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21st Street – Queensbridge (IND 63rd Street Line)

21st Street – Queensbridge
New York City Subway rapid transit station
View of the station facing east
Station statistics
Address 21st Street & 41st Avenue
Queens, NY 11101
Borough Queens
Locale Queensbridge and Long Island City
Division B (IND)
Line IND 63rd Street Line
Services       F all times (all times)
Transit connections Bus transport MTA Bus: Q66, Q69, Q100, Q102, Q103
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened October 29, 1989 (1989-10-29)[1]
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Wireless service Wi-Fi[2][3]
Passengers (2014) 2,683,624[4] 2%
Rank 185 out of 421
Station succession
Next north 36th Street (local): no regular service
Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue (express): F all times
Next south Roosevelt Island: F all times

Next Handicapped/disabled access north Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue: F all times
Next Handicapped/disabled access south Roosevelt Island: F all times

21st Street – Queensbridge is a station on the IND 63rd Street Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 21st Street and 41st Avenue in the Queens neighborhood of Queensbridge, it is served by the F train at all times.


  • History 1
  • Station layout 2
  • Gallery 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The current 63rd Street Line was the final version of proposals for a north midtown tunnel from the IND Queens Boulevard Line to the Second and Sixth Avenue lines, which date back to the IND Second System of the 1920s and 1930s.[5][6][7][8] The current plans were drawn up in the 1960's under the MTA's Program For Action.[9] In the original 1960s plans, there would have been a station (in addition to or as an alternative to 21st Street – Queensbridge) located farther east at Northern Boulevard, one block north of the Queens Plaza station of the Queens Boulevard line. There would have been a pedestrian transfer passageway between the two stations.[10][11][12][13][14]

The station was placed at 21st Street, serving the Queensbridge Houses to the west, and commercial and industrial buildings to the east. The station was added to the plans following lobbying from the local community.[14][15][16] During construction, a large amount of disturbance was created along 41st Avenue, which runs through the heart of Queensbridge.[14] This station opened on October 29, 1989[17] along with the entire IND 63rd Street Line, serving as the line's northern terminal prior to the connection with the IND Queens Boulevard Line.[1][18] Q trains (weekdays) and B trains (weekends) from the Sixth Avenue Line served the station, along with the JFK Express to Kennedy Airport.[1] The tunnel had gained notoriety as the "tunnel to nowhere" both during its planning and after its opening, with 21st Street being the line's only stop in Queens.[1][8] The connection to the Queens Boulevard Line began in 1994 and was completed and opened in 2001, almost thirty years after construction of the 63rd Street Tunnel began.[19][20][21][22][23]

Station layout

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
B1 Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines, crossover
Handicapped/disabled access (Elevator at NW corner of 21st Street and 41st Avenue)
B2 Side platform, doors will open on the right Handicapped/disabled access
Southbound toward Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue (Roosevelt Island)
Northbound toward Jamaica – 179th Street (Jackson Heights – Roosevelt Avenue)
(No regular service: 36th Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right Handicapped/disabled access
B3 Track 1 LIRR East Side Access (under construction)
Track 2 LIRR East Side Access (under construction) →

This underground station's only mezzanine is at the east end of station adjacent to the Manhattan-bound platform. Access to both platforms is via an overpass above the tracks, with staircases, escalators and elevators to platform level. At this point, the station has a high ceiling.[24] The mezzanine has two street stairs at the northeast corner of 21st Street and 41st Avenue. An elevator and escalators are at the northwest corner of the same intersection.[16][24] The two side platforms do not have yellow tactile strip with bumps or columns, characteristics of newly renovated and ADA-accessible New York City Subway stations. There are also no columns between the two tracks or on the platforms, except near the mezzanine and overpass.[13][24]

Until the connection to the Queens Boulevard Line opened, this station shared the characteristic of a two side platformed terminal station with Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn College on the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line. This is an inefficient terminal setup,[9] requiring passengers to know which track the next train will depart from before going to the platform level. As a terminal from 1989 to 2001, the station had tail tracks that continued eastward as far as 29th Street, ending at bumper blocks.[25] Also, this station has "punch boxes", with buttons to indicate route selection to the train dispatcher; a control tower on the west end of Manhattan-bound platform, which can be used if necessary; and a diamond crossover switch to the west which was used to turn trains.

