IND Queens Boulevard Line

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IND Queens Boulevard Line
NYCS-line-black-Queens-Blvd.svg
Stations on the IND Queens Boulevard Line
are served by E, F, M and R trains.
Overview
Type Rapid transit
System New York City Subway
Locale New York City
Termini 50th Street
Jamaica – 179th Street
Daily ridership 251,456 (2010, weekday)[1][note 1]
Operation
Owner City of New York
Operator(s) New York City Transit Authority
Technical
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
IND Queens Boulevard Line
Jamaica – 179th Street
169th Street
Parsons Boulevard
Sutphin Boulevard
IND Archer Avenue Line
Briarwood
Jamaica Yard connection
Former IND World's Fair Line
Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike
75th Avenue
Jamaica Yard connection
Forest Hills – 71st Avenue
67th Avenue
63rd Drive – Rego Park
Woodhaven Boulevard
Grand Avenue – Newtown IRT Flushing Line
Elmhurst Avenue never built IND Winfield Spur to Rockaways
Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue (unused upper level)
65th Street
Express Tracks diverge
Northern Boulevard
46th Street
Steinway Street
Express Tracks diverge
36th Street
IND 63rd Street Line
Queens Plaza
60th Street Tunnel Connection
IND Crosstown Line
IRT Flushing Line
Court Square – 23rd Street
53rd Street Tunnel
Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street
IND Sixth Avenue Line
Seventh Avenue
50th Street

The IND Queens Boulevard Line, sometimes abbreviated as QBL,[2] is a fully underground line of the B Division of the New York City Subway in Manhattan and Queens, New York City, United States. The line provides crosstown service across Manhattan under 53rd Street and east through Queens to Jamaica. The two-track section in Manhattan is also known as the IND 53rd Street Line.

Route[edit]

The IND Queens Boulevard Line begins at Jamaica – 179th Street (E F trains) as a four-track subway under Hillside Avenue. Just after curving north under the Van Wyck Expressway, a flying junction joins the two-track Archer Avenue Line (E train) to the local and express tracks. Soon after, the line turns west under Queens Boulevard.

39th Avenue Ventilation Complex on Northern Boulevard

East of Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike, another flying junction ties the eastward tracks to Jamaica Yard. The other side of the wye curves west to become a lower level of the subway just west of Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike. After passing through 75th Avenue, those tracks join the local and express tracks at another flying junction.

At Forest Hills – 71st Avenue, the M and R trains begin their westward routes. From here, the line (now carrying the E F M R trains) runs under Queens Boulevard until it turns north onto Broadway after Grand Avenue – Newtown. Near Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue, an abandoned trackless tunnel for the IND Second System branches off into an unused upper part of the station which is used for storage.[3] At the intersection of Broadway and Northern Boulevard, west of the line's Northern Boulevard station, the express tracks turn west under Northern Boulevard. The local tracks take a longer route, remaining under Broadway, then turning south onto Steinway Street and west again onto Northern Boulevard, where they rejoin the express tracks. This is only one of two areas in the subway where the express tracks diverge from the local tracks (the other being the IND Culver Line between Seventh Avenue and Church Avenue.)

As the line leaves 36th Street, the two-track IND 63rd Street Line (F train) splits from both sets of tracks at a flying junction, running to Manhattan under 41st Avenue. The Queens Boulevard Line continues under Northern Boulevard to Queens Plaza (E M R trains) before line splitting into three parts at another flying junction. The express tracks (E M trains) continue towards Manhattan under 44th Drive, while the local tracks split two ways, with the 60th Street Tunnel Connection (R train) turning northwest and the IND Crosstown Line (no regular service) remaining under Jackson Avenue (Northern Boulevard south of Queens Plaza). From this point on, the Queens Boulevard Line has only two tracks.

