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The IND Fulton Street Line is a rapid transit line of the IND Division of the New York City Subway, running from the Cranberry Street Tunnel under the East River through all of central Brooklyn to a terminus in Ozone Park, Queens. The IND Rockaway Line branches from it just east of Rockaway Boulevard and is used by the A and T. The A train runs express during daytime hours and local at night on the underground portion of the line; it runs local on the elevated portion of the line at all times. The C train runs local on the underground portion of the line heading to Ozone Park at all times except late nights, when there is no service west of Euclid Avenue. The T makes all stops on the line at all times, even late nights.

The line runs primarily along Fulton Street, Pitkin Avenue, and Liberty Avenue. The underground portion, which constitutes the majority of the line, was built for the city-owned Independent Subway System (IND), opening between 1936 and 1956. The elevated portion in Queens was originally part of the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT)'s Fulton Street elevated line; the El in Brooklyn was closed and demolished in stages with the opening of the subway line.

Description and serviceEdit

Service Between
  Time period Hoyt–
Schermerhorn Sts
Euclid Ave
Euclid Ave
Ozone Park – Lefferts Blvd
A All except nights express local
Late nights local
C All except nights local
Late nights no service local
T All times local

Entering Brooklyn via the Cranberry Street Tunnel as a two-track line, the IND Eighth Avenue Line travels east on Cranberry Street, then south on Jay Street. It becomes the Fulton Street Line at an interlocking north of Jay Street – MetroTech while briefly running parallel with the IND Culver Line. It turns away from the Culver Line onto Schermerhorn Street to the six-track Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station, which it shares with the Brooklyn–Queens Crosstown Line. The station was rehabilitated in the 1980's to feature walls on the Crosstown line platforms and discontinued cross-platform interchange with the Eighth Avenue and Crosstown lines as newer subway cars' door controls made it more difficult to open doors on both sides of the train simultaneously. The local tracks at Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets are used by the T to connect to the Court Street station before it continues to Manhattan under the Schermerhorn Street tunnel.

The line continues east under Schermerhorn Street to the intersections of Third Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, across them onto Lafayette Avenue and then finally onto Fulton Street until Broadway Junction.

After Broadway Junction, the line leaves Fulton Street via Truxton Street, crosses Broadway, curves through a corner of the East New York Yard, crosses Jamaica Avenue and then south on Pennsylvania Avenue. It then turns east onto Pitkin Avenue until Euclid Avenue station. East of Euclid Avenue there are track connections to Pitkin Yard, and from either the express or local tracks to the two-track line towards Grant Avenue station. The four mainline trackways continue east on Pitkin Avenue, disused, and end at approximately Elderts Lane.

Past Grant Avenue, the line joins the former Fulton Street elevated via a ramp as it enters Queens, swinging somewhat north until it is over Liberty Avenue. Here, it becomes a three-track line, with the center track coming from Pitkin Yard. Just past Rockaway Boulevard, the IND Rockaway Line branches southward while the Fulton Street Line continues over Liberty Avenue to its terminus at Lefferts Boulevard. At Rockaway Boulevard, the A and T switch to the Rockaway Line while the C stays on the Elevated line to Lefferts Boulevard.

HistoryEdit

The Fulton Street subway was the city-owned Independent System (IND)'s main line from Downtown Brooklyn to southern Queens. Along with the IND Eighth Avenue Line, it was also alternately known as the Washington Heights − East New York Line. The groundbreaking for the line was held on April 16, 1929, at Fulton Street and Arlington Place, near the future Nostrand Avenue station. The line was opened from Jay Street to Rockaway Avenue on April 9, 1936, including the stub terminal at Court Street. Further construction was delayed by funding problems due to the Great Depression in the 1930s. This was temporarily solved by federal Works Progress Administration funding starting in 1936. The portion continuing from east of Rockaway Avenue along Pennsylvania and Pitkin Avenues to Crystal Street began construction in 1938. The next portion east from Crystal Street to around Grant Avenue, including the Euclid Avenue terminal and the Pitkin Yard, began construction in 1940. The progress lasted only a few years, as all work on the last portions in Brooklyn was stopped by December 1942 shortly after the United States entered World War II, with Broadway−East New York complete but not in operation due to lack of signal equipment, and the remaining stations to Euclid Avenue as unfinished shells.

After World War II ended, workers and materials became available for public use again. The badly needed extension to the more efficient terminal at Broadway − East New York (the current Broadway Junction station) opened on December 30, 1946.

The extension of the Fulton Street Line, the completion of which had been delayed due to war priorities, was finished by funds obtained by Mayor William O'Dwyer and was placed in operation on November 28, 1948, running along Pennsylvania Avenue and Pitkin Avenue to Euclid Avenue near the Queens border. Forty additional R10 cars were placed into service for the extension. The cost of the extension was about $46,500,000. It included the construction of the new Pitkin Avenue Storage Yard, which could accommodate 585 subway cars on 40 storage tracks. Because these stations were completed later than the rest of the line, they received different design features than other IND stations, including different wall tiles and fluorescent lighting. In 1953, the platforms were lengthened at Ralph Avenue and Broadway–East New York to 660 feet to allow E trains to run eleven car trains. The E began running eleven car trains during rush hours on September 8, 1953. The extra train car increased the total carrying capacity by 4,000 passengers. The lengthening project cost $400,000.

In late 1952, the Board of Transportation began construction on a connection between the IND and both the Fulton El and the Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road, which included a new underground station at Grant Avenue. The connection from the 80th Street elevated station to the rest of the BMT Fulton El was severed on April 26, 1956 and the IND was extended east (track direction south) from Euclid Avenue via the intermediate station at Grant Avenue, and a connecting ramp (known as the Grant Avenue ramp).

The Fulton Street Line was a host to the following lines:

  • A (1936-present)
  • AX (1959-1985)
  • C/CC (1976-present)
  • E (1949-1976)
  • HH (1936-1968)
  • T (1990-present)
  • V/VV (1968-1990)

Second System planned routeEdit

The IND Fulton Street Line was supposed to be extended farther east into Queens as part of the IND Second System, via an extension of the Fulton Elevated or a new subway. The line would have gone as far as Springfield Boulevard in Queens Village or 229th Street in Cambria Heights, both near the Nassau County border. The line would have also had a spur to the Rockaways.

The 1929 Second System plan suggested recapturing and extending the Fulton elevated along Liberty, Brinkerhoff and Hollis Avenues to Springfield Boulevard, near Hempstead Turnpike, Belmont Park, and the Queens Village LIRR Station. The 1939 plan, meanwhile, proposed extending the subway along Pitkin Avenue to Cross Bay Boulevard in South Ozone Park, then along Linden Boulevard to Cambria Heights near the Cross Island Parkway. A spur would have branched off east of Cross Bay Boulevard, turning south to join with the former Rockaway Beach Branch of the Long Island Rail Road (now the IND Rockaway Line). This extended Fulton Street Line would have also facilitated service from the planned Second Avenue Subway via a river tunnel from Lower Manhattan to the then-terminal station at Court Street.

In a 1940 plan, which was revised in 1945, the IND Fulton Street Line would connect to the IND Rockaway Line in a similar manner to the 1939 plan, via an extension of the subway under Pitkin Avenue. The line, east of Euclid Avenue, would be 4 tracks, with local stations at 76th Street and 84th Street, and an express station at Cross Bay Boulevard. At Cross Bay Boulevard, a flying junction would let the local tracks cross over to the inside and the express tracks cross over to the outside. The layout would be similar to that of Manhattan's 168th Street station. East of Cross Bay Boulevard, another flying junction would bring a two-track branch over the line to a pair of portals north of Aqueduct – North Conduit Avenue station. Meanwhile, the Fulton Street Line's four tracks would merge into two tracks, and end at 105th Street (today's Aqueduct Racetrack), where a scissors crossover would be present just west of the station. Crossovers would also be located between the local and express pair of tracks east of 76th Street, and between the two express tracks east of Cross Bay Boulevard.

Currently the line ends at Lefferts Boulevard in Ozone Park (the former end of the Fulton El), and only the Rockaway extension was completed.The mainline tracks that go past the Euclid Avenue station and are currently planned to be part of a 4-track line to Cross Bay Boulevard. The plan would be similar to the 1940's plan, except that Cross Bay Boulevard would have two levels with Island platforms, with the express tracks on the upper level and local tracks on the lower level. The local tracks will not continue east of the Rockaway Line while the express tracks connect to the line. Is is not known when construction of the new line will occur or how it will be funded.

StationsEdit

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