•    The Fading Line   

    History of the G Train

    Enough of these musings! The G train must depart from Court Square already; though it has few cars and comes rarely, it usually sticks to that schedule. Only this morning I had had to run to catch an unexpected arrival. It sounds as though a third train is approaching Court Square, and since there are only two tracks, mine must surely leave! Ah, but those echoes of thunder are from the distant tunnel; the G is scheduled to run there only in the late hours of the night, and often construction work closes that already seldom used route. That is the route deep into Queens, past Queens Plaza and toward Forest Hills. Admittedly it never gets to Manhattan, but before it was shortened to this four-car almost-shuttle, the G was the connector of Brooklyn and Queens.

    The G train had its beginnings as a shuttle between Queens Plaza and Nassau Avenue starting from August 19, 1933. At the time it used the symbol GG signifying that it made local stops. Four years later, on July 1, 1937 service was extended in both directions. The GG line would provide service to all stops from Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Smith-Ninth Street. In 1968 service was extended to Church ave, however this was discontinued as of 1976. The GG train became the G train in 1985, when the use of double letters to represent local service was discontinued. On May 24, 1987 Queens Plaza became the northern terminal for the G line. This was a result of the R and N lines switching terminals in Queens. The G train line has undergone many changes and shifts in how long it is and how far it runs. However the one that has affected the G line the most was due to the introduction of the V train.  Starting from December 6, 2001, Court Square became the northern terminal of the G train, during midday rush hours. Its services were replaced by the V train. Court Square became the permanent terminal as of April 19, 2010, earlier than the projected date in June as result of track repairs as well as the MTA’s financial problems.

    Commuters response to the G train and its services have long been one of dissatisfaction. The MTA has tried to address the issue but has stated that restoring the G train to full service would be almost impossible due to the heavy amount of traffic on the tracks. However in an attempt to satisfy customers by reducing, new trains were added. The catch? The new trains were created by reducing the number of cars on already existing trains and then joining the left over cars together. The G train’s plight has led to the formation of community activist groups looking to better service along the line. These groups are able to give the fading line a little bit of hope.

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