List of New York City Subway lines

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Not to be confused with List of New York City Subway services. See also: New York City Subway nomenclature for the difference between New York City Subway lines and services.
Queens Boulevard viaduct of the IRT Flushing Line

The New York City Subway is a heavy-rail public transit system serving four of the five boroughs of New York City. The present New York City Subway system inherited the systems of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT), and the Independent Subway System (IND). New York City has owned the IND since its inception; the BMT and IRT were taken over by the city in 1940. The former IRT system is now known as the A Division, while the B Division is the combined former BMT and IND systems.

Primary Trunk line Color[1][2] Pantone[3] Hexadecimal Service bullets
IND Eighth Avenue Line Vivid blue PMS 286 #2850ad NYCS A NYCS C NYCS E
IND Sixth Avenue Line Bright orange PMS 165 #ff6319 NYCS B NYCS D NYCS F NYCS M
IND Crosstown Line Lime green PMS 376 #6cbe45 NYCS G
BMT Canarsie Line Light slate gray 50% black #a7a9ac NYCS L
BMT Nassau Street Line Terra cotta brown PMS 154 #996633 NYCS J NYCS Z
BMT Broadway Line Sunflower yellow PMS 116 #fccc0a NYCS N NYCS Q NYCS R
IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line Tomato red PMS 185 #ee352e NYCS 1 NYCS 2 NYCS 3
IRT Lexington Avenue Line Apple green PMS 355 #00933c NYCS 4 NYCS 5 NYCS 6 NYCS 6d
IRT Flushing Line Raspberry PMS Purple #b933ad NYCS 7 NYCS 7d
Shuttles Dark slate gray 70% black #808183 NYCS S

In the nomenclature of the Subway, the terms "line" and "service" are not interchangeable with each other. While in popular usage the word "line" is often used synonymously with "service" (even sometimes on the website of the MTA[4]), this list will use the formal usage of the term "line."

A line is the physical structure and tracks that trains run over. Each section of the system is assigned a unique line name that is paired with its original division (IRT, BMT or IND). For example, the line under Eighth Avenue is the IND Eighth Avenue Line. Some lines have changed names (and even divisions), but this happens relatively infrequently.

By contrast, a service refers to the route that a train takes across the various lines. A service can operate along several lines and even along different divisions. For example, the R service operates along the IND Queens Boulevard Line as well as the BMT Broadway Line and the BMT Fourth Avenue Line.

Each service is also assigned a color. Since 1979, each service's color corresponds to the line it primarily uses in Midtown Manhattan—defined as the trunk line—with these exceptions: the IND Crosstown Line, which doesn't carry services to Manhattan, is colored lime green; and all shuttles are colored dark slate gray.[5] The list of trunk lines and colors is shown in the table on the right.

Line listing[edit]

There are currently 34 rail lines in service, one (the BMT 63rd Street Line) not in revenue service, and one (the Second Avenue Subway) is under construction. The Archer Avenue Line and the 63rd Street Line are classified as two separate lines each due to their structure: both lines are able to serve two divisions (the BMT and the IND) on distinct sections of track.

In the list below, lines with colors next to them indicate trunk lines, which determine the colors that are used for services' route bullets and diamonds, as well as shuttle service lines. The opening date refers to the opening of the first section of track for the line. In the "division" column, the current division is followed by the original division in parentheses.

