7 (New York City Subway service)
|Flushing Local and Express|
|Northern end||Flushing – Main Street|
|Southern end||34th Street – Hudson Yards|
|Stations||22 (local service)
12 (express service)
|Rolling stock||R62A, R188|
The 7 Flushing Local and <7> Flushing Express are two rapid transit services in the A Division of the New York City Subway, providing local and express services along the full length of the IRT Flushing Line. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored raspberry, with local service denoted by a (7) (within a circular bullet) and express service by a <7> (within a diamond-shaped bullet). Both services operate between Main Street in Flushing, Queens and 34th Street – Hudson Yards in Chelsea, Manhattan. Local service operates at all times, while express service runs only during rush hours and early evenings in the peak direction and during special events.
On June 13, 1915, the first test train on the IRT Flushing Line ran between Grand Central and Vernon Boulevard – Jackson Avenue, followed by the start of revenue service on June 22. Over the next thirteen years, the line was extended piece by piece between Times Square and Flushing – Main Street, after the former opened on March 14, 1927. Express service started in 1917. The service on the Flushing Line east of Queensboro Plaza was shared by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company and the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation from 1912 to 1949; BMT trains were designated 9, while IRT services were designated 7 on maps only. The 7 designation was assigned to trains since the introduction of the front rollsigns on the R12 in 1948.
Weekday midday and Saturday express service was discontinued on March 20, 1954; weekday midday express service was restored on November 29, 1971, but was again discontinued by August 29, 1975.
From May 13, 1985, to August 21, 1989, the IRT Flushing Line was overhauled for improvements, including the installation of new track, repair of station structures and to improve line infrastructure. The major element was the replacement of rails on the Queens Boulevard viaduct. <7> express service was suspended for the duration of the project; however, extra 7 service was provided for Mets games and Flushing Meadows Park events. Upon the completion of the project, <7> express service was restored, but express trains bypassed 61st Street – Woodside because the Transit Authority was concerned about passengers transferring between local and express trains at that station. The stop was added a few months later after pressure from community opposition.
In the mid-1990s, the MTA discovered that the Queens Boulevard viaduct structure was unstable, as rocks that were used to support the tracks as ballast became loose due to poor drainage, which, in turn, affected the integrity of the concrete structure overall. <7> express service was suspended again between 61st Street – Woodside and Queensboro Plaza; temporary platforms were installed to access the express track in the four intermediate stations. The work began in April 1993. When the viaduct reconstruction finished on March 31, 1997, full <7> express service was reinstated. Throughout this entire period, ridership grew steadily. In 1999, <7> express service was expanded from rush hours only to weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. However, this expansion was cut back in 2009 due to frequent midday construction.
Work has been underway since 2008 to convert the 7 service to accommodate CBTC. Expected to cost $585.9 million, CBTC will allow two additional trains per hour as well as two additional trains for the 7 Subway Extension, providing a 7% increase in capacity. (At the former southern terminal, Times Square, service on the 7 was limited to 27 trains per hour (tph) as a result of the bumper blocks there. The current southern terminal at 34th Street has tail tracks to store rush-hour trains and can increase the service frequency to 29 tph.) New cars on order for the A Division (the R188 contract) are compatible with CBTC. Installation of CBTC and delivery of the trains will both be completed in 2016.
The 7 Subway Extension, which travels west and south to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Hudson Yards, was delayed five times. Originally, it was scheduled to open in December 2013, but the station was finally opened on September 13, 2015. The 34th Street station's construction project itself will not be completed until the end of 2015.
On November 16, 2010, New York City officials announced they are considering a further extension of the service across the Hudson River to the Secaucus Junction train station in New Jersey. As of October 26, 2011 tentative support for the extension has been given by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in comments to the press. However, in April 2013, MTA former chairman Joseph Lhota announced that the 7 train would not be extended to New Jersey due to the high costs of the project, which included constructing a subway yard and a subway tunnel in New Jersey. Instead, Lhota put his support behind Amtrak’s Gateway Tunnel project which entails a new tunnel to Manhattan for Amtrak and NJ Transit trains.
