Abandoned Stations by Joseph Brennan. Copyright 2001, 2002.

167 St and Grand Concourse

167 St and Grand Concourse

Passenger service: July 1933 - July 1948 (end of rail service) - 1990?

Existing abandoned portions: 2 platforms, now on roadway.

Touring: Drive through 167 St underpass under Grand Concourse to see the platforms and stairs. Also see stairs inside 167 St subway station.

construction and operation

The Concourse subway line was part of the Independent system. The street officially called Grand Boulevard and Concourse runs along the top of a ridge, and some of the more important crosstown streets burrow under the ridge. At several locations, the subway runs above the crosstown streets.

At 167 St, a trolley station was provided for the 167 St crosstown cars. At the entrances to the tunnel or underpass, the road is two lanes wide and had originally two trolley tracks in the pavement. At its midpoint, the tunnel widens, providing in each direction a trolley track, a trolley station platform, and a road lane. The trolleys could stop at the platforms while autos could run around to the right of the platform. Each of the two platforms had two stairs up, leading to the subway station and to the street. Starting at the lowest level, there were the trolley platforms; the subway station and mezzanines on each side; the subway mezzanine over the tracks; and street level of the Grand Concourse. Passengers could climb between the trolley station and the Grand Concourse street level outside the fare zone.

When the trolley line was abandoned in July 1948, the replacement number 35 bus continued to use the platforms for many years, until about 1990. Today the bus does not use the tunnel, and makes a stop at the corner of the Concourse, no doubt more convenient for transfer to the Concourse bus lines than all those stairs.

Trolley lines also crossed under the subway at Tremont Ave and Kingsbridge Road, but they did not have their own platforms.

This Independent Subway cutaway view shows the subway and trolley station, looking south. 167 St is at the north end of the subway station. Nothing shown here explains why the trolley station is not centered under the subway station.

Board of Transportation, Arnold Berman collection, from Frederick A Kramer, Building the Independent Subway, New York: Quadrant Press, 1990.

The underpass is legally open only to vehicular traffic. The narrow sidewalks have been blocked off. Left, the entrance to the underpass, facing west. The trolleys entered here, together with auto traffic. It's wide enough for just one lane in each direction.

Below is the westbound trolley station, seen from an automobile in the former trolley lane (that's the edge of the windshield on the right). The stairs from the platform are gated at the first landing. A railing protected trolley passengers from auto traffic on the right. The stairway runs up to the downtown side of the subway station. Another behind the camera goes up to the uptown side. It is very dark in the underpass: the intense light at the top of the stairs is not sunshine but just the artificial light in the mezzanine.

At the next level up, the trolley mezzanine, at the same level as the subway platform, is not directly visible. The patch of newer tile in the wall near the 167 St end of the platform, seen here in the foreground, shows where the opening was. Here was a secondary fare control area for passengers moving between the subway and trolley stations.

And at the next level up is the subway station mezzanine, just below street level on the Grand Concourse. The stairways down to the trolley mezzanine, outside the paid area, are still in plain sight but behind locked gates. They look like they might be an additional way to the subway platforms. At top, one of the two stairways is seen from inside the paid area: to the right and downstairs is the uptown subway platform, and to the left a few steps back are the turnstiles. Below, the same stairway is seen from the outside the paid area. One of the stair railings has been removed.

Photos of 167 St subway station can be found on the New York Subway Resources site, http://www.nycsubway.org.

Abandoned Stations