IND Sixth Avenue Line

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Not to be confused with IRT Sixth Avenue Line.
IND Sixth Avenue Line
NYCS-line-trans-6th.svg
The B, D, F, and M, which use the Sixth Avenue Line through Midtown Manhattan, are colored orange.
Overview
Type Rapid transit
System New York City Subway
Termini South of 59th Street – Columbus Circle; 57th Street
North of Jay Street – MetroTech; south of Grand Street
Stations 14
Daily ridership 669,852[1]
Operation
Opening 1936-1968
Owner City of New York
Operator(s) New York City Transit Authority
Character Underground
Rolling stock R46, R68, R68A, R160
Technical
No. of tracks 2-4
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification 600V DC using a third rail

The IND Sixth Avenue Line is a rapid transit line of the B Division of the New York City Subway in the United States. It runs mainly under Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, and continues south through the Rutgers Street Tunnel to Brooklyn. It was the last trunk line of the Independent Subway System, completed in 1940. The IND B, D, F, and BMT M, which use the Sixth Avenue Line through Midtown Manhattan, are colored bright orange. The IND lines have been colored bright orange since 1979, and the BMT line has been colored bright orange since 2010.

Extent and service[edit]

The following services use part or all of the Sixth Avenue Line, whose services' bullets are colored bright orange:

  Time period Section of line
Weekdays Weekends and
late nights
NYCS B express no service full line from Seventh Avenue to Grand Street
NYCS D express full line from Seventh Avenue to Grand Street
NYCS F local full line from 57th Street to York Street
NYCS M local no service between 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center and Broadway – Lafayette Street

The majority of the Sixth Avenue Line has four tracks, two local and two express. At each end, these pairs of tracks split, giving the line two north and two south ends. One of the north ends is at 57th Street, where two tracks lead south under Sixth Avenue from the IND 63rd Street Line (used by the F train at all times). The other is just south of 59th Street – Columbus Circle, where a two-track line splits from the IND Eighth Avenue Line at a flying junction (with connections to the local and express tracks), immediately turns east under 53rd Street, and crosses the IND Queens Boulevard Line, which parallels it just to the north. At Seventh Avenue, the southbound track is above the northbound track (the same is true on the Queens Boulevard Line, though north is the opposite direction from the Sixth Avenue Line). These tracks are used by the B and D express trains.

This line then turns south to go under Sixth Avenue, merging with the branch from 57th Street and a connection to the IND Queens Boulevard Line (used by the M train) to become a four-track line. The southbound track becomes the westernmost track, and the northbound track becomes the second track from the east; the other lines merge to become the second track from the west and the easternmost track, with connections only between the 63rd Street Line and the two main tracks. After passing through 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center, the two southbound tracks cross; the main tracks become the two center express tracks and the tracks from the other lines are the two outside local tracks.


IND Sixth Avenue Line
57th Street
Seventh Avenue
47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center
42nd Street – Bryant Park
34th Street – Herald Square
PATH at 33rd Street
23rd Street/PATH at 23rd Street
14th Street/PATH at 14th Street BMT Canarsie Line
West Fourth Street – Washington Square
Eighth Avenue on upper level
Sixth Avenue on lower level
Second Avenue
Delancey Street
Grand Street
East Broadway
York Street

South of 42nd Street – Bryant Park is a large interlocking with many crossover and switches. The original express tracks ended just to the south at 34th Street – Herald Square and some services switched to the local tracks at the interlocking. This was done because the PATH tunnels already existed under Sixth Avenue south of 33rd Street and the Sixth Avenue Line local tracks were built on each side of PATH. The section between West Fourth Street – Washington Square and 34th Street – Herald Square, the only express section of this line, was originally built as a two track subway with the provision to expand to four tracks later (the express tracks were added in the 1960s during the Chrystie Street Connection projects. As a result they are placed under the local tracks and PATH).

At West Fourth Street – Washington Square, the express tracks return to the same level as the local tracks. A flying junction just to the south connects the local tracks of the Eighth Avenue Line. The Sixth Avenue Line then turns east under Houston Street. After Broadway – Lafayette Street, the express tracks turn south and use the Chrystie Street Connection to Grand Street before crossing the north side of the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. The express tracks used to continue on to the express tracks at Second Avenue before the tracks were rerouted to the Chrystie Street Connection. The local tracks split at this point. One pair continues east to Second Avenue (used by the F train) while the other pair merges with the BMT Nassau Street Line at Essex Street (used by the M train).

York Street ventilation tower for Rutgers Street tunnel

Just before approaching Second Avenue, the line splits into four tracks again. The two express tracks, currently not used in revenue service, continue east and dead-end. They would have entered Brooklyn merging with the never-built IND Worth Street Line. The local tracks in Manhattan turn south under Essex Street and Rutgers Street before crossing under the East River via the Rutgers Street Tunnel to become the IND Culver Line in Brooklyn, stopping at the outer tracks of Jay Street – MetroTech.

