W Is Back — Not the President!

Come fall of this year, subway riders missing the W train can once again ride it from Whitehall Street to Astoria. | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
The W train once again rides Astoria to Whitehall Street downtown. | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

BY JACKSON CHEN | Six years after it was discontinued, the W train made its return debut on November 7, with its first trip out of Astoria at around 7 a.m.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority brought back the W train to coincide with the approaching December 31 opening date of the Second Avenue Subway. Since the Q train will eventually divert past the Lexington Avenue/ 63rd Street stop and travel north in Manhattan to the new 72nd, 86th, and 96th Street stations on Second Avenue, its northern terminus until the end of the year will be the 57th Street/ Seventh Avenue stop.

Replacing the lost Q service into Queens, the W trains will run local on weekdays, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., from Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan to the last stop in Queens at Astoria/ Ditmars Boulevard.


The W line was suspended in 2010 due to agency budget cuts but the MTA will now spend $13.7 million annually for this new service. The agency asserted that even though there would be 20 fewer trains daily going into and coming out of Queens, the shorter length that the W line traverses, compared to the former Q line that ran into Brooklyn from Lower Manhattan, would mean that straphangers wouldn’t notice a change in service.

With the W train offering local service in Manhattan, the N train will now operate express between the Times Square/ 42nd Street stop and Canal Street on weekdays during peak, midday, and evening hours.