When it was a train: The Grand St. shuttle

By · Published in 2009


At the end of May, a loyal Second Ave. Sagas reader sent me a picture of the 13 train. The photo was one of an erroneously rolled roll sign on the 1 train. The 13, we discovered, was there to provide the MTA with some flexibility in terms of service along the West Side IRT (1/2/3 trains).

Over the last few weeks, I’ve received pictures of a few other incorrectly labeled trains. This one comes to us via reader Mark Krotov. While at the Broadway/Lafayette station a few weeks ago, Mark witnessed a rare spotting of the once-common orange shuttle.

Today, the Grand St. shuttle is but a memory for New Yorkers, but for long stretches of time in the 1980s and 1990s, the B and D were disrupted due to extensive work on the Manhattan Bridge. At various times the shuttle ran from as far north as 57th St. along Sixth Ave. to Grand St. in Chinatown. The final shuttles rolled down the line in 2004 after being in service for parts of the mid-1980s, the mid-1990s and the early 2000s.

The Manhattan Bridge, with the train tracks on the outside, required extensive repair work, and the shuttle would come to symbolize the frustration of traveling into and out of Brooklyn and around Lower Manhattan. With work completed, for now, on the bridge, the parts of Brooklyn along the BMT Brighton Line (B/Q) have seen a population explosion, and the orange Grand St./Sixth Ave. Shuttle is but a memory in the minds of the straphanging public.

3 Responses to “When it was a train: The Grand St. shuttle”


  1. […] as part of my ongoing series focusing on improperly rolled roll signs, we looked at the now-defunct Grand St. shuttle. Today, we look at another shuttle with an odd […]

  2. […] year, an astute reader sent me a photo of the S on a B train, and I delved into the history of the Grand St. shuttle. That train operated on the express tracks between W. 4th St. and Grand St. This other orange S was […]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>