History[edit]

The IND Sixth Avenue Line was built to replace the elevated IRT Sixth Avenue Line, which was closed and demolished in 1939. The first portion of the line to open was the part not under Sixth Avenue. What was then known as the Houston–Essex Street Line began operations at noon on January 1, 1936 with two local tracks from a junction with the Washington Heights, Eighth Avenue and Church Street Line (Eighth Avenue Line) south of West Fourth Street – Washington Square east under Houston Street and south under Essex Street to a temporary terminal at East Broadway. E trains, which ran from Jackson Heights, Queens to Hudson Terminal, were shifted to the new line to East Broadway.[2] Two express tracks were built on the portion under Houston Street until Essex Street-Avenue A; the tracks were intended to travel under the East River and connect with the never-built IND Worth Street Line in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[3][4][5][6]

Just after midnight on April 9, 1936, trains began running under the East River via the Rutgers Street Tunnel, which connected the Houston-Essex Street Line with the north end of the Jay–Smith–Ninth Street Line at a junction with the Eighth Avenue Line north of Jay Street – Borough Hall. E trains were sent through the connection to Church Avenue. Simultaneously, the Fulton Street Line was opened to Rockaway Avenue and the A and C trains, which had used Smith Street, were rerouted to Fulton Street.[7][8]

At first the city intended to take over the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad (PATH) tunnel in Sixth Avenue for express tracks at a future time, building a new subway at a lower level for the H&M.[9]

The stubs that were eventually used for the IND 63rd Street Line were built for a proposed extension under Central Park to Harlem.[10]

IND services immediately after the main part of the line opened
53rd Street powerhouse

The local tracks on the main part of the line opened at 00:01 on December 15, 1940. The following service changes were made:

Service patterns[edit]

Between 1940 and 1967, the Sixth Avenue Line had one local service (originally F) through the Rutgers Street Tunnel to Brooklyn, one short-turn local service (originally D) that turned back at various point in Lower Manhattan, and one rush-hour short turn service to 34th Street (BB). With the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection in 1967, the short-turn local was sent through the connection to Brooklyn (as the KK during rush hours and the B at other times), a new express service via the connection (D) was added, and the rush-hour BB was re-designated B and extended via the express tracks and connection to Brooklyn. Other than changes in letters, the only major change to this pattern was between 1988 and 2001, when the Manhattan Bridge south tracks were closed for reconstruction, and the short-turn local was replaced with part-time express to Brooklyn (Q, later B in 2004). In 2001, the part-time short-turn local was reintroduced into the system as the V. In 2010, the V was replaced by the M.

Station listing[edit]

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Stops all times except late nights Stops all times except late nights
Stops late nights only Stops late nights only
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
Time period details
Neighborhood
(approximate)
Handicapped/disabled access Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
Branch from the IND 63rd Street Line (F all times)
Midtown Manhattan 57th Street F all times July 1, 1968
 
Express Tracks split from the IND Eighth Avenue Line (B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times)
Seventh Avenue express B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times August 19, 1933 IND Queens Boulevard Line (E all times)
 
Local Tracks split from the IND Queens Boulevard Line (M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
Branch line merges (F all times)
Main line (B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
Handicapped/disabled access 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center all B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. December 15, 1940
42nd Street – Bryant Park all B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. December 15, 1940 IRT Flushing Line (7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction) at Fifth Avenue
Handicapped/disabled access 34th Street – Herald Square all B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. December 15, 1940 BMT Broadway Line (N all times Q all times R all except late nights)
M34 / M34A Select Bus Service
Connection to PATH at 33rd Street
Chelsea 23rd Street local F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. December 15, 1940 Connection to PATH at 23rd Street
Greenwich Village 14th Street local F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. December 15, 1940 IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (1 all times 2 all times 3 all except late nights)
BMT Canarsie Line (L all times)
Connection to PATH at 14th Street
Handicapped/disabled access West Fourth Street – Washington Square all B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. December 15, 1940 IND Eighth Avenue Line (A all times C all except late nights E all times)
Connection to PATH at Ninth Street
local crossovers to/from IND Eighth Avenue Line (no regular service)
SoHo Handicapped/disabled access Broadway – Lafayette Street all B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. January 1, 1936[2] IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction) at Bleecker Street
Express tracks turn under Chrystie Street (B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times)
Local tracks split to Chrystie Street (M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.) and continue under Houston Street (F all times)
 
Branch under Chrystie Street (B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times)
Chinatown Grand Street express B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times November 27, 1967
To north tracks of Manhattan Bridge
 
Branch under Houston Street (F all times)
East Village Second Avenue local
layup tracks
F all times January 1, 1936[2] M15 Select Bus Service
Lower East Side Delancey Street local F all times January 1, 1936[2] BMT Nassau Street Line (J all times M all times except late nights Z rush hours, peak direction) at Essex Street
East Broadway local F all times January 1, 1936[2]
Rutgers Street Tunnel under the East River
DUMBO York Street local F all times April 9, 1936[7]
Continues as the IND Culver Line (F all times)

References[edit]

  1. ^ MTA. "Average weekday subway ridership". Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "LaGuardia Opens New Subway Link". The New York Times. January 2, 1936. p. 1. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ IND Second System - 1929 Plan
  4. ^ The history of a subway shell at South 4th Street
  5. ^ IND Second System unfinished stations
  6. ^ Station: 2nd Avenue (6th Avenue Line)
  7. ^ a b "Two Subway Links Start Wednesday". The New York Times. April 6, 1936. p. 23. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ "New Subway Link Opened by Mayor". The New York Times. April 9, 1936. p. 23. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  9. ^ "6th Av. Tube Work to be Begun Oct. 1". The New York Times. August 8, 1935. p. 23. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  10. ^ "New Subway Line on 6th Ave. Opens at Midnight Fete". The New York Times. December 15, 1940. p. 1. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]