Briarwood (IND Queens Boulevard Line)

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"E" train "F" train
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Van Wyck Subway Station by David Shankbone.jpg
One of the platforms with the old "Van Wyck Boulevard" mosaic.
Station statistics
Address Main Street & Queens Boulevard
Queens, NY 11435
Borough Queens
Locale Briarwood
Coordinates 40°42′35″N 73°49′11″W / 40.70969°N 73.8196°W / 40.70969; -73.8196Coordinates: 40°42′35″N 73°49′11″W / 40.70969°N 73.8196°W / 40.70969; -73.8196
Division B (IND)
Line IND Queens Boulevard Line
Services       E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends (nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends)
      F all times (all times)
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q44 SBS, QM21, X63, X64, X68
Bus transport MTA Bus: Q60
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 4
Other information
Opened April 24, 1937; 80 years ago (1937-04-24)
Accessibility Same-platform wheelchair transfer available
Wireless service Wi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[1][2]
Former/other names Van Wyck Boulevard (1937–1998)
Briarwood–Van Wyck Boulevard (1998–2015)
Passengers (2015) 1,479,278[3]Increase 3.7%
Rank 311 out of 425
Station succession
Next north Sutphin Boulevard: F all times
Jamaica–Van Wyck (Archer): E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends
Next south Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike: E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends F all times

Briarwood (formerly Briarwood–Van Wyck Boulevard or Van Wyck Boulevard) is a local station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 84th Drive, Main Street, Queens Boulevard, and the Van Wyck Expressway, in Briarwood, Queens, bordering Kew Gardens, it is served by the F at all times and the E at all times except rush hours and middays.

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound local "E" train toward World Trade Center (weekends) (Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike)
"F" train toward Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue (Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike)
Southbound express "E" train does not stop here (weekdays)
Northbound express "E" train does not stop here (weekdays) →
Northbound local "E" train toward Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer (weekends) (Jamaica – Van Wyck)
"F" train toward Jamaica–179th Street (Sutphin Boulevard)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

This station has two side platforms and four tracks. The platforms have Slate Blue columns, a Jasmine Yellow tile trim with black borders, and name tablets containing "VAN WYCK BLVD." in white lettering on a black border with matching yellow trimming.

The full-length mezzanine is directly above the platforms. It is separated into three sections with two black fences. Fare control is in the middle due to the requirement to have a pedestrian underpass under Queens Boulevard, so there is no free transfer between directions. The station is directly under the Van Wyck Expressway's southbound service road at this point, however.[4]

The station mezzanine has hosted the NYPD Transit Bureau's District 20 station house since the mid-1990s.


Police station

The full-time exit is via a long passageway to Main Street and Queens Boulevard. Another pair of exits exists at the southwestern corner of Queens Boulevard and Van Wyck Expressway, one next to Maple Grove Cemetery, the other next to the Van Wyck Expressway.[4] Another entrance on the north side of the Queens Boulevard overpass over the Van Wyck Expressway formerly existed, but was later demolished.

Track layout[edit]

To the west of this station are track connections from both the express and local tracks to Jamaica Yard.

Just to the compass south (railroad north) of this station, the IND Archer Avenue Line splits from the Queens Boulevard Line in a flying junction; trains to/from the Archer Avenue line can serve the station as local trains or bypass it as express trains. At the split, the Archer Avenue tracks split from both pairs of express and local Queens Boulevard tracks. The connection uses trackways that were constructed at the same time as the station, part of the section of the Queens Boulevard Line from Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike to 169th Street. The provision (then known as the "Van Wyck Stub") was intended to be used by the proposed Van Wyck Boulevard Line going towards Rockaway Boulevard, part of a planned major system expansion that was never built. When construction of the Archer Avenue Line began on August 15, 1972, as part of the Program for Action,[5] the original tunnels were used for the project, and new tiles and tracks were added. These tunnels are now used for trains going to and from Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer, opened in 1988.[6] There are punch boxes on the Jamaica-bound track of this station to allow trains to go to either the Hillside Avenue or Archer Avenue lines.

The Van Wyck Boulevard right-of-way, which was proposed from the station's construction, is currently used by the elevated AirTrain JFK, though it makes no stops along the corridor.


