BDMNQR2 Presents:


A B C D E F G H JFK J K L M N P Q R S T U V W XY Z 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

A Washington Heights Eighth Avenue Express

The initial segment of the IND opens 9-10-32 From 207th St. to Chambers St. weekdays and Sat. only. (see AA).

2-1-33 extended to Jay St.; 3-20-33 extended to Bergen; 10-7-33 extended to Church Av.

4-9-36 Fulton St opens to Rockaway Av.

12-30-46 extended one stop to Broadway ENY

11-28-48 extended to Euclid

10-29-49 Express service in Brooklyn to Broadway-East NY begins, when the E is extended to pick up the local, rush hours.

4-29-56 Grant Avenue opened, and line extended over BMT Fulton St el. to Lefferts. Weekdays (except midnights), alternate trains terminated there and at Euclid. Weekends, they terminated at Euclid with a shuttle to Lefferts.

9-16-56 Extended to Rockaways replacing E. Alternate trains continued running to Lefferts.

1-27-57 non-rush hour through service to Rockaways discontinued. This may also be the time that the E replaced the A again in the Rockaways.

1-16-58 New Terminal created at Mott Avenue, Far Rockaway (LIRR connection severed)

9-8-58 Replaced E in Rockaways again. "Round-robin" service from Euclid to both Rockaway terminals began, non-rush hours, while through A service runs to Lefferts.

9-59 runs local in Brooklyn all times, as E becomes express.

1963/64 E replaces A in Rockaways, rush hours, again. In the late 90's East River Crossings (ERC) study, it was proposed to restore this arrangement in the event of full Manhattan Bridge closures, so riders transferring from the Brighton at Franklin Av. (Under this scenario, the Franklin Shuttle would have been rebuilt to full capacity--double track, 600 ft stations!) would have the higher capacity A trains instead of the lower capacity C service. I never knew it was once like this!

7-9-67 extended to Far Rockaway middays, evenings and all day Sat. and Sun.

1972 A extended to Rockaways, replacing HH shuttle.

1-2-73 A becomes express again

8-27-77 Late nigh service begins running local when AA ceases late night service.

12-12-88 Fulton express expands to midday (C extended to Euclid)

9-89 Asbestos flood on 8th Av. See Q

10-92 special rush hour trains from Rockaway Park added along with full time service to Far Rockaway. Nights, shuttle from Lefferts to Euclid.

4-99 Weekend express on Fulton begins

Hurricane Sandy Service Changes, see below

207th Street
Far Rockaway
AWash Hts/8th Av/Fulton

AA Washington Heights-Eighth Avenue Local

In this system, double letters represented locals. So this was the A local from 168th St to Chambers, beginning the same day as the A. It ran all times, and was extended to 207th nights and Sunday when the A didn't run. When the subway was extended to Jay St. 2-1-33, it operated there too, at the same times, when the A didn't run, and terminated at Chambers when the A did run.

When C and E service began (7-1-33), it was suspended until the 6th Av. Line opened in 1940. Then it resumed non-rush hour and Sat. late afternnon through all day Sun. service to Chambers (Hudson Terminal platform, what we today call World Trade Center). Rush hours, the trains changed to BB (later B) and switched over to 6thAvenue. This continued unchanged until the 8-27-77 changes, when late night service was replaced by an all local A service. In '85-86, double letters were eliminated, and since you couldn't make it "A", it was changed to "K", a retired BMT letter. 12-11-88 it was discontinued for good when the B and C were expanded to middays (and the C to weekend service to WTC)

BB / B Washington Heights 6th Av. (Now Concourse)

As mentioned, this service started on 12-15-40 when 6th Avenue service began and rush hour AA's were routed to the 34th St. terminal. (There was also Sat. AM and early PM service until 12-29-51). This remained the same until the Chrystie St. connection, 11-26-67, in which the trains were extended onto the BMT West End line (See "T"). Since this was express in Brooklyn (and from W4th-34th, rush hoursafter 7-68), the double letter was dropped (It was still local in upper Manhattan, and it earlier was proposed to be called the "BT"). Both the B and The AA, which still interchanged trains, were now based in Coney Island yard. Since the Brooklyn portion was full time, it was routed to W4th St, at first, and then to 57th St/6th Avenue (7-1-68) off hours.

8-30-76 When K service is discontinued, B runs between Coney Island and 57th at all times, and rush hours, alternating trains ran uptown and to 57th.

8-27-77 Through late night service discontinued and replaced by shuttles from Coney Island to 36th St. and 57th and 47/50th.

"B" became more fixated to it's southern (BMT) end, and when Manhattan Bridge reroutes would sever the route, the West End service would still be called "B" no matter where it went (Broadway, shuttle to 36th or Pacific. See also under "T"). During the longest of these, from '86-88, the TA (having just eliminated double letters), had to institute a double letter designation for Rapid Transit Operations (RTO) office use to distinguish the two halves of the split route. The Brooklyn half was "BK" ("K" for "Kings" or "BKlyn"). The Uptown half ("BX" for "Bronx" as both it and the new K now used Concourse yard) returned to the 1940-67 pattern of terminating at 34th St rush hours, and then turning back into K other times.

12-11-88 both halves of line rejoined; with all trains going uptown during rush (The Q now runs to 57th-6th Av. weekdays), and resumes service to 57th weekends. At first, trains also ran uptown weekday evenings (necessitating a shuttle from 57th to 2nd Av)., but this was also soon sent to 57th.

10-29-89, 57th st. Service extended via new 63rd St. line to 21st St. Queensbridge

1990's to 2000 cut back to 36th St or Pacific during full Manhattan Bridge closures (one rush hour in 1992, weekends all other times, and middays also in 1995)

3-1-98, switched northern terminals with the C, and went to Bedford Park Blvd rush hours and 145th St. middays.

2-00 some trains run to 168th for several weeks when C is replaced by E to Euclid due to WTC track work.

12-00 sent to 145th later in the evening, and on weekends while the F and other trains begin to be rerouted through 63rd during these times.

7-22-01--2004 Cut off at 34thagain for the final phase of Manhattan Bridge work. Operates weekdays only. (Brooklyn portion now renamed "W")

2-23-04 Manhattan Bridge work finally complete. Now becomes the Brighton express, to combine this part time line with the part time CPW local. (see below for more of an explanation)

7-28-08 Evening service (to 145th) extended to 11:30 PM

Summer, 09, runs local in Brooklyn, due to yet another station rehabilitation program that closed the local tracks.

C /CC Concourse-8th Av (Now Wash. Heights)

7-1-33 Concourse line opens, express service (single letter) runs 205th St. to Jay St. (relaying on the lower level of Bergen St.) weekdays and Sat. express in the Bronx peak direction rush hours, and the Sat morning/early afternoon; local service (double letter) from Bedford Pk. Blvd.* to Chambers (Hudson Terminal), all times; extended to 205th nights and Sun. when the C did not operate. *("extended rush hours", from Tremont until 8-19-33 when extended to Bedford Pk.) Effective July 1,1937 C trains run between 205 St and Hoyt St. A few C's continued to run to Bergen St southbound in the AM rush and northbound in the PM rush. CC remained the same.

12-15-40 D service becomes primary Concourse express, but C coexists with it (peak periods only) for a few years. CC trains would now run between Hudson Terminal and Bedford Park during weekday rush and Saturday morning and afternoons. (Full time D service replaces it other times)

Effective on 1-10-44 or sometime earlier three morning C trains ran between 205 St and Utica Av making three round trips. They ran local on Fulton St. Midday Saturday C service was discontinued.

Effective 10-24-49 C service was discontinued. CC's were re-routed to Bway-Lafayette during weekday rush hours but Saturday service continued to Hudson Terminal.

Saturday CC service discontinued 12-29-51.

12-7 to 12-24-62 C express runs again, to 34th St.-6th Ave. (likely only rush hours) due to water main break (while DD runs via 8th Ave.)

Effective 10-30-54 CC trains would run between Bedford Park and Hudson Terminal.

8-30-1976 replaces E in Brooklyn and Rockaways. Rockaway Shuttle relettered "CC". (Only non-rush CC service).

1985-6 double letters dropped; becomes "C". Shuttle becomes "H" again.

12-12-88 midday service from newly converted 145th St terminal to Euclid begins. Weekends runs 145th-WTC.

3-1-1998 switches with B to 168th.

4-99 Weekends, extended to Euclid.

9-01 Suspended briefly due to WTC DISASTER. See Below

1-05 Suspended briefly due to fire at the Chambers St. relay room which knocked out the switches in the area, making it impossible for it to cross over to run to Brooklyn. The V was extended in its place. While it was originally projected to take up to 5 years to fix; it was restored in about a week.

Also would either be suspended or run from 168-WTC on various weekends due to the construction project at Jay St.

2021 4-16—19; and 23—26. Work on both the Manhattan Bridge and 6th Ave. at the same time causes the D to simply be cut off into a shuttle in Brooklyn only, and the C replace it to 205th! (like pre-1940 service! The D still ran, as a shuttle between 145th St & 205th St during overnight hours).

D Concourse-6th Av.

12-15-40 Service begins from 205th to Hudson Terminal, switching from 6th Av. to Eighth Av line (running under 6th Av) south of W 4h St.

a 1948 map shows the D running to Church Av. but sometime afterward, it was going to Hudson Terminal again.

Saturday express service in the Bronx discontinued 12-29-51.

10-30-54 extended for first time to Coney Island when IND is extended past Church Av. Terminal to the BMT Culver line. (This may have been done because the F was reportedly experimenting with 11 car trains at times, and while the Culver stations could barely hold the D's 10, 11 was way past capacity). Rush hour trains alternated to Church Ave. 5-13-57 this was expanded to middays. Starting 10-7-57, four rush hour trains ran express to Euclid Ave. for inspections at Pitkin Yard. 9-59, they ran local.

11-26-67 Switched over to Brighton line via Manhattan Bridge when Chrystie St. opens. Becomes Brighton express, weekdays, and provides all (local) service all other times. In manhattan it ran in the express "dash" from W4 to 34the rush hours only (the B used the express tracks to terminate at other times)

7-1-68 When non-rush B is extended to 57th the D becomes express between W 4th and 34th all times

205th Street
Coney Island

Like the B, the designation becomes fixated to its southern end. But unlike the B, since it's northern end is full time, this leads to first, reroutes via Nassau St to Essex, then doubling back to access the Chrystie BJ tracks to Bway Lafayette local tracks. Then, beginning 5-82, when Bridge problems become more serious and occur during rush hours, to split the route between Broadway to 57th St 7th Avenue on the southern side ("DK"-- via other side of Bridge or via Montague Tunnel), and normal 6th Av. service ("DX") to W 4th St. at first, then 34th St. Throughout the mid-80's there were many little reroutes, but a few-month reroute beginning 4-26-86 was extended to 2 years. At the same time, track work on the Brighton eliminated express service, and Q skip-stop service was instituted, but using the D as the alternate stop service (it continued to make all stops non weekday periods). When both projects ended 12-11-88, the D became the full time local, and the Q the express. Several weekend reroutes occurred throughout the 90's, with the D returning to Broadway, but via Tunnel.

Various reroutes in the 90's have had the D going over the West End line, and once, the Sea Beach (with either the Franklin shuttle extended to Coney Island, or a second D going to Franklin).

4-30 to 12-19-95, the D was finally removed from the Brighton in a Bridge reroute. For once the Q was chosen as the local via Tunnel and Bway, during middays and weekends (since the Q ran middays, and it could access 21st St. from either routing).

7-22-01 The Bridge switches sides again. The D is replaced with dual express and local Q service.

2-22-04 Manhattan Bridge work finally complete Becomes the new West End express, skipping DeKalb all times except midnights, when it runs local on 4th Av. and stops at DeKalb. (see below for more of an explanation)

occasional weekend bridge inspection continues (much less frequent than before, when it was in such bad shape), but this time, the Q was already using the 57th St. terminal. At first, they tried to squeeze both in (causing delays), then they would alternate between turning one of the lines at 57th and the other at Times Sq. (which still got in each other's way). Soon, the final normal bridge reroute pattern would be to send the D through the tunnel to the middle track at Whitehall St. At sometimes it would be Pacific St. It would no longer directly connect with the uptown D at 34th, but riders would be advised to take the N or Q for faster access. Sometimes, this would be done in conjunction with other reroutes, so that the Brooklyn half could be simply altogether replaced by the N.

Christmas Day 2016, a substation fire on 7th Av. knocks out power to the 53rd St. and 6th ave. lines. After several adjustments, for the first half of 12-26, an ususual swapping of the D and F lines in Manhattan and Brooklyn was implemented. Both lines are anchored on their north ends (Concourse, Bronx, or the Queens Blvd line), and have a common southern end at Stillwell Av, Coney Island. With 6th Ave. out, the Culver line still had access to either IND north terminal via 8th Ave. The West End had no access to the IND uptown, but did still have access to IND Queens, via Bway. So it was simpler to run both lines through (instead of splitting them in different places, which was the usual practice), via each other's lines in Brooklyn and the accessible parallel trunk lines in Manhattan.
So the D ran via 8th Av. (express) and then continued to Jay st. and switched over to the Culver line, to replace the F, which had been rerouted via Broadway and 4th Ave. to replace the D on West End.
This pattern was actually reused for three weekends in the following February and again in September, for planned electrical work. It was afterward done on sporadic weekends.

2021 4-16—19; and 23—26. For perhaps the first time, reduced to a shuttle in Brooklyn only (Atlantic-Pacific to Stillwell) and was covered by the C (q.v.) in the Bronx, as work was being done on both the Manhattan Bridge and 6th Ave.

9-18 to end of year: Cut back from Stillwell to Bay 50th due to flood remediation on the ground tracks between there. Trains from 25th Avenue cross all the way over to the northbound track for a single pocket at Bay 50th.

