The Myths and Realities of the M Train Loop: Unveiling the Historical Intricacies of NYC’s Subway System

Hey, Gothames, we need to talk for a second because I may have some answers here in your misleading little article here. You claim to answer in your article why the m train doesn’t complete the loop between Middle Village and Forest Hill yet. Very misleading. Your answer just explains the root of the m train, as I just did. M trains don’t complete the full loop between Middle Village and Forest Hills because the system wasn’t designed to make that loop.

The m train that we know today on its path from Middle Village to Forest Hills is actually a budget cut from 2010. If you look at a map from prior to 2010, you’ll notice two things. 1, the m train is not orange. It’s brown like the J and Z trains. And 2, not only do you have the elusive G train to Forest Hills, but the secondary orange or Sixth Avenue route on Queens Boulevard is a letter called the V train. Before the budget cut that I mentioned in 2010. M trains after Essex Street followed the J train to Broad Street. And then during rush hours went back into Brooklyn and followed the R and d trains to Bay Parkway. During the week, a route called the V train would originate at 2nd Avenue on the F train and follow the present day m train route from Broadway, Lafayette Street to Forest Hills.

The line between Myrtle Avenue and Forest Hills in Ridgewood and Bushwick is called the Myrtle Avenue Line and is historically operated under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Transit Corporation. And this is an elevated line. The line on Queen’s Boulevard is a subway built by the city under the Independent Subway System. So not only were these lines engineered very differently, but they were actually competing lines. Tracks of the Brooklyn in Manhattan transit elevated lines and the independent subway would remain rather separate until a connection opened in 1968 called the Christy Street Connection between the Sixth Avenue line in both the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. Originally, a variant of the J train from Jamaica would use this connection off the Williamsburg Bridge, dubbed the Double K. But it wouldn’t last long and would be gone by 1976. Thus, this track connection between Essec Street and Broadway Lafayette Street would become dormant until 2010.

To close a large deficit in the budget in 2010, it was decided that this connection lashed used by the double K train in 1976, would be reactivated by combining both the m and V train routes between Forest Hills and Middle Village, this would eliminate through service from North Brooklyn to South Brooklyn through lower Manhattan. And because the m train would be using a new trunk line through Midtown Manhattan, the 6th Avenue line, it would be recolored orange to be similar to the BD and F trains that it would be running parallel to through Midtown. Every single V train stop would still be served by the m train, except at its originating point at Second Avenue. Those who wanted to get from North Brooklyn to South Brooklyn would now have to transfer up to two times from the m to the J train and then from the J train to the nqrr trains at Canal Street. So yeah, the reason why this loop doesn’t exist is because historically and in terms of its engineering, it was never meant to connect. They were competing lines with different routes to different parts of the city. So while, yes, on paper a budget cut, we lost one and a half services in the making of this new m train route. It actually ended up being beneficial to riders because for the first time, those in North Brooklyn and Ridgewood would have a direct route into Midtown Manhattan. The one caveat to this is that this is still a capacity budget cut because m trains only have the ability to run eight car trains, whereas V trains used to run 10 car trains. And that’s because the platforms along the J, L and m trains in North Brooklyn and Queens only can fit eight car trains. While the intentions of the Gothamists were clearly pure, it, when you look at the map, you’re probably like, yeah, these should be connect it. There are various historical intricacies as to why this actually doesn’t happen because the m is technically a budget cut and the combination of two completely separate routes. Did you know about this service history and did you like what you Learned? Let me know and follow me for more.