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JubaionBx12+SBS

Lex Av question

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The first stations to ever be built were, from city hall Lex Ave to grand central (42 St (S) tracks) then times sq shuttle track & up the broadway 7 ave tracks all the way till 145 St, were the first stations ever built, October 4, 1904. Basically, on October, 1904, local & express trains ran from city hall made a left on 42 St then a right onto broadway, at 96 st, local trains terminated & express trains continued up to 145 St.

 

The times sq ((1), (2) & (3) 7 ave) & Grand Central ((4), (5), & (6) Lex Ave) were added later. So the stations of Grand Central & 125 St & in between, were built later on. I guess there was no express service on the lex line north of Grand Central at the time, when it was built, they had to be put below the local tracks. Now at 103 & 110 Sts, I dont know why they were made like that, but they had enough room for express tracks.

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Guest lance25

Thanks for the history lesson Triboro Bridge, but the real answer to JDub's question is that Lexington Avenue isn't wide enough to handle all four tracks side-by-side. That's why they're stacked on top of each other with the exception of of the section between 96 St and just north of 110 St.

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Just to clear up some points.

 

Just a bit north of the 33rd Street station on approach along Park Avenue south, from the rail-fan-window one can see the trackways that lead to the current Shuttle tracks, and how the local and express tracks were weaved into the "then new" Grand Central station of the #4, #5, and #6 lines.

 

The Grand Central Station is on an angle, making the transition from Park Avenue South to Lexington Avenue, and the actual whole station is under the intersection. North of the 42nd Street-Grand Central station, the express tracks take a dip below the local tracks because: a) Lexington Avenue is not wide enough for the four tracks plus platforms needed for most local / express stops, and most important :( to minimize interference with the BRT/BMT's planned station at 60th Street-Lexington Avenue.

 

The Lexington Avenue express tracks were built at the same time as the local tracks where the local tracks could be closer to the streets, while the express do not have to be. In fact if you look at the express track tunnels - there are several sections that are "tunneled" rather than the "cut and cover" construction.

 

In any case the Lexington Avenue express tracks have to dip well below the BRT/BMT subway tunnel at 60th Street. Originally north of the 42nd Street station on Lexington Avenue (until the late-1950's) there were only two stops - 86th Street and 125th Street.

 

Yes, the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station was originally a LOCAL station with only the #6 and the BMT trains stopping there. The 59th Street-Lexington Avenue area is / was a major shopping and commercial district - meaning that the station was heavily crowded and used. The crowding of the station called for a response during the TA's 1950's re-building and expansion of the whole subway system.

 

Because the Lexington Avenue express tracks dipped well below the local tracks along Lexington Avenue, a new station platform and connecting mezzanine could be built at 59th Street - turning the station into a local / express station and a major transifer station. Which is what the TA proceeded to do.

 

That is also why the express platform and mezzanine had those 1960's type green tiles - because that's when it was built, until the stations recent renovation. The express platforms never had the "traditional IRT type tiles". The depth of the express tracks is also why there are very long escalators and stairways, and several escalators to reach those platforms.

 

For years many fans have asked for the westside #1 station at 59th Street-Columbus Circle to be turned into a local/express stop just like the eastside station - but that is impossible. With all of the tracks both local and express on the same level - all train traffic would have to cease to install new platforms - support structures, stairways, etc.

 

Under Lexington Avenue the express tracks at 59th Street were in a tunneled section deep below the BMT tunnel and the #6 local tracks - making the adding of side platforms and a mezzanine not completely difficult work. During major work periods - the express trains would be diverted to the local tracks, but the train traffic could continue.

 

So it was a good idea that the Lexington Avenue express tracks do dip below the local tracks after all.

 

Mike

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Just to clear up some points.

 

Just a bit north of the 33rd Street station on approach along Park Avenue south, from the rail-fan-window one can see the trackways that lead to the current Shuttle tracks, and how the local and express tracks were weaved into the "then new" Grand Central station of the #4, #5, and #6 lines.

 

The Grand Central Station is on an angle, making the transition from Park Avenue South to Lexington Avenue, and the actual whole station is under the intersection. North of the 42nd Street-Grand Central station, the express tracks take a dip below the local tracks because: a) Lexington Avenue is not wide enough for the four tracks plus platforms needed for most local / express stops, and most important :( to minimize interference with the BRT/BMT's planned station at 60th Street-Lexington Avenue.

 

The Lexington Avenue express tracks were built at the same time as the local tracks where the local tracks could be closer to the streets, while the express do not have to be. In fact if you look at the express track tunnels - there are several sections that are "tunneled" rather than the "cut and cover" construction.

 

In any case the Lexington Avenue express tracks have to dip well below the BRT/BMT subway tunnel at 60th Street. Originally north of the 42nd Street station on Lexington Avenue (until the late-1950's) there were only two stops - 86th Street and 125th Street.

 

Yes, the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station was originally a LOCAL station with only the #6 and the BMT trains stopping there. The 59th Street-Lexington Avenue area is / was a major shopping and commercial district - meaning that the station was heavily crowded and used. The crowding of the station called for a response during the TA's 1950's re-building and expansion of the whole subway system.

