IRT Second Avenue Line

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To be distinguished from Second Avenue Subway.

The IRT Second Avenue Line, also known as the Second Avenue El, was an elevated railway in Manhattan, New York City, United States, from 1875 to 1942. It was operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company until 1940, when the city took over the failing line. Service north of the 57th Street ended on June 11, 1940; the rest of the line closed on June 13, 1942.[1]

The Second Avenue El, looking south on First Avenue from 13th Street during its demolition in September 1942

History[edit]

In 1875, the Rapid Transit Commission granted the Gilbert Elevated Railway Company the right to construct the railway from Battery Park to the Harlem River along Second Avenue.[2]

The commission also granted the Gilbert Elevated Railway Company the right to operate the Sixth Avenue Elevated and soon afterward the Gilbert Elevated Railway change its name to the Metropolitan Elevated Railway.

A third track was added to the line between 1914 and 1916. The additional track made possible express service on the line during peak hours.

The Second Avenue El did not run entirely on Second Avenue. Its southern terminus was City Hall, and it continued to Chatham Square, where it junctioned with the Third Avenue El and ran along Division Street and then Allen Street. At Houston Street it ran north on First Avenue, where it turned left on 23rd Street ran north on Second Avenue to 129th Street. At that point it joined with the Third Avenue El and crossed the Harlem River into the Bronx. [3]

The M15 bus, which runs along much of the IRT Second Avenue Elevated Line's route, carries more passengers than any other route in New York City. However, it does not carry as many passengers as a rapid transit line, and does not allow for interchange within rapid transit stations. A replacement rapid transit route, the Second Avenue Subway, has been under consideration since before the demolition of the IRT Second Avenue Line, and is under construction as of 2014. The first phase is scheduled to open in December 2016.

Station listing[edit]

Station Tracks Opened Closed Notes
Merges with IRT Third Avenue Line
125th Street all After the line opened June 11, 1940
121st Street local June 11, 1940
117th Street local June 11, 1940
111th Street local June 11, 1940
105th Street local After the line opened June 11, 1940
99th Street local June 13, 1942
92nd Street local June 11, 1940
86th Street all June 11, 1940
80th Street local June 11, 1940
72nd Street local June 11, 1940
65th Street local March 1, 1880[4] June 11, 1940
Branch over Queensboro Bridge to Queensboro Plaza leaves at 59th Street
57th Street all June 13, 1942
50th Street local June 13, 1942
42nd Street all March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
34th Street local June 13, 1942 Transfer to branch to 34th Street Ferry
23rd Street local March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
19th Street local June 13, 1942
14th Street all March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
Eighth Street local March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
First Street local March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
Rivington Street local March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
Grand Street local March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
Canal Street local March 1, 1880[4] June 13, 1942
Chatham Square all March 1, 1880[4] May 12, 1955 Transfer to Third Avenue Line and branch to City Hall
Merges with IRT Third Avenue Line
Franklin Square all August 26, 1878[5] December 22, 1950
Fulton Street all August 26, 1878[5] December 22, 1950
Hanover Square all August 26, 1878[5] December 22, 1950
Merges with IRT Ninth Avenue Line
South Ferry all August 26, 1878[5] December 22, 1950

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff. "Second Avenue 'El' Coming to a Stop", The Christian Science Monitor, June 13, 1942. Accessed October 12, 2008.
  2. ^ Rapid Transit in New York City and in Other Great Cities. prepared by the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York. 1905. p. 52. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  3. ^ Red Book Information Guide to New York. Interstate Map Co. 1935. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "More Elevated Facilities, the Second Avenue Line and City Hall Branch Opened" (PDF). The New York Times Company. 2 March 1880. p. 3. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Rapid Transit on the Bowery" (PDF). The New York Times Company. 26 August 1878. p. 8. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "Second Avenue El in Manhattan". By NJI Publishing with text provided by Joe Cunningham. 1995. ISBN 0-934088-33-0

External links[edit]