The 7 operates with 11-car sets; the number of cars in a single 7 train set is more than in any other New York City Subway service. These trains, however, are not the longest in the system, since a train of 11 "A" Division cars is only 565 feet (172 m) long, while a standard B Division train, which consists of ten 60-foot cars or eight 75-foot cars, is 600 feet (180 m) long.
The Steinway Low-V was built between 1915 and 1925 specifically for use in the Steinway Tunnel. They had special gear ratios to climb the steep grades (4.5%) in the Steinway Tunnel, something standard Interborough equipment could not do.
In 1938, an order of all-new World's Fair cars was placed with the St. Louis Car Company. These cars broke from IRT "tradition" in that they did not have vestibules at each car end. In addition, because the IRT was bankrupt at the time, the cars were built as single ended cars, with train controls for the motorman on one side and door controls for the conductor on the other. These cars spent their last days on the elevated IRT Third Avenue Line in The Bronx.
In 1964, the picture window R33/36 World's Fair (WF) cars replaced the older R12s, R14s, R15s, and some R17s in time for the 1964 New York World's Fair. The 7 was the last service to run using "Redbird" cars, and the 7 's fleet consisted entirely of R33/36 WF Redbird train cars until November 2001. In 2001, with the arrival of the R142/R142A cars, the Transit Authority announced the retirement of all Redbird cars. From December 2001 to November 2003, the Bombardier-built R62A cars, which used to operate on the 3 and 6, gradually replaced all of the R33/36 WF cars on the 7. On November 3, 2003, the last Redbird train made its final trip on this route, making all stops between Times Square and the then-named Willets Point – Shea Stadium. Several Redbird cars running on this service were decorated with Mets logos and colors during the 2000 Subway Series against the New York Yankees, as the Flushing Line runs adjacent to Citi Field and the former location of Shea Stadium. Some R33/R36 WFs remain in Corona Yard and are used primarily for work service.
Since 2008, all R62As on the 7, which were transferred by 2003, have been upgraded with LED lighted signs to distinguish between express and local trains. These signs are located on the rollsigns that are found on the side of each car. The local is a green circle around the 7 bullet while the express is a red diamond. Previously, the rollsigns showed either a 7 (within a circle) or a <7> (within a diamond) with the word "Express" underneath it. They will be replaced by R188s through 2016, and the displaced R62As are currently running on the 6.
By 2016, R188 cars equipped with communications-based train control (CBTC) will run on the 7, outfitted for the automation equipment for the Flushing Line. The first train of R188 cars began operating in passenger service on November 9, 2013. In addition to providing six extra 11-car trains for the 7 Subway Extension, the R188s will allow twenty R62A expansion cars to be freed up for the rest of the IRT A Division services.
The 7 is nicknamed the "International Express" in part because it travels through several different ethnic neighborhoods populated by immigrants, especially along Roosevelt Avenue, and in part because it was the principal line that served the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. This name is not official, nor is the title used in day-to-day operations.
The following table shows the line used by the 7 and <7>, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|rush peak||all times|
|IRT Flushing Line||Flushing – Main Street||between Queensboro Plaza
and 33rd Street
|between Queensboro Plaza
and 33rd Street
|34th Street – Hudson Yards||all|
In addition to regular local and rush-hour express services, "Super Express" service to Manhattan is also provided after New York Mets games weeknights and weekends at Citi Field, as well as after US Open tennis games: starting at Mets – Willets Point and operating express to Manhattan, also bypassing Junction Boulevard, Hunters Point Avenue and Vernon Boulevard – Jackson Avenue.
For a more detailed station listing, see IRT Flushing Line.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops rush hours/weekdays in the peak direction only|
|Time period details|
- In the December 27, 1999, issue of Sports Illustrated, Major League Baseball pitcher John Rocker was asked a question about whether he would ever play for the New York Yankees or the New York Mets. He responded by criticizing the 7 train and New Yorkers in general:
I'd retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing... The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?
