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How are subway trains categorized?

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#1 mojicanpuertorican


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Posted 23 December 2016 - 11:40 AM

So I've never ridden a subway train before, but for those of you who have, how are the trains identified? By numbers? Letters? Any examples?

#2 LucidDreamer


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Posted 24 December 2016 - 08:20 AM

Depends on where you are.  What city are you talking about? In NYC, for example, they use Letters and Numbers. Depends on the route.
Example (NYC) -- http://www.mta.info/nyct
This will vary greatly depending on the country and/or city involved.
In Washington D.C. the subway is called the Metro (not called subway) and the various lInes are identified by color. This is true other places as well.

#3 KitCampbell


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Posted 24 December 2016 - 10:07 AM

It should also be noted that most "subways" are almost exclusively below ground. If a system runs mostly above ground, or equally above and below ground, it might be called something else.


Ours is mostly above ground and is called a lightrail system, and each line is identified mostly by a letter, though each line also has its own corresponding color.


If you've got your story set in a specific place, it probably wouldn't hurt to look at that place's system. Give the story a bit more of a realistic feel.

#4 Andrea Roche

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Posted 28 December 2016 - 05:31 PM

In NYC we have both above and below ground trains. Some trains like the 7 and M go both above and below. When they are above the streets its called the EL (for elevated) when they run below its the subway.

M is for Metropolitan line

A for Aqueduct

B for Bed Stuy (Bedford Stuyvesant)

C for Canal Street



Number trains usually are Cross town Manhattan only but the 6 goes to the Bronx. 


Trains run only underground in Manhattan and sometimes above in Brooklyn Queens or The Bronx. Staten Island has no subway.

They have the Ferry.


The Trains can be named anything from 1-8 never heard of a nine or 10 line

and anything from A- the very recently established Z train line. 


Check out the subway maps at MTA.com

Makes my head spin and I been here all my life.

Buses, now that's something altogether different.


Good luck!

Andrea Roche

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Twitter: @Rose121562

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