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IRT Woodlawn Line

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title_ny_woodlawn.jpg

A northbound #4 train enters Fordham Road station in July 2001. Photo by David Pirmann.

Overview

The Woodlawn line was constructed as part of the Dual Contracts expansion program. The line opened in stages beginning June 2, 1917. The New York Times reported on June 3, 1917:

Yesterday afternoon the operation of the new Jerome Avenue elevated branch of the Lexington Avenue subway from 149th Street north to Kingsbridge Road was begun. The event was celebrated by the Bronx Transit League, members of which were carried over the route in a special train leaving the station at 149th Street and Mott Avenue at 2:15pm. Exercises and a concert in honor of the event followed at the Old Fordham Clubhouse, Fordham Road and Morris Avenue. .... The operation of this line will be temporary, pending the completion of the new Lexington Avenue line, of which the Jerome Avenue extension is a portion. Trains of four cars will be operated upon a ten-minute headway during the day and on a twelve-minute headway after 8pm.

The Jerome Avenue line is one of the new elevated and subway extensions reaching into the northern part of the Bronx. It is one of the two divisions of the Lexington Avenue trunk from which it forks as a subway at about 135th Street in the Bronx. It continues as a three-tracked subway to approximately 157th Street and thence becomes an elevated line extending over River Avenue and into Jerome Avenue at 169th Street, terminating at Woodlawn Road and Van Cortlandt Park.

The subway portion of the Jerome Avenue line is a little over a mile in length, while the elevated portion is approximately 4.8 miles in length. ... The operation of the section that was opened yesterday adds about ten track miles to the Dual System lines in operation. ... Only the stations between 149th Street and Kingsbridge Road will now be placed in service. It will not be operated throughout its entire length to Woodlawn in connection with the Lexington Avenue line until some time in the late Autumn.

Several of the stations on this line are of steel, covered wth concrete and tile work and highly decorative in character, including the stations at Bedford Park Boulevard, Mosholu Parkway, Woodlawn, and 161st Street.

At 162nd Street on the Jerome Avenue line, connection will be made by way of the 162nd Street connection with the tracks of the Ninth Avenue elevated line. Late in the Winter of 1917 it is expected that operation may be undertaken by this route.

Including the subway and elevated portion from 135th Street north to Woodlawn Road the Jerome Avenue line will cost approximately, when completed, about $7,000,000. The elevated portion has cost about $3,000,000 to construct and the subway portion slightly over $4,000,000. The contract for the subway portion from 135th to 157th Streets was executed on November 17, 1911, while the two contracts for general construction of the elevated portion were let on December 31, 1913, and April 3, 1914.

Description of Route

From Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York, 1916:

This is a three-track elevated line which connects with the west branch of Route No. 5, Section No. 15, and extends from a point near 157th street over River avenue and Jerome avenue to Woodlawn road, or Bainbridge avenue. It is known as Route No. 16, and is divided for purposes of construction into two sections known as Nos. 1 and 2.

Route No. 16, Section No. 1. — This section begins at a point near 157th street and River avenue and extends in a northerly direction over River and Jerome avenues to about East 182d street. Oscar Daniels Company, contractor. Date of contract, December 31, 1913. Contract period, 18 months. Summary of contractor's bid, $1,077,978. Connection is made on this line at 162d street with an extension from the Ninth Avenue Elevated line.

Route No. 16, Section No. 2. — This section begins at about 182d street and extends northerly over Jerome avenue to about 198th street; it cuts thence across the Jerome Park Reservoir property to a point near 204th street and Jerome avenue, and thence over Jerome avenue to Bainbridge avenue. Cooper & Evans Company, contractor. Date of contract, April 3, 1914. Contract period, 18 months. Summary of contractor's bid, $1,076,831. It is proposed to construct a yard for the storage of cars for this route on the property acquired by the City for reservoir purposes on the west side of Jerome avenue south of Mosholu parkway known as Jerome Park Reservoir property. The stations at 200th street, Mosholu parkway and Bainbridge avenue received special architectural treatment.

Jerome Avenue Branch. Showing progress in Franz Sigel Park. PSC report 1912.
Jerome Avenue Branch. Subway under Franz Sigel Park, showing construction of reinforced concrete roof and curtain wall. PSC report 1913.
Jerome Avenue Branch. Subway under Franz Sigel Park, between Walton and Gerard Avenues, showing reinforcement for side and center walls, and completed subway. PSC report 1913.
Jerome Avenue Branch. Construction of railroad duct bank along east side of Jerome Ave. Looking north at 174th St. PSC report 1914.
Jerome Avenue Branch. Elevated Structure in Process of Construction on River Avenue South of 167th Street. PSC report 1915.
Jerome Avenue Branch. Finish of Typical Station (176th Street). PSC report 1917.

Opening/Closing Dates

StationOpenedClosed
138th Street (Mott Haven)7/7/1918
149th Street-Grand Concourse7/17/1918
161st Street-Yankee Stadium6/2/1917
167th Street6/2/1917
170th Street6/2/1917
Mt. Eden Avenue6/2/1917
176th Street6/2/1917
Burnside Avenue6/2/1917
183rd Street6/2/1917
Fordham Road6/2/1917
Kingsbridge Road6/2/1917
Bedford Park Boulevard4/15/1918
Mosholu Parkway4/15/1918
Woodlawn4/15/1918


Route Map

</svg>IRT East Side Line
</svg>
138th Street (Mott Haven)5
</svg>
149th Street-Grand Concourse25
</svg>
161st Street-Yankee StadiumBD
</svg>
167th Street
</svg>
170th Street
</svg>
Mt. Eden Avenue
</svg>
176th Street
</svg>
Burnside Avenue
</svg>
183rd Street
</svg>
Fordham Road
</svg>
Kingsbridge Road
</svg>
Bedford Park Boulevard
</svg>
Mosholu Parkway
</svg>
Woodlawn


Station by Station

138th Street (Mott Haven)

45


Photo by: Richard Panse

Photo by: Danny Molina
More Images: 1-8

Three tracks, two side platforms. There is an available crossover from one side platform to the other. There are mosaics indicating "Uptown Trains" and "Downtown Trains" (with arrows) in the mezzanine. The original name was Mott Haven as indicated by the MH mosaic border.

