J/Z (New York City Subway service)

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Nassau Street Local/Express
J symbolZ symbol
J map
Northern end Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer
Southern end Broad Street (weekdays)
Chambers Street (weekends)
Stations 30 (J service)
20 (Z service)

The J Nassau Street Local and Z Nassau Street Express[1] (earlier Jamaica Express) are two rapid transit services in the B Division of the New York City Subway. They are colored terra cotta brown, since they use the BMT Nassau Street Line in Lower Manhattan.

The J runs at all times while the Z operates only during rush hours in the peak direction; both services use the entire BMT Archer Avenue, Jamaica, and Nassau Street lines between Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer, in Jamaica, Queens, and Lower Manhattan (via the Williamsburg Bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan). On weekdays, trains run express in Brooklyn between Myrtle Avenue and Marcy Avenue in the peak direction, bypassing three stations. During rush hours also in the peak direction, the J and Z form a skip-stop pair east of Myrtle Avenue.

During weekdays, the J and Z run to/from the southernmost station on the Nassau Street Line, Broad Street, but the J is cut back on weekends to/from Chambers Street. Thus, Broad Street and Fulton Street are two of the four stations that are not served full-time (the others being the two stations of the IRT 42nd Street Shuttle).[2]

History[edit]

A Brooklyn-bound Z train of R160As at Essex Street
A Jamaica Center-bound J train of R160As arriving at 104th Street

Before the Chrystie Street Connection[edit]

The Jamaica Line – then known as the Broadway Elevated – was one of the original elevated lines in Brooklyn, completed in 1893 from Cypress Hills west to Broadway Ferry in Williamsburg.[3] It was then a two-track line, with a single local service between the two ends, and a second east of Gates Avenue, where the Lexington Avenue Elevated merged.[4] This second service later became the 12, and was eliminated in 1950 with the abandonment of the Lexington Avenue el.

The second major service on the Broadway Elevated ran between Canarsie and Williamsburg via the BMT Canarsie Line, started on July 30, 1906, when the Broadway and Canarsie tracks were connected at East New York.[5] As part of the Dual Contracts, an extension from Cypress Hills east to Jamaica was completed on July 3, 1918,[6] a third track was added west of East New York, and express trains began running on it in 1922.[citation needed]

The Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation numbered its services in 1924,[citation needed] and the Canarsie and Jamaica services became 14 and 15. Both ran express during rush hours in the peak direction west of East New York, and additional 14 trains, between Eastern Parkway or Atlantic Avenue on the Canarsie Line and Manhattan provided rush-hour local service on Broadway.[7] When the 14th Street–Eastern Line and Canarsie Line were connected on July 14, 1928,[8] the old Canarsie Line service was renamed the Broadway (Brooklyn) Line, providing only weekday local service over the Broadway Elevated west of Eastern Parkway. The Atlantic Avenue trips remained, and rush-hour trains continued to serve Rockaway Parkway (Canarsie), though they did not use the Broadway express tracks.[9] The 14 was later cut back to only rush-hour service.[citation needed]

On the Manhattan end, the first extension was made on September 16, 1908, when the Williamsburg Bridge subway tracks opened.[10] Broadway and Canarsie trains were extended to the new Essex Street terminal, and further to Chambers Street when the line was extended on August 4, 1913.[11] When the BMT Nassau Street Line was completed on May 30, 1931, the 15 was extended to Broad Street,[12][13] and the 14 was truncated to Canal Street.[9] Some 14 trains began terminating at Crescent Street on the Jamaica Line in 1956.[citation needed]

A J train of R42s terminating at Broad Street
A Z train of R42s at Broadway Junction
 
JJ

Jamaica 

Inbound rush hour skip-stop service between Jamaica and East New York was implemented on June 18, 1959.[14] Express 15 trains served "A" stations, while the morning 14 became the Jamaica Local, running between Jamaica and Canal Street, and stopped at stations marked "B".[15] These stations were as follows:[16]

Letters were assigned to most BMT services in the early 1960s. The BMT Jamaica services retained their numbers until November 1967. The 15 became the J (express), and the 14 became the JJ.[17]

Chrystie Street Connection to 1976[edit]

When the Chrystie Street Connection opened on November 26, 1967, many services were changed. The two local services - the JJ (non-rush hours) and KK (rush hours) - were combined as the JJ, but without any major routing changes. Thus non-rush hour JJ trains ran between Jamaica and Broad Street, while morning rush hour JJ trains ran to Canal Street, and afternoon rush hour JJ trains ran between Canal Street and Atlantic Avenue or Crescent Street. The rush-hour express J was combined with the weekday QT Brighton Local via tunnel to form the weekday QJ, running between Jamaica and Brighton Beach via the Jamaica Line (express during rush hours in the peak direction), BMT Nassau Street Line, Montague Street Tunnel, and BMT Brighton Line (local). Finally, the RJ was a special peak-direction rush-hour service, running fully local on the Jamaica Line, Nassau Street Line, Montague Street Tunnel, and BMT Fourth Avenue Line to 95th Street in Fort Hamilton. This was an extension of a former rush-hour RR service, and thus ran towards Jamaica in the morning and towards Fort Hamilton in the afternoon.[18]

The next change was made on July 1, 1968, when the Chrystie Street Connection tracks to the Williamsburg Bridge opened. The Jamaica Line portion of the rush-hour JJ was modified to become a new rush-hour KK, running between Jamaica (peak direction) or Eastern Parkway (both directions) and the new 57th Street station on the IND Sixth Avenue Line in Manhattan. The MM was an alternative to the KK in 1968 as a local to 57/6th. When the Chrystie St planning was underway, they weren’t sure whether more folks would be from Metropolitan/Myrtle or the actually used KK from 168th Jamaica. 57th/6th opened in July 1968.[19]The RJ was eliminated, being cut back to an RR variant, and the off-hour JJ was relabeled QJ (but not extended to Brighton Beach). At the same time, the existing skip-stop service was extended to afternoon Jamaica-bound trains, with those QJ trains running express west of Eastern Parkway and service "A" stations east to Jamaica, and those KK trains serving "B" stations. Less than two months later, on August 18, the QJ was extended to Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue.[20][21]

These new services were slowly eliminated in the 1970s due to financial problems.[citation needed] First, on January 6, 1974, the QJ was cut back full-time to Broad Street and redesignated the J; the M was extended to Coney Island in its place. At the same time, the KK was cut back to Eastern Parkway and renamed the K,[22] and both skip-stop patterns were carried out by alternate J trains.[citation needed] But that was not enough; the K was discontinued on August 30, 1976,[23] eliminating the J skip-stop and express service east of Myrtle Avenue. (One-way express service remained west of Myrtle Avenue, since the M was switched to the local tracks at that time.)[citation needed]

The following table summarizes the changes that were made between 1959 and 1976.

Morning rush-hour local Morning rush-hour express Afternoon rush-hour local Afternoon rush-hour express Other local Other service
1959–67 14/KK 168th Street - Canal Street, "B" stops inbound 15/J 168th Street - Broad Street, "A" stops inbound 14/KK Crescent Street, Atlantic Avenue, or Rockaway Parkway - Canal Street 15/J 168th Street - Broad Street 15/JJ 168th Street - Broad Street
1967–68 JJ 168th Street - Canal Street, "B" stops inbound QJ 168th Street - Brighton Beach, "A" stops inbound JJ Crescent Street or Atlantic Avenue - Canal Street QJ 168th Street - Brighton Beach JJ 168th Street - Broad Street
QJ 168th Street - Brighton Beach, middays and early evenings
RJ 168th Street - Bay Ridge, rush hour non-peak direction only
1968–1974 KK 168th Street - 57th Street, "B" stops inbound QJ 168th Street - Brooklyn, "A" stops inbound KK 168th Street - 57th Street, "B" stops outbound QJ 168th Street - Brooklyn, "A" stops outbound QJ 168th Street - Broad Street or Brooklyn
1974–1976 K Eastern Parkway - 57th Street J 168th Street - Broad Street, two inbound patterns, one for "A" stops and one for "B" stops K Eastern Parkway - 57th Street J 168th Street - Broad Street, two outbound patterns, one for "A" stops and one for "B" stops J 168th Street - Broad Street

1976 to present[edit]

The J was truncated to Queens Boulevard just after midnight on September 11, 1977,[24] and to 121st Street on April 15, 1985,[25] concurrent with the cutting-back of the Jamaica Line. The BMT Archer Avenue Line (subway section in Jamaica, Queens) opened on December 11, 1988, extending the line back east from 121st Street. The Z train first ran that day, introducing the present J/Z skip-stop pattern.[26]

In 1990, weekend service terminated at Canal Street, but was then extended back to Chambers Street in 1994.

From April 30 to September 1, 1999, the Williamsburg Bridge was closed for reconstruction. J trains ran only between Jamaica Center – Parsons Archer and Myrtle Avenue. J/Z skip-stop service was in both directions between Jamaica Center and Eastern Parkway-Broadway Junction.

After September 11, 2001, R service was suspended. J trains were extended beyond Broad Street via the Montague Street Tunnel to replace the R to Bay Ridge – 95th Street at all times except late nights, when it only ran to Broad Street and a shuttle ran in Brooklyn between 95th and 36th Streets. J/Z skip-stop service was suspended.[27] Normal service on all three trains was restored on October 28.[28]

In popular culture[edit]

Rapper Jay Z has acknowledged that his moniker is partially a homage to the J/Z services, which stop near his childhood home in Marcy Houses.[29]

Route[edit]

Service pattern[edit]

The following table shows the lines used by the J and Z services, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:

Line From To Tracks Times
J service Z service
mid-
days
even-
ings
week-
ends
rush
peak
rush
peak
BMT Archer Avenue Line Jamaica Center Sutphin Boulevard all        
BMT Jamaica Line 121st Street Myrtle Avenue local (all)  
local (skip-stop)        
Myrtle Avenue Marcy Avenue local      
express        
Williamsburg Bridge all    
BMT Nassau Street Line Essex Street Chambers Street
Fulton Street Broad Street  

Stations[edit]

For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.

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 all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
Station service unknown No available service
Time period details
J service Z service Stations Handicapped/disabled access Subway transfers Connections
Queens
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Jamaica Center – Parsons / Archer Handicapped/disabled access E all times
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport Handicapped/disabled access E all times AirTrain JFK
LIRR at Jamaica
Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops rush hours in peak direction only 121st Street Q10 bus to JFK Int'l Airport
Stops all times 111th Street
Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops rush hours in peak direction only 104th Street
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Woodhaven Boulevard
Stops all times 85th Street – Forest Parkway
Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops rush hours in peak direction only 75th Street – Elderts Lane
Brooklyn
Stops all times Cypress Hills
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Crescent Street
Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops rush hours in peak direction only Norwood Avenue
Stops all times Cleveland Street
Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops rush hours in peak direction only Van Siclen Avenue
Stops all times Alabama Avenue
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Broadway Junction A all times C all except late nights (IND Fulton Street Line)
L all times (BMT Canarsie Line)
LIRR Atlantic Branch at East New York

Terminus for some northbound rush hour trains.

Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops rush hours in peak direction only Chauncey Street
Stops all times Halsey Street
Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction Stops rush hours in peak direction only Gates Avenue
Stops all times Kosciuszko Street
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Myrtle Avenue M all times
Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction Flushing Avenue Handicapped/disabled access M weekdays except late nights B15 bus to JFK Airport
Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction Lorimer Street M weekdays except late nights
Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction Hewes Street M weekdays except late nights
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Marcy Avenue Handicapped/disabled access M weekdays except late nights B44 Select Bus Service
Manhattan
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Essex Street M weekdays except late nights
F all times (IND Sixth Avenue Line at Delancey Street)
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Bowery
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Canal Street 4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
N all times Q all times R all except late nights (BMT Broadway Line)
Stops all times Stops rush hours in peak direction only Chambers Street 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (IRT Lexington Avenue Line at Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall)
Stops weekdays only Stops rush hours in peak direction only Fulton Street Handicapped/disabled access 2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line)
4 all times 5 all except late nights (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
A all times C all except late nights (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
Station is ADA-accessible in the southbound direction only.
Stops weekdays only Stops rush hours in peak direction only Broad Street

References[edit]

  1. ^ "J/Z Train Timetable, Effective December 15, 2013". New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  2. ^ Due to the temporary closure of the Montague Street Tunnel, the Lower Manhattan R stations are also not served full time
  3. ^ "Trains Running This Morning". Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY). May 30, 1893. p. 10. 
  4. ^ "Better Service on the Brooklyn L". Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, NY). December 20, 1893. p. 12. 
  5. ^ "The BRT Opens Its New Extension for Through Traffic". The New York Times. July 31, 1906. p. 12. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  6. ^ "New Subway Line". The New York Times. July 7, 1918. p. 30. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  7. ^ Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation, Map and Guide to BMT Rapid Transit Division, 1924
  8. ^ "Celebrate Opening of New B. M. T. Line". The New York Times. July 15, 1928. p. 13. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  9. ^ a b Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation, Map and Guide to BMT Rapid Transit Division, 1931
  10. ^ "Mayor Runs a Train Over New Bridge". The New York Times. September 17, 1908. p. 16. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  11. ^ "Bridge Loop to Open for One Line Only". The New York Times. August 3, 1913. p. 6. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  12. ^ "Nassau St. Service Outlined by B. M. T.". The New York Times. May 21, 1931. p. 29. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  13. ^ "Mayor Drives Train in New Subway Link". The New York Times. May 30, 1931. p. 11. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  14. ^ "Jamaica BMT to Start Speed-Up Tomorrow". The New York Times. June 17, 1959. p. 28. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  15. ^ New York City Transit Authority, Official New York City Subway Map and Station Guide, 1959
  16. ^ New York City Transit Authority, Skip Stop on the BMT Jamaica Line, 1959
  17. ^ Joseph Cunningham and Leonard DeHart, A History of the New York City Subway System Part 2: Rapid Transit in Brooklyn, 1977
  18. ^ New York City Transit Authority, New York City Rapid Transit Map and Station Guide, 1967
  19. ^ http://forgotten-ny.com/2010/05/thank-you-for-your-service-retired-line-designations-page-2/
  20. ^ New York City Transit Authority, Rapid Transit Service Changes, 1968
  21. ^ New York City Transit Authority, KK - a new service, 1968
  22. ^ "Subway Schedules In Queens Changing Amid Some Protest". The New York Times. January 2, 1973. p. 46. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  23. ^ "Transit Agency Drops 215 Runs". The New York Times. August 31, 1976. p. 42. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  24. ^ Dembart, Lee (September 9, 1977). "A Sentimental Journey on the BMT...". The New York Times. p. 61. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  25. ^ Metropolitan Avenue (Demolished) (BMT Nassau St./Jamaica Line) (NYCSubway.org)
  26. ^ Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". The New York Times. p. B1. Retrieved 2010-03-20. 
  27. ^ NYC Subway Map: September 19, 2001
  28. ^ NYC Subway Map: October 28, 2001
  29. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. Jay-Z Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved August 24, 2007.

External links[edit]