IND World's Fair Line
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The World's Fair Railroad was a branch of Independent Subway System of New York City, now the IND division of the New York City Subway, serving the 1939 New York World's Fair. It split from the IND Queens Boulevard Line at an existing flying junction east of Forest Hills – 71st Avenue station, ran through Jamaica Yard and then ran northeast and north through Flushing Meadows–Corona Park (roughly where the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678) is now) on a wooden trestle to the World's Fair Railroad station, a bit south of Horace Harding Boulevard (now the Long Island Expressway (I-495)). The World's Fair Railroad and station are the only IND line and station to have been closed and demolished.
In early 1938, construction on the IND World's Fair Line began. It would run from the Queens Boulevard portal at Jamaica Yard, along the eastern edge of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park for about 2 miles to approximately what is now the intersection of the Long Island Expressway and the Van Wyck Expressway. Local stations were considered along the new route; however, it was a non-stop ride to the World's Fair Station. The line consisted of two tracks ending in a stub-end terminal with two tracks and three platforms, in what was essentially a Spanish solution. It was built on a wooden trestle across the marshy swampland, which was then filled in.
Test trains on the IND World's Fair Line were run beginning on April 22, 1939, and it opened on April 30th, 1939. The GG mostly serviced the line between Smith–Ninth Streets and the World's Fair Station, but E express service between World's Fair Station and World Trade Center during the PM rush hour and evening. Service generally ran until 1:00am.
The 1939 World's Fair had two seasons: one each in 1939 and 1940. The IND World's Fair Line was closed between seasons, and at the close of the Fair, the line was to be demolished. The last train ran on October 28, 1940. On January 15, 1941, demolition of the line began.
IRT Flushing Line
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT) also served the World's Fair, but did so directly with World's Fair (now Mets – Willets Point) station on the dual-operated Flushing Line (which was rebuilt into an express station for the Fair). A Long Island Rail Road station (now Mets – Willets Point) was built next to the Flushing Line station.
Special features of the line
Public use of the line coincided with the operation of the Fair — April 30, 1939 to October 27, 1940. The World's Fair Railroad was not used between seasons. An additional 5-cent fare was charged on top of the standard nickel fare. Special turnstiles were used at the World's Fair station that permitted traffic flow in both directions and accepted two different fares depending on the direction of travel. Fairgoers disembarking from trains paid a nickel as they exited through the turnstiles while passengers leaving the fairgrounds paid a ten-cent fare upon passing through the turnstiles. Dismantling of the line commenced in February 1941.
Seven grade time signals still exist today, albeit being used to control yard traffic. Grade Time signals enforce an unconditional speed limit for trains on grades. They currently are not obeyed in yard service, but previously were used to regulate train speeds.
- O Gauge Railroading Forum - Vestiges of World's Fair spur