Sixth Avenue Railroad

Sixth Avenue Line (Manhattan surface)

The Sixth Avenue Line was a public transit line in Manhattan, New York City, United States, running mostly along Sixth Avenue from Lower Manhattan to Central Park. Originally a streetcar line and later a bus route, it has been absorbed into the M6 bus route, which replaced the Broadway Line, as its northbound direction.


The Sixth Avenue Railroad opened the line from Chambers Street and West Broadway north along West Broadway, Canal Street, Varick Street, Carmine Street, and Sixth Avenue to 43rd Street (Manhattan) (soon 44th Street) on August 11, 1852; the Eighth Avenue Railroad began using the trackage along and south of Canal Street on August 30. In 1853, it was extended south along West Broadway to the new depot at Barclay Street, and a branch was added on Canal Street east to Broadway. On October 7, 1853, trackage was added on Church Street, Chambers Street, and Barclay Street to form a loop. The grant given to the Sixth and Eighth Avenue Railroads specified that they would run to Broadway and Vesey Street; this extension, in Church and Vesey Streets, was opened by 1865.

Extensions to the north opened to 49th Street in March 1856 and to 59th Street by 1865. Cars were later extended west on 59th Street and north on Columbus Avenue, Broadway, and Amsterdam Avenue into Upper Manhattan (see Sixth and Amsterdam Avenues Line), and a branch (the Sixth Avenue Ferry Line) was added via the Metropolitan Crosstown Line, along Watts Street and West Street to the Desbrosses Street Ferry. Buses were substituted for streetcars by the New York City Omnibus Corporation (which numbered it 5) on March 3, 1936. When Sixth Avenue and Broadway became one-way streets, the NYCO's bus 6 (which replaced the Broadway Line) was rerouted largely over the former Sixth Avenue Line northbound.


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