Home<New York<NYC Subway<
2 Avenue-Broadway Express-Brighton Local
New York City Subway
 2 Avenue-Broadway Express-Brighton Local

on the SubwayNut
Service at All Times
·96 Street
·86 Street
·72 Street
·Lexington Av-63 St
·57 Street
·49 Street
·Times Sq-42 St
·34 St-Herald Sq
·28 Street
·23 Street
·14 St-Union Sq
·8 Street
·Prince Street
·Canal Street
Manhattan Bridge
·DeKalb Avenue
·Atlantic Av-Barclays Center
·7 Avenue
·Prospect Park
·Parkside Av
·Church Av
·Beverley Road
·Cortelyou Road
·Newkirk Plaza
·Avenue H
·Avenue J
·Avenue M
·Kings Highway
·Avenue U
·Neck Road
·Sheepshead Bay
·Brighton Beach
·Ocean Parkway
·West 8 St-NY Aquarium
·Coney Island
Stops Late Nights Only

The Q train is the main subway line that operates on one of the most historic and unique subway lines through Brooklyn on the Brighton Line. The Brighton Line originally opened as the Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railroad in 1878 between the Brighton Beach Hotel and Prospect Park. In 1908 the Brighton Line was grade-separated and expanded to become the 4-track express/local railroad that it is today.

The Brighton Line is extremely unique with trains running in an open-cut trench from Prospect Park until Newkirk Plaza, where trains gently rise up to the surface to stop at Avenue H (there is a more than half-mile gap between vehicular crossings of the subway line) before rising up to an earthen embankment with underpasses for city streets, the rest of the core of the railroad line nearly to Brighton Beach. The only portion of the Q train that is elevated in a traditional away over city streets is from just before the Brighton Beach Station into the Stillwell Avenue terminal, although this isn’t a traditional elevated structure and opened with 4 tracks (there are only two Brighton Line tracks between West 8th Street and Coney Island today, with the track connections to the lower level just before West 8th Street taken over entirely by Culver Line trains and the track connections severed in 1956).

The Subway portion of the line opened in 1920 with the new subway opening between Prospect Park and DeKalb Avenue and trains able to enter Manhattan via the Montague Street Tunnel or the Manhattan Bridge.

In 1960 Q became the new letter for Broadway-Brighton Line trains, with Brighton Express trains labeled as Q but instead of local trains following the conventional lettering as QQ, they were named depending upon their routing into Manhattan:

When the Chrystie Street connection opened in 1967, the D train took over as the primarily all times service on the Brighton Line, with only QJ service remaining. Due to Brighton Line complaints about the loss of Broadway Line service to Manhattan limited QB service was retained during peak direction rush hours only. In 1973 QJ service (at the time the longest subway line) was scaled back to Broad Street (trains became the J train) and swapped with the M trains, these ran local along the Brighton Line with rush hour QB trains with D trains running express during weekdays to Brighton Beach (night and weekend service was only D trains that were extended to Coney Island). <QB> service continued as only a rush hour subway line from Coney Island to 57 Street, becoming yellow in 1979 with the introduction of line-truck colors. The Q train, and it’s double letter predecessors has a service that ran only during rush hours or weekdays only was a service pattern that remained until 2001.

In 1985 double-letters were dropped and the Yellow <Q> became the bullet color for rush hour 57 Street to Coney Island via the Broadway and Brighton Local lines. In 1986 Q train service was pushed back to Brighton Beach, and started operating as the Brighton Express.

1988 and the long-term (over a decade long) closure of the south side of the Manhattan Bridge until 2001 saw the introduction of the Orange G train, as the weekdays only Brighton-6th Avenue Express running from Brighton Beach to 57 Street/6 Avenue via the Brighton Line and 6th Avenue Express Lines. The Q train was extended out to 21 Street/Queensbridge in Queens when the 63 Street tunnel opened in 1989. This began the Q trains habit of being the inaugural service on new subway lines.

From April 30 to November 12, 1995 the entirety of the Manhattan Bridge was closed during middays and weekends for reconstruction and the Q train ran with two different colors and 2 different service patterns:

The Reopening of the south side of the Manhattan Bridge in July 2001 along with the closure of the north side of the Manhattan Bridge, the Q train returned to its status as an important all times subway line with two services now operating:

Starting on September 8, 2002, the Coney Island terminal was closed and both Q services ran between Brighton Beach and 57 Street-7 Avenue, one as the local, one as the Express. Although after the September 11 attacks until October 28, 2001, the regular Q train was extended to Forest Hills-71 Avenue, running via the local track replacing R train service (J trains replaced the R in Brooklyn)/ This was because of damage to the subway line between the Montague Street tunnels and Canal Street from the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2004 the north side of the Manhattan Bridge reopened and instead of return of the Q train to be a rush hours or weekdays only Brighton Express train, it replaced the D train as the primary service along the Brighton Line continuing its local service running at all times between Brighton Beach (re-extended to Coney Island in May 2004) and 57 Street-7 Avenue. The &t;Q> Express died through on February 20, 2004. The New York Times wrote about a group of revelers who had a party on one of the last <Q> Express trains that evening. I made a point of riding the <Q> Express end-to-end that final service day as well, looking out the front window of an R40 Slant (one of the New York City subways most unusual and iconic pieces of rolling stock, who’s extremely low front window that a kid of pretty much any height could stand and look out of).

The 2010s resulted in yet more service changes for the northern terminal of the Q train. On June 28, 2010, budget problems discontinued the W train with Q trains extended during weekdays to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd, including stopping at 49 Street, with late night and weekend trains still ending at 57 Street-7 Avenue, skipping 49 Street. Trains began running via the Broadway Local tracks north of Canal Street on December 7, 2014 to decrease the waiting time at these important stations.

In 2016 preparations for the Second Avenue subway (that had been advertised as an extension of the Q train since environmental planning really restarted around the year 2001) resulted in W trains returning to service, and Q service cut back to 57 Street-7 Avenue on November 7, 2016. On January 1, 2017 the Q train was once again (just like when it began operating through the 63 Street tunnel in 1989) to service the newest subway line extension, being extended 4 stops (3 brand new, one heavily modified) to 96 Street via the Second Avenue Subway. During the time from the Orange Q trains extension to 21 Street-Queensbridge in 1989 until 2017, only one new subway extension with one new station had opened, the Hudson Yards Extension of the 7 Line one stop to 34 Street-Hudson Yards in 2015. Hopefully Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway will open by 2029 extending the Q train 3 stops to 125 Street-Lexington Avenue via new stops at 116 Street and 106 Street. It is the only new subway extension under active design.

For rolling stock the Q train currently uses exclusively R46 trains out of Coney Island Yard, except for one AM train of R160s (that also runs as an R train) and one PM train of R68s (that runs in the AM as a B train). From shortly after their introduction in 2006 until CBTC was inaugurated on the Queens Blvd line in 2021 requiring all E,F,M, and R trains to operate with them, the Q train primarily used new technology R160 trains.

Home<New York<NYC Subway<
2 Avenue-Broadway Express-Brighton Local
NYC Subway
on the SubwayNut

Last Updated: April 8, 2022
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