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96th Street is an express station on the IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 96th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, it is served by the 1 and 2 trains (all times), and by the 3 train (all times except late nights).
The station's configuration, with both island and side platforms, is unusual in the New York City Subway. As originally intended, the island platforms facilitated an easy transfer between local and express trains, while the shorter side platforms provided easy access from local trains to the street. This was also the design at Brooklyn Bridge and 14th Street on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line. When the subway first opened, the doors were manually operated, and it was possible to open both sides of the train at once. With the advent of full-length local trains and electronic doors controlled by a lone conductor, this system was no longer practical, and the side platforms were taken out of service. Today, they serve as part of the fare control and are separated from the local tracks by steel grills.
Access to the station is from stairways along the sidewalks of Broadway to the extreme north end of the side platforms, and then to the center island platforms via an underpass. A former public restroom now being used as a community center in the median of Broadway north of 96th is sometimes mistaken for a former subway station headhouse, however this structure was built decades after the subway station, and conforms to the design of other public restroom buildings in New York City, rather than to the design of original IRT subway headhouses such as 72nd Street.
The station was renovated in 1950 to accommodate longer trains. It was both extended (with a second entrance between 93rd and 94th Streets created) and widened (the tracks were moved and the platforms were widened). The extent of the original station is clearly visible, as the renovation was not done in the same style. Differences in the walls and ceiling are visible at the south end, and there remain seams in the platforms where they were widened.
The creation of the new entrance at 94th Street led directly to the closure of the 91st Street station, as it would have been impractical to lengthen it for 10-car local trains with an adjacent station so close by.
North of 96th Street station, the express tracks descend and turn east under 104th Street on their way to the IRT Lenox Avenue Line and the Bronx, while the local tracks remain on the upper level. After the express tracks turn off, a currently unused center track starts at approximately 100th Street.
In July 2006, the Upper West Side Community Board approved a renovation of the station. Construction is expected to start in early 2007. It is not known whether the unusual design of the station—forcing riders to go downstairs and then back up to reach the island platforms— will be altered.
- The 96th Street Station is the location of a chase scene in The Warriors.
- nycsubway.org — IRT West Side Line: 96th Street
- Station Reporter — 1 Train
- Station Reporter — 2 Train
- Station Reporter — 3 Train