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DeKalb Avenue station (BMT lines)

DeKalb Avenue is a local station shared by the BMT Fourth Avenue Line and the BMT Brighton Line of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of DeKalb and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. It is served by the Q and R trains at all times, the B train on weekdays, and the D and N trains during late nights. During rush hours only, a few W train trips in the peak direction also serve this station.

 DeKalb Avenue
 "B" train​​"Q" train​​"R" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Dekalb Av Mar 2017.jpg
Platform view
Station statistics
AddressDeKalb Avenue & Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201
LocaleDowntown Brooklyn, Fort Greene
Coordinates40°41′25″N 73°58′56″W / 40.690254°N 73.982277°W / 40.690254; -73.982277Coordinates: 40°41′25″N 73°58′56″W / 40.690254°N 73.982277°W / 40.690254; -73.982277
DivisionB (BMT)
LineBMT Brighton Line
BMT Fourth Avenue Line
Services      B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
      D late nights (late nights)
      N late nights (late nights)
      Q all times (all times)
      R all times (all times)
      W limited rush hour service only (limited rush hour service only)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: B25, B26, B38, B52, B54
Platforms2 island platforms
cross-platform interchange
Other information
OpenedJune 22, 1915; 104 years ago (1915-06-22)[1] (Fourth Avenue)
August 1, 1920; 99 years ago (1920-08-01) (Brighton)[2]
Station code026[3]
AccessibleThis station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ADA-accessible
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[4]
Passengers (2018)6,776,248[5]Increase 3.4%
Rank59 out of 424
Station succession
Next northCanal Street (Broadway via Bridge): Q all times
Jay Street–MetroTech (Broadway via Tunnel): N late nights R all timesW limited rush hour service only
Grand Street (Sixth Avenue via Bridge): B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.D late nights
Myrtle Avenue (via Bridge, closed): no regular service
Next southAtlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Brighton): B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.Q all times
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Fourth Avenue): D late nightsN late nightsR all timesW limited rush hour service only

Next adjacent station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 north14th Street–Union Square (Broadway via Bridge): Q all times
Jay Street–MetroTech (Broadway via Tunnel): N late nights R all timesW limited rush hour service only
Broadway–Lafayette Street (Sixth Avenue via Bridge): B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.D late nights
Next adjacent station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 southAtlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Brighton): B weekdays until 11:00 p.m.Q all times
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Fourth Avenue): D late nightsN late nightsR all timesW limited rush hour service only

Station layoutEdit

G Street level Exit/entrance
M Mezzanine To exits, fare control, station agent, MetroCard machines
  Elevator at SE corner of DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Ext
Platform level
Northbound local
via Bridge
  toward Bedford Park Boulevard rush hours, 145th Street weekdays during middays and evenings (Grand Street)
  toward Norwood–205th Street late nights (Grand Street)[6]
  toward 96th Street (Canal Street)
(No service: Myrtle Avenue)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right  
Northbound local
via Tunnel
  toward Forest Hills–71st Avenue (Whitehall Street late nights) (Jay Street–MetroTech)
  late nights,   rush hours toward Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard (Jay Street–MetroTech)
Northbound express
via Bridge
    do not stop here
Southbound express
from Bridge
    do not stop here →
Southbound local
from Tunnel
  toward Bay Ridge–95th Street (Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Fourth Avenue))
  late nights,   rush hours toward 86th Street–Gravesend (Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Fourth Avenue))
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right  
Southbound local
from Bridge
  toward Brighton Beach weekdays except late nights (Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Flatbush Avenue))
  toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue via West End nights (Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Fourth Avenue))[7]
  toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue via Brighton (Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (Flatbush Avenue))

This underground station has six tracks with island platforms between the two outer pairs of tracks, while the two center tracks bypass the station. The platform columns are painted red on their lower halves and cream on their upper halves.


Street stair
Elevator and stair outside the Applebee's restaurant

This station has two entrances/exits, each with access to either the east or west side of Flatbush. The staffed exit is near the south end and has two staircases and one elevator from each platform that go up to a waiting area above the platforms and tracks that contains two restrooms open from 5:00 a.m. to midnight. Outside of the turnstile bank is a token booth, a single street stair to the southwest corner of DeKalb Avenue and the Flatbush Avenue Extension built inside a store front, and two staircases that meet at their landings and an elevator that go up to the southeast corner outside an Applebee's restaurant.[8] The centers of the platforms have a crossover that connects them both. Both the crossover and the staffed exit were part of a wide mezzanine area, but most of the mezzanine was closed off and converted to crew rooms.

The other entrance/exit is at the station's extreme north end and is unstaffed. An up-only escalator and long staircase from each platform goes up to a mezzanine above the tracks. Two pairs of exit-only turnstiles and one set of three HEET turnstiles provide entrance/exit from the system. This entrance has two street stairs, one to Fleet Street on the east side outside Long Island University Brooklyn and the other to the former Albee Square on the west side, near the City Point development.[8]

Both fare control areas feature a 2005 artwork called DeKalb Improvisation by Stephen Johnson. It consists of a large mural in the main fare control area and several smaller ones in the secondary one.

Track layoutEdit

Track layout
ramps onto Manhattan Br
Myrtle Av
DeKalb Av

North of the station, the outer and bypass tracks head towards the Manhattan Bridge to Manhattan with a flying junction, where express trains can use either the north side of the bridge via the Chrystie Street Connection to the IND Sixth Avenue Line or the south side of the bridge to the BMT Broadway Line. Local trains continue on the middle tracks north along the BMT Fourth Avenue Line into the Montague Street Tunnel towards the BMT Broadway Line or the BMT Nassau Street Line, the latter of which is unused in revenue service.[9]

South of the station, the bypass tracks become the express tracks on the Fourth Avenue Line. The four remaining tracks become six tracks at a flying junction.[9] Trains headed south on the tunnel local tracks or outer tracks proceed to the BMT Brighton Line or switch from those two tracks and provide the route to the Fourth Avenue Line local tracks. In the current service pattern, the tunnel route is not used for Brighton Line trains.[9]

The station has a shortened mezzanine because room was needed for a proposed Lafayette Avenue line. The subway connection was never built. North of this station, near the Manhattan Bridge, there is a provision for a never-built loop back to southern Brooklyn without crossing the Manhattan Bridge into Manhattan. Bellmouths for the unbuilt loop are visible from passing trains. South of this station, a junction was built at Fulton Street for a never-built branch to run via Lafayette Avenue and Broadway.[9]

Service patternsEdit

Jay Street–MetroTech
(BMT Fourth Avenue Line)
Canal Street
(BMT Broadway Line)
Grand Street
(IND Sixth Avenue Line)
North-west of the station
BMT Fourth Avenue Line local
      N   (late nights)
      R   (all times)
      W   (limited rush hour service only)
BMT Broadway Line
      N   (all except late nights)
      Q   (all times)
IND Sixth Avenue Line express
      B   (weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
      D   (all times)
tunnel tracks Manhattan Bridge south Manhattan Bridge north
In the station
inner platform tracks (tunnel)
      N   (late nights)
      R   (all times)
      W   (limited rush hour service only)
center tracks (bridge, bypass)
      D   (all except late nights)
      N   (all except late nights)
outermost tracks (bridge)
      B   (weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
      D   (late nights)
      Q   (all times)
South of the station
BMT Fourth Avenue Line local
      D   (late nights)
      N   (late nights)
      R   (all times)
      W   (limited rush hour service only)
BMT Fourth Avenue Line express
      D   (all except late nights)
      N   (all except late nights)
BMT Brighton Line
      B   (weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
      Q   (all times)
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center
(BMT Fourth Avenue Line)
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center
(BMT Brighton Line)


HEET turnstiles

This station opened on June 22, 1915,[1] and was completed on August 1, 1920.[2] Since it opened, DeKalb Avenue has been referred to as "the heart of the BMT",[10] as it is a major transfer point between BMT services with lines splitting north and south of the station. Platform extensions were built into a curve south of the station in 1927 to allow for longer trains. They were closed and replaced by straight extensions to the north in 1960. The abandoned portions can be seen from the open platforms and trains.

Track configurationEdit

The station has been reconfigured a number of times. The current configuration dates from a 1956–1961 reconstruction project to straighten the platforms and eliminate a level junction north of the station, which had caused a switching bottleneck; a station at Myrtle Avenue was closed as part of the renovation.[11] Other plans, such as connections to the BMT Fulton Street Line and IRT Eastern Parkway Line, were considered at times.

An early plan called the Ashland Place Connection would have allowed trains on the elevated BMT Fulton Street Line to run into the subway through DeKalb Avenue, making the bottleneck even worse.[12][13] This was not built, in part because the city was more interested in building its own system, the IND.[14] However, a whole new subway was also planned, splitting from this line and heading under the East River to the BMT Broadway Line at City Hall. This plan was considered in various forms between late 1916 and 1926. Because of this, the DeKalb Avenue station was also built with provisions for a possible track connection to Nevins Street station.

