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Please Help Me Understand the N (BMT Broadway) Train in Manhattan

Please Help Me Understand the N (BMT Broadway) Train in Manhattan

Old Nov 1, 11, 8:51 am
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Please Help Me Understand the N (BMT Broadway) Train in Manhattan

I ride the BMT Broadway line a lot and get confused by the N train, which I see both on the local and express tracks. When I take the N, it's local, but I am puzzled when I am standing at a local platform and an N goes by on the express tracks. The other day, I was on a Q heading downtown and we stopped on the local platform and there was an N on the express side also heading downtown (and labeled "Broadway Express").

Does the N run both local and express? I guess I am not reading the mta schedule correctly, as I thought it was only local.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 9:12 am
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The N and R are Broadway locals; the Q is the Broadway express. But during times when there are construction/maintenance projects, route alterations are possible. And when the Q operates to/from Queens, it uses the local tracks at 57th Street station, as the express tracks do not connect to the Astoria line.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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The N and R are Broadway locals; the Q is the Broadway express. But during times when there are construction/maintenance projects, route alterations are possible. And when the Q operates to/from Queens, it uses the local tracks at 57th Street station, as the express tracks do not connect to the Astoria line.
Actually the Q always runs to Queens now with the termination of the W and the N should always be a Broadway Local but on the weekend its usually a free for all so one just needs to pay close attention to the announcements.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 9:44 am
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There definitely are some N express trains in Manhattan that aren't construction-related. I've been on them in the mornings during rush hour.

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that when the Q is running to Queens (and stopping at 49th Street) they put some (definitely not all) N trains on the express tracks and terminate those trains at 57th Street. If you look at the N schedule, you'll see some Ns originate or terminate at 57th instead of Astoria. I think those are the express Ns.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 10:17 am
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I saw an N - Broadway Express last night around 5:30 p.m. at 42nd-Times Square. The Q pulled into the local side platform and the N was sitting on the express track. I've also seen N trains at the express platform at 14th-Union Square (once when I was on a local N, I believe).
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Old Nov 1, 11, 11:36 am
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I think at rush hours the Q often stops at 49th. Since there's no local/express crossover between 49th and 42nd, if an express train stops at 49th it has to use the local track at 42nd also. Here is a track map of midtown.

The N expresses I've seen all use the express tracks from 14th to 57th and terminate at 57th. I don't know about below 14th because when I ride the Broadway BMT in the morning I'm getting on at 14th.
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