South Ferry loops (New York City Subway)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line station that opened in 2009 and closed in 2012, see South Ferry (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line).
South Ferry
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Outer loop platform on reopening day (April 4, 2013).
Station statistics
Address Whitehall Street at South Ferry
New York, NY 10004
Borough Manhattan
Locale Financial District
Coordinates 40°42′04″N 74°00′50″W / 40.701°N 74.014°W / 40.701; -74.014Coordinates: 40°42′04″N 74°00′50″W / 40.701°N 74.014°W / 40.701; -74.014
Line       IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (outer loop)
      IRT Lexington Avenue Line (inner loop, closed)
Services       1 all times (all times)
Structure Underground
Platforms originally 2 side platforms, the inner platform is walled off
Tracks 2 balloon loops
Other information
Opened July 19, 1905; 109 years ago (1905-07-19) (outer loop)
July 1, 1918; 96 years ago (1918-07-01) (inner loop)
April 4, 2013; 16 months ago (2013-04-04) (outer loop reopening)
Closed March 16, 2009; 5 years ago (2009-03-16) (outer loop)
February 13, 1977; 37 years ago (1977-02-13) (inner loop)
Passengers (2013) 6,192,660 (station complex)[1] Decrease 21.3%
Rank 68 out of 421
Station succession
Next north Rector Street: 1 all times
Bowling Green: no regular service
Next south (Terminal): 1 all times

The South Ferry loops are a pair of New York City Subway underground stations in South Ferry, Manhattan. The outer loop is serviced by the 1 train at all times; the inner loop is only used for turnarounds. The stations, the southernmost in Manhattan built by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, are two side platforms on curved sections of track that form balloon loops; however, free transfers were unavailable between the platforms and each platform was meant to be served by its own line. The most recent configuration consisted of the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line on the outer loop platform and the IRT Lexington Avenue Line on the inner loop platform. Both stations are individually named South Ferry; the name "South Ferry loops" is used to distinguish these platforms from the successor station, South Ferry, that was used by the Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line's 1 service, from 2009 to 2012. The outer loop platform reopened on April 4, 2013, to provide temporary replacement service for the newer station that was closed because of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.[2]


Outer platform[edit]

On July 10, 1905, the outer South Ferry platform was the first of the two platforms to open and was an extension of the original trunk line of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. The inner track existed when the station was built, but only as a storage track. When the "H" system of the IRT opened on July 1, 1918, Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line trains used the outer platform while the inner platform was opened for IRT Lexington Avenue Line trains which used the original trunk line in Lower Manhattan. Services on the Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, including the 1 and 9 trains, used the outer platform as a terminal station since its inception, except for two relatively short periods of time. The first period was between September 2001 and September 2002 since the main branch south of Chambers Street was impassable after the September 11 attacks. The second was from March 16, 2009, when the new South Ferry station opened for 1 train passengers, to April 4, 2013, when the outer platform reopened with a transfer to the N, R, and W trains of the BMT Broadway Line. The newer station, located underneath this one, allowed a free transfer to the N, R, and W whereas neither of this station's platforms originally did.[3]

The outer platform accommodates the first five cars of a train. The rear five cars of a 10-car train cannot load or unload. Gap fillers are used to bridge the gap between the platform and the doors. Spray nozzles lubricate the track to reduce the friction caused by the tight curve. The sharp curvature slows train operation and generates a loud metallic scraping noise.[4] In order to eliminate this special operation, the new station was built as a two-track, full (10-car) length island platform on a less severe curve, permitting the operation of a typical terminal station.[5][6] The MTA claimed that the new station saved four to six minutes of a passenger's trip time and 24 trains per hour could run on the entire 1 service during peak hours, as opposed to 16 to 17 trains per hour with the loop station.[7]

The outer platform's only point of egress was within the Staten Island Ferry's terminal building and was not ADA-accessible. By contrast, the successor station is fully accessible (although its transfer to the BMT Broadway Line is not) and has three entrances; the main entrance is across from the ferry terminal building's entrance.[5] After Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012, the outer loop was brought back into service in order to turn trains uptown after terminating at Rector Street, since the replacement station suffered extensive flooding damage and was closed indefinitely for repairs. After a few months, the MTA decided to reopen the loop station as an interim terminal to restore the connection from 1 service to the Staten Island Ferry. The station reopened on April 4, 2013, with a connection to Whitehall Street.[8][9][10]

The outer track is the only track used for passenger service, serving 1 trains at all times.

Inner platform[edit]

The inner platform opened for IRT Lexington Avenue Line passengers on July 1, 1918, as that line's service was moved from the outer platform. This platform has an even sharper curve than the outer platform, and only the center doors opened here, with special arched openings in a wall between the platform and track at the locations of the doors.

In the late 1950s, when the IRT division began to use mostly R-type cars which could not have only the center doors opened, 5 trains (which ended at South Ferry evenings and weekends only) and 6 trains (which ended at South Ferry late nights) were rerouted to the outer loop. The Bowling Green – South Ferry Shuttle, which ran weekdays and at first also late nights, continued to use the inner loop, running to the west platform at Bowling Green until 1977, when the inner platform was closed and Lexington Avenue trains stopped using the outer loop. Specially modified R12 cars were used starting in the late 1960s until the service ended. These cars had two different door controls; the first opened the outer two sets of doors while the second opened the center set of doors only. There was no free transfer between the inner loop and the outer loop platforms.

The inner track is used to turn 5 trains when they terminate at Bowling Green on weekday evenings and weekends.

Track map pre-2009 (closed platforms in pink)

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit / Entrance
(Elevator at SW corner of Whitehall and State Streets. Note: Elevator out of service)
Loop platforms
Side platform, not in service
Separating wall
Inner loop NYCS 5 does not stop here (Bowling Green is the next stop)
Outer loop NYCS 1 toward Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street (Rector Street (Seventh))
Side platform, doors open on the right for the first five cars only
Mezzanine to entrances/exits, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
B2 Mezzanine Passageway between platforms
Broadway Line platforms
Northbound No regular service
NYCS R (under construction) toward 71st Avenue (Rector Street (Broadway))
NYCS N (under construction) toward Ditmars Boulevard late nights (Rector Street (Broadway))
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Center track NYCS R toward Forest Hills – 71st Avenue weekdays (Rector Street (Broadway))
Island platform, not in service
Southbound No regular service
NYCS R (under construction) toward Bay Ridge – 95th Street (Court Street)
NYCS N (under construction) toward Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue late nights (Court Street)
Seventh Avenue Line platform
Track 4 No regular service
NYCS 1 (planned) toward Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street (Rector Street (Seventh))
Island platform, not in service Handicapped/disabled access
Track 1 No regular service
NYCS 1 (planned) toward Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street (Rector Street (Seventh))



  1. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Old South Ferry Station to Reopen for Service in early April" (Press release). New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 8, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ "MTA Opens New South Ferry Subway Terminal" (Press release). New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 16, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ MTA South Ferry FEIS, 2004, p.1-5
  5. ^ a b Yates, Maura (December 12, 2008). "New subway station has plenty of upside". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  6. ^ Neuman, William (December 11, 2008). "At the Last Subway Stop, a New Exit Strategy". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  7. ^ Cuza, Bobby (December 11, 2008). "Brand-New South Ferry Station To Open Soon". NY1. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  8. ^ Downtown, Old Stop on Subway to Reopen
  9. ^ Old South Ferry subway station to reopen
  10. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (March 8, 2013). "Storm Damage Prompts Return of Old Subway Stop". The New York Times. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

External video
MTA Video Release: Old South Ferry Reopening Preparations, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; April 3, 2013; 7:39 YouTube video clip

Media related to South Ferry (New York City Subway) at Wikimedia Commons