DD (local) was provided on original signs, but was only used 12-7 to 12-24-62 due to a water main break. It made all local stops from the Bronx to W. 4th via 8th Avenue, where it resumed the normal route, at that time, still on the Culver. A "C" ran express to 34th St./6th Av. At the same time.

E Queens-Eighth Av.

8-19-33 service begins to Roosevelt Av. when the first segment of Queens Blvd opens. Ran to Chambers (Hudson Terminal)

1-1-36 Houston St line opens to 2nd Avenue. E switches to line south of W 4th St.

4-9-36 line completed to Jay St. Also replaces A to Church Avenue.

12-31-36 extended to Union Tpk.

4-24-37 extended to 169th St. Begins running express to Continental.

9-12-38 several weekday rush hour trains terminate at Jay St. in the AM. In the PM a few begin at Smith-9th.

12-15-40 When 6th Ave service begins, it is replaced on Houston line to Church Av. by F. It then ran to Broadway-Lafayette.

10-29-49 rush hours, extended to Broadway-East NY, local.

12-10-50 Current 179th St terminal opens.

10-30-54 began running to Hudson Terminal, non-rush hours. Rush hours, began running express on 8th Ave.

6-28-56 LIRR Rockaway line converted to subway; service begins to Rockaway Park and Wavecrest. (Non-Rush hours, probably shuttle service)

9-16-56 rush hour E cut back to Euclid when A picks up Rockaway service. A and E later switch again, with A taking over Rockaways again on 9-8-58.

9-59 Runs express to Euclid, while A becomes local. 6-10-60 some trains extended to Lefferts due to complaints.

1963/4 Extended to Rockaways, rush hours again, with some put-ins beginning at Euclid and later Lefferts

1-2-73 becomes the Fulton local again, to Rockaway Park only

8-30-1976 eliminated from Brooklyn and goes all times to WTC.

12-11-88 moved out of 179th St. to new Archer Avenue line, with terminal at Jamaica Center (a few rush hour trains operated to 179th after that for awhile)

Late 90's, full time express service ends when all trains are made local at night due to 63rd St connector work.

Early 2000, goes to Euclid all times except nights (Nights to Canal) when switch at WTC is replaced.

Several reroutes via Broadway to Whitehall or 95th St Brooklyn (replacing R) over the years due to track work. In May and August 2000, replaced by R during weekend work. 12-00 63rd St connection opens for off-hour reroutes only. In the first of these, during 53rd St. work, the E traveled with the F down 6th Av. and switched back to its normal route at W 4th (the R used the connection also, to reach Broadway. Afterwards, the pattern of the combined E/R service via the 60th St tunnel and Broadway was used again.


12-17-01 A few rush hour trains operate to 179th once again

12-26-17 In a surprising new move, called the "Subway Action Plan", a weekend-style general order, of shutting down the 53rd St. tunnel and rerouting the E via the F line, was expanded 24/7 across a whole week, from Tuesday the 26th, through Friday the 29th. It was also run to 2nd Avenue at late nights. [See also under M].


Originally a local version of the 8th Av. E that ran from Continental non-rush hours when the GG didn't run. Was discontinued by the time of the general route changes of 12-15-40. But was most recently known as a 1967-76 Broadway local, 71st St. Continental-Whitehall that ran middays, replacing the QT and RR. It was replaced by an extended N 8-30-1976.

F Queens-6th Av.

12-15-40 Begins running from Parsons Blvd.(express, Parsons-Queens Plaza)-Church Avenue. During WWII, they were extended to 169th, evenings, night and Sunday mornings.

a 1948 map has the D and F switched, with the F going to 2nd Av. But this was afterwards changed back.

12-11-50 extended to 179th evenings, midnights and Sunday mornings. 5-13-51 All trains outside of rush hours extended there. 10-18-51 All trains terminate there.

10-30-54, cut back to Broadway-Lafayette rush hours, 34th St other times when D is extended via Culver. (May have been done due to use of 11 car trains which are too long for Culver stations).

6-28-56 extended to 2nd Avenue.

10-6-57. evening, night and weekend service cut back to 34th St.

11-10-58 2nd Av. Service is cut back to Broadway Lafayette due to construction of ramp leading to future Chrystie St. connection in place where middle tracks to 2nd Av. were.

7-9-67 Non-rush hour express service beyond Continental discontinued: trains run express from Queens Plaza to Continental, then local to 179th. One AM rush hour train ran to Chambers. St. and then turned into an E.

11-26-67 routed back to Church, and through to Coney Island via Culver. Rush hour express service from Jay St. to Kings Highway begins.

1-28-76 Rush hour non-peak service on four track section from Jay to Church discontinued.
8-27-76 All express service between Jay and Church discontinued.

8-27-77 Begins running local in Queens late nights when GG is cut back to Queens Plaza.

1987 Peak direction express service on three track section from Church to Kings Highway cut due to work, and then never replaced.

1990-97 late night local service in Queens replaced by G, and F sent to 21st St terminal of 63rd St. (at first designated as "Q" past a certain point. Then designated as "F" all the way when Q ran Sat. late night via Broadway in 1995).
Begins running local past Continental 9-30-90 when R cut back outside of rush hours, and runs local all times after 10-25-92.

Late 90's, sent back to Queens due to 63rd St. connector work that necessitated the G being pulled out of Queens, nights. A couple of weekends (and several weekends in 2000) split between 34th St. Bway platform to Queens and 47th-50th St to Coney Island due to track work

12-00 The F begins being rerouted via the new 63rd St. connector during nights and weekends. A couple of rush hour specials were soon after scheduled to run through the connector to relieve the 53rd St. tunnel.

12-16-01 63rd St. connection finally opens for regular service. The F goes through at all times (and the V take its place on 53rd.); express service even restored midnights.

9-8-02 Cut back to Avenue X due to Stilwell reconstruction.

5-23-04 Most of Stillwell Terminal complete; F service restored.
For several G.O's afterwards, service from Queens actually ran to EUCLID AV due to some work from Church Avenue to Jay St, including the construction of the new passageway connecting to Lawrence St at the end of the decade. (The C ran to WTC or was suspended, and the E, via 6th Av. to 2nd Av. -or in 2009, to 34th St/6th Av due to simultaneous work on the Bway Laf-Bleecker connection; and in 2004 and afterward, the G would be extended to Coney Island!). Afterwards, G.O.s like this would run from time to time, with the ongoing work in the area.

Christmas Day 2016, a substation fire on 7th Av. knocks out power to the 53rd St. and 6th ave. lines. After several adjustments, for the first half of 12-26, an ususual swapping of the D and F lines in Manhattan and Brooklyn was implemented. Both lines are anchored on their north ends (Concourse, Bronx, or the Queens Blvd line), and have a common southern end at Stillwell Av, Coney Island. With 6th Ave. out, the Culver line still had access to either IND north terminal via 8th Ave. The West End had no access to the IND uptown, but did still have access to IND Queens, via Bway. So it was simpler to run both lines through (instead of splitting them in different places, which was the usual practice), via each other's lines in Brooklyn and the parallel trunk lines in Manhattan.
So the F from Queens ran normal to Lex-63rd, and then merged with the new Q extension through there, to the Bway express, and over the bridge, bypass, 4th Avenue express and the West End. (Nights, stopped at DeKalb and ran 4th Ave. local).
This pattern was actually reused for three weekends in the following February and again in September, for planned electrical work. (In December, the E was rerouted via Bway to Whitehall, but not affected in the later reroutes).

9-16-19 Finally, official limited express service between Church Av. and Jay St., but this is only TWO trains, peak direction, in each rush hour. (This is less than even the old "bankers specials", QB specials, etc. and there have already been more trains than that that have run express on the line unofficially. Yet the schedules on several other lines had to be adjusted to accommodate this for some strange reason!)

From 2009-present: MTA had been discussing the possibility of restoring F express service between Jay and Church. At first, the idea was to extend the V to Church as well when work was to be completed around 2012, which mades the most sense, and after much requests from G line advocacy groups, the MTA said they were considering it. But what was unforeseen was the new management, that implemented the unbelievable merger of the V with the M (q.v.) in 2010, which became popular, bringing direct service to the Eastern Div. that had not been seen since 1976, and particularly the Myrtle that had never had it. So they reverted to earlier plans, to alternate F's between express and local. This once again raised controversy, of busy Park Slope local stations being served by only half of the F's, and the G which does not go to Manhattan. (And the plan did not include rebuilding the Bergen St. lower level express station). So the compromise, apparently was to run just these two trains.
But actually, 2016-7, service was actually running like this already, unofficially, but as per a supplement schedule, due to ongoing work on parts of the viaduct. (Some F's ran through on the express; some reportedly crossed over to the local at 4th Ave). They also were run express on the spur of the moment, when delayed. These became known as "rogue F expresses". 2017, the news began reporting plans to implement the new service in the fall (which still didn't go through), but it took two more years, until July, '19, when it was suddenly announced to go in effect, mid-pick in September.

The two trains leave Stillwell Avenue at 7:08 and 7:29 AM and pass through the express area around 7:30 and 7:50 respectively (arriving at Jay St. 7:37 and 7:59). The PM trains leave 179th at 4:27 and 4:58 and leave Jay St. at 5:22 and 5:54.

GG / GBrooklyn-Queens Crosstown

8-19-33 service begins between Queens Plaza and Nassau Ave. as a shuttle.

7-1-37 completed rest of way to Bergen St. Probably began terminating at Smith-9th St. at this point. Also became the Queens Blvd local to 71st St./Continental Av., rush hours. Runs there at all times by 12-15-40.

1939 World's Fair specials were supposed to be "G" (single), but "S Special" was used. A later timetable says it was the E. (Closed 10-28-40)

In late 60's and early 70's, was extended to Church Av. so F could run express. But this deprived local passengers of direct Manhattan service, so:
8-27-76 Cut back to Smith-9th all times.

8-27-77 Cut back to Queens Plaza late nights.

Becomes G during double letter elimination in the '80s, but some still refer to it as "GG"

9-30-90 Begins running to 179th St. late nights to replace the R.

1995-2001 cut back to Court Square for 63rd St. connector construction.

12-16-01 Was to be cut back to Court Square at all times to make room for the new V train when the connection opened, but due to rider opposition, it was cut back only weekdays until 8:30 pm, and extended to Continental all other times (the reverse of the previous pattern).

also for several weekends in 2004 and afterward, service was extended to Coney Island when work was done on the F line between Jay and Bergen Sts.

7-5-09 Extended to Church Avenue, due to Smith-9th viaduct rehabilitation that closed two of the tracks, making the relay at 4th Av. impossible.

6-27-10 Permanent cutback to Court Square made "official". It had been unofficially "cut back" on weekends for years due to G.O.s (some involving unconnected lines such as the N!) The mass of cutbacks this summer gave them the justification to finally cut it back. Also, the base of the line moved from Court Sq. to the new Church Ave terminal, where most jobs now start.

2012 Extension to Church becomes permanent, as many riders have wanted the service extended, at least so they could reach the transfer to the 4th Ave line at that station.

HH/ H Court St. Shuttle and Rockaway Shuttle

4-9-36 Shuttle from Court St.(today used as Transit Museum) to Hoyt-Schermerhorn; weekdays and Sat. from 7AM to 7PM. Ended 6-1-46.

1956 designates new non rush-hour Rockaway Shuttle from Rockaway Park to Euclid, and at various times, a round-robin service to Far Rockaway and even sometimes Euclid. (see A and E)

7-9-67 cut back to Broad Channel. Had to make a long relay across the bay to Howard Beach to reverse and return.

1972 replaced by extended A service, but maps are vauge as to exactly how it ran.

1976 redesignated as "CC"

1985-86 double letter elimination; becomes H

10-92 Round-robin service ends; replaced by A, including rush hour service to Manhattan supplied by a new "A" branch. Shuttle cut back to Broad Channel. Some summers to present, service goes to Euclid on weekend days. Redesignated "S". (Still designated "H" in internal documents such as work programs).

2000 new spur track north of Broad Channel opens. Eliminates long relays to Howard Beach.

Hurricane Sandy Service Changes, see below

I Deemed unusable because of its similarity to a "1" It is available on digital signs.

JFK Express "train to the plane"

special service that ran from 57th St.6th Av. (Later 21st St. Queensbridge) to W4th, switching to the 8th Av. line, and then ran non-stop from Jay to Howard Beach-JFK, where it discharged passengers and turned on the middle tracks. An additional fare (about $6.50) was collected on board. Ran from 1978 (first appeared on 1979 map) to 1990. At certain times, the service filled in for regular service with regular passengers being allowed on from 57th or 21st to somewhere along the 6th Av. Line.

The BMT routes are older than the IND, but did not receive letters until 1960, when it was in the process of being connected to the IND, so it picks up with "J" and runs through "T". New cars with the letter designation gradually appeared on lines N through T (the BMT "Southern Div.") 1960-67, but not on the "Eastern Division" (J-M), which still used numbers and names. Southern division letters also first appeared on a subway map with the 1964 World's Fair edition. Letters became the official designation on all lines during the Chrystie St. service change, (1967) when the two systems were fully integrated. Before that, the BMT had its own number system:

1 Brighton (Q)
2 4th Avenue (R)
3 West End (T)
4 Sea Beach (N)
5 Culver.*
6 Fifth Av. elevated*.
7 Franklin Av. Shuttle. (S)
8 Astoria Shuttle
9 Flushing Shuttle
10 Myrtle-Chambers (M)
11 Myrtle-Jay (MJ)*
12 Lexington Avenue elevated*
13 Fulton St. elevated*
14 Broadway(Bklyn) shortline (K)
15 Jamaica (J)
16 14th St-Canarsie (L)
14th St-Fulton was unofficially named the "17", but there was never any such sign.
When the Southern Div. began to use letters in 1960, but the Eastern Div. continued to use numbers, it kind of created a continuous number series with the IRT, where before the IRT and BMT system overlapped. So now the IRT was 1-7, and BMT Eastern picked up with "10" and ran to "16"

(*structure eliminated)

Here the letters are used for the sake of familiarity.

