Home 7 Line Extension Photo of the Day: The 7 Line moves onward

Photo of the Day: The 7 Line moves onward

by Benjamin Kabak

Photo by Patrick Cashin/MTA

It’s a pretty good gig being the MTA’s official photographer. After taking us into Fulton St. yesterday, today, Patrick Cashin toted his camera down into the 7 line extension to snap some shots of the city’s newest subway expansion project. The one-stop extension to 34th St. and 11th Ave. is set to open in around 30 months, and work is progressing quickly.

The shots from inside the project are stunning. Above, workers are laying the foundation for what will eventually be the track bed. Cashin also provides some great shots of the station cavern (1, 2). I can’t quite figure out what this one is, but that’s quite a curve. I’ve embedded the rest of the photos as a slide show after the jump.

For the MTA, the 7 line extension will be the first new segment of subway to open since 2000 when the 63rd St. tunnel finally connected through to the rest of the Queens Boulevard line, but it is not without its own controversy. The city, which is footing the bill for this extension, opted to torpedo a badly-needed station at 41st St. and 10th Ave. when costs grew too high, and the MTA didn’t have the money for it either. The feds then failed to fund a study that would have assessed the feasibility of building out a station after the extension is complete, and no provisioning for future work there has been built into the project. Only in New York can a subway extension completely fail in such spectacular fashion. At least the Far West Side will finally have transit access though.

After the jump, a full set of photos from Patrick Cashin.

You may also like


Scott E June 16, 2011 - 11:54 am

That curve is likely one of the station entrances. Looking at where the support columns are (particularly the one farthest from the camera), it can’t be part of the trackway.

Larry Littlefield June 16, 2011 - 12:33 pm

The bigger fail is the elimination of tail tracks from the project, which will reduce the capacity of the entire Flushing Line and wipe out the potential gains in trains per hour from CBTC.

Alon Levy June 16, 2011 - 5:08 pm

The project does have tail tracks – in fact longer tail tracks than necessary. The existing Flushing Line does just fine with a few tens of meters of tail tracks. So does the Chuo Rapid Line. The capacity-enhancing purpose of tail tracks is not train storage (trains shouldn’t be parked in an expensive CBD) but rather letting trains enter the terminal at full speed, reducing the amount of time there could be a conflict between entering and departing trains.

Josh June 16, 2011 - 1:08 pm

I’m not sure what Larry’s trying to say about the tail tracks. As I understand it, the TBMs started at 26th street to provide your tail tracks, in addition to a potential extension to Secaucus or at the very minimum 23rd street, down the road. Is that incorrect? Thanks.

Greg June 16, 2011 - 1:54 pm

I can’t believe no one seriously considered extending this to 23rd and 14th Streets. Well maybe I can, given the short-term idiocy of not building a station at 41st and 10th.

AlexB June 16, 2011 - 4:02 pm

I feel like that’s something of “scope creep.” You go to 26th, why not 23rd.=? You go to 23rd, why not 14th? You go to 14th, why not extend the L to 10th/11th Avenues? You extend both trains, why not keep going and extend them to Jersey to make up for ARC being canceled? In my opinion, they should do all of the above, but at $.5 billion per mile of tunnel and per station, it’s hard to really push it very far without a huge commitment from all levels of government. The fact that this is being paid for by the city is quite amazing as is and part of the reason it went from idea to reality in such a short time.

Henry June 16, 2011 - 4:08 pm

At the same time though, a 23rd street station would be very close to Chelsea Piers and the High Line. A station there would probably provide enough passengers if the whole “developing at Hudson Yards” thing doesn’t pan out.

Bolwerk June 16, 2011 - 5:16 pm

Chelsea Piers was built with deliberate contempt for good transportation in mind.

Jerrold June 16, 2011 - 8:32 pm

Who built it, Robert Moses III?

Jerrold June 16, 2011 - 8:35 pm

This font made it look like I said
“Robert Moses ill”.
I meant, of course, the Roman number for 3.

Bolwerk June 17, 2011 - 1:36 pm

I think it was an EDC project in the 1990s. Moses in spirit!

Andy Battaglia June 16, 2011 - 9:59 pm


The current terminus will be at the northern end of the High Line. The high line ends at 30th street now and (in theory) will eventually stretch to 34th and 11th right at the station entrance.

Greg June 16, 2011 - 4:27 pm

West Chelsea could very much use a subway line closer than 8th Avenue, especially now that it is rapidly developing thanks to the art galleries, Highline, Chelsea Piers, etc. Extending down to 14th makes a lot of sense, while extending to New Jersey is a whole other can of worms.

Ricky A. June 17, 2011 - 12:24 pm

The extension that wouldn’t cost nearly as much would be UP from 41st St to 72nd St in the existing Amtrack tunnel. There’s easily room in the Amtrack tunnel for three tracks. Amtrack only needs one track to accommodate the few trains it sends from Albany into Penn Station each day. The other two tracks could carry 7-train service from Times Square to 42-44th Sts and 10 Av, 49-51st St and 10th Av, 59-61st St and 11th Av and 70-72nd St and Riverside Blvd. The whole far west side north of 42nd Street would be opened.

Woody June 17, 2011 - 2:55 pm

Greg, I hope it will be easier to extend it to 23rd (and to 14th) than to retrofit a station at 42nd and 11th Ave. (From 26th down to 14th really isn’t very far; we’re just a little short of money nowadays.) But as explained to me, the #7 IRT cars won’t fit the L line’s BMT tunnels.

The awkward solution will be to have a station, probably at 23rd St, where the #7 train aimed downtown pulls in on one track, and across the platform an L train pulls in aimed uptown. Passengers dash across the platform, and the trains reverse. Yeah, clumsy, but it would work. And it would give another set of connections (including PATH this time) on 14th St.

Of course, if money starts to fall from heaven, as AlexB says, ‘scope creep’ will start to gallop, and someone will look at taking the #7 down the West Side toward the rebuilt WTC and Wall Street.

Alon Levy June 17, 2011 - 4:10 pm

You mean it the other way around: the BMT cars won’t fit in the IRT tunnels. The IRT cars are smaller; the reason they can’t run on BMT/IND lines is that there would be a large gap between the train and the platform.

Andrew D. Smith June 16, 2011 - 1:39 pm

They could save way more money by not building any stations and just having the trains do a loop from the Port Authority and back without stopping.

pete June 16, 2011 - 3:08 pm

How long before water is pouring into the brand new tunnels because of lowest bidder wins, and single bidder contracts with the MTA?

Look at the new south ferry station.

Linkage: Danny Masterson Sells in Tribeca; 2 Allen Street Plans Revealed - The Broker Buddy June 16, 2011 - 6:31 pm

[…] [Inside the 7 Line extension, via Second Avenue Sagas.] […]

Transit Link Roundup – June 17th, 2011 | HopStop Blog June 17, 2011 - 12:53 pm

[…] Photo of the Day: The 7 Line moves onward at Second Ave. Sagas […]

James June 18, 2011 - 10:23 am

What good is this station doing at all and why would it be a good idea to extend it even further? The 7 is a cross-town line. It has no utility unless you want to go to Flushing, GC, or TS. Yeah, you have access to pretty much every connection, but connections suck, especially on the weekend.

Along the 7, space but no money at 41st and 11th :: Second Ave. Sagas June 24, 2011 - 1:10 am

[…] the MTA’s photographer Patrick Cashin took us underground, and today, New York 1 talks with MTA Capital Construction head Michael Horodniceanu about the […]


Leave a Comment