IND World's Fair Line

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The World's Fair Railroad was a branch of the Independent Subway System serving the 1939 New York World's Fair in Queens, New York City. 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.[1][2] A remnant of the line exists with seven grade time signals being used instead to control yard traffic.

History[edit]

In December 1936, a request was sent to the Board of Estimate by the Board of Transportation and the Transit Commission in order to have adequate rapid transit facilities to handle World's Fair crowds in 1939. An extension of the IND's subway system to the World's Fair would cost about $1.2 million, with $700K of it for its construction and $500K for its equipment.[3] The contract for the IND World's Fair Line was awarded on October 26, 1937 by the Board of Transportation to the P. T. Cox Contracting Company for a bid of $308,770.[4]

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 8,400 feet[3] to approximately what is now the interchange 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 pine 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 30, 1939. The GG mostly serviced the line between Smith–Ninth Streets and the World's Fair Station, with E express service between World's Fair Station and Hudson Terminal 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.[1]

IRT Flushing Line[edit]

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.[1]

Fare System[edit]

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.[5]

References[edit]

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