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.
TypeRapid transit
SystemNew York City Subway
TerminiBorough Hall
Crown Heights–Utica Avenue
Daily ridership214,906[1]
OwnerCity of New York
Operator(s)New York City Transit Authority
Number of tracks4
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification600V DC third rail
Route map

Clark Street
Borough Hall
(Handicapped/disabled access except SB express)
Hoyt Street
Nevins Street
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center
Bergen Street
Grand Army Plaza
Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum
Franklin Avenue
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]


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, and the contract was signed on September 11, 1902. Construction commenced on Contract 2 on March 4, 1903.[9] 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 and it opened on January 9, 1908, extending the subway from Bowling Green to Borough Hall.[10][11][12] Clifford Milburn Holland served as the assistant engineer during the construction of the tunnel.[13] It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on February 9, 2006.[14]

On May 1, 1908, the construction of Contract 2 was completed when the line was extended from Borough Hall to Atlantic Avenue near the Flatbush Avenue LIRR station.[9] With the opening of the IRT to Brooklyn, ridership fell off on the BRT's elevated and trolley lines over the Brooklyn Bridge with Brooklyn riders choosing to use the new subway.[15] 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.[16]

Due to overcrowding on the Joralemon Street Tunnel, Holland decided to build a second tunnel under Clark Street providing passengers with a direct route to travel between Brooklyn and the west side of Manhattan.[17] Construction of the Clark Street Tunnel began on October 12, 1914, using a tunneling shield in conjunction with compressed air.[18][19] The north tube was holed through on November 28, 1916.[20] At 5,900 feet long, with about 3,100 feet underwater, the tunnel was finally opened for revenue service on April 15, 1919.[21] The opening of the tunnel allowed access to Brooklyn via the IRT from both the East and West Sides of Manhattan.[22]

This line was expanded as a part of the Dual Contracts from Atlantic Avenue east. The IRT Eastern Parkway Line was built 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.[23] The new lines would be served by trains from Seventh Avenue.[24] 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.[25][26]

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.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29]

Extent and serviceEdit

The following services use part or all of the IRT Eastern Parkway Line:[30]

  Time period Section of line
rush hours
and middays

and weekends

late nights
  local north of Franklin Ave
  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

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]

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[10][11] 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[9]
Nevins Street all 2  3  4  5   May 1, 1908[9]
  Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center all 2  3  4  5   May 1, 1908[9] 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[25]
Grand Army Plaza local 2  3  4   October 10, 1920[25]
Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum local 2  3  4   October 10, 1920[25]
Crown Heights Franklin Avenue all 2  3  4  5   August 23, 1920[24] 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[24] B44 Select Bus Service
Kingston Avenue local 2  3  4  5   August 23, 1920[24]
  Crown Heights–Utica Avenue all 2  3  4  5   August 23, 1920[24] B46 Select Bus Service
Express tracks end
Local tracks continue as the IRT New Lots Line (2  3  4  5  )

* Borough Hall is accessible in the northbound direction only


  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. ^ a b c d e New York Times, Brooklyn Joyful Over New Subway, May 2, 1908, page 1
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b "Brooklyn Joyful Over Its Tunnel". The New York Times. January 10, 1908. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  12. ^ 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). Retrieved October 12, 2007.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Aronson, Michael (June 15, 1999). "The Digger Clifford Holland". Daily News. New York. Retrieved July 2, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ "Annual report. 1908/09-1919/20". HathiTrust. Interborough Rapid Transit Company. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  17. ^ "New Subway Service Between Brooklyn and Manhattan Boroughs". The New York Times. April 13, 1919. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  18. ^ "Work Begins on New Tubes Under River". The New York Times. October 11, 1914. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  19. ^ Aronson, Michael (June 15, 1999). "The Digger Clifford Holland". Daily News. New York. Retrieved July 2, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Under-River Tunnel Headings Meet". Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  21. ^ New York Times, Open Clark Street Line, April 16, 1919, page 18
  22. ^ "New Tunnel to Brooklyn". Interborough Rapid Transit Company. April 9, 1919. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  23. ^ "More Interborough Service for Brooklyn 2 New Lines". Interborough Rapid Transit Company. August 23, 1920. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "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.
  27. ^ Report for the three and one-half years ending June 30, 1949. New York City Board of Transportation. 1949.
  28. ^ "$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.
  29. ^ Annual Report 1964–1965. New York City Transit Authority. 1965.
  30. ^ "Subway Service Guide" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata