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Welcome to my subway website, a detailed description of every subway line in the New York City subway system. My name is Robert Kopolovicz and I've always had a major interest in the subways, (thanks to my maternal grandfather). During my childhood, I lived directly between the Culver and Sea Beach line in Brooklyn and have always wondered - how they were built, when they were built, the rolling stock used, etc. I was fascinated to later learn that the very first monorail system in the world called the Boynton Bicycle Railroad passed through my old block W 3 st between 1886 - 1892. This was in the town of Gravesend, one town north of Coney Island and one town south of Bensonhurst. A street commemorates this early monorail system known as Boynton Place where the experimental line began, passing through my old block, and terminating at Surf Ave/Ocean Parkway. I've personally ridden every subway line, went to all the boros, and studied all the routes - past, present, and future.
There are so many reasons why the subway lines became what they are today, primarily political in nature, and this website will show much of that. The first thing to understand about the NYC subway system is that every elevated and surface route from the 1860s up until the 1900s were separate, privately owned railroad companies; kind of like 15 Long Island Railroads in competition with one another. Over time, the four Manhattan els became part of the IRT and eleven Brooklyn els became BMT property. The IRT (Interboro-Rapid Transit) ran trains only in Manhattan and the Bronx. The BMT (Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit) was originally called the BRT (Brooklyn Rapid Transit) and did business primarily in Brooklyn and small parts of rural Queens. Later, the BMT decided to extend into Manhattan via the Manhattan bridge and tunnels leading to Broadway. The IRT, in turn decided to tunnel their way into Brooklyn leading to Flatbush Ave and an elevated branch to New Lots. Other IRT and BMT lines would follow years later.
In the meantime, a company called the Independent (IND) came later on, built newer lines, and was a municipal subway from the start. They pretty much bought out the IRT and BMT making it one gigantic system. Some els were demolished as a result, while other IRT and especially BMT lines were merged together going to almost every borough in the city. Staten Island is the only area not connected to the subway system. It has its own railroad called the SIRR (Staten Island Railroad) - today it's known as the Staten Island Railway. If they decide to tunnel under the narrows or put trains on the Verrazano Bridge, it could easily be connected with the train in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. But we probably won't see this until they build the Second Ave subway they promised us since the 1930s.
To make this website as easy as possible, I broke it down into the three subdivisions: the IRT, BMT, and IND. In addition, there are other pages of interest like; "Subway Trivia", and "The LIRR in relation to the Brooklyn els". PLUS, you can navigate to all the individual lines to see when all the stations were built and what services were offered! You'll find it very educational and entertaining at the same time. If you're a New Yorker, this will seem like review but if you're from out of town or living in the suburbs of the city, some of this information may be new to you. Either way, you'll enjoy this site.
SUBWAY TRIVIA: THE LIRR IN RELATION TO BROOKLYN ELS:
SUBWAY LINES: HOME PAGE: