BMT West End Line
|BMT West End Line|
The D train serves the entire BMT West End Line at all times.
|System||New York City Subway|
Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue
|Owner||City of New York|
|Operator(s)||New York City Transit Authority|
|Character||Open Cut (Ninth Avenue only)
|Number of tracks||3–6|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Electrification||600V DC third rail|
The BMT West End Line is a line of the New York City Subway, serving the Brooklyn communities of Borough Park, New Utrecht, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Coney Island. The D train operates local on the entire line at all times. Although there is a center express track and three express stations along the line, there is no regular express service at this time.
Extent and service
|Time period||Section of line|
|all times||full line|
The line begins as a branch of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line south of the 36th Street station, and it extends through a cut described as the 38th Street cut to Ninth Avenue. Then it becomes an elevated structure over New Utrecht Avenue, before subsequently turning through private property near 79th Street into 86th Street. The line then continues over 86th Street to Stillwell Avenue and to the line's terminal at Coney Island.
The line was originally a surface railway to Coney Island, called the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad. Under the Dual Contracts of 1913, an elevated line was built over New Utrecht Avenue, 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue.
From 39th Street to Coney Island, the old route was abandoned as a rapid transit line, and it was turned into a surface car line. Surface car operation began on the line once the new elevated service started.
The first portion of the line, between the 36th Street station on Fourth Avenue and 62nd Street station, opened on June 24, 1916 with two tracks. On the same date, the line opened three more stations to 18th Avenue, but with only one track in service. The second track between 62nd Street and 18th Avenue opened on July 8, 1916. The line was then extended to 25th Avenue on July 29, 1916. The line opened to and fully opening to Coney Island on July 21, 1917. The original surface right-of-way was retained for use by trolley cars to provide local service and protect the company's franchise.
The West End Line has had an express (on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line) service – labeled 3 in 1924 – since it opened in 1916, passing over the Manhattan Bridge and onto the BMT Broadway Line express tracks. In the late 1950s, midday trains were switched to the local Fourth Avenue tracks and through the Montague Street Tunnel, and late night and Sunday service became a shuttle between Coney Island and 36th Street. The express and local services were assigned the designations T and TT in the early 1960s. With the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection in late 1967, the B train from Manhattan and the Bronx was extended to Coney Island, absorbing the T and TT (both ran express on Fourth Avenue). The TT late night and Sunday shuttle survived until 1968, when the B became full-time. It ran local on Fourth Avenue during late night hours, but express at all other times. Late night operation was cut back to a shuttle to 36th Street in 1976.
In 2001, when reconstruction of the Manhattan Bridge north tracks, the B service in Brooklyn was replaced by the new W train, which ran as a shuttle not only to 36th Street during nighttime hours, but also to Atlantic Avenue–Pacific Street on weekends. In 2002, reconstruction of Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue resulted in the West End Line being the only line to serve the terminal and the W was extended full-time into Manhattan, using the local Fourth Avenue tracks and Montague Street Tunnel on weekends and late nights hours.
In 2004, the Manhattan Bridge reconstruction was completed, and the W was replaced with an extended D train, running over the bridge at all hours and express on Fourth Avenue except late nights. The restored Brooklyn D service was moved to the West End Line instead of returning to the Brighton Line on which it had run since 1967, except for periods of construction rerouting, in order to avoid running two separate (B and D) shortened lines outside of weekday hours. The plan was for the B to run only on weekdays in the Bronx, while the restored service on the Brighton Line (formerly the D) was to run only on weekdays in Brooklyn. Thus, moving the B to the Brighton Line meant it would only need to be operated during weekday hours. This eliminated the need to run late-night and/or weekend shuttles on either the Concourse Line or the West End Line.
The other service pattern was the "West End Short Line", a rush-hour local (on Fourth Avenue) service between the BMT Nassau Street Line in Lower Manhattan and 62nd Street or Bay Parkway. It became part of the TT in the early 1960s and was discontinued in 1967.
In 1987, the short line service was essentially recreated when the rush-hour M extension to Brooklyn was moved from the BMT Brighton Line to the West End Line terminating at Bay Parkway. It terminated at Ninth Avenue until 1995, when it was cut back to Chambers Street. It was extended again from 2001–2004 while the Manhattan Bridge was closed for reconstruction. In 2010, as part of a series of MTA budget cuts, rush-hour M service was discontinued.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Time period details|
|Neighborhood||Station||Tracks||Services||Opened||Transfers and notes|
|splits from the BMT Fourth Avenue Line (D )|
|Center Express track begins (No Regular Service)|
|connecting tracks to former BMT Culver Line (No Regular Service)|
|connecting tracks to 36th–38th Street Yard from local tracks|
|Sunset Park||Ninth Avenue||all||D||June 24, 1916||former transfer to BMT Culver Line|
|Borough Park||Fort Hamilton Parkway||local||D||June 24, 1916|
|50th Street||local||D||June 24, 1916|
|55th Street||local||D||June 24, 1916|
|Bensonhurst||62nd Street||all||D||June 24, 1916||BMT Sea Beach Line (N ) at New Utrecht Avenue|
|71st Street||local||D||June 24, 1916|
|79th Street||local||D||June 24, 1916|
|18th Avenue||local||D||June 24, 1916|
|20th Avenue||local||D||July 29, 1916|
|Bay Parkway||all||D||July 29, 1916|
|25th Avenue||local||D||July 29, 1916|
|connecting track to Coney Island Yard|
|Gravesend||Bay 50th Street||local||D||December 21, 1917|
|connecting track to Coney Island Yard|
|Center Express track ends|
|Coney Island||Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue||all||D||December 23, 1918||BMT Brighton Line (Q )
IND Culver Line (F )
BMT Sea Beach Line (N )
In popular culture
Over the years, the West End line has been featured in movies and television shows.
- The famous chase scene from The French Connection (1971) was filmed under the West End Line.
- The opening scene of Saturday Night Fever (1977) features Tony Manero (John Travolta) walking down 86th Street, with the West End elevated line above.
- The opening credits of the television show Welcome Back, Kotter (1975) also featured the West End Line.
- Senate, New York (State) Legislature (1917-01-01). Documents of the Senate of the State of New York.
- Opening of the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad, New York Times June 9, 1864 page 2
- "Parade, Pageant Mark Celebration: Borough Park Civic Bodies and School Children Join in Festivities: West End Line Opened: First Train From Manhattan Over New "L" Extension of Dual System to Sixty-Second Street". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 24, 1916. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "Realty Boom Is Predicted for Borough Park Section". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 24, 1916. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- Manhattan Bridge Service Changes - The New York Times
- "A Subway Map Remade, in Hopes of Matching Routes and Riders". The New York Times. February 20, 2004. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
- Marrero, Robert (2015-09-13). "469 Stations, 846 Miles" (PDF). B24 Blog, via Dropbox. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- "Film locations for The French Connection (1971)". The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations.
- on YouTube
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