8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

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8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby JamesRR » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:25 am

On the 8th Avenue line, south of the 34th Street express platform, is a storage/stub track that connects to both express tracks. It runs from the platform at 34th almost all the way to 23 Street.

Does anyone know if this is still connected and is it ever used? I always see it when I leave Penn - seems like a large layup track, though not sure what its purpose really was - I suppose if something is parked there, it's easy enough to exit via 34th Street platform.
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Re: 8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby RWERN » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:29 pm

I cannot comment on the active use, but it would be a likely place for storage or layup. Given the location, it could also be used for short-turning in Midtown.

It's perhaps worth nothing that a similar center track exists on the 7th Ave line between 34th and 42nd Streets, although it lacks the stub portion the 8th Ave line track has.
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Re: 8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby rr503 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:42 pm

This may not be the only reason it exists, but I've heard that that layup was used to turn E trains terminating at the lower level of 42nd st. They'd come up from down there, join the express track, move through 34th, and then slip onto the layup to turn north/back to queens.
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Re: 8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby Trainmaster5 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:48 pm

I've had occasion to use that track when I worked IRT-IND transfers. Coming from Concourse Yard heading toward 207th Yard if there was congestion around 125th St-St. Nick we'd frequently be sent southbound and that spur was an easy, out of the way spot to turn a SMEE transfer. The next out of the way spot was actually Second Avenue on the 6th Avenue side. The 30th St spur always appeared, at least to me, to be a well thought out design choice by the IND planners.
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Re: 8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby JamesRR » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:40 am

rr503 wrote:This may not be the only reason it exists, but I've heard that that layup was used to turn E trains terminating at the lower level of 42nd st. They'd come up from down there, join the express track, move through 34th, and then slip onto the layup to turn north/back to queens.


Yes, based on the track maps, it appears there were connections to the express tracks at both the northern and southern ends of the spur, allowing for easy turns in either direction. Seems like 34th could easily be used as a terminal station (the express platform) using the spur to change directions.

I can't tell if it's still connected or in use, though, although I can see the bumper block quite well when passing.
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Re: 8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby railfaned » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:20 pm

I must be getting old, as I remember the lower level of 42nd Street being used for the Aqueduct Raceway Special express trains that started there. I would guess that those trains used that layup track. I don't know if the later day JFK Expresses ever used that layup track.
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Re: 8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby rr503 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:32 pm

Ah wow -- that's something!

JFK express ran to 57th st/6th ave (and to 21st St Queensbridge for a few months). It used Fulton/Cranberry/6th.
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Re: 8th Ave - Stub Track South of 34th Street

Postby Allan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:59 pm

Just as an F Y I,

I rode by that area on an A train earlier today and can confirm that the connecting tracks from/to the uptown and downtown express tracks are still in place.
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