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42nd Street station (IRT Third Avenue Line)

42nd Street was an elevated express station on the IRT Third Avenue Line in New York City. It had two levels with the lower level (built first) having three tracks. The main line tracks were served by two side platforms. A side platform connected to the southbound platform was used for shuttle service to Grand Central. The upper level was built as part of the Dual Contracts, and had one track and two side platforms over the two local tracks.

 42nd Street
Former New York City Subway station
Elevated R.R. 42nd Street branch. New York City, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (cropped).png
The side platform in the 1880s or 1890s looking west toward Grand Central
Station statistics
AddressEast 42nd Street and 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10036
LocaleMidtown Manhattan
Coordinates40°45′3″N 73°58′27.8″W / 40.75083°N 73.974389°W / 40.75083; -73.974389Coordinates: 40°45′3″N 73°58′27.8″W / 40.75083°N 73.974389°W / 40.75083; -73.974389
DivisionA (IRT)
ServicesIRT Third Avenue Line
Platforms2 side platforms (upper level express)
2 side platforms (lower level local)
1 side platform (shuttle)
Tracks3 (lower level)
1 (upper level)
Other information
OpenedAugust 26, 1878; 140 years ago (August 26, 1878) (shuttle)
September 16, 1878; 140 years ago (September 16, 1878) (67th St. Ext.)
ClosedDecember 23, 1923; 95 years ago (December 23, 1923) (shuttle)
May 12, 1955; 64 years ago (May 12, 1955)
Former/other namesThird Avenue
Station succession
Next north47th Street (3rd Ave. local)
106th Street (3rd Ave. express)
Grand Central (shuttle)
Next south34th Street (3rd Ave. local)
23rd Street (3rd Ave. express)


42nd Street station was built on August 26, 1878, by the New York Elevated Railway Company, and was the penultimate station on the Third Avenue El until it was expanded to 67th Street almost a month later. West of this station, the original line became the Grand Central Shuttle, serving Grand Central Depot until 1899, when it was replaced by Grand Central Station, which was itself replaced by Grand Central Terminal in 1913. From that point on, the next stop to the north was 47th Street for local trains and 106th Street for express trains. The next stop to the south was 34th Street for local trains and 23rd Street for express trains.

In 1904, Interborough Rapid Transit opened the Grand Central Subway station, which gained platforms for the IRT Flushing Line in 1915, and new platforms for the expanded IRT Lexington Avenue Line in 1918, the same year the original platforms at the station were converted for the 42nd Street Shuttle. By this time, the shuttle became obsolete and after the Grand Central El station was closed on December 6, 1923, the shuttle platform at 42nd Street was closed on December 23, 1923. When the IRT Second Avenue Line was closed on June 13, 1942, a free transfer for Third Avenue Line passengers was made available to and from the subway services at Grand Central–42nd Street to replace the direct service to lower Manhattan that was lost. The station closed entirely on May 12, 1955, with the ending of all service on the Third Avenue El south of 149th Street.[1]


  • "3rd Avenue El". Archived from the original on 27 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  • "Third Avenue Local". Station Reporter. Archived from the original on 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2009-01-25.

External linksEdit