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The A Eighth Avenue Express[3] is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored blue since it uses the IND Eighth Avenue Line in Manhattan.[4]

"A" train symbol
Eighth Avenue Express
MTA NYC Subway A train arriving at 168th St.jpg
An Inwood 207 Street bound A train of R46s at 168th Street
Map of the "A" train
Note: dashed line shows rush-hour-only service
Northern endInwood–207th Street
Southern endLefferts Boulevard, Far Rockaway, or Rockaway Park (limited rush-hour service)
Stations44
62 (late-night services)
Rolling stock40 R32s (4 trains)
272 to 280 R46s (34 to 35 trains)
8 R68/As (1 train, PM only)
10 R179s (1 train)[1][2]
DepotPitkin Yard
Started serviceSeptember 10, 1932; 87 years ago (1932-09-10)
Route map

Down arrow  A 
Inwood–207th Street
Dyckman Street
190th Street
181st Street
175th Street
switches to local tracks
during late nights
Down arrow  C 
168th Street
163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue
155th Street
145th Street
135th Street
125th Street
116th Street
Cathedral Parkway–110th Street
103rd Street
96th Street
86th Street
81st Street–Museum of Natural History
72nd Street
59th Street–Columbus Circle
50th Street
(Handicapped/disabled access southbound)
42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal Port Authority Bus Terminal
34th Street–Penn Station MTA NYC logo.svg NJ Transit Amtrak
23rd Street
14th Street
West Fourth Street–Washington Square
Spring Street
Canal Street
switches to local tracks
during late nights
World Trade Center Port Authority Trans-Hudson | Chambers Street
Up arrow  E 
Fulton Street
High Street
Jay Street–MetroTech
no regular service
trains continue west
Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets
switches to local tracks
during late nights
Lafayette Avenue
Clinton–Washington Avenues
Franklin Avenue
Nostrand Avenue
Kingston–Throop Avenues
Utica Avenue
Ralph Avenue
Rockaway Avenue
Broadway Junction
Liberty Avenue
Van Siclen Avenue
Shepherd Avenue
Euclid Avenue
Up arrow  C 
switches to local tracks
during late nights
Grant Avenue
80th Street
88th Street
Rockaway Boulevard
104th Street
111th Street
Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard
Up arrow  A 
Aqueduct Racetrack
(northbound only)
 
Aqueduct–North Conduit Avenue
Howard Beach–JFK Airport
AirTrain JFK notext logo.svg
Down arrow  S 
Broad Channel
Beach 67th Street
Beach 60th Street
Beach 44th Street
Beach 36th Street
Beach 25th Street
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue
Up arrow  A 
Beach 90th Street
Beach 98th Street
Beach 105th Street
Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street
Up arrow  A   S 
Legend

Lines used by the "A" train and "C" train
Other services sharing tracks with the "A" train and "C" train
Unused lines, connections, or service patterns
 A 
Termini of services

Cross-platform interchange

Platforms on different levels

The A operates at all times. Daytime service operates between 207th Street in Inwood, Manhattan and Far Rockaway or Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill, Queens, making express stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn and local stops in Queens. Limited rush-hour service also operates to or from Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park, Queens. Late night service operates only between 207th Street and Far Rockaway, making local stops along its entire route; during this time, a shuttle train (the Lefferts Boulevard Shuttle) operates between Euclid Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard.[a][5]

The A provides the longest one-seat ride in the system—at 32.39 miles (52.13 km), between Inwood and Far Rockaway—and has a weekday ridership of 600,000.[6]

History

The A and AA were the first services on the IND Eighth Avenue Line when it opened on September 10, 1932. The Independent Subway System (IND) used single letters to refer to express services and double letters for local services. The A ran express between 207th Street and Chambers Street/World Trade Center, and the AA ran local between 168th Street and Chambers St/World Trade Center, known at the time as Hudson Terminal. The AA used a pink bullet. During late-night hours (from 1:45 a.m. to 5:45 a.m.) and on Sundays, the A did not run and the AA made all stops along the line.[7][8]:15

The A was extended to Jay Street–Borough Hall on February 1, 1933, when the Cranberry Street Tunnel to Brooklyn opened,[9][10] and to Bergen Street, when the extension opened on March 20.[11] On July 1, the A began running express at all times, stopping at 155th Street and 163rd Street during late nights.[8]:82 The A was extended to Church Avenue on October 7.[12]

