A (New York City Subway service)

The A Eighth Avenue Express is a rapid transit service of the New York City Subway. It is colored blue on route signs, station signs, and the official subway map, since it runs on the IND Eighth Avenue Line through Manhattan. It is the longest one-seat ride in the subway system: over 31 miles (50 km) from 207th Street in Inwood, Manhattan, to Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway, Queens.

The A service operates at all times. The usual service pattern is from Inwood–207th Street to Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue or to Lefferts Boulevard in Richmond Hill, Queens via Central Park West and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, and Fulton Street in Brooklyn, running express in Manhattan and Brooklyn; local in Queens.

Five rush hour trips run from Beach 116th Street in Rockaway Park, Queens to Manhattan during the morning hours and five rush hour trips run to Beach 116th Street from Manhattan during the late afternoon hours. At all times, a shuttle train service (the Rockaway Park Shuttle) connects Rockaway Park to the mainline at the Broad Channel station.

Late evenings and nights (approximately 10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.), the A service makes all local stops in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, terminating at Far Rockaway. During these times, S shuttle trains run between Euclid Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard.

The following lines are used by the A service:

Line Tracks Time
IND Eighth Avenue Line north of 168th Street N/A always
IND Eighth Avenue Line south of 168th Street express all times except late nights
local late nights
IND Fulton Street Line north of Euclid Avenue express all times except late nights
local late nights
IND Fulton Street Line south of Euclid Avenue local always
IND Rockaway Line to Far Rockaway N/A always
IND Rockaway Line to Rockaway Park N/A rush hours, peak direction only


The A and AA were the first services on the IND Eighth Avenue Line when it opened on September 10, 1932. The A ran express between 207th Street and Chambers Street (adjacent to Hudson Terminal), and the AA was a local between 168th Street and Hudson Terminal (today's World Trade Center station). During late nights and Sundays, the A didn't run and the AA made all stops along the line.

The A was extended to Jay Street–Borough Hall on February 1, 1933, when the Cranberry Street Tunnel to Brooklyn opened; an extension to Bergen Street opened on March 20, and to Church Avenue on October 7.

On April 9, 1936, the IND Fulton Street Line was opened to Rockaway Avenue. On December 30, 1946 and November 28, 1948, the line was extended to Broadway–East New York (now Broadway Junction) and Euclid Avenue, respectively.

On April 29, 1956, Grant Avenue was opened, and the line was extended over the BMT Fulton Street Line to Lefferts Boulevard. Two months later, on June 28, 1956, the former Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Line was converted to subway specifications, and service began to Rockaway Park and Wavecrest (Beach 25th Street). At this time, rush hour express service on the Fulton Street Line with the train began.

On January 16, 1958, a new terminal was created at Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue, and the through connection to the Long Island Rail Road's Far Rockaway station was severed. In 1963, the train was extended to the Rockaways, and the A train ran local to Euclid Avenue or Lefferts Boulevard at all times. (HH shuttle service from Euclid Avenue provided all service to the Rockaways). On July 9, 1967, the A train was extended to Far Rockaway middays, evenings, and weekends, replacing the HH shuttle on that branch. Five years later, it would also be extended during rush hours. On January 2, 1973, the A train became the express service along Fulton Street and the train became the local. In 1986, the Independent Subway System's practice of using double letters to indicate local service was discontinued. The AA service was renamed the K. In 1988, it was discontinued and replaced by the . Until 1990, the main service was to Lefferts Boulevard, while the Far Rockaway service did not run late nights; at this time, a transfer to a shuttle at Euclid Avenue was available. In 1990, this pattern was switched, with late-night A service running to Far Rockaway only. A shuttle now provides service from Euclid Avenue to Lefferts Boulevard during late nights. A few years later, special A service began running from Rockaway Park to Dyckman Street during the morning rush, and from 59th Street–Columbus Circle to Rockaway Park during the evening rush.

