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W subway line may be restored; would replace Q line in NW Queens

A worker walks in the west tunnel between

A worker walks in the west tunnel between the 72nd and 86th street caverns of the Second Avenue Subway project on Thursday, May 1, 2014. To prepare for service to begin on that route, the MTA is restoring the W line and changing where the Q line goes. Credit: Charles Eckert

The MTA plans some service changes in subway lines serving Manhattan and Queens, including restoration of the W line that was eliminated in budget cuts six years ago, as it readies to open the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway later this year, officials said Friday.

The W would run from Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan to Astoria, replacing the Q in northwestern Queens, which will still be served by the N train.

The Q, beginning at Kings Highway in Brooklyn, would run through the west side of Manhattan and curve east to 63rd Street, the first stop on the Second Avenue line. It would then head north to the new stops on the first section of the Second Avenue Line: 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street.

The Q would connect to the existing F line stop at 63rd Street. The service plans will be presented to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board at a meeting next week; a public hearing is tentatively set for the spring. If approved, the changes would be made in the fall, officials said.

“With every day’s work on the Second Avenue Subway, the MTA gets closer to fulfilling a promise first made to New Yorkers in 1929,” MTA chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said in a statement.

“Opening the Second Avenue Subway will provide new options for our customers and relieve congestion on Lexington Avenue 4,5, (and) 6 trains,” he said.

The changes in service include:

N Line: Service in Queens and Brooklyn remains the same, but trains operate express in Manhattan on weekdays during peak hours, midday and evenings.

Q Line: Northern terminus temporarily changed to 57 St./7 Ave. until the Second Avenue Subway opens. At that point, trains will operate from 96 St. in Manhattan to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave. in Brooklyn, stopping at: 86 St., 72 St., Lexington Ave./63 St., 57 St./7 Ave. and all express stops on the Broadway Line in Manhattan. During late nights, the Q will run local between Brooklyn and Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge. Service in Brooklyn remains the same.

The service changes will cost $13.7 million annually and are in the agency’s approved budget, the MTA said.

Long-range plans for the Second Avenue Subway call for it to run from Hanover Square in lower Manhattan to 125th Street.


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