BMT Fourth Avenue Line

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BMT Fourth Avenue Line
D, N and R trains serve the majority of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line.
Type Rapid transit line
System New York City Subway
Status Operational
Locale Brooklyn, New York City, NY
Termini Court Street
Bay Ridge–95th Street
Stations 16
Services 3
Opened 1915-1925
Owner New York City
Operator(s) New York City Transit Authority
Character Underground
Number of tracks 2-6
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification 600V DC third rail

The Fourth Avenue Line is a rapid transit line of the BMT division of the New York City Subway, mainly running under Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. Fourth Avenue never had a streetcar line or elevated railway due to the provisions of the assessment charged to neighboring property owners when the street was widened.[1] The line is served by the D, N, and R. One station, Myrtle Avenue, was abandoned in 1956.


Fourth Avenue Garfield Place substation
BMT Fourth Avenue Line
BMT Broadway Line local tracks │ express tracks
BMT Nassau Street Line
IND Sixth Avenue Line
Court Street IRT Eastern Parkway Line
IND Culver Line
Myrtle Avenue (closed)
Jay Street–MetroTech
DeKalb Avenue
IND Crosstown Line
IND Fulton Street Line
BMT Brighton Line
IRT Eastern Parkway Line
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center
Union Street
Ninth Street IND Culver Line
Prospect Avenue
25th Street
36th Street
Ninth Avenue
BMT Culver Line (demolished)
BMT West End Line
New York Cross Harbor Railroad
45th Street
53rd Street
59th Street
BMT Sea Beach Line
LIRR Bay Ridge Branch
Bay Ridge Avenue
77th Street
86th Street
Bay Ridge–95th Street

Coming south from DeKalb Avenue and off of Fulton Street, the four-track line runs entirely under Fourth Avenue to just past 59th Street. South of 36th Street, the West End Line (formerly the New Utrecht Avenue elevated line) branches off eastwards, running to its terminus at Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue. Until 1954, the BMT Culver Line also branched off from here, replaced by the Culver Shuttle until 1975. South of 59th Street, after the Sea Beach Line branches off eastwards towards Coney Island via an open-cut right-of-way, the line becomes two-tracked and continues under Fourth Avenue to its terminus at Bay Ridge–95th Street.[2] While this section of the line was built with two tracks, there were provisions to add two additional express tracks between 59th and 85th Streets if the need was ever to arise.[3]

In its upper section, the line serves Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn. The central section serves Park Slope east of Fourth Avenue, on the west side, Boerum Hill then Gowanus; and Sunset Park. In its lower section, it serves the community of Bay Ridge.


The following services use the Fourth Avenue Line:

Route Stops
  Time period West of DeKalb Ave DeKalb Ave Between
Atlantic Ave
and 36 St
Between 36 St
and 59 St
Between 59 St
and 95 St
NYCS-bull-trans-D.svg All except nights no service express no service
Nights no service local no service
NYCS-bull-trans-N.svg All except nights no service express no service
Nights local no service
NYCS-bull-trans-R.svg All times local

The line normally carries the Fourth Avenue R service on the local tracks and the Sea Beach N and West End D services on the express tracks. During weekdays, three local N trains per day, in each direction, are designated as W. Manhattan-bound from DeKalb Avenue, the local tracks run via the Montague Street Tunnel to Lower Manhattan, serving either Whitehall Street on the BMT Broadway Line (N, R) or Broad Street on the BMT Nassau Street Line (no service; the last service to use these tracks was the M, rerouted in 2010). The express tracks go to Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge to either the BMT Broadway Line's Canal Street express station (N) or the IND Sixth Avenue Line's Grand Street station (D).[2]


Bridge over LIRR tracks

The Fourth Avenue Line was built as part of the Dual Contracts. It replaced the parallel elements of an old, now long-ago-demolished elevated system running above Fifth Avenue and Third Avenue.[3]