 

Because the Lexington Avenue express tracks dipped well below the local tracks along Lexington Avenue, a new station platform and connecting mezzanine could be built at 59th Street - turning the station into a local / express station and a major transifer station. Which is what the TA proceeded to do.

 

That is also why the express platform and mezzanine had those 1960's type green tiles - because that's when it was built, until the stations recent renovation. The express platforms never had the "traditional IRT type tiles". The depth of the express tracks is also why there are very long escalators and stairways, and several escalators to reach those platforms.

 

For years many fans have asked for the westside #1 station at 59th Street-Columbus Circle to be turned into a local/express stop just like the eastside station - but that is impossible. With all of the tracks both local and express on the same level - all train traffic would have to cease to install new platforms - support structures, stairways, etc.

 

Under Lexington Avenue the express tracks at 59th Street were in a tunneled section deep below the BMT tunnel and the #6 local tracks - making the adding of side platforms and a mezzanine not completely difficult work. During major work periods - the express trains would be diverted to the local tracks, but the train traffic could continue.

 

So it was a good idea that the Lexington Avenue express tracks do dip below the local tracks after all.

 

Mike

 

Well 103rd and 110th Street is built Express and Local with 116th and Up, Local above and Express below.

 

Why is that? Because of Lexington Avenue becoming a hill at 103rd?

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From a previous message:

 

Well 103rd and 110th Street is built Express and Local with 116th and Up, Local above and Express below.

 

Why is that? Because of Lexington Avenue becoming a hill at 103rd?

 

------------------

 

On the eastside of Manhattan between East 97th Street and the 100's, the land slopes downward due to the Harlem Valley. That is why the Metro-North viaduct on Park Avenue was built - to keep the trains level.

 

However the basic question concerned the 103rd and 110th Street local train stations and why there are 4 tracks there. The idea being that Lexington Avenue in Manhattan is often not a wide street. Yes, however it would be good to notice just how NOT WIDE the side platforms at both stations. Meaning that the placement of a typical local/express station is not going to work - the center platforms would not be wide enough.

 

At one time there were track switches between the local and express tracks near the 103rd or 110th Street stations. They have long since been removed - as in decades ago. The cut-out openings for the track switches however still exist.

 

Now why is 116th Street built as usual - local above and express below? Well 116th Street is a business street in East Harlem, thus the planners may have expected more crowds at those stations compared to the more local neighborhood nature of 110th and 103rd streets. Between the 116th Street station and the 125th Street, the express and local tracks undergo changes to accommodate the south-bound flying junction for the 125th Street local/express station.

 

Hope this helps.

Mike

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Just to clear up some points.

 

Just a bit north of the 33rd Street station on approach along Park Avenue south, from the rail-fan-window one can see the trackways that lead to the current Shuttle tracks, and how the local and express tracks were weaved into the "then new" Grand Central station of the #4, #5, and #6 lines.

 

The Grand Central Station is on an angle, making the transition from Park Avenue South to Lexington Avenue, and the actual whole station is under the intersection. North of the 42nd Street-Grand Central station, the express tracks take a dip below the local tracks because: a) Lexington Avenue is not wide enough for the four tracks plus platforms needed for most local / express stops, and most important B) to minimize interference with the BRT/BMT's planned station at 60th Street-Lexington Avenue.

 

The Lexington Avenue express tracks were built at the same time as the local tracks where the local tracks could be closer to the streets, while the express do not have to be. In fact if you look at the express track tunnels - there are several sections that are "tunneled" rather than the "cut and cover" construction.

 

In any case the Lexington Avenue express tracks have to dip well below the BRT/BMT subway tunnel at 60th Street. Originally north of the 42nd Street station on Lexington Avenue (until the late-1950's) there were only two stops - 86th Street and 125th Street.

 

Yes, the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station was originally a LOCAL station with only the #6 and the BMT trains stopping there. The 59th Street-Lexington Avenue area is / was a major shopping and commercial district - meaning that the station was heavily crowded and used. The crowding of the station called for a response during the TA's 1950's re-building and expansion of the whole subway system.

 

Because the Lexington Avenue express tracks dipped well below the local tracks along Lexington Avenue, a new station platform and connecting mezzanine could be built at 59th Street - turning the station into a local / express station and a major transifer station. Which is what the TA proceeded to do.

 

That is also why the express platform and mezzanine had those 1960's type green tiles - because that's when it was built, until the stations recent renovation. The express platforms never had the "traditional IRT type tiles". The depth of the express tracks is also why there are very long escalators and stairways, and several escalators to reach those platforms.

 

For years many fans have asked for the westside #1 station at 59th Street-Columbus Circle to be turned into a local/express stop just like the eastside station - but that is impossible. With all of the tracks both local and express on the same level - all train traffic would have to cease to install new platforms - support structures, stairways, etc.

 

Under Lexington Avenue the express tracks at 59th Street were in a tunneled section deep below the BMT tunnel and the #6 local tracks - making the adding of side platforms and a mezzanine not completely difficult work. During major work periods - the express trains would be diverted to the local tracks, but the train traffic could continue.

