Smith–Ninth Streets (IND Culver Line)

 Smith–9 Streets
 "F" train"G" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Smith-9th (8697282134).jpg
Station view from street level
Station statistics
AddressSmith Street & Ninth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Coordinates40°40′28″N 73°59′50″W / 40.67444°N 73.99722°W / 40.67444; -73.99722Coordinates: 40°40′28″N 73°59′50″W / 40.67444°N 73.99722°W / 40.67444; -73.99722
DivisionB (IND)
LineIND Culver Line
Services      F all times (all times)
      G all times (all times)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: B57, B61
Platforms2 side platforms
Tracks4 (2 in regular service)
Other information
OpenedOctober 7, 1933; 85 years ago (October 7, 1933)
Station code238[1]
Passengers (2018)1,466,151[2]Decrease 1.2%
Rank300 out of 424
Station succession
Next northCarroll Street: F all timesG all times
Next southFourth Avenue: F all timesG all times

Smith–Ninth Streets is a local station on the IND Culver Line of the New York City Subway. It is located over the Gowanus Canal near the intersection of Smith and Ninth Streets in Gowanus, Brooklyn, and is served by the F and G trains at all times. The station is 87.5 feet (26.7 m) above ground level, making it the highest rapid transit station in the world.[3]

This elevated station, opened on October 7, 1933, has four tracks and two side platforms. In 2009, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority began an extensive renovation of the station. It was closed entirely for a full reconstruction between June 2011 and April 2013.


View facing west (top) and view of renovated eastern end of platform (bottom)

In 1925, the Independent Subway System (IND) finalized plans to build its Culver (South Brooklyn) Line.[4] The line's path crossed the Gowanus Canal, and the IND originally wanted to build a deep-river tunnel under the canal. To save money, the IND built a viaduct over the canal instead, resulting in the creation of the only above-ground section of the original IND.[5][6] The first section of the line opened on March 20, 1933, from Jay Street to Bergen Street.[7] The rest of the line, including the Smith–9th Streets station, opened on October 7, 1933, to the temporary terminal at Church Avenue.[8]

Service patterns[]

The station was originally served by the A train. In 1936, the A was rerouted to the IND Fulton Street Line and was replaced by E trains from the Queens Boulevard Line.[9] In 1937, the connection to the IND Crosstown Line opened and GG (later renamed the G) trains were extended to Church Avenue, complementing the E. In December 1940, after the IND Sixth Avenue Line opened, E trains were replaced by the F, and the GG was cut back to Smith–Ninth Streets.[9] Following the completion of the Culver Ramp in 1954,[10][11] D Concourse Express trains replaced F service to Coney Island.[11][12] In November 1967, the Chrystie Street Connection opened and D trains were rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge and the BMT Brighton Line to Coney Island. F trains were extended once again via the Culver Line.[12][13]

The station acted as a local-only station from 1968 to 1976, when F trains ran express in both directions between Bergen Street and Church Avenue during rush hours. The GG was extended from Smith–Ninth Streets to Church Avenue as a result of the express service's inauguration.[14][15] Express service between Bergen and Church ended in 1976 due to budgetary concerns and passenger complaints, and the GG (later renamed the G) was again terminated at the station.[14][15][16][17]


Renovation in progress

In 2007, the MTA announced a three-year, $257.5 million renovation project of the elevated Culver Viaduct, and that for twenty-seven months, this station would be fully or partially closed for a $32 million renovation.[18][19][20][21] The renovation was necessitated because the viaduct was falling apart, with leaks and broken concrete riddling it. The station and the portions of the viaduct near the station had to be encased in a mesh wrapping because there was a significant danger of concrete falling from the viaduct.[22] On July 5, 2009, the G was extended south at all times to Church Avenue, to allow for overhaul of the Culver Viaduct. On July 19, 2012, the MTA announced that this extension would be permanent.[23]

On January 18, 2011, the second phase of the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation project began, resulting in the closure of the Manhattan-bound platform. This required northbound trains to use the express track and stop at a temporary platform placed over the local track. Due to construction limitations, the platform could only accommodate G trains; F trains bypassed this station on the same track.[22] On June 20, 2011, the station was closed entirely for further renovations, to be reopened in December 2012.[18][24] Due to delays and cost overruns, it reopened on April 26, 2013.[18][25][26] Additional work was performed after the station reopened but it did not affect service.[27] Residents lobbied for an elevator in the station during the renovation, but a spokesman for the MTA said that installation of an elevator was too costly and prohibitive, and that such an elevator would have damaged the station's structural integrity.[27]

Station layout[]

Track layout
to 4 Av
Platform Level Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound local "F" train toward Jamaica–179th Street (Carroll Street)
"G" train toward Court Square (Carroll Street)
Northbound express No regular service
Southbound express No regular service
Southbound local "F" train toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue (Fourth Avenue)
"G" train toward Church Avenue (Fourth Avenue)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Landing - Crossunder between platforms
Landing - Escalator mezzanine
Mezzanine Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, Metrocard vending machines
Ground Street Level Exit/Entrance
Seen from a parking lot beside the Gowanus Canal

With an elevation of 87.5 feet (26.7 m) above ground level, Smith–Ninth Streets is the highest rapid transit station in the world.[28][29][3] This elevation was required by now-defunct navigation regulations for tall-mast shipping on the Gowanus Canal, so the elevated structure rises over the entire structure of the Ninth Street Bridge, a vertical-lift bridge which carries its namesake street over the canal.[30] West (railroad north) of this station, the IND Culver Line curves north and enters a tunnel into Carroll Street station. This station and the next station south, Fourth Avenue, were the only original elevated stations built by the IND, with the remainder being underground.[31]

