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The IND Culver Line is a rapid transit line of the IND Division of the New York City Subway, extending from the junction of the southbound IND Eighth Avenue Line local tracks from Jay Street-Borough Hall and the IND Crosstown Line to the BMT Culver Line at Ditmas Avenue (which continues to Coney Island). It serves the communities of Downtown Brooklyn, South Brooklyn, Red Hook, Park Slope and Kensington all in Brooklyn.
Extent and serviceEdit
The IND Culver Line is served by the F as a local for its entire length. The portion of the route from Bergen Street south to Smith-Ninth Streets is also served by the G Brooklyn-Queens Crosstown service. Both routes run all the time.
Despite the fact that there are two express tracks on the northern part of the route and one on the southern, with express stations distributed along the line, there is no express service on the Culver Line at the present time. Hope for early restoration of expresses was thwarted by a serious signal fire at Bergen Street that is still under repair. When additional subway cars arrive and repairs are complete, a restoration of express service hasn't been ruled out.
The Culver Line is a four-track line, entirely underground except for Smith-Ninth Streets and 4th Avenue stations, the only above-ground section of the original IND system. A massive steel and concrete viaduct spans the Gowanus Canal. This structure is now referred to as the Culver Viaduct or Culver Line Viaduct. The line then proceeds east to Park Slope where the local tracks diverge to a station at 15th Street and Prospect Park West while the express tracks take a direct route beneath Prospect Park. The line then parallels the route of the original Culver Line surface railroad into Church Avenue station, last stop of the original IND service. Four tail tracks continue underground as a terminal facility, and four more tracks ascend the Culver Ramp to the BMT Culver Line.
The IND Culver Line was originally designated the Brooklyn Line but has also been called the Smith Street Line, Church Avenue Line or South Brooklyn Line. The express tracks beneath Prospect Park are sometimes referred to as the Prospect Park Line.
The Culver Ramp, located on McDonald Avenue between Cortelyou Road and Ditmas Avenue, connects the subway portion of the IND Culver Line with the former BMT Culver Line elevated structure. Despite being a part of the IND Division, the Culver elevated portion is controlled by BMT radio dispatch, so train operators change between the IND (B-2) and BMT (B-1) radio frequencies at this point.
Recapture of the BMT Culver Line elevated structure in order to institute IND service to Coney Island was a high priority of New York City planners as a fruit of Unification in 1940, the takeover of the privately-owned BMT and IRT by the City, which built and owned the IND.
Construction of the Culver Ramp between the Church Avenue and Ditmas Avenue stations began in 1941, but had to be abandoned because of the advent of World War II, delaying completion and opening until 1954.
On October 30, 1954, the connection between the IND Brooklyn Line at Church Avenue and the BMT Culver Line at Ditmas Avenue opened. This allowed IND trains to operate all the way to Stillwell Avenue terminal on Coney Island in a service announced as Concourse-Culver and advertised as direct Bronx-Coney Island service.
Service changes in 1954Edit
The connection of the two portions of the Culver Line resulted in a number of service changes on the IND concurrent with the opening:
- CC service, which had operated rush hours only to Broadway-Lafayette Street, was rerouted to Hudson Terminal.
- D service, which had operated to Hudson Terminal via the Sixth Avenue Line, was rerouted and extended to Coney Island.
- E service was moved to the express tracks between 42nd Street and Canal Street during rush hours, and at other times was kept on the local tracks and rerouted to Hudson Terminal.
- F service, which had operated to Church Avenue, was cut back to Broadway-Lafayette Street.
From 22:00 on October 29 until the ramp opened on October 30, BMT Culver Line trains only ran from Coney Island to the south end of the ramp at Ditmas Avenue, to allow the connection to be completed. A shuttle bus connected Ditmas Avenue to the Fourth Avenue Line at 36th Street. Once the ramp opened, BMT Culver Line service was only provided north of Ditmas Avenue, where a free transfer to the IND to Coney Island was provided. Evening, night and weekend service was truncated to a shuttle between Ditmas Avenue and 36th Street station on the Fourth Avenue Line.
|Station||Tracks||Services||Opened||Transfers and notes|
|begins at merge of tracks from Jay Street-Borough Hall (F always) with IND Crosstown Line (G always)|
|Bergen Street||all||F always|
|October 7, 1933|
|Carroll Street||local||F always|
|October 7, 1933|
|Smith–Ninth Streets||local||F always|
|October 7, 1933||southern terminal of G|
|Fourth Avenue||local||F always||October 7, 1933||Template:NYCS Fourth local (Fourth Avenue Line)|
|Seventh Avenue||all||F always||October 7, 1933|
|15th Street–Prospect Park||local||F always||October 7, 1933|
|Fort Hamilton Parkway||local||F always||October 7, 1933|
|Church Avenue||all||F always||October 7, 1933|
|express tracks merge into one, and the line becomes the BMT Culver Line (F always) just north of Ditmas Avenue|
- Bronx to Coney Ride in New Subway Link, New York Times October 18, 1954 page 34
- Bronx-Coney Line is Opened by IND, New York Times October 31, 1954 page 73