Former northern stair, demolished in 2011

The station was rebuilt, with new exits, as part of the $147 million Kew Gardens Interchange reconstruction project, which includes bridge replacement of the Queens Boulevard overpass over Van Wyck Expressway. The contract for reconstruction of the station, was bid on and won by Ecco and cost $9.9 million.[7] In 2011, the north entrance was demolished as part of rebuilding the interchange, leaving the southern exit bordering Maple Grove Cemetery as the sole entrance and exit.[8] A new entrance is being built next to Archbishop Molloy High School on Main Street; another exit on the same site had been closed since 2010.[9] Another new entrance currently exists on the south side of Queens Boulevard between the Van Wyck Expressway service and main roads.

Renovation, started in 2010, was to be completed by 2016, with a new elevator entrance and rebuilt, widened mezzanine corridors.[9] However, delays abounded, including the fact that the new Main Street exit was delayed, having been pushed back from August 2012, to October 2013, and then again to March 2014; lead paint needed to be removed, costing $0.3 million; and plans were changed during construction, costing $1.7 million.[10] The opening of the new Main Street exit was subsequently pushed forward to February 2014, then back again to May 2014 with elevator work to begin after the new entrance opened; the elevator was to be complete by late 2014 or early 2015.[11] A new entrance was opened in December 2014.[12]


The station's original name was Van Wyck Boulevard. Van Wyck Boulevard was the name of the wide thoroughfare that existed when the station opened in 1937. The Van Wyck Expressway was built over the boulevard in the early 1950s. The name was changed to Briarwood–Van Wyck Boulevard in 1998[13] to avoid confusion with Jamaica–Van Wyck on the IND Archer Avenue Line.[14]

Since 2008, community members had been pushing to rename the station again to simply "Briarwood" since it better reflected the neighborhood of Briarwood, served by the station, and since "Van Wyck Boulevard" does not characterize the area well (the now-expressway runs through several other neighborhoods in Queens).[13] State Senator Tony Avella and local community groups pressed for the name change. The legislation, proposed in January 2013, passed the New York State Assembly on June 19, 2014.[15] In August 2014, it was announced that the station would be renamed Briarwood.[16] The station was formally renamed on April 17, 2015.[17][18]

In popular culture[edit]

In the 1988 comedy film Coming to America, Eddie Murphy's character, Akeem, tries to persuade his love interest to marry him and go to Zamunda, a fictional kingdom in Africa. He follows her onto the Briarwood station. When Akeem jumps the turnstile, "Van Wyck Boulevard" can be seen in the background above the token booth. They board the train which next stops at the Sutphin Boulevard station where she gets off.[19] This scene, however, was actually shot at the unused platform and tracks of Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station in Brooklyn.


  1. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  2. ^ More Subway Stations in Manhattan, Bronx in Line to Get Online, (March 25, 2015). "The first two phases included stations in Midtown Manhattan and all underground stations in Queens with the exception of the 7 Main St terminal."
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Kew Gardens" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  5. ^—The 1968 MTA "Program for Action"
  6. ^ Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2009. 
  7. ^ Joe Marvilli (January 2, 2014). "Briarwood Construction End Date Pushed Back". Queens Tribune. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ Melissa Chan. "Construction to close subway entrance". Queens Courier. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska (May 28, 2013). "Entrance Slated To Open in Fall". DNA Info. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska (December 19, 2013). "Entrance Slated To Open in Fall". DNA Info. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ Christopher Barca (January 23, 2014). "Subway station work continues in 2014". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ Gannon, Michael (December 11, 2014). "Briarwood subway entrance now open". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Kern-Jedrychowska, Ewa (March 17, 2014). "Change Could Be Next Stop for 'Briarwood/Van Wyck' Subway Station Name". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved July 28, 2016. 
  14. ^ A neighborhood association for the area in which the station lies campaigned for the name change in 1997 ("What's in a Name? All Aboard for Briarwood!". Newsday. April 13, 1997. Retrieved February 7, 2013. ) A page on the Queens Boulevard line on New York City Subway Resources accessed in 1998 includes this phrase in the station's description: "This station has a new secondary name, Briarwood, that hasn't appeared on the map yet."
  15. ^ "Briarwood station closer to renaming". Queens Chronicle. August 7, 2014. Retrieved August 23, 2014. 
  16. ^ Greg Mocker (April 10, 2016). "Neighbors want the name of subway station changed". PIX11. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Briarwood-Van Wyck Boulevard Subway Station Gets Simpler Name". NY1. April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  18. ^ Alina Suriel (April 17, 2015). "Briarwood station name shortened". Queens Courier. Retrieved April 22, 2015. 
  19. ^ "'COMING TO AMERICA'". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 

External links[edit]