J JJ QJ Jamaica-Nassau

The Jamaica line is the oldest rapid transit line running in the city today. 1904 is credited as the beginning of subway service, but this is not counting wooden elevated train service, some of which has been incorporated into the subway, and which began a couple of decades earlier, first run by little independent companies, which were swallowed up by bigger and bigger companies until there were only three left, and then one of those swallowed up the other two!

6-25-88 Service begins from Driggs Ave. (On a long gone section that continued on Broadway past Marcy to the ferry, before Williamsburg Bridge service began) to Van Siclen St. Three weeks later, the line reached the ferry.

1893, extended on the other end to Cypress Hills

1903 a full decade before the present el (that originally ran to 168th St Jamaica) was built, some occasional service to 168th was provided by a ramp at Cypress Hills that allowed the el cars to access streetcar tracks.

9-16-08 extended over the bridge to Essex St. (Converted trolley terminal), and on the other end to Crescent St.

8-4-13 Chambers St. terminal opens. Canal St. becomes the terminal for rush hour locals.

1915-16 line rebuilt, third track added for express service.

1917 ferry terminal closed.

5-28-17 extended to 111th St.

1918 line converted to steel car (BMT standard) operation

7-3-18 elevated line completed to 168th St.

5-30-31 Manhattan end of line completed to Broad St (which, along with Fulton, resembled contemporary new IND stations, until recent restoration)

12-1-51 Sat. Express service ends

6-18-59 skip stop service begins from Eastern Pkwy to Jamaica (see K)

1960 letter assigned ("J" for rush hour peak express, "JJ" for local) on R-27 signs, but not used as these cars would not be used on this part of the system for several years.

11-27-67 Becomes "QJ" and is through routed with Brighton local to Brighton Beach and then Coney Island, weekdays. JJ still runs skip stop AM rush hours (to Canal), local PM rush, (and also designates service to Atlantic & Canarsie), and other times, to Broad. The following year, "JJ" designation discontinued for good, and even trains to Broad are "QJ".

1-73 cut back to Broad and becomes "J" again (express and local)

70's and 80's line gradually cut back to 121st St. due to unpopularity of el structure in Jamaica. With elimination of K service (8-30-76), "a" and "b" skip stop service instituted, which ended 12-1-80.

12-10-88 extended via new Archer Avenue line to Jamaica Center Parsons/Archer (lower level from E line terminal) "Z" skip stop added (letter chosen since the old partner "K" had been moved to 8th Av. --even though that service was discontinued at the same time)

1990's weekend service cut back to Canal (9-30-90), and then re-extended one stop to Chambers (1-94). A few weekends during major IRT construction in 1994, J service was extended to 95th St. (Then the practice became to run a shuttle from Chambers to 95th). Begins stopping at Bowery all times. (With the '88 service pattern, it was considered a "local" stop rush hours).

4-30-99 to 9-1-99 Williamsburg Bridge closed for total rebuilding of track. Cut back to Myrtle Bway and skip-stop cut back to Eastern Pkwy. Shuttles ran from Broad to Essex.


6-14-15 Weekend service reextended to Broad, due to demand, especially with the new Fulton Transportation Center.

7-17 Express service and skip-stop west of Bwy-Junction ends due to M viaduct work (not sure why the former was necessary).

75 foot cars cannot run on parts of the Eastern div., so most J routings are not included on the R-44/46 side digital signs, but those on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge are included-- via Nassau St. to Essex, Canal, Chambers or Broad!

KK KBroadway (Brooklyn) Short Line

Beginning 1906, provided original service to Canarsie (before 14th St. line was built and connected). Ran from Canarsie shore to Broadway Ferry switching to Broadway-Jamaica line after Atlantic Av. (Prior to that, it was a steam railroad that began at Atlantic next to the LIRR)

8-4-13, extended over Williamsburg Br. to Canal St.

10-17-13 cut back to present terminal at Rockaway Pkwy (surface tracks to shore become street car line and later B-42 bus)

In the '20s there was rush hour express service (beginning at Canarsie) between Eastern Pkwy and Essex, while locals ran from Atlantic or Eastern Pkwy. In 1928, the 14th St. line was connected and became the primary Canarsie service. Broadway-Bklyn service was diminished, and it was probably then that the express service (as well as nights, Sun, etc) were eliminated.

12-1-51 Saturday service ends

8-26-56 some trains run to Crescent on the Jamaica line

6-18-59 skip stop service to Jamaica. Canarsie service reduced to a few yard put ins (AM) and pull outs (PM)

11-27-67 Jamaica skip-stop and Canarsie pull-ins/outs designated "JJ" on maps.
According to the 1964 proposed map by Raleigh D'Adamo for a design competition, both Canarsie and Crescent branches of Bway-Bklyn shortline were already "JJ", and "KK" actually designated the Myrtle-Chambers!

7-1-68 new "KK" service rerouted via Chrystie "BJ" tracks and 6th Av. Local to 57th St, rush hours, and runs skip-stop to Jamaica

1-2-73 double letter dropped; cut back to Eastern Pkwy, with some trains to Atlantic or Canarsie.

8-27-76 discontinued

5-6-86 - 12-11-88 letter used to replace "AA".
(This is actually, likely from a one time proposal to link the AA and BMT KK for a "168-168" [Manhattan/Queens] service, and it was reportedly considered again for this period. So on the new rollsigns being printed, "Z" then became the new extra Bwy-Bklyn service, and K was retained on the 8th Ave. portion of the line, which was the AA).

1991 Proposed for Canarsie skip-stop service (Gray "K" bullet appears on R-110B signs)

LL /L 14thSt.-Canarsie

6-30-24 6th Av. To Montrose (Trains delivered and moved out for servicing via ramp to street)

7-14-28 Connected with Canarsie line

5-30-31 8th Av. Terminal opened (also built in IND style and recently restored in BMT style like Fulton and Broad). In rush hour, express service (nonstop Lorimer-Myrtle/Wyckoff) ran. (Locals usually ran 8th Av. to Myrtle or Atlantic at these times.)

9-23-36 Expresses run to Lefferts via connection with Fulton at Atlantic. Connection severed 4-30-56; service ran to Canarsie again, then was discontinued 8-23. R-27-38 signs provided with both "L" and "LL" for express and local service, even though the express never ran thereafter. (Skip stop was proposed in the '90s). Double letters were finally eliminated in 1985-6, but many continue to call it the "double L".

2008 Service increased; AM rush hour short turns at Myrtle Ave added.

4-26-19 Sandy repair work began. Initially, the choices were a three year plan single tracking in one tunnel, and a 1˝ year full closure, which would shortline service at Bedford. Everyone actually preferred the shorter full closure, in order for it to be finished as soon as possible! However, at the last moment, Governor Cuomo inroduced a totally new idea, from some university engineers, to add replacement cables to the outisde of the wall, instead of replacing the entire "bench wall" (the walkway ledge on the wall in tunnels). This would allow work to be confined to nights and weekends, and in one tunnel at a time.
So at these times, the L was reduced to a ten minute headway, with half of the trains ending at Lorimer, and the other half (every 20 minutes), single-tracking to Manhattan. (Shuttle bus service [B91, counterclockwise, and B92, clockwise, shown in unusual shades of pink on the map] is still provided from Bedford and Lorimer to Marcy, which was scaled down from several "L-" routes between Brooklyn and Manhattan under the full closure). M14 was supposed to become "SBS", but now, just the regular LTD is still beefed up, on the Manhattan side.
Work was finished ahead of scehdule, April, 2020.

M Myrtle-Nassau

7-29-14 present connection built between Myrtle and Broadway els, and trains (express Mon.-Sat.) ran from Metropolitan to Chambers every day. (Sunday Service was cut 6-33, and Saturday express service was cut 6-28-52 and all Sat. service 6-28-58. Midday service was cut 6-28-58). Marcy Av. was originally a local stop, but beginning 2-23-60, all trains stopped there.

The letter was provided on R27-38 signs, and from '60-62 these began to be used on rush hour Nassau specials from the Brighton or 4th Av. These did not run to Metropolitan as they would later on. Southern Div. specials ran from 95th or Brighton Beach to Chambers (via tunnel one way and via a now severed connection with Manhattan Bridge, the other); and separate #10 trains ran from Chambers to Metropolitan.

Unlike the official NYCTA "World's Fair" map, which omitted the BMT East letters, the 1964 proposed map by Raleigh D'Adamo for a design competition included them, but the Myrtle-Chambers line was actually the "KK"! (while both Canarsie and Crescent branches of Bway-Bklyn shortline were "JJ", as they were in the final 1967 service).

11-27-67. Myrtle-Chambers service officially becomes "M", but service is unchanged. (Earlier on, there had been plans for an "MM" service along with the KK via Chrystie St. to 57th St. 6thAv., which was included on new signs, but it never ran. We could use a service like that over here today!)

7-1-68 extended to Broad St

10-3-69 off hour shuttle to Myrtle begins, replacing el service to Jay St.

1-2-73 extended to Coney Island via Brighton, weekdays.

8-27-76 Express service from Myrtle to Marcy ends when K is eliminated

Metropolitan Av M
Bay Parkway, Bklyn

4-26-86 track work on Brighton sends M to 95th St. at first, then a year later, to Bay Pkwy, West End line, rush hours, and 9th Avenue middays via 4th Avenue express.

1994 becomes local on 4th Av. to allow N to go express.

4-95 midday service to 9th Av. discontinued (cut back to chambers)

4-97, 8-97 to Essex St. nights and weekends, due to reconstruction of Myrtle Av.

4-30-99 to 9-1-99 Williamsburg Bridge closed. Service ran all times from Metropolitan to Marcy, and rush hours from Bay Pkwy to Chambers.

7-00 extended to Chambers or Broad off hours due to switch work that caused J to run express from Myrtle to Marcy.

7-23-01 reextended middays to 9th Avenue, and evenings (till 10) and earlier in the morning to Bay Parkway to appease riders complaining of loss of service to Grand St. due to Manhattan Bridge work.

2003-4, occasionally extended to Fulton (relaying at Broad) weekends, when L service is suspended from Lorimer to Manhattan.

2-23-04. Cut back to Chambers midday, and Myrtle evenings when Manhattan Bridge work is finished.

7-28-08 Evening service to Chambers or Broad extended to 11:30 PM. This was part of a batch of service improvements, with the next step the following winter to even be weekend service to Chambers! But then the financial crunch hit, and the second wave of increases was cancelled.

6 Av Local
Forest Hills - 71 Av
via 53 St

6-28-10 As part of the same wave of service cuts that killed the weekend extension, we get the most imaginable service improvement for the line:
Service restored through the outer Chrystie connection, via 6th Ave.; merged with the V line, to Continental Avenue!!!
At first, it was simply an extension of the V, and total elimination of the M. (The off-hour shuttles also would have become "V"s). But riders along the line objected to the loss of the familiar M designation. So then the work began of printing new orange "(M)" bullet signs, which were installed, along with the new destinations two weeks early.
This is considered a service cut, because it eliminates all service past Broad into Brooklyn, and thus eliminates the need for terminal facilities at Bay Pkwy and Second Av., and consolidates schedules. The still relatively new Queens Blvd-6th Ave service now sees a reduction from 600ft trains to the 480ft required for Eastern Div. station lengths, as well as maintaining the M's lighter frequency.

While some railfans I uses to share my "Ridgewood rants" with online had agreed about the relative isolation of the neighborhood and had long pushed for an "M/V Combo"; I never thought they would ever actually do it, taking away the capacity from the V, whom they were trying to get riders to use more, but apparently never did gain the ridership.

So now, for the first time in 34 years the Eastern division has direct Midtown service through the Chrystie St. cut, and the first regular service outside rush hours; and for the first time ever, Ridgewood has direct midtown service, period. (Except for the handful of JJ runs). Basically, the once proposed "MM" has finally come to life!

Taking from the V, service runs evenings, until about 11:30. Weekends and midnights are still the shuttle.
Looks really good now, that whenever the financial crunch is over, weekend service would be added as well, being much more useful than the proposed Chambers services, and also useful on the Queens end, to replace the G, and help the R, and provide the 53rd St. and direct 6th Av. service local riders between Roosevelt Ave and Queens Plaza lacked on weekends.

Just a week after the beginning of the new service, a general order extended the line to 57th/6th Ave. on Mon. July 5th, on the holiday Saturday schedule to celebrate the 4th. The L was not running from 8th to Lorimer, and where before, the M would be extended to the Nassau line to make up for this, now the trend is the 57th St. former terminal. The F is unchanged, and inbetween its runs, the M pulls into the northound track, changes end, and then crosses back out. This would be repeated several times afterward.

6-8-14 Weekend service extended to Essex St!. (Nice addendum to what began with the weekday midtown service).
Finally, since the discontinuance of the old el service to Jay St. (next), there is service beyond the shuttle. The day before the change they even ran one museum train of R9's on the new line, between the regular shuttles, to the new destination. (This was also extended to Chambers for months in 2015 when the switch at Essex St. was being replaced).


Hurricane Sandy Service Changes, see below

In spring 2017, with the opening of the Second Ave. line, when L service was shut down between Brooklyn and Manhattan for work, weekend M service actually ran to 96th/2nd Ave! It's possible they may do this during an upcoming year plus shutdown of the L for Sandy work in the 14th St. tunnel.

