times, City Room Blog. Retrieved May 11, 2010.
  4. ^ Official MTA video mentions "lime green" for the G line. "Subway Colors and Names". MTA Info. July 15, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  5. ^ MTA Developer Resources Download, CSV file
  6. ^ Rivoli, Dan; Sandoval, Edgar; Greene, Leonard (December 18, 2016). "Cuomo promises Second Ave. subway will open Jan. 1". NY Daily News. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "New York City Subway BMT Division Timeline". Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  8. ^ "New York City Subway IND 6th Ave Line". Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "New York City Subway IND Division Timeline". Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "New York City Subway IRT Division Timeline". Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  11. ^ "First Train Runs On Elevated Line to Astoria Section". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 1, 1917. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via
  12. ^ a b "New York City Subway Brighton Beach Line". Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  13. ^ Feinman, Mark S. (February 17, 2001). "Early Rapid Transit in Brooklyn, 1878-1913". Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  14. ^ "Subway FAQ: Interconnections Between IRT and IND-BMT Divisions". Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Subway FAQ: Unused Track Connections". Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  16. ^ "Subway FAQ: Unused Express Tracks". Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  17. ^ "Subway FAQ: Elevated Sections of the Subway". Retrieved November 12, 2013.
This page was last edited on 26 October 2019, at 04:36
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