IRT Nostrand Avenue Line
|IRT Nostrand Avenue Line|
The 2 and 5 trains serve the entire IRT Nostrand Avenue Line.
|System||New York City Subway|
Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College
|Daily ridership||61,390 |
|Opened||August 23, 1920|
|Owner||City of New York|
|Operator(s)||New York City Transit Authority|
|Number of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Electrification||600V DC third rail|
IRT Nostrand Avenue Line
The IRT Nostrand Avenue Line is a rapid transit line of the IRT division of the New York City Subway running under Nostrand Avenue in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is served at all times by the 2 train, and is also served by the 5 train on weekdays during the daytime.
The Dual Contracts, which were signed on March 19, 1913, were contracts for the construction and/or rehabilitation and operation of rapid transit lines in the City of New York. The contracts were "dual" in that they were signed between the City and two separate private companies (the Interborough Rapid Transit Company and the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company), all working together to make the construction of the Dual Contracts possible. The Dual Contracts promised the construction of several lines in Brooklyn. As part of Contract 3, the IRT agreed to build a subway line along Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. The line was supposed to extend to Coney Island. The construction of the subway along Nostrand Avenue spurred real estate development in the surrounding areas. In September 1917, the line was projected to open at the end of 1918. The Nostrand Avenue Line opened on August 23, 1920 at 12:40 AM.
The line was planned to be extended to Marine Park, Brooklyn (at what is now Kings Plaza) under either Utica Avenue, using a brand-new line, or Nostrand Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, using the then-new IRT Nostrand Avenue Line as part of the Dual Contacts There were also alternate plans for the Nostrand Avenue Line to continue down Nostrand Avenue to Sheepshead Bay.
In January 1919, the Public Service Commission decided that the Nostrand Avenue Line should be extended to Coney Island using the Manhattan Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The extension would have meant that passengers wishing to get to Coney Island would not have to pay the double fare that was required to get there via the Brooklyn Rapid Transit lines. Previously, the construction of a yard south of Flatbush Avenue was considered, and the yard could be built in conjunction with the new extension. The Manhattan Beach Branch would have had to been electrified. The connection was estimated to cost $250,000. Two additional tracks would have been built along the Manhattan Beach right-of-way so that the other tracks could be used for freight. With the additional costs of the tracks the project would have cost $950,000.
The Nostrand Avenue line was planned to be extended in 1929 as part of the IND Second System. The line would have been extended as a subway to Kings Highway, and then as an elevated line to Avenue S at the cost of $7,400,000. South of Avenue S the line would continue to Voohries Avenue on a four-track structure shared with the proposed Utica Avenue Line for $3,200,000.
In 1939, the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line was planned to be extended to Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay as a subway to Avenue T and an elevated from there to Voorhies Avenue. In 1946, the New York City Board of Transportation issued a $1 billion plan to extend subway service to the farthest reaches of the outer boroughs, and as part of the plan the line was again projected to extend to Voorhies Avenue.
On September 13, 1951, the Board of Estimate approved a plan put forth by the Board of Transportation that would cost $500,000,000. As part of the plan the Nostrand Avenue Line was to be extended to Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay.
The Nostrand Avenue Line was once again slated to be extended further south in 1968 as part of the newly created Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Program for Action. This was to have been several extensions to serve the then-burgeoning areas of Mill Basin and Spring Creek. The Rogers Junction on the IRT Eastern Parkway Line was a serious traffic bottleneck during the rush hours due to the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line tracks' at-grade junctions with the bi-level IRT Eastern Parkway Line. The Rogers Junction would have to be reconstructed with flying junctions to increase capacity for several extensions. The initial plan had the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line would be extended past Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn College along Flatbush Avenue to a new modern terminal at Avenue U at Kings Plaza. This extension was projected to cost $60 million. Other plans had the line extended along Nostrand Avenue from Avenue H, where the exiting tunnel ends, to Sheepshead Bay at Avenue W or Voorhies Avenue; this second plan had been proposed as part of the line's original construction. The Nostrand Avenue plan, Route 29–C, which was approved by the Board of Estimate on June 3, 1969, would have had three stations added at Kings Highway, Avenue R, and Avenue W, with a storage yard constructed south of Avenue W. The construction of either extension would have reduced delays and improved operational efficiency because Flatbush Avenue would not need to be a terminal any longer.
