The BMT West End Line is a line of the New York City Subway, serving the Brooklyn communities of Borough Park, New Utrecht, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach and Coney Island. The D train operates local on the entire line at all times. Although there is a center express track and three express stations along the line, there is no regular express service at this time.
The elevated line, originally mapped as the New Utrecht Avenue Line (though the common name prevailed after construction), replaced the surface West End Line.
The line was originally a surface railway to Coney Island, called the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad. Under the Dual Contracts of 1913, an elevated line was built over New Utrecht Avenue, 86th Street and Stillwell Avenue, opening to 62nd Street on June 25, 1916, and fully opening to Coney Island on July 21, 1917. The original surface right-of-way was retained for use by trolley cars to provide local service and protect the company's franchise.
|Time period||Section of line|
|D||all times||full line|
The West End Line has had an express (on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line) service – labeled 3 in 1924 – since it opened in 1916, passing over the Manhattan Bridge and onto the BMT Broadway Line express tracks. In the late 1950s, midday trains were switched to the local Fourth Avenue tracks and through the Montague Street Tunnel, and late night and Sunday service became a shuttle between Coney Island and 36th Street. The West End services were assigned the designations T and TT in the early 1960s, although the T mainly served the BMT Culver Line. With the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection in late 1967, the B train from Manhattan and the Bronx was extended to Coney Island and a new EE line was formed, absorbing the TT and T respectively. The TT late night and Sunday shuttle survived until 1968, when the B became full-time. It ran local on Fourth Avenue during late night hours, but express at all times. Late night operation was cut back to a shuttle to 36th Street in 1976.
In 1976, a new rush hour W was created between 57 Street and Bay Parkway via Broadway and Fourth Avenue Express, replacing N express service in Manhattan. In 1987, the B was cut back to 34th Street due to reconstruction of the Manhattan Bridge north tracks, causing the W to expand service to replace the B. In return, the short line service was essentially recreated when the rush-hour M extension to Brooklyn was moved from the BMT Brighton Line to the West End Line terminating at Bay Parkway. Midday Service was added and terminated at Ninth Avenue. in 1988, W service was cut drastically and B service returned to West End.
In 2001, when reconstruction of the Manhattan Bridge north tracks occured once again, the B service in Brooklyn was replaced by a W train extension, which now ran as a shuttle not only to 36th Street during nighttime hours, but also to Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street on weekends. In 2002, reconstruction of Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue resulted in the West End Line being the only line to serve the terminal and the W was extended full-time into Manhattan, using the local Fourth Avenue tracks and Montague Street Tunnel on weekends and late nights hours.
In 2004, the Manhattan Bridge reconstruction was completed, and the W was replaced with an extended D train, running over the bridge at all hours and express on Fourth Avenue except late nights. The restored Brooklyn D service was moved to the West End Line instead of returning to the Brighton Line on which it had run since 1967, except for periods of construction rerouting, in order to avoid running two separate (B and D) shortened lines outside of weekday hours. The plan was for the B to run only on weekdays in the Bronx, while the restored service on the Brighton Line (formerly the D) was to run only on weekdays in Brooklyn. Thus, moving the B to the Brighton Line meant it would only need to be operated during weekday hours. This eliminated the need to run late-night and/or weekend shuttles on either the Concourse Line or the West End Line.
In 2010, as part of a series of MTA budget cuts, M service on West End was discontinued. The D now is the only line to serve the West End Line. However, there is a plan to bring back a second service to West End. This is due to growing ridership on the Fourth Avenue Line. It is currently planned to have a new Second Avenue service serve the Line.