7-8-17 Work on replacing both the viaduct connecting to the J line, as well as the bridge over the freight tracks into Metropolitan has service rerouted to Bway Junction for several months. Weekends, it actually still ran from BWJ to Essex, even though this route was completely covered by the J. (It began running like this for a few weekends before the shutdown, due to prep work).
Three shuttle buses replaced the Myrtle portion of the line: 1) Myrtle-Bway to Fresh Pond only 2) Myrtle-Bway to Forest, then straight to Metropolitan (these two, combined at night) 3) the "express", from the Flushing Ave. station directly to Metropolitan, stopping at Jefferson Ave. L station

9-2-17 When the bridge was finished, a shuttle began running from Wyckoff to Metropolitan, with one train each single tracking on both tracks, as the longer viaduct work continued. (Cars were brought over 7-7 and a new little shop built in the storage yard). The shuttle buses continued to run from Broadway to Wyckoff, only.

12-26-17 In a surprising new move, called the "Subway Action Plan", a weekend-style general order, of shutting down the 53rd St. tunnel and rerouting the E via the F line, was expanded 24/7 across a whole week, from Tuesday the 26th, through Friday the 29th.
Since the procedure during weekend unplanned changes was to suspend the M in on the IND when other lines were reouted, this then occured for the whole week. M's were relabeled as "extra" J's from Bway Jct. to Chambers, using the M crews.

4-30-18 Viaduct work complete, service resumes as normal. (The new Fresh Pond shop will be converted for diesel work equipment servicing).

4-26-19 Sandy repair work on the L. Service now runs regularly, weeknights from 10:30 to almost 1:30, and weekend days and evenings, to 96th St. 2nd Av. (originally might have been 24 hours under the full shutdown plan. Also, under that plan, weekday service would have been greatly increased, but I haven't seen the plans of how exactly that would have been done; like if there would have been short-turns anywhere).

8-19 Two weekends (16-18 and 23-25), work at 96/2 sends the M actually up to 145th St., crossing over to the express at 34th and then following the B route!

Nassau St (as far as Essex) and southern div. (Including Brighton, 95th and Sea Beach, as well as West End) routes and destinations are included on the R-44/46 side signs.

MJ Myrtle-Jay (el service)

Myrtle el service ran with other lines over Brooklyn Bridge to Park Row. Myrtle out-survived other BMT els, most of which ended upon unification in 1940. Service continued to Park Row until 1944, when it was cut back to Jay. It was designated "MJ" 11-26-67 when all BMT lines acquired letters. (It still used old wooden cars, and the letter did not appear, except on a metal hanging plaque) 10-3-69 it was ended.

N Broadway-Sea Beach

6-22-15 The modern Sea Beach line replaced an old surface el car line that branched off of the 5th Av. El with the old West End. Originally, it used the "H" tracks of the Manhattan Bridge (that now connect to Broadway, but then connected to Chambers St.) Soon the "A" tracks to Canal St. (and now connected to Grand St and 6th Av) were opened, along with segments of the Broadway line

9-14-17 14th St. Union Square to Coney Island.

1-5-18 extended to Times Sq.

5-2-57 57th St. 7th Av.

4-61 letter begins to appear when R-27's are moved to line.

8-27-76 extended to 71st St Continental to replace EE. Some locals run from Queens to Whitehall, also to replace this service.

8-27-77 Through service cut late nights; shuttle between Coney Island and 36th (like the B. The R was the full time service on 4th Avenue these years).

4-26-86 becomes local via Montague Tunnel due to Manhattan Bridge reroute that moved all West End and Brighton service to the Broadway side of the Bridge, and when the 6thAv. Side reopened, the Broadway side was closed. 4-86 to 5-87, it continued to run express via bridge to 57th Evenings, nights and weekends.

5-87 switched with R to Astoria (so that R, which had no yard, could use Jamaica yard). Now it was local all the time, except for evenings, nights and weekends when it ran via bridge and express on 4th Av. (but still local in Manhattan, switching to the bridge tracks at Prince--Thus it had swapped functions with the Brighton locals of 1961-67, which were local to Astoria all times, but switched to the bridge off hours, while the N was express to 57th all times.)

Fall, 1990, full service on Bridge restored briefly. Express service runs all times except nights (all service stops at the local station 49th St. due to heavy usage). This brief service is cut short by a cracked beam.

6-1994 switches to express in Brooklyn only (Pacific-59th)

94-96 cut back to 86th due to Stillwell terminal, then restored.

9-01 Suspended due to WTC DISASTER. See Below

12-16-01 Cut back again do to the beginning of the final phase of Stillwell reconstruction.

9-8-02 becomes a shuttle to Pacific nights and weekends, as the W was extended since it was now the only line serving Stillwell.

2-22-04 Manhattan Bridge work finally complete. N finally restored to bridge (via 4th Av. exp. and DeKalb bypass) and express to 34th. (crosses over to stop at 49th). Weekends, it is still express in Brooklyn, via bypass and bridge, but runs local in Manhattan. Nights it is all local, via tunnel.

5-29-05 The new Stillwell Terminal completed, and the N finally returned.

2008 saw a plan for all night service via the bridge when service would be extended to Queens, but this was shelved when the financial crisis hit.

6-28-10 The service cut plan that actually went into effect, two years later (from the 2009 revision of the 2008 plans; temporarily put off by bailout money), was to eliminate the W and the N runs local in Manhattan at all times, but still over the bridge except midnights.

8-13 to 8-14 Routed via bridge all times for full shutdown of tunnel for Sandy repair work. (Stations from Canal to DeKAlb closed nights and weekends, and served by split R service weekdays).

In anticipation of the long awaited first piece of the Second Ave. line (originally planned for mid December, but pushed back to New Year's Day), in early November, the 2010 change was essentially undone, with the W returning, and N resumed express service in Manhattan, weekdays.
In the final Second Avenue pattern, a few weekday AM and PM N's are actually scheduled to run to the new 96th St. terminal, probably to ease congestion at Astoria. (At the present, they've been ordered to run as "Q via Sea Beach" in the northbound direction to avoid confusion).

NX a special express service from Brighton Beach to 57th St 7thAv. Via Sea Beach super express tracks that began 11-27-67 but was discontinued in 1968 due to low ridership

O Also deemed unusable due to similarity with zero. Available on digital signs


Never used, and skipped over on original roll signs. (A common myth was that this was due to feared bathroom humor. But operations planners were probably not thinking like that, and it would be proposed for a route later on —see below).
I have surmised that perhaps it may have originally been allocated for Culver BMT service if it had run into the 60's. As we see, the way the letters were grouped: A-D, IND uptown; E-H, IND Queens and Brooklyn; J-M BMT East; N-T; BMT South. Hence, P being in the South section, and here we have a south line that never got a letter!
In 1954, when the D took over the line from Ditmas to Coney Island, Nassau St. service* was still maintained for a few years (expresses via Bridge and locals via tunnel) to Ditmas, until it permanently became a shuttle 5-28-59, (designated "SS" when letters started to be used) then was discontinued in 1975.

*(Like other lines, originally ran via the 5th Avenue el, with Nassau service beginning with tunnel connection in 1931, and was basically expresses rush hours via bridge, skipping DeKalb and Myrtle, peak direction; and tunnel the other way; and Sat. AM express service ended years before (1950); and local to Chambers via tunnel all other times; and the el service ending in 1940. Express service only went as far as Kings Hwy, and ran express to 9th Ave in the reverse peak direction. (Wooden el cars went from 9th to Coney Island rush hours). The line also received returning specials from the Brighton and 95th. When the line was cut back to Ditmas, the weekday pattern to Manhattan was the same (bridge rush peak direction rush hours; local middays), but all other times, it was a shuttle to 36th).

168th Street
Jamaica Center

In the 90's, it was proposed for Amtrak strikes, which would curtail LIRR service which uses its tracks into Manhattan. Service would have run from Jamaica (LIRR station at Sutphin) nonstop to 34th St Penn Sta. (Hence, "P") via the J line to Essex, and then via the BJ tracks to Broadway Lafayette, and then the connecting switch at W 4th St. Trains would have continued locally to 168th St. R-32's would have been used, as they and the R-38's are the only trains to have "P" on the roll signs (white bullet, no route), and also the front digital signs. (P also available on R-44/46 digital side signs, with no route or destination)



8-1-20 Brighton subway service instituted upon opening of Montague St. Tunnel and connecting two track line between Prospect Park and DeKalb. Expresses (weekday and Sat.) went to Times Square; while locals via tunnel went to Queensboro Plaza. Late nights, locals ran via tunnel as well. Evenings and Sun. Locals ran via Bridge and ran Express in Manhattan to 57th St.

1930's AM Rush hour specials begin to run to Chambers, via bridge, Mon-Sat.

10-17-49 tunnel local extended to Astoria upon conversion of line to full BMT use.

6-29-50 PM Nassau specials inaugurated (weekdays)

6-21-52 Sat. Nassau specials end

6-26-52 All expresses extended to 57th St.

12-1-55 weekday locals extended through new connection to Queens IND to Continental Av. express extended to Astoria weekdays; to 57th St. Sat.

5-4-57 Sat. Express also extended to Astoria, making local stops in Manhattan to replace the locals which now ran to Chambers St. via tunnel

10-7-57 A strike shuts down half of BMT service. One of the few lines that operated was the Brighton local which was split into two overlapping routes: from Coney Island via tunnel to 57th, and from Whitehall to 179th. (Both segments used a mixture of IND and BMT equipment!)

10-24-57, locals via bridge switched to the local track at Prince St. and night service moved from tunnel to bridge.

5-28-59 expresses make local stops in Brooklyn, middays. Nassau specials run via tunnel peak direction, via bridge reverse peak direction. (Clockwise AM, counterclockwise PM)

6-6-59 Sat. Locals run to Franklin. This was still a #1, not the seasonal extended #7 shuttle that also ran

11-15-60 first R-27's appear. Express is designated as "Q", local via tunnel "QT", and local via bridge "QB". Cars ran mostly on QT, and 9-16-64, first R-32 "Brightliners" go into service on Q

1-1-61 Q 57th St-Brighton Beach and QT Coney Island-Astoria weekdays. Sat. QT still ran to Franklin while Q express ran to Astoria, local in Manhattan. Other times QB ran.

4-2-62 Sat. Q discontinued; all weekend, as well as evenings and nights, QB ran to Astoria, making local stops.

2-10 to 11-2-64 express tracks out of service for platform extensions (for conversion to IND train lengths) Skip stop service instituted between expresses and locals.

11-26-67 Chrystie St. Connection. Originally, all three Q services were to be completely eliminated, replaced by D, QJ and NX. But due to riders opposition to loss of all Broadway service, 3 AM rush QJ's were redesignated as QB, and two more were later added. They ran local in Brooklyn from Coney Island, via bridge and Broadway exp. to 57th, and then returned either out of service, or in R service.

85-86 double letter elimination: becomes "Q" again.

4-26-86 cut back to Brighton Beach, expanded to weekday middays, and runs skip-stop with D (due to track work) which is also sent to 57th St. 7th Av. (Due to Manhattan Bridge work)

12-12-88 both projects end, Bway side of bridge closed, and Q routed up 6th Av. to 57th St, and becomes the express in Brooklyn.

9-89 Asbestos Flood on 8th Av. cuts A and C service. Q extended to 207th St via Central Pk West local, using some A line equipment, Non-weekdays, terminates at 2nd Av. (Local on 6th Av.) This would become the blueprint for future service cut proposals that were shot down because of the resulting loss of the legendary A express from Harlem (An orange "A" was placed on R-110B signs, and Brighton "A" destinations on R-44/46 signs to replace Q, but public still didn't buy it)

10-30-89 63rd St opens. Q extended to 21st St. Queensbridge. Soon after, evening service to 2ndAv. replaced by B

4-30-95 to 11-12-95 Manhattan Bridge was supposed to "flip-flop" back to the 86-88 pattern at this time, but Broadway side was not ready. So bridge was fully closed weekday middays and weekends from 6 AM Sat. To 10 PM Sun. Q switches to Broadway, making express stops from 57th St to Canal (first scheduled service through Broadway connection to 63rd St.), then switches to local/tunnel tracks and makes all stops to Coney Island.

1999-2001 cut back to 57th 6th Av on various occasions due first, reconstruction of 63rd St. track bed, (which was a faulty new design), and then for additional work preparing the line for the connection to Queens. A shuttle ran from 21st St. to 57th St. 7thAv, extended to 34th St weekdays during these times.

7-22-01 returns to Broadway due to final phase of Manhattan Bridge work. Q circle designates the full time local which replaces D, while Q diamond is the new weekday express. Both run express over the "H" bridge tracks, and express to 57th St./7th Av.

9-8-02, locals cut back to Brighton Beach due to Stillwell reconstruction. Generally, the local pulls in on the local track as usual, discharges, then relays on layup track 5 and returns on track 3 (the CI bound express track) while the expresses pulll in and out of 4 track. A track leading to Stilwell remains in service for access to the yard, and these trains would use the normal local tracks in both directions.

2-23-04 Manhattan Bridge work finally complete Q diamond eliminated and replaced by B. Q circle unchanged, and remains the full time Brighton local.

5-23-04 Most of Stillwell Terminal complete; Q service restored.

6-28-10 Extended to Astoria weekdays to replace W in service cuts. Now stops at 49th when extended, replacing the N's pattern, which now stays on the local.

12-7-14 Begins running local in Manhattan (still via Bridge), midnight hours

Long awaited first piece of the Second Ave. line, initially scheduled to open 12-16, opened on New Year's Day, 2017! Line simply extended to 96th St.
A holiday service change was unusual, though Memorial Day and Thanksgiving were at one point planned for the Chrystie St. opening, but eventually changed (see below). Planned major or permanent service changes (and the employee "picks" that accompany them) are now always on Sundays, and since the actual holiday was on Sunday, and they were rushing to have it "finished" within 2016 (the "inaugural" train ran New Year's Eve, and earlier plans called for servce to begin the 30th), then we got this new line for the new year! N and W service (q.v.) were changed earlier in anticipation of it, while they scrambled to do the final work on the new line without a clear date. For about a week or so before hand, the Q trains were instructed to clean out at 57th and then run light to 96th, to test out the new route.
Service for the first week was only 6AM-10PM while work continued midnights, and full time service began Jan. 9th.