The line continues west through the 53rd Street Tunnel under the East River into Manhattan. After Lexington Avenue – 53rd Street, the westbound tracks rise above the eastbound tracks. A flying junction after Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street, ties the westbound tracks into the southbound local tracks of the IND Sixth Avenue Line, which begin here as a merge of these connection tracks and the IND 63rd Street Line. At that junction, the Sixth Avenue express tracks turn west under 53rd Street, just to the south of the Queens Boulevard Line. The two lines share platforms at Seventh Avenue, but no connecting tracks are present.

Then the Queens Boulevard Line turns south below the IND Eighth Avenue Line with separate lower-level platforms at 50th Street. Then the tracks split to join the local and express tracks of the Eighth Avenue Line north of 42nd Street – Port Authority Bus Terminal. At that station, a special lower platform formerly served a single southbound track from the Queens Boulevard Line, merging with both southbound tracks of the Eighth Avenue Line south of the station;[4][5] the long-disused platform was demolished in June 2013 to make way for the extension of the IRT Flushing Line.[6]

Services[edit]

  Time period Section of line
Weekdays Weekends Late nights
NYCS-bull-trans-E.svg full line (limited rush hour trips)
south of Briarwood (other times)
NYCS-bull-trans-F.svg north of 36th Street
NYCS-bull-trans-M.svg no service between Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street and Forest Hills – 71st Avenue (weekdays)
NYCS-bull-trans-R.svg no service between Queens Plaza and Forest Hills – 71st Avenue (all except late nights)

During daytime hours, the portion of the line between 36th Street and Forest Hills – 71st Avenue is served by four services: the E, F, M, and R. The M operates via Sixth Avenue and 53rd Street to Queens Plaza before making local stops to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue on weekdays. The R enters Queens Boulevard from the Broadway Line and the 60th Street Tunnel before making local stops to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue at all times except late nights. The F train joins the IND Queens Boulevard Line from the 63rd Street Line and runs express to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue before making local stops to Jamaica – 179th Street at all times. The E train runs from the Eighth Avenue Line and 53rd Street to Queens Boulevard before making express stops along the line (except evenings and weekends when it makes all stops east of Forest Hills – 71st Avenue and during late night hours when it runs local on the entire line) to the Archer Avenue Line east of the Briarwood. Limited rush hour E trains also run express to Jamaica – 179th Street.

Briarwood station police HQ

The entire line is patrolled by NYPD Transit Bureau District 20, headquartered at Briarwood.

History[edit]

The Queens Boulevard Line, also referred to as the Long Island City−Jamaica Line and Fifty-third Street−Jamaica Line prior to opening,[7][8] was of the original lines of the city-owned Independent Subway System (IND). During its construction, several intersections of Queens Boulevard with major roads were grade separated, in a similar manner to Grand Concourse in the Bronx during the building of the IND Concourse Line around that same time.[9] At Woodhaven Boulevard, Queens Boulevard's main road was depressed into an underpass.[9] In Kew Gardens, Union Turnpike and the Interboro Parkway (now the Jackie Robinson Parkway) were depressed below Queens Boulevard at the level of the Union Turnpike station's mezzanine.[10]

The first section of the line, west from Roosevelt Avenue to 50th Street, opened on August 19, 1933. E trains ran local to Hudson Terminal (today's World Trade Center) in Manhattan, while the GG (predecessor to current G service) ran as a shuttle service between Queens Plaza and Nassau Avenue on the IND Crosstown Line.[11] An extension east to Union Turnpike opened on December 31, 1936,[12] and to 169th Street on April 24, 1937.[13][14] That day, E trains began running express west of 71st—Continental Avenues, while GG trains ran local over that portion of the line.[11] 23rd Street – Ely Avenue station opened as an in-fill station on August 28, 1939.

