The Archer Avenue Lines are two rapid transit lines of the New York City Subway, mostly running under Archer Avenue in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. Conceived as part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 1968 expansion plans, they opened on December 11, 1988.
The two lines are built on separate levels, served by trains from the IND Queens Boulevard Line (E train) on the upper level, and the BMT Jamaica Line (J Z trains) on the lower. Since the two levels share no track connections and have different chainings and radio frequencies, they are two separate lines—the B2 Division Archer Avenue Line (upper level) and the B1 Division Archer Avenue Line (lower level).
Extent and service
The following services use the Archer Avenue Line:
Construction on the Archer Avenue subway began on August 15, 1972, at Archer Avenue and 151st Street, paving the way for the southeast Queens subway line and the demolition of the Jamaica Avenue Elevated from 129th Street to the 168th Street terminal. The first tunnel between the Jamaica Avenue Elevated and the Archer Avenue subway was holed through in October 1977. The second tunnel connection holing through of the Archer Avenue subway tunnels occurred in December 1977. In October 1979, groundbreaking for a 1,300 ft cut and cover section of the Archer Avenue line occurred. This section also included the Jamaica – Van Wyck station. Construction was supposed to be completed in 1984, but was completed ahead of time in 1983, five years before the subway opened on December 11, 1988.
The two Archer Avenue Lines begin at a northern terminal, Jamaica Center – Parsons/Archer (E J Z trains), as a bi-level subway, each level having two tracks. The two lines run compass west along Archer Avenue to another station at Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport, where connections can be made to the Long Island Rail Road and AirTrain JFK. West of this station, the two levels diverge. The lower level tracks (J Z trains) continue roughly compass northwest, emerging from a portal near 89th Road and 130th Street and paralleling the Main Line of the LIRR before turning west onto the elevated structure of the BMT Jamaica Line. The upper level tracks (E train) turn compass north under the Van Wyck Expressway, with another station at Jamaica Avenue. Just north of Hillside Avenue, they meet the four tracks of the IND Queens Boulevard Line at a flying junction, with connections to both the local and express tracks.
In the original service plan, the G and N trains (the N ran on the IND Queens Boulevard Line until 1987, when the R train replaced the N to allow it access to the Jamaica Yard) were to go to Jamaica Center, while the E and F would have remained going towards 179th Street. In the original service plan the N train was to run between Jamaica Center and Coney Island during weekdays while G trains were to terminate at 71st Avenue. During weekends the G train was to run between Jamaica Center and Smith–Ninth Streets, while N trains would terminate at 57th Street – Seventh Avenue or 71st Avenue. During late nights there was supposed to be a G train shuttle between Jamaica Center and Van Wyck Boulevard. The signage indicating such service was installed inside the Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike station in the mid-1980s. When the Archer Avenue Line opened in 1988, a simpler service plan was put into effect, which involved the E going to Jamaica Center and the F going to 179 Street, with all local service terminating at 71st Avenue. That plan remains as of 2010.
The original plan also called for the E train to continue along the right of way of the Atlantic Branch of the Long Island Rail Road through the Locust Manor and Laurelton stations. The Montauk Branch through St. Albans already provides parallel service to Jamaica. This conversion would have involved modifying existing platforms at Locust Manor and Laurelton to accommodate the IND loading gauge, as well as constructing new stations to serve Southeast Queens. Due to a lack of funding, this plan was never implemented.
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||Stops all times
||Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
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