Division Line Borough(s) Service(s) Opened Structure
B (IND)      02Second Avenue Line Manhattan under construction under construction
(December 30, 2016[6])
underground
B (BMT) 04Fourth Avenue Line Brooklyn       D all times
      N all times
      R all times
June 22, 1915[7] underground
B (IND)      06Sixth Avenue Line Manhattan
Brooklyn
      B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      D all times
      F all times
      M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
January 1936[8] underground
B (IND)      08Eighth Avenue Line Manhattan
Brooklyn
      A all times
      B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      C all except late nights
      D all times
      E all times
September 10, 1932[9] underground
A (IRT)      42nd Street Shuttle Manhattan       S all except late nights October 27, 1904[10] underground[a]
B (BMT) 63rd Street Line Manhattan no regular service October 29, 1989[9] underground
B (IND) 63rd Street Line Manhattan
Queens
      F all times October 29, 1989[9] underground
B (BMT) Archer Avenue Line Queens       J all times
      Z rush hours, peak direction
December 11, 1988[7][9] underground
B (IND) Archer Avenue Line Queens       E all times December 11, 1988[9] underground
B (BMT) Astoria Line Queens       N all times
      Q weekdays
April 21, 1917 elevated
B (BMT) Brighton Line Brooklyn       B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      Q all times
July 2, 1878[11] underground, open cut, embankment, elevated
B (BMT)      Broadway Line Manhattan       N all times
      Q all times
      R all except late nights
September 4, 1917[7] underground
A (IRT)      Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line Bronx
Manhattan
Brooklyn
      1 all times
      2 all times
      3 all times
October 27, 1904[10] elevated[a], embankment, underground
B (BMT)      Canarsie Line Manhattan
Brooklyn
      L all times October 21, 1865 underground, elevated, at-grade
B (IND) Concourse Line Bronx
Manhattan
      B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      D all times
July 1, 1933[9] underground
B (IND)      Crosstown Line Brooklyn
Queens
      G all times August 19, 1933[9] underground
B (IND) Culver Line Brooklyn       F all times
      G all times
March 16, 1919[7] underground, elevated[c]
A (IRT) Dyre Avenue Line Bronx       5 all times May 15, 1941 elevated[b], embankment, open-cut, underground
A (IRT) Eastern Parkway Line Brooklyn       2 all times
      3 all except late nights
      4 all times
      5 weekdays until 8:45 p.m.
January 9, 1908[10] underground
A (IRT)      Flushing Line Manhattan
Queens
      7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction June 22, 1915[10] underground, elevated
B (BMT)      Franklin Avenue Line Brooklyn       S all times July 2, 1878[11] elevated, embankment, open cut
B (IND) Fulton Street Line Brooklyn
Queens
      A all times
      C all except late nights
April 9, 1936[9] underground, elevated[d]
B (BMT) Jamaica Line Brooklyn
Queens
      J all times
      M all times
      Z rush hours, peak direction
February 2, 1885[7] elevated
A (IRT) Jerome Avenue Line Bronx       4 all times
      5 all except late nights
June 12, 1917[10] elevated, underground
A (IRT) Lenox Avenue Line Manhattan       2 all times
      3 all times
November 23, 1904[10] at-grade, underground
A (IRT)      Lexington Avenue Line Manhattan       4 all times
      5 all except late nights
      6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction
October 27, 1904[10] underground[a]
B (BMT) Myrtle Avenue Line Brooklyn
Queens
      M all times December 19, 1889[7] elevated, embankment, at-grade
B (BMT)      Nassau Street Line Manhattan       J all times
      M all times except late nights
      Z rush hours, peak direction
September 16, 1908[7] underground
A (IRT) New Lots Line Brooklyn       2 special rush hour trips
      3 all except late nights
      4 late nights and special rush hour trips
      5 special rush hour trips
November 23, 1920[10] elevated
A (IRT) Nostrand Avenue Line Brooklyn       2 all times
      5 weekdays until 8:45 p.m.
August 23, 1920[10] underground
A (IRT) Pelham Line Bronx       6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction August 1, 1918[10] underground, elevated
B (IND) Queens Boulevard Line Manhattan
Queens
      E all times
      F all times
      M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
      R all hours except late nights
August 19, 1933[9] underground
B (IND) Rockaway Line Queens       A all times
      S all times
June 28, 1956 at-grade, embankment, elevated[e]
B (BMT) Sea Beach Line Brooklyn       N all times June 22, 1915[7] open cut, elevated
B (BMT) West End Line Brooklyn       D all times June 24, 1916[7] open-cut, elevated
A (IRT) White Plains Road Line Bronx       2 all times
      5 all times
July 10, 1905[10] elevated, underground

Inter-division connections[edit]

Map of New York City Subway by line placement. Underground in red; elevated, at-grade, embankment, open-cut in green.
Map of New York City Subway by number of tracks on line segments.

The following list shows the connections between the different divisions of the New York City Subway.[12]

Purpose-built[edit]

These connections can be used by trains in revenue service:

This connection is not for revenue service due to the differing widths of the trains:

Yards[edit]

These connections are located within the subway's rail yards and are not intended for revenue service.

