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59th Street station (BMT Fourth Avenue Line)

59th Street is an express station on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at 59th Street and Fourth Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park, it is served by the N and R trains at all times, as well as some W trains during rush hours.

 59 Street
 "N" train​​"R" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
59th St 4th Av BMT td 02.jpg
The downtown platform
Station statistics
Address59th Street & Fourth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11220
LocaleSunset Park
Coordinates40°38′27.88″N 74°1′5.45″W / 40.6410778°N 74.0181806°W / 40.6410778; -74.0181806Coordinates: 40°38′27.88″N 74°1′5.45″W / 40.6410778°N 74.0181806°W / 40.6410778; -74.0181806
DivisionB (BMT)
LineBMT Fourth Avenue Line
Services      N all times (all times)
      R all times (all times)
      W limited rush hour service only (limited rush hour service only)
Transit connectionsBus transport New York City Bus: B9; B37 (on Third Avenue); B63 (on Fifth Avenue)
NYC Ferry: Rockaway and South Brooklyn routes (at Brooklyn Army Terminal)
Platforms2 island platforms
cross-platform interchange
Tracks4 (2 in regular service)
Other information
OpenedJune 22, 1915 (104 years ago) (1915-06-22)[1]
Station code035[2]
Accessiblenot ADA-accessible; currently undergoing renovations for ADA access
AccessibilityCross-platform wheelchair transfer available
Passengers (2018)3,998,207[3]Decrease 24.9%
Rank120 out of 424
Station succession
Next north36th Street (express): N all times except late nights
53rd Street (local): N late nightsR all timesW limited rush hour service only
Next southEighth Avenue (Sea Beach): N all timesW selected rush-hour trips
Bay Ridge Avenue (Bay Ridge): R all times


This station opened as the terminal of the initial portion of the initial portion of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line on June 22, 1915.[1]

On March 15, 1913, construction began on the section including this station, Route 11B1, which extended from 43rd Street to 61st Street. Originally, this section was planned to have two tracks, but after the connection to the Sea Beach Line was added to the plan during the middle of construction, the plan was changed to four tracks. This section was completed in 1915.[4]

As an express station, the platforms were originally 480 feet (150 m) long, allowing for eight-car expresses.[5] The station was lengthened to 615 feet (187 m) in the 1960s, and was overhauled in the late 1970s.

Elevator access for this station has been proposed for the late 2010s. However, the installation of elevators has been delayed due to a column replacement project above this section of the Fourth Avenue Line. Both the column replacement and the elevator installation require temporary lane closures on Fourth Avenue, a major artery. An elevator contract was supposed to be awarded in November 2016, but was pushed back to July 2018.[6] A $55.2 million contract for the installation of three elevators at the 59th Street station was awarded in late 2018.[7]

Station layoutEdit

Track layout
to 8 Av
G Street Level Exit/Entrance
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent
B Northbound local   toward Forest Hills–71st Avenue (Whitehall Street late nights) (53rd Street)
  late nights,   rush hours toward Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard (53rd Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Northbound express   toward Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard except late nights (36th Street)
Southbound express   toward 86th Street–Gravesend except late nights (Eighth Avenue)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Southbound local   toward Bay Ridge–95th Street (Bay Ridge Avenue)
  late nights,   rush hours toward 86th Street–Gravesend (Eighth Avenue)
Western street stairs

This station is the southernmost four-track express station on the Fourth Avenue Line with two island platforms. The outer local tracks continue along Fourth Avenue to Bay Ridge–95th Street while the center express tracks turn east to become the BMT Sea Beach Line. South of the station are two diamond crossovers, allowing trains to cross from the outer track to the center track or vice versa.[8]

The station walls have mosaic trim lines on top of the white tiles, and spell 59th Street at intervals.[9] The northern sections of the station are where the platforms were extended in the 1950s, and they have no mosaic trims or tiles along the wall, instead including an extension of the tunnel benchwall.[10] Two sets of columns run along the entire length of both platforms and are painted yellow.[11] The mosaic trim lines are also present in the mezzanines. At the top of the pairs of staircases to each of the platforms, in the trim lines, there are directional mosaics.[12] Those to the Brooklyn-bound platform say "UP TOWN TRAINS",[13] while those to the Manhattan-bound platform say "DOWN TOWN TRAINS".[14]


