3rd ave el-bowery-nyc3rd Ave El over the Bowery in the 1890s. Image via Wikipedia

As New York City evolved and changed into the cosmopolitan city it is today, so did the transit lines connecting the city to the boroughs and Long Island. Here are 12 subway and rail lines that have been built, abandoned, then destroyed in New York City since the late 19th century some because of the construction of parallel underground lines, others because of changes in service patterns. With the triumphant return of the W line in the (supposedly) November 2016, we’re remembering some lines of the past. (more…)

The Newsstand-Lorimer-L Train-NYC-002The Newsstand at the MoMA

For about six months between June 2013 and January 2014, a pop-up “newsstand” was in action inside the Lorimer Street L subway station in Williamsburg. Taking the standard real-estate space for a newsstand, The Newsstand was a shop of a different sort selling records, independent magazines, clothing, and more. Now, this same installation by artist Lele Saveri is now at The Museum of Modern Art as part of the exhibit Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015.


Bowery and Prince-Fake Subway Station-NYC

The Nevins Street subway station in Brooklyn is notable for having an abandoned underground level. It is certainly not notable for being in Manhattan, which is where it is this morning in front of the New Museum at the intersection of Prince and Bowery. These subway entrances to nowhere are some of our favorite incongruous moments in New York City, which pop up for film sets like the 7 train entrance to nowhere.


MTA Money Train-Armored Train-Subway-370 Jay Street Tunnels-NYC-004

Last week, we reported on the MTA’s special armored money train that delivered fare collected from all over the transit system to a money room once located at 370 Jay Street, the subject of a current exhibit at the New York Transit Museum. This building was designed especially for this purpose, and selected for its location atop the Jay Street subway station. A crashgate along the Jay Street southbound F line subway track allowed the fares to be unloaded directly into the basement of the building, into special tunnels inside what looks like a uniform government building.

Today, we are pleased to share with you photographs of what these tunnels looked like inside 370 Jay Street, places that may have already been sealed off with the large-scale renovation of the building by New York University. These photographs were submitted to us from an anonymous source, and appear to be taken after the closing of the money room in 2006.


IND Subway Map-Station Colors-Vanshnookenraggen -NYCEarlier this week, one of our favorite mappers Vanshnookenraggen posted to his Tumblr a vision of the IND (Independent Subway) System, if its map had been colored according to an original coding system devised by Squire J. Vickers. Vickers was the chief architect of the New York City system, before and after its amalgamation and his background as a painter probably contributes to the creative color system. As Vanshnookenraggen writes, “Color coded stations were grouped between express stations to alert a rider which zone they were going through. At each express station, the colored tiles would change. Some station tile color patterns have been changed with repairs and renovations.” But, riding the trains lettered  A, B, C, D, E, F and G today you still get a sense of Vickers’ coloring system (the stations that have white tiles with a band of color and station name lettering in black and white tiles).


World's Fair Subway Line-R1-9 Train-1930-1940-Flushing Meadows Corona Park-Queens-NYCIND World’s Fair Subway LinePhoto via George Conrad Collection from NYC Subway

There is a line of the IND (Independent) subway that no longer exists, created specifically for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Near the Forest Hills-71st Street stop (along today’s M/R lines), the World’s Fair Line began at a flying junction (a rail crossing where tracks cross over ground level trucks via a bridge) and ran through Jamaica Yard. Two tracks that formerly went up to or through the yard storage area were extended, turning north along the east side of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park atop a pine wooden trestle built atop marshland (made famous as the Great Gatsby’s Valley of Ashes), and ending at a new station, the World’s Fair Terminal Station. The spur was a total of 2 miles, built at cost of $1.7 million.