Saturday, May 17, 2014

It’s A City Thing: Subway Numbers

We have this design for our prayer cards and display banner:

bronx blank jpg

Often we asked, “What are all of those numbers and letters?  Do they mean something?”  It’s a fun conversation to have, and we purposely chose this design for our prayer cards so that it could serve as a conversation starter.

No, they are not just random numbers and letters.  And they are not a secret code either!  They are the markings for the trains which run through the Bronx.

The New York City subway system has both color and letter/number markings for each train.  The color represents the track.  Each track may have several trains which run on it, so the letters and numbers distinguish the trains.  One train might be express, and the other makes local stops.

In our current neighborhood in Brooklyn, we have the orange track and the N and R trains run on it.  The R makes local stops, and the N is express.  The two trains also have different beginning and ending points.

There are three subway lines which snake through the Bronx:

  • Green line: 4, 5, and 6 trains.  This is the line closest to our target neighborhood, Kingsbridge.
  • Red line: 1, and 2 trains
  • Orange line: B and D trains

{click to enlarge}
Map of the Bronx subway system.  White dots are express stops; black dots are local stops.  A line connecting two stops indicates an underground walkway between train stations.

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