RR /R 4th Av.-Broadway

1-15-16 Service begins from 86th St to Chambers via Bridge

1-15-18 Broadway local service begins from Times Square to Whitehall. 7-10-19, it may have been extended to 57th.

8-1-20 Montague St. Tunnel opens. Through service from 86th St. to Queensboro Plaza begins (Chambers service was suspended for a few years)

10-31-25 Current 95th St terminal opens

1930's after the Nassau loop is completed, Nassau St. specials resume, usually via bridge AM rush. (Mon-Sat.)

10-17-49 Extended to Astoria

6-29-50 PM Nassau specials inaugurated (weekdays)

6-21-52 Sat. Nassau specials end

1-1-61 Moved to 71st St Continental weekdays, 57th St other times.

Letter appears winter 60-61 when R-27's ran here temporarily. They assigned permanently beginning 7-61

11-27-67 Astoria again, when new EE service went to Continental. Nassau specials became "RJ", and were through routed to Jamaica. This only lasted a few months, though, then they just became RR specials to Chambers again, now using tunnel only since the bridge connection was severed at this time.

85-86 double letter eliminated.

5-87 Continental again, so it could use Jamaica yard, instead of trains having to deadhead over the Sea Beach line to Coney Island yard. At first it ran all times, but eventually, it was cut back to the current shuttle to 36th St. at nights.

11-22-87 Nassau special eliminated.

12-11-88 extended to 179th St. to replace E which went to Archer Av. But this would end after awhile, because local riders past Continental wanted the F, which becomes an express between Continental and Queens Plaza:
9-30-90 Full time service to Queens ends; only runs to 179th rush hours, continental othewr times, and shuttle to 36th, nights
10-25-92 All service to 179th ends, runs to Continental only, days.

5-00 and 8-00 extended to Jamaica Center some weekends, including running all night from there to Whitehall to replace E during 53rd St. tunnel work. Several reroutes like this had occurred over the years, but the practice was to designate it "E".

10-00 Late night shuttle begins running express from 59th to 36th to speed up relay process.

9-01 Suspended due to WTC DISASTER. See Below

2008 saw a plan for all night service to Queens, but this was shelved when the financial crisis hit.

Hurricane Sandy Service Changes, see below

August 2013—August 2014 Even after the initial repair, the tunnel was shut down for a full year ( shortened from 14 months), with the R running in two parts weekdays (95th to Court St. and Whitehall to Continental), and the full line via bridge weekends (the tunnel-bound stations closed).

11-5-16 late night shuttle extended to Whitehall.

SS/S Franklin Av. and other Shuttles

The Franklin Av. Line was originally the through Brighton route to Manhattan. There was a junction with the Fulton St. el where the current terminal is today, and trains ran to Park Row or Sands St. When the subway was connected to Prospect Park 8-1-20, it became a shuttle, except for a few seasonal express or local runs to Brighton Beach or Coney Island over the years. (The most noted was the "Sunny Summer Sunday Special" that ran from Franklin to Coney Island, then over the Sea Beach express tracks to Chambers via Bridge and the little used Centre St loop. This ended in the 50's and all regular service beyond Prospect Park ended 1963)

In the early 90's, service was extended to Coney Island for several nights and a few weekends when tunnel lighting and other work in between Prospect Park and DeKalb forced the D over other lines. (Usually the West End, once the Sea Beach). Sometimes this used 4 car R-68/68A. (Southernmost car could not open along shuttle line), or cars borrowed from the M (people in rear of train could walk to front). Generally, the pattern was, if the Prospect Park-DeKalb line was replaced by a single track train shuttle (the work occurred on other track), the Franklin-Brighton service was called "D". If the shuttle was a bus (both tracks out), it was called "S".

4-98 to 10-99 Shuttle closed for total rebuilding. When it reopens, it is unbelievably beautiful, with shiny stations, stained glass, connection to IRT and fare controlled connection with elevators and escalators at Franklin. But is it built to less capacity-- 170 ft stations (less than 3 car lengths) and single tracking for half of the line. (Limits its use as alternative route for trains in the event of a total Manhattan Bridge closure)

S/SS is/was also the basic designation for any shuttle, including ones that run on the IRT (Times Sq., and old S. Ferry Shuttle) Originally, "S" was "special" (used for 1939 IND World's Fair special), and SS was Shuttle. It was also used on the Culver Shuttle (see "P"), the 6th Av shuttle that ran from Grand, 2nd Av. or Bway-Laf. to 57th or 21st, and also and now a separate S runs from Grand to Bway-Laf. or W4 during Manhattan Bridge closures; from Broad to Essex during the Williamsburg Bridge closure, and from 21st to 57th 7th Av during 63rd St. work. It redesignated the H Rockaway service when it was cut to Broad Channel, and various other special shuttles. SS was first used on Franklin 11-1-65 when R-27's first appeared on the line. It became "S" of course, in the double letter elimination in 1985

T TT Broadway-West End Express and Nassau-West End Local

Like the Sea Beach, the West End also replaced a surface line that branched off of the 5th Av. El.

6-24-16 service begins 18th Av. To Chambers. 7-29 extended to 25th Av.

9-4-17 Broadway service added to 14th St. As Broadway service increased, Chambers St. service was probably suspended until rest of Nassau St. loop was completed.

1-15-18 Times Square

7-10-19 Part time service to 57th St. (Probably eliminated 1920)

5-31-31 Nassau loop completed. Weekday AM and PM and Sat. AM, locals resume from Bay Pkwy or 62nd St. to Chambers via tunnel, and returning via bridge.

6-24-50 Sat. Local to Chambers. St. discontinued

5-2-57 All express trains to 57th St.

10-24-57 late night service replaced by locals to Chambers (tunnel both ways, to Coney Is.)

5-28-59 all locals to Chambers via tunnel both ways. Express service eliminated middays, replaced by locals extended to Coney Is.


1-1-61 Rush hour T express to Astoria (and Sat. too until 4-2-62) TT Local service Bay Pkwy to Chambers. Middays, local service Coney Is.- Chambers only. Evenings and Sat. (after 4-2-62) T to 57th. Nights and Sun. TT to 36th St. Letters appear summer of '61 when R-27's run on the line.

11-26-67 discontinued for good, and replaced by B, except for Night and Sunday Shuttles which continued as "TT" until 1968, when they were replaced by full time extended B service.

From the late 60's to the present, the route was actually recreated during a series of Manhattan Bridge closings. But the practice was always to call it "B", since that was the letter that became familiar. (In the earliest of these, the R-11 ran signed up as "3", the old West End number.). In the longest of these, from 4-26-86 to 11-12-88, the almost exact pattern was recreated: To Astoria rush hours, and to 57th St. evenings and weekends. (The M was soon moved to Bay Parkway like the old TT) Since it also ran weekday middays, it was sent to Queensboro Plaza. It also briefly ran in Fall of '90 when the Broadway side of the Bridge was open for a month, and the 6th Av. side was closed for inspection one weekday midday. (When the bridge is fully closed it is always a shuttle to 36th or Pacific.) Once again, lack of foresight made this route a second "B" instead of "T". I had been suggesting reinstituting the T for when the Bridge flip-flopped again, and many nostalgic railfans agreed. The problem was, it was only on R-32/38 signs (white bullet, no route), the front digital signs, and interestingly enough, it was programmed into the R-44/46 side signs as a West End route (various Broadway, 6th Av. and Nassau destinations) But it was not on the rest of the roll signs, so it was not available on the majority of the Coney Island based fleet. The R-68's had slightly outdated signs (Q only in rush hour yellow diamond, etc), so I had been suggesting new signs for them including "T".

Instead, the TA ordered new signs with a circle "W", which designated the line when it began again for the bridge flip of 7-22-01. It once again ran express to Astoria, but this time, was also express ON the Astoria line, running peak direction in the middle track. Early evenings it ran to 57th, late nights a shuttle to 36th, but for some reason weekend service was also a shuttle to Pacific. Now, "T" has been proposed for the full length Second Avenue line. It had been mentioned as such before, but then it has also been proposed as "Y".


Unused. I suggested using it to replace the D when the Manhattan Bridge 6th Av. side is closed. But it is only on the same signs "P" is on. It was also said to be the RTO designation for the interchanging 2/5 service during the Lenox rehab. On work programs, it is for special jobs that do a combination of regular in service trips on any line, plus yard work. In the B Division, this was the "V" until that became a full fleged line; and afterward, it became "X".


Was on all signs as a 6th Av. extra. (orange bullet) since the early 80's. It was originally conceived for 63rd St. (They also considered using the Q, but as the Bridge flip-flop occurred first, it has gone back to Broadway.) But by the time it opened to regular traffic 12-17-01, the F was chosen to go through 63rd and the V replace it on 53rd, local from Continental to 2nd Av. weekdays only.
Rush hour service had been simulated twice on Saturdays, the first time, the previous spring, with the V (marked "S") running through 63rd and the F through 53rd, and the G also running to 179, to see if the G could be kept. This was unsucessful, so the current pattern was chosen (with the G extended other times). This then was tested on 9-8, with success (I operated one of it's AM jobs). Implementation of service was delayed by the terrorist attacks 3 days later.
On the R-44/46 side signs, it has codes for most lines and terminals accessible to 6th Av. (Uptown, Culver, Brighton, as well as Queens).

Briefly ran to Euclid Avenue, Brooklyn in January, 2005 when a fire at the Chambers St. relay room knocked out the switches in the area, making it impossible for the C to run to Brooklyn. Hopefull, the V will eventually run on the Culver line In Brooklyn, allowing express service there.


6-28-10 As part of service cuts, was proposed to be extended to Metropolitan Avenue replacing the M. However, M riders opposed the loss of the designation, so this new combo line became an orange "(M)".
So after only 10 years in service, the V designation was eliminated and replaced with this new service (see "M"), maintaining the M's lighter headways, but the V's longer hours!

This naturally raises the question of the fate of the planned V service to Church Avenue when the Culver Viaduct reconstruction is complete. (MTA never seemed to think of it, but after online community groups began asking for it, they seriously considered the idea, with the F able to run express. The G has already been extended to Church for the construction).

Either that idea is shelved, or they might go back to an alternate F express/local once proposed (since local riders could not have only the G) or if the new M service is unpopular, they might restore the separate V, and M to Chambers. It would be hard to see the Ridgewood and Middle Village riders get such a service for the first time, not appreciate it, and then let it be taken away without any opposition, however.
One hope for it I indentified was a planned middle track at the new 72nd St station of the Second Avenue line. They had already mentioned it as providing a terminal for any future Manhattan Bridge reroutes (The local Q and the new T would run uptown, as planned, while the express ‹Q› would likely end at 72nd St. It also could be used for an additional 6th Avenue route, though it might be difficult to squeeze in a third local (F/V/M).
Yet the track was removed from the construction plans, in favor of a narrower two track station. The M or V could still run to 96th or 125th in the first phases of the project, but once the line below 63rd with the T begins running, it would be impossible to run all three to the terminal, especially now that they reportedly also cut a planned third track out from the 125th St terminal!


Broadway extra. Originally conceived as Astoria-Broadway local to Whitehall for when the Bridge is fully open and the N runs express again. It was on roll signs as a yellow diamond bullet, but on the R-68 and 68A, new signs were installed that have a round bullet for its new assignment. It is also is on the R-44/46 digital signs with any route and destination accessible to the Broadway line (Queens Blvd, 4thAv to 95th, West End, Brighton and Sea Beach, as well as Astoria.

Since it was on all signs, it was my (and several other subfans) alternative suggestion to redesignate the D via Broadway. But as of 7-22-01 when the new bridge service finally went into effect, it was used on the West End instead, (and the Brighton served by a Q express and local.) It ran similar to the prior "T" and "BK" services: express via DeKalb bypass and bridge to Astoria, stopping at 49th, but this time, was also express ON the Astoria line, running peak direction in the middle track. (Later discontinued since it skipped most stations in Queens and there were not enough riders for it). Early evenings it ran to 57th, late nights a shuttle to 36th, but for some reason weekend service was also a shuttle to Pacific.
Reasons vary from anticipation of work on the bridge or tunnel that would squeeze the other lines onto the same tracks, to the massive DeKalb Av. station rehabilitation coming up. I, by now a train operator fresh out of school car, would have my very first job as the very first switchman on this service at Pacific, on 7-22!

9-8-02 Was switched with the N off hours, running local via tunnel to Astoria at those times. This was since it was now the only line running to Stillwell terminal, which entered major reconstruction at this time.

2-23-04 Manhattan Bridge work finally complete. Finally becomes the originally-as-conceived Astoria-Whitehall service, but runs middays and evenings as well as rush hours.


2009, considered for elimination due to severe service cuts replacing service increases when the economy suddenly crashed. However, bailout money was received, and the cuts were staved off for a year.

6-28-10 Cuts now implemented. Replaced by N, which runs local in Manhattan to Prince, as well as the Q extended to Astoria and stopping at 49, in the hours the W formerly ran. With all the cuts going through at this time, the R covers the local run from Canal to 36th all by itself now, and I believe without even any increase in the number of trains.

11-7-16 In anticipation of the long awaited first piece of the Second Ave. line (planned for mid December, but pushed back to New Year's Day), W returned, replacing Q in Astoria, weekdays.

Ditmars Blvd
Coney Island


Never used (although there was an "NX"--see above). It too is in a white bullet on the R-32/38 signs, and can be displayed on the front digital sign. But it is also on the R-44/46 side sign with the destinations "21st St Queensbridge" and "World Trade Center" "via 6th Av.". Years ago, there were ideas to run such a service, but it never came about. On work programs, it's for special jobs that may do a trip on any line, and then yard work. This was "V" before that become a regular line.


Never used. I heard it was once planned for a Canarsie skip-stop service (before "K" was chosen), but in either case, it never ran. It has also been named as the future 2nd Av. Line (when the full line opens below 63rd. St. The first segment will open above 63rd St., and will be an extension of existing Broadway service, probably the N, Q or W.) But latest plans call for this to be the "T" again. Also only on digital signs and R-32/38 signs in a white bullet with no routes or destinations.

Z Jamaica Skip-Stop

Was chosen to be the new Jamaica Skip-stop (Rush hours), since "K" was used for the AA. 12-12-88. Makes old J(a) stops from Gates to Norwood (Crescent was a "b" stop, 75th-Elderts an a&b stop, and Woodhaven an "a" stop before), then the "b" stops 102nd and 121st. Only service change was the cut back to Eastern Pkwy during the Williamsburg bridge closing, 5-1-99 to 8-31-99

9-01 Suspended due to WTC DISASTER. See Below

2009, considered for elimination due to severe service cuts replacing service increases when the economy suddenly crashed. However, bailout money was received, and the cuts did not go through at that time. Instead, the following year, the M was removed from Nassau St. instead.


Like the BMT, was known primarily by names until the Chrystie era. The first numbers appeared with the R-12 (1948, Flushing line), and then on the main lines in the 50's with the R-17's. The first map to use the numbers was the last pre-Chrystie map of 1966-7

1 Broadway-7th Av. Local

The original line that opened 10-27-1904 from Broadway@145th St. to City Hall, via Broadway, 42nd St., Park Av. South, and Lafayette St. There were expresses (used switches at 96th St.) As well as locals.

11-12-04 extended to 157th St.

1-16-05 Fulton St. opens; 6-12-05 Wall St. opens; 7-10-05 Bowling Green and the South Ferry loop opens.

3-12-06 extended to 215th St.; 1-14-07 to 225th; 8-1-08 completed to 242nd St.

The line below 42nd St. opened in segments in 6-3-17 (Penn Sta.--shuttle to 42nd) and Chambers to Wall St, and South Ferry (7-1-18). From 7-1-18 to 7-17-18 (when the Lexington line was opened above Grand Central) the through service from Bronx to Brooklyn must have been severed, with all service via the old route on Park Av. S. and the Joralemon Tunnel terminating at Times Sq. on the 42nd St line. Or maybe there was dual service over both lines with a grade crossing north of 42nd.

8-1-18 Both halves of 7th Ave. line now linked, and Grand Central shuttle service begins.

4-15-19 Clark St. Tunnel to Borough Hall, Brooklyn completed. West Side trains no longer crossed Manhattan on the 42nd St line, which became a shuttle.

12-19, Began operating to Atlantic Av. Brooklyn.

Beginning 8-23-20, trains went to the new Flatbush Av. and Utica Av. terminals.

11-22-20 extended to Junius St. Shuttles ran between Junius and Utica

1-3-21 non-rush service terminates at Atlantic. Shuttles began operating from what is now the Lexington Av. Platform of Borough Hall to Flatbush and Pennsylvania Av. This ended a month later.

1-16-22 line completed to New Lots. Single track shuttles, between New Lots & Pennsylvania though

4-9-23 expresses ran 242nd St-Pennsylvania, and 215th St to Flatbush

10-31-24 through service to New Lots

12-1-24 Rush hour trains alternated to Utica and Flatbush. Over the decades, the route switched back and forth between Utica, New Lots and Flatbush at different times, (from 1934-1937, trains were cut in half at Brooklyn Museum, with one half going to Flatbush, and the other to New Lots) until 2-6-59, when all trains were locals to South Ferry only.

242nd Street
South Ferry

12-12-88 #9 skip-stop added.

In the late '90's, there were a few weekends when massive construction suspended #3 service and sent the 1 to New Lots, harking back to the old days of the line!

This would become a semi-permanent arrangement 9-01 due to the WTC DISASTER SERVICE CHANGES. See Below

5-29-05 Skip stop discontinued

3-16-09 New South Ferry terminal opens. Now has full two track terminal replacing old half-length loop.

4-4-13 Old South Ferry loop station reactivated due to Sandy damage to new station. Trains began using the loop shortly fter the storm (see below), and when it was determined that it would take years to repair, the old platform was fixed back up for service.

6-27-17 New station ropenes, old platform closes again.

2 White Plains-7th Av. Express

The West Farms line had been serviced by 3rd Av. El trains until 7-10-05, when the connecting subway from Lenox & 135th St. to the portal past 149th St. 3rd Av. opened. Most likely went to South Ferry loop, which opened the same day, from 180th St-Bronx Park.

1-9-08 Joralemon St. Tunnel to Brooklyn opens; trains ran from 180th St. to Borough Hall

5-1-08 Nevins and Atlantic Avenue stations open

3-3 and 3-31-17 White Plains Road line opens to 219th and 238th, respectively. Not sure if through 7th Av. Service operated on this segment at this time, but it would be used only by Lexington service, when it would begin the following year. Seventh Av. would continue to terminate at 180th, but eventually moved to the new 180th St. West Farms Sq. Station from the old Bronx Park terminal, which continued to be used by el trains until 1952.

7-1-18 7th Av. Line completed to Wall St. and South Ferry. The 2 probably served both.

4-15-19 Clark St. Tunnel opens. Not exactly sure how service ran at this point. (Probably like on next line).

12-19 South Ferry, non rush, alternating between South Ferry and Atlantic rush hours

1923 rush hours, alternated to South Ferry and Utica

12-1-24 trains that ended at South Ferry extended to New Lots.

1934 evenings (incl. Sat.) and Sunday morning to South Ferry, other times except midnights, to Flatbush. Occasional lay-up/put-ins from New Lots. Four weekday evening trains turned at Atlantic.

9-5-37 evening trains routed to Flatbush

1957 Extended to Dyre Av. Via new connecting tracks at 180th St.

2-6-59 Flatbush-241st, midnights; New Lots-180th, other times.

Over the decades, the 1 and 2 (and later the 3) had been switching terminals between Flatbush and New Lots several times, until:

4-18-65 All #2's to New Lots, all times.

7-10-83 current routing to Flatbush.

Late 90's and 2000 during work in the line between Brooklyn and Chambers St., trains run to South Ferry, switch to the inner loop to Bowling Green, run to Wall St. and then continue to Brooklyn via the Joralemon St. tunnel. Also, often routed via Lexington, especially during the Lenox Av. Rehab in 1999. Trains had decals pasted over the #1 or 9 that said it was #2 one direction, and #5 the other.

1999 late night service in Manhattan makes all local stops


3 Lenox-7th Av.

The Lenox line to 145th was the second part to open, 11-23-04. Trains probably went to City Hall, until the 7th Av. Line was built. (Manhattan portion completed 7-1-18) Then, it became the local to South Ferry, crossing over the 1 at 96th St.

1-4-55 rush hour expresses begins operating to Flatbush, a few layups and put-ins to New Lots

2-6-59, "West Side Improvement". Trains no longer switched at 96th St. Service runs to Flatbush, all times except nights.

4-8-60 To New Lots all times except nights.

4-18-65 to Flatbush again.

5-13-68 148th St. Lenox terminal opens

5-23-76 current practice of starting Sunday service late (9 or 10 AM) begins

7-10-83 sent back to New Lots, so it could more readily access Livonia shops (it only had the 148th St yard before then).


2008, first wave of service improvements (before they went back to service cuts), late night shuttle was restored, and ran express to 42nd St.

4 Jerome-Lexington Express

6-2-17 Shuttles begin operating between 149th and Kingsbridge in advance of through Lexington service.

4-15-18 extended to Woodlawn

7-17-18 completed to Grand Central. Probably, at this time, they began operating to Atlantic.

11-4-25 extended to Utica, rush hours 12-5-27 weekday evening service extended to Utica. 1928, midday service extended from South Ferry to Utica. Utica, South Ferry and Atlantic were the terminals trains ran to at different times over the decades.

12-20-46 late night rains run to New Lots.

12-15-50 four rush hour trains operate to Flatbush. Discontinued 5-3-57

4-8-60 nearly all AM rush hour trains ran to Flatbush, and PM alternated between Flatbush and Utica. Midnights, to Flatbush as well.

7-10-83 all trains to Utica, except middays (Atlantic); and local/extended to New Lots midnights and early Sunday.

1-18-88 midday trains extended to Utica also.

6-8-09 to 6-26-09 Pilot program for express Jerome Avenue Line service, but AM rush peak direction only. Four trains ran from Woodlawn stopping at Mosholu Parkway, Burnside Avenue and 149th Street. Another pilot program in the fall would try it again, adding Bedford Park Blvd.

5 White Plains/Dyre-Lexington Express

The connection between the West Farms line and the Jerome-Lexington line probably opened around the same time as that stretch of the Lexington line (1918). I have not been able to find the exact routings, but trains (which started from 241st or 180th) probably ran with the 4 to South Ferry, Atlantic and later Utica.

As of 1934: From 241st or 180th to Atlantic middays, Sat. Am after rush, and Sunday morning. Other times except midnights, to Utica

7-24-38 to 9-18-38 Sunday service to New Lots

4-28-30 Sat. Service to Utica

7-10-39 Sunday afternoon service to New Lots

12-22-46 alternate Sunday morning service to New Lots

3-5-50 to Utica all day Sunday

5-3-57 several rush hour trains to Flatbush (replacing #4)

4-8-60 #4 service replaces them again, and it was probably at this time the #5 started going to Dyre.

5-23-76 service begins starting late on Sunday mornings

5-24-76 midday service cut from Atlantic to Bowling Green, and reextended to Atlantic in 1980

7-10-83 Most rush hour trains operate to Flatbush. Some Put-ins/layups to Utica or New Lots

At least one weekend in the late '80's, the 5 replaced the 2 to Flatbush during some work. The usual practice is to route the 2 via Lexington.

1-18-88 midday service cut back to Bowling Green again, to allow the 4 to run to Utica.

Late 90's to present. Occasionally routed via 7th Avenue to South ferry (one direction) during weekend work.

6-29-09, Middday service to Flatbush is tested (Fall 80) and then implemented.

6 Pelham-Lexington Local & Express

8-1-18 138th St. 3rd. Av. opens.

1-8-19 extended to Hunts Point Rd.

5-30-20 extended to 177th St.

10-24-20 extended to Westchester Sq.

12-20-20 completed to Pelham Bay Park.

Service ran pretty much the same throughout the years: rush hour expresses from Pelham Pk., and locals from 177th St. Parkchester, and all stops other times to Brooklyn Bridge; except that until the 1970's rush hour trains were extended to South Ferry (shuttle from Bowling Green on outer track, other times)

1980 late night service cut back to 125th St. (#4 goes local).

3-4-85 to summer, one train leaving 138th at 7:20 AM turned at Atlantic, leaving at 8:18 AM returning to Pelham Bay Pk. Only #6 scheduled to operate to Brooklyn.

Mid 90's, express service in Bronx extended to middays (To Manhattan until about noon, then to Pelham)

1999 late night service reextended to Brooklyn Bridge (but #4 still kept local)

2010 Major work at several stations changes service in various ways, like some locals dropping out at Lawrence Av. while others run express.


Flushing Local & Express

6-22-15 Grand Central-Vernon Jackson

2-15-16 extended to Hunters Point

11-5-16 extended to Queens Plaza

4-21-17 extended to 103rd St.

10-13-25 extended to 111th St.

3-22-26 extended on other end to 5th Av.

3-14-27 Times Square terminal opens up

5-14-27 Willets Point Blvd.

1-21-28 Completed to Main St. Flushing.

1948 R-12's arrive. First car with number designations, but they initially displayed "1 Broadway" (I'm not sure how long).

1987-9 Express service suspended due to rebuilding of parts of the line.

9-13-15 Extended to 11th Avenue at 34th St. (called "Hudson Yards") in lieu of development of West Side area, including the bid for the '12 Olympics. 10 Avenue station planned, but sheleved, but likely has provisions in the tunnel for it.


The R-12 signs had "8 Astoria", as when they were delivered, the IRT was still running trains from Times Sq. To Astoria. This ended in 1949 when the BMT service was through-routed to Astoria.

When the number designations of IRT lines became the official identifiers during the Chrystie St. changes of 1967, the #8 was used for the last remaining segment of the Third Av. El. This ended when the line was abandoned 1973.

Now the 8 is a proposed redesignation of the 6 express. It appears in a green circle on R-62A signs. The Times Square Shuttle is currently designated 8 in RTO use.

9 Broadway skip-stop

Old signs had "9 Dyre Av.". This was probably the shuttle that operated from the former railroad line's conversion to subway in 1941 to the beginning of through service in 1957.

8-21-89 it was used to designate #1 Skip stop service. At first, it was all weekday, then 9-4-94, midday service was dropped.

9-01 Suspended due to WTC DISASTER. See Below

5-30-05 Discontinued due to changes in ridership needs. Apparently, many people were going from #1 stations to #9 stations, or at certain stations of either line saw an increase of customers.

Additional numbers have been added to R-62A signs in case of additional routings or redesignations of certain lines.

10= 5 through express

11 =7 express

12 #2 to New Lots

13 #3 to Flatbush

There have also been reports of a #14 and #15. One of these might be a #4 to Flatbush.


The face of the New York City Subway system was drastically changed 9-11-01 when a terrorist attack led to the collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers, and 7 WTC. The #1/9 tunnel under the complex collapsed, and at first it was thought that it wouldn't be fixed for YEARS! (An it would be many years for the Cortlandt St. station to be rebuilt). Nearby Tunnels were flooded and filled with debris, but were soon cleaned and reopened, except for the N & R tunnel, which passes right next to the complex. It was basically in good condition, but the entrances of nearby stations were filled with debris, and service remained suspended due to the fears of vibrations causing remaining damaged buildings on the site to collapse, while cleanup efforts continued. People just getting used to the Manhattan Bridge flip now had a whole new set of sudden changes, many of them unheard of; some hearking back to long forgotten early patterns.

