Delancey Street – Essex Street (New York City Subway)

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Delancey Street – Essex Street
New York City Subway rapid transit station complex
Essex-Delancey Streets Stairs SE.JPG
Stair at southeast corner of Essex and Delancey
Station statistics
Address Delancey Street & Essex Street
New York, NY 10002
Borough Manhattan
Locale Lower East Side
Coordinates 40°43′07″N 73°59′18″W / 40.71851°N 73.988199°W / 40.71851; -73.988199Coordinates: 40°43′07″N 73°59′18″W / 40.71851°N 73.988199°W / 40.71851; -73.988199
Division B (BMT/IND)
Line       IND Sixth Avenue Line
      BMT Nassau Street Line
Services       F all times (all times)
      J all times (all times)
      M all times except late nights (all times except late nights)
      Z rush hours, peak direction (rush hours, peak direction)
Structure Underground
Levels 2
Other information
Opened July 1, 1948; 66 years ago (1948-07-01)
Passengers (2013) 7,759,914 (station complex)[1] Increase 6.7%
Rank 48 out of 421

Delancey Street – Essex Street is a station complex shared by the BMT Nassau Street Line and the IND Sixth Avenue Lines of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of Essex and Delancey Streets on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, just west of the Williamsburg Bridge.

It is served by the:

  • F and J trains at all times
  • M train at all times except late nights
  • Z skip-stop train during rush hours in the peak direction

In addition to the two track levels—the BMT platforms are on the upper level and the IND platforms are on the lower—an intermediate mezzanine built for the IND platforms provides the passenger connection between the two lines. As the BMT and the IND were originally separate systems, the transfer passageway was not within fare control until July 1, 1948.[citation needed] The full-time entrance is on the north side of Delancey Street, on either side of Essex Street.

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit / Entrance
B1 North mezzanine Fare control, exits/entrances
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Westbound[note 1] NYCS J NYCS Z toward Broad Street weekdays, Chambers Street weekends (Bowery)
NYCS M toward Forest Hills – 71st Avenue weekdays (Broadway – Lafayette Street)
Center track[note 1] NYCS J NYCS Z toward Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer weekdays and late nights (Marcy Avenue)
NYCS M toward Metropolitan Avenue weekends (Marcy Avenue)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Eastbound[note 1] NYCS J toward Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer weekends (Marcy Avenue)
NYCS M toward Metropolitan Avenue weekdays (Marcy Avenue)
Trolley trackways Emergency exit, planned Lowline
B2 South mezzanine Fare control, exits/entrances
B3 Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound NYCS F toward Jamaica – 179th Street (Second Avenue)
Southbound NYCS F toward Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue (East Broadway)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

BMT Nassau Street Line platforms[edit]

Essex Street
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Essex Street BMT 9198.JPG
Westbound platform
Station statistics
Division B (BMT)
Line       BMT Nassau Street Line
Services       J all times (all times)
      M all times except late nights (all times except late nights)
      Z rush hours, peak direction (rush hours, peak direction)
Platforms 1 island platform
cross-platform interchange
1 side platform
Tracks 3
Other information
Opened September 16, 1908; 106 years ago (1908-09-16)[2]
Former/other names Delancey Street
Station succession
Preceding station   MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway   Following station
BMT Nassau Street Line
J all times Z rush hours, peak direction
toward 71st Avenue
Chrystie Street Connection
M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
Terminus M weekends only
Williamsburg Bridge and Delancey Street, 1919. Kiosks in center go down to underground trolley terminal; larger one to left goes to subway. Foreground: waiting areas for Manhattan streetcars

Essex Street on the BMT Nassau Street Line has three tracks, one side platform, and one island platform. The side platform is used by trains coming from the Williamsburg Bridge. The other two tracks serve the island platform. The middle track, which was formerly the peak-direction express track, is now used for northbound J and Z trains over the Williamsburg Bridge on weekdays and late nights, as well as short turning weekend M trains. After a 2004 reconfiguration, the former northbound local track was taken out of regular service. It was only used for special reroutes from Chambers Street until 2010. The Chrystie Street Connection between Broadway – Lafayette and Essex Street was not used for regular revenue service from 1976 to 2010. On June 28, 2010, with the re-routing of M trains to the IND Sixth Avenue Line and IND Queens Boulevard Line, the connection again saw regular use for those aforementioned trains only. On June 8, 2014, another service reconfiguration occurred with the extension of weekend M trains; on weekdays, they use the outer local track to get from the Chrystie Street connection to the Williamsburg Bridge, while on weekends, J trains use the outer track due to M trains short turning on the center track. This station can also be a bottleneck for trains heading east towards the Williamsburg Bridge to Brooklyn, as they merge into one pair of track.


Next to the Brooklyn-bound local track is a closed trolley terminal. There are about three to four tracks against a wall and eight turning loops, which were used for trolley service from 1908 to 1948 that traveled over the Williamsburg Bridge to different parts of Brooklyn.[3]

The underground terminal for the subway adjacent to the trolley terminal opened on September 16, 1908. The station was rebuilt for through service from 1911 to 1913 in order for the Centre Street Subway to extend to Chambers Street. The subway has four tracks while there was room at Essex Street station for only three tracks and two platforms. There is provision for a fourth track to run through the trolley terminal area and join the subway west of the trolley terminal, should a four-track subway station be wanted.

For many years, the elevated train service was very intensive and a fourth track at Essex Street would have been useful to handle the crowds, but at the same time the trolley service was also well patronized, so no expansion was ever proposed. This would have added a second side platform to the south of the southernmost track, directly against the trolley terminal. The island platform would have been demolished to make room for the fourth track; alternatively, the fourth track would have been constructed adjacent to the southernmost track, resulting in a 2 side-platform, 1 island-platformed station.

After streetcar service ended in 1948, the former track area on the bridge was rebuilt into auto lanes with a new ramp from street level closing off the former downhill ramp to the trolley terminal. The trolley terminal itself however was left vacant and only small portions were converted to storerooms and an emergency exit. The vacant space is the location of the Low Line, a planned underground park.[4] Prior to 1913, the BMT station was also known as Delancey Street.

Image gallery[edit]

IND Sixth Avenue Line platforms[edit]

Delancey Street
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Delancey Street Platform.jpg
Station statistics
Division B (IND)
Line       IND Sixth Avenue Line
Services       F all times (all times)
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened January 1, 1936; 79 years ago (1936-01-01)
Station succession
Next north Second Avenue: F all times
Next south East Broadway: F all times

Delancey Street on the IND Sixth Avenue Line has two tracks and two side platforms. The station has a part-time booth on the south side of Delancey Street and has two street staircases. Crossovers connect both platforms to the BMT platforms, which are above and perpendicular to the IND platforms. There were formerly exits at both the north end of the station at Rivington Street and the south end at Broome Street. Twelve staircases, six on each side, led to the Rivington and Broome Street exits. They were all removed. Only the staircase at the southeast corner of Rivington and Essex Streets remains, but it is only used for storage. This staircase is easily identifiable, as it is adjacent to the rear of the Essex Street Market building. The tile band (purple with black border) and station name tablets have been replaced, replicating the style of the original design. In a departure from the norm of recent restorations, every other column at platform level has a large "D" for the station name.

There are two large wall-sized pieces of artwork, one on each wall where the staircase exits and transfers are located. The artist for both glass mosaics is Ming Fay (2004).

The artwork on the downtown side is titled Shad Crossing and details two giant shad fish swimming, along with another wall mosaic of blue waters. In the late 19th century, shad were found along the Hudson River when new immigrants came to New York, many of whom settled on the Lower East Side. The new staircase to the relocated full-time booth also has another painting of a shad wrapped around the bottom of the stairs.

Northbound waiting area

The uptown side is titled Delancey Orchard and has a cherry orchard tree mosaic, which symbolized the tree owned by the Delancey family in the 18th century. Miniature versions appear along all staircases leading from the Delancey Street platforms to either fare control.


Exit location Number of exits
NW corner of Delancey Street and Essex Street 1
SW corner of Delancey Street and Essex Street 1
NE corner of Delancey Street and Essex Street 2 (1 HEET exit-only)
SE corner of Delancey Street and Essex Street 2 (1 HEET exit-only)
NW corner of Delancey Street and Norfolk Street 1
NE corner of Delancey Street and Norfolk Street 1


  1. ^ a b c The railroad direction here is a Wrong-way concurrency between the J Z trains and the M train.


External links[edit]

External video
Essex St Trolley Terminal, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; November 23, 2011; 4:15 YouTube video clip

Trolley terminal