IRT Eastern Parkway Line

The Eastern Parkway Line is one of the lines of the IRT division of the New York City Subway, stretching from Downtown Brooklyn south along Flatbush Avenue and east along Eastern Parkway to Crown Heights. After passing Utica Avenue, the line rises onto an elevated structure and becomes the New Lots Line to the end at New Lots Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn. The west end of the Eastern Parkway Line is at the Joralemon Street Tunnel under the East River.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

IRT Eastern Parkway Line
"2" train "3" train "4" train "5" train
The 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains are the primary services at most IRT Eastern Parkway Line stations, and thus the only IRT services that travel to/from Brooklyn.
OwnerCity of New York
TerminiBorough Hall
Crown Heights–Utica Avenue
TypeRapid transit
SystemNew York City Subway
Operator(s)New York City Transit Authority
Daily ridership214,906[1]
Number of tracks4
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification600V DC third rail
Route map

Clark Street
Borough Hall
(Disabled access except SB express)
Hoyt Street
Nevins Street
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center
Bergen Street
Grand Army Plaza
Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum
Franklin Avenue–Medgar Evers College
Nostrand Avenue
Kingston Avenue
Crown Heights–Utica Avenue
Dead-end at Ralph Avenue

Express station
Local station

The IRT Nostrand Avenue Line splits from the local tracks of the Eastern Parkway Line south of the Franklin Avenue station.[2]


Contract 2 lineEdit

The Eastern Parkway Line to Atlantic Avenue is part of Contract 2 of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company's plan to construct an extension of the original subway, Contract 1. Contract 2 extended the original line from City Hall in Manhattan to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The Board of Rapid Transit Commissioners approved the route on September 27, 1900,[9] and the contract was signed on September 11, 1902. Construction commenced on Contract 2 on March 4, 1903.[10] In order to cross the East River, a tunnel had to be constructed. That tunnel, the Joralemon Street Tunnel, was the first underwater subway tunnel connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn. It opened on January 9, 1908, extending the subway from Bowling Green to Borough Hall.[11][12][13] Clifford Milburn Holland served as the assistant engineer during the construction of the tunnel.[14] It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on February 9, 2006.[15]

On April 28, 1908, the IRT formally applied with the New York Public Service Commission for permission to open the final section of the Contract 2 line from Borough Hall to Atlantic Avenue near the Flatbush Avenue LIRR station. The application was approved, and the IRT extension opened on May 1, 1908.[16]:194[10] With the opening of the IRT to Brooklyn on May 1, 1908, ridership fell off on the BRT's elevated and trolley lines over the Brooklyn Bridge with Brooklyn riders choosing to use the new subway.[17] During the construction of the Brooklyn extension, provisions were made for future subway extensions in Brooklyn by the construction of four tracks between Borough Hall and Atlantic Avenue, and the construction of bellmouths at Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue, at Flatbush Avenue and Lafayette Avenue, and at Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Avenue.[18]

On May 26, 1908, the IRT applied with the Public Service Commission to build a route connecting with these provisions along Flatbush Avenue from Fulton Street along the Manhattan Bridge, connecting with the IRT Third Avenue Line at Canal Street and Bowery.[19]

Dual Contracts expansionEdit

In 1913, New York City, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, and the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) reached an agreement, known as the Dual Contracts, to drastically expand subway service across New York City. As part of Contract 3 of the agreement, between New York City and the IRT, the original subway opened by the IRT in 1904 to City Hall,[20] and extended to Atlantic Avenue in 1908,[21] was to be extended eastward into Brooklyn.[22] The line was to be extended along Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway to Buffalo Street as a four-track subway line, and then along East 98th Street and Livonia Avenue to New Lots Avenue as an elevated two-track line, with provisions for the addition of a third track. In addition, a two-track branch line along Nostrand Avenue branching off east of the Franklin Avenue station was to be constructed.[23] The underground portion of the line became known as the Eastern Parkway Line, or Route 12, while the elevated portion became known as the New Lots Line.[24]

