6 (New York City Subway service)
The 6 Lexington Avenue Local and <6> Pelham Bay Park Express are two rapid transit services in the A Division of the New York City Subway. Their route emblems, or "bullets", are colored forest green since they use the IRT Lexington Avenue Line in Manhattan.
Local service is denoted by a (6) in a circular bullet, and express service is denoted by a <6> in a diamond-shaped bullet; on the R62A rolling stock, this is often indicated by LED signs around the service logo to indicate local or express service to riders; a green circle for 6 local trains, and a red diamond for <6> trains. This was inherited from the 7, the line the 6 received most of its R62As from.
6 trains operate local at all times between Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx and Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall in Lower Manhattan. During weekdays in the peak direction, <6> Pelham Express trains replace 6 local ones north of Parkchester, and run express between that station and Third Avenue–138th Street. During this time, 6 Pelham Local trains short turn at Parkchester (except for peak-direction <6> Express trains that return in the opposite direction as 6 Local trains). Weekdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., select Manhattan-bound <6> trains run local from Parkchester to Hunts Point Avenue while select Parkchester-bound 6 trains run express in that section.
The 6 in its current format has run since the implementation of the IRT "H" system in 1918. Since 1920, it has remained largely unchanged, running between Pelham Bay Park and City Hall with a peak-express variant in the Bronx. In 1945, the city closed the City Hall Loop station, the 6's former southern terminal in Manhattan. Since then, most 6 trains have terminated at Brooklyn Bridge, with a few exceptions in later years.
On October 27, 1904, local and express service opened on the original subway in Manhattan, following the route of the present IRT Lexington Avenue Line from City Hall to Grand Central–42nd Street. From there, the service traveled west on 42nd Street on the route of the present 42nd Street Shuttle, and then north on the present IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line to 145th Street.
The current "H" configuration, with separate services along Lexington Avenue and Broadway/Seventh Avenue, was introduced in 1917. Full Lexington Avenue local service from City Hall to 125th Street opened on July 17, 1918. On August 1, 1918, Third Avenue–138th Street opened with trains running between there and City Hall, making all stops.
On January 17, 1919, trains were extended from 138th Street to Hunts Point Avenue, and on May 30, 1920, 6 service was extended to East 177th Street. On October 24, 1920, 6 service was extended again to Westchester Square. On December 20, 1920, 6 service was extended to Pelham Bay Park.
On December 21, 1925, the number of Manhattan-bound through trains in the morning rush hour, between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., were increased from 13 to 18, a 38% increase in service. The remainder of trains continued operating as a shuttle service to Hunts Point Avenue.
By 1934, service south of the City Hall station had been discontinued, and late-night service ran from Pelham Bay Park to 125th Street only; late night express service on the 4 ran local for the first time that year.
Effective December 31, 1945, City Hall station closed with the former Brooklyn Bridge station (renamed to Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall) being the permanent southern terminal. However, the 6 train still uses the loop to get from the southbound to the northbound local track at Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.
Beginning October 14, 1946, weekday rush and Saturday morning rush peak direction express service started, with Pelham Bay trains using the middle track between East 177th Street and Third Avenue–138th Street. This express service saved eight minutes between Third Avenue and East 177th Street. During this time, 6 trains that ran local in the Bronx when express trains operated began to terminate at East 177 Street to make room for express trains to Pelham Bay Park. On March 7, 1949, the hours of the PM Bronx-bound express service were advanced from 4:30 PM to 3:30 PM, and on June 17, 1949, the hours of the AM Manhattan-bound express service were extended from 9:30 AM to 10:30 AM.
On September 22, 1948, 54 additional cars were placed in service on the 6 train, increasing the lengths of trains from six cars to seven cars.
From December 15 to 22, 1950, the weekday rush trains from Pelham Bay Park were extended to South Ferry. On June 23, 1956, Saturday morning express service began operating local on the 6 train. Starting April 8, 1960, late night and weekday evening trains were extended to South Ferry, followed by weekend evening service starting October 17, 1965; however, all trains were again cut back to Brooklyn Bridge by May 23, 1976, when the inner loop platform of South Ferry closed.
From March 1, 1960, to October 17, 1965, the 4 and 6 trains also ran local together in Manhattan late nights when late night express service on the 4 was discontinued for a time.
Beginning on January 13, 1980, late night service terminated at 125th Street in Manhattan with the 4 again making all stops south of there. On the same day, Bronx express service was expanded to operate during middays, with Pelham Bay trains running express in the peak direction to Brooklyn Bridge in the morning, then to Pelham Bay Park in the afternoon. This service cut affected 15,000 riders, and was criticized by Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein as no public hearing was held.
From January 21 to October 5, 1990, late night service was extended back to Brooklyn Bridge when late night express service on the 4 was restored. But the 6 was then cut back to 125th Street for the last time when late-night express service on the 4 in Manhattan was permanently discontinued.
Effective October 3, 1999, the 4 and 6 trains once again began to operate local together in Manhattan late nights when the 6 train was permanently extended back to Brooklyn Bridge.
The following table shows the lines used by 6 and <6>, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|weekday peak direction||all other times|
|IRT Pelham Line (full line)||Pelham Bay Park||Castle Hill Avenue||local|
|Parkchester||Third Avenue–138th Street||express|
|IRT Lexington Avenue Line||125th Street||Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall|
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops late nights only|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops all times except weekdays in the peak direction|
|Stops weekdays in the peak direction only|
|Time period details|
|Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act|
|↑||Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act|
in the indicated direction only
|Elevator access to mezzanine only|
|Stations||Subway transfers||Connections/other notes|
|Pelham Bay Park||Bx12 Select Bus Service|
|Westchester Square–East Tremont Avenue|
|Castle Hill Avenue|
|Parkchester||Q44 Select Bus Service|
All northbound p.m. rush hour local trips end at this station
Some southbound a.m. rush hour trips begin at this station and run local to Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall
||||St. Lawrence Avenue|
|Hunts Point Avenue||Bx6 Select Bus Service|
||||East 149th Street|
||||East 143rd Street–St. Mary's Street|
|Third Avenue–138th Street||Some a.m. rush hour trips to Manhattan begin or end at this station|
|Lexington Avenue Line|
|125th Street||4 5 ||Metro-North Railroad at Harlem–125th Street|
M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport
One southbound p.m. rush hour trip begins at this station
|86th Street||4 5 ||M86 Select Bus Service|
|77th Street||4||M79 Select Bus Service|
|68th Street–Hunter College||4|
|59th Street||↑||4 5
N R W (BMT Broadway Line at Lexington Avenue/59th Street)
Out-of-system transfer with MetroCard: F N Q R (63rd Street Lines at Lexington Avenue–63rd Street)
|Roosevelt Island Tramway|
Elevator access via Bloomingdale's in the northbound direction only during Bloomingdale's operating hours; no ADA access
E M (IND Queens Boulevard Line at Lexington Avenue–53rd Street)
|Grand Central–42nd Street||4 5
7 <7> (IRT Flushing Line)
S (42nd Street Shuttle)
|Metro-North Railroad at Grand Central Terminal|
|33rd Street||4||M34 / M34A Select Bus Service|
|28th Street||↓||4||Station is ADA-accessible in the southbound direction only.|
|23rd Street||4||M23 Select Bus Service|
|14th Street–Union Square||4 5
L (BMT Canarsie Line)
N Q R W (BMT Broadway Line)
|Astor Place||↓||4||Elevator access via Kmart in the southbound direction only during Kmart's operating hours; no ADA access.|
B D F M (IND Sixth Avenue Line at Broadway–Lafayette Street)
N Q R W (BMT Broadway Line)
J Z (BMT Nassau Street Line)
|Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall||4 5
J Z (BMT Nassau Street Line at Chambers Street)
In popular culture
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- In the 1973 novel The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and the films based on it, a 6 train that originates in Pelham Bay Park is hijacked, and hostages are held inside a subway car.
- Justin Townes Earle's "Working for the MTA" describes the 6 train from the perspective of the driver.
- In the 74th episode of Seinfeld, "The Cigar Store Indian", aired in 1993, the characters are riding the 6 from George's parents' house in Queens. It stops at Queensboro Plaza where they jump out to get famous gyros. The 6, however, does not run through Queens; additionally, Queensboro Plaza is in reality an elevated station, instead of a subway station as depicted on Seinfeld.
- After his first visit to the city in 1969, Rubén Blades wrote the song "El número seis" (meaning "The Number Six" in Spanish) about waiting for the 6 train. He never recorded it, but it was recorded in 1975 by Bobby Rodríguez y la Compañía in 1975, Los Soneros del Barrio in 1999, and Jimmy Sabater with Son Boricua in 2002.
- In the 1984 film The Pope of Greenwich Village, the bar and tow truck scenes take place beneath the 6 train's elevated structure at Castle Hill Avenue station.
- A scene in the 1995 film Kids takes place on the 6 train, including shots of a legless panhandler on a skateboard.
- While growing up, Jennifer Lopez regularly rode the 6 train into Manhattan to go to her dance studio. Her debut 1999 album, referring to the subway service, is called On the 6.
- Mark Wahlberg rides the 6 (on a train consisting of R29/36 cars) in the 2000 movie The Yards.
- In the 2000 movie Boiler Room, the main character, Seth, mentions that the brokers at his firm act like they "just got off the 6 train to Fulton Street." The 6 train, however, does not stop at Fulton Street.
- On January 22, 2006, eight members of the Improv Everywhere comedy troupe were arrested on a 6 train after participating in a citywide prank dubbed "No Pants". They have before and since performed several other pranks on the 6 train.
- In the 2007 How I Met Your Mother episode "Lucky Penny", Barney gets stuck on a 6 train when he becomes unable to move his legs.
- "Subdivision 'A' Car Assignments: Cars Required June 24, 2018" (PDF). 61 (7). Electric Railroaders' Association. July 2018: 16. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- "6 Subway Timetable, Effective June 24, 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
- "mta.info - Line Colors". web.mta.info.
- "New Subways For New York: The Dual System of Rapid Transit - Interborough Routes and Stations". NYCSubway.org. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
- Bolden, Eric. "NYCT Line by Line History". www.erictb.info. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
- "I.R.T. To Add Trains. Increases Service to Queens and the Bronx". The New York Sun. December 18, 1925. Retrieved April 11, 2019 – via Fulton History.
- Green, Jonah (November 10, 2010). "The Abandoned City Hall Subway Stop Now Visible To Tourists (PHOTOS)" – via Huff Post.
- Report for the three and one-half years ending June 30, 1949. New York City Board of Transportation. 1949.
- "January 1980 IRT Service Changes". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. December 1979.
- "Suit seeks to bar cutbacks on Lexington Ave. subways". New York Daily News. January 11, 1980. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- "Service Change". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. February 1990.
- "Subway Service Guide" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 25, 2017. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
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