171,267 passengers rode it that September day in 1932, its first day of operation. The line, then called the Eighth Avenue subway, spanned only 12 miles and 28 stations, from the top of Manhattan to the bottom.
Longest, and Possibly Coolest, a Train Still a-Thrumming at 75
Some 75 years later, the A line stretches farther than it did back then, literally and culturally.
Today, on the A line’s 75th birthday, transit officials will celebrate with a ceremony at the start of the line at the Inwood/207th Street station. A special train made up of six prewar cars is scheduled to provide service along the line’s original route to the Chambers Street stop in Lower Manhattan.
The A often feels like the city’s very own transcontinental railroad, traveling deep under the ground and soaring high above it, below the bustle of Washington Heights, past old tombstones in graveyards in Ozone Park, over the waters of Jamaica Bay. Perhaps the most famous section is the run under Harlem heard between the notes of Ellington’s “Take the A Train.”
Photo from NY Times