Proposed expansion of the New York City Subway
Since the opening of the original New York City Subway line in 1904, various official and planning agencies have proposed numerous extensions to the subway system. One of the better known proposals was the "Second System", which was part of a plan by the Independent Subway to construct new subway lines in addition and take over existing subway lines and railroad right-of-ways. Though most of the routes proposed over the decades have never seen construction, discussion remains strong to develop some of these lines, to alleviate existing subway capacity constraints and overcrowding, the most notable being the Second Avenue Subway.
- 1 Triborough System
- 2 Mayor Hylan's plan
- 3 Subways to New Jersey
- 4 1929–1939 plans
- 5 1940–1999 plans
- 6 21st-century expansion
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
This was a proclamation for new subway lines to the Bronx and Brooklyn. These lines are the IRT Lexington Avenue Line, IRT Pelham Line and IRT Jerome Avenue Line. The Manhattan Bridge line described below later became the BMT Fourth Avenue Line, the BMT West End Line, the BMT Sea Beach Line, and the Nassau Street loops.
The route of the new subway … comprises a main trunk north and south through Manhattan Borough on Lexington Avenue and Irving Place from the Harlem River to Tenth St. and on Broadway, Vesey and Church Sts. from Tenth St. to the Battery; two branches in Bronx Borough, one northeast via 138th St. Southern Boulevard and Westchester Ave. to Pelham Bay Park. the other northerly via River Ave. and Jerome Ave.. to Woodlawn Road, connecting with the Manhattan trunk by a tunnel under the Harlem River; a Manhattan-Brooklyn line extending from the North River via Canal Street across the East River on the Manhattan Bridge to connect with the Fourth Avenue subway in Brooklyn now being built, which thus becomes an integral part of the larger system; two branches southerly from the Fourth Ave. line extending south to Fort Hamilton and southeast to Coney Island; and a loop feeder line in Brooklyn through Lafayette Ave. and Broadway, connecting with the Fourth Ave. line at one end. and at the other crossing the Williamsburg Bridge and entering the Centre Street Loop subway in Manhattan which is thus also incorporated in the system.
This was part of the Dual Contracts, signed on March 19, 1913 and also known as the Dual Subway System. These 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 the IRT and BMT.
Mayor Hylan's plan
On August 28, 1922, Mayor John Francis Hylan revealed his own plans for the subway system, which was relatively small at the time. His plan included taking over nearly 100 miles of existing lines and building over 100 miles of new lines. Construction of all these new lines would be completed by December 31, 1925, and passengers would be able to ride between the ends of New York City on one fare. The lines were designed to compete with the IRT and BMT.
Hylan's plan contained the following lines:
- A West Side trunk line in Manhattan between 14th Street and the city limits at Yonkers. The line would be 4 tracks between 14th St. and 162nd Street, 3 tracks to Dyckman Street, and 2 tracks to the terminal. There would be a two-track spur from 162nd St. to 190th St. via Amsterdam Avenue. From 14th Street, the line would split; two tracks would connect to the BMT Canarsie Line and two tracks would continue south to a loop at Battery Park and an East River tunnel to Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street, Brooklyn. Supposedly, there was also a plan of a line to Red Hook.
- A trunk line, 4 tracks, on First Avenue from the Harlem River to 10th Street. From 10th Street, the line would split. Two tracks would run via Third Avenue and the Bowery to a new Lafayette Avenue subway in Brooklyn. The other two would run to a loop near City Hall. From the Harlem River, the line would run to 161st Street, and split into two 3-track routes: one to Fordham Road & Southern Blvd and the other to Webster Ave. & Fordham Road, where it would join the current IRT White Plains Road line and continue to 241st Street. Since this portion of the IRT El was already built to BMT clearances, and Hylan's system would consider using BMT clearances as well, all that would have to be done along this section is shave back the platforms.
- A line from 125th Street (near today's Henry Hudson Parkway) crosstown, to and across the East River, to Astoria, Queens, likely connecting to the BMT Astoria Line.
- A new subway line, with between two and four tracks at various areas, from approximately the Hunters Point Avenue station on today's IRT Flushing Line in Queens, heading in a southeasterly direction to Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. At Lafayette Avenue, the line would split. Two tracks would turn into a four-track line along Lafayette Avenue. The other two tracks would run to Flatbush and Franklin Avenues.
- A 4-track subway line from Brooklyn's Borough Hall via the Lafayette Avenue subway to Bedford Avenue. From there it was three tracks to Broadway to Cypress Hills, Brooklyn where the line would continue on the present-day BMT Jamaica Line. (The line would have ended at 168th Street, where the BMT Jamaica Line once ended.) The subway would have run directly under the line along Broadway giving it direct competition for passengers, and (in Hylan's opinion) draining revenues from the BMT. Two tracks of the Lafayette Avenue subway would connect with the proposed First Avenue line.
- A new branch off the IRT Eastern Parkway Line in Brooklyn onto Utica Avenue, running under Utica to Flatlands Avenue.
- A 4-track subway under Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to Nostrand Avenue, to Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, turning west onto Emmons Avenue to Surf Avenue in Coney Island. A branch of this line would head out to Floyd Bennett Field under Flatbush Avenue.
- Extension of the BMT Canarsie Line to the BMT Jamaica Line somewhere beyond 121st Street in Queens.
- A new line running from Prospect Avenue via Fort Hamilton Parkway, to 10th Avenue, terminating at 90th Street. BMT Culver Line trains would use this line.
- Extension of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in Brooklyn, south to Bay Ridge – 95th Street.
- Extension of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line east to the Fort Hamilton Parkway Line and the BMT West End Line.
- A two-track line from the BMT Fourth Avenue Line at 67th Street to Staten Island via the Staten Island Tunnel.
- Extension of the IRT New Lots Line from New Lots Avenue to Lefferts Boulevard.
- Extension of the IRT Flushing Line to Bell Boulevard in Bayside via Main Street, Kissena Boulevard, and Northern Boulevard.
- A branch off the IRT Flushing Line to Jamaica from Roosevelt Avenue.
None of these lines were actually completed, except for the 95th Street extension on the Fourth Avenue Line.
However, some of Hylan's planned lines were built to completion. Completed lines included:
- Two major trunk lines in midtown Manhattan, with one running under Eighth Avenue and one under Sixth Avenue, which already had an elevated line.
- A crosstown subway under 53rd Street (connecting with the Eighth and Sixth Avenue subways) running under the East River to Queens Plaza (Long Island City), meeting with a Brooklyn–Queens crosstown line, and continuing under Queens Boulevard and Hillside Avenue to 179th Street, where bus service would converge.
- A subway under the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, diverging from the Eighth Avenue Line in Manhattan at 145th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue.
A report, "Proposed Subway Plan for Subway Relief and Expansion" by Major Philip Mathews, published on December 24, 1926, did not agree with the Board of Transportation's basic plan. He cited these reasons:
- There would be no benefit to Brooklyn riders at all; congestion in Brooklyn would not be addressed.
- Crowding along the IRT Third Avenue Line, IRT Pelham Line and IRT White Plains Road Line in the Bronx would not be alleviated. The Independent's only line in the Bronx that made it to fruition, planned along the Grand Concourse, would only alleviate congestion on the IRT Jerome Avenue Line line, even though Hylan really wanted all of the IRT lines in the central Bronx to be torn down.
- Passengers of the BMT Astoria Line and IRT Flushing Line would see little relief from crowding.
Instead, Mathews proposed these other lines:
- Connect the IND Eighth Avenue Line to the BMT Southern Division lines using a link from Wall or Fulton Streets to Chambers Street. Connections could be made with the south side of the Manhattan Bridge. (This was later to be the Chrystie Street Connection to the IND Sixth Avenue Line instead.)
- Extend the BMT Canarsie Line to Eighth Avenue, which was done. This would relieve congestion at Union Square and allow north/south connections more easily.
- Build a four-track Third Avenue subway (IRT clearances) from City Hall to a connection with the White Plains Road and Pelham Lines. In the other direction, the line would run from City Hall to Wall Street, then across the East River to the IRT Eastern Parkway Line near Franklin Avenue.
- Have the IRT and BMT run joint service in Queens. (This was the Dual Contracts.)
- Creation of a four-track Brooklyn-Queens crosstown line designed for extension into Staten Island and the Bronx.
- Creation of a Queens subway line from Jamaica to 8th Avenue, Manhattan, facilitating transfers to the Brooklyn Crosstown line and to all north and south lines in Manhattan. This was the IND Queens Boulevard Line.
Subways to New Jersey
Principal features of a comprehensive plan for passenger transportation between communities in the nine northern counties of New Jersey and the city of New York are outlined in a report submitted on Jan. 15 to the Legislature of the state by the North Jersey Transit Commission. A preliminary report presented about a year ago was abstracted in Electric Railway Journal for Feb. 7, 1925... The ultimate object of the program recommended is the creation of a new electric railway system comprising 82.6 miles of route, and the electrification of 399 route-miles of railroad now operated by steam. As the first step it is proposed to construct an interstate loop line 17.3 miles in length connecting with all of the north Jersey commuters' railroads and passing under the Hudson River into New York City by two tunnels, one uptown and one downtown. A new low-level subway through Manhattan would complete the loop. Construction costs of this preliminary project are estimated at $154,000,000, with $40,000,000 additional for equipment. The cost of power facilities is not included in this estimate.
Because it would be utilized in both directions, the capacity of the proposed interstate loop line would be equivalent, it is said, to two 2-track lines or one 4-track line from New Jersey to New York City due to its having two crossings between New Jersey and New York. The loop was said to be able to carry 192,500 passengers per hour, or 4.62 million daily passengers, had it been built. The estimate was based on the operation of 35 trains per hour in each direction, and each train would be eleven cars long and would carry 100 passengers per car. It was to be built as a multi-phase project, wherein the IRT and BMT would work together to build that system to New Jersey. Extensions of the IRT Flushing Line and BMT Canarsie Line were both considered; the Canarsie Line was to be extended to Hoboken near the Palisades, while the Flushing Line was to be extended to Franklin Street between Boulevard and Bergenline Avenues in Union City. Ultimately, the cost was too great, and with the Great Depression, these ideas were quickly shot down.
On November 16, 2010, the plan was revisited again, as The New York Times reported that Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration had been working on a plan to extend the 7 service across the Hudson River to Hoboken and continue to Secaucus Junction in New Jersey, where it would connect with most New Jersey Transit commuter lines. It would offer New Jersey commuters a direct route to Grand Central Terminal on the East Side of Manhattan and connections to most other New York City subway routes. This was being planned as an extension of the already-under construction 7 Subway Extension (see below). In April 2012, citing budget considerations, the director of the MTA, Joe Lhota, said that it was doubtful the extension would be built in the foreseeable future, suggesting that the Gateway Project was a much more likely solution to congestion at Hudson River crossings. However, a feasibility study commissioned by the city and released in April 2013 revived hope for the project, with Mayor Bloomberg saying "Extending the 7 train to Secaucus is a promising potential solution ... and is deserving of serious consideration."
