Subway FAQ: Unused Track Connections

From nycsubway.org

There are track connections that are not used for passenger service at the following places. This list does not include Unused Express Tracks or parts of or provisions for routes not built.


  • Stillwell Avenue: All of the incoming lines (Brighton, Sea Beach, West End, and Culver) can connect to each other either via direct moves or reverse moves through the station. This was used for a short-lived NX express service starting at Brighton Beach, through Stillwell Avenue, to Manhattan via Sea Beach, 1967-1968.
  • BMT Canarsie Subway/BMT Jamaica El: A connection between these two lines at East New York-Broadway Junction allows for trains to/from Canarsie to travel via the Broadway Elevated to the Williamsburg Bridge. This was used for the K service via Chrystie Street listed below.
  • BMT Franklin Shuttle/BMT Brighton Line: The shuttle connects to the Brighton main line at Prospect Park. This was used prior to the construction of the subway line north of Prospect Park for through trains via Franklin line to the LIRR (1878-1883) and to the Fulton Street Elevated (1896-1920). The Fulton St. El connection was severed in 1920 when the Brighton-Flatbush Avenue subway connection opened. There were Franklin--Coney Island trains as late as 1964.
  • BMT Brighton Line/BMT Broadway Subway: At DeKalb Avenue, there is an unused set of switch tracks that would permit trains northbound from the Brighton line to access the Montague Street tunnel (which connects to the Broadway and Nassau subways), and southbound trains from Montague Street to access the Brighton Line. This was formerly used for "M" service before the "M" was rerouted to the West End line.
  • The Brooklyn IRT: At Atlantic Avenue, a trackway for a connection from the LIRR Flatbush Terminal to the northbound IRT local. Rumors abound; the track may or may not have ever been installed; August Belmont "might" have used it for access from "his" subway to his racetrack on Long Island. Listed here as honorable mention.


  • IND 8th Avenue/IND 6th Avenue: A connection from the 8th Avenue Local to the 6th Avenue local just south of West 4th Street station. The routing complexities of the 6th and 8th Avenue lines is probably why it is now only used for emergency reroutes. The JFK Express "Train to the Plane" used this connection, and was used prior to the Chrystie Street connection opening for a 169th Street-Jay Street service via Rutgers St. Tunnel.
  • BMT Broadway Subway: a connecting track from 57th St. & 7th Ave. to the 63rd Street Subway under Central Park is not normally used in revenue service except during periods of construction.
  • IRT Times Square-Grand Central Shuttle: Track four (north side of 42nd Street) connects to West Side uptown local via a removable bridge at the end of the Times Square platforms; track one is connected the East Side downtown local through a short tunnel that remains from the original IRT construction.
  • The Brooklyn IRT: A short track connection between Bowling Green and South Ferry on the West Side IRT. Also, the short "shuttle" platform track which connects only to the southbound track to South Ferry (and not to the Main Line to Brooklyn. The access from the IRT main line around the inner loop and back is still used to turn trains but there is no passenger service to the inner loop. See the station description of Bowling Green for more details.
  • City Hall Station: The loop track through City Hall Station south of Brooklyn Bridge.


  • IND Rockaway Line: A single track connects the branches of the wye at Hammels. This has been used in the past as the Rockaway round-robin shuttle service and occasionally during construction.

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