In 1999, the A became the express on the Fulton Street Line on evenings and weekends after C service was moved from World Trade Center to Euclid Avenue during that time.

On January 23, 2005, a fire at the Chambers Street signal room crippled A and C service. Initial assessments suggested that it would take several years to restore normal service, but the damaged equipment was replaced with available spare parts, and normal service resumed on April 21.

Cultural references

  • Take the A Train is a jazz standard by Billy Strayhorn, referring to the A subway service that runs through New York City, going at that time from eastern Brooklyn up into Harlem and northern Manhattan, using the express tracks in Manhattan. It became the signature tune of Duke Ellington and often opened the shows of Ella Fitzgerald. Part of the significance of this is sociological: it connected the two largest Black neighborhoods in New York City.
  • There is also a play by New York playwright Stephen Adly Guirges called Jesus Hopped the A Train.


For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.

Station Subway transfers Connections and notes
Inwood–207th Street
Dyckman Street
190th Street
181st Street
175th Street George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal
168th Street
(IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue
155th Street
145th Street
135th Street
125th Street M60 bus to LaGuardia Airport
116th Street
110th Street–Cathedral Parkway
103rd Street
96th Street
86th Street
81st Street–Museum of Natural History
72nd Street
59th Street–Columbus Circle
(IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
50th Street Station is accessible in the southbound direction only
42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal
(IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line),
(IRT Flushing Line),
(BMT Broadway Line),
(42nd Street Shuttle) at Times Square–42nd Street
Port Authority Bus Terminal
34th Street–Penn Station Amtrak, LIRR, NJ Transit at Pennsylvania Station
23rd Street
14th Street
(BMT Canarsie Line)
West Fourth Street–Washington Square
(IND Sixth Avenue Line)
PATH at 9th Street
Spring Street
Canal Street
Chambers Street–World Trade Center (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
PATH at World Trade Center
Broadway–Nassau Street
(IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
(IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
(BMT Nassau Street Line)
High Street–Brooklyn Bridge
Jay Street–Borough Hall
(IND Sixth Avenue Line)
Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets
(IND Crosstown Line)
Lafayette Avenue
Clinton–Washington Avenues
Franklin Avenue (Franklin Avenue Shuttle)
Nostrand Avenue LIRR Atlantic Branch at Nostrand Avenue
Kingston–Throop Avenues B15 to JFK Airport
Utica Avenue
Ralph Avenue
Rockaway Avenue
Broadway Junction
(BMT Jamaica Line)
(BMT Canarsie Line)
LIRR Atlantic Branch at East New York
Liberty Avenue
Van Siclen Avenue
Shepherd Avenue
Euclid Avenue
Grant Avenue
80th Street
88th Street
Rockaway Boulevard
Services to Lefferts Boulevard and The Rockaways split
Service to Lefferts Boulevard
104th Street
111th Street
Ozone Park–Lefferts Boulevard Q10 to JFK Airport
Service to The Rockaways
Aqueduct Racetrack Station serves northbound trains only, and is open between 11:00 AM–7:00 PM on racing days at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Aqueduct–North Conduit Avenue
Howard Beach–JFK Airport AirTrain JFK
Broad Channel (Rockaway Park Shuttle)
Services to Far Rockaway and Rockaway Park Split
Service to Far Rockaway
Beach 67th Street
Beach 60th Street
Beach 44th Street
Beach 36th Street
Beach 25th Street
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue LIRR Far Rockaway Branch at Far Rockaway
Service to Rockaway Park
Beach 90th Street
Beach 98th Street
Beach 105th Street
Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street



  • Line By Line History
  • IND Subway Services
  • "City Opens Subway to Brooklyn Today," New York Times, February 1, 1933; page 19
  • "City Subway Adds a New Link Today," New York Times, March 20, 1933; page 17
  • "New Bronx Subway Starts Operation," New York Times, July 1, 1933; page 15

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