Groundbreaking for the first section of the subway, between DeKalb Avenue and 43rd Street (ending at 36th Street), took place in November 1909 at DeKalb and Flatbush Avenue.[4] Construction on the southernmost section of the line to 89th Street, just south of the 86th Street station, began in late October 1912.[3][5] The lower section of the line was constructed along with several branch lines, which replaced former surface railroads. These lines are the BMT West End Line splitting south of 36th Street, and the BMT Sea Beach Line leaving south of 59th Street.[3] In anticipation of the opening of the subway, several housing and development booms occurred along Fourth Avenue, particularly in Bay Ridge.[6]

The line opened from 59th Street to 86th Street on January 15, 1916.[7][8][9][10] The final extension to 95th Street opened on October 31, 1925.[11][12]

The line was planned to be connected via one of two tunnels to Staten Island and the Staten Island Railway. The first would be in Bay Ridge, south of the 59th Street station, connecting to both SIR branches near the Tompkinsville station. The other would have been south of 95th Street in Fort Hamilton, following the current routing of the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge. Construction on the first plan, known as the Staten Island Tunnel was started in 1923 but soon halted. Later proposals called for connecting the line and the SIR via the Verrazano Bridge, though the bridge was built with no railroad provisions.[3][13][14][15][16][17][18]

The Myrtle Avenue station closed on July 16, 1956 for the reconstruction of the flying junction north of DeKalb Avenue to increase capacity for the entire BMT Division.[19] The Brooklyn-bound platform was removed completely, but the Manhattan-bound platform still exists.[20]

Formerly, the Fourth Avenue Line served trains from the BMT Culver Line, which connected to the 36th Street station via the lower level of the Ninth Avenue station south of Green-Wood Cemetery from a now-demolished elevated structure.[3] Following the connection of the Culver Line to the South Brooklyn Line of the IND in 1954, the only access to the line from the 4th Avenue subway was via the Culver Shuttle at Ninth Avenue. Shuttle service ended in 1975, with homes and housing developments erected over the right-of-way of the two demolished stations in the 1980s and again in the 2010s. The barest stub of the old elevated line is still visible at Ditmas Avenue.[21][22]

In January 2017, the MTA revealed plans to rehabilitate the structure of the tunnel above the express tracks between 36th and 59th Streets. The structure had become corroded because resurfacing of Fourth Avenue in the 2010s caused rainwater to seep into the structure rather into the sewage system. The tracks will be closed between May 2018 and May 2019.[23][24]

Chaining information[edit]

The Fourth Avenue Line is chained BMT F.

Station listing[edit]

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 late nights and weekends Stops late nights and weekends only
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops rush hours only Stops rush hours only
Time period details
Handicapped/disabled access Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
Montague Street Tunnel branch (N late nights R all times)
Downtown Brooklyn Elevator access to mezzanine only Court Street local N late nights R all times August 1, 1920 2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line at Borough Hall)
4 all times 5 weekdays until 8:45 p.m. (IRT Eastern Parkway Line at Borough Hall)
Handicapped/disabled access Jay Street–MetroTech local N late nights R all times June 11, 1924 formerly Lawrence Street
A all times C all except late nights (IND Fulton Street Line)
F all times (IND Culver Line)
Manhattan Bridge branch (B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times N all except late nights Q all times)
Myrtle Avenue local June 22, 1915 Closed on July 16, 1956; only Manhattan-bound platform remains
Tunnel and Bridge tracks merge
Handicapped/disabled access DeKalb Avenue bridge, tunnel B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D late nights N late nights Q all times R all times June 22, 1915 6 tracks; tunnel tracks and one set of bridge tracks stop at station; the other set of bridge tracks bypass through the middle
bridge & tunnel tracks stopping at DeKalb Avenue split to the BMT Brighton Line (B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. Q all times); bypass tracks continue as the BMT Fourth Avenue Line express tracks
Handicapped/disabled access Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center all D all times N all times R all times June 22, 1915 2 all times 3 all except late nights 4 all times 5 weekdays until 8:45 p.m. (IRT Eastern Parkway Line)
B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. Q all times (BMT Brighton Line)
Connection to LIRR at Atlantic Terminal; Originally named "Pacific Street"
Park Slope Union Street local D late nights N late nights R all times June 22, 1915
Ninth Street local D late nights N late nights R all times June 22, 1915 F all times G all times (IND Culver Line at Fourth Avenue)
Prospect Avenue local D late nights N late nights R all times June 22, 1915
Greenwood Heights 25th Street local D late nights N late nights R all times June 22, 1915
Sunset Park 36th Street all D all times N all times R all times June 22, 1915
split with BMT West End Line (D all times) and former split with BMT Culver Line (abandoned)
45th Street local N late nights R all times June 22, 1915
53rd Street local N late nights R all times June 22, 1915
59th Street all N all times R all times June 22, 1915
express tracks become BMT Sea Beach Line (N all times)
Bay Ridge Bay Ridge Avenue local R all times January 15, 1916[7]
77th Street local R all times January 15, 1916[7]
86th Street local R all times January 15, 1916[7]
Fort Hamilton Bay Ridge–95th Street local R all times October 31, 1925[11][12]


Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ "Bold Schemes". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. June 4, 1892. 
  2. ^ a b Marrero, Robert (2017-01-01). "472 Stations, 850 Miles" (PDF). B24 Blog, via Dropbox. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Brooklyn Subway Extension Plan: Fourth Ave. Line to 86th St., Tunnel to Staten Island, and Eventually a Through Route to Coney Island". The New York Times. February 16, 1912. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Fourth Ave. Subway Dirt Begins to Fly". The New York Times. November 14, 1909. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Bay Ridge Turns Out For Start of Subway". The New York Times. October 27, 1912. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Two Subway Branches Open Up New Era of Prosperity for Brooklyn and Queens". The New York Times. June 27, 1915. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d Senate, New York (State) Legislature (1917-01-01). Documents of the Senate of the State of New York. 
  8. ^ Senate, New York (State) Legislature (1917-01-01). Documents of the Senate of the State of New York. 
  9. ^ "Public Service Commission Promises To Complete Contract Awards This Year". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 16, 1916. Retrieved November 5, 2016 – via 
  10. ^ "Subway Running To Eighty–Sixth Street Starts Building Boom In Bay Ridge". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 15, 1916. Retrieved November 5, 2016 – via 
  11. ^ a b "Subway Bids Announced: For 95th Street Terminal, Brooklyn, and Corona Yard". The New York Times. March 1, 1925. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "95th St. Subway Extension Opened At 2 P. M. Today". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. October 31, 1925. Retrieved 29 June 2015 – via 
  13. ^ "To Extend Subway to Fort Hamilton". The New York Times. August 26, 1922. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "To Act This Year on the Richmond Tube: Route Approved in 1912 Still Alive-May Soon Be Adopted Anew or Amended". The New York Times. February 13, 1919. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Martin, Douglas (November 17, 1996). "Subway Planners' Lofty Ambitions Are Buried as Dead-End Curiosities". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  16. ^ Staten Island Rapid Transit; The Essential History, by Irvin Leigh and Paul Matus; Page 9 (The Third Rail Online)
  17. ^ Levine, Richard (December 22, 1986). "S.I. TRAINS UNDERGOING RENOVATION". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Annual Report of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co. for The Year Ending June 30, 1912" (PDF). Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company. June 30, 1912. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  19. ^ Joseph Brennan (2002). "Abandoned Stations : Myrtle Avenue". Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  20. ^ "BMT Fourth Avenue Line - Myrtle Avenue". Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  21. ^ Klein, Helen (July 6, 2010). "Board backs housing on former Culver Shuttle land". New York Post. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  22. ^ Daley, Jessica (June 13, 2012). "The Culver Shuttle: Lost Beneath Borough Park for 40 Years". Curbed. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "MTA Reveals Plans to Shut Down Part of N Subway Tunnel in Brooklyn Next Year". TWC News. Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  24. ^ "Express N tunnel will shut for one year of emergency repairs". Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved 2017-01-22.