In addition, as part of Contract 3, the IRT agreed to build a branch of the original subway line south down Seventh Avenue, Varick Street, and West Broadway to serve the West Side of Manhattan.[25][26][27] South of Chambers Street, there were to be two branches constructed. One of these branches would turn eastward under Park Place and Beekman Street and down William Street and Old Slip. After going through Lower Manhattan, the second branch would go through a tunnel under the East River before running under Clark and Fulton Streets until a junction at Borough Hall with the existing Contract 2 IRT Brooklyn Line,[28][29] using a provision meant for a line over the Manhattan Bridge.[30][31] Construction of the Clark Street Tunnel began on October 12, 1914, using a tunneling shield in conjunction with compressed air.[32][33] The north tube was holed through on November 28, 1916.[34] At 5,900 feet long, with about 3,100 feet underwater, the tunnel was finally opened for revenue service on April 15, 1919.[35] The opening of the tunnel allowed access to Brooklyn via the IRT from both the East and West Sides of Manhattan.[36]

This line was expanded as a part of the Dual Contracts from Atlantic Avenue east. The IRT Eastern Parkway Line was built as part of Route 12 from 1915 to 1918, from the section east of the Atlantic Avenue station to Utica Avenue and down the Nostrand Avenue Subway to Flatbush Avenue. On August 23, 1920, the Eastern Parkway Line was extended from Atlantic Avenue to Utica Avenue.[37] The new lines would be served by trains from Seventh Avenue.[38] Trains operated via the express track between Atlantic Avenue and Franklin Avenue because of the failure of the contractor to perform work as scheduled on the local stations. On October 10, 1920, the three stations that were not ready to be opened with the rest of the line, at Bergen Street, Grand Army Plaza and Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum, were opened.[39][40]

Later historyEdit

On February 2, 1948 the platform extensions at Hoyt Street opened, allowing 10-car express trains to board as opposed to only 5-car trains.[41]

In August 1961, the chairman of the New York City Transit Authority, Charles Patterson, announced a $2.5 million project that would get rid of a trouble spot on the line between Nevins Street and Atlantic Avenue that slows service and backs up the IRT Division. The project was projected to take two years long and it would have involved the reconfiguration of the track layout in this area. The platforms at the two stations would be extended to accommodate 10-car trains, as opposed to the eight and nine-car trains that they could platform at the time. The tracks between the two stations would be straightened, removing some of the bend in the tracks, but not removing it entirely. The tracks were to be straightened enough to allow for the running time between the two stations to be cut by one to two minutes.[42]

During the 1964–1965 fiscal year, the platforms at Bergen Street, Grand Army Plaza, Eastern Parkway, Nostrand Avenue and Kingston Avenue were lengthened to 525 feet to accommodate a ten-car train of 51-foot IRT cars.[43]

Extent and serviceEdit

The following services use part or all of the IRT Eastern Parkway Line:[44]

  Time period Section of line
rush hours
and middays

and weekends

late nights
  local north of Franklin Ave–Medgar Evers College
  local no service full line
  express local skips Hoyt St north of Utica Ave (all except nights)
full line (nights)
  express no service north of Franklin Ave–Medgar Evers College

Route descriptionEdit

The IRT Eastern Parkway Line enters Brooklyn through the Joralemon Street Tunnel from the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and continues to run under the street that the tunnel was named after, until after Borough Hall. East of Adams Street and Boerum Plaza, the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line merges with the line and it runs under Fulton Street, then turns southeast under Flatbush Avenue, which also has the BMT Brighton Line beneath it. The first station along this segment is Nevins Street, which contains a never used lower level, and then joins Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center, the end of the oldest section of the line. Between Bergen Street and Grand Army Plaza, the line splits around the BMT Brighton Line.[2]

East of Grand Army Plaza, the line finally moves under its namesake, the first station serving the Brooklyn Museum. The next station is a complex near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that serves the above ground BMT Franklin Avenue Line and the beginning of the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line, which branches off to the south shortly afterwards at Nostrand Junction. The last three stations are a two-over-two track layout with a platform on each level. Afterwards, the IRT Eastern Parkway Line ends under Ralph Avenue, one block east of its originally intended terminus, whereas the local tracks become the IRT New Lots Line, branching off to the southeast emerging from the ground near Buffalo Avenue at Lincoln Terrace Park.[2] The line was built mostly with two levels, with southbound trains on the upper level, and northbound trains on the lower level to protect the trees in the median of Eastern Parkway to the greatest extent possible.[45]

