6 (New York City Subway service)
|Lexington Avenue Local
Pelham Local and Express
|Northern end||Pelham Bay Park (all times)
Parkchester (rush hours and middays)
|Southern end||Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall|
|Stations||38 (local service)
29 (express service)
|Rolling stock||R62A, R142A|
The 6 Lexington Avenue/Pelham Local and <6> Lexington Avenue Local/Pelham Express are two rapid transit services in the A Division of the New York City Subway. Their route emblems, or "bullets", are colored apple green since they use the IRT Lexington Avenue Line in Manhattan. Local service is denoted by a (6) in a circular bullet, and express service is denoted by a <6> in a diamond-shaped bullet. 6 trains normally operate local entirely between Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall in Lower Manhattan. During rush hours and middays in the peak direction, <6> Bronx express trains replace 6 local ones north of Parkchester, and run express between that station and Third Avenue – 138th Street. During this time, 6 Bronx local trains short turn at Parkchester. Weekdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., some Manhattan-bound <6> trains run local from Parkchester to Hunts Point Avenue while some Parkchester-bound 6 trains run express in that section.
On October 27, 1904, local and express service opened on the original subway in Manhattan, following the route of the present IRT Lexington Avenue Line from City Hall to Grand Central – 42nd Street. From there, the service traveled west on 42nd Street on the route of the present 42nd Street Shuttle, and then north on the present IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line to 145th Street.
The current "H" configuration—with separate services along Lexington Avenue and Broadway – Seventh Avenue—was introduced in 1917. Full Lexington Avenue local service from City Hall to 125th Street opened on July 17, 1918. On August 1, 1918, Third Avenue – 138th Street opened with trains running between there and City Hall, making all stops.
On January 17, 1919 trains were extended from 138th Street to Hunts Point Avenue,> and on May 30, 1920, 6 service was extended to East 177th Street. On October 24, 1920, 6 service was extended again to Westchester Square. On December 20, 1920, 6 service was extended to Pelham Bay Park.  From that point on, the current 6 service was formed. All trains ran local between Pelham Bay Park and Brooklyn Bridge, with some trains terminating at the City Hall loop.
By 1934, service south of the City Hall station had been discontinued, and late-night service ran from Pelham Bay Park to 125th Street only.
On December 31, 1945, City Hall station closed, and the former Brooklyn Bridge station (renamed Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall) became the permanent southern terminal. 6 trains still used the loop, though, to get from the southbound to the northbound local track at Brooklyn Bridge - City Hall.
On May 10, 1946, late-night service resumed to Brooklyn Bridge. Beginning October 14, 1946, weekday rush and Saturday morning rush peak direction express service started, with alternate trains using the middle express track between East 177th Street and Third Avenue – 138th Street. From December 15 to 22, 1950, weekday rush trains were extended to South Ferry. On June 23, 1956, Saturday express service was discontinued. Starting April 8, 1960, late night and weekday evening trains were extended to South Ferry, followed by weekend evening service October 17, 1965; however, all trains were again cut back to Brooklyn Bridge by May 23, 1976.
Beginning in January 13, 1980, late night service terminated at 125th Street in Manhattan with the 4 running as a local in Manhattan. On the same day, Bronx express service was expanded to weekday middays, with alternate trains running express southbound to noon, then northbound into the PM rush. From March 4 to Summer 1985, there was a 6 train that left 138th Street at 7:20 AM, then turned at Atlantic Avenue, and left at 8:18 AM returning to Pelham Bay Park. This was the only time that the 6 service was scheduled to operate to Brooklyn.
For a short time in 1990, (January 21st thru October 5th) late night service was extended back to Brooklyn Bridge, but then was again cut back to 125th Street. On October 3, 1999, late night service was permanently extended to Brooklyn Bridge, but the 4 still runs local.
The following table shows the lines used by 6 and <6> trains, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|IRT Pelham Line (full line)||Pelham Bay Park||Castle Hill Avenue||local|
|Parkchester||Third Avenue – 138th Street||express|
|IRT Lexington Avenue Line||125th Street||Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall|
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops late nights only|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction|
|Stops rush hours in the peak direction only|
|No service indication|
|Time period details|
In popular culture
- Justin Townes Earle's "Working for the MTA" describes the 6 train from the perspective of the driver.
- In the 1973 novel The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and the films based on it, a 6 train that originated in Pelham Bay Park was hijacked, and hostages were held inside a subway car.
- In the 74th episode of Seinfeld, The Cigar Store Indian, aired in 1993, the characters are riding the 6 from George's parents house in Queens. It stops at Queensboro Plaza where they jump out to get famous Gyro's. The 6 however, does not run though Queens; additionally, Queensboro Plaza is in reality an elevated station, instead of a subway station as depicted on Seinfeld.
- After his first visit to the city in 1969, Rubén Blades wrote the song "El número seis" about waiting for the 6 train. He never recorded it, but it was recorded in 1975 by Bobby Rodríguez y la Compañía in 1975, Los Soneros del Barrio in 1999, and Jimmy Sabater with Son Boricua in 2002.
- In the 1984 film The Pope of Greenwich Village, the bar and tow truck scenes take place beneath the 6 train's elevated structure at Castle Hill Avenue station.
- A scene in the 1995 film Kids takes place on the 6 train, including shots of a legless panhandler on a skateboard.
- While growing up, Jennifer Lopez regularly rode the 6 train into Manhattan to go to her dance studio. Her debut 1999 album, referring to the subway service, is called On the 6.
- Mark Wahlberg rides the 6 (on a train consisting of R29/36 cars) in the 2000 movie The Yards.
- In the 2000 movie Boiler Room, the main character, Seth, mentions that the brokers at his firm act like they "just got off the 6 train to Fulton Street." The 6 train, however, does not stop at Fulton Street.
- On January 22, 2006, eight members of the Improv Everywhere comedy troupe were arrested on a 6 train after participating in a city-wide prank dubbed "No Pants". They have before and since performed several other pranks on the 6 train.
- In the 2007 How I Met Your Mother episode "Lucky Penny", Barney Stinson gets stuck on a 6 train when he becomes unable to move his legs.
- "New Subways For New York: The Dual System of Rapid Transit - Interborough Routes and Stations". NYCSubway.org. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
- The Abandoned City Hall Subway Stop Now Visible To Tourists (PHOTOS)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 6 (New York City Subway service).|
- MTA NYC Transit – 6 Lexington Avenue Local
- MTA NYC Transit – 6 Lexington Avenue Local / Pelham Express
- "6 Subway Timetable, Effective December 7, 2014" (PDF). New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-01-02.