7 (New York City Subway service)
|Flushing Local and Express|
|Northern end||Flushing – Main Street|
|Southern end||Times Square|
|Stations||21 (local service)
11 (express service)
The 7 Flushing Local and 7 Flushing Express are rapid transit services of the New York City Subway, providing local and express services along the full length of the IRT Flushing Line. The logo is colored raspberry on station signs, route signs and the official subway map with local service denoted by a circular 7, express service by a 7 in diamond-shape. Both services operate between Main Street in Flushing, Queens and Times Square in Midtown Manhattan.
Local service operates at all times. Express service runs weekdays from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. going to Times Square and 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. (15:00 to 22:00) going to Main Street. "Super Express" service to Manhattan is also provided after New York Mets games weeknights and weekends at Citi Field and US Open (tennis) games: starting at Mets – Willets Point and operating express to Times Square, also bypassing Junction Boulevard, Hunters Point Avenue and Vernon Boulevard – Jackson Avenue.
The 7 is nicknamed the "International Express," because it travels through several different ethnic neighborhoods populated by U.S. immigrants, especially along Roosevelt Avenue. This name is not official, nor is the title used in day to day operations.
The 7 operates with 11-car trains, more than any other New York City Subway service. However, these trains are not the longest in the system, since a train of 11 "A" Division cars is only 561 feet (171 m) long, while a standard B Division train, which consists of ten 60-foot cars or eight 75-foot cars, is 600 feet (180 m) long.
The 7 was the last stronghold for the "Redbird" subway cars. Until 2002, the entire fleet was dominated by the R33/R36 World's Fair cars. In 2001, with the arrival of the R142/R142A cars, the Transit Authority announced the retirement of all Redbird cars. From 2002-03, the Bombardier-built R62A cars formerly used on the 3 and 6 trains gradually replaced the R33/36 WF cars on the 7. On November 3, 2003, the last Redbird train made its final trip on this route, making all stops between Times Square and the then-named Willets Point – Shea Stadium.
Several Redbird cars running on this train were decorated with Mets logos and colors during the 2000 Subway Series against the New York Yankees, as the Flushing Line runs adjacent to Citi Field and the former location of Shea Stadium. Some R33/R36 WFs remain in Corona Yard, adjacent to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Citi Field.
Currently, all of the R62As on the 7 have been upgraded with LED lighted signs to distinguish between express and local trains. These signs are located on the rollsigns that are found on the side of each car. The local is a green circle around the 7 service bullet while the express is a red diamond. Previously, the rollsigns showed either a 7 within a circle or a 7 within a diamond with the word "Express" underneath it.
An R36 7 local northbound at 33rd Street–Rawson Street. The line consisted entirely of these cars before their retirement in 2003.
Service history 
On June 13, 1915, the first test train on the IRT Flushing Line ran between Grand Central and Vernon Boulevard – Jackson Avenue, followed by the start of revenue service on June 22. Over the next thirteen years, the line was extended piece by piece to its current form between Times Square and Flushing – Main Street.
From May 13, 1985 to August 21, 1989, the IRT Flushing Line was overhauled for improvements, including the installation of new track, repair of station structures and to improve line infrastructure. The major element was the replacement of rails on the Queens Boulevard viaduct. Express service was suspended for the duration of the project; however, extra service was provided for Mets games and Flushing Meadows Park events. Upon the completion of the project, express service was restored, but express trains bypassed 61st Street – Woodside because the Transit Authority was concerned about passengers transferring between local and express trains at that station. The stop was added a few months later after pressure from community opposition.
In the mid-1990s, the MTA discovered that the Queens Boulevard viaduct structure was unstable, as rocks that were used to support the tracks as ballast became loose due to poor drainage, which, in turn, affected the integrity of the concrete structure overall. Express service was suspended between 61st Street – Woodside and Queensboro Plaza; temporary platforms were installed to access the express track in the four intermediate stations. The work began in April 1993. When the viaduct reconstruction finished on March 31, 1997, full express service was reinstated.
In 1999, express service was expanded from rush hours only to weekdays from 6:30 to 22:00 (6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. eastern time). However, this expansion was cut back in 2009 due to frequent midday construction.
Work has been underway since 2008 to convert the 7 service to accommodate CBTC. Expected to cost $585.9 million, CBTC will allow two additional trains per hour, providing a 7% increase in capacity. New cars on order for the A Division (the R188 contract) are compatible with CBTC, which the MTA estimates will be completed in 2016.
An extension of the Flushing line west then south to 34th Street – 11th Avenue, near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in June 2014, instead of December 2013. The 34th Street station's construction project itself will not be completed until the end of 2015.
On November 16, 2010, New York City officials announced they are considering a further extension of the service across the Hudson River to the Secaucus Junction train station in New Jersey. As of October 26th, 2011 tentative support for the extension has been given by New York City Mayor Bloomberg as well as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in comments to the press. However, in April 2013, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota announced that the 7 train would not be extended to New Jersey due to the high costs of the project, which included constructing a subway yard and a subway tunnel in New Jersey. Instead, the Mr Lhota put his support behind Amtrak’s Gateway Tunnel project which entails a new tunnel to Manhattan for Amtrak and NJ Transit trains. 
Service pattern 
The following table shows the line used by the 7 and <7> trains, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|IRT Flushing Line (full line)||Flushing – Main Street||33rd Street – Rawson Street||express|
|Queensboro Plaza||Times Square||all|
For a more detailed station listing, see IRT Flushing Line.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops rush hours in the peak direction only|
|Time period details|
- Express service runs weekdays from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m. going to Times Square and 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. (15:00 to 22:00) going to Flushing – Main Street as well as after games at Citi Field.
- Take the Train to See the Mets and Yankees
- "The International Express: Around the World on the 7 Train". Queens Tribune. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Cohen, Billie (January 14, 2008). "No. 7 Train From Flushing-Main Street to Times Square". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Feinman, Mark S. (December 8, 2004). "The New York City Transit Authority in the 1980s". nycsubway.org. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Pérez-Peńa, Richard (October 9, 1995). "Along the Subway, a Feat in Concrete". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Onishi, Norimitsu (February 16, 1997). "On the No. 7 Subway Line in Queens, It's an Underground United Nations". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- MTA's Q&A on Capital Program 2010-2014
- "MTA's 7 Line Extension Project Pushed Back Six Months". NY1. June 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- Cuozzo, Steve (June 5, 2012). "No. 7 train 6 mos. late". New York Post. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- NYC Subway Line May Continue Into N.J.
- Bloomberg wants to extend 7 train to NJ
- Christie Endorses Extension of New York Subway to New Jersey
- No chance of No. 7 train extending to New Jersey
- Only the Flushing-bound local side platform is wheelchair-accessible. Trains operate on this platform only during New York Mets games and other special events.
- "Mets - Willets Point Station: Accessibility on game days and special events only". New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
|A Weekend at Work: Flushing Line May 2011, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; July 21, 2011; 3:42 YouTube video clip|
- MTA New York City Transit – 7 Flushing Local
- MTA New York City Transit – 7 Flushing Express
- "7 Train Timetable, Effective December 16, 2012". New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- Safari 7 – Tour of Urban Wildlife along the 7 train
- PDF (144 KB)
- City Raises $2 Billion In Bonds For No. 7 Train Extension - NY1 local news channel (retrieved on 12/07/2006)
- Once Upon A Time In Queens: Number 7 Train Provides Real Connection To History - NY1 local news channel (retrieved on 05/25/2010)