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Old 06-08-2010, 12:21 PM
 
37 posts, read 105,197 times
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I am fascinated by the NYC subway system. I am curious why some trains are numbered such as the 1 and 2 etc. And certain ones are lettered like the A and B etc. Also, what do the colored dots that the numbers or letters are in signify. The 6 and G for example are green. The A and B, blue. The N and W yellow and the 7 pink. Do these colors mean anything? Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:57 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
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If I remember correctly, the subway was originally owned by 2 competing private companies, one who lettered their trains and one who numbered theirs (at least, that's what my boyfriend told me). As for the colors, it doesn't mean much other than trains of the same color run along the same length of track for at least part of the trip.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
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Yea for example the 4, 5, and 6 all run on the lexington line and as a result are all green.
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Old 06-08-2010, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Upper East, NY
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Number lines- Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) private company- subway cars are thinner
Early letter lines (A-G)- Independent Subway System (IND) - city-owned line
Later letter liens (H+)- Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT) private company.

They all merged during the Depression and since, there have been some mixing of the IND/BMT lines, like the V runs on both BMT and IND lines.
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Eastchester, Bronx, NY
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Here's a quick and easy primer.

Unlike other towns, New Yorkers almost always refer to lines by its letter or number and not its color. Ex - we don't say "Green Line" - we say "the '4'" or "the '6'". We don't say "Blue Line" - we say "the 'A'" or "the 'C'".

The colors are there to let you know what major Manhattan street in a line runs along.

Green - Lexington Avenue
Yellow - Broadway
Orange - 6th Avenue
Red - 7th Avenue
Blue - 8th Avenue
Gray - 14th Street
Purple - 42nd Street
Brown - Nassau Street
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:07 PM
 
Location: DC/Brooklyn, NY/Miami, FL
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Numbered Lines [1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6, 7 and the Grand Central Shuttle (S)] = IRT

Lettered Lines [A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, L, M, N, Q, R, V, W, the Rockaway Shuttle (S) and Franklin Ave Shuttle (S) = BMT/IND]

Most lines uses 10 subway cars, except:

7 train: 11 cars
G train: 4-6 cars
L train: 8 cars
C train: 8 cars
Grand Central Shuttle: 3 cars
Franklin Ave shuttle: 4 cars

If your wondering why the (C) train has all of the exact same stations the A train has its because the (C) train runs local while the (A) train runs express. Basically the C train helps the (A) train out since the (A) has a much longer route and without the (C) the (A) would be insanely overcrowded.

Subway cars in the IRT division are 54 feet long, with 3 doors on each side. They are also narrower. The IRT subway cars in service are: R62/R62A (1, 3, 4*, and 7 trains) and the R142 (2, 4, 5, and 6 trains).

Subway cars in the IND/BMT division are 60/75 feet long and are wider than the IRT cars with 4 doors on each side. The ones in service are the R32, R42, R44, R46, R68, R143, and the R160.

Here's pics of each of them: http://www.nycsubway.org/cars/currentfleet.html

Oh and the (7) and (L) lines are the only ones that doesn't share track with another line.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:51 PM
 
Location: New York City
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The colors are practically meaningless. It's the letters/numbers that are important. Lots of tourists don't realize this and mistakenly take the N to Ground Zero only to end up in Brooklyn.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
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And trains with the number or letter in a diamond are express trains and stop only at express train stops.Trains with the number or letter in a circle are running local and make all stops along the line.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:45 PM
 
Location: DC/Brooklyn, NY/Miami, FL
1,179 posts, read 2,410,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog2 View Post
And trains with the number or letter in a diamond are express trains and stop only at express train stops.Trains with the number or letter in a circle are running local and make all stops along the line.
With the only exception being the (A) train, which runs express at all times except late nights and the (J)(Z) lines, which skip-stop during rush hours.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
40,057 posts, read 29,709,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpk-nyc View Post
The colors are practically meaningless. It's the letters/numbers that are important. Lots of tourists don't realize this and mistakenly take the N to Ground Zero only to end up in Brooklyn.
Not true. Not true at all. Although most people, including you, don't seem to realize it, the subway map is color-keyed according to lines running through midtown Manhattan (that being the city center, and so quite logical). The system--and there is one--is as follows:

8 Avenue (A, C, E) ~ blue

7 Avenue (1, 2, 3) ~ red

Broadway (N, Q, R, W) ~ yellow

6 Avenue (B, D, F, V) ~ orange

Lexington Avenue (4, 5, 6) ~ green

14 Street Crosstown (L) ~ gray

42 Street Crosstown (7) ~ purple

Brooklyn/Queens Crosstown (G) ~ light green

Nassau Street (J, M, Z) ~ brown

shuttles ~ black

Look at the color designation for any line, anywhere in the city, and you can tell right away where it takes you in midtown.

As to the letters/numbers: the original subway system was the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), which opened for business in 1904. Its trains are designated with numbers.

There were two, later systems: BMT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit) and IND (Independent), which were later combined into one. Those trains are designated with letters.

Both systems were united as New York City Transit when the city took over the IRT Company in 1940.
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