Zombie Train: The W Train Will Likely Come Back from Oblivion

Bet you never thought you'd see this letter again.
Bet you never thought you’d see this letter again.

In 2010, as part of a large MTA budget cut, the W and V lines, as well as various bus routes, departed to New York City public transit oblivion. But in preparation for new Second Avenue subway service, scheduled to open late this year, the MTA confirmed it will likely bring the W train back to life, Gothamist reports.

While the return of the W will not be confirmed officially until a public hearing this spring, the transit agency nonetheless says it would be a practical replacement for re-routed Q trains from Astoria, which will initially service Second Avenue subway stops between 63rd and 96th Street stations; kind of like a Second Avenue soft open, as it were, before the line’s big debut in December 2016.

“The W line would effectively replace Q service in Queens,” the M.T.A. said today.

Gothamist notes that the W train, which ran along the N line for nine years, disappeared at a particularly bad time in 2010—just as Astoria was hit with notable resident increases. The train’s departure reduced service at a time when it could have used even more.

The W’s return, compared to many MTA projects, would require relatively little work, and relatively little money (just $13.7 million! MTA chump change), according to AM New York. The infrastructure—tracks and stops—is already in place. Just some measly signage needs to be whipped up and tacked on to cars, stop facades, and maps. John Montemarano, MTA’s director of signage for 22 years, according to Gothamist, says the work would take about four months.

So, New Yorkers! Get ready for the very exciting potential that we may add another letter to our very favorite conversation: “Ways to get from here to there using New York City subway lines.” For example, you might say, “Well, you could take the 1 train down to Whitehall, or you could hop on the W up at 63 Street and take that down instead.” What fun! What a ring it has! W train, we happily anticipate your grand resurrection.


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