At first, on that morning, service ground to a halt system wide. That afternoon or evening, service gradually started up where it could. Then, service went throught several readjustments.

At first, The A ran local in Brooklyn, via the F Houston St. line and Rutgers Tunnel, as the C was suspended and the E turned at 2nd Av. or W 4th St., and was local in Queens, replacing the R, which ran only between 95th St. and Court St., Brooklyn. The N ran over the bridge, then normal, and at one time from Astoria to 34th, and Court St. to Coney Island, and the the J ran to ENY, then to Essex, the M shuttled to Bway Myrtle. The 123 were cut back in Midtown, and first shuttles, then the 4 and 5 covered the Brooklyn routes. Soon, the Clark St, tunnel was reopened, and the 2 and 3 returned to normal, but were local as the 1 ran express and turned at Times Sq. or 14th St. By that Thursday, the E was running to Euclid, also switching to the Houston/Rutgers line. By Sat., the Cranberry St. tunnel was reopened, and a slow speed order was in effect through Chambers, which was closed, and Broadway Nassau, which opened that day. The D was running local all the way down 8th Av. (To 2nd Av.) due to a GO already in effect, so the A (Which I worked Sat.) was able to remain express between Canal and 145th. Mon., the 17th, a temporary new schedule was finalized:

A Normal, but stopping at 155th and 163rd.

C Remained suspended

E Normal to Canal, then extended to Euclid, all times except nights, when it went to 2nd Av.

J Extended all times to 95th St. to replace R. Z suspended.

M Extended all times to Coney Island via Sea Beach to replace N. The first weekend, it shuttled on both Sea Beach and Myrtle, because the Crew Office did not have enough time to adequately staff the line.

NR Suspended, for weeks, until Oct. 28, when the line reopened except for the Cortlanndt St. station. (J, M, Q & W also returned to normal that date).

Q (Local) Local in Manhattan; extended to 71st-Continental to replace R. Nights, to 57th. (Express is normal)

W To Ditmars Blvd, Astoria all times; local in Manhattan.

1 Extended to New Lots. 9 suspended.

2 Local in Manhattan, to allow 3 to terminate on express tracks.

3 to 148th St, to 14th St., express.

a small one sided map was printed (at first in black and white), then special full sized maps, dated 9-19. But by the time you started seeing them, service was revised again; on 9-24 with the C resuming, and the E ran to Canal, emptied passengers, and then ran empty to the WTC platform (the exit to the mall is boarded up), and then returned to service at Canal. I worked the platform job at Canal the first day, and we had to report at WTC, entering near "Ground Zero". Later, workers were advised to go to Canal and ride to WTC. Also, during this period, some nearby stations, such as Chambers St. on both lines were gradually being reopened.

9-15-02, just 4 days after the anniversary of the attacks, 1239 service finally returned to normal, except for the Cortland St. station (now an empty shell waiting to be incorporated into the future use of the site). The BMT Cortlandt St. station did reopen that day, with the former underground exit to the WTC concourse converted back to a standard sidewalk exit. Now, with a new two track South Ferry Station being built under the loop and other continuing work in the area, the post 9-11 IRT service plan will probably return for a time in the near future. A new switch was at Rector St., which was supposed to allow trains to be turned there when South Ferry was unavailable, but for some reason, there will be a need to send 1 trains to Brooklyn again.


After 18 long years of switching back and forth between one pair of tracks or the other. On Feb. 22 2004, work was finally completed, but with a shocking reversal we would have never dreamed of, making this as much the beginning of a whole new era as the original Chrystie St. opening that connected 6th Av. to the bridge in the first place! After extensive public surveys, plus a 2003 public hearing where not many showed up (and only a few history buffs demanded the old service pattern to be restored), NYCT planners drew up a whole new pattern.
Because the B is part time uptown, and the Q express was part time in Bklyn, they have combined them into one service. There is no longer anywhere for the weekend B to terminate (like at 21st St. because the F is running through there now). Plus, Brighton riders preferred Broadway service.
So the Q became the permanent line. The B runs express, so that way, both always run the same way when they operate. Likewise, many Chinese on the West End all complained when they were cut off from Grand St., and the line seems to have enough ridership not to become a shuttle at nights, as had been the prior practice, so they get full time D service. So it was unanimous. The familiar old service pattern we all remember was really forced on everyone anyway, ignoring the public's input. So now we have something everyone prefers (except for history buffs). the original Chrystie St. plan probably should have been like this all along, as Brighton riders objected to the loss of Broadway service, (remember, the 5 QB's were an afterthought), and West End riders complained about the lost of Nassau service. Now, both lines have what they've always wanted.

The next milestone was the Stillwell Terminal Rehab. 9-8-02, the F, Q and N were cut back, with only the W serving a remaining single platform. That was eventually replaced by the new D-West End. This as the rest of the complex was rebuilt from the ground up, into a beautiful train shed, like the ones in Europe, but with glass solar panels as the roof. On the first six tracks, a concrete viaduct construction was replaced by standard steel "el" framework. The last two tracks were already steel construction, most of which is being kept, so when the other tracks were finished, the F and Q returned to their regular platforms, and the D moved over to the N platform, while less extensive work began on the remaining platform. That finished 5-29-05, when the N returned. Between this and the Bridge; we draw to a close a series of major service changes spanning almost 20 years! All the major work in the BMT southern division is finally complete! Now we were ready to expand!


Among the highlights (from various pictures):
•New South Ferry station filled with water up to the street level (as was Battery Tunnel)!
•Montague Tunnel and Whitehall St. said to be filled to the ceiling
•148 Lenox Terminal and Ave. X, Sea Beach line filled with water up to platform level.
•Broad channel station filled with debris up to platform level
•Parts of "Rockaway flats" washed out down to the old LIRR wooden trestle! Boats deposited on ROW.
•Half a block burns down adjacent to Rockway Park terminal.
•Many switches in the vast Coney Island Yard must be operated manually

INITIAL CHANGES when limited service resumed (Wed.10-31):
1 trains operate local between 242nd Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd Street.
2 trains operate between 241st Street (Bronx) and Times Square-42nd Street, with express service between 96th Street and Times Square.
3 trains are suspended.
4 trains operate in two sections making all local stops:
· Between Woodlawn (Bronx) and Grand Central-42nd Street
· Between Borough Hall and New Lots Avenue
5 trains operate express in Brooklyn between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Flatbush Avenue.
6 trains operate local between Pelham Bay Park and Grand Central-42nd Street.
7 trains are suspended.
42nd Street Shuttle S trains operate between Times Square and Grand Central.
a trains operate in two sections making all local stops:
· Between 168th Street (Manhattan) and 34th Street-Penn Station
· Between Jay Street/MetroTech and Lefferts Blvd.
b and c service is suspended.
d trains operate in two sections:
· Between 205th Street (Bronx) and 34th Street-Herald Square making all local stops
· In Brooklyn, between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Bay Parkway making express stops between Pacific Street and 36th Street
e trains suspended.
f trains operate in two sections making all local stops:
· Between 179th Street (Queens) and 34th Street-Herald Square
· In Brooklyn, between Jay Street-MetroTech and Avenue X
g trains are suspended.
j trains operate between Jamaica Center and Hewes Street making all local stops.
l trains operate between Broadway Junction and rockaway Parkway making all local stops.
m shuttle only between Myrtle Avenue-Broadway and Metropolitan Avenue.
n trains operate between Ditmars Blvd. (Queens) and 34th Street-Herald Square making all local stops.
q trains are suspended.
r trains operate in Brooklyn between Jay Street-MetroTech and 95th Street making all local stops.
Both the Franklin Avenue and Rockaway Park shuttles are suspended.

All shuttle buses operate north on 3rd Avenue and south on Lexington Avenue. Last until train service into Manhattan is restored; over the weekend.
1. Between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and 57th Street-Lexington Avenue via the Manhattan Bridge
2. Between Jay Street-MetroTech and 57th Street-Lexington Avenue via the Manhattan Bridge
3. Between Hewes Street and 57th Street-Lexington Avenue via the Williamsburg Bridge

Fri (11-2):
7 begins between Main St. and 74th
Second M picks up E from Parsons-36, then via 63rd St. to 34th St 6th Av. (All hours)

Sat (11-3):
4567 restored (same pattern in Brooklyn)

Later in evening:
Q Astoria to Kings Hwy (But said to be cancelled quickly)
J extended to Essex
Franklin Shuttle resumes
123 resume, except 1 terminates at 14th St. (I think Rector was reported, briefly)
Seems both 2 and 5 and 3 and 4 run together to the terminal, all local stops from Atlantic

Sun (11-4):

D, F halves connected in the morning
M Jamaica Center-Metropolitan, connected in the middle of the day (continues to run 24/7 while E and L are out)
Q Metrotech-Kings Hwy, then later, reported Astoria
N Astoria/Ditmars Blvd - 59th Street (4th Ave)
Both via bridge

Mon (11-5):

1 extended to Chambers, daytime, relays around old South Ferry loop. Nights, still 14th.
8th Av, Queens and 53rd St. service restored (Queens R runs to 34th St. A 168 to Lefferts only)
No Bronx rush hour service (expresses; 5 to 238th) at least on the map earlier in the day
J restored to Chambers St. in the middle of the day

Tues (11-6):
Q restored to Brighton Beach
B restored to Kings Hwy
A to 207th

B, F, Q, fully restored

Wed (11-7):
D to Stillwell
G restored

Thurs (11-8):
L restored (M reverts to normal hours).

Fri. evening (11-9):
N begins runnng to Stillwell

Sun (11-11):
A to Howard Beach JFK; where it would be going for months

Mon (11-12):
1 service to Rector, operating around loop (this would have been a good reason to keep the old South Fery station in condition to be usable). This now said to be for 3 years!

isolated Rockaway shuttle service begins using R32's trucked out there, from Beach 90th to Far Rockaway, and for some reason readopting the "H"label.

R Manhattan service extended to Whitehall.

J restored to Broad

R service rejoined through the tunnel


With thousands of employees out sick or quarantined (including myself, for almost a month!), on 3-25-20, a modified "weekend" service pattern was put into effect, where the B, W, J/Z skip-stop and express, 6 and 7 expresses 5 Brooklyn and White Plains Road extensions and Bronx Through Express (and of course the new F express in Brooklyn) were suspended. (Though the M continued to run to Forest Hills for some unknown reason! It seemed to be to maintain all of Queens Blvd's service, even though the trains were largely empty!) The C was soon [unofficially] suspended too, and the Lefferts A became the local, but after a few weeks, the C returned. The Grand Central Shuttle was also suspended (since the 7 runs parallel to it, covering both ends).
May 6th, overnight service was closed, ending 24 hour service for the first time! (Though the trains actually continued running). This was to clean them out, and will last the duration of the pendemic.
The full weekday service pattern resumed June 8, though still with reduced frequency on many lines.

Corrections and omitted info welcome

The Evolution of the CHRYSTIE STREET Plans

The Chrystie St. connection was the biggest change to the BMT and IND systems, completely merging them into the almost unified "B Division" we have today. Major changes occurred at the end of this Manhattan Bridge construction, but it is also interesting to see how the plans changed as the project was being built. I knew about this years ago, finding the changing plans chronicled in NY Division Electric Railroaders Association Bulletins over the two years leading up to the change. More recently, a diagram of an even earlier plan, perhaps the first complete one, appeared on the JoeKorner page at (The header says "1965", but it was really 1961).
The backbone of all of the plans was the extension of D service over the Brighton Express. This was due to the Brighton Express needing more service than was possible with the old Q via Broadway. So the Brighton line was the first to have its stations extended from the maximum BMT length (8 cars) to the IND's 10 cars. So the new primary IND service would have to run on the Brighton no matter what was done elsewhere. (It seemed so engrained on the system, it was hard to believe it came to an end in 2001, and finalized in 2004, though by this time, the entire BMT South was 10 cars, so any IND line could run anywhere on that section). The 1966-7 plans were all similar, and reflected the input of riders complaining of the loss of Broadway or Nassau service on different lines. But the 1961 plan was completely different, and retained much more of the previous BMT pattern!

(As with the line history, above, the BMT letters are used, while on the diagram, only the names are used).

A, CC, E, D, F, N Same (E to Brooklyn; CC to Hudson Terminal, N Exp to 57th, D exp. in Brooklyn)
T (West End Exp) To FOREST HILLS
QT Local to Astoria (The actual routing that went into effect in 1961 around the time this plan was drawn out)
[R] not listed
J Jamaica-95th
BB West End LOCAL, (exp. 6th Ave)
KK Jamaica-57th St., local

This I found very interesting, especially in comparison with all the other plans, and the pattern finally implemented. Notice, the RR is completely eliminated, and the through Jamaica route is the only service to 95th! This plan of course represents peak period only, and I have no idea what would have been done the rest of the time. But I imagine the RR would run all times except rush hour, to Astoria, replacing the J service (which I doubt would have run all times) and also replacing the QT, which would probably not run in Brooklyn all times since the D was always made the full time Brighton line.
Also, the BB would have probably been the Bay Parkway serivce, replacing the TT (which was from 1988-2010 revived in the M). That did make more sense, as far as familiarity was concerned. The B never was popular, and should never have been made into the primary service. (This has now been corrected, by making it the Brighton Express). It had already been rush hours only, and most likely would have remained that way, as it would have in some of the subsequent plans. Weekends, again; I am not sure, as the Forest Hills service was weekdays only back then, but then the T always did cut back from Queens and run only to Manhattan other times anyway.
In both cases, riders would have probably been much happier, as the Brighton and West End still had their primary Broadway service, instead of the 6th Avenue services replacing almost everything else. All lines would actually run at 15tph, using the maximum capacity of the Gold St. interlocking (four bridge lines and two tunnel lines for 90tph; though they would never come anywhere near this in the eventual plans).