This station and elevated structure are made entirely of concrete.[32] There were green mosaics along the concrete platform walls reading “Smith–9th St” in white sans-serif lettering, which were replaced with laminated replicas during renovations.[33][34] A close examination of the canopied area suggests windows existed in the past. These were covered for many years and are now open air with safety grates.[35][36] The station house is on ground level on the north side of 9th Street between Smith Street and the Gowanus Canal.[37] Inside, there is a turnstile bank, token booth, and three escalators and one staircase going up to a landing, where three more escalators and one staircase perpendicular for the first set go up to a crossunder.[38][39] A single staircase then goes up to the western end of either platform.[40] The station has a single exit on Ninth Street east of Smith Street.[41][42]


Station seen from Gowanus in 2005


  1. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Rebuilding the Culver Viaduct". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 7, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  4. ^ "New Subway Routes In Hylan Program To Cost $186,046,000; Board of Transportation Adopts 22.90 Miles of Additional Lines. Total Now $345,629,000 But the Entire System Planned by Mayor Involves $700,000,000 Description Of Routes Heaviest Expenditures Will Be Made on Tunnels -- No Allowance for Equipment. New Subway Routes To Cost $186,046,000". The New York Times. March 1, 1925. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Gay Midnight Crowd Rides First Trains in New Subway" (PDF). New York Times. September 10, 1932. p. 1. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  6. ^ "Submits New Plan For Brooklyn Tube; Transportation Board Says Revised Project Would Save the City $12,000,000, No Tunnel Under Canal Bridge Over Gowanus Stream and Enclosed Viaduct Now Is Proposed". The New York Times. July 17, 1927. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  7. ^ "City Subway Adds Link.; Extension to Bergen-Smith Street Station in Brooklyn Opened". The New York Times. March 21, 1933. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "City Subway Extended". The New York Times. October 7, 1933. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Korman, Joseph (August 21, 2013). "Independent Subway Services Beginning in 1932". Retrieved August 2, 2015. Information adapted from:
    • "New York Division Bulletin" (October and November 1968 ed.). Electric Railroaders’ Association, Inc. Fall 1968.
  10. ^ "NYCTA- Pass for Culver Line Ceremonies - 1954". New York City Transit Authority. 1954. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Adequate Transit Promised For City; Authority Head Writes Mayor and Sharkey Denying Cuts Will Be 'Indiscriminate'". The New York Times. October 29, 1954. p. 25. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Sparberg, Andrew J. (October 1, 2014). From a Nickel to a Token: The Journey from Board of Transportation to MTA. Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-6190-1.
  13. ^ Perlmutter, Emanuel (November 16, 1967). "Subway Changes To Speed Service; Major Alterations in Maps, Routes and Signs Will Take Effect Nov. 26". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Review of F Line Operations, Ridership, and Infrastructure" (PDF). MTA New York City Transit Authority. October 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 31, 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Feasibility and Analysis of F Express Service in Brooklyn" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  16. ^ Gerberer, Raanan (March 6, 2013). "LIGHT AT END OF TUNNEL: F Train Express may return". Brooklyn Eagle. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  17. ^ Umanov, Ben (September 22, 2014). "F Train Express Service Might be Coming Back to Brooklyn". Gowanus Your Face OFf. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  18. ^ a b c Musumeci, Natalie (December 27, 2012). "Smith–Ninth rehab running late, station won't reopen for months". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  19. ^ O’Neill, Natalie (March 16, 2012). "Smith-Ninth Street station to remain closed till fall". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Maldonado, Charles (November 16, 2007). "MTA Gives Brooklyn Board Bad News About Smith–9th St. Closure, F-Train Express". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Archived from the original on January 24, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  21. ^ McLaughlin, Mike (November 24, 2007). "Fix for Fourth Avenue station looks F'ing great". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved November 27, 2007.
  22. ^ a b "Culver Line Rehabilitation" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. November 15, 2007. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  23. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (July 19, 2012). "M.T.A. Subway, Train and Bus Services to be Restored". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Kral, Georgia (June 20, 2011). "Smith & 9th Straphangers Face New, and Longer, Commutes". BoCoCa, NY Patch. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  25. ^ "Smith-9th Sts F/G Station Returns to Service". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 26, 2013. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
  26. ^ Newman, Andy (April 26, 2013). "City's Highest Subway Station Reopens". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  27. ^ a b "Photos: Smith-9th Street Station Finally Reopens But Isn't Handicap Accessible". Gothamist. April 26, 2013. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  28. ^ Kral, Georgia (June 15, 2015). "The 10 coolest subway stations in NYC". am New York. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  29. ^ MTA New York City Transit Facts & Figures 2000. New York City Transit. 2000.
  30. ^ "The Bridges of the Gowanus Canal". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  31. ^ Kramer, Frederick A. (1990). Building the Independent Subway. Quadrant Press. ISBN 9780915276509.
  32. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (April 30, 2013). "One of the circular mesh protective barriers above the concrete platform fence, they look a lot nicer than the chain linked fencing before". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  33. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "Smith-9th St. name tablet with its very unusual design". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  34. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (April 30, 2013). "A fake picture of a name tablet awaits a new real one to be applied". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  35. ^ Dooley, John (January 29, 2012). "Smith/9th Street during construction". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  36. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (April 30, 2013). "The shadows along the exposed portion of the platforms". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  37. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (April 30, 2013). "Approaching the newly renovated station at street level". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  38. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (April 30, 2013). "The turnstiles and escalators up". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  39. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (April 30, 2013). "Down or Up? Escalators or Stairs, the only choices". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  40. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "Approaching the one staircase at the front end of the Queens-bound platform at Smith-9th Streets that leads down to the series of passageways and escalators down to street level". Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  41. ^ "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Red Hook" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  42. ^ "Review of the G Line: Appendices" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 10, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2015.

External links[]