Future[edit]

Other[edit]

Unused connections in the same division[edit]

In some places, there are track connections within the same division that are unused in regular service.[13]

Brooklyn[edit]

Manhattan[edit]

Queens[edit]

  • On the IND Rockaway Line, a single track connects the branches of the wye at Hammels, south of Broad Channel, this was used previously for Round Robin service and emergency H service.

Unused express tracks[edit]

Many of the New York City Subway's lines have express tracks, unused in revenue service and generally only used for re-routes.[14]

The Bronx[edit]

Brooklyn[edit]

Manhattan[edit]

Queens[edit]

Aboveground sections[edit]

Most of the New York City Subway is underground, except for the following segments.[15]

The Bronx[edit]

Brooklyn[edit]

Manhattan[edit]

Queens[edit]

Trackage[edit]

Three-tracked portions[edit]

The New York City Subway has fewer triple track sections than it has quadruple track sections. These sections are listed below.

  1. IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (1 train) from south of Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street to north of Dyckman Street and from north of 145th Street to north of 96th Street
  2. IRT White Plains Road Line (2 5 trains) from south of Wakefield – 241st Street to east of Third Avenue – 149th Street
  3. IRT Lenox Avenue Line (2 3 trains) at 135th Street – center track is not usable in revenue service
  4. IRT Jerome Avenue Line (4 train) – entire line, except for Woodlawn
  5. IRT Dyre Avenue Line (5 train) – entire line
  6. IRT Pelham Line (6 <6> trains) – entire line
  7. IRT Flushing Line (7 <7> trains) – from 33rd Street – Rawson Street to Flushing – Main Street
  8. IRT New Lots Line (2 3 4 5 trains) at Junius Street – center track is not usable in revenue service
  9. IND Fulton Street Line (A train) – from west of 80th Street to west of Ozone Park – Lefferts Boulevard
  10. BMT West End Line (D train) – from Ninth Avenue to Bay 50th Street
  11. IND Concourse Line (B D trains) – from 145th Street to Bedford Park Boulevard
  12. IND Culver Line (F train) – from south of Church Avenue to Avenue X
  13. BMT Jamaica Line (J M Z trains) – from Marcy Avenue to Broadway Junction. Also, at 111th Street, the center track is not usable in revenue service.
  14. BMT Canarsie Line (L train) at East 105th Street – easternmost track is not usable in revenue service
  15. BMT Astoria Line (N Q trains) – from east of Queensboro Plaza to south of Astoria – Ditmars Boulevard
  16. IND Crosstown Line (G train) at Bedford–Nostrand Avenues
  17. IRT 42nd Street Shuttle (S train) is operationally three tracks; there is a fourth disused trackway that was disconnected in the 1960s.
  18. IRT Lenox Avenue Line (2 3 trains) at 135th Street
  19. Additionally, there are several pocket tracks in the subway where the line temporarily widens from two to three tracks, such as east of Eighth Avenue on the BMT Canarsie Line, and south of Court Square on the IND Crosstown Line.

Four-tracked portions[edit]

Quadruple tracked portions of track are fairly common in the subway system. This makes it unique among most metros in the world, as most other metro systems only have two tracks per line.

  1. Trunk lines:
    1. IND Sixth Avenue Line between Broadway – Lafayette Street and 47th–50th Streets
    2. IND Eighth Avenue Line between Chambers Street – World Trade Center and 168th Street, and again at Dyckman Street
    3. IRT Lexington Avenue Line between Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall and 96th Street
    4. IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line between Chambers and 96th Streets
    5. BMT Broadway Line between Canal and 57th Streets
    6. BMT Nassau Street Line at Chambers Street
  2. Branch lines:
    Manhattan branches:
    1. 63rd Street Lines at Lexington Avenue
    2. Chrystie Street Connection
    3. Manhattan Bridge
    Queens branches:
    1. IND Queens Boulevard Line east of Queens Plaza
    2. IND Rockaway Line north of Jamaica Bay
    3. Archer Avenue Lines east of Sutphin Boulevard
    4. IRT Flushing Line and BMT Astoria Line at Queensboro Plaza
    Brooklyn branches:
    1. IRT Eastern Parkway Line (entire line)
    2. IND Culver Line north of Church Avenue
    3. IND Fulton Street Line between Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets and Euclid Avenue
    4. BMT Brighton Line between Ocean Parkway and Prospect Park
    5. BMT Fourth Avenue Line north of 59th Street
    6. Manhattan Bridge
    7. BMT Sea Beach Line (entire line)

The Bronx has no four-tracked lines. Pocket tracks are not included.

