Seventh Avenue Line (Manhattan surface)

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The Seventh Avenue Line is a surface public transit line in Manhattan, New York City, United States, connecting Lower Manhattan with Central Park along Seventh Avenue. Once a streetcar line, it is now part of the southbound direction of the M10 and M20 bus routes.


The Broadway and Seventh Avenue Railroad was chartered by the New York State Legislature in April 1860; the authorized system consisted of two main lines - the Seventh Avenue Line and Broadway Line - connecting Broadway near City Hall with Central Park. The Seventh Avenue Line began at Seventh Avenue and 59th Street and proceeded in a general southerly direction through Seventh Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, Eighth Street, MacDougal Street, Fourth Street, Thompson Street, Canal Street, and West Broadway, with a one-way pair of single tracks in West Broadway and Barclay Street in one direction and Chambers Street and Church Street in the other, and ending in a double track on the block of Barclay Street between Church Street and Broadway. Branches along three other streets - Broome Street, Duane Street, and Park Place - to Broadway were also authorized, and the Broadway Line shared the route north of Times Square and south of Barclay Street (in one direction on Church Street) and Canal Street (in the other direction on West Broadway).[1]

The company was incorporated on May 26, 1864,[2] and opened the Seventh Avenue Line by the end of 1865.[3] The initial route ran northbound on Church Street and southbound on West Broadway from Barclay Street to Chambers Street, using West Broadway in both directions to Canal Street.[citation needed] Except in Barclay Street, the line used existing tracks already shared between the Sixth Avenue Railroad's Sixth Avenue Line and Eighth Avenue Railroad's Eighth Avenue Line south of the intersection of Canal Street and Thompson Street.[citation needed]

An 1866 law required the company to replace its double track in Fourth and Thompson Streets with a one-way pair, the other direction using Third and Sullivan Streets between MacDougal and Canal Streets.[4] Since the block of MacDougal Street between Third and Fourth Streets was already used northbound by the Bleecker Street and Fulton Ferry Railroad's Bleecker Street Line, and the Seventh Avenue cars used that track via trackage rights, a law was passed in 1867 requiring the Seventh Avenue cars to travel in the same direction, with northbound cars in Sullivan Street, a block west of southbound cars in Thompson Street.[2]

The line in Park Place from the one-way pair of West Broadway and Church Street east to Broadway was built later for Seventh Avenue cars, while the Broadway Line continued to use Barclay Street, one block to the south.[citation needed]


  1. Chapter 513, An Act to authorize the construction of a railroad in Seventh avenue, and in certain other streets and avenues of the city of New York, passed April 17, 1860, reproduced in A Compilation of the Ferry Leases and Railroad Grants Made by the Corporation of the City of New York, 1860, pages 354 to 359
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry James Carman, The Street Surface Railway Franchises of New York City, pages 119 to 121
  3. New York Times, Our City Railroads, December 26, 1865, page 8
  4. Chapter 500, An Act to change the route of the Broadway and Seventh Avenue Railroad Company in the city of New York, reproduced in A Compilation of the Existing Ferry Leases and Railroad Grants Made by the Corporation of the City of New York, 1866, pages 412 to 413