Subway Lines and Stations

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Subway Line Names. The letter and number conventions of the New York Subway System explained

Service Menu
Original BMT
Original IND
Original IRT
Post 1990 changes
WTC Terror
Stillwell Rebuild
BMT-IND 2004
Chambers Relay Room Fire

Ever wonder where the New York City subway lines got their names, numbers and letters? Well wonder no more - this is the introduction to the line designations and route names through the years in New York.

The subway, as we now know it opened by the IRT on October 27, 1904. Since the opening, it has expanded to over 230 miles of routes and over 400 miles of single track (not including yards). While the history of the system is too large to tell here, the line names can easily be told here.

This history continues to include changes like Chrystie St, Manhattan Bridge, the WTC terror and the rebuilding of Stillwell Ave

Line by Line history

Compiled by Eric B., (aka BDMNQR2). This list includes opening dates of parts of the system and is organized by the letter/number system currently in use. It's an interesting integration of the service designations and the lines over which they run.

IND Subway Services

Chart origianlally adpated from the ERA NY Division Bulletins of October and November 1968. I've exapneded it to 1973 with details and general changes to the present.

Marker Lights
Lo_V Car Marker Lamp

Back in the early days of the New York subway system, the cars had no signs on the ends to tell the riders the train's destination or route. The sides of the cars had rollersigns or metal plates with the route and destinations on them. However, the tower operators needed to know what train was to go where at junctions. Marker lights were used to display this information to the track side tower and dispatching personnel.

Broadway Local

Roll Signs Full sign scanned 2 images per reading and pieced together electronically.

The Stations

Station List

All Time Subway station list including opening and closing dates!

BMT Lines

If the all time station lists are too big, you can see the summary of Line segments opening dates here by division.

IND Lines
IRT Lines

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Saturday February 17, 2007
Copyright © 2007 by Joseph D. Korman