Broad Channel (IND Rockaway Line)

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Broad Channel
"A" train Rockaway Park Shuttle
New York City Subway rapid transit station
MTA NYC Subway Broad Channel Station.jpg
Broad Channel station after the post-Hurricane Sandy renovation
Station statistics
Address Noel Road & West Road
Queens, NY 11693
Borough Queens
Locale Broad Channel
Coordinates 40°36′31″N 73°48′58″W / 40.608618°N 73.816°W / 40.608618; -73.816Coordinates: 40°36′31″N 73°48′58″W / 40.608618°N 73.816°W / 40.608618; -73.816
Division B (IND, formerly LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch)
Line IND Rockaway Line
Services       A all times (all times)
      S all times (all times)
Transit connections Bus transport MTA Bus: Q52, Q53, QM16, QM17
Structure At-grade
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened 1880 (LIRR station)[1]
Closed 1950 (LIRR station)
Rebuilt June 28, 1956; 60 years ago (1956-06-28) (as a Subway station)
Accessibility Same-platform wheelchair transfer available
Passengers (2015) 91,766[2]Increase 23.4%
Rank 421 out of 422
Station succession
Next north Howard Beach–JFK Airport: A all times
(Terminal): S all times
Next south Beach 67th Street (Far Rockaway): A all times
Beach 90th Street (Rockaway Park): A rush hours, peak direction S all times

Broad Channel is a station on the IND Rockaway Line of the New York City Subway, located in the neighborhood of the same name at Noel and West Roads in the borough of Queens. It is served by the A and S (Rockaway Park Shuttle) trains at all times, the latter of which originates/terminates here.


Track layout
to Howard Beach
Jamaica Bay
Long track section
approximately 2 miles (3.2 km)
Test track
Shuttle relay track
Jamaica Bay
Long track section
approximately 1,000 feet (300 m)
Jamaica Bay
Hammels Wye
to B 67 St
to B 90 St

The station originally opened in 1880 as a New York, Woodhaven and Rockaway Railroad station (although some sources claim it opened in June 1881), that was acquired by the Long Island Rail Road and became a station on the Rockaway Beach Branch. As a Long Island Rail Road station it served as one of two junctions between the Far Rockaway and Rockaway Beach Branches. The other junction was at Hammels Station, although it was originally a junction for the Far Rockaway Branch and the Ocean Electric Railway. Wooden shelter sheds were added to the station in 1921 and 1923.[3] A fire on the trestle between this station and another one known as The Raunt forced the closure of both stations on May 23, 1950, as well as the entire Jamaica Bay trestle.[4][5][6]

By October 3, 1955, the entire Rockaway Beach Branch south of Ozone Park, and all of the Far Rockaway Branch west of Far Rockaway was purchased by the New York City Transit Authority. The Broad Channel station was entirely reconstructed (as were the Howard Beach and Far Rockaway stations) with new concrete platforms, and a new station house. The contract for the new station was approved in December 1954.[7][8][9][10] The station opened to subway service on June 28, 1956.[6]

In 1985, the station had only 224 paying daily riders on a typical weekday not counting farebeaters, making it one of the least used stations in the system.[11]

The station and the adjacent segment of the Rockaway Line suffered serious damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and was out of service for several months. Due to its location in the middle of Jamaica Bay, the station was filled with debris, with its trackbed damaged.[12][13] During its temporary closure, the station received new ADA-tactile strips, platform edge rubbing boards, and cosmetic and mechanical work. Service was restored to the station on May 30, 2013.[14]

Station layout[edit]

M Mezzanine Crossover
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound "A" train toward Inwood–207th Street (Howard Beach–JFK Airport)
Rockaway Park Shuttle termination track
Southbound "A" train toward Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue (Beach 67th Street)
Rockaway Park Shuttle ("A" train during PM rush hours) toward Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street (Beach 90th Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
G Street level station house Exit/ Entrance, station agent, MetroCard vending machines, fare control
Noel Road entrance

This station has two tracks and two side platforms, each measuring 12 feet (3.7 m) wide and over 660 feet (200 m) long.[7] The platforms are sheltered with canopies and windscreens.[7]


A station house is located above both platforms, containing a crossover, waiting area and fare control.[7][15] The single street staircase outside of fare control goes down to West Road by the intersection of Noel Road next to the Rockaway-bound platform.[7][16][17] This platform also has a set of exit-only turnstiles leading directly to this staircase so riders exiting the station on this side do not have to go through the station house. The station house is heated, while the platforms feature passenger-activated heaters;[18] these heaters, and the doors separating the station house and staircases, were not originally part of the station.[19][20] The station house originally had 1950s-era signage at its front entrance reading "SUBWAY",[17] but now only has modern MTA entrance signs.

