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The New York City Subway Lines Project:
The IRT That Used To Be

The Interboro Rapid Transit was the original transit company in New York City. Formed in 1900, and owned by August Belmont and John McDonald. The IRT also took over the operation of the Manhattan elevated system, which proved to be their downfall. The elevateds were a money sink that the subway revenues just couldn't handle. The IRT was forced to sell all their properties and interest to the city for $150,000,000, in 1940.

The Original 1904 Line: ran from City Hall to West 145th street, going crosstown on 42nd Street. The City Hall - 42nd Street portion is now covered by the Lexington Avenue (4/5/6) line, the 42nd-145th section by the 7th Avenue (1) line, and the Times Square Shuttle runs along the crosstown section. There is only one track connection left, joining the S to the 1 so that the S cars can be serviced at one of the yards in the Bronx.

The Astoria Line: Joint service with IRT equipment over BMT and IRT lines, running from Times Square to Ditmars Blvd. The Queensboro Plaza to Ditmars Blvd trackage is now covered by the N and W. This portion was turned over to the BMT in 1949, and the platforms were shaved back 2' each to accomodate the wider BMT equipment.

Bowling Green to South Ferry Outer Loop Shuttle: that about explains it. Service provided until at least the late 1970s. The Outer Loop was used to store equipment until September 2001.

Dyre Ave Shuttle: ran from Dyre Avenue to East 180th Street (on the right of way of the New York, Westchester, and Boston rail company). The city claimed it in 1941. A direct track connection was built in 1957 (before, customers had to walk), and it became the 2 first and then the 5.

8 Train: Yes Virginia, there was an 8 train. It was an elevated train, running from Gun Hill Road (connected to the White Plains Road (now the 2/5) line), terminating at 149th Street and 3rd Avenue. This was the last surviving remnant of the 3rd Avenue Elevated, which ran down 3rd Avenue all the way down to South Ferry. The Manhattan portion was demolished in 1955 and the 8 in 1973. The 8 was replaced almost exactly by the Bx55, which even appeared on subway maps in the late 1990s.

9 Train: The 9 was created in the early 1990s to ease congestion on the 1, by implementing Skip-Stop service, a pseudo-express also used on the J train. The 9 ran during peak hours from 242nd Street to South Ferry. Service was terminated September 2001, along with 1 train service below Chambers Street.

Polo Grounds Shuttle: ran for about a year under the IRT from the Polo Grounds (155th Street), connecting to the Jerome Avenue (4) line at 167th Street, operating over the right of way of the New York Central Putnam Division from at least 1951. This right of way was given to the city in 1957, and the line was removed in 1958 when the Giants moved to San Francisco. The tunnel under Sedgwick Avenue is still there; the bridge over the Harlem River is not.


Back to the The Lines That Used To Be

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