Jump ahead to 1965-6, and the Bulletin articles; and the final plan slowly takes shape. The December, 1965 article did not go into much detail, but mentions The Brighton-IND connection, of course. In whatever else was mentioned, there was nothing really different from the following plans, hence, why I did not make a copy of it. It was a very small article. In April 1966, the Bulletin begins doing a series on the upcoming changes, which by now had been broken down to three "steps": Step 1 (then set for Sept. 1966) was the opening of the primary connection itself. Step 2 (March 1967) was the opening of the express tracks between W4th and 34th, and Step 3 would be the opening of 57th Street, 6th Avenue in March, 1968, in which the outer Chrystie Connection (already completed) connecting the Willimsburg Bridge would then go into service, with the new station as its terminal.

The main connection: The centerpiece of the connection, the D, would be the same but with the specification that the express service in Brooklyn was to be "about the same as the present Broadway-Brighton express". However, this was not all day weekday, as it is now; but since 1959, the Q express had been made local middays, even as the local ran (see above). The actual express service in Brooklyn had become rush hours only and was to continue like this in the new service, but this would eventually change by the time of implementation. (The times of express service was not specified in the 1961 plan, but I would assume was the same).
The other lines only indirectly involved, such as the A, CC, E, F and N would be the same as well. These actually did remain the same upon the actual implementation, and were the same in all the plans. The TT also actually made it into implementation as a shuttle to 36th St., but was absorbed into a full time B service later. So its existence as an off hour shuttle, and discontinuation weekdays is also the same in all the plans as well.

Step 1: Now, the QB/QT would be replaced by a QJ (Or possibly remain called "QT", and only "probably" through routed with the J/JJ). It would be rush hours only, as the D would cover the local service middays.
The RR would now be rerouted to Astoria (as it was before 1961, and remained the same through implementation).
QB would become a "Queens-Broadway" service from Forest Hills to Whitehall.
There was also consideration of extending the T there instead, which was to continue running in this first step, and would now run middays as well, since the TT would be discontinued at that time period.
The new highlight now was the Super Q, which started from Brighton Beach like the old Q express, but now went the opposite direction, through Stillwell, and over the Sea Beach super express track to 57th.

Steps 2 and 3, reported in the June Bulletin, had the D running express on 6th Avenue, of course, but perhaps only rush hours.
The T and BB would now be merged into a BT service from Washington Heights to Coney Island, express on 6th Ave and in Brooklyn, rush hours. I find it funny, as a popular 70's soul group (whose theme was trains), had called itself "BT Express" (which supposedly stood for "Brooklyn Transit"). Little did anyone know that there was actually planned to be a line essentially named that! The T would however still be retained for other times, when the service would be truncated at W4th (For step 2).

In Step 3, not only would the KK begin running to 57th rush hours, but also an MM from there to Metropolitan as well; also rush hours. The Myrtle-Chambers (which became the "M" we are familiar with today) would have been discontinued along with the Bway short line the new service was replacing. (The KK at this point would only go as far as Atlantic Ave. on the other end).
Middays (and probably Sat.), 57th would be served by the T West End Exp! Nights and Sunday, a shuttle to 34th.
At some point, I remember reading of talk of the MM being middays instead. That was really needed in areas like Ridgewood, especially since the Myrtle el was soon eliminated, and the area left with the Myrtle-Chambers service only, which did not run outside of weekdays altogether! (That was previously the rush hour service, while the MJ to Jay st. was the primary full time service). The MM actually should have been the weekend service as well. They actually did end up running a few trains along the route middays; which were actually a few KK trains starting or finishing up their rush hour run; but these were labeled KK, even though they went to Metropolitan, and the green "MM" signs had been added to cars.

At this point, the opening began being put off, due in part to rider opposition, as well as a car shortage. (Reported in the August Bulletin). Then, they began tinkering with the plans. By the December issue, the first two steps were combined and set for Memorial Day, 1967. So the mergers of the D and Q, QT and J, and BB and T would occur simultaneously at that date, though the T would continue to run to W4th middays and Saturdays.
The D express and extended QJ were now expanded to middays, running from 6AM to 8PM. (Other times, when it only runs to Broad St., it would still be JJ. This also lasted to implementation, but was eventually renamed QJ, until the line was cut back permanently and replaced by the M in the 70's).
The biggest changes were that the QB as we came to know it (the five train rush hour special on the Brighton to 57th/7th via Broadway express) finally appeared, and the Whitehall service was at this point renamed QM ("Queens-Manhattan").
Also, the RJ was also added, which was basically a continuation of the old Fourth Avenue, Nassau special, but now through routed with the J. (In addition to the QJ being through-routed).
The Super Q was finally renamed the NX.
Other services were the same as the previous plan.

In April 1967, the plans had been put off past Memorial Day. It was soon pushed back to November: first, the 11th, and then Thanksgiving Day. It of course finally opened that weekend, instead. Finally, by the time this was reported in the December issue, the QM was renamed EE, the off hour T shortline to W4th (and later 57th) was simply renamed "B", and in the final step, (on time in March), the MM dropped, and the M to Chambers remained the weekday service on Myrtle Ave.

Route colors evolution

Originally, the three separate divisions produced their own maps, and only the IND, which was all along the only one geared toward individual "routes", with the familiar letters in place, had a map with color coded routes. These were produced in the 1930's, and thus showing only the Eighth Avenue and Crosstown lines.
The colors were as follows: A, C, CC, E, GG, HH (So we see, the E, and to some extent, the CC and HH, already had their final 1967 colors!)

Starting with the first system map, the 1939 Hagstrom (for the Seaman bank), IRT was blue, BMT was yellow and IND was red.
The new NYCT agency began producing the Salomon maps in 1958, where IRT was black, IND was red and BMT was green.

The next "official" colors were the 1967 Chrystie St. map, which of course is when the individual "route" format became system wide on maps and signs, with the Unimark International sign and bullet design. But little known is three proposals before that, when the new map design was being competed on in the years leading up to that.

The first was a totally radical new designation system, called "Out of The Labyrinth" by Salomon, maintaining the separate "system" colors, with IRT now as red, IND as blue (the future 1979 main trunk route colors) and BMT as black. Trunks are designated by letters, and the individual route "branches" are combinations of the trunk letter with a number:

B Lexington
C Broadway
D 6th Ave.
E 7th Ave
F 8th Ave
G Nassau Loop
J 14th St
L Nassau/Centre
(Not seeing what Flushing and Crosstown would be, and there were also the two remaining old "els". It would figure one of these would be "A").

He also further divided the colors (which can be seen on renderings of route signs in stations, using rectangular "bullets") so that: 7th Ave. Lexington, BMT Broadway, 8th Ave., 6th Ave. (with 6th and 7th having their future 1979 colors). Nassau, Flushing, Crosstown, shuttles and the Myrtle and 3rd Ave. "els" were black. (Though Culver was shown in blue and still extending beyond the shuttle into 4th Ave. Not sure when this was produced, but that service ended in '59).

Numbers are unidirectional branch designations with even as downtown and odd as uptown. From what I've seen: IRT Woodlawn="1" South Ferry is "2"; White Plains Rd="3", Brooklyn branches is "4" and "6". IND, Concourse="3". So the [B1] is obviously 4 to Woodlawn, and [D3] is the uptown D, and the [F3] the uptown C. (So both WPR and Concourse are the "#3" branches of their systems). [B2] is either 5 or 6 to South Ferry.
The numbers seem to be ordered left to right (West to East), and part of the letters are ordered in the opposite direction (east to west, between W4 to 34th).
The sign rendering examples given are "14th St & 8 Ave" with the [F•] and [J•] (black background changed to white, with black letter) lines. (i.e. entire 8th Ave. trunk and 14th St.-Canarsie), "8th St. & Bway" [C•] (Broadway line), Yankee Stadium [B•1][D•3][F•3] (4, D, CC); and "149th St 3 Av." [B•3][E•3]. (5, 2. Since the 3rd Ave. el stopped there as well; its southern terminus in fact, but is not represented, perhaps the els weren't included in the letter/number system. I'm sure the shuttles weren't either).

Next was a hand-drawn 1964 proposal by Raleigh D'Adamo. On this one, each route had individual colors, like the final scheme. However, instead of being drawn next to each other on a trunk or other line with multiple routes, they used alternating dashes of the colors, to maintain single-line drawings! Also, unlike the official "Worlds Fair" map that came out that year, this one shows the route letters for the BMT Eastern Division (but not the els or shuttles)! Myrtle Chambers (the eventual "M") was actually the KK! (And recall, above, post-rush 6th Ave. KK layups would later run there). Both Crescent and Canarsie branches of the 14 Bway-Bklyn (which K was likely allocated for) were "JJ" as they were in the final 1967 map. Nassau St. "Bankers Specials" (which were what were using the "M" on the train signs and a "Know Your Train At A Glance" station sign), and the off-hour "QB—local via Bridge" were not shown at all. It also must have been earlier in the year, before the 2 and 3 were swapped in Brooklyn.
So the colors were: A, AA, BB, CC, D, E, F, GG, HH, J, JJ, KK, LL, N, Q, QT, RR, T, TT, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Colors were still provided for the unlabeled els and shuttles: Myrtle-Jay, 3rd Ave., Franklin, Grand Central, South Ferry-Bowling Green, Culver.

After that, still more surprises! Unimark had actually drafted the colors a full year before the final map, when it was commissioned to change the look of the system on signs and maps in 1966! This reflects the earlier stages of the Chrystie St, plans, as we just chronicled above! Recall, the T was to be retained (first, still on Bway in early phases of the plan, then finally, the 6th Ave. service to midtown only). So we see the T was dark blue. Of course, in the final plan, only the TT was kept for a while, and that was what became that color.
The QJ appears black as it was when it ran, but the JJ is magenta, not orange!
QB is brown, which was not used at all as a map/sign color until 1979, for Nassau St.!
5 is magenta instead of black (and instead of the 4 being that color).
F looks black intead of magenta (but then B was still black as well. Same color is not supposed to run on the same line). Though looking closer at it, it looks more like a dark green!
4 is green instead of magenta, which of course would be the eventual 1979 trunk color.
RR is black instead of green.
SS is light blue instead of green. (or any of the other colors used for various shuttles originally).
(1 and 6 look red, but they're really the same as the final colors as you can see in the lower pictures).

This would explain why in concept drawings of the slant R40's, it would show a blue "T" sign, and when the pilot train ran on the F, and took a familiar pose at 34th (the F's terminal before the Chrystie. St. changes), the sign was green!
And so, we can say for all the main trunk routes, the 1979 colors had the line take on the "original Unimark colors" of the flagship lines(A), (D), (N), (2), as well as even the (4)! Then again, looking closer, the QJ that's there might actually be a dark brown! Then, we could say ALL of the current trunk colors were taken from the flagship lines! (And it's also remotely possible, depending on when in the year these were drawn as we saw above, that there could have still been a separate "J", as it was not yet certain whether the QJ, or possibly still called QT, would be "through-routed" with it. Perhaps a brown "J" was changed into this "QJ" sign).

It should also be remembered that "QB" at that point would have been what at the last moment became the EE (Continental-Whitehall). This means these early bullet proposals are from somewhere from April-Dec.'66! (when the final QB was finally added, and the Whitehall service relabeled QM; see above).
The "NX" at that point was still the "Super Q", though is not shown here, so no telling what that would have looked like.

What's That Font?

Ever wonder what fonts are used in station and train signs and maps? The sans-serif font used in a lot of the text, and in the line bullets in station signs is Helvetica, which is also known as Swis721 and MS Sans Serif. But route bullets on all maps, schedule brochures, service notices, and many train signs, and the numerals on most car number plaques is known as Akzidenz-Grotesk. (The person who made the png's used on this page says that the imitation he used is called "Express Ssi" and the bullets font is called "SLRM Filled". A person in the schedule printing office of the MTA told me it was called "Helvetica-MTA"-- the corporate font. It is also sold as "Standard Medium" and "Gothic 725"; "Grotesk" is Germanic for "Gothic"). It is nearly identical to Helvetica, the most notable differences being the 2, Q and R. (Franklin Gothic similar to Akzidenz in the 2, J, Q and R).
Akzidenz was chosen as part of the whole Unimark modernization plan, though as time wore on, Helvetica was increasingly substituted in places. (The newest platform signs and car number plaques have gone back to Helvetica as well).

The Helvetica style "J" appears on all map bullets and side route signs. The older Akzidenz "J" (also common to Franklin Gothic) appears only on the front R-42 signs, and many of these are being replaced. Newer route sign curtains have switched to Helvetica. This is easily noticed on the Q line with the new diamond and circle signs that have been installed.


Bulletin, Electric Railroader's Association, New York division; courtesy Sprague Library:

BMT History (1924-1949): June, 1966 (1949-66) August, 1966

IRT Brooklyn Schedule changes: Sept, Oct, 1991

IND History: various articles and sources, mostly the maps

R Line details, 1987-2010:

Skip-stop history:

Thanks to Shaul Gershon Shor Picker (aka "Union Tpke" on NYCTransitforums) for all the sources (including the last two Bulletin entries, immdiately above), filling in several details I didn't have, especially in the late 70's: (Various brochurs, 80's-00's) (B/C swap) (E-Bay listing),_Aug._30.jpg (E-Bay listing) (Sep. 30 several lines) (1992 A-C-H/S-F-R changes) Archive of NYC Subway Maps ('08 B, M and W service operates later in evening) (1/9 skip-stop brochure)


Official MTA Website

NYC Subway Resources


Transit Talk

The JoeKorner

N.Y.C Rail

Robert Marerro blog

The latter two have plenty of transit related stuff

Electric Railroaders Association: New York Division

The Urban Transit Club

Straphanger's Campaign