First phase of New York’s Second Avenue Subway opens

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An inaugural ride on New Year’s Eve marked the completion of the first phase of New York’s Second Avenue Subway project – a project almost 100 years in the making.

Phase 1 of the project is now operational between 96th Street and 63rd Street, and includes new stations at 96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street.

MTA has also renovated Lexington Av/63rd Street station, which provides a connection to the F line.

The remodelling of the station has included adding two new entrances. One of these is on Third Avenue – the skeleton for which was built when the station was constructed 40 years ago but never completed.

Plans for the Second Avenue Subway were first put forward in 1919. Work began on it in the 1970s but was halted several years in because of funding concerns.

Photo of the new 86th Street station.

A limited service began on January 1 ahead of a full 24-hour service commencing on January 9, with 10 trains an hour running at peak times.

Once complete, the full 14-kilometre line will include 16 new stations, including the three from Phase 1, from Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan to 125th Street in Harlem.

In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “After nearly a century, the Second Avenue Subway is no longer a dream that only a few still believe is possible.

“Thanks to the dedication and tireless efforts of thousands of great New Yorkers, the stations are open, the trains are running and it is spectacular.”

The opening was also attended by MTA chairman and chief executive Thomas Prendergast and the workers that helped build the line.

Photos: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

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