Home<New York<NYC Subway<
Nassau Street Express·Jamaica Av Local
New York City Subway
Nassau Street Express
Jamaica Av Local

on the SubwayNut
Service at all times
·Jamaica Center

·Sutphin Blvd
Archer Ave.
·121 Street
·111 Street
·104 Street
·Woodhaven Blvd
·85 St-Forest Pkwy
·75 St-Elderts Lane
·Cypress Hills
·Crescent St
·Norwood Av
·Cleveland St
·Van Siclen Av
·Alabama Av
·Broadway Jct
·Chauncey St
·Halsey St
·Gates Av
·Kosciuszko St
·Myrtle Av
·Flushing Av
·Lorimer St
·Hewes St
·Marcy Av
Williamsburg Bridge
·Essex St
·Canal St
·Chambers St
·Fulton St
·Broad St
Stops Except Rush Hours
Peak Direction
Stops Except Weekdays
To Broad St: 7:00am to 1:00pm
To Jamaica: 1:30pm to 8:00pm

J is for Jamaica you could say in why the J train has its letter. The J train is the New York City’s subway most elevated line (not including shuttles) with only 8 of its 30 local stations underground at both ends of the route, in Manhattan and in the very modern Archer Avenue Extension that opened to replace the elevated through Downtown Jamaica (and improve connections to buses and the Long Island Rail Road).

The tracks of the J train, particularly between Broadway Junction and just after Crescent Street are still the original 1893 track structure and configuration for an original BRT elevated (these stations have narrow island platforms with one exit at one end of the platform). This line ran from a previous Cypress Hills Station to Broadway Ferry in Williamsburg along, largely the current route of the J train as far as Marcy Avenue until trains were extended over the Williamsburg Bridge to Essex Street in 1908 into Manhattan. Service was discontinued between Marcy Avenue and Broadway Ferry in 1916.

The portion of the elevated between Broadway-Eastern Parkway and Marcy Avenue received a third track (and was fully rebuilt) under the dual-contracts era with express trains beginning to run in 1922, with the extension out from Cypress Hills to Jamaica-168 Street Queens opening in 1918 on a modern dual-contracts era elevated with just two tracks but space between the two tracks with room for a third track. The stretch between Broadway Junction and Cypress Hills was never fully rebuilt (just strengthen to allow for heavier steel subway cars instead of the original wooden BRT gate cars). This stretch is the last example real of what an original pre-dual contracts 1890s Brooklyn Rapid Transit elevated line was like with narrow platforms and tiny station houses at one end of the platform, the southern half of the Myrtle Avenue elevated was similar until it was the last Brooklyn traditional elevated to close in 1969.

Service into Manhattan reached Chambers Street in 1913 with the Nassau Street line not being completed to Broad Street (and the currently unused Montague Street Tunnel connection) not being completed until 1931.

Skip-Stop service on the AM rush hour #14 Local (latter JJ), and #15 Express (later QJ) began in 1959, a service pattern that continues to this day with the Z train (although it has had some pauses, including one for 8 years).

Letters finally got fully implemented for the J train in the early 1960s with #14 and #15 retired in 1967 with the Opening of the Christy Street connection. Briefly there were three variations of the J train:

From 1973, the QJ was discontinued and a single J service (with J trains running skip stop service during the AM rush hours only, all signed as J trains) began like today, although K trains at the time ran from 57 Street-6 Avenue to Broadway Junction allowing trains to run express in the peak direction between Broadway Junction and Marcy Avenue. When K trains were discontinued skip-stop service began between Myrtle Avenue and Broadway Junction as it does today, with M trains covering the 3 stops between Myrtle Avenue and Marcy Avenue like today.

In 1977 the J train’s original elevated to 168 Street in Jamaica was closed with service pushed back to Queens Blvd. This was done at the request of Downtown Jamaica merchants thinking that the elevated caused blight and decreased business. The Arthur Avenue extension of the subway under construction at the time. Skip-stop service was discontinued in 1980 with service pushed back to 121 Street in 1985 to allow for the track connection to be made and tunnel portal to be built into the Arthur Avenue subway.

When the Arthur Avenue extension opened in 1988 and service was extended to the new Jamaica Center Station, the J train got a lot of love with skip-stop service resuming with the new Z train (see Z train’s page for full details) to try and make the slower J line time competitive with the passengers who might have otherwise taken the E train to Lower Manhattan.

J trains were extended briefly through the Montague Street tunnel to Brooklyn again along the old RJ route to Bay Ridge-Brooklyn after the September 11, 2001 until October 28, 2001 due to damage to the normal tunnel near the World Trade Center site.

For Rolling Stock I will always think of the J train being home of the R42, these cars were gradually replaced with R160s starting in 2007. Today trains are operated with a mixture of R143s, R160s, and R179s. The last R42 retired from J train service on December 30, 2019, but were brought back in January 2020 briefly due to issues with the new R179s. The J train also saw seasonal summer only use of the R32s starting in summers only from 2014 until Fall 2020 (when the R32s ran their last regular, non-farewell trips on the J). In summer select new technology R160s would be swapped with the R32s normally operating on the C line because these half-century year old cars had poor air conditioning and couldn’t keep up with the entirely underground route of the C train. The J train is predominately outdoors.

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Nassau Street Express·Jamaica Av Local
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Last Updated: October 30, 2022
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