City Hall (BMT Broadway Line)

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Not to be confused with City Hall (IRT Lexington Avenue Line).
City Hall
"R" train "W" train
New York City Subway rapid transit station
City Hall - Broadway Line Platform.jpg
The renovated platform; the wall on the right is for maintenance closets
Station statistics
Address Murray Street & Broadway
New York, NY 10007
Borough Manhattan
Locale Civic Center, Tribeca
Coordinates 40°42′48″N 74°00′25″W / 40.71324°N 74.007082°W / 40.71324; -74.007082Coordinates: 40°42′48″N 74°00′25″W / 40.71324°N 74.007082°W / 40.71324; -74.007082
Division B (BMT)
Line       BMT Broadway Line
Services       N late nights (late nights)
      R all except late nights (all except late nights)
      W weekdays only (weekdays only)
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: M9, M22, M55, M103, X27, X28
Structure Underground
Levels 2 (lower level not for passenger service)
Platforms 2 island platforms (1 on upper level, 1 on lower level)
Tracks 5 (2 on upper level, 3 on lower level)
Other information
Opened January 5, 1918; 99 years ago (1918-01-05)[1]
Wireless service Wi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[2]
Passengers (2015) 1,828,806[3]Increase 58.8%
Rank 267 out of 425
Station succession
Next north Canal Street: N late nights R all except late nights W weekdays only
Next south Cortlandt Street: N late nights R all except late nights W weekdays only

City Hall is a local station on the BMT Broadway Line of the New York City Subway in Tribeca and Civic Center, Manhattan. It is served by the R train at all times except late nights, when the N train takes over service. The W train also serves this station on weekdays.

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit / Entrance
Track B2
"R" train toward Forest Hills–71st Avenue (Canal Street)
"W" train weekdays ("N" train late nights) toward Ditmars Boulevard (Canal Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Fare control, station agent, exits/entrances, stairways to lower level
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Track B1
"R" train toward Bay Ridge–95th Street (Cortlandt Street)
"N" train toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue late nights (Cortlandt Street)
"W" train towards Whitehall Street–South Ferry weekdays (Cortlandt Street)
2 Mezzanine Storage area
Track B4 No regular service (used for work trains)
Uncompleted island platform, not in service
Track BM No regular service (revenue service layups)
Island platform, not in service
Track B3 No regular service (revenue service layups)
Track layout
to Canal St
Superimposed track section
(Left tracks above right ones)
to Cortlandt St
Lower level tracks (powered)
Lower level tracks (unpowered)
Upper level tracks
Murray Street stair

Upper level[edit]

There are two tracks and a very wide island platform. The northbound track is located under City Hall Park, while the southbound track is under the east side of Broadway.

There is an active tower at the north end, with a window that lets any waiting passengers observe Transit Authority goings-on. The platform tapers off toward the southern end, where the northbound and southbound portions join. The station's configuration, and the wide-open staircases to the sky above, is responsible for another distinguishing feature: the number of birds that fly into and around the station.

This station was overhauled in the late 1970s, changing the station's structure and overall appearance. It replaced the original wall tiles, old signs, and incandescent lighting with more modern wall tiles, signs and fluorescent lights, as well as fixing staircases and platform edges.

Southern end of platform

Before the new City Hall master tower was built, there was a provision at the north end of the upper level for a diamond crossover (which has existed since the construction of this station, when the upper level platform was to be a terminal) which is now occupied by a relay room. Strangely, at the south end of the station, the uptown track curves away from the wall; this dates from the original construction when the upper level was converted from a terminal, with presumably a straight line, to a through station with a single two-track tunnel.[4]


The fare control area is located in the center of the platform and fenced off from the rest of the platform area, has exits on either end. At the north end, two exits lead to the east side of Broadway at Warren Street, and at the south end, one exit leads to the east side of Broadway at Murray Street. Passengers enter from the sidewalk adjacent to City Hall Park directly onto the wide island platform on the upper level.[5]

Lower level[edit]

Staircase to the lower level

The City Hall station is a bi-level station, with an unused two-island platform, three-track lower level reachable from a single staircase from about the center of the in-use upper platform. The staircase leads to the western platform; the eastern platform was never finished and does not have a usable stairway. The middle track in the lower level station was to be used for short turns from either direction depending on the service pattern, with a layout much like that at Whitehall Street–South Ferry station further south.

It was initially intended that the local trains were to terminate on the upper level, while the express trains using the lower level would continue on through lower Manhattan and then through the Montague Street Tunnel. However, plans were changed before construction ended. As a result, the lower level of the station is unused (except for non-rush hour storage of trains), as are the stub-end center express tracks at Canal Street on its upper level (the connections to which were instead "temporarily" rerouted to the Manhattan Bridge for service across that bridge). Another effect of this change is that the southern end of the upper level station slopes downward. This is a result of platform lengthening and rerouting the upper level downward toward the south, rather than letting the lower level stay at the same elevation and continue south through lower Manhattan. The lower level floor continues south of the station until it disappears under the increasingly low ceiling under the ramps carrying the upper level downgrade.[6] The lower level was never used for passenger service or even finished with tiles and signage. Only the western platform was fully completed; the shorter eastern platform was never finished.

The lower level is only long enough to store 480-foot-long (150 m) 8-car trains, with cars of 60 feet (18 m) lengths, like the platforms in the BMT Eastern Division. Two of the three tracks are usable, but in normal operation, the westernmost and the center tracks are used only for storage. The easternmost track on the lower level is unusable as it has no third rail. The eastern track's third rail was removed at an unknown date.[7]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]