Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue (IND Rockaway Line)

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For the current Long Island Rail Road station, see Far Rockaway (LIRR station).
Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Station statistics
Address Mott Avenue & Beach 22nd Street
Queens, NY 11691
Borough Queens
Locale Far Rockaway
Coordinates 40°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
Division B (IND, formerly LIRR Far Rockaway Branch)
Line IND Rockaway Line
Services       A all times (all times)


Structure Elevated
Platforms 1 island platform
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened July 29, 1869; 145 years ago (1869-07-29) (SSRRLI, then LIRR station)[1]
Rebuilt January 16, 1958; 57 years ago (1958-01-16) (as a subway station)[2]
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Passengers (2014) 1,486,147[3]Increase 84.4%
Rank 306 out of 421
Station succession
Next north Beach 25th Street: A all times
Next south (Terminal): A all times

Next Handicapped/disabled access north Howard Beach – JFK Airport (via Rockaway): A all times
Rockaway Park – Beach 116th Street (via Hammels Wye): no regular service
Next Handicapped/disabled access south none: A all times

Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue is the eastern terminal station on the New York City Subway's IND Rockaway Line.[4] Originally a Long Island Rail Road station, it is the full-time southern terminal for the A train and the easternmost station on the New York City Subway. This station is the busiest of all subway stations in the Rockaway peninsula.[3]

The station is built on a concrete viaduct, with two tracks and an island platform. The tracks end at bumper blocks just beyond the northeast (railroad south) end of the platform. The doors at that end of the platform lead to the stairs down to the street level fare control area. A tower and crew offices are at the southwest end.[4] The former track connection to the current LIRR's Far Rockaway station has been removed, and transferring now requires a walk of three blocks.[5]

It is notably, the oldest station currently in operation in the New York City Subway having originally opened 145 years ago, on July 29, 1869 as a Long Island Rail Road station. However, Gates Avenue is the oldest station in the subway system to have been built as a rapid transit station, and has been in continuous operation for 130 years;[6] The Far Rockaway station was converted from Long Island Rail Road trackage to subway loading gauge and has only operated for 57 years in this capacity;[7] this actually makes Far Rockaway the eleventh newest station in the subway system (behind 57th Street; Grand Street; Harlem – 148th Street; the three Archer Avenue Line stations; the three IND 63rd Street Line stations; and South Ferry).


The Far Rockaway station in 2008, prior to renovations.

The Far Rockaway Branch of the Long Island Rail Road had originally been part of a loop that traveled along the existing route, continuing through the Rockaway Peninsula and heading on a trestle across Jamaica Bay through Queens where it reconnected with the Rockaway Beach Branch. Far Rockaway station itself was originally built by the South Side Railroad of Long Island on July 29, 1869,[8] then converted into a freight house, when a 2nd station was moved from Ocean Point Station (a.k.a. Cedarhurst Station), remodeled, and opened on October 1, 1881. The 3rd depot opened on July 15, 1890, while the 2nd 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.[8][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. It also served as the terminus of a Long Island Electric Railway trolley line leading to Jamaica, at New York Avenue (now Guy R. Brewer Boulevard). Following the end of trolley service, the depot served buses from Green Bus Lines.[8][9] 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 Railroad's grade crossing elimination project.[10][11]

Frequent fires and maintenance problems, the most notorious of which was in May 1950 between The Raunt and Broad Channel Stations,[12] led the LIRR to abandon the Queens portion of the Rockaway Beach/Far Rockaway route, which was acquired by the city on October 3, 1955 when trackage west of Mott Avenue became part of the IND Rockaway Line. Service provided by the A train began in June 1956, with the full western spur to Rockaway Park operational.[12] While the remainder of the line operated, with Beach 25th Street - Wavecrest serving as the eastern spur terminal,[12] a new Far Rockaway subway station was constructed, opening on January 16, 1958.[4][7][13] 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. 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.[8][5][14][15]

From 2009 to 2012, renovations 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, and total cost for the upgrades amounted to $117 million.[4][16][17]

Station layout[edit]

Platform level
Northbound NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg toward Inwood – 207th Street (Beach 25th Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right Handicapped/disabled access
Northbound NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg toward Inwood – 207th Street (Beach 25th Street)
G Street level Exits/Entrances
Main building Lobby, fare control, station agent
Handicapped/disabled access (Elevators to platform level inside station house at NE corner of Mott Avenue and Beach 22nd Street)

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, Part One: South Side R.R. of L.I., © 1961
  2. ^ New York City Transit. "New York City Transit - History and Chronology". Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  3. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-04-26. 
  4. ^ a b c d MTA Press Releases (May 11, 2012). "Far Rockaway-Mott Av. Station Rehabilitation Now Complete: Rockaway A Line Station Now ADA Compliant". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York). Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Shop Center Due in Far Rockaway: Market and Big Parking Lot to Replace L.I. Station Being Moved 2 Blocks". nytimes.com. The New York Times. July 6, 1956. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Dembart, Lee (September 9, 1977). "A Sentimental Journey on the BMT...". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "New Subway Unit Ready: Far Rockaway IND Terminal Will Be Opened Today". nytimes.com. The New York Times. January 16, 1958. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d Lucev, Emil (June 18, 2010). "Historical Views of the Rockaways: The old Far Rockaway Station Plaza, Mott and Central Avenues, 1922". rockawave.com. The Wave. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Lucev, Emil (October 8, 2010). "Historical Views of the Rockaways: The LIRR Depot and Plaza Far Rockaway, New York … 1912". rockawave.com. The Wave. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Last Grade Crossing In Rockaways Ends". nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 11, 1942. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Pushes Grade Separation". nytimes.com. The New York Times. January 24, 1932. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Freeman, Ira Henry (June 28, 1956). "Rockaway Trains to Operate Today". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "New Station Set At Howard Beach". nytimes.com. The New York Times. November 11, 1954. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "L.I.R.R. to Shift Station". nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 5, 1957. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  15. ^ IND Rockaway Branch/Jamaica Bay Crossing, accessed June 14, 2006
  16. ^ Rosenberg, Miriam (May 18, 2012). "Ribbon Cut On A Train Station". rockawave.com. The Wave. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Mott Avenue Subway Renovations Taking Shape". rockawave.com. The Wave. May 6, 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue (IND Rockaway Line) at Wikimedia Commons