7 Train History

1888: New York & Long Island Railroad Company proposes rail tunnel route between Hunters Point, Long Island City (Queens) at 50 Avenue and Grand Central Terminal at 42 Street and Park Avenue in Manhatttan

1892: Groundbreaking for the new tunnel

1903: IRT, headed by August Belmont resumes project

1905: Construction on the tunnel resumes

1907: Steinway Tunnels bored. NY&LI provides trolley service between Long Island City and Grand Central. Tunnel is later closed pending contract sale

1910: PRR completes East River tubes between Penn Station (34 Street) and Long Island City (now Amtrak/LIRR)

1915: IRT Steinway cars make test trip (June 13). Regularly-scheduled service between Vernon Avenue and Grand Central begins (June 22)

1916: Extended to Hunters Point Avenue (February 15). 45 Road-Courthouse Square and Queensboro Plaza open

1917: Service to Corona at Alburtis Avenue (103 Street) begins. (April 21)

1923: Joint IRT-BMT service between Corona and Queensboro Plaza via Queensboro Bridge begins

1925: Extended to 111 Street

1926: Route extended to 5 Avenue-Bryant Park and Times Square

1927: Willets Point-Shea Stadium station opens (May 14)

1928: Route extended to new Flushing Main Street terminal, Corona Yard opens

1938: New Steinway World's Fair cars debut for 1939-40 World's Fair, orginal Willets Point station torn down and replaced

1942: Joint IRT-BMT service via Queensborough Bridge ends (June 13)

1948: R12 cars debut, introduces numbered routes

1949: R14 debuts

1950: R15 debuts, introduces now-familar arched roof

1958: "IDENTRA" train commmunication system implemented on R12/14/15 cars

1963: R17 cars arrive from Bronx main lines, first R12/14s transferred to IRT Main Line. R17 cars remain in Queens until January 1965 and fill in for departing R12/14/15s until R36 delivery is complete

1964: R36 "World's Fair" cars in turquoise blue debut on the 7, all remaining R12/14/15s are sent to IRT Main Line, the 7 is designated as the "Blue Arrow" route to the 1964 New York World's Fair, Shea Stadium opens

1981-86: R36 and R33 WFs rebuilt (by NYCT/GE/MK/Amtrak), including installation of air conditioning and painting in "all-white" exterior

Late 1980s: R36 and R33 WF cars painted in "Gunn red" (later "Redbird") scheme, local only service between 1985-89 for track and viaduct rehabilitation

1993-97: Queens Boulevard viaduct rehabilitation. All trains made all local stops between 61 Street-Woodside and Queensboro Plaza as one track at a time was out of service (4/5/1993-3/31/1997)

1998: Bliss, Lowery and Rawson names removed from the 46 Street, 40 Street and 33 Street stations, respectively

1999: 7 route designated a National Millennium Trail by the the White House, Flushing Main Street terminal rehabilitation, 61 Street-Woodside renovated, Grand Central renovation

2000: One R36/33WF trainset was painted and wrapped in the colors of the New York Mets for the 2000 Subway Series (October 24)

2002: R62A cars from the 1/9, 3 and 6 lines first arrive on the 7 in January, beginning a two-year long phaseout of the R36 cars

2003: Last regularly scheduled R36/33 WF train in service on the 7 (November 3)

2004: 7 is all R62A-R36 and R33 WF all retired. 74 Street-Broadway station rehabilitated, Bliss, Lowery, Rawson subnames added back onto 46, 40, and 33 Street stations.

2006: 1928 Corona Shop closed and demolished, new Corona Shop opens.

2008: R62A cars receive LED digital local/express indicators, R36s return to Corona Yard

2009: Willets Point-Shea Stadium station renamed "Mets-Willets Point" in April.