East of the station, before the line connects to the IND Queens Boulevard Line, the tracks veer left while the tunnel wall goes straight.[26][27] This bellmouth is part of an intended "super-express" bypass of the IND Queens Boulevard Line running along the mainline of the Long Island Rail Road between Queens Boulevard and Forest Hills – 71st Avenue planned in 1968. At a proposed station at Northern Boulevard, for which the 29th Street tail tracks might have been built, a transfer concourse would have allowed transfers between local, express, and bypass trains.[10][11][12][13]



  1. ^ a b c d Lorch, Donatella (October 29, 1989). "The 'Subway to Nowhere' Now Goes Somewhere". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  2. ^ NYC Subway Wireless
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  5. ^ Joseph B. Raskin (1 November 2013). The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System. Fordham University Press.  
  6. ^ 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.  
  7. ^ Project for Expanded Rapid Transit Facilities, New York City Transit System, dated July 5, 1939
  8. ^ a b Knowles, Clayton (December 16, 1964). "Proposed Subway Tube Assailed As ‘Nowhere‐to‐Nowhere’ Link".  
  9. ^ a b """Full text of "Metropolitan transportation, a program for action. Report to Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor of New York.. Internet Archive. November 7, 1967. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Burks, Edward C. (June 6, 1976). "Shortage of U.S. Funds May Delay Subway Link".  
  11. ^ a b Burks, Edward C. (July 29, 1976). "New Subway Line Delayed 5 or 6 Years".  
  12. ^ a b Burks, Edward C. (September 24, 1976). "Coming: Light at End of 63d St. Tunnel".  
  13. ^ a b c Burks, Edward C. (August 7, 1976). "New York Improving Subway, But Still Trails Foreign Cities".  
  14. ^ a b c Lichtenstein, Grace (May 9, 1978). "Planned 40-Mile Queens Subway, Cut to 15, is Costly and Behind Time". The New York Times. p. 68. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ Daley, Suzanne (November 1, 1984). "63D ST. SUBWAY TUNNEL: MORE SETBACKS FOR A TROUBLED PROJECT".  
  16. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Long Island City" (PDF).  
  17. ^ 63 St Subway Extension Opened 25 Years Ago this Week
  18. ^ Kershaw, Sarah (December 17, 2001). "V Train Begins Service Today, Giving Queens Commuters Another Option". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  19. ^ "Review of F Line Operations, Ridership, and Infrastructure" (PDF).  
  20. ^ "Review of the G Line" (PDF).  
  21. ^ O'Neill, Natalie (April 13, 2012). "History shows it’s not the G train ‘extension’ — it’s the G train renewal".  
  22. ^ "E,F Detour in 2001, F trains via 63 St, E no trains running, take R instead". The Subway Nut. Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  23. ^ Kennedy, Randy (May 25, 2001). "Panel Approves New V Train but Shortens G Line to Make Room".  
  24. ^ a b c "Silvercup West FEIS:10.0 Transit and Pedestrians" (PDF).  
  25. ^ "PLAYING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: LONG ISLAND CITY; Tortoise Heads Into Queens".  
  26. ^ "MTA 63rd Street Connector".  
  27. ^ Caitsith810 (December 17, 2008). )"The bellmouth for the intended super-express bypass can be seen towards the right, at the 3:09 mark into the video."Railfan Window Of An R32 F Train From 57th Street to 36th Street, Queens Part Two (. Youtube. Retrieved September 2013. 

External links

  •—IND 6th Avenue: 21st Street/Queensbridge
  • Station Reporter — F Train
  • The Subway Nut — 21st Street – Queensbridge Pictures
  • 21st Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
  • Station Diagram
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