At the north end of the station is a power substation, located at West Road and East 6th Road adjacent to the Rockaway-bound platform.[7][15][17] A second exit-only staircase is located here, but is closed.[15]

Track layout[edit]

Crossovers to tail (right) and test tracks

Just to the north, the Rockaway Line gains two extra non-revenue tracks straddling the two revenue tracks.[21] The western track is a test track, installed in 2001 and called the Far Rockaway Test Track,[22][23][24][25][26] while the eastern track is used to relay shuttle trains.[18][27] The western track extends around 10,000 feet (3,000 m) or 2 miles (3.2 km),[22] while eastern track is long enough for one full-length train and ends at a bumper block.[21]

Continuing north, the Rockaway Line crosses Jamaica Bay before reaching Howard Beach; the distance of 3.5 miles (5.6 km) between the two stations is the longest between any two in the New York City Subway system.[22] To the south, the Rockaway Line continues to the Rockaway peninsula, where it splits at Hammels Wye to allow service to both Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue and Rockaway Park–Beach 116th Street.[18][21] Punch boxes are located at the ends of both platforms, to allow train operators to select the correct route.[28]


Broad Channel is a small island with fewer than 3,000 residents,[29] and the station has the second-lowest ridership in the subway system as of 2015, with 91,766 annual riders,[2] or 310 riders per weekday.[30] It was only trailed by a closed station, making Broad Channel the least used of any fully operating subway station in the city.[31] However, it is the only transfer point between the A train and the Rockaway Park Shuttle, and most riders use it in this capacity.[18][19][31]

Nearby points of interest include a visitor center and trails for the Gateway National Recreation Area's Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.[16][17]



  1. ^ Long Island Rail Road History Website — The NY, Woodhaven and Rockaway RR
  2. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ LIRR Station History (
  4. ^ "L.I.R.R. Propses Junking Trestle Ruined by Fire". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 31, 1950. p. 4. Retrieved September 22, 2015 – via 
  5. ^ Bresiger, Gregory (July 18, 2012). "The Trains Stopped Running Here 50 Years Ago". Queens Gazette. Retrieved July 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Freeman, Ira Henry (June 28, 1956). "Rockaway Trains to Operate Today". The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "$7,000,000 Signal Job To Be Let In February: City Approves $1,000,000 Contracts For Station And Sub-Station in Broad Channel And For The Rehabilitation Of The Liberty Avenue Line" (PDF). Wave of Long Island. December 23, 1954. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  8. ^ "$7,000,000 Signal Job To Be Let In February: City Approves $1,000,000 Contracts For Station And Sub-Station in Broad Channel And For The Rehabilitation Of The Liberty Avenue Line" (PDF). Wave of Long Island. December 23, 1954. p. 7. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  9. ^ "New Station Set At Howard Beach". The New York Times. November 11, 1954. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  10. ^ "New Look In Transit: Modernistic Station And Drawbridge" (PDF). Wave of Long Island. December 2, 1954. p. 1. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Levine, Richard (November 5, 1986). "COLUMN ONE: TRANSPORT". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Rebuilding the Rockaways After Hurricane Sandy". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  13. ^ Chaban, Matt (November 11, 2012). "Broad Channel Crossing Must Be Rebuilt, Leaving Rockaways Without A-Train for Months or Longer". New York Observer. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  14. ^ "A Train Service Restored to Rockaways". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 30, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c New York City Transit Authority (November 1, 1954). "Architectural Drawing of Broad Channel Station: IND Rockaway Line". New York Transit Museum. Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: The Rockaways" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Broad Channel: a future land use proposal". New York City Department of City Planning. August 1962. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c d "Review of the A and C Lines" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 11, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2016. 
  19. ^ a b "Zero Weather, Token Limit Accelerate Subway Gripes" (PDF). Wave of Long Island. January 11, 1968. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Zero Weather, Token Limit Accelerate Subway Gripes" (PDF). Wave of Long Island. January 11, 1968. p. 4. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b c Dougherty, Peter (2016). Tracks of the New York City Subway 2016 (14th ed.). Dougherty. 
  22. ^ a b c "Rebuilding the Rockaways After Hurricane Sandy: The Recovery". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 16, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  23. ^ Tarrant, Colin (April 1, 2004). "Kinetic energy storage wins acceptance". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  24. ^ "EPRI-DOE Handbook of Energy Storage for Transmission & Distribution Applications: Final Report, December 2003" (PDF). Electric Power Research Institute, United States Department of Energy. December 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  25. ^ "BATTERY POWER SYSTEM FOR TRACKSIDE ENERGY STORGE Final Repor" (PDF). New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rolling Stock Company, Kawasaki Heavy Industries. October 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Handbook of Energy Storage for Transmission or Distribution Applications: Technical Update, December 2002" (PDF). Electric Power Research Institute. December 2002. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  27. ^ "M31878 INSTALL RELAY TRACK BROAD CHANNEL STATION ROCKAWAY LINE $5M - $10M". New York City Transit. February 2, 1997. Archived from the original on February 2, 1997. Retrieved September 18, 2016. 
  28. ^ Rosenfeld, Robbie (May 30, 2013). "Photo of punch box on northbound platform". Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  29. ^ Khan, Kulsoom (March 31, 2016). "Broad Channel". Queens Tribune. Retrieved July 22, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Facts and Figures: Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  31. ^ a b "Safest and riskiest areas of New York's subway system revealed in Daily News investigation". New York Daily News. June 22, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2016. 

External links[edit]

  Former services  
Preceding station   MTA NYC logo.svg LIRR   Following station
toward Grand Street
Rockaway Beach Branch