The E Eighth Avenue Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is vivid blue since it uses the IND Eighth Avenue Line in Manhattan. The E operates at all times between Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer in Jamaica, Queens, and Chambers Street–World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, running express on the IND Queens Boulevard Line in Queens (except nights when it serves all stops) and local in Manhattan. E trains also serve two local stops in eastern Queens (75th Avenue and Briarwood) on evenings and weekends. Limited rush hour service runs fully express to and from 179th Street at the end of the Queens Boulevard Line, due to lack of capacity at Jamaica Center.
On August 19, 1933, E service officially began, running between Roosevelt Avenue – Jackson Heights and the Hudson Terminal (current World Trade Center station). The E would not yet run express via Queens Boulevard as the IND Crosstown Line did not yet fully open until Brooklyn, and the Queens Boulevard Line had not yet opened to Jamaica.
On January 1, 1936, the IND Sixth Avenue Line opened to East Broadway and the E was extended there. E trains no longer served stations on the Eighth Avenue Line south of West Fourth Street. On April 9 of the same year, the Sixth Avenue Line was extended through the Rutgers Street Tunnel to Jay Street–Borough Hall, and E trains were extended via this line and the IND Culver Line to Church Avenue, replacing the A train. E service was again extended when the Queens Boulevard Line was extended to Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike on December 31, 1936, and then to 169th Street on April 24, 1937. E trains began running express between Continental Avenue and Queens Plaza on April 24, 1937.
On September 12, 1938, several weekday rush hour trains began terminating at Jay Street in the morning, and a few entered service at Smith–Ninth Streets in the evening. Between 1939 and 1940, select PM E trains ran to-and-from the Horace Harding Boulevard terminal at the 1939 New York World's Fair, terminating at Hudson Terminal in Manhattan. Service ended following the fair.
On December 15, 1940, service on the entire Sixth Avenue Line began. The E was cut back to Broadway–Lafayette Street. South of that station, it was replaced by the F train. On October 24, 1949 the E was extended during rush hours to Broadway – East New York running via Fulton Street Local.
On December 10, 1950, 179th Street opened. E service terminated there, running express between Queens Plaza and 71st Avenue and local from 71st Avenue to 179th Street.
In 1953, the platforms were lengthened to 660 feet at 75th Avenue, Sutphin Boulevard, Spring Street, Canal Street, Ralph Avenue and Broadway–East New York so that E trains could run eleven car trains. The E began running eleven car trains during rush hours on September 8, 1953. The extra train car increased the total carrying capacity by 4,000 passengers.
Then, on October 30, 1954, E trains began running to Hudson Terminal during non-rush hours, and began running express in Manhattan during rush hours.
On June 28, 1956, the LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch re-opened as the IND Rockaway Line after being converted for subway service and E service was extended from East New York to Rockaway Park or Wavecrest during weekday rush hours. During non-rush hours, service was provided by shuttle service between Euclid and Rockaway Park or Wavecrest.
On September 16, 1956, rush hour E service was cut back to Euclid Avenue when Rockaway service was replaced by the A train. The A and E later switched southern terminals again, and on September 8, 1958 the E began running to the Rockaways during rush hours. On September 8, 1959, the E began running express to Euclid Avenue, while the A became local; however, in 1960, the E train became an express in Brooklyn and was extended to the Rockaways, with some put-ins beginning at Euclid Avenue and later Lefferts Boulevard during rush hours. Some E trains were extended to Lefferts Boulevard in June of that year due to complaints. In 1963–1964, the E was extended to the Rockaways during rush hours, with some put-ins beginning at Euclid Avenue and later Lefferts Boulevard.
On March 23, 1970, southbound E trains, during rush hours, began stopping at the lower level of the 42nd Street station.
On January 2, 1973, the E train became the local in Brooklyn again, running to Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street only. Finally, on August 27, 1976, E service in Brooklyn was eliminated with all trains terminating at World Trade Center (the local platform). Brooklyn service was replaced by the CC local.
On December 11, 1988, the IND Archer Avenue Line opened. E trains were rerouted via this branch, stopping at the upper level of the Sutphin Boulevard and Jamaica Center stations. The E train now skipped 75th Avenue and Van Wyck Boulevard on weekdays. R service was extended to 179th Street, replacing the E as the Hillside Avenue Local service, but this was later discontinued when the F became the local. A few rush hour trains continue to operate to 179th Street.
On August 31, 1997, E service began running local in Queens during late nights.
During the early part of 2000, because of the replacement of track switches at the World Trade Center station, the E was extended to Euclid Avenue at all times except late nights, when it operated to Canal Street. Service on the E was again affected by the September 11 attacks in 2001, as its terminal station, World Trade Center, was located at the northeastern corner of the World Trade Center site, so for a time, the E again operated to Euclid Avenue in Brooklyn as the local on the IND Fulton Street Line at all times except late nights, replacing the temporarily suspended C service. On September 24, 2001, C service was restored, and E service was cut back to Canal Street, since World Trade Center would be closed until January 2002.
On December 16, 2001, the connection from the IND 63rd Street Line to the Queens Boulevard Line opened, and F trains were rerouted via this connector to travel between Manhattan and Queens. Some rush hour E trains now ran to 179th Street, allowing passengers on Hillside Avenue east of Union Turnpike to have an express service to 53rd Street. This was also due to the lack of capacity at Jamaica Center during rush hours.
The EE originally ran as an Eighth Avenue local between 71st–Continental Avenues and Chambers Street during off peak hours when the GG didn't run. This service was discontinued when the IND Sixth Avenue Line was completed in 1940. However, the EE reappeared in 1967 when it ran between 71st–Continental Avenues and Whitehall Street via the local tracks of the BMT Broadway Line, replacing the QT and RR. This service was discontinued on August 30, 1976 and replaced by the N. The route of the EE to Whitehall Street is currently duplicated by the R service.
The following table shows the lines used by the E service, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
Four E trips originate from 179th Street during the AM rush hour, with another four trips terminating at 179th Street during the PM rush hour.
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.