The 5 Lexington Avenue Express is a rapid transit service in the A Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored apple green since it uses the IRT Lexington Avenue Line in Manhattan. The 5 operates between Dyre Avenue in Eastchester, Bronx and Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College in Flatbush, Brooklyn, making all stops in the Bronx and running express elsewhere on weekdays except evenings and weekends. It also runs express in the Bronx between East 180th Street and Third Avenue–149th Street in the peak direction during rush hours, with alternated trains originating and terminating at Nereid Avenue in Wakefield, Bronx. The 5 short turns at Bowling Green in Financial District, Manhattan on evenings and weekends, and at East 180th Street during nights. Limited rush hour service also operates between either Dyre or Nereid Avenues and either Utica or New Lots Avenues in Brooklyn due to capacity issues at Flatbush Avenue.
The section from East 180th Street to Dyre Avenue was once part of the mainline of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway, a standard gauge electric commuter railroad built by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Upon its closure in 1937, the entire property was put up for sale.
Beginning on April 28, 1930, Saturday 5 service to Crown Heights–Utica Avenue began.
As of 1934, trains normally ran from Wakefield–241st Street or East 180th Street to Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center. During weekday rush hours and weekend afternoons they were extended to Utica Avenue. Late-night service was not operated.
From July 24, 1938 to September 18, 1938 there was Sunday daytime 5 service to New Lots Avenue. Beginning on July 10, 1939, Sunday afternoon 5 service to New Lots began.
On December 22, 1946, alternate Sunday morning 5 service to New Lots began. However, on March 5, 1950, 5 service was cut back to Utica Avenue all day on Sundays.
Starting on April 23, 1953, 5 trains began using the middle express track between East 180th Street and 149th Street weekday rush in the peak direction. Starting on October 2, 1953, the middle track was used by peak trains south of Gun Hill Road.
Beginning on May 3, 1957, limited rush hour 5 service ran to Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College replacing the 4 service. Evening, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday trains were cut back to South Ferry.
Beginning on March 1, 1960 evening trains began making all stops in Manhattan. Beginning on April 8, 1960, weekday evening service was discontinued, as was weekday rush service to Flatbush Avenue.
Starting on April 18, 1965, most daytime service was rerouted to Dyre Avenue, replacing Dyre Shuttle except evenings and late nights. Some weekday rush peak-direction service to 241st Street was retained, while Saturday and Sunday evening trains were cut back from 241st Street to East 180th Street. Also, Saturday morning trains were cut back from Atlantic Avenue to South Ferry. Starting on May 3, 1965, trains to or from 241st Street began making all stops between Gun Hill Road and East 180th Street.
Beginning on May 23, 1976, 5 service began starting late on Sunday mornings. As of May 24, 1976, weekday midday 5 service was cut back to Bowling Green from Atlantic Avenue. In 1979, with the color coding of subway routes based on their trunk line in Manhattan, the 5 service's color was changed to apple green, as it goes via the Lexington Avenue Line in Manhattan. 5 service was re-extended May 15, 1980 to Atlantic Avenue. On July 10, 1983, all rush hour service ran to Flatbush Avenue, with limited service to/from Utica or New Lots Avenue. Beginning on January 18, 1988, all midday 5 service was cut back to Bowling Green, to allow 4 service to operate to Utica.
In 1995, rush hour service to 241st Street was cut back to Nereid Avenue. On May 27, 2005, use of the 5 diamond to indicate peak direction service to Nereid Avenue was discontinued.
On June 29, 2009, 5 trains were extended to Flatbush Avenue during midday hours.
From March 29 to September 3, 2010, rush hour peak direction 5 express service was suspended due to rehabilitation of East 180th Street and signal replacements along the IRT White Plains Road Line. PM northbound express service was suspended again on March 28, 2011 to allow for the second phase of the signal replacement project. This time, service was restored on August 8.
In 1940, the City of New York purchased the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway, and began integrating the line into the system. The railroad north of the city line to White Plains and Port Chester was quickly dismantled. The section below East 180th Street to Greens Farm Junction was once used to interchange with the New Haven (and later Penn Central and Conrail) to bring subway cars and other equipment on and off the system. That section has since been removed, isolating this part of the subway from the interchange.
The East 180th Street–Dyre Avenue Shuttle or Dyre Avenue Shuttle was established as a new subway service and full-time shuttle along this section on May 15, 1941, between the former East 180th Street station of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway and Eastchester–Dyre Avenue, which was the last station on the NYW&B within New York City. Passengers had to make a walking transfer between the Dyre Avenue Line and the IRT White Plains Road Line at East 180th Street as there was no track connection between the lines.
In 1957, a flyover connection opened between the East 180th Street station of the White Plains Road Line and the Dyre Avenue Line, enabling through service by trains from the 2 route from Manhattan to Dyre Avenue. At the same time, the former NYW&B station was closed and the off-hours Dyre Avenue Shuttle rerouted to the White Plains Road Line station. These shuttles were initially labeled 2 like the full-time service but were later signed as 9, a number used decades later for skip-stop service on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line. The off-hours Dyre Avenue Shuttle still operates, but those trains are signed as 5, the same as the through service.
The following table shows the lines used by the 5, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.