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Types of Platforms in the New York City Subway System


MTR Admiralty

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Types of Platforms in the New York City Subway System:

(Written by yours truly)

 

Side Platform:

A single platform caters to only one track. It flanks the right hand side of the train in the moving direction. Local stations, in general, feature some form of a side platform station.

 

Bidirectional Island Platform:

Found at most terminals and some stations

 

Unidirectional Island Platform:

For the most part, almost ALL express stations have unidirectional island platforms. This practice allows for cross platform interchanges.

 

Stacked Platform:

This method is used when there is inadequate space to build a proper side platform station or an island platform station. A platform sits on top of another one. Examples include CPL stations between 72nd and 103rd, Wilson Avenue and 53rd/5th.

 

Bay Platform:

Like railways at terminals, the train is surrounded on 3 sides by platform. It is seen at Grand Central on the Shuttle Line (track 3). Times Square is also another bay platform station for the Shuttle line.

 

Single Track Station:

This station only services one track. Franklin Avenue, Park Pl (Franklin Shuttle) and Aqueduct Racetrack stations are all single track stations. Aqueduct Racetrack only services the Manhattan bound track, while Franklin Avenue and Park Place are actual stations on a one track running portion of a line.

 

Loop Station:

This station sits on a balloon loop and is always a terminal station. None of them exists today due to curvature and general inconvenience issues. Both the outer loop (which was, until recently, the terminal of the 1 train) and the inner loop (used to turn 5 trains) are loop stations. The City Hall Station on the original IRT line is also a loop station. Though technically, based on track configuration, the Coney Island station is part of a greater loop, according to the service patterns, it is only seen as a multi-line terminal with bidirectional island platforms.

 

Combinations Category: Stations using a combination of two or more platform setups

"The Penn Solution"

This set up is rare in the system, however it is found at important stations: 34th Street-Penn (IND), 34th Street-Penn (IRT) and IRT Atlantic Avenue. All of these stations have an express stop nearby, such that they can accomodate any cross platform transferring. This set-up discourages cross platform transferring at the stations where this practice is implemented. Historically, these stations serve important rail stations. Grand Central is an important rail facility, but because the following station is a local station, it could not be rendered like that.

 

The set up entails an island platform for the express services and side platforms for the local services. Proposals to convert Columbus Circle IRT have also involved using the "Penn solution".

 

Original IRT Express Station Set Up:

Not all express stations along the original IRT line used this method. In fact, only Brooklyn Bridge, 14th Street and 96th Street feature this. This involves two unidirectional island platforms and also two side platforms. The idea is to not have congestion on the island platforms due to cross platform interchanging.

 

Three-track Express Station:

Found in all express stations on three tracked lines, this set up involves the existence of two island platforms. The train in the middle track opens doors depending on the direction and time. At two stations, the train in the middle track stopping opens doors on both sides simultaneously. Both of these stations are terminals: 145th Street for the B and Flushing-Main for the 7.

 

Stacked Unidirectional Island Platform:

An island platform catering to one direction sits on top of another island platform, which caters to the opposite direction. Examples: 125th Street on the Lexington Avenue line; Queensboro Plaza. The Lexington Avenue/63rd Street is designed as a stacked unidirectional island platform station. However until the Second Avenue Subway is completed, it is operated as a stacked platform station.

 

Stacked Bidirectional Island Platform:

An island platorm which caters to both directions sits on top of another island platform, which caters to the opposite directions. Example: 53rd/7th.

 

Stacked Side Platform Express Station:

In this unusual variety of an express station, one set of tracks sits over another. The upper level features side platforms and the lower level has platforms that directly correspond to the ones above. Usually there is no crossunder or crossover at these stations. Examples: Nostrand Avenue on the IND, 86th Street on the Lexington Avenue Line. Bergen Street on the IND was a SSPES, however the lower level is closed to public.

 

Stacked Six Track Express Station:

There are two levels in such a station, as in other stacked stations. However, each level has 3 running tracks and 2 island platforms. 9th Avenue on the West End Line features this set-up, with the Culver Line operating from the lower level. The lower level has been abandoned since 1975, due to decreased riderships and subsequent service cuts.

 

Other:

Chambers Street (BMT) has 4 running tracks. It was originally fitted with 5 platforms. Two were unidirectional island platforms. A centre platform served as a bidirectional platform. Additionally, 2 side platforms flank the outer tracks. During its heyday, it was necessary to keep a "Spanish Solution" system, due to crowding fears. A platform was used for alighting, while another platform was used for loading. It was the only platform in NYCS history to fully practise the Spanish Solution.

 

Hoyt Schermerhorn has 6 tracks, however only 4 are in revenue service today. It was envisioned as an express station for the IND Fulton Street Line, with express tracks going to the IND 8th Avenue Line via the Cranberry Street Tunnels and the locals to Lower Manhattan via Court Street. The centre tracks were reserved for the IND Crosstown line. The resulting station was a 4 platform station, with 2 sets of unidirectional island platforms in each direction.

 

42nd Street-Port Authority (IND-8th) had an auxilliary side platform under its two unidirectional island platforms. This side platform had little logistical function, except to be used as a departure for premium services such as the Aqueduct specials. It was rumoured that its construction impeded any possible westward extension of the then competing IRT Flushing Line. During the construction process of the 7 Extension, it was demolished.

 

The IND 145th Street station mimics this in that the two levels have both express/local services. However, the upper level of the 145th Street Station has a pair of unidirectional island platforms (4 tracks), while the lower level (Concourse) operates as a three tracked station. Platforms are considered stacked.

 

BMT City Hall has a stacked configuration but only the upper level is in service. The upper level contains two tracks and a bidirectional island platform. However the lower level features 3 tracks and two sets of island platforms. Since the tracks at the lower level currently dead end just south of the station, the platforms (if in service) are said to be bidirectional.

 

Just something I'd like to share. Some of us would say "Captain Obvious", but just some nice information. Originally posted on MEF TransitXpress Transit Forums.

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Don't forget about the setup on some of he abandoned IRT elevated lines in Manhattan (2nd Avenue, 3rd Avenue, and 9th Avenue), where at some express stations, the local (on the lower level) used 2 tracks and 2 side platforms, whereas the express (on the upper level) had one track and used two side platforms. This could be considred a variation of the Stacked Side Platform Express Station.

The reason for this was that the IRT didn't see enough off peak traffic on those lines to justify a 2nd express track and so adapted this setup.

(On a side note, these express tracks were built as part of the Dual Contracts, with the first (on the 9th Avenue Line) opening in 1916).

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Don't forget about the setup on some of he abandoned IRT elevated lines in Manhattan (2nd Avenue, 3rd Avenue, and 9th Avenue), where at some express stations, the local (on the lower level) used 2 tracks and 2 side platforms, whereas the express (on the upper level) had one track and used two side platforms. This could be considred a variation of the Stacked Side Platform Express Station.

The reason for this was that the IRT didn't see enough off peak traffic on those lines to justify a 2nd express track and so adapted this setup.

(On a side note, these express tracks were built as part of the Dual Contracts, with the first (on the 9th Avenue Line) opening in 1916).

Yeah but the thing is, this only reflects the current subway system.

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Oh yes, but they got demolished long time ago and no traces remain. That's why I forgot about that.

 

The platformm at least on the downtown side, still exists:

 

BrooklynBr.now.jpg

 

 

NOTE: Taken from Joseph Brennan's Abandoned Stations page.

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The platformm at least on the downtown side, still exists:

 

BrooklynBr.now.jpg

 

 

NOTE: Taken from Joseph Brennan's Abandoned Stations page.

Well I mean, you can't detect them from the open part. They're pretty well hidden, especially after the renovation.

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