In the summer of 1972, the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line extension to Avenue W was being designed. By November 1974, the MTA projected that by 1993, the Nostrand Avenue extension would be open. Due to the 1975–76 fiscal crisis that affected the city, most of the remaining projects did not have funding, so they were declined. Expected to be completed by the mid-1970s and early 1980s, lines for the Program for Action had to be reduced or canceled altogether due to the 1970s fiscal crisis.
In 1968, and again in 1989, the MTA gave consideration to extending the Nostrand Avenue Line approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) beyond the Flatbush Avenue station to provide room for turnaround facilities to eliminate the operational restrictions caused by the current layout.
In October 2008, the Regional Plan Association in the report Tomorrow's Transit suggested that the Nostrand Avenue Line be extended two stops to Kings Highway as a way to improve travel times and reliability for subway service on the Brooklyn IRT.
Extent and service
All services serve the entire line and make all stops.
The two tracks split off from the local tracks of the IRT Eastern Parkway Line and diverge away in the vicinity of Rogers Avenue at the Rogers Avenue Junction, turning south onto Nostrand Avenue to/from the Nostrand Avenue Line. Running beneath Nostrand Avenue, the line serves the neighborhoods of southern Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush, and the Brooklyn College area. The line's final station is Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College, where there is an unusual terminal setup. It is the only terminal station in the subway system at the end of a physical line that does not have an island platform, and it was built with two side platforms and two tracks to allow for a planned, but not carried out extension of the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line south towards Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. The platforms are connected at the south end just past the bumper blocks (forming a "U" shape), mitigating what is otherwise an inefficient terminal design. This terminal setup is inefficient, and combined with the Rogers Avenue Junction's also-inefficient design (see below), this limits capacity on the line. Therefore, some rush hour 2 and 5 trains run via the IRT New Lots Line.
The IRT Nostrand Avenue Line tunnels continue beyond the bumper blocks at Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue. They extend for several hundred feet to Avenue H. Up until about 2006, you could see the cemented over gratings extending down Nostrand Avenue. When a new building went up, the grates were removed. Prior to the building of the exit at the south end of the station, there was only a temporary wooden ramp connecting the platforms and the tunnels were actually visible to passengers.
Another factor limiting capacity on the line is the set up of the Rogers Avenue Junction, where trains can diverge from the IRT Eastern Parkway Line to the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line or continue on Eastern Parkway. Rogers Avenue Junction was built when the Nostrand Avenue Line was built, and it only connected the IRT Eastern Parkway Line local tracks to the Nostrand Avenue Line. From west to east between the Franklin Avenue station and the junction, the northbound local track descends to a lower level directly below the southbound local track. Then, the northbound express track, which is still on the upper level at this point, descends to the lower level directly below the southbound express track, creating a dual level two-over-two track layout.
At the junction, a switch on the upper level allows southbound 5 express trains to change to the local track, and a corresponding switch on the lower level allows 5 trains on the northbound local track to change to the express track. Directly to the east, all of the mainline tracks shift slightly to the north, and the mainline local tracks on both levels become the Nostrand Avenue Line tracks, which turn to the south. There is a closed tower at the south end of the southbound platform.
This junction is a severe traffic bottleneck during rush hours, and rebuilding it would require massive construction including the tearing up of Eastern Parkway. In 1968, as part of the Program for Action, a rebuilding of the junction was planned in order to alleviate congestion. However, financial troubles caused the plan to be dropped.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Time period details|
|Station||Services||Opened||Transfers and notes|
|Crown Heights||Begins as split from IRT Eastern Parkway Line local tracks (2 5 )|
|President Street||2 5||August 23, 1920|
|Prospect Lefferts Gardens||Sterling Street||2 5||August 23, 1920||B44 Select Bus Service|
|Winthrop Street||2 5||August 23, 1920||B44 Select Bus Service|
|East Flatbush||Church Avenue||2 5||August 23, 1920||B44 Select Bus Service|
|Beverly Road||2 5||August 23, 1920|
|Newkirk Avenue||2 5||August 23, 1920||B44 Select Bus Service|
|Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College||2 5||August 23, 1920||B44 Select Bus Service|
|Provision for future expansion|
- MTA. "Average weekday subway ridership". Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- "Brooklyn Tube Extensions Open: I.R.T. Begins Service on Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue Lines". New York Times. August 23, 1920. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
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- Media related to IRT Nostrand Avenue Line at Wikimedia Commons