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72 Street is the southern most of three stops on Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway that opened to the public on January 1, 2017. If Phase III of the Second Avenue subway is ever implemented from here to Houston Street or other points south, just south of this station is where Q trains running via Broadway, will curve away from full-length Second Avenue trains (tentatively named T trains in planning documents and mock-subway maps using a sky blue route color for this new truck-line).

The stop in the initial, early 2000s plans for the full-length Second Avenue subway was supposed to have a third middle terminating track, with a two-island platform, 3 track layout, that was designed for trains coming from the Broadway Line to have a place to terminate before merging with trains on the Second Avenue line to continue north to 125 Street. This would have increased capacity on the full-length Second Avenue subway, since the building of the Second Avenue subway removed the ability of Broadway Line trains to terminate in Manhattan at 57 Street/7 Avenue, without continuing north on the Second Avenue Subway to 96th Street (or 125th Street when that extension opens). Today the Q train and the Second Avenue subway has plenty of capacity, even with a few rush hour N trains, and one AM rush hour R train that run to and from the Second Avenue Subway and 96th Street, because of terminal capacity constraints in Queens at Astoria and Forest Hills. These trains previously terminated at 57 Street but can no longer. The downside to the third track at this station being valued engineered out of design are potential track and terminal capacity constraints when the full Second Avenue Subway is ever completed. Normally this shouldn’t be an issue but there could be issues when for instance the north side of the Manhattan Bridge has to be closed again and all Manhattan Bridge trains must run via the Broadway Line (such as would the Second Avenue Subway have the track and terminus capacity for a Q Local, re-instituted <Q&rt; Express and the new T subway line).

The current station is located in a deep-level cavern, 99 feet below ground, with a single 27.8 foot wide island platform for the two track line. The design of the deep-level cavern means no support beams are present on the platform for the full-length mezzanine above. The platform walls are grey panels with black lines and 72s in them at regular intervals. From the platform staircases, many combined with escalators along with a single elevator lead up to the mezzanine area. The mezzanine has an arched ceiling formed of concrete with white panels clearly showing the structure of the deep-level cavern the station is located inside.

To leave the station there are exits with fare control areas at either end of the mezzanine. The northern exit is where the token booth is along with two exits to the street to the intersection of 72 Street and 2 Avenue. To the SW corner are four elevators that directly up to the sidewalk in a small brown and glass ancillary structure. To reach the NE corner are three escalators leading directly from the mezzanine to the street, arriving at the first level of a larger ancillary ventilation building.

The secondary exit is singed for 69 Street and has a bank of turnstiles without a token booth at the southern end of the mezzanine. Here a passageway leads out from only the east side of the mezzanine to a bank of three escalators. These lead up to a small intermediate landing where a further passageway leads out to two street stairs along the streetside of the eastern sidewalk along Second Avenue between 69 Street and 70 Street. Both of these streetstairs are extra wide and have modern glass canopies, the streetstair to the NE corner of 69th Street and 2nd Avenue is stairs only, while a combined staircase/up escalator is signed for the SE Corner of 70 Street and 2 Avenue although it arrives at the street in the middle of the block between 69 Street and 70 Street. Across the street at the NW corner of 69 Street and Second Avenue is a large subway ancillary ventilation building, it only contains emergency exit staircases not open to the public.
All Photos: October 7, 2018

Art For Transit at 96 Street

Arts For Transit at 72 Street

Perfect Strangers 2017
Glass mosaic
By Vic Muniz

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Last Updated: 7 July, 2019
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