 

So it was a good idea that the Lexington Avenue express tracks do dip below the local tracks after all.

 

Mike

 

To add on to this, the fact that 59th was not an original express station is part of why the express platform is so poorly ventilated (especially noticeable in the summertime!) compared to the rest of the IRT system, which has vents throughout to dissipate hear and bring in fresh air. 59th lower was never intended to actually see passengers, and once it was built it was impossible to go back and properly ventilate that station due to the confluence of construction at that location. Tunneling the crossover and the connection to the BMT was work enough.

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For years many fans have asked for the westside #1 station at 59th Street-Columbus Circle to be turned into a local/express stop just like the eastside station - but that is impossible. With all of the tracks both local and express on the same level - all train traffic would have to cease to install new platforms - support structures, stairways, etc.

 

Which also means that when the original IRT subway was built, the next express stop after Grand Central was not until 72nd Street (remember, the original Times Square station was a simple, local station because at that time, Times Square was nowhere near the area it would become by the time the rest of the Broadway-7th Avenue and Lexington Avenue lines were added)! Of course, no one knew then how important the original subway would be in Manhattan and later the rest of NYC.

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Ventilation in the subways is an interesting topic since the NYC subways were not originally constructed for air-conditioned trains! Air-conditioned trains have completely different requirements for air circulation, then the previous series of non-air conditioned cars. Air-conditioned trains put out a lot of heat - especially when used most during the summer - into concrete lined tunnels.

 

One aspect of the "ventilation system" of the original subways was the "piston-action" of the trains pushing air through out the tunnels, and the vents that are built alongside the tunnel walls. There is also the issue of water-proofing the subway tunnels, and the nature of expected water levels. None of the subway lines built before 1940 (meaning the majority of our subway lines) handle air-conditioned trains well. And yes, the Lexington Avenue in its early days with non-air conditioned trains could be sweltering in the hot summer months of July. A long noted historical feature - that the 59th Street renovation with express tracks really have nothing to do with.

 

The express platforms of the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station were expressly built to handle crowds - because the local trains and platforms were over-crowded - that is why the express track platforms were built in the first place. Just why anyone would say that the platforms were "not really intended to be used" - would then beg the question of just why the new express track level platforms were built in the first place. There are several news articles from the time when the TA was building the express track platforms to back up what I've said.

 

In the renovation of many stations, it is easy to notice the wide spaces around stairways, or the open spaces of the platforms - they are for air movement. In the 1960-70's the TA had concerns about adding air-conditioned trains to subway lines that where not built for them. Read the "Uptown-Downtown" book by Stan Fischler for an account about how the TA first instituted air-conditioned trains.

 

Mike

Edited by MikeGerald
Added a missing letter.

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Air conditioning was just being invented around the time of the subway's building. Later on (30s/40s/50s), layouts and architecture were made that reflected the rolling stock (which was obviously not air-conditioned) at the time. Have to remember everything was electro-mechanical then not even crude computer systems existed then. The person or people who eventually had the idea of NTT probably were just being born at the time

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Ventilation in the subways is an interesting topic since the NYC subways were not originally constructed for air-conditioned trains! Air-conditioned trains have completely different requirements for air circulation, then the previous series of non-air conditioned cars. Air-conditioned trains put out a lot of heat - especially when used most during the summer - into concrete lined tunnels.

 

One aspect of the "ventilation system" of the original subways was the "piston-action" of the trains pushing air through out the tunnels, and the vents that are built alongside the tunnel walls. There is also the issue of water-proofing the subway tunnels, and the nature of expected water levels. None of the subway lines built before 1940 (meaning the majority of our subway lines) handle air-conditioned trains well. And yes, the Lexington Avenue in its early days with non-air conditioned trains could be sweltering in the hot summer months of July. A long noted historical feature - that the 59th Street renovation with express tracks really have nothing to do with.

 

The express platforms of the 59th Street-Lexington Avenue station were expressly built to handle crowds - because the local trains and platforms were over-crowded - that is why the express track platforms were built in the first place. Just why anyone would say that the platforms were "not really intended to be used" - would then beg the question of just why the new express track level platforms were built in the first place. There are several news articles from the time when the TA was building the express track platforms to back up what I've said.

 

In the renovation of many stations, it is easy to notice the wide spaces around stairways, or the open spaces of the platforms - they are for air movement. In the 1960-70's the TA had concerns about adding air-conditioned trains to subway lines that where not built for them. Read the "Uptown-Downtown" book by Stan Fischler for an account about how the TA first instituted air-conditioned trains.

 

Mike

 

Of course...what I meant was that since the original plans never intended for the express tracks at 59th Street lower to see passengers, ventilation was never considered in the same way as say on the local tracks.

 

Therefore when ridership patterns and transfers dictated the addition of an express station, the ventilation for the station would inevitably be inadequate as all ventilation of the lower level would have to be through the upper level, or further into the tunnel itself...but surface ventilation directly would be impossible, as it still is today.

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