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Lexington Avenue Local

Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)

Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall is a station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located on Park Row at the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge, it is served by the and trains (all times), and by the train (all times except late nights).

This is the south terminal for the train, which turns via the City Hall loop. Just north of the station are crossovers that allow trains to switch between the local and express tracks, which allow Lexington Avenue local trains to continue south via the express tracks if necessary (rather than using the City Hall loop). Due to the closure of City Hall station in 1945, Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (which had simply been Brooklyn Bridge) became the southernmost station on normal Lexington Avenue local service.

South of the station, the downtown local track splits into three tracks. The westmost loops around to the northbound local track through City Hall station. The other two are layup tracks parallel to the downtown express track. Until the 1960s, they merged into the downtown express track north of Fulton Street, but now they are spurs ending a little north of Fulton Street, occasionally used for train storage. Plans are on the books to rejoin the layup tracks to the express track.

The station has been renovated, with new tile and ADA-compliant elevator access. It is the zero point for the IRT East Side chain; mile 0 is at the south end of the station.

Station and platform layout

The Brooklyn Bridge station has a number of abandoned areas as construction and service patterns have required changes to be made to the station. In addition to the two existing island platforms, there are two short local platforms on the outer edges of the station. Like those at 14th Street–Union Square and 96th Street, these local platforms were built to accommodate extra passenger volume and were built to the five-car length of the original IRT local trains. These side platforms did not see much use as they were located at express stations that required transfer via the island platforms, and, as trains were lengthened to their current ten-car length, it was impractical to lengthen both these small side platforms and the island platforms. They were closed in 1910 after only six years in operation and walled off along the platform edges.

The side platform on the southbound side is now home to some electrical equipment and a backup control tower for the Brooklyn Bridge interlocking, just north of the station. The tower is functional but not normally used, because the 42nd Street–Grand Central tower is the primary control point for the whole line. The interlocking board can be seen through a window along the wall along the southbound local trackway. The south end of the downtown side platform is still visible near the dispatcher's booth on the downtown island platform.

There are also some closed portions at the south ends of the existing express platforms. During the station lengthening projects it was easier to lengthen the express platform to the north. The curves at the south end proved impossible to rework so the station was lengthened northward (allowing Worth Street to be closed), and the curved southern ends of the express platform closed. Gap fillers and original mosaic tiles remain in the closed ends.

Artwork includes a 1996 work by Mark Gibian titled Cable Crossing.

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