From April 1939 to October 1940, the Queens Boulevard Line served the 1939 New York World's Fair via the World's Fair Railroad. The World's Fair line ran via a connection through the Jamaica Yard and through Flushing Meadows–Corona Park along the current right-of-way of the Van Wyck Expressway.[15][16] After consideration to make the line a permanent connection to Flushing and northern Queens, the line was demolished in 1941.[15]

On December 15, 1940, F trains began running via the newly opened IND Sixth Avenue Line. 169th Street and Parsons Boulevard were both used as terminal stations during this time, with the E terminating at one station and the F at the other.[11] On December 11, 1950, the four-track terminal at 179th Street opened after its construction was delayed due to the Great Depression and World War II. Both E and F trains were extended to the new station.[17][18]

On December 1, 1955, a connection to the 60th Street Tunnel opened, allowing trains from the BMT Broadway Line to serve Queens Boulevard.[19] In December 1988, the Archer Avenue Lines opened, utilizing existing provisions east of the Briarwood station. The E was rerouted to its current terminus at Jamaica Center.[20] In December 2001, the connection to the IND 63rd Street Line (built along with the Archer Avenue subway), was opened and F trains were rerouted away from the 53rd Street tunnel. Around this time, the G was truncated to Court Square during peak hours and the V train was created to replace the F via 53rd Street.[21][22][23][24][25]

Due to congestion on the line during peak hours,[20][21][22][26] the MTA is planning an automation project for the line, which will equip the tracks west of Union Turnpike with communications-based train control.[2][21] It had previously been proposed to reverse-signal the line, to allow three of the line's four tracks to run in a single peak direction.[26]

Provisions for expansion[edit]

The Queens Boulevard Line was originally planned to extend farther along Hillside Avenue into eastern Queens. The line would have gone at least to the intersection of Hillside, Springfield Boulevard and Braddock Avenue (the latter two both formerly part of Rocky Hill Road) in Queens Village, with later plans to go as far as Little Neck Parkway in Bellerose near the Nassau County border.[15][27][28][29] Several stations along the line also have provisions for other extensions. The Roosevelt Avenue station has an additional upper level platform and bellmouth provisions east of the station, which would have gone to a Queens crosstown line to the Rockaways.[3][7][30] The 63rd Drive station has similar bellmouths, which would have fed directly into the inactive portion of the Long Island Railroad's former Rockaway Beach Branch.[27][28][31][32][33] One stop west, the Woodhaven Boulevard station has provisions to be converted into an express station.[32] East of the Briarwood station, there were additional trackways built for an extension down Van Wyck Boulevard (today the Van Wyck Expressway) to Rockaway Boulevard, near the current site of John F. Kennedy International Airport.[27][20][7][30][28] None of these proposals were ever funded, and only the Briarwood bellmouths were used for future expansion.[15][27][20]

When proposed in the mid-1960s under the MTA's Program for Action, both the Archer Avenue and 63rd Street subway lines were planned to be connected by a "super-express" bypass of the Queens Boulevard line,[20][26][34][35] proposed due to the overall congestion of the line during peak hours.[20][21][22] The bypass would have used the outer of the six trackways of the LIRR Main Line (formerly used by the Rockaway Beach Branch), then fed into the 63rd Street tunnel.[35][36][37] The 63rd Street tunnel also would have facilitated service between the Queens Boulevard line or the express bypass and the Second Avenue Subway (SAS), via bellmouths west of Roosevelt Island which turn south towards Midtown and Lower Manhattan. These turnouts may be used in the third and fourth phases of the SAS.[35][38][39] Another less publicized plan around this time was a branch line diverging east of Woodhaven Boulevard, running along the Long Island Expressway (formerly Horace Harding Boulevard) to Kissena Boulevard at Queens College, and later to Fresh Meadows and Bayside.[35][36][37][40]

Station listing[edit]

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Stops all times except late nights Stops all times except late nights
Stops late nights only Stops late nights only
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops rush hours only Stops rush hours only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
Time period details
Neighborhood
(approximate)
Handicapped/disabled access Station Tracks Services Opened Transfers and notes
Jamaica Handicapped/disabled access Jamaica – 179th Street all E rush hours F all times December 10, 1950
169th Street local F all times April 24, 1937
Parsons Boulevard all E rush hours F all times April 24, 1937
Sutphin Boulevard local F all times April 24, 1937
IND Archer Avenue Line (E all times) merges
Briarwood Briarwood local E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends F all times April 24, 1937
connecting tracks to Jamaica Yard
Kew Gardens Handicapped/disabled access Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike all E all times F all times December 31, 1936
Forest Hills 75th Avenue local E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends F all times December 31, 1936
connecting tracks to Jamaica Yard; former connection to IND World's Fair Line
Handicapped/disabled access Forest Hills – 71st Avenue all E all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. R all hours except late nights December 31, 1936
Rego Park 67th Avenue local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights December 31, 1936
63rd Drive – Rego Park local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights December 31, 1936
Elmhurst Woodhaven Boulevard local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights December 31, 1936
Grand Avenue – Newtown local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights December 31, 1936
Elmhurst Avenue local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights December 31, 1936
Jackson Heights Handicapped/disabled access Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue all E all times F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. R all hours except late nights August 19, 1933 IRT Flushing Line (7 all times) at 74th Street – Broadway
Woodside 65th Street local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights August 19, 1933
express tracks diverge (E all except late nights F all times)
Northern Boulevard local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights August 19, 1933
Astoria 46th Street local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights August 19, 1933
Steinway Street local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights August 19, 1933
express tracks rejoin (E all except late nights F all times)
Long Island City 36th Street local E late nights M weekdays until 11 p.m. R all hours except late nights August 19, 1933
IND 63rd Street Line splits (F all times)
Handicapped/disabled access Queens Plaza all E all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. R all hours except late nights August 19, 1933
local tracks split to IND Crosstown Line (no regular service) and 60th Street Tunnel Connection (R all except late nights)
Court Square – 23rd Street express E all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. August 28, 1939 IND Crosstown Line (G all times)
IRT Flushing Line (7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction)
53rd Street Tunnel
Midtown Manhattan Handicapped/disabled access Lexington Avenue – 53rd Street express E all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. August 19, 1933 IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4 late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction) at 51st Street
Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street express E all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. August 19, 1933
connection to IND Sixth Avenue Line (M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.) splits
Seventh Avenue express E all times August 19, 1933 IND Sixth Avenue Line (B weekdays until 11:00 p.m. D all times)
Handicapped/disabled access[note 2] 50th Street express E all times August 19, 1933 IND Eighth Avenue Line (A late nights C all except late nights) (transfer in same direction only)
merges with IND Eighth Avenue Line (A all times C all except late nights)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Note: excludes 7th Avenue-53rd Street, Lexington Avenue-53rd Street, Court Square, and Roosevelt Avenue due to interchange status
  2. ^ southbound only

References[edit]

  1. ^ MTA. "Average weekday subway ridership". Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting: July 2015" (PDF). New York City: Metropolitan Transit Authority (New York). July 2015. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (November 17, 1996). "Subway Planners' Lofty Ambitions Are Buried as Dead-End Curiosities". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "New IND Platform Will Open Monday". nytimes.com. The New York Times. August 23, 1952. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. (June 20, 1952). "New IND Platform at 8th and 42d To Expedite Service From Queens". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Donohue, Pete (2009-06-20). "Abandoned No More: 2nd Life Drilled into Old 7 Subway Platform". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  7. ^ a b c Duffus, R.L. (September 22, 1929). "OUR GREAT SUBWAY NETWORK SPREADS WIDER; New Plans of Board of Transportation Involve the Building of More Than One Hundred Miles of Additional Rapid Transit Routes for New York". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "QUEENS SUBWAY WORK AHEAD OF SCHEDULE: Completion Will Lead to Big Apartrnent Building, Says William C. Speers.". The New York Times. April 7, 1929. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "PLANS ARE CHANGED FOR QUEENS SUBWAY: Traffic Crossings at Nassau and Woodhaven Boulevards Altered to Avoid Congestion. VIADUCT PROJECT DROPPED Main Driveway to Be Depressed, Side Routes to Be at Grade-- New Bids Due Soon. How Plans Were Changed. Elimination Plans Received.". The New York Times. June 22, 1930. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Highway Program Aids Long Island Growth". nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 27, 1930. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "Independent Subway Services Beginning in 1932". thejoekorner.com. August 21, 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "PWA Party Views New Subway Link: Queens Section to Be Opened Tomorrow Is Inspected by Tuttle and Others". nytimes.com. The New York Times. December 30, 1936. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Subway Link Opens Soon: City Line to Jamaica Will Start About April 24". nytimes.com. The New York Times. March 17, 1937. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Trial Run to Jamaica on Subway Tomorrow: Section From Kew Gardens to 169th Street Will Open to Public in Two Weeks". nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 9, 1937. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c d Joseph B. Raskin (1 November 2013). The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System. Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-5369-2. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "TO BUILD FAIR SUBWAY P. T. Cox Co. Wins Award for Extending Independent System The first contract for the World's Fair spur from the Queens Boulevard line of the Independent Subway System was awarded yesterday by the Board of Transportation to the lowest bidder, the P. T. Cox Contracting Company, at the bid price of $308,770.". nytimes.com. The New York Times. October 27, 1937. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "New Subway Link Opening in Queens". nytimes.com. The New York Times. December 12, 1950. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Subway Extension In Queens Is Voted". nytimes.com. The New York Times. August 2, 1946. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Straphangers Sit As Tunnel Opens". The New York Times. December 2, 1955. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c d "Review of F Line Operations, Ridership, and Infrastructure" (PDF). nysenate.gov. MTA New York City Transit Authority. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c "Review of the G Line" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transit Authority (New York). July 10, 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  23. ^ O'Neill, Natalie (April 13, 2012). "History shows it’s not the G train ‘extension’ — it’s the G train renewal". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "E,F Detour in 2001, F trains via 63 St, E no trains running, take R instead". The Subway Nut. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  25. ^ 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. 
  26. ^ a b c Levine, Richard (February 7, 1987). "M.T.A. Proposes Opening 63d Street Tunnel in '89". The New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  27. ^ a b c d Roger P. Roess; Gene Sansone (23 August 2012). The Wheels That Drove New York: A History of the New York City Transit System. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 416-417. ISBN 978-3-642-30484-2. 
  28. ^ a b c Project for Expanded Rapid Transit Facilities, New York City Transit System, dated July 5, 1939
  29. ^ "QUEENS INTERLACED WITH NEW ARTERIES: New Boulevards, Parks and Parkways Important Factors in Growth of Borough". nytimes.com. The New York Times. May 13, 1928. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  30. ^ a b Board of Transportation of the City of New York Engineering Department, Proposed Additional Rapid Transit Lines And Proposed Vehicular Tunnel, dated August 23, 1929
  31. ^ "City Plans to Buy New Subway Link: Would Take Over Rockaway Branch of Long Island to Connect With Queens". nytimes.com. The New York Times. December 23, 1933. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  32. ^ a b "The Express Stop That Never Was". ltvsquad.com. LTV Squad. June 2, 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  33. ^ Kihss, Peter (April 13, 1967). "3 Routes Proposed to Aid Growing Queens Areas". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  34. ^ "1968 NYCTA Expansion Plans (Picture)". Second Avenue Sagas. Retrieved December 2013. 
  35. ^ a b c d Program for Action maps from thejoekorner.com
  36. ^ a b "1968 NYCTA Expansion Plans (Picture)". Second Avenue Sagas. Retrieved December 2013. 
  37. ^ a b "1970s NYC Subway Map That Never Was - Business Insider". Business Insider. 18 June 2013. 
  38. ^ "Second Avenue Subway Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS): Track Diagram, North of 55th Street" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York). Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  39. ^ 2nd Avenue Subway – Tentative track plan, Manhattan portion, nycsubway.org
  40. ^ Kihss, Peter (April 13, 1967). "3 Routes Proposed to Aid Growing Queens Areas". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 

External links[edit]