125th Street station (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
|New York City Subway station (rapid transit)|
|Address||East 125th Street & Lexington Avenue|
New York, NY 10035
|Line||IRT Lexington Avenue Line|
|Services||4 (all times) |
5 (all times except late nights)
6 (all times) <6> (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
|Transit connections|| NYCT Bus: Bx15, M35, M60 SBS, M100, M101, M103|
Short Line Bus: 208
Metro-North: Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven Lines (at Harlem–125th Street)
|Platforms||2 island platforms (1 on each level)|
|Tracks||4 (2 on each level)|
|Opened||July 17, 1918|
|Passengers (2017)||9,088,393 3.6%|
|Rank||33 out of 425|
|Next north||149th Street–Grand Concourse (Jerome express): 4 |
138th Street–Grand Concourse (Jerome local): 4 5
Third Avenue–138th Street (Pelham): 6 <6>
|Next south||116th Street (local): 4 6 <6> |
86th Street (express): 4 5
|Next north||161st Street–Yankee Stadium (via Jerome): 4 |
Third Avenue–149th Street (via White Plains Road): 5
Hunts Point Avenue (via Pelham): 6 <6>
|Next south||51st Street (local): 4 6 <6> |
Grand Central–42nd Street (express): 4 5
125th Street is an express station that has four tracks and two island platforms. It is the northernmost Manhattan station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at Lexington Avenue and East 125th Street (also known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard) in East Harlem, it is served by the 4 and 6 trains at all times, the 5 train at all times except late nights, and the <6> during weekdays in peak direction.
This station opened on July 17, 1918 as part of the extension of the original subway up Lexington Avenue to 125th Street and into the Bronx. Initially, service was provided only as a shuttle on the local tracks of the then-formed Lexington Avenue Line between Grand Central, continuing past this station and under the Harlem River to 167th Street on the IRT Jerome Avenue Line. On August 1, 1918, through service on the Lexington Avenue Line began. Both express trains and local trains began stopping at this station, running from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. The extension from Grand Central cost $58 million.
The opening of this station resulted in development in the surrounding neighborhood of East Harlem.
In 1952 or 1953, a public address system was installed at this station, providing information to passengers and train crews.
|B1||Mezzanine||Fare control, station agent|
|B2||Northbound express||← toward Woodlawn (149th Street–Grand Concourse during the PM rush, or 138th Street–Grand Concourse all other times)|
← toward Nereid Avenue rush hours, Dyre Avenue all times except nights (138th Street–Grand Concourse)
|Island platform, doors will open on the left or right|
|Northbound local||← toward Pelham Bay Park all times, Parkchester rush hours and middays (Third Avenue–138th Street)|
← toward Woodlawn (late nights) (138th Street–Grand Concourse)
|B3||Southbound local||→ toward Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (116th Street) →|
|Island platform, doors will open on the left or right|
|Southbound express||→ toward Crown Heights–Utica Avenue (86th Street) →|
→ toward Flatbush Avenue weekdays, Bowling Green weekends (86th Street) →
→ toward New Lots Avenue (late nights) (116th Street) →
The station is unusual in design, as a bi-level station with island platforms but not configured in the standard express-local lower-upper configuration. Instead, the upper platform serves northbound (uptown) trains and the lower level serves southbound (downtown) trains. Adding to the unusual design is the local track on each level having train doors open to the right; the express tracks likewise have doors opening to the left. North of the station, just after crossing the Harlem River, the line splits into the IRT Jerome Avenue Line (heading north) and the IRT Pelham Line (heading east). On the lower platform, each track comes from one line, and a flying junction south of the station allows trains to be diverted to the local or express track. Throughout the station's history, this station has been one of the more important on the line as it is the northernmost transfer point between express trains to the IRT Jerome Avenue and White Plains Road Lines, and local trains to the IRT Pelham Line.
There is an active tower at the north end of the upper platform; it is a satellite to the tower at Grand Central–42nd Street, which controls the entire length of the Lexington Avenue Line.
There are four staircase exits and one elevator exit.
- Staircase at SW corner of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street
- Staircase at SE corner of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street
- Staircase and elevator at NE corner of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street
- Staircase at NW corner of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street
This station has a mezzanine with two separate turnstile banks. The northern turnstile bank leads to two staircases going to both northern corners of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street, and an elevator going to the NE corner of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street. The southern turnstile bank has two exits leading to both southern corners of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street. The station's elevators were installed in November 1989, making the station one of the earliest to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
A fifth entrance will be built as part of a proposed Second Avenue Subway station here. It would be located on the southern side of 125th Street in the median of Park Avenue, and an ancillary facility would be located one block south. An ancillary would also be built at the southeast corner of 125th Street and Third Avenue.:22–23
Planned Second Avenue Subway station
|Future New York City Subway station|
The SAS Phase 2 Community Information Center
|Line||IND Second Avenue Line|
|Platforms||1 island platform (planned)|
|Next north||none: future|
|Next south||116th Street: future|
Harlem–125th Street is the planned northern terminal for Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway. It would be built underneath 125th Street, below and perpendicular to the existing Lexington Avenue Line station. The Harlem–125th Street station would be part of Phase 2, from 96th Street to 125th Street, with the next station south being 116th Street. Phase 2 would also include a station at 106th Street. A station at Lexington Avenue and 125th Street was not on the original Second Avenue Subway proposed as part of the New York City Transit Authority's 1968 Program for Action; instead, a Second Avenue Subway station would be built at 126th Street and Second Avenue. The line was to be built in two phases—the first phase from 126th to 34th Streets, the second phase from 34th to Whitehall Streets. When opened, it will initially be served by the Q train, with the T providing service when phase 3 of the line is built.
Introduction of the station to plans
In March 2007, the Second Avenue Subway was revived. The line's first phase, the "first major expansion" to the New York City Subway in more than a half-century, included three stations in total and cost $4.45 to $4.5 billion. spanning from 105th Street and Second Avenue to 63rd Street and Third Avenue. Phase 1 opened on January 1, 2017.
The second phase, between 125th and 96th Streets, was allocated $525 million in the MTA's 2015–2019 Capital Plan for planning, design, environmental studies, and utility relocation. This phase will complete the project's East Harlem section. The alignment will run under Second Avenue to 124th Street, before turning west on 125th Street. On October 18, 2016, the de Blasio administration announced a rezoning plan for East Harlem. One of the three Special Transit Land Use (TA) districts is for the area of the 125th Street/Lexington Avenue station.
On November 21, 2016, the MTA requested that the Phase 2 project be entered into the Project Development phase under the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts program. On December 15, several elected officials for the area announced that they were seeking $6 billion of funding for Phase 2 of the line, including $2 billion from the federal government. These officials wished to secure funding from the presidential administration of Barack Obama before Obama's term ended on January 20, 2017. In their request for funding, they cited that they wanted to avoid an uncertain response from the administration of Donald Trump and start construction on Phase 2 as soon as possible. The FTA granted this request in late December 2016. Under the approved plan, the MTA would complete an environmental reevaluation by 2018, receive funding by 2020, and open Phase 2 between 2027 and 2029. In January 2017, it was announced that Phases 2 and 3, which are expected to cost up to a combined $14.2 billion, were on the Trump administration's priority list of 50 most important transportation projects nationwide.
In July 2018, the MTA released a supplemental environmental assessment for Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway. The updated report indicated that the 125th Street station would be relocated about 118 feet (36 m) west and 20 feet (6.1 m) below what had been proposed in the 2004 FEIS, in order to reduce impacts on nearby buildings. The proposed three-track station was reduced to two tracks.:12 The modification would reduce flexibility, but would allow the section under 125th Street to be mined, rather than being constructed as cut-and-cover, thereby reducing impacts on nearby buildings. Simulations showed that a two-track layout could support the same level of service that the three-track layout could have provided: 28 trains per hour. To make up for the loss of the track, the tail tracks west of the station would be lengthened.:13
When built, this platform will be the permanent northern terminal of the Second Avenue Subway. It will be five levels below street level, or two levels below the lower-level IRT Lexington Avenue Line platform. The station was originally proposed to have a three-track, two-island platform layout with a mezzanine above it and switches to the east of the platforms. The July 2018 plans call for two tracks and one island platform, with switches both to the west and the east. The tail tracks would extend to Lenox Avenue to allow for six trains to be stored, three per track.:13 This would also provide a provision for a future expansion of the line along 125th Street.
Extra transfer capacity to the existing Lexington Avenue Line station would be provided as part of the construction of the Harlem–125th Street terminal.:13 In its July 2018 supplemental report, the MTA indicated that it wanted to build new escalator entrances to the subway station complex on two of the corners at Lexington Avenue and 125th Street, replacing the existing entrances there. Entrance 1 would be located on the southeast corner, while entrance 2 would tentatively be located on the northwest corner, although this has yet to be confirmed. The original 2004 plans had called for entrance 2 to be located on the southwest corner, but the MTA stated that the location was comparatively small.:22–23 The Second Avenue Subway station will include a new exit leading directly from the Second Avenue Line platform to the median of Park Avenue at the south side of 125th Street, allowing for a quick connection to the Metro-North station. In the 2018 report, the MTA stated that it also wanted to include a property on the intersection's southeast corner within the construction site.:23 The ancillaries were also shifted from the locations proposed in the 2004 FEIS. Ancillary 1 and Ancillary 2, which were respectively supposed to be located at Third and Park Avenues on 125th Street, were both moved south to 124th Street. The ancillary buildings were also shifted west because the station cavern had been relocated west.:24
Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center
A Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center for Phase 2, along 125th Street between Park and Madison Avenues, was originally planned to open in May 2017. The center's opening was delayed to September 18, 2017.
In popular culture
The location is referenced in The Velvet Underground song "Waiting for the Man", in which the song's protagonist uses the train station en route to buy heroin in Harlem: "Up to Lexington, 1-2-5 / Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive."
4 train leaving the station
- This is the station code it will have whenever it opens. This fits into the gap for the station numbering. 96th Street is 475, and 34th Street–Hudson Yards is 471, so clearly, the numbers in between are for the second phase of the SAS. 474 would be 106th Street, 473 would be 116th Street, and 472 would be 125th Street.
- "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
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- "Open New Subway Lines to Traffic; Called a Triumph — Great H System Put in Operation Marks an Era in Railroad Construction — No Hitch in the Plans — But Public Gropes Blindly to Find the Way in Maze of New Stations — Thousands Go Astray — Leaders in City's Life Hail Accomplishment of Great Task at Meeting at the Astor" (PDF). New York Times. August 2, 1918. p. 1. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 125th Street (IRT Lexington Avenue Line).|
- nycsubway.org – IRT East Side Line: 125th Street
- nycsubway.org — Polyrhythmics of Consciousness and Light Artwork by Valerie Maynard (2002)
- nycsubway.org — Open Secret Artwork by Houston Conwill (1986)
- Station Reporter — 4 Train
- Station Reporter — 5 Train
- Station Reporter — 6 Train
- MTA's Arts For Transit — 125th Street (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
- 125th Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
- Upper level from Google Maps Street View
- Lower level from Google Maps Street View