Nevins Street Subway

The New York City subway is an ever-evolving network of stations and tracks that snake below the city streets. First opened in 1904, the system has morphed over the years as it has gained new branches and stations and lost others. In this list, we’ll explore parts of the Brooklyn subway that became obsolete and as a result, were either left abandoned or converted for new use.

Brooklyn Subway Tour

Nevins street platform

1. Bergen Street

When the Bergen Street station opened in 1933, in addition to the two tracks that are still in service today, there were two lower-level tracks. The station was built this way with the intention of it being an express and local station, but the lower-level tracks weren’t put into full use until the 1960s. Between 1933 and 1968 when express service started, the tracks were used sporadically whenever there was work being done to the tracks above. Express service through Bergen Street’s lower level was halted in 1976. Access to the lower levels was completely cut off from the platform above in the 1990s. At that time, the upper-level platforms were renovated, and large, silver, metal doors were installed to block staircases down to the lower platform. The lower level was allegedly damaged during these renovations and there was a fire at the relay room which rendered the tracks unusable. In 2008, the relay room was rebuilt. Express F trains resumed the use of the lower-level tracks in 2019. While the tracks are in use, the platforms are too deteriorated for the station to be a stop.

2. Myrtle Ave

The Myrtle Avenue subway station was built in 1915 as part of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line. The most interesting thing about the station isn’t that it’s abandoned, but that there is a piece of art inside it that you can see from the passing train cars. Riding out of the Dekalb Avenue Station towards Manhattan on the B or Q train, passengers will travel past 228 hand-painted images by artist Bill Brand installed along the full length of the abandoned station. When viewed from a moving train through narrow slits ringed with fluorescent lights installed in front of the images, the still images transform into a moving cartoon. Titled Masstransiscope, the piece is essentially a giant zoetrope. Originally installed in 1980, the piece was restored and re-installed in 2008.

3. Nevins Street

Nevins Street Subway

Below the Nevins Street subway station which serves 2, 3, 4, and 5 trains, there is an abandoned platform and track that was never finished. The Nevins Street stop was part of the original IRT Brooklyn subway line proposed in 1904 to run under Fulton St and Flatbush Ave. Construction had already begun when the plans were changed in 1905 calling for more tracks. The lower level track at Nevins Street was never completed and never used, however, at the existing platform, you can see decorative ironwork on the railings that lead down to the underpass. The underpass is the only part of the abandoned level that has ever been used. The abandoned platform is just on the other side of the wall. If you know the right place to look, you can peek through the door and into the abandoned space. In 2016, artist and activist Phil America hosted a guerrilla exhibition on the abandoned level highlighting mass shootings in America.

4. Court Street

Redbird subway car inside the abandoned Court Street subway station

What better place for a subway museum than inside an abandoned subway station? You’ll find the New York Transit Museum Inside the decommissioned Court Street station in Downtown Brooklyn is where. The station opened in 1936 but never saw high ridership numbers. As a result, it was closed in the 1940s. After sitting empty for nearly 30 years, the station was opened up for film and television shoots. In 1976, the museum was founded. Now, visitors can head below ground to see a fleet of twenty vintage subway and elevated cars, the oldest of which date back to 1907.

5. 9th Avenue

9th Avenue abandoned subway station

The 9th Avenue station in Sunset Park, Brooklyn opened in 1916. Upper tracks carried cars on the West End Line while lower tracks were used by the Culver Line so that the station accommodated both elevated and subway trains. Service through this station stopped track by track, with all tracks eventually shuttering in 1975. Though not as popular as the abandoned Bowery Station in Manhattan, the old 9th Avenue stop has been used as a filming location for a handful of projects including Crocodile Dundee in 1986, the Joker in 2019, and In the Heights in 2021.

Brooklyn Subway Tour

Nevins street platform

Next, check out more abandoned subway stations and 20 Secrets of the NYC Subway