|Borough||Number of route miles|
Before unification in 1940, the government of New York City made plans for expanding the subway system, under a plan referred to in contemporary newspaper articles as the IND Second System (due to the fact that most of the expansion was to include new IND lines, as opposed to BMT/IRT lines). The first one, conceived in 1929, was to be part of the city-operated Independent Subway System (IND). By 1939, with unification planned, all three systems were included. Very few of these far-reaching lines were built, though provisions were made for future expansion on lines that intersect the proposals. The core Manhattan lines of the expansion were the Second Avenue Line (with an extension into the Bronx) and the Worth Street Line (connecting to the Rockaways). The Rockaways were eventually served by the subway via a city takeover of the Long Island Rail Road's Rockaway Beach Branch. The Second Avenue Subway is under construction as of 2015 and is scheduled for passenger service in December 2016. It is notable that the majority of the proposed lines were to be built as elevated subways, likely a cost-cutting measure. The majority of the expansion was to occur in Queens, with the original proposal suggesting 52 miles of track be built in Queens alone. As this grandiose expansion was not built, the subway system is only 3⁄4 of what it was planned to be.
The first plan was made on September 15, 1929 (before the IND even opened), and is detailed in the table below. Cost is only for construction, and doesn't include land acquisition or other items.
|Line||Streets||From||To||Tracks||Route miles||Track miles||Cost||Notes|
|East Manhattan trunk line (Second Avenue Line)||Water Street – New Bowery – Chrystie Street||Pine Street||Houston Street||2 from Pine Street to Chambers Street
4 to Houston Street
|Second Avenue||Houston Street||Harlem River||4 to 61st Street
6 to 125th Street
4 to Harlem River
|61st Street Line||Sixth Avenue – 61st Street||52nd Street||Second Avenue||2||1.1||2.2||$6,700,000||subway|
|(Rockaway Line)||Worth Street – East Broadway – Grand Street||Church Street||East River||2||1.95||3.9||$13,300,000||subway|
|(Utica Avenue Line)||Houston Street||Essex Street||East River||2||.93||1.86||$7,900,000||subway|
|Bronx trunk line||Alexander Avenue – Melrose Avenue – Boston Road||Harlem River||West Farms||4||3.97||15.88||$40,400,000||subway, with a portal between Vyse Avenue and 177th Street, then elevated into the existing IRT White Plains Road Line near 180th Street|
|White Plains Road Line||Morris Park Avenue – Wilson Avenue||Garfield Street||Boston Road||2||3.5||7.9||$13,700,000||branching off the existing elevated IRT White Plains Road Line, and then going into subway|
|IRT Lafayette Avenue Line||163rd Street – Hunts Point – Lafayette Avenue – 177th Street||Washington Avenue at Brook Avenue||East Tremont Avenue||2||5.02||10.04||$12,900,000||subway to near Edgewater Road and Seneca Avenue, then elevated|
|Concourse Line Extension||Burke Avenue – Boston Road||Webster Avenue||Baychester Avenue||2||2.15||4.3||$8,900,000||extension of the Concourse Line|
|White Plains Road Line||180th Street||241st Street||4.40||13.2||$2,100,000||owned by IRT, to be taken over ("recaptured") by IND|
|Broadway Branch Line (Rockaway Line)||Broadway||East River||Havemeyer Street at South Fourth Street||2||3.16||13.5||$34,800,000||subway|
|Utica Avenue Line (and Rockaway Line from Havemeyer Street to Stuyvesant Avenue)||Grand Street – South Fourth Street – Beaver Street||East River||Stuyvesant Avenue||2 to Driggs Avenue
4 to Union Avenue
8 to Bushwick Avenue
4 to Stuyvesant Avenue
|Stuyvesant Avenue – Utica Avenue||Broadway||Flatbush Avenue||4||5.85||23.4||$39,300,000||subway to Avenue J, then elevated|
|Avenue S||Utica Avenue||Nostrand Avenue||2||1.1||2.2||$2,000,000||elevated|
|Nostrand Avenue||Avenue S||Voorhies Avenue||4||1.3||5.2||$3,200,000||elevated|
|Rockaway Line||Myrtle Avenue||Bushwick Avenue||Palmetto Avenue||4||1.34||5.36||$14,300,000||subway|
|Fulton Street Line||Liberty Avenue||Fulton Street and Eastern Parkway||Grant Avenue||4||1.84||7.36||$13,500,000||subway extending the Fulton Street Line to a portal at Liberty Avenue and Crescent Street, then elevated to connect to the BMT Liberty Avenue Line (now part of the Fulton Street Line) at Grant Avenue|
|Nostrand Avenue Extension||Flatbush Avenue||Avenue S||2||2.25||4.5||$7,400,000||Extension of Nostrand Avenue Line as subway to Kings Highway, then elevated|
|Rockaway Line||Myrtle Avenue – Central Avenue||Palmetto Avenue||78th Street||4||2.1||8.4||$17,300,000||subway to Central Avenue near 73rd Place, then along the surface or elevated|
|98th Street – 99th Street – Hawtree Street||78th Street||Hammels Station||4 to Howard Beach
2 to Hammels
|9.2||26.2||$20,200,000||along the surface or elevated|
|Rockaway Beach Boulevard||Beach 116th Street||Mott Avenue||2||5.0||10.0||$7,400,000||along the surface or elevated|
|Newport Avenue Line
(Rockaway Line Extension)
|Newport Avenue||Beach 116th Street||Beach 149th Street||2||1.6||3.2||$2,400,000||along the surface or elevated|
|Winfield Spur||Garfield Avenue – 65th Place – Fresh Pond Road||Broadway and 78th Street||Central Avenue||2||3.34||6.68||$10,100,000||subway to 45th Avenue, then elevated to Fresh Pond Road, then subway|
