Interborough Rapid Transit Company
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|Interborough Rapid Transit Company|
|Type||Underground and above-ground metro|
(acquisition by the NYC Board of Transportation)
|Owner||City of New York|
|Operator(s)||New York City Transit Authority|
|Depot(s)||239th Street Yard, 240th Street Yard,
Corona Yard, East 180th Street Yard,
Jerome Yard, Livonia Yard, Westchester Yard
|Rolling stock||R62, R62A, R142, R142A, R188|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) was the private operator of the original underground New York City Subway line that opened in 1904, as well as earlier elevated railways and additional rapid transit lines in New York City. The IRT was purchased by the City in June 1940. The former IRT lines (the numbered lines in the current subway system) are now the A Division or IRT Division of the Subway.
The first IRT subway ran between City Hall and 145th Street at Broadway, opening on October 27, 1904. It opened following more than twenty years of public debate on the merits of subways versus the existing elevated rail system and on various proposed routes.
Founded on May 6, 1902, by August Belmont, Jr., the IRT's mission was to operate New York City's initial underground rapid transit system after Belmont's and John B. McDonald's Rapid Transit Construction Company was awarded the rights to build the railway line in 1900, outbidding Andrew Onderdonk. On April 1, 1903, over a year before its first subway line opened, the IRT acquired the pre-existing elevated Manhattan Railway by lease, gaining a monopoly on rapid transit in Manhattan. The Manhattan EL was the operator of four elevated railways in Manhattan with an extension into the Bronx. The IRT coordinated some services between what became its subway and elevated divisions, but all the lines of the former Manhattan EL have since been dismantled.
The IRT ceased to function as a privately held company on June 12, 1940, when its properties and operations were acquired by the City of New York.
Today, the IRT lines are operated as the A Division of the subway. The remaining lines are underground in Manhattan, except for a short stretch across Harlem at 125th Street and in northernmost Manhattan. Its many lines in the Bronx are predominantly elevated, with some subway, and some railroad-style right-of-way acquired from the defunct New York, Westchester and Boston Railway, which now constitutes the IRT Dyre Avenue Line. Its Brooklyn lines are underground with a single elevated extension that reaches up to New Lots Avenue, and the other reaching Flatbush Avenue via the underground Nostrand Avenue Line. The Flushing Line, its sole line in Queens, is entirely elevated except for a short portion approaching its East River tunnel and its terminal at Flushing – Main Street (the whole Manhattan portion of the line is underground). The Flushing Line has had no track connection to the rest of the IRT since 1942, when service on the Second Avenue El was discontinued. It is connected to the BMT and the rest of the system via the BMT Astoria Line on the upper level of the Queensboro Plaza station.
The Bronx and Manhattan
- Lexington Avenue Line (4 5 6 <6> trains), under Park and Lexington Avenues, as well as under Lafayette Street and Broadway
- Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (1 2 3 trains), under and over Broadway, as well as under Seventh Avenue, Hudson Street, and West Broadway
- Flushing Line (7 <7> trains), under 41st and 42nd Streets
- 42nd Street Line (S train), under 42nd Street
- Lenox Avenue Line (2 3 trains), under Lenox Avenue and Central Park
- White Plains Road Line (2 5 trains), under East 149th Street, and over Southern Boulevard, Westchester Avenue, Boston Road, and White Plains Road
- Pelham Line (6 <6> trains), under East 138th Street and Southern Boulevard, and over Westchester Avenue
- Jerome Avenue Line (4 train), over Jerome and River Avenues
- Eastern Parkway Line (2 3 4 5 trains), under Fulton Street, Flatbush Avenue, and Eastern Parkway
- New Lots Line (2 3 4 5 trains), over East 98th Street and Livonia Avenue
- Nostrand Avenue Line (2 5 trains), under Nostrand Avenue
(of the East and Harlem Rivers, from south to north)
- Joralemon Street Tunnel (4 5 trains)
- Clark Street Tunnel (2 3 trains)
- Steinway Tunnel (7 <7> trains)
- Lexington Avenue Tunnel (4 5 6 <6> trains)
- 149th Street Tunnel (2 train)
- Broadway Bridge (1 train)
- Dyre Avenue Line (5 train), parallel to the Esplanade, and on the old right-of-way of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway in 1941
- Flushing Line, on October 16, 1949, the joint BMT/IRT service arrangement ended. The Flushing Line became the responsibility of IRT, with the current #7 and <7> providing all service. The Astoria Line had its platforms shaved back, with the BMT #2 (now R line) Broadway 4th Ave Local extended from Queensboro Plaza to cover service on this line, which became BMT-only.
- Lenox Avenue Line to Harlem – 148th Street (2 3 trains), at-grade parallel to 149th Street in 1968
- Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line to new South Ferry island-platformed stations, opened 2009 and closed 2012
- Flushing Line to 34th Street (future), under 41st Street and under 11th Avenue, to open 2015
- History of the IRT subway before 1918
- New York IRT—Soccer team sponsored by IRT
- IRT Rangers—Soccer team sponsored by IRT
- Cudahy, pp.20–22
- Cudahy, Brian J. (1995). Under the Sidewalks of New York: The Story of the Greatest Subway System in the World (2nd revised ed.). New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 0-8232-1618-7.
- Derrick, Peter (2001). Tunneling to the Future: The Story of the Great Subway Expansion that Saved New York. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 0-8147-1910-4.
- Media related to Interborough Rapid Transit Company at Wikimedia Commons
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. NY-122, "Interborough Rapid Transit Subway (Original Line), New York, New York County, NY", 72 photos, 614 data pages, 4 photo caption pages
- Works by Interborough Rapid Transit Company at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Interborough Rapid Transit Company at Internet Archive