Abandoned Stations by Joseph Brennan. Copyright 2001, 2002.

59 St platform

59 St platform

Passenger service: 1953 - 1974.

Existing abandoned portions: 1 platform (between tracks in service).

Touring: A B C D trains to 59 St. The platform is easily seen between the express tracks when no train blocks the view.

construction and operation

The center platform at 59 St was probably built to handle rush hour crowds changing trains. It was built as part of the line, the original Independent (IND) subway line that opened in September 1932, but was probably not used until 1953. Express trains opened doors on both sides in rush hours. On the old subway cars, conductors stood between cars to open doors and could do both sides from the same location. On newer cars, conductors had to open doors from an inside cab, and move to the next car to open the other side, so use of the center platform was discontinued in 1981 because it delayed train service at the busiest time of day.

Some fan trips now depart from the center platform, since it provides a place to segregate special ticket holders.


The station is the standard express station plan, but with an extra platform between the express tracks. The wide area under Columbus Circle was used to full advantage. South of the station, two tracks diverge to the 6 Ave subway.

The center "abandoned" platform still looks almost identical to the two open platforms. A view across all three platforms suggests how wide the station is. The Independent subway has wider platforms than the older lines, whenever possible.

Photo copyright by Richard Brome. From http://www.nycsubway.org/ind/8thave/ at the New York Subway Resources site.

Even close up, the center platform looks open. The main clue is that it has no benches. It also lacks the orange rough strip near the platform edge.

Photo copyright 1999 by David Pirmann. From http://www.nycsubway.org/ind/8thave/ at the New York Subway Resources site.

The stairway down is just chained off, not forcibly blocked by iron gates and solid doors.

Photos of 59 St station can be found on the New York Subway Resources site, http://www.nycsubway.org.

Abandoned Stations