Defunct lines[edit]

The following New York City Subway lines are either entirely defunct or have major portions no longer in service. Defunct spur lines with one station, such as the South Ferry loops, are not included in this list, nor are surface transit lines.

Division Line Borough(s) Opened Closed Structure Status
A (IRT) 02Second Avenue Line Manhattan March 1, 1880 June 13, 1942 elevated Entirely demolished
A (IRT) 03Third Avenue Line Manhattan
Bronx
August 26, 1878 April 28, 1973 elevated ended service to Manhattan on May 12, 1955
Entirely demolished
B (BMT) 03Third Avenue Line Brooklyn October 1, 1893 May 31, 1940 elevated Entirely demolished
B (BMT) 05Fifth Avenue Line Brooklyn From 1888 to 1890 May 31, 1940 elevated Entirely demolished
A (IRT) 06Sixth Avenue Line Manhattan 1878 December 4, 1938 elevated Entirely demolished
A (IRT) 09Ninth Avenue Line Manhattan
Bronx
July 1, 1868 August 31, 1958 elevated ended service to Manhattan on June 11, 1940
Entirely demolished; except for the two underground stations at Sedgwick Avenue and Anderson–Jerome Avenues in the Bronx
B (BMT) Canarsie Line Brooklyn 19th Century November 21, 1942 at-grade Line from Canarsie – Rockaway Parkway to Canarsie Pier replaced with streetcars, then abandoned and replaced with buses.
B (BMT) Culver Line Brooklyn elevated Line from Ditmas Avenue to Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue taken over by the IND in 1954;[c]
remainder of line to Ninth Avenue abandoned in 1975 and demolished in 1985.
B (BMT) Fulton Street Line Brooklyn
Queens
elevated Line west of Hudson Street – 80th Street demolished;[d]
remainder of line taken over by the IND in 1956.
A (IRT) IRT trunk line Manhattan October 27, 1904 July 17, 1918 underground Separated into the Broadway – Seventh Avenue, Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street Shuttle lines[a]
B (BMT) Lexington Avenue Line Brooklyn May 13, 1885 elevated Line west of Gates Avenue demolished
B (BMT) Jamaica Line Brooklyn
Queens
elevated Line west of Marcy Avenue demolished
Line east of 121st Street demolished
B (BMT) Myrtle Avenue Line Brooklyn
Queens
1888-1924 1944-1969 elevated Line west of Broadway demolished
B (IND) World's Fair Line Queens 1939 1940 at-grade Entirely demolished

Vestiges of former lines[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official paint monikers since the colors were fixed in 1979: Grynbaum, Michael (May 10, 2010). "Take the Tomato 2 Stops to the Sunflower". New York Times, City Room Blog. Retrieved May 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ Official MTA video mentions "lime green" for the G line. "Subway Colors and Names". MTA Info. July 15, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  3. ^ MTA Developer Resources Download, CSV file
  4. ^ Subway Line Information
  5. ^ Hogarty, Dave (August 3, 2007). "Michael Hertz, Designer of the NYC Subway Map". Gothamist. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ MTA.info—Second Avenue Subway Quarterly Report Q4 2013
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "New York City Subway BMT Division Timeline". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  8. ^ "New York City Subway IND 6th Ave Line". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i "New York City Subway IND Division Timeline". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "New York City Subway IRT Division Timeline". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  11. ^ a b "New York City Subway Brighton Beach Line". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  12. ^ "Subway FAQ: Interconnections Between IRT and IND-BMT Divisions". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  13. ^ "Subway FAQ: Unused Track Connections". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  14. ^ "Subway FAQ: Unused Express Tracks". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2013-11-12. 
  15. ^ "Subway FAQ: Elevated Sections of the Subway". www.nycsubway.org. Retrieved 2013-11-12.