New York City Subway timeline

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New York City Subway (official site)
Wikipedia article - IRT - BMT - IND - Timeline

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The source for this information is here; most dates have been checked against contemporary New York Times articles. Two known issues are the handling of the BMT lines to Coney Island (which were still in the process of being grade separated, and in some cases realigned, in 1904), and the BMT elevated lines at the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge.

October 26, 1904[edit]

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NYCS timeline 10-26-1904.png

This is just before the IRT first subway opened. The IRT (in Manhattan) and BRT (in Brooklyn) already had large systems of elevated lines. The dashed lines in Brooklyn were already gone by 1904.


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NYCS timeline 1911.png

The IRT subway had been built, along with its initial branches and extensions. The BRT had a second way into Manhattan, via the Williamsburg Bridge.

Early 1920[edit]

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NYCS timeline early 1920.png

The IRT's "H" system had been completed, with the east-west section along 42nd Street becoming a shuttle. Parts of the BRT subway had been built, using the Manhattan Bridge to connect with the lines to Coney Island. The Astoria and Corona (now Flushing) Lines had opened, but for now only the IRT used them.

September 9, 1932[edit]

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NYCS timeline 9-9-1932.png

This is just before the IND opened its first line. The BMT system had been completed (including dual operation with the IRT in Queens), and more IRT lines had opened.

May 31, 1940[edit]

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This is just before unification, when the three systems were merged. Most of the IND first system had been finished. The IRT Sixth Avenue El was closed, but the other three were still standing.

October 29, 1954[edit]

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NYCS timeline 10-29-1954.png

This is just before the Culver Ramp, the first connection between the IND and BMT, opened. The whole IND first system had been finished. Most of the IRT els in Manhattan had been torn down, with the rest of the Third Avenue Line to be removed soon. Several BMT els were also closed on unification day. The IND shuttle to Court Street (now the New York Transit Museum) had also closed.


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A few new lines have opened since 1954, and a few have closed, but not much has happened.

See also[edit]

A similar timeline, showing service patterns as well as physical infrastructure, every 5 years from 1875 to 2010