- In September 2015, shortly after the 7 Subway Extension to 34th Street opened, the Citizens Budget Commission described the service as the system's most decrepit, with 37% of all components on 7 train stations in bad repair. However, despite this, the 7 was seen as one of the best routes in the system.
In popular culture
- The 2000 documentary film The #7 Train: An Immigrant Journey is based on the ethnic diversity of the people that ride the 7 train every day.
- The 7 Line Army is a group of New York Mets fans whose name is derived from the 7 route.
- Only the Flushing-bound local side platform is wheelchair-accessible. Trains operate on this platform only during New York Mets games and other special events.
- "mta.info - Line Colors". mta.info.
- Feinman, Mark S. (December 8, 2004). "The New York City Transit Authority in the 1980s". nycsubway.org. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Pérez-Peńa, Richard (October 9, 1995). "Along the Subway, a Feat in Concrete". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Onishi, Norimitsu (February 16, 1997). "On the No. 7 Subway Line in Queens, It's an Underground United Nations". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- MTA's Q&A on Capital Program 2010-2014
- Emma G. Fitzsimmons (24 March 2015). "More Delays for No. 7 Subway Line Extension". New York Times. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "MTA's 7 Line Extension Project Pushed Back Six Months". NY1. June 5, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- Cuozzo, Steve (June 5, 2012). "No. 7 train 6 mos. late". New York Post. Retrieved 2012-06-05.
- NYC Subway Line May Continue Into N.J.
- "Mayor Bloomberg wants to extend 7 line to New Jersey". ABC7 New York.
- "Bloomberg". Bloomberg.com.
- "MTA chief: No. 7 line won't be extended to NJ". NY Daily News (New York). April 3, 2012.
- Sansone, Gene (2004). New York Subways. JHU Press. p. 84. ISBN 0-8018-7922-1.
- Luo, Michael (November 4, 2003). "Let Go, Straphangers. The Ride Is Over.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- Donohue, Pete (1 April 2008). "On No. 7 trains, red diamond means express, a green circle for local". NY Daily News (New York). Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- Rubinstein, Dana (2012-09-05). "M.T.A. to upgrade 7 line by trading old cars to Lexington Avenue". Capital New York. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- http://library.rpa.org/pdf/RPA-Moving-Forward.pdf Page 47
- Mann, Ted (November 18, 2013). "MTA Tests New Subway Trains on Flushing Line". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- "MTA - news - New Subway Cars Being Put to the Test". mta.info.
- "The International Express: Around the World on the 7 Train". Queens Tribune. Archived from the original on 2003-01-22. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Cohen, Billie (January 14, 2008). "No. 7 Train From Flushing-Main Street to Times Square". The New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- "Press Releases". mta.info.
- "Mets - Willets Point Station: Accessibility on game days and special events only". New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- "Rocker spews hate in this week's SI". Sports Illustrated. December 23, 1999. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000.
- Dague, Jamison; Brecher, Charles (2015-09-15). "Best (and Worst) Stations by Subway Line". Citizens Budget Commission. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Tangel, Andrew (2015-09-18). "7 Train Earns Top Marks on Subway Report Card". WSJ. Retrieved 2015-09-23.
- See also: The #7 Train: An Immigrant Journey at the Internet Movie Database
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 7 (New York City Subway service).|
|A Weekend at Work: Flushing Line May 2011, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; July 21, 2011; 3:42 YouTube video clip|
- MTA New York City Transit – 7 Flushing Local
- MTA New York City Transit – 7 Flushing Express
- "7 Subway Timetable, Effective September 13, 2015" (PDF). New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
- Safari 7 – Tour of Urban Wildlife along the 7 train
- PDF (144 KB)
- Once Upon A Time In Queens: Number 7 Train Provides Real Connection To History - NY1 local news channel (retrieved on 05/25/2010)