is a local station
A metro station or subway station is a railway station for a rapid transit system, often known by names such as "metro", "underground" and "subway". It is often underground or elevated. At crossings of metro lines, they are multi-level....
on the BMT Broadway Line
The BMT Broadway Line is a rapid transit line of the B Division of the New York City Subway in Manhattan, New York City, United States. , it is served by three services, all colored yellow: the on the express tracks and the on the local tracks...
of the New York City Subway
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit...
. It is served by the R
The R Broadway Local is a service of the New York City Subway. It is colored yellow on the route sign and on station signs and the NYC Subway map, as it represents a service provided on the BMT Broadway Line in Manhattan.The R service operates at all times...
train at all times except late nights and by the N
The N Broadway Local is a service of the New York City Subway. Its route bullet is colored yellow, which appears on station signs and the NYC Subway map, as it represents a service provided on the BMT Broadway Line through Manhattan....
train during late night hours. The fare control is located in the center of the island platform
An island platform is a station layout arrangement where a single platform is positioned between two tracks within a railway station, tram stop or transitway interchange...
, with exits on either end leading to Warren Street and Murray Street.
The station's configuration is unique, in that passengers enter from the sidewalk adjacent to City Hall Park directly onto the station's wide island platform. The northbound track is located under City Hall Park, while the southbound track is under the east side of Broadway. The fare control area is fenced off from the platform. There is also an active tower at the north end, with a window that lets any waiting passengers observe Transit Authority
The New York City Transit Authority is a public authority in the U.S. state of New York that operates public transportation in New York City...
goings-on. The platform tapers off towards the southern end, where the northbound and southbound platforms join.
The station's configuration, and the wide-open staircases to the sky above, is responsible for another distinguishing feature: the number of birds that fly into and around the station.
This station was overhauled in the late 1970s, changing the station's structure and overall appearance. It replaced the original wall tiles, old signs, and incandescent lighting with more modern wall tiles, signs and fluorescent lights, as well as fixing staircases and platform edges.
Before the new City Hall master tower was built, there was a provision at the north end of the upper level level for a diamond crossover (which dates back to construction of this station, when the upper level platform was to be a terminal
Terminal Station is a 1953 film by Italian director Vittorio De Sica. It tells the story of the love affair between an Italian man and an American woman. The film was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.-Production:...
) which is now occupied by a relay room.
Strangely, at the south end of the station, the track curves away from the wall, on the uptown side. It may date from the original construction when the upper level was converted from a terminal with presumably a straight line to end of the tracks here.
City Hall Lower Level
The City Hall station is a bi-level station, with an unused lower level reachable from stairs from about the center of the platform. It was initially intended that the local trains were to terminate on the upper level, while the express trains using the lower level would continue on through lower Manhattan and then through the Montague Street Tunnel
The Montague Street Tunnel carries the trains of the New York City Subway under the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It opened to revenue service on Sunday, August 1, 1920 at 2 am with a holiday schedule, the same day as the 60th Street Tunnel. Regular service began...
. However, plans were changed before construction ended. As a result, the lower level of the station which was to have served the express trains is unused (except for non-rush hour storage of trains), as are the center express tracks at Canal Street on its upper level. Another effect of this change is that the southern end of the upper level station slopes downward. This is a result of platform lengthening and rerouting the upper level down to continue into lower Manhattan. The lower level floor continues south of the station until it disappears under the increasingly low ceiling under the ramps carrying the upper level downgrade. The lower level was never used for passenger service or even finished with tiles and signage.
The middle track in the lower level station was to be used for short turn
In public transport, a short turn or turn-back is an earlier terminus on a bus or rail line that is used on some scheduled trips that do not operate along the full length of the route....
s from either direction depending on the service pattern.
The lower level is only long enough to platform 8-car (60 ft) trains like the platforms in the BMT Eastern Division. All three tracks are usable, but in the normal practice the "southbound" and the middle tracks are only used for storage. The "southbound" island platform on the lower level is the only one with a stairway to the upper level. The eastern-most track on the lower level has no third rail. It's unknown whether the third rail was installed and later removed or never installed.
- Lee Stokey. Subway Ceramics : A History and Iconography. 1994. ISBN 978-0-9635486-1-0