Aqueduct Racetrack (IND Rockaway Line)

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Aqueduct Racetrack
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Aqueduct Racetrack - Platform View.JPG
Station statistics
Address near 110-00 Rockaway Boulevard
Queens, NY 11420
Borough Queens
Locale South Ozone Park
Coordinates 40°40′20″N 73°50′09″W / 40.672086°N 73.835914°W / 40.672086; -73.835914Coordinates: 40°40′20″N 73°50′09″W / 40.672086°N 73.835914°W / 40.672086; -73.835914
Division B (IND, formerly LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch)
Line IND Rockaway Line
Services       A Northbound only (Northbound only)
Structure Embankment
Platforms 1 side platform
Tracks 4 (2 in passenger service)
Other information
Opened September 14, 1959; 56 years ago (1959-09-14) (as a Subway station)[1][2]
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access (northbound only)
Passengers (2015) 672,734[3]Increase 6.7%
Rank 393 out of 422
Station succession
Next north Rockaway Boulevard: A all times
Next south no southbound service
(Aqueduct – North Conduit Avenue: A all times)

Next Handicapped/disabled access north Euclid Avenue: A all times
Next Handicapped/disabled access south no southbound service
(Howard Beach – JFK Airport (via Rockaway): A all times)
Notes Southbound trains do not stop at this station

Aqueduct Racetrack is a station on the IND Rockaway Line of the New York City Subway. Located on the west side of Aqueduct Racetrack near Pitkin Avenue in South Ozone Park, Queens, it is served by northbound A trains at all times as of August 2, 2013.


The former passageway to the racetrack in 2010.

Formerly a branch of the Long Island Rail Road, what is now the IND Rockaway Line was purchased by the city in 1955 and converted to rapid transit standards. As part of the project and the reconstruction of Aqueduct Racetrack, an additional platform for northbound trains to Brooklyn and Manhattan was built north of the existing Aqueduct station.[4][5] The line opened on June 28, 1956,[4][1][6] while the Aqueduct station opened on September 14, 1959 along with the renovated Aqueduct Racetrack. The single-platform station was built by the track owners at the cost of $1 million.[1][2][7]

From 1959 until 1981, extra fare trains called the "Daily Double Special" and "Aqueduct Special" ran nonstop from the lower level of the 42nd Street – Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan and crossed over to the northbound platform to discharge passengers at the racetrack.[1][7] However, by 1975, Aqueduct Specials no longer started from the lower level of the 42nd Street station.[8] The special train services were replaced in 1978 by the JFK Express, which ran until 1990 and also stopped at this station on racing days.[9][10] By the 1990s, after the JFK Express was discontinued, the Aqueduct Racetrack station was closed throughout the day, not reopening until 1997.[11][12] The remaining service along the line would only be scheduled to stop on race days between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.,[11][13][14] though some trains stopped here regardless of the time of day.[15]

On April 28, 2011,[11] the station was closed and underwent a $15 million renovation. This renovation was sponsored by the Resorts World Casino (or "Racino"), which had opened at the racetrack in 2011 and wanted to create a direct connection from the station to the casino.[16] The station was scheduled to reopen in early 2012, but was delayed.[17] The renovation added new staircases to street level, an enclosed passageway between the station and casino, and an elevator from the street to platform level to make the station ADA-accessible. The station reopened on August 13, 2013, and now operates 24 hours a day.[15][18][19][20] In 2013, there was a proposal to rename this station to Aqueduct – Resorts World Casino[18][19][21] and to add a platform for Rockaway-bound trains.[19] As of July 2012, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has withheld approvals to construct a southbound platform.[14][17]

Station layout[edit]

Platform level
Fare control Entrances/Exits
Handicapped/disabled access (Elevator to street and passageway to Resorts World Casino)
Side platform, doors will open on the right Handicapped/disabled access
Northbound local NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg toward Inwood – 207th Street (Rockaway Boulevard)
Northbound express Trackbed
Southbound express Trackbed
Southbound local NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg does not stop here (Aqueduct – North Conduit Avenue)
G Street Level Exit / Entrance to Aqueduct Racetrack; street passageway to Aqueduct – North Conduit Avenue and Pitkin Avenue
The southernmost of the two new staircases added in the 2013 renovations.

Located on an embankment, the station has four tracks with only the two outer ones in revenue service. The two center express tracks have been disconnected from the line and have permanently been removed from service.[13][22] North of this station, a portion of the southbound express track connects with the southbound local track at its north end, and ends at a bumper block at its southern end. This section of track can be used for revenue service or work train layups, but this use has been made completely redundant because of the nearby Pitkin Yard serving as the primary layup yard instead.[22]

Unusually for a New York City Subway station,[11][12] the station has only one platform, located on the northbound side, with one exit leading directly to Aqueduct Racetrack. Thus, it can only be served by northbound trains.[11][12][15][23][13] However, in the past, southbound trains could terminate at this station[12] by using a crossover located to the north of the station.[22] This station was originally advertised as "open on racing days," however some trains stopped here regardless of the time of day, not guaranteeing an exit from the station.[15]

