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)
|No. 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.
The elevated line, originally mapped as the New Utrecht Avenue Line (though the common name prevailed after construction), replaced the surface West End Line.
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, opening to 62nd Street on June 25, 1916, 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.
|Time period||Section of line|
|all times||full line|
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 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 2001–04 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.
The West End Line is chained BMT D. This is completely unrelated to the fact that since 2004, the primary service designator has also been D; the name overlap is a coincidence.
|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||September 15, 1916||BMT Sea Beach Line (N ) at New Utrecht Avenue|
|71st Street||local||D||September 15, 1916|
|79th Street||local||D||September 15, 1916|
|18th Avenue||local||D||September 15, 1916|
|20th Avenue||local||D||December 29, 1916|
|Bay Parkway||all||D||December 29, 1916|
|25th Avenue||local||D||December 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.
- Opening of the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad, New York Times June 9, 1864 page 2
- "Realty Boom Is Predicted for Borough Park Section". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 24, 1916. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Film locations for The French Connection (1971)". The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations.
- on YouTube
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to BMT West End Line.|
- Railroad History Database
- Gunther and His Railroad by Morton Morris
- BMT West End Line on NYCSubway.org