Transfer to IRT East Side Line

149th Street-Grand Concourse

4


Photo by: John Barnes

Photo by: Steven Cruz
More Images: 1-37

Three tracks and two island platforms. The center track is used for service in the peak direction. A free transfer is available here for the #2 and #5 lines of the original IRT Bronx route, which stop at the lower level of this station. A careful look at the walls will reveal a sign to the "New York Central Lines" which were never built here.

Area Track Map

Transfer to IRT White Plains Road Line

161st Street-Yankee Stadium

4


Photo by: Michael Hodurski

Photo by: Omar Pagan
More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-150 151-200 201-250 251-300 301-350 351-380

Three tracks and two side platforms. There are extra exit stairs to handle stadium crowds at each platform. Two mosaics indicating "161st Street" are painted over at the main exit stairs on each platform. Windscreens have been installed with the side effect of preventing a good view of Yankee Stadium from the station. The station complex was renovated in 2005 which included building elevators to serve the IRT and IND lines below. Looking northward from the platforms, the tracks swing apart to allow the old 9th Ave. El tracks to join our line. A stub of the lower level 9th Ave. El trackage still exists.

Transfer to IND Concourse Line

167th Street

4


Photo by: David Pirmann

Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
More Images: 1-50 51-100 101

Three tracks and two side platforms. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork A Bronx Reflection, Carol Sun, 2006

170th Street

4


Photo by: Brian Weinberg

Photo by: Pablo Maneiro
More Images: 1-50 51-94

Three tracks and two side platforms. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork Views from Above, Dina Bursztyn, 2005

Mt. Eden Avenue

4


Photo by: David Pirmann

Photo by: Ed Davis, Sr.
More Images: 1-50 51-71

Three tracks and two side platforms. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork The Procession of Folk, No. 3, Amir Bey, 2006

176th Street

4


Photo by: David Pirmann

Photo by: Dave Emanuel
More Images: 1-33

Three tracks and two side platforms. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork Reaching Out For Each Other, Juan Sanchez, 2006

Burnside Avenue

4


Photo by: David Pirmann

Photo by: Richard Panse
More Images: 1-40

Three tracks and two island platforms. This is the only "express" stop on the elevated line. There are extra side exits from the wooden mezzanine near the stairs to the platform. This station is between 3 and 4 stories off the street.

Artwork How to Get to the Moon, Laura Battle, 2006

183rd Street

4


Photo by: David Pirmann

Photo by: David Pirmann
More Images: 1-50 51-63

Three tracks and two side platforms. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork Many Trails, José Ortiz, 2006

Fordham Road

4


Photo by: Steve Zabel

Photo by: Aliandro Brathwaite
More Images: 1-50 51-72

Three tracks and two side platforms. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork Patriasana, Wholesomeland, Moses Ros, 2005

Kingsbridge Road

4


Photo by: Joe Testagrose

Photo by: Aliandro Brathwaite
More Images: 1-50

Three tracks, two side platforms. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork Urban Motif, Mario M. Muller, 2006

Bedford Park Boulevard

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IRT Woodlawn Line at Bedford Park Boulevard. R-142A train on #4 service. Photo by: John Dooley, October 2010.

4


Photo by: Richard Panse

Photo by: Richard Panse
More Images: 1-50 51-100 101-150 151-200 201-232

Three tracks and two side platforms. Due to street layout, the station building is at ground level with the tracks above the building. The Concourse Yard complex is located on the west of the station with track connections at the north end. The station has a brick mezzanine and stairway walls with "BPB" and restroom mosaics in the station house. A storeroom is located on the landing of the stairs to the platforms. A pleasant walk to the east connects us to Metro-North and the New York Botanic Garden, and to the west one can walk around the yard complex. The Concourse Yard serves as one of the few interconnections between the IRT and the BMT/IND divisions.

Area Track Map

Artwork Community Garden, Andrea Deszö, 2006

Mosholu Parkway

4


Photo by: David Pirmann

Photo by: Phillip Lee
More Images: 1-37

Three tracks and two side platforms. Renovated in 2005. The center express track, which is not in revenue service, starts just north of this station.

Artwork Metromorphosis/Birth of a Station, Corinne Grondahl, 2006

Station at Mosholu Parkway on Jerome Avenue Elevated Line, Showing Typical Treatment When Parkways Are Crossed.

Woodlawn

4


Collection of: David Pirmann

Photo by: Peter Ehrlich
More Images: 1-47

Two tracks, one island platform in use; two side platforms disused. Terminal station. The slide platforms were probably once used to unload and the center platform to load such as was designed at 59th St./Columbus Circle and the other Bronx IRT terminals. The mezzanine is brick. Renovated in 2005.

Artwork Children at Play, Josie Gonzalez Albright, 2005

Sources

Many photos, route descriptions, and details of the construction progress of the subway lines can be found in: Report of the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners in the City of New York, for the year ending... 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906; and Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York, for the year ending... 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920.

"Three New Links Of The Dual Subway System Opened", The New York Times, June 3, 1917.

Page Credits

By Peggy Darlington and David Pirmann.









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