The street-level entrances are at the southern end of the station, with one entrance along either side of Fourth Avenue between 60th and 61st Streets. This part-time exit[15] is unstaffed and has HEET turnstiles. There are also four exits to Fourth Avenue and 59th Street, with two each to either northern corner, at the north end of the station.[16] Each entrance has its own small mezzanine, and allows for crossovers between platforms.[17][12]

Notable places nearbyEdit

The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a major architectural landmark of Brooklyn, is nearby. The Brooklyn Army Terminal is located two blocks west.[16]

Provisions for proposed extensionsEdit

This proposed Staten Island Tunnel would have branched off at 66th Street.

Immediately south of the station, one can see tunnel stub headings running straight from the local tracks. They run for about 150 feet and would have been for a line to Staten Island via the Staten Island Tunnel under The Narrows, which was aborted by Mayor Hylan before it was completed.[18][19] There is a Maintenance of Way shed that was built on the southbound trackway.[20] The northbound trackway is unobstructed, albeit much darker.[21] The northbound trackway ends on a brick wall, with evidence of some sort of space beyond. South of this station, the bridge over the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch has four trackways, with the outer tracks occupying the two western ones. The tracks of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line are under the western half of Fourth Avenue at this point so that two additional tracks could be laid in the future if traffic ever warranted it.[22][23]

Portions of what was to be two additional tracks for the Fourth Avenue Line south of this station were constructed by the then Brooklyn Edison Company initially for use as circuit breaker chambers.

The original proposal planned a connection from a point between 65th and 67th Streets, just south of the station, running to Arrietta Street near the Tompkinsville station in Tompkinsville, Staten Island.


  1. ^ a b "Through Tube to Coney, 48 Minutes: First Train on Fourth Avenue Route Beats West End Line Eleven Minutes". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 22, 1915. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via
  2. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  4. ^ Rogoff, David (May 1961). "New York Division ERA Bulletin May 1961". Google Docs. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Fourth Avenue Subway, Brooklyn's New Transportation Line: A Part of the Dual System of Rapid Transit of the City of New York. Public Service Commission. June 19, 1915.
  6. ^ "Transit and Bus Committee Meeting" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 20, 2018. p. 326. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "Transit & Bus Committee Meeting" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 22, 2019. pp. 176–177. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A faded 59 Street mosaic name tablet sign along the Manhattan-bound local track". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  10. ^ Hodurski, Michael (February 21, 2007). "Platform view". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A final view on the Manhattan & Queens Platform at 59 St for one of the staircases that has an old format sign for 59 St & 4 Av". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "The turnstiles out to 59 St & 4 Av in its small mezzanine area". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  13. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A mosaic sign for Up Town Trains, N R trains to 95 St & Coney Island on the mezzanine at 59 St & 4 Av". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  14. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "An old mosaic sign on the mezzanine for 59 St & 4 Av for Down Town Trains, the Manhattan & Queens trains". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  15. ^ Whitehorne, Wayne (June 4, 1999). "Showing Image 1131". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Sunset Park" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  17. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "Two High Exit/Entrance Turnstiles in the decently sized mezzanine area at the now unstaffed exit to 60 Street at 59 Street". Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  18. ^ Staten Island Rapid Transit; The Essential History, by Irvin Leigh and Paul Matus; Page 9 (The Third Rail Online) Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Taft, Lyman W. (October 13, 1954). "Finds Many Unused Subway Tunnels Under City Streets". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 24. Retrieved September 16, 2015 – via
  20. ^ The Maintenance of Way shed can be seen at the 8:55 mark in the video, just after the train leaves the 59th Street station.
  21. ^ The northbound trackway can be seen at the right, at the 5:58 mark into the video, just before the train approaches the 59th Street station.
  22. ^ Rogoff, David (May 1961). "New York Division ERA Bulletin May 1961". Google Docs. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  23. ^ "Brooklyn Subway Extension Plan: Fourth Ave. Line to 86th St., Tunnel to Staten Island, and Eventually a Through Route to Coney Island" (PDF). The New York Times. February 16, 1912. Retrieved June 28, 2015.

External linksEdit