|Brinckerhoff - Hollis Avenue Line
(Fulton Street Line Extension)
|Liberty Avenue – 105th Avenue – Brinckerhoff Avenue – Hollis Avenue||Lefferts Boulevard||Springfield Boulevard||2||6.2||13.3||$10,700,000||elevated extension of the BMT Liberty Avenue Line (now part of the Fulton Street Line)
includes branch connection to BMT Jamaica Line (BMT) at 168th Street, via 180th Street and Jamaica Avenue
|Van Wyck Boulevard Line||137th Street – Van Wyck Boulevard||87th Avenue||Rockaway Boulevard||2||2.3||4.6||$6,600,000||subway to about 116th Avenue, then elevated|
|120th Avenue Line||120th Avenue – Springfield Boulevard||Hawtree Street near North Conduit Boulevard||Foch Boulevard||4 to Van Wyck Boulevard
2 to Foch Boulevard
|Bayside Line||Roosevelt Avenue – First Street – Station Road – 38th Avenue||Main Street||221st Street||3 to 147th Street
2 to 221st Street
|3.6||7.78||$9,600,000||extends the BMT/IRT Flushing Line as a subway to 155th Street, then elevated|
|College Point and Whitestone Line||149th Street – 11th Avenue||Roosevelt Avenue and 147th Street||11th Avenue and 122nd Street||2||3.4||6.8||$6,000,000||subway to 35th Avenue, then elevated|
|Long Island City-Horace Harding Boulevard Line||Ditmars Avenue – Astoria Boulevard – 112th Street – Nassau Boulevard (Long Island Expressway)||Second Avenue||Cross Island Boulevard||2 to Astoria Boulevard
4 to Parsons Boulevard
2 to Cross Island Boulevard
|8.1||26.71||$17,700,000||extends the BMT/IRT Astoria Line as an elevated, except that part of it may be depressed near Nassau Boulevard (Long Island Expressway)|
|Liberty Avenue Line||Grant Avenue||Lefferts Boulevard||3||2.3||6.9||$1,600,000||owned by BMT, to be taken over ("recaptured") by IND
now part of the Fulton Street Line
- A – 207th Street – Eighth Avenue – Fulton – Lefferts Boulevard
- AA – 168th Street – Eighth Avenue – Worth Street – South Fourth Street – Myrtle Avenue – Far Rockaway (non-rush)
- BB – 168th Street – Sixth Avenue – Worth Street – South Fourth Street – Myrtle Avenue – Far Rockaway (rush hours)
- CC – Concourse – Eighth Avenue – Houston Street – South Fourth Street – Utica Avenue
- D – Concourse – Sixth Avenue – Houston Street – South Fourth Street – Utica Avenue
- E – Archer – Queens Boulevard – Eighth Avenue – Fulton – Rockaway Park
- EE – Long Island Expressway – Queens Boulevard – 60th Street – BMT Broadway Line (Long Island Expressway added from ERA)
- F – Queens Boulevard – Sixth Avenue – Houston Street – Culver
- GG – Forest Hills – Crosstown – Church Avenue
- HH – Euclid Avenue – Rockaway Park – Far Rockaway (nights)
- HH – Cross Bay Boulevard – Far Rockaway (days)
- J – Crosstown – Myrtle Avenue – Roosevelt
- K – Far Rockaway – Roosevelt
- Q – Dyre Avenue – Second Avenue – Manhattan Bridge – BMT Southern Division
- R – 110th Street – Second Avenue – BMT Broadway Line
- T – Queens Boulevard Line – 63rd Street – Second Avenue – South Fourth – Utica Avenue
- V – Archer – Queens Boulevard – Sixth Avenue – Houston – Culver
- W – Pelham – Second Avenue – Court Street – Fulton – 105th Street
Other plans during the same time
Other plans, proposed during the same time as the IND Second System plans, included the following:
- (1931 plan) A line splitting from the Second Avenue Line north of Houston Street, running southeast, merging with the Houston Street Line, and crossing the East River from Stanton Street towards the huge line under South Fourth Street.
- (1931 plan) A line splitting from the Crosstown Line where it turns from Lafayette Avenue to Marcy Avenue, continuing under Lafayette Avenue and Stanhope Street to a junction with the line under Myrtle Avenue.
- (1939 plan) A line splitting from the South Brooklyn (Culver) Line at Fort Hamilton Parkway, and running under Fort Hamilton Parkway to end at 86th Street. A branch would split to run under Ovington Avenue and Senator Street, with a tunnel under the Narrows to Staten Island at the St. George Terminal. The line would split, with the north branch ending at Westervelt Avenue around Hamilton Avenue, and the south branch ending at Grant Street around St. Pauls Street. It was presumably designed this way to provide future service to both the Main Line and North Shore Staten Island Railway lines. The Staten Island Tunnel commenced construction in the 1920s, but was not completed.
- (1939 plan) An extension of the IRT Lenox Avenue Line to connect with the IRT Ninth Avenue Line.
- (1940 plan, revised 1945) The IND Fulton Street Line would connect to what is now the IND Rockaway Line. A branch of the IND Fulton Street Line would run to a stub-end terminal at 105th Street. The line, east of Euclid Avenue, would be 4 tracks until Cross Bay Boulevard, where the two branches would split.
- (unknown date) A third 2-track tunnel under the East River, from the north side of the South Fourth Street/Union Avenue station (as built for six tracks) west to Delancey Street.
- (unknown date) A line splitting from the Stuyvesant Avenue line, going southeast under Broadway.
- (unknown date) A line under Flushing Avenue from the huge line under Beaver Street to Horace Harding Boulevard (Long Island Expressway).
An earlier plan in 1920 had an even more expansive plan, with several dozen subway lines going across all five boroughs.
Provisions for new lines
The following provisions were made for connections and transfers to the new lines. It is of note that only four of these provisions were completed.
- At Second Avenue on the IND Sixth Avenue Line, a large open space was built above for the four-track IND Second Avenue Line. The Second Avenue Line will be built under this space, if a transfer station is ever built.
- At East Broadway on the IND Sixth Avenue Line (under Rutgers Street at this station), part of a two-track station was built for the IND Worth Street Line under East Broadway, above the existing line. This is now part of the mezzanine.
- At Broadway on the IND Crosstown Line, traces of stairways are visible going up to a six-track station on the line to Utica Avenue.
- At Utica Avenue on the IND Fulton Street Line, a four-track station above can be seen in the ceiling of the existing station. The existing mezzanine passes over the unused space. This was intended for the proposed Utica Avenue line towards Sheepshead Bay.
- At Roosevelt Avenue on the IND Queens Boulevard Line, a two-track upper level was built for the Winfield Spur towards the line to the Rockaways. Unlike the other stations, this one was completed, except for track.
- The center tracks on the IND Sixth Avenue Line dead end at the curve from Houston Street to Essex Street; these were planned to continue toward the Rockaways.
- The tracks that the IND 63rd Street Line uses to split from the IND Sixth Avenue Line were built for a similar proposed line under 61st Street, connecting to the Second Avenue Subway.
- The Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street subway station has two island platforms, which were originally built with now-demolished walls on their northern sides. The platforms were designed to provide a cross-platform interchange to the Second Avenue Subway.
- The upper level relay tracks east of 179th Street on the IND Queens Boulevard Line were intended to continue toward Floral Park.
- The relay tracks east of Euclid Avenue on the IND Fulton Street Line were intended to continue toward Cambria Heights in Queens. As late as 1951, these relay tracks were still planned to go as far as 105th Street, with a connection to the IND Rockaway Line east of Cross Bay Boulevard.
- The Nevins Street station on the IRT Eastern Parkway Line has an unused center trackway and an unused lower level intended for expansion into northern or southern Brooklyn.
- South of the 36th Street station on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line, there are three trackways that diverge from the line at a flying junction. These trackways end under the eastern curb of Fourth Avenue.
- The BMT Fourth Avenue Line has provisions for two more tracks south of 59th Street, where the line becomes double-tracked:
- There are four trackways on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line bridge over the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch despite the fact that only the northernmost two tracks are in use.
- The 86th Street station on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line appears to have "escapes" in the wall bricked over along the Manhattan-bound track, for the never-built fourth tracks.
- The northbound side platforms of Bay Ridge Avenue and 77th Street do not have platform pillars because the platforms were supposed to be temporary; however, the southbound platforms do have pillars.
- Bellmouths for uncompleted lines are scattered in numerous stations, including at 21st Street – Queensbridge, 59th Street, 63rd Drive – Rego Park, Bowery, Canal Street, and Woodhaven Boulevard:
- East of 21st Street – Queensbridge, before the IND 63rd Street Line connects to the IND Queens Boulevard Line, the tracks veer left while the tunnel wall goes straight. The bellmouths were part of a proposed super-express bypass running under the LIRR mainline between Queens Boulevard and Forest Hills. This plan was not in the original Second System plan, but rather, in a 1950s plan that had the tracks from 21st Street – Queensbridge go straight to Forest Hills.
- There are bellmouths and space for two additional trackways (for a total of six) on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line south of 59th Street. These provisions were for the Staten Island Tunnel, which would have intersected with the line south of 59th Street.
- East of 63rd Drive – Rego Park on the IND Queens Boulevard Line, bellmouths were built for a proposed connection to the LIRR's Rockaway Beach Branch. They may be used if the Rockaway Beach Branch was ever reused for subway service.
- A junction was built on the IND Queens Boulevard Line for the line under Van Wyck Boulevard. The junction was completed and has been connected to the IND Archer Avenue Line.
- The completed IND 63rd Street Line, which the F train uses to cross the East River, was designed and built with bell mouths to allow for the construction of connections to the planned Second Avenue Subway for service to/from the north and south along Second Avenue. Those bellmouths will be used in later construction, unlike most other Second System bellmouths.
- A line to the Rockaways would have split from the IND Eighth Avenue Line (under Church Street at this point), east under Worth Street. The junction was built and is used by the local tracks to World Trade Center. The branch to the Rockaways was completed from the IND Fulton Street Line in 1956.
Alleged provisions include:
- A skylight is rumored to exist at the northeast corner of Pitkin Avenue and 80th Street, supposedly for the cancelled IND Fulton Street Line extension.
- A proposed subway station, located at Jamaica Avenue below 212th Street in Queens Village, is rumored to have skylights on the sidewalk along 212th Street and Jamaica Avenue.
- There is allegedly a subway tunnel under 73rd Avenue right to Alley Pond Park.
- Hillside Avenue widens out considerably at Springfield Boulevard in Queens Village, and gains a very wide median. As the 1929 plan has Springfield Boulevard as the eastern terminus of the IND Queens Boulevard Line, the wide median may have been constructed in advance for the never-built subway station there.
- The side platforms of Grand Street station allegedly have walls that could easily be demolished.
The South Fourth Street shell, if complete, was supposed to handle service as follows:
Another plan for the South Fourth Street shell was simpler:
The Utica Avenue station shell, if complete, would be in the standard local-express-express-local platform configuration.
The Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue shell, a two-trackbed island-platformed station, would have been for local trains terminating at the station. Express trains would have stopped at the lower level (IND Queens Boulevard Line) platforms.
In 1938 and 1940, the Board of Transportation put forth revised plans for additional lines.
- The remnant of the IRT Ninth Avenue Line at 155th Street would connect with the IRT Lenox Avenue Line. However, the connection between the Ninth Avenue Line and the Lenox Avenue Line never occurred because the third rail in the tunnel between Sedgwick Avenue and Anderson–Jerome Avenues would need to be modified to accommodate newer subway cars, and the cost was too great.
- The abandoned New York, Westchester and Boston Railway ROW would be rehabilitated and connected to the IRT Pelham Line.
- The IND Concourse Line eastward towards Gun Hill Road.
- The Second Avenue Subway would have a northern terminal at Harding Avenue in the Bronx, and connect into the Court Street station in Brooklyn.
- The IND Sixth Avenue Line would get express service between West Fourth Street – Washington Square and 34th Street and an extension to 145th Street via Central Park and Morningside Drive.
- The BMT Broadway Line at 57th Street – Seventh Avenue would tunnel under Central Park to 72nd Street, then turn east into Queens via the Long Island Expressway and terminate at Marathon Parkway.
- The local tracks of the IND Eighth Avenue Line would be extended crosstown via Worth Street to the Bowery and then to Driggs Avenue in Brooklyn. The South Fourth Street junction would be completed.
- A connection at 11th Street would join the BMT 60th Street Tunnel to the IND Queens Boulevard Line's local tracks at Queens Plaza.
- The IRT Flushing Line would be extended underground, through an embankment and open cut to Bell Boulevard and as an elevated to College Point.
- The LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch would be purchased and connected to the IND Queens Boulevard Line and run to the Rockaways. Only the portion south of Liberty Avenue was completed.
- The IND Queens Boulevard Line would be extended eastward, first to 184th Street, then to 212th Street as a 4-track subway, finally to Hillside Avenue and Little Neck Parkway as a 2-track subway.
- The Van Wyck stub at Briarwood – Van Wyck Boulevard would finally be completed, and extended to Rockaway Boulevard as a 2-track subway.
- The BMT Fulton Street Line would be extended to 106th Street as a 4-track subway and link up with the IND Rockaway Line. There would also be a further Fulton Street Line extension to 229th Street in Queens.
- A new IND line would run from Houston Street and Essex Street to Utica Avenue, then Flatbush Avenue, and terminate at Avenue U.
- The IRT Nostrand Avenue Line would be extended to Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay as a subway to Avenue T and elevated from there to Voorhies Avenue.
- The IND Brooklyn Line (what the IND Culver Line was called at the time) would be linked to the BMT Culver Line at Cortelyou Road. This was the only completed Brooklyn proposal.
- A branch of the BMT Culver Line would extend from around 37th Street, 10th Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway to the BMT West End Line at 86th Street. A connection would be built between the BMT West End Line and the IND South Brooklyn Line near Fort Hamilton Parkway.
- The BMT Franklin Avenue Line would be extended to Lafayette Avenue to form a connection with the IND Crosstown Line.
- A subway under the Narrows to the Staten Island Railway would be constructed. The Brooklyn portion would connect to the BMT Fourth Avenue Line at 68th Street and run to New Brighton and Tompkinsville on Staten Island.
The IND Concourse Line got funding to be extended beyond its current 205th Street terminal, but Bronx residents wanted to rehabilitate the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway right-of way. This became the IRT Dyre Avenue Line in December 1941, and the IND Concourse Line extension was not brought up again until 1968.
In 1951, a plan was put forth to the New York Board of Transportation. Many things were planned:
- Second Avenue Subway between 149th Street, the Bronx, to Grand Street, Manhattan. This line would handle 68 trains per hour (tph) (34 tph on the express tracks and 34 tph on the local tracks).
- Connections to the IRT Pelham Line at Third Avenue – 138th Street and to the IRT White Plains Road Line at Third Avenue – 149th Street.
- A tunnel to the IND Sixth Avenue Line via 57th Street.
- A tunnel under the East River to Eastern Queens via a planned super-express bypass to the LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch.
- Various Bronx IRT projects:
- Increase in capacity on the IRT Pelham Line.
- Connection of the IRT Dyre Avenue Line to the IRT White Plains Road Line.
- Increase in capacity on the IRT White Plains Road Line north of Gun Hill Road by 8 trains per hour. (At the time, the IRT Third Avenue Line still connected to the IRT White Plains Road Line at Gun Hill Road.)
- Increase in capacity on the IRT Jerome Avenue Line by 9 trains per hour.
- The Chrystie Street Connection:
- IND Sixth Avenue Line express tracks.
- DeKalb Avenue rebuilding, including closure of the Myrtle Avenue station. This would increase capacity by 18 tph.
- Connection of the IND Second Avenue and IND Sixth Avenue Lines to the BMT Jamaica Line and to the Manhattan Bridge.
- Increase in capacity on the BMT Brighton Line by 8 tph by adding a connection from the BMT Brighton Line to the IND Culver Line at Ditmas Avenue.
- 60th Street Tunnel Connection.
- Extension of the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line to Voorhies Avenue.
- Construction of the IRT Utica Avenue Line from Crown Heights – Utica Avenue to Kings Plaza.
- The IND Second Avenue Line with connections to IRT Dyre Avenue Line and IRT Pelham Line
- A crosstown line under 34th Street
- IND/BMT 63rd Street Line
- A new line running along Park Avenue in the Bronx
- Super-express bypass of IND Queens Boulevard Line
- New line splitting from the IND Queens Boulevard Line under the Long Island Expressway to Kissena Boulevard in Phase I and to Springfield Boulevard in Phase II
- Archer Avenue Line to Springfield Boulevard
- IRT Nostrand Avenue Line extension to Avenue W in Sheepshead Bay. This was by then the fifth time that the Nostrand Avenue extension was proposed.
- A new line running under Utica Avenue to Avenue U
- Extension of the BMT Canarsie Line to Nostrand Avenue or JFK Airport
- Extension of the IRT New Lots Line to Flatlands Avenue
- Extension of the IND Concourse Line to White Plains Road
The Archer Avenue Lines are two lines, split among the BMT and IND, mostly running under Archer Avenue in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. Conceived as part of these 1968 expansion plans, they opened on December 11, 1988. There are stub-end tunnels east of the line's northern terminus, Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer, on both levels, which extend past the station for possible future extensions.
The 63rd Street Lines are two lines also split among the BMT and IND. The short BMT line connects the express tracks of the BMT Broadway Line from 57th Street – Seventh Avenue to Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street, where it stub-ends. The IND line runs from the IND Sixth Avenue Line at 57th Street in Manhattan east under 63rd Street and the East River through the 63rd Street Tunnel to the IND Queens Boulevard Line in Queens. There are stub-end tunnels at the northern termini of each line; the BMT line has a stub end to the Second Avenue Subway, while the IND line has a stub-end to the Queens super-express bypass.
In 1999, the Regional Plan Association considered a full-length Second Avenue Subway from Broad Street to 125th Street, along with the LIRR East Side Access. It also planned the following extensions:
- a Co-op City extension of the Second Avenue Subway via the Amtrak right-of-way through the northeast Bronx
- a Grand Central Terminal spur of the Second Avenue Subway
- a super-express bypass from the Atlantic Terminal via the LIRR Atlantic Branch
- an extension to JFK Airport via the Van Wyck Expressway
- an extension to Laurelton via the LIRR Atlantic Branch
- a branch off the Second Avenue Subway at 14th Street to Avenue C, to merge with the IND Sixth Avenue Line at Essex Street
- a connection to the BMT Nassau Street Line near Delancey Street
- a super-express bypass of the Queens Boulevard Line from east of 21st Street – Queensbridge to east of Forest Hills – 71st Avenue
- a new interlocking at Prince Street to allow easy switching of trains between local and express tracks
The new set of extensions proposed by the RPA, dubbed "MetroLink", would make use of existing commuter rail infrastructure, so as to make it interoperable with the New York City Subway. Nine hundred and fifty "Rx" hybrid railcars would be ordered, with yard expansions and new yards being built. MetroLink, consisting of 31 new metro stations (not counting three recycled commuter rail stations) and 19 new route miles of track (not including existing commuter rail and then-under construction AirTrain JFK route miles) would have reduced the load on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line, the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, and the IND Queens Boulevard Line. Two of these stations would be in Brooklyn, three in Queens, nine in the Bronx, and twenty in Manhattan. Five services would be run:
- The Co-op City–Second Avenue–Broadway–Whitehall Street service
- The 125th Street–Second Avenue–Atlantic Terminal Bypass–Jamaica Center service
- The Grand Central–Second Avenue–Atlantic Terminal Bypass–JFK Airport service
- The Grand Central–Second Avenue–Fourth Avenue–West End Line to Coney Island service
- The Laurelton–Jamaica Center–Queens Bypass–Second Avenue–Lower East Side–Culver Express to Avenue X service
Stations would have been located at:
- New Second Avenue Subway (15 stations):
- Lexington Avenue at 125th Street (transfer with 4 5 6 <6> trains)
- Grand Central Terminal (transfer with 4 5 6 <6> 7 <7> S trains)
- Second Avenue at 116th, 106th, 96th, 86th, 72nd, 55th (transfer with 4 6 <6> E M trains), 44th, 34th, 23rd, 14th (transfer with L train), and Houston Streets
- Bowery/Canal Street
- Water Street at Wall/Fulton Streets and at Whitehall/Broad Streets
- New Lower East Side Line (4 stations):
- New Co-op City Line (9 stations):
- Atlantic Branch (5 stations):
The AirTrain JFK, Atlantic Branch, Main Line ROW, and Northeast Corridor would all be "recycled" to accommodate subway service under this plan. The Nostrand Avenue and East New York LIRR stations would also have been closed under MetroLink.
Since the 2000s, the New York City Subway has undergone its biggest expansion program since the late 1960s. There are least four stations under construction (five if the South Ferry station—built in 2009 but currently under reconstruction due to Hurricane Sandy—is counted) and up to 15 more subway stations definitively planned. Still, the 21st-century expansion plan pales in comparison to some of the subway system's other previous plans, as well as to the ambitious expansion of the subway in the early 20th century.
Current or completed plans
In mid-2005, construction commenced on the new South Ferry – Whitehall Street station on the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, which is located underneath an older loop-platformed station of the same name in South Ferry, Manhattan. It is designed as an ADA-accessible, two-track terminal, which allows all ten cars of the train to platform and all doors to be opened, as opposed to only the first five cars in the old station.
Originally budgeted at $400 million, the new South Ferry station cost a total of $530 million, with most of the money being a grant from the Federal Transit Administration earmarked for World Trade Center reconstruction. In January 2009, the opening was delayed because the tracks were too far from the edge of the platform. The problem was corrected and the station opened on March 16, 2009. It was the first new subway station completed since 1989 when the IND 63rd Street Line stations opened.
On October 29, 2012, the South Ferry station suffered extensive flooding damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Salt water filled the station from the track level all the way up to the station mezzanine, turning the station into a "large fish tank", as former MTA chairman Joseph Lhota described it. As a result, this section of the complex was closed until further notice. The station is expected to reopen in August 2016 after renovations, signal room relocations, and extensive waterproofing work costing $600 million. While the signal room itself could be delayed until 2019, the bid process for the contractor had started in early 2014 and was awarded on December 2014. Currently, the station is undergoing extensive reconstruction and restoration.
7 Subway Extension
The 7 Subway Extension — Hudson Yards Rezoning and Development Program is the plan to extend the IRT Flushing Line, which carries the 7 local and <7> express services, further westward into Manhattan. The extension stretches a total of 1 mile (1.6 km) from its current terminus at Times Square to a new western terminus at 34th Street and 11th Avenue. However, the tunnels are actually 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long. A second station at 10th Avenue – 41st Street was dropped from the plans in October 2007, but could be restored if funding can be found. The extension's opening had been delayed to June 2014, with the rest of the 34th Street station to open at the end of 2015. Michael Horodniceanu, chief of MTA Construction Company, told The New York Times that complications in the installation of the inclined elevator would likely cause a further delay of about three months, bringing the opening date to very late summer or early fall of 2014. Further complications in February 2014 brought the projected date of the opening to November 2014, then to February 2015, then spring 2015, and finally to summer 2015.
Second Avenue Subway
The Second Avenue Subway, having been repeatedly delayed and shaved back from a six-track combined local/express line to a two-track superexpress line since 1919 (with occasional construction between 1972 and 1976), was launched in 2007. A tunnelling contract was awarded to the consortium of Schiavone/Shea/Skanska (S3) by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on March 20, 2007. This followed preliminary engineering and a final tunnel design completed by a joint venture between AECOM and Arup. Parsons Brinckerhoff is the Construction Manager of the project. This contract, and the full funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, which was received in November 2007, is for Phase I of the project, a new line between the existing BMT 63rd Street Line and 96th Street and Second Avenue. The total cost of the 8.5-mile (13.7 km) line is expected to top $17 billion. As of 2013[update], Phase I, consisting of two miles (3.2 km) of tunnel and three stations, is under construction underneath Second Avenue in the borough of Manhattan, and is slated for completion in December 2016.
A ceremonial ground-breaking for the Second Avenue Subway was held on April 12, 2007; the contractor prepared the initial construction site at 96th Street on April 23, 2007. A tunnel boring machine (TBM) was originally expected to arrive six to eight months after construction began, but the utility relocation and excavation required to create its "launch box" delayed its deployment until May 2010. By May 2010, the TBM launch box was complete, and on May 14, 2010, MTA's contractors completed the TBM installation and turned it on. On March 28, 2011, S3, having completed the west tunnel to 65th Street, began drilling for the east tunnel. The TBM completed its run to the 63rd Street station's bellmouth on September 22, 2011.
A proposal for the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch would have the New York City Subway use the tracks to link Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx via the Hell Gate Bridge. In 1996 the Regional Plan Association conducted a study to determine the feasibility of the rail link. Based on Paris's RER commuter rail system, the Triboro RX proposal will create a loop around the city. It was first proposed by the Regional Plan Association in 1996, and has been denounced as disastrous by some. The proposed line, discussion of which was revived in 2012, would connect to all non-shuttle subway services. Obstacles for the proposal include the proposed Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel, the lack of electrification on the line, and the single-tracking in some parts of the line. Additionally, there is debate on where the line's northern terminus would be: some project it to end at Hunts Point, while others plan the line to end at Yankee Stadium.
Some plans call for the IND Rockaway Line to be extended along the right-of-way of the LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch, as the success of a new racino at Aqueduct Racetrack led to a proposal from Governor Andrew Cuomo to build a massive convention center in the vicinity. Talks of reactivating the line were publicly endorsed in February 2012 by Assemblymen Phillip Goldfeder and Michael G. Miller. Goldfeder commented “The commute for people here is only going to go from bad to worse. You can’t talk about a convention center without talking about transportation.” Goldfeder and Miller said they are not opposed to turning sections of the line into a park, but said people who live in Rockaway, Ozone Park and other areas have no quick or easy way to get into Manhattan.
The Genting Group, which operates the racino and has been asked to construct the convention center, are evaluating several plans to increase transportation access. Genting is committed to paying for part of the transportation improvements. Advocates of the Queensway, a proposed public park along the branch's route, are against resumption of rail service, stating that current bus service fills current transportation needs in the area.
Congressmen Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks added their support for the project in March 2013. Both representatives will push to allocate federal transportation subsidies to study a plan for restored passenger service.
LaGuardia Airport extension
The BMT Astoria Line extension to LaGuardia Airport is again being considered as part of LaGuardia's long-range expansion/renovation plan. Currently, no New York City Subway routes service the airport directly, but provisions for a subway connection are part of a 2014 long range rebuilding plan by the MTA.
Utica Avenue Line
In April 2015, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new plan for building a subway line under Utica Avenue in Brooklyn. Previous plans, most recently the Program for Action, had provisions for such a line. It would branch off from the IRT Eastern Parkway Line (2 3 4 5 trains) at Crown Heights – Utica Avenue. The new line being proposed is part of de Blasio's "One New York" plan to improve transit, reduce waste and emissions, and fight poverty, among other things. If built, the line would go to Flatbush Avenue, near Kings Plaza. However, since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had budget shortages as of April 2015[update], it is unclear how the line would be funded or built.
- Proposed Melbourne rail extensions and Proposed Melbourne tram extensions, similar proposed extensions in Melbourne
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Route map: Bing
- NYCsubway.org – IND Second System
- Abandoned Stations (A thorough treatment of the history of the abandoned subway stations)
- JoeKorNer – IND Second System (including a plan for a line to Staten Island)
- The Future NYC Subway (a thorough treatment of subway extensions that have been discussed, but never built)
- Jim O'Grady. Lost Subways: Abandoned Stations & Unbuilt Lines