BMT West End Line

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BMT West End Line
The D train serves the entire BMT West End Line at all times.
Type Rapid transit
System New York City Subway
Termini Ninth Avenue
Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue
Stations 13
Opening 1916–1918
Owner City of New York
Operator(s) New York City Transit Authority
Character Open Cut (9th Ave. Sta. only)
No. of tracks 3–6
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification 600V DC third rail
BMT West End Line
South Brooklyn Railway
BMT Fourth Avenue Line
South Brooklyn Railway
formerly to 5th Avenue El
36th–38th Street Yard
Ninth Avenue
(lower level abandoned) formerly to BMT Culver Line
Fort Hamilton Parkway
50th Street
55th Street
62nd Street BMT Sea Beach Line
71st Street
79th Street
18th Avenue
20th Avenue
Bay Parkway
25th Avenue
Bay 50th Street
Coney Island Complex
Stillwell Avenue Yard
BMT Sea Beach Line
Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue
BMT Brighton and IND Culver lines

The BMT West End Line is a line of the New York City Subway, serving the Brooklyn communities of Borough Park, New Utrecht, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Coney Island. The D train operates local on the entire line at all time. Although there is a center express track and three express stations along the line, there is no regular express service at this time.

The elevated line, originally mapped as the New Utrecht Avenue Line (though the common name prevailed after construction), replaced the surface West End Line.


Under the Dual Contracts of 1913, an elevated line was built over New Utrecht Avenue, 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue, fully opening to Coney Island on July 21, 1917. The original surface right-of-way was retained for use by trolley cars to provide local service and protect the company's franchise. Over the years, the West End line has been featured in movies and television shows. The famous chase scene from The French Connection (1971) was filmed under the West End line in Brooklyn, and the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever (1977) features Tony Manero (John Travolta) walking down 86th Street, with the West End elevated line above. Additionally, the opening credits of the television show Welcome Back, Kotter (1975) also featured the West End line.

Service patterns[edit]

Elevated line over 86th Street at Bay Parkway station
Route designation on BMT Triplex equipment
  Time period Section of line
NYCS D all times full line

The West End Line has had an express (on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line) service – labeled 3 in 1924 – since it opened in 1916, passing over the Manhattan Bridge and onto the BMT Broadway Line express tracks. In the late 1950s, midday trains were switched to the local Fourth Avenue tracks and through the Montague Street Tunnel, and late night and Sunday service became a shuttle between Coney Island and 36th Street. The express and local services were assigned the designations T and TT in the early 1960s. With the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection in late 1967, the B train from Manhattan and the Bronx was extended to Coney Island, absorbing the T and TT (both ran express on Fourth Avenue). The TT late night and Sunday shuttle survived until 1968, when the B became full-time. It ran local on Fourth Avenue during late night hours, but express at all times. Late night operation was cut back to a shuttle to 36th Street in the mid-1980s. In 2001, when reconstruction of the Manhattan Bridge north tracks, the B service in Brooklyn was replaced by the new W train, which ran as a shuttle not only to 36th Street during nighttime hours, but also to Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street on weekends. In 2002, reconstruction of Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue resulted in the West End Line being the only line to serve the terminal and the W was extended full-time into Manhattan, using the local Fourth Avenue tracks and Montague Street Tunnel on weekends and late nights hours. In 2004, the Manhattan Bridge reconstruction was completed, and the W was replaced with an extended D train, running over the bridge at all hours and express on Fourth Avenue except late nights.

The other service pattern was the "West End Short Line", a rush-hour local (on Fourth Avenue) service between the BMT Nassau Street Line in Lower Manhattan and 62nd Street or Bay Parkway. It became part of the TT in the early 1960s and was discontinued in 1967.

In 1987, the short line service was essentially recreated when the rush-hour M extension to Brooklyn was moved from the BMT Brighton Line to the West End Line terminating at Bay Parkway. It terminated at Ninth Avenue until 1995, when it was cut back to Chambers Street. It was extended again from 2001–04 while the Manhattan Bridge was closed for reconstruction. In 2010, as part of a series of MTA budget cuts, rush-hour M service was discontinued.

Chaining information[edit]

The West End Line is chained BMT D. This is completely unrelated to the fact that the current (2014) primary service designator is also D; the name overlap is a coincidence.

Station listing[edit]

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Time period details
Neighborhood Handicapped/disabled access Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
splits from the BMT Fourth Avenue Line (D all times)
Center Express track begins (No Regular Service)
connecting tracks to former BMT Culver Line (No Regular Service)
connecting tracks to 36th–38th Street Yard from local tracks
Sunset Park Ninth Avenue all D all times June 24, 1916 former transfer to BMT Culver Line
Borough Park Fort Hamilton Parkway local D all times June 24, 1916
50th Street local D all times June 24, 1916
55th Street local D all times June 24, 1916
Bensonhurst 62nd Street all D all times September 15, 1916 BMT Sea Beach Line (N all times) at New Utrecht Avenue
71st Street local D all times September 15, 1916
79th Street local D all times September 15, 1916
18th Avenue local D all times September 15, 1916
20th Avenue local D all times December 29, 1916
Handicapped/disabled access Bay Parkway all D all times December 29, 1916
25th Avenue local D all times December 29, 1916
connecting track to Coney Island Yard
Gravesend Bay 50th Street local D all times December 21, 1917
connecting track to Coney Island Yard
Center Express track ends
Coney Island Handicapped/disabled access Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue all D all times December 23, 1918 BMT Brighton Line (Q all times)
IND Culver Line (F all times)
BMT Sea Beach Line (N all times)

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Opening of the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad, New York Times June 9, 1864 page 2

External links[edit]