Station listingEdit

Station service legend
  Stops all times
  Stops all times except late nights
  Stops late nights only
  Stops weekdays only
  Stops rush hours 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
  Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
Express tracks continue from the IRT Lexington Avenue Line Express tracks via the Joralemon Street Tunnel (4  5  )
Downtown Brooklyn
  ↑ Borough Hall all 4  5   January 9, 1908[11][12] 2  3   (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
R   (BMT Fourth Avenue Line at Court Street)
Station is ADA-accessible in the northbound direction only
Local tracks continue from the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line Brooklyn Branch (2  3  )
Hoyt Street local 2  3   May 1, 1908[10]
Nevins Street all 2  3  4  5   May 1, 1908[10]
  Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center all 2  3  4  5   May 1, 1908[10] B  Q   (BMT Brighton Line)
D  N  R  W   (BMT Fourth Avenue Line)
Connection to LIRR at Atlantic Terminal
Prospect Heights Bergen Street local 2  3  4   October 10, 1920[39]
Grand Army Plaza local 2  3  4   October 10, 1920[39]
  Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum local 2  3  4   October 10, 1920[39]
Crown Heights Franklin Avenue–Medgar Evers College all 2  3  4  5   August 23, 1920[38] S   (BMT Franklin Avenue Line at Botanic Garden)
IRT Nostrand Avenue Line splits from the local tracks (2  5  ) at Nostrand Junction
Nostrand Avenue local 2  3  4  5   August 23, 1920[38] B44 Select Bus Service
Kingston Avenue local 2  3  4  5   August 23, 1920[38]
  Crown Heights–Utica Avenue all 2  3  4  5   August 23, 1920[38] B46 Select Bus Service
Express tracks end
Local tracks continue as the IRT New Lots Line (2  3  4  5  )