This station has four High Entrance/Exit Turnstiles (HEETs) and several emergency exit gates (one of which is equipped with an autogate farecard reader), but no token booth or MetroCard Vending Machines.[24] Although MetroCards can technically be purchased at any subway station in the system,[24] the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) considers the station to be linked with Aqueduct – North Conduit Avenue located approximately 1,500 feet (460 m) to the south, which has a full-time token booth and MetroCard machines.[24][25] Two wide staircases and the elevator lead down from platform level to the parking lots in front of the racetrack.[19] A passageway (a sidewalk along Aqueduct Road) leads south from Aqueduct Racetrack to the North Conduit Avenue station; the main fare control area is located at the south end of that station at North Conduit Avenue.[24] At the north end of the passageway at Pitkin Avenue is a gate which, when open, allows access between the station and racetrack and the local community.[19] The glass enclosed bridge, called the "SkyBridge", is temperature controlled and also ADA-accessible. It leads directly to the Resorts World Casino.[18][23] Formerly, the only entrance to the station was through a large wide passageway (similar to those at Mets – Willets Point), which led directly to the racetrack.[1][13]


Due to the fact that it mainly serves Aqueduct Racetrack, the station is not well used compared to other stations in the system. In 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009,[17] the station was the second least used station in the system (and the least used station that was open for use).[a][26] As of 2007, ridership was higher on Saturdays than on weekdays (with an average of 58 riders on weekdays and 895 on Saturdays).[17]

In 2009, the station had 27,004 entries.[27][3] This amounted to only 52 boardings per weekday in 2009,[26] representing a 71.6 percent decrease from the station's 1990 ridership.[27] In 2010, there were 29,644 recorded entries, and in 2011, there were 54,183 entries. Since the station was closed through 2012, there were no boardings, but after full-time service was restored to the station in 2013, there was a significantly higher ridership, with 213,601 recorded entries in 2013 and 630,644 entries in 2014.[3] The increase in ridership at the station and the nearby Aqueduct–North Conduit Avenue station since 2010 has been attributed to the end of off-track betting at the racetrack in 2010,[13][25] and the opening of the casino in 2011.[17][25]

In 2015, the station had 672,734 boardings, making it the 393rd busiest station in the 422-station system.[3] This amounted to an average of 1,711 passengers per weekday.[28]


  1. ^ This counts Cortlandt Street in Manhattan, which has been closed since September 11, 2001, and had no ridership at all.[3][26]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Fabulous $33 Million Aqueduct Track Ready" (PDF). Buffalo Courier-Express. September 13, 1959. p. 7. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Aqueduct Last Word in Luxury" (PDF). Times Union (Albany). New York. September 6, 1959. p. B11. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  4. ^ a b Freeman, Ira Henry (June 28, 1956). "Rockaway Trains to Operate Today". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Transit Agency Jockeys Over Aqueduct's Station". The New York Times. July 15, 1955. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Hegarty, Matt (September 27, 2010). "Aqueduct casino operator makes $380M payment". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Special Aqueduct Subway Service: Premium Fare Trains Started By T.A. To Local Race Track" (PDF). Wave of Long Island. September 17, 1959. p. 5. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  8. ^ Feinman, Mark S. (1999–2000). "History of the Independent Subway: General IND Expansion After World War II". Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  9. ^ Levey, Stanley (June 3, 1959). "IND Racing Train Gets a Workout". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  10. ^ Crist, Steven (October 11, 1981). "John Henry and 8-1 Timely Writer Win". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Cox, Jeremiah (2013-08-02). "Aqueduct Racetrack (A Uptown trains only)". The SubwayNut. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  12. ^ a b c d Darlington, Peggy. "IND Rockaway Line: Aqueduct Racetrack". Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "Development and Operation of a Video Lottery Facility at Aqueduct Racetrack, Jamaica (Borough of Queens), New York" (PDF). New York Lottery, O'Brien & Gere. October 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Pozarycki, Robert (July 26, 2012). "Seeking 'Big A' Station Fix: Pol: Put Project Back In The Saddle". Times Newsweekly. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c d Guimaraes, Mayara; Donohue, Pete (August 8, 2013). "Aqueduct Racetrack stop on A train in Queens now running full time for easier casino access". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (2011-10-27). "New York's First Casino, at Aqueduct Racetrack, Is Set to Open". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Rafter, Domenick (July 12, 2012). "Casino subway stop work remains stalled: Station was due to open months ago". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c Hayes, Maggie (October 15, 2013). "Resorts World Casino operators want to buy Aqueduct Racetrack subway station naming rights". Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c d e Rafter, Domenick (August 14, 2013). "Take 'A' train to reach the games: Subway stop at Resorts World opens". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  20. ^ Fortis, Bianca (August 15, 2013). "Racino train station now open full-time". Times Ledger. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  21. ^ Donohue, Pete (2013-10-10). "Resorts World Casino may buy name of subway". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  22. ^ a b c Marrero, Robert (2015-09-13). "469 Stations, 846 Miles" (PDF). B24 Blog, via Dropbox. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  23. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Ozone Park" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York). 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c d Kennedy, Randy (March 26, 2002). "Tunnel Vision; A $60 Subway Ride? Maybe, but He's Fighting It". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  25. ^ a b c "Subway Ridership at Highest Levels Since 1950!". Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York). February 27, 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c "ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT: A Summary of New York City's Economy" (PDF). New York City Economic Development Corporation. June 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  27. ^ a b Schwach, Howard (April 30, 2010). "MTA: Fewest Riders At Four A-Train Stations". Wave of Long Island. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  28. ^ "Facts and Figures: Weekday Ridership". Retrieved 2016-08-15. 

External links[edit]