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36th Street is an express stop on the 4th Avenue Subway, and is a major transfer point between trains going to the 3 different West End, Sea Beach, and 4th Avenue/Bay Ridge branches, with D trains leaving the 4th Avenue subway just south of the station (via a flying junction so trains can switch onto either the express or local track with ease) along between locals and express trains.

The station used to be the terminus of late night R Shuttle service to Bay Ridge-95 Street until late night service was extended into Manhattan to terminate at Whitehall Street on November 5, 2016. These trains ran express in the northbound direction bypassing 45th and 53rd Streets to allow shuttle trains to terminate on this express track, before continuing north of the station using the express tracks to relay and turn around and return to service as another shuttle train to Bay Ridge. In order for a shuttle train to stop at 45th and 53 Streets shuttle trains would need to block the local track while they discharged their passengers blocking all local D and N train service (which was previously the case until 2000), causing delays. The extension of Late Night R train service to Whitehall Street removed the need for this complicated stopping pattern with all D, N and R trains now running via the local track during late nights.

Until September 2002, the stop was also the terminus of late night West End Shuttle B (until 2001), then W Shuttle trains to and from Coney Island, when in 2002 with W trains becoming the only trains to Coney Island, they became the 24 hour through trains local into Manhattan via the Montague Street to Astoria, with N trains running as a shuttle during late nights to Pacific Street (R trains were extended to Pacific Street as well from 2002 to 2004, running express north of 36 Street). When the north side of the Manhattan Bridge reopened in 2004, the 24 hour route D train, instead of the part time in Manhattan B train was chosen to be the new West End Line train, continuing the West End Line's 24 hour service into Manhattan to this day. Before 2002, late night West End service had always been operated by a Shuttle Train branded as either the B train, W train from 2001 through 2002. Before the Chrystie Street connection opened in 1967 the West End line was served by either the T (express in Manhattan via Bridge) or TT (local in Manhattan via Tunnel) train, with late night and Sundays West End Line Shuttle Service still branded as TT until 1968 before shuttle service also became the B train.

The station has two fairly narrow island platforms that are definitely not designed for the ridership the station sees today. The station renovated in 1998, as a plaque in the mezzanine acknowledges. The station has a single exit via a small mezzanine at the extreme southern end of the platforms. Two staircases, one at the very end of each platform and one that is just beyond this staircase (they are nearly on top of each other) provide access to this small mezzanine. The southern end of the mezzanine contains the stations only bank of turnstiles and exits to 36 Street and 4 Avenue. There are three streetstairs, two are on west side of 4th Avenue, one at the NW corner of 36th Street and one in the middle of the block between 36th and 35th Streets. The final one is a short-ways down 4th Avenue from the NE corner of 36th Street and 4th Avenue, beyond a bike parking rack and shelter along the sidewalk. This streetstair is also along the fencing of an odd little southern extension of the huge Green-Wood Cemetery that includes the cemeteries maintenance shop.

On the platforms there is the standard tiled wall between the express tracks towards the southern end of the station. The walls are just exposed towards the northern end where the platforms were extended. The platforms have various yellow I-beam columns whose configurations very depending upon which part of the platform you're at. All station walls (and the wall between the express tracks where it exists) have white tiling and a very dark mostly brown with some hints of a dark green, and 36th Street text spelled inside the trim line between its various decorative shapes. The colors of the trim line make the text spelling out 36th Street hard to see.
Photos 1-11: June 6, 2009; 12 & 13: May 28, 2010; 14-21: October 1, 2012

Art For Transit at 
stanm

Arts For Transit at 36 Street

An Underground Movement: Designers, Builders, Riders

By Owen Smith

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Station Subway Lines (2004-2010)

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Station Subway Lines (2001-2004)

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Last Updated: January 31, 2022
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