On April 9, 1936, the IND Fulton Street Line was opened to Rockaway Avenue.[13] The 1936 extension played an integral part in the establishment of Bedford-Stuyvesant as Brooklyn's central African American community. The A train connected Harlem, Manhattan's central African American community, to areas of Bedford-Stuyvesant that provided residential opportunities for African Americans not found throughout the rest of New York City.[14]

On December 30, 1946, and November 28, 1948, the line was extended to Broadway–East New York (now Broadway Junction) and Euclid Avenue, respectively.[15][8]:82

On October 24, 1949, express service in Brooklyn to Broadway–East New York began with the A running express during rush hours, with the E extended to provide local service.[12][16]

On April 29, 1956, Grant Avenue was opened, and the line was extended over the BMT Fulton Street Line to Lefferts Boulevard. On weekdays except midnights, alternate trains terminated at Lefferts Boulevard and at Euclid Avenue. During weekends, they terminated at Euclid Avenue with a shuttle to Lefferts Boulevard.[12][17]

 
A poster commemorating the opening of the IND Rockaway Line

Two months later, on June 28, 1956, the former Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Line was rebuilt to subway specifications,[18] and service began to Rockaway Park[19] and Wavecrest (Beach 25th Street).[20][21] At this time, rush hour express service on the Fulton Street Line with the E train began.

On September 16, 1956, the A was extended to the Rockaways, replacing the E. At the time, alternate trains continued running to Lefferts Boulevard.[12] On January 27, 1957, non-rush hour through service to the Rockaways was discontinued and was replaced by a shuttle running between Euclid Avenue and Wavecrest (now Beach 25th Street). Non-rush hour A train service was now to Lefferts Boulevard. This may also be the time that the E replaced the A again in the Rockaways.

On January 16, 1958, a new terminal was opened at Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue, and the through connection to the Long Island Rail Road's Far Rockaway station was severed. On September 8, 1958, the A train replaced the E train in the Rockaways again. "Round-robin" service from Euclid Avenue to both Rockaway terminals began, non-rush hours, while through A service ran to Lefferts Boulevard.[22] In September 1959, the A began to run local in Brooklyn at all times, as the E became express in Brooklyn.[12]

 
Manhattan-bound A train of R179s at Broad Channel

In 1963, the E train was extended to the Rockaways, and the A train ran local to Euclid Avenue or Lefferts Boulevard at all times. (HH shuttle service from Euclid Avenue provided all service to the Rockaways).

On July 9, 1967, the A train was extended to Far Rockaway middays, evenings, and weekends, replacing the HH shuttle on that branch. Five years later, it was also extended during rush hours.

On January 2, 1973, the A train became the express service along Fulton Street and the E train became the local during rush hours.[23][24] Finally, on August 30, 1976, the C became the Fulton Street Local during rush hours.[25]

On August 27, 1977, the A began making local stops in Manhattan during late nights, when the AA was not running.[26]

On December 11, 1988, A trains began running local between 145th Street and 168th Street on weekends to replace the discontinued K service, and express on the IND Fulton Street Line in Brooklyn during middays and rush hours, with the C providing local service during those times.[27]

On September 30, 1990, A trains began operating local between 145th Street and 168th Street during weekday evenings.[28]

 
Lefferts Boulevard-bound A shuttle train of R46s at 80th Street

Until October 23, 1992, the A train ran to Lefferts Boulevard during late nights while the Far Rockaway section was served by a shuttle to Euclid Avenue. On that date this pattern was switched, with late-night A service running to Far Rockaway. Since then an A shuttle provided service from Euclid Avenue to Lefferts Boulevard during late nights. In addition, special A service began running from Rockaway Park to 59th Street–Columbus Circle (Dyckman Street and Inwood–207th Street in the future) during the morning rush and from 59th Street–Columbus Circle to Rockaway Park during the evening rush.[29][30]

On May 29, 1994, A trains began running express during between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. between 145th Street, with C trains making local stops.[31] On May 2, 1999, the A became the express on the Fulton Street Line at all times except late nights, and C service was extended from World Trade Center to Euclid Avenue to provide local service along the line.[6]

 
An A train of R68As at 175th Street

On January 23, 2005, a fire at the Chambers Street signal room crippled A and C service. Initial assessments suggested that it would take several years to restore normal service, but the damaged equipment was replaced with available spare parts, and normal service resumed on April 21.[32][33]