Until the mid-1950s, though, the extreme outside tracks in each direction hosted the Fourth Avenue Line local tracks and the next pair hosted the Brighton Line. The middle tracks, which bypassed the station, hosted the Fourth Avenue express tracks. A group of level crossovers at the northern end of the station allowed all tracks access to both sides of the Manhattan Bridge and to the Montague Street Tunnel. The Fourth Avenue local tracks led straight onto the Manhattan Bridge west of the station, while the Brighton line tracks led straight to the Montague Street Tunnel, so the crossovers allowed trains from both lines to switch between the bridge and the tunnel.[11] This led to so many train delays on the Fourth Avenue and Brighton lines that in 1952, the junction was earmarked for "top priority" reconstruction.[15]

On November 30, 1955, the New York City Transit Authoity sent a recommendation to the Board of Estimate for the approval of a $13,152,831 contract to eliminate the bottleneck. The elimination of the bottleneck was the first step in a larger plan to improve transit service between Brooklyn and Manhattan.[16]

Myrtle Avenue Closing

During the reconstruction of the junction that started in 1956 and was completed by April 1961, the Brighton Line tracks were connected to the Dekalb Avenue station's outermost tracks. A diamond crossover north of the station had caused frequent bottlenecks, but was removed during the realignment and replaced with two flying junctions.[9] All switches immediately north of the station were eliminated. The junction towards the Manhattan Bridge was rebuilt. To make room for a new flying junction, the Myrtle Avenue station was closed. That station's northbound platform remains visible from passing trains, but the southbound platform was demolished to accommodate the new flying junction that replaced the diamond crossover. Platforms were also doubled in length to accommodate ten-car trains of 60-foot-long (18 m) cars.[17] It was estimated that the reconstruction of the junction increased the junction's train capacity by 25%.[15] The Chrystie Street Connection project was also tied to this improvement, as it resulted in more trains using the bridge, as well as connecting trains to the IND Sixth Avenue Line (and thus, to IND lines to the Bronx and Queens).[15][18] Over the years, as more of the business community shifted to midtown, the slower tunnel route became less popular, and it is now the least used of the three northbound routing options.

Station overhaulsEdit

Station ID mosaic

After the 1961 reconstruction period, some adjustments were made to the station. In the mid 1960s, the station platforms were extended northward at least 150 feet (46 m) to accommodate for a 600 feet (180 m) train. It also added new '60s modern look tiling.

DeKalb Avenue received another overhaul in the 1970s where the station's structure and over all appearance were improved. The MTA fixed and replaced wall tiles, old signs, and incandescent lighting to the '70s modern look wall tiles, signs and fluorescent lights. Staircases and platform edges were also fixed.

In spite of the renovation, however, the MTA listed the station among the 69 most deteriorated stations in the subway system in 1981.[19]

The latest major overhaul was in 2004–2006. The station was repaired as well as upgraded for ADA-accessibility. The MTA repaired the staircases, retiled the walls, added new tiles to the floors, upgraded the station's lights and public address system, installed ADA yellow safety threads along the platform edge and replaced the trackbeds for all trains entering or bypassing the station. It also installed elevators on both platforms, as well as elevators to the street level.[20]


  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. ^ a b "New Subways Add Seven More Miles to BRT on Aug 1". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 25, 1920. Retrieved August 19, 2016 – via
  3. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  4. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  5. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Six N trains towards Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on weekdays, as well as a single   train each morning slightly before 6 a.m and on weekends at 10:45 p.m. are scheduled to stop on the outer track and travel via the bridge.
  7. ^ Five N trains towards Coney Island between 6:00 am and 7:00 am on weekdays are scheduled to stop on the outer track and travel via the bridge.
  8. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Downtown Brooklyn" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e Detailed view of current track layout
  10. ^ "Did You Know? DeKalb Avenue station is known as the "heart of the BMT"". NY Transit Museum. Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ a b D'Adamo, R. Raleigh (1959). "DeKalb Avenue Station Reconstruction". Retrieved May 5, 2017.
  12. ^ "Better Fulton St. Transit", New York Times December 30, 1916; page 10 (the first mention of the Ashland Place Connection in the New York Times)
  13. ^ "Wants Subway Pushed", New York Times December 20, 1926; page 16 (the last mention of the Ashland Place Connection in the New York Times)
  14. ^ " History of the Independent Subway". Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  15. ^ a b c "DEKALB REBUILDING GETS TOP PRIORITY; Board of Transportation Says Enlargement of B.M.T. Stop Will Eliminate Bottleneck". The New York Times. June 6, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  16. ^ Katz, Ralph (December 1, 1955). "TRANSIT UNIT ACTS ON A BOTTLENECK; Asks Estimate Board to Let Contract for Track Shifts at De Kalb Ave., Brooklyn". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  17. ^ DeKalb Av Escalators
  18. ^ "Construction of New IND Tunnel for 6th Ave. Line Begins Today", New York Times April 19, 1961; page 41
  19. ^ Gargan, Edward A. (June 11, 1981). "AGENCY LISTS ITS 69 MOST DETERIORATED SUBWAY STATIONS". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  20. ^ MTA (February 2004). "MTA Capital Program Information" (PDF). p. 16. Retrieved March 28, 2010.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit