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Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station

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 Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue
 "A" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Station statistics
AddressMott Avenue & Beach 22nd Street
Queens, NY 11691
LocaleFar Rockaway
Coordinates40°36′14″N 73°45′20″W / 40.603983°N 73.755426°W / 40.603983; -73.755426Coordinates: 40°36′14″N 73°45′20″W / 40.603983°N 73.755426°W / 40.603983; -73.755426
DivisionB (IND, formerly LIRR Far Rockaway Branch)[1]
LineIND Rockaway Line
Services   A all times (all times)
TransitBus transport MTA Bus: Q22, Q113, Q114, QM17
Bus transport NICE Bus: n31, n32, n33
Platforms1 island platform
Other information
OpenedJuly 29, 1869; 151 years ago (1869-07-29) (SSRRLI, then LIRR station)[2]
RebuiltJanuary 16, 1958; 63 years ago (1958-01-16) (as a subway station)[3]
Station code209[4]
AccessibleThis station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ADA-accessible
20191,347,765[6]Decrease 2.1%
Rank317 out of 424[6]
Station succession
Next westBeach 25th Street: A all times
Next east(Terminal): A all times
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station is located in New York City Subway
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station is located in New York City
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station is located in New York
Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station
Track layout

Street map

Station service legend
Symbol Description
Stops all times Stops all times

Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue (announced simply as Far Rockaway) is the eastern terminal station on the New York City Subway's IND Rockaway Line. Originally a Long Island Rail Road station, it is currently the easternmost station on the New York City Subway. It is served by the A train at all times.

As of 2016, this station is the busiest of all subway stations in the Rockaway peninsula. The original surface station on this site was opened in 1869; the current elevated station began operation as a subway station on January 16, 1958. The station was renovated in 2009–2012 at a cost of $117 million.


LIRR use[edit]

The Far Rockaway Branch of the Long Island Rail Road had originally been part of a loop that traveled along the existing route. The line diverges from the present-day Atlantic and Long Beach Branches east of Valley Stream station in Valley Stream, New York. Eastbound trains continued south then southwest, through Five Towns and the Rockaway Peninsula, and onto a trestle across Jamaica Bay through Queens where it reconnected with the Rockaway Beach Branch; westbound trains did the reverse, using the Rockaway Beach Branch to cross the trestle, go through the Rockaways and Five Towns, and continue northeast then north to join the westbound Atlantic Branch.[7][8]

Far Rockaway station itself was originally built by the Far Rockaway Branch Railroad, a subsidiary of the South Side Railroad of Long Island. Construction on the line began in September 1868, and the station was opened on July 29, 1869.[7][8] The station was later converted into a freight house, when a second station was moved from Ocean Point Station (a.k.a. Cedarhurst Station), remodeled, and opened on October 1, 1881. The third depot opened on July 15, 1890, while the second depot was sold and moved to a private location in October 1890. The surface station featured a large plaza and depot, serving horse-drawn carriages, taxis, and surface trolleys.[7][9] The Ocean Electric Railway terminated at the station between 1897 and September 2, 1926, and the station served as the headquarters for the Ocean Electric Railway.[10][11]

The station also served as the terminus of a Long Island Electric Railway trolley line leading to Jamaica, via New York Avenue (now Guy R. Brewer Boulevard). Following the end of trolley service in November 1933,[12] the depot served buses from Green Bus Lines and Jamaica Buses;[7][9][12] the former Jamaica trolley route became Jamaica Buses' Route B (now the Q113 and Q114 buses).[12][13] Around noon on April 10, 1942, the surface station was closed, and a new elevated station on the current concrete trestle was opened as part of the Long Island Rail Road's grade crossing elimination project.[14][15] This station had two low-level side platforms.[16]

Subway use[edit]

The Far Rockaway station in 2008, prior to renovations

There were frequent fires and maintenance problems on the Jamaica Bay viaduct. The most notorious of these problems was a fire in May 1950 between The Raunt and Broad Channel Stations.[17] After this fire, the LIRR abandoned the Jamaica Bay viaduct and the Queens portion of the Rockaway Beach/Far Rockaway route. On June 11, 1952, the city acquired all trackage west of Mott Avenue, incorporating it as part of the IND Rockaway Line.[18] Service provided by the A train over the line began in June 1956, with the full western spur to Rockaway Park operational.[17] While the remainder of the line operated, with Beach 25th Street–Wavecrest serving as the eastern spur terminal,[17] a new Far Rockaway subway station was constructed, opening on January 16, 1958.[19][20][21][22]

The Far Rockaway LIRR station was moved to a grade-level station at Nameoke Street on February 21, 1958—two blocks from the original station and three blocks from the subway station—becoming the terminus of the Far Rockaway branch.[7][16][23][24] The original site of the LIRR's elevated station and the bus depot, located on the northeast side of Mott Avenue, were replaced with a shopping center and parking lot,[7][23][24][25][26] which began construction in 1960.[27] The Far Rockaway Shopping Center, as it was called, started undergoing redevelopment in 2017 as part of the Far Rockaway rezoning; it was proposed to replace the shopping center with affordable housing.[28][29]

In 1981, the MTA listed the Mott Avenue station among the 69 most deteriorated stations in the subway system, despite the fact that the station had become part of the subway system just two decades earlier.[30] From 2009 to 2012, a $117 million renovation took place on the station, replacing the 1950s design of the station house with metallic facades and a dome enclosure, and upgrading several features including staircases and employee areas. Elevators from the station house to the platforms were added, as were yellow tactile warning strips on the platform edges, making the station ADA-accessible. A glass artwork titled Respite was installed as part of the MTA's Arts for Transit program. The renovated station was unveiled on May 11, 2012.[19][31][32]

The station's disputed age[edit]

Far Rockaway is notably the oldest station currently in operation in the New York City Subway, having originally opened 151 years ago, on July 29, 1869, as a Long Island Rail Road station. However, Gates Avenue on the BMT Jamaica Line in Brooklyn is the oldest station in the subway system to have been built as a rapid transit station, and has been in continuous operation for over 130 years.[33] The Far Rockaway station was converted from Long Island Rail Road trackage to subway loading gauge and has only operated for 63 years in this capacity.[20][34] Therefore, by that interpretation, Far Rockaway is actually the fifteenth newest station in the subway system (behind Grand Street;[35] Harlem–148th Street;[36] 57th Street;[34] the three Archer Avenue Line stations;[37] the three IND 63rd Street Line stations;[38] the new South Ferry station;[39] 34th Street–Hudson Yards;[40] and the three Second Avenue Subway stations[41]).

Station layout[edit]

Platform level
Northbound "A" train toward 207th Street (Beach 25th Street)
Island platform Disabled access
Northbound "A" train toward 207th Street (Beach 25th Street)
G Street level Exits/entrances
Station building Lobby, fare control, station agent
Disabled access Elevators to platform level inside station house at northeast corner of Mott Avenue and Beach 22nd Street

The Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue station, the Rockaway Line's eastern terminus, is built on a concrete viaduct and has two tracks and an island platform. The tracks end at bumper blocks just beyond the northeast end of the platform.[42] The former track connection to the current LIRR's Far Rockaway station has been removed, and transferring now requires a walk of three blocks.[23] A NYCDOT municipal parking facility lies just east of the station between Beach 22nd and Beach 21st Streets, adjacent to the bus loop used by the Q22, QM17 and n33 services that terminate at the station.[43][44]

The doors at the northeast end of the platform lead to stairs down to the street level fare control area. A tower and crew offices are at the southwest end. Two elevators and several staircases inside the station house lead to the platform level.[19] A bodega called the "A Line Deli", previously called the "Last Stop Deli", is attached to the station entrance. It was originally a cafe, having been built along with the station in the 1950s.[45][46]


  1. ^ "Glossary". Second Avenue Subway Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) (PDF). 1. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 4, 2003. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2021. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, Part One: South Side R.R. of L.I., © 1961
  3. ^ New York City Transit. "New York City Transit - History and Chronology". Archived from the original on October 19, 2002. Retrieved January 10, 2007.
  4. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2014–2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2014–2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2020. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
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  8. ^ a b "A Fire Watch Transportation". Wave of Long Island. December 13, 1973. p. 6. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Lucev, Emil (October 8, 2010). "Historical Views of the Rockaways: The LIRR Depot and Plaza Far Rockaway, New York ... 1912". The Wave. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  10. ^ Meyers, S.L. (2006). Lost Trolleys of Queens and Long Island. Images of Rail. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 139–140. ISBN 978-1-4396-3386-1. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  11. ^ "OCEAN ELECTRIC RAILROAD". LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD HISTORY, Online Museum of Long Island Rail Road and Photo Gallery. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "Jamaica Buses To Inaugurate New Service: Ceremony Will Be Held Tomorrow in Opening Routes to Southeast". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 10, 1933. Retrieved October 13, 2015 – via
  13. ^ Soto, Juan (August 29, 2014). "New Q114 bus line ready for first riders". Times Ledger. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Last Grade Crossing In Rockaways Ends" (PDF). The New York Times. April 11, 1942. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  15. ^ "Pushes Grade Separation" (PDF). The New York Times. January 24, 1932. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Linder, Bernard (February 2006). "Rockaway Line". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroader's Association. 49 (2): 3–4. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c Freeman, Ira Henry (June 28, 1956). "Rockaway Trains to Operate Today" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  18. ^ "Fifty Years of Subway Service to the Rockaways". New York Division Bulletin. New York Division, Electric Railroaders' Association. 49 (6). June 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2016 – via Issu.
  19. ^ a b c MTA Press Releases (May 11, 2012). "Far Rockaway-Mott Av. Station Rehabilitation Now Complete: Rockaway A Line Station Now ADA Compliant". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  20. ^ a b "New Subway Unit Ready: Far Rockaway IND Terminal Will Be Opened Today" (PDF). The New York Times. January 16, 1958. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  21. ^ "New Station Set At Howard Beach" (PDF). The New York Times. November 11, 1954. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  22. ^ "Far Rockaway Subway Station: Transit Authority Advances On Rockaway Frontier". Wave of Long Island. October 24, 1957. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c "Shop Center Due in Far Rockaway: Market and Big Parking Lot to Replace L.I. Station Being Moved 2 Blocks" (PDF). The New York Times. July 6, 1956. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  24. ^ a b "Far Rockaway To Have $3 Million Shopping Center". Wave of Long Island. August 1, 1957. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2016 – via
  25. ^ "L.I.R.R. to Shift Station" (PDF). The New York Times. April 5, 1957. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  26. ^ IND Rockaway Branch/Jamaica Bay Crossing, accessed June 14, 2006
  27. ^ "Shopping Center Construction To Get Under Way In September". Wave of Long Island. May 12, 1960. p. 1. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  28. ^ "Housing planned for blighted Queens shopping center". am New York. March 6, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  29. ^ "New Life for Old Far Rockaway Shopping Center". Rockaway Times. October 25, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  30. ^ Gargan, Edward A. (June 11, 1981). "AGENCY LISTS ITS 69 MOST DETERIORATED SUBWAY STATIONS". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  31. ^ Rosenberg, Miriam (May 18, 2012). "Ribbon Cut On A Train Station". The Wave. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  32. ^ "Mott Avenue Subway Renovations Taking Shape". The Wave. May 6, 2011. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  33. ^ Dembart, Lee (September 9, 1977). "A Sentimental Journey on the BMT..." (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
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  36. ^ "IRT Passengers Get New 148th St. Station". The New York Times. May 14, 1968. p. 95. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  37. ^ Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  38. ^ Kennedy, Randy (May 25, 2001). "Panel Approves New V Train but Shortens G Line to Make Room". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  39. ^ NY1 News (March 9, 2009). "South Ferry Station To Open Next Week". NY1. Archived from the original on March 11, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
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  41. ^ Fitzsimmons, Emma G.; Wolfe, Jonathan (January 1, 2017). "Second Avenue Subway Opening: What to Know". The New York Times. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
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  43. ^ "Municipal Parking Facilities". New York City Department of Transportation.
  44. ^ "MTA Bus Time: Q22 Rockaway Beach Blvd - Beach Channel Dr". MTA Bus Time.
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  46. ^ New York City Transit Authority (June 12, 1958). "Restaurant Attached to Far Rockaway Station: IND Rockaway Line". New York Transit Museum. Retrieved August 25, 2016.

External links[edit]