A service was affected by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, due to extreme damage to the IND Rockaway Line. Trains that normally traveled to Far Rockaway or Rockaway Park terminated at Howard Beach–JFK Airport. Service to the Rockaways resumed on May 30, 2013.[34][35] The Far Rockaway part of the route was served by the temporary free H shuttle that ran between Far Rockaway and Beach 90th Street via the connecting track at Hammels Wye.[36][37][38]

As a result of a two-phase program of flood mitigation work along the Hammels Wye, between April 9 and May 18, 2018, limited rush hour A service to/from Rockaway Park was suspended.[b] The second phase, from July 1 to September 3, diverted all Far Rockaway-bound A trips to Rockaway Park, with Rockaway Park Shuttle trains being rerouted to the Far Rockaway branch through the southern leg of Hammels Wye.[39]

Route

Service pattern

The following table shows the lines used by the A, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:[c][40]

Line From To Tracks Times
Lefferts
Service
Rockaway
Services
all ex.
nights
late
nights
all ex.
nights
late
nights
rush
peak
IND Eighth Avenue Line (full line) Inwood–207th Street 168th Street all          
163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue Canal Street express  
local        
Chambers Street High Street all      
IND Fulton Street Line (full line) Jay Street–MetroTech Shepherd Avenue express  
local        
Euclid Avenue all        
Grant Avenue Rockaway Boulevard local
104th Street Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard    
IND Rockaway Line (full line) Aqueduct Racetrack Howard Beach–JFK Airport          
Broad Channel all
Beach 67th Street Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue Most trains
Beach 90th Street Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street     Limited service

Stations

For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.[3]

For clarity, the A's branches are shown separately in the following table. The leftmost column shows the Lefferts Boulevard service; the second column shows the Far Rockaway service; and the third column shows the Rockaway Park service.

Station service legend
  Stops all times
  Stops all times except late nights
  Stops late nights only
  Stops weekdays only
  Station closed
  Stops rush hours only (limited service)
  Stops rush hours/weekdays in the peak direction only
Time period details
  Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  ↑ Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
in the indicated direction only
  ↓
  Elevator access to mezzanine only
 
Lef.
 