  1. ^ MTA. "Average weekday subway ridership". Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2006 Final Proposed Budget – November Financial Plan 2006-2009, "Section VI: MTA Capital Program Information" (PDF). (135 KiB): "Joralemon Tube to Nevins Street"
  4. ^ Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2005 Adopted Budget - February Financial Plan 2005–2008, "Section VII: MTA Capital Program Information" (PDF). (91.7 KiB): shows Utica Avenue on "EPK" and Sutter Avenue on "NLT"
  5. ^ Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2005 Final Proposed Budget - November Financial Plan 2005–2008, "Section VI: MTA Capital Program Information" (PDF). (1.02 MiB): "Sutter Avenue Portal to end"
  6. ^ In a 1981 list of "most deteriorated subway stations", the MTA listed Borough Hall and Court Street stations as part of the New Lots Line:
    New York Times, Agency Lists Its 69 Most Deteriorated Subway Stations, June 11, 1981, section B, page 5
  7. ^ The chaining designation "M" (Joralemon Street Tunnel) becomes "E" (Eastern Parkway Line) just west of the Borough Hall platforms; the Court Street and northern Borough Hall stations are chained "K" (Clark Street Tunnel).
  8. ^ However, as of 2007, emergency exit signs label Court Street as an IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line station, and the two parts of Borough Hall are signed as being along the Broadway–Seventh Avenue and IRT Lexington Avenue Lines.
  9. ^ District, New York (State) Public Service Commission First (1910). Report.
  10. ^ a b c d e New York Times, Brooklyn Joyful Over New Subway, May 2, 1908, page 1
  11. ^ a b "SUBWAY TO BROOKLYN OPENED FOR TRAFFIC; First Regular Passenger Train Went Under the East River Early This Morning. NOT A HITCH IN THE SERVICE Gov. Hughes and Brooklyn Officials to Join in a Formal Celebration of Event To-day. SUBWAY TO BROOKLYN OPENED TO TRAFFIC" (PDF). Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Brooklyn Joyful Over Its Tunnel". The New York Times. January 10, 1908. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  13. ^ Gasparini, D. A. (February 2006). "Battery-Joralemon Street Tunnel". Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities. American Society of Civil Engineers. 20 (1): 92–107. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0887-3828(2006)20:1(92).[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Aronson, Michael (June 15, 1999). "The Digger Clifford Holland". Daily News. New York. Retrieved July 2, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  16. ^ Report of the Public Service Commission For The First District of the State of New York For The Year Ending December 31, 1908. New York State Public Service Commission. 1908.
  17. ^ "Another Centennial–Original Subway Extended To Fulton Street". New York Division Bulletin. New York Division, Electric Railroaders' Association. 48 (1). January 2005. Retrieved August 31, 2016 – via Issu.
  18. ^ 1908-1909 Annual Report of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company for the Year Ended June 30, 1909. Interborough Rapid Transit Company. 1909. p. 3.
  19. ^ District, New York (State) Public Service Commission First (1909). Report. pp. 8–9.
  20. ^ "Exercises In City Hall.; Mayor Declares Subway Open -- Ovations for Parsons and McDonald". The New York Times. October 28, 1904. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  21. ^ "Brooklyn Joyful Over New Subway — Celebrates Opening of Extension with Big Parade and a Flow of Oratory — An Ode to August Belmont — Anonymous Poet Calls Him "the Brownie of the Caisson and Spade" — He Talks on Subways". The New York Times. May 2, 1908. p. 1. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  22. ^ "618 Miles of Track In The Dual System; City Will Have Invested $226,000,000 When Rapid Transit Project Is Completed". The New York Times. August 3, 1913. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  23. ^ Comptroller's Monthly Report For March 1916 And From January 1, 1916 To March 31, 1916. New York City Department of Finance. 1916. p. 121.
  24. ^ "Differ Over Assessment Plans in Transit Projects: Eastern Parkway Subway and Livonia Avenue Extension the Cause of Bitter Dissension Among Property Owners Uptown". The Daily Standard Union. March 13, 1910. Retrieved August 14, 2016 – via Fulton History.
  25. ^ "Terms and Conditions of Dual System Contracts". New York State Public Service Commission. March 19, 1913. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  26. ^ "The Dual System of Rapid Transit (1912)". New York State Public Service Commission. September 1912. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Most Recent Map of the Dual Subway System WhIch Shows How Brooklyn Borough Is Favored In New Transit Lines". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 9, 1917. p. 37. Retrieved August 23, 2016 – via Brooklyn Newspapers.
  28. ^ "Public Service Commission Fixes July 15 For Opening of The New Seventh and Lexington Avenue Subway Lines — Will Afford Better Service and Less Crowding — Shuttle Service for Forty-Second Street — How the Various Lines of the Dual System Are Grouped for Operation and List of Stations on All Lines" (PDF). The New York Times. May 19, 1918. p. 32. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  29. ^ Whitney, Travis H. (March 10, 1918). "The Seventh and Lexington Avenue Subways Will Revive Dormant Sections — Change in Operation That Will Transform Original Four-Tracked Subway Into Two Four-Tracked Systems and Double Present Capacity of the Interborough" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 12. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  30. ^ District, New York (State) Public Service Commission First (1908). Proceedings of the Public Service Commission for the First District. State of New York. The Commission. p. 1143.
  31. ^ "New Subway Service Between Brooklyn and Manhattan Boroughs". The New York Times. April 13, 1919. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  32. ^ "Work Begins on New Tubes Under River". The New York Times. October 11, 1914. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  33. ^ Aronson, Michael (June 15, 1999). "The Digger Clifford Holland". Daily News. New York. Retrieved July 2, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ "Under-River Tunnel Headings Meet". Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  35. ^ New York Times, Open Clark Street Line, April 16, 1919, page 18
  36. ^ "New Tunnel to Brooklyn". Interborough Rapid Transit Company. April 9, 1919. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  37. ^ "More Interborough Service for Brooklyn 2 New Lines". Interborough Rapid Transit Company. August 23, 1920. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  38. ^ a b c d e "Brooklyn Tube Extensions Open: I.R.T. Begins Service on Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue Lines" (PDF). New York Times. August 23, 1920. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  39. ^ a b c d "Subway Stations Opened: Last Three in Eastern Parkway Branch of I.R.T. Put Into Service" (PDF). New York Times. October 11, 1920. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  40. ^ "IRT Brooklyn Line Opened 90 Years Ago". New York Division Bulletin. New York Division, Electric Railroaders' Association. 53 (9). September 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2016 – via Issu.
  41. ^ Report for the three and one-half years ending June 30, 1949. New York City Board of Transportation. 1949. hdl:2027/mdp.39015023094926.
  42. ^ "$2.5 Million Project Set to Ease IRT Nevins–Atlantic Trouble Spot". Brooklyn New York World – Telegram. August 23, 1961. Retrieved August 29, 2016 – via Fulton History.
  43. ^ Annual Report 1964–1965. New York City Transit Authority. 1965.
  44. ^ "Subway Service Guide" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  45. ^ Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York. New York State Public Service Commission. 1916. p. 181.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata