What is the E Train?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 February 2020
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The E Train, also known as the Eighth Avenue Local, is a subway route in New York City. Like the rest of New York's subway system, the E Train is a rapid transit train, running on dedicated tracks which are separated from other traffic. The trains used on the route are electric. Many residents of New York utilize the E Train on a regular basis, and visitors to the city often find themselves spending some time on the E Line as well.

This subway route runs from the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan to Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer in Queens, traveling across the width of the city in the process. Depending on the time of day, parts of the line may be run as an express, while others are run as locals. Although the E Train runs 24 hours a day, it doesn't always stop at all stations, and it is a good idea to check the train's schedule before embarking.

On subway maps, the E Train is indicated with a blue line and a blue circle which encloses the letter ā€œE.ā€ The ā€œEā€ is also mounted on the side of trains running the route, so that passengers can identify the E Train easily when it enters subway stations. The train is also announced overhead, ensuring that people in the station are aware that it is arriving.


The E Train was established in 1933, and the route has changed slightly to accommodate changing needs and a growing city since it was first constructed. The train travels along Queens Boulevard and Eighth Avenue. Each stop provides an opportunity to transfer to other routes, and to connect with other forms of transit. Passengers on the E Train can transfer to the PATH trains which connect New York and New Jersey, and they can also reach New York's airports along with the Port Authority and Pennsylvania Station through connections with the E Train, gaining access to a wide variety of transportation options.

During rush hour, the E Train tends to be extremely busy. Extra cars may be added on to accommodate additional passengers, but the trains can still be very crowded. As with any mass transit system, common courtesy is supposed to be observed on the E Train, with people loading the back of the car first to leave room at the front, and packages, bags, and other bulky items being carefully controlled so that they do not interfere with other passengers. In actuality, conditions can sometimes get rather chaotic on the E Train, although some passengers may be self-policing, reminding each other of subway policies and common courtesies such as making seats available to the elderly.


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