FR
 
RP
Stations   Subway transfers Connections/Other Notes
Manhattan
Eighth Avenue Line
      ↑[d] Inwood–207th Street   Bx12 Select Bus Service
All northbound a.m. rush hour trains from Rockaway Park terminate at this station
Out-of-system transfers with MetroCard:
1   at 207th Street or 215th Street
      Dyckman Street Some peak-direction rush hour trips to/from Brooklyn and Queens begin or end their runs at this station[e]
      190th Street  
      181st Street  
      175th Street   George Washington Bridge Bus Station
      168th Street   C  
1   (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
Some peak-direction rush hour trips to Brooklyn and Queens begin or end their runs at this station[e]
|   | 163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue
|   | 155th Street Bx6 Select Bus Service
      145th Street C  
B  D   (IND Concourse Line)
|   | 135th Street
      125th Street   B  C  D   M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport
|   | 116th Street
|   | Cathedral Parkway–110th Street
|   | 103rd Street
|   | 96th Street
|   | 86th Street M86 Select Bus Service
|   | 81st Street–Museum of Natural History M79 Select Bus Service
|   | 72nd Street
      59th Street–Columbus Circle   B  C  D  
1  2   (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
|   | 50th Street   ↓ E   (IND Queens Boulevard Line) Station is ADA-accessible in the southbound direction only.
      42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal   C  E  
1  2  3   (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
7   <7>  ​ (IRT Flushing Line)
N  Q  R  W   (BMT Broadway Line)
S   (42nd Street Shuttle)
at Times Square–42nd Street
Port Authority Bus Terminal
M34A Select Bus Service
      34th Street–Penn Station   C  E   M34/M34A Select Bus Service
Amtrak, LIRR, NJ Transit at Pennsylvania Station
|   | 23rd Street E   M23 Select Bus Service
      14th Street   C  E  
L   (BMT Canarsie Line)
M14A/D Select Bus Service
      West Fourth Street–Washington Square   C  E  
B  D  F   <F>  M   (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
PATH at 9th Street
|   | Spring Street E  
      Canal Street C  E  
      Chambers Street   C  E  
2  3   (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line at Park Place)
N  R  W   (BMT Broadway Line at Cortlandt Street)
PATH at World Trade Center
      Fulton Street   C  
2  3   (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
4  5   (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
J  Z   (BMT Nassau Street Line)
PATH at World Trade Center
Brooklyn
      High Street C  
Fulton Street Line
      Jay Street–MetroTech   C   F   <F>  
N   R  W   (BMT Fourth Avenue Line)
      Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets   C  
G   (IND Crosstown Line)
|   | Lafayette Avenue
|   | Clinton–Washington Avenues
|   | Franklin Avenue   S   (BMT Franklin Avenue Line)
      Nostrand Avenue C   B44 Select Bus Service, LIRR Atlantic Branch at Nostrand Avenue
|   | Kingston–Throop Avenues B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport
      Utica Avenue   C   B46 Select Bus Service
|   | Ralph Avenue
|   | Rockaway Avenue
      Broadway Junction C  
J  Z   (BMT Jamaica Line)
L   (BMT Canarsie Line)
|   | Liberty Avenue
|   | Van Siclen Avenue
|   | Shepherd Avenue
      Euclid Avenue   C   Northern terminal for the late night Lefferts Boulevard Shuttle
      Grant Avenue
Queens
      80th Street
      88th Street
      Rockaway Boulevard Q52/Q53 Select Bus Service
Services to Lefferts Boulevard and The Rockaways split
  N/A N/A 104th Street
  111th Street
  Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard   Q10 bus to JFK Airport
Rockaway Line
N/A   ↑   ↑ Aqueduct Racetrack   ↑ Station serves northbound trains only
    Aqueduct–North Conduit Avenue
    Howard Beach–JFK Airport     AirTrain JFK
    Broad Channel S   (Rockaway Park Shuttle) Q52/Q53 Select Bus Service
Services to Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park split
Far Rockaway Branch
N/A   N/A Beach 67th Street Q52 Select Bus Service
  Beach 60th Street Q52 Select Bus Service
  Beach 44th Street
  Beach 36th Street
  Beach 25th Street
  Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue   LIRR Far Rockaway Branch at Far Rockaway
Rockaway Park Branch (rush hour service only)
N/A N/A   Beach 90th Street S   (Rockaway Park Shuttle) Q52 Select Bus Service
  Beach 98th Street S   (Rockaway Park Shuttle) Q53 Select Bus Service
  Beach 105th Street S   (Rockaway Park Shuttle) Q53 Select Bus Service
  Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street   S   (Rockaway Park Shuttle) Q53 Select Bus Service

In popular culture

"Take the 'A' Train" is a jazz standard by Billy Strayhorn, referring to the A train, going at that time from eastern Brooklyn up into Harlem and northern Manhattan, using the express tracks in Manhattan. It became the signature tune of Duke Ellington and often opened the shows of Ella Fitzgerald.[41] Part of the significance of this is sociological; it connected Harlem and Bedford–Stuyvesant, the two largest African-American neighborhoods in New York City.

Notes

  1. ^ The separate shuttle service is identified on the late night map as  , and in the schedule and on trains as  .
  2. ^ Limited rush-hour service that normally begins or ends at Rockaway Park will begin or end at Euclid Avenue instead.
  3. ^ There are several local A trains each late evening and early mornings which travel to and from Lefferts Boulevard.
  4. ^ Northbound trains from Rockaway Park end at 207th Street, but southbound trains to Rockaway Park begin at either Dyckman or 168th Streets
  5. ^ a b Trains terminate at this station during the a.m. rush and originate at this station during the p.m. rush

References

  1. ^ "Completion of 30-day revenue service test for the 10-car train". Bombardier Rail. March 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "Subdivision 'B' Car Assignments: Cars Required June 24, 2018" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 61 (7): 16. July 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "A Subway Timetable, Effective November 4, 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "mta.info - Line Colors". mta.info.
  5. ^ "Late Night Subway Service" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Review of the A and C Lines" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 11, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  7. ^ "Gay Midnight Crowd Rides First Trains in New Subway". The New York Times. September 10, 1932. p. 1.
  8. ^ a b c Cunningham, Joseph; DeHart, Leonard O. (1993). A History of the New York City Subway System. J. Schmidt, R. Giglio, and K. Lang.
  9. ^ "CITY OPENS SUBWAY TO BROOKLYN TODAY; Regular Express Service on the Extension of Independent Line Starts at 6:05 A.M. 3 LARGE STATIONS ADDED Fast Trains to Make Run From 207th St. to Borough Hall in 37 Minutes. 43 MORE MEN ON JOBS Officials Look for Rise in income as Financial District Is Brought Into New Route". The New York Times. February 1, 1933. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  10. ^ "NEW SUBWAY LINK OPENS WEDNESDAY; Independent Line Will Offer Express Service to Borough Hall in Brooklyn. KEY STATION TO BE ADDED Broadway-Nassau St. Platform to Connect With B.M.T. and East and West Side I.R.T. ADDED REVENUE EXPECTED 2-Way Rush-Hour Traffic Hoped For by Officials -- Local Trains to Be Speeded Slightly". The New York Times. January 29, 1933. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  11. ^ "CITY SUBWAY OPENS NEW LINK MARCH 20; Brooklyn Extension to Bergen and Smith Streets to Add One More Station. RISE IN REVENUE CERTAIN Further Cut Into Traffic of Rival Systems at Terminal Point Is Predicted. GROWTH WILL CONTINUE Station-by-Siation Completion to Church Avenue Before September Is Planned". The New York Times. March 12, 1933. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e "NYCT Line by Line History". erictb.info.
  13. ^ "NEW SUBWAY LINK OPENED BY MAYOR; He Tells 15,000 in Brooklyn It Will Be Extended to Queens When Red Tape Is Cut". The New York Times. April 9, 1936. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  14. ^ Echanove, Matias. "Bed-Stuy on the Move". Master thesis. Urban Planning Program. Columbia University. Urbanology.org. 2003.
  15. ^ Williams, Keith. "Weaving the Broadway Junction tapestry". The Weekly Nabe. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  16. ^ "IND Faster Service Will Start Sunday" (PDF). The New York Times. October 20, 1949. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  17. ^ "First Leg of Rockaways Transit Opened at Cost of $10,154,702; Station and Subway Section Put Into Use--Service Is Expected on June 28". The New York Times. April 30, 1956. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  18. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1956" (PDF). (45.9 KiB), December 2004 Edition
  19. ^ "ROCKAWAY PARK". arrts-arrchives.com.
  20. ^ "LONG ISLAND STATION HISTORY". trainsarefun.com. Archived from the original on May 26, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  21. ^ Freejman), Ira Henry (June 29, 1956). "FREE RIDE OPENS ROCKAWAYS LINE; Fete Marks Longest Single Extension of Rapid Transit in History of the City Commissioner's Children Help Mayor Arrives Late". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  22. ^ Linder, Bernard (October 1968). "Independent Subway Service History". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association.
  23. ^ "Subway Schedules In Queens Changing Amid Some Protest". The New York Times. January 2, 1973. p. 46. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  24. ^ "Changes Set for Jan. 2 Praised" (PDF). The New York Times. November 25, 1972. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  25. ^ "Service Adjustment on BMT and IND Lines Effective 1 A.M. Monday, Aug. 30". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. August 1976. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  26. ^ "Service Adjustments on the BMT and IND Lines Effective Midnight, Saturday, August 27". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. 1977. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  27. ^ "System-Wide Changes In Subway Service Effective Sunday, December 11, 1988". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. 1988. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  28. ^ "Service Changes September 30, 1990" (PDF). subwaynut.com. New York City Transit Authority. September 30, 1990. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  29. ^ "A Subway Timetable" (PDF). mta.info.
  30. ^ "October 1992 New York City Subway Map". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. October 1992. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  31. ^ "May 1994 Subway Map". Flickr. New York City Transit. May 1994. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  32. ^ Chan, Sewell (January 25, 2005). "2 Subway Lines Crippled by Fire; Long Repair Seen". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 23, 2016.
  33. ^ "Remembering a fire at Chambers St". Second Ave. Sagas.
  34. ^ "Rebuilding the Rockaways After Hurricane Sandy". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  35. ^ Cuomo: MTA To Restore A Train Subway Service To The Rockaways May 30
  36. ^ "MTA on Twitter". Twitter.
  37. ^ Hurricane Sandy Recovery Service. As of November 20
  38. ^ "MTA News". mta.info.
  39. ^ "Train Change: A/ Shuttle Service to be Impacted Starting in April". THE ROCKAWAY TIMES - First and Free. March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  40. ^ "Subway Service Guide" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  41. ^ Cohen, Billie (January 2, 2008). "The A Train". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2015.

External links