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System Changes since the World Record was set in 1989

The NYC Subway System is constantly evolving like a living organism.  In fact, 219 stations have closed in the history of the system.  Most of those were elevated stations which Herman Rinke visited just before the unification of the IRT, BMT and IND systems in 1940.

Below we have listed (to the best of our abilities) a comprehensive list of changes to the system since Kevin Foster set the World Record in 1989.  The changes are broken out into four lists that detail the significant subway service, schedule, and station changes.

Some changes will make our run faster while others complicate the route or slow us down.  In aggregate, they probably net each other out to make the attempt today comparable to the 1989 run.


Station Changes (Openings, Closings, Transfers)

Date Change Details Impact
10/29/1989 63 St Line Opens Q (weekdays), B (weekends), and JFK Express are extended from 57 St-6 Av station to 21 St-Queensbridge  Adds 3 stations, 2.17 miles, and 6 minutes in each direction
4/21/1992 Intervale Av station re-opens Intervale Avenue station (#2/#5), re-opens; it had been closed since 3/15/89 due to fire damage Adds 1 additional station stop; almost no running time impact
9/10/1995 Dean St Closed The Dean St station of the Franklin Shuttle is permanently closed Reduces station stops by 1, almost no running time impact
10/18/1999 Franklin Shuttle Transfer The Franklin Shuttle re-opens following reconstruction, including a new free transfer to the #2/#3/#4/#5 at Botanic Garden New free transfer adds flexibility and eliminates the need to double-back between Atlantic Av and Franklin Av (#2/#3/#4/#5)
7/22/2001 Manhattan Bridge Swap Canal Street lower-level station re-opens as part of a package of changes related to Bridge service switching from 6th Avenue to the Broadway Line Adds 1 additional station; requires riding over the Bridge or doubling-back to 14 St to visit the lower level station
9/11/2001 Cortlandt St (#1/#9) Closed The Cortlandt Street (#1/#9) station is closed indefinitely pending WTC redevelopment Reduces station stops by 1, almost no running time impact
8/20/2005 Cortlandt St (R/W) Closed Cortlandt St (R/W) is closed to allow for Fulton St Transit Center construction Reduces station stops by 1, almost no running time impact


Stopping Changes (Impact on transfers to reach local stations)

Date Change Details Impact
May-05 #1/#9 Skip-Stop eliminated Weekday skip-stop service on #1 and #9 replaced by all-stop service (had been cut to rush only in 1994) Skip-stop would have required riding both the #1 and #9 between 242 St and 137 St.  All local service reduces waiting time and doubling-back.
9/1/1999 Bowery Skip Eliminated J and Z trains now stop at Bowery (trains formerly skipped the station 6AM-8PM weekdays) Now possible to ride the J/Z instead of only the M weekdays


Schedule/Routing Changes (Impact on route or timing)

Date Change Details Impact
1990-1992 Queens Blvd. Changes Queens R cutback from 179 St to 71 Av Additional transfer required when riding F from 179 St to reach local stations on Queens Blvd.
10/25/1992 Rockaways restructure Late night Rockaways Round-Robin replaced by through A to Far Rockaway and shuttles to Lefferts and Rockaway Park; Rockaway Park C is replaced by full-time S and rush hour A to Rockaway Park Late night Round-Robin trains that formerly provided service to all Rockaways stations without transferring eliminated
4/30/1995 Midday M cutback Midday M runs from Metropolitan Av to Chambers St instead of 9th Avenue Riding the M via the Montague Tunnel to avoid transfers and doubling-back is now possible rush hours only
9/3/1995 Late night Lenox and 42 St Shuttle Closed Late night #3 and S-42 St Shuttle service is eliminated Four stations now closed overnight, requiring the route to be scheduled around these closures
2/22/2004 Manhattan Bridge full service restored N rerouted via Bridge (except nights), D rerouted via 6Av-West End, B (6 Av) and Q (Bway) serve the Brighton Line New routing options via both sides of the Manhattan Bridge
12/16/2001 63 St connection opens F trains re-routed via 63 St tunnel connection; new weekday V service via 53 St Dead end at 21 St-Queensbridge (57 St in 1989) now served by through 6Av-Queens Blvd F


Other Changes

Date Change Details Impact
9/1/1996 OPTO Instituted One Person Train Operation is established on several shuttles, including the Franklin and Rockaway Park Shuttles Slightly increased running times
  Speed Reductions Signal and rules changes to improve safety result in slower operation along many segments Slightly increased running times
  Schedule Changes Schedule changes result in increased service on many lines Reduced waiting times