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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 and the <F> train during rush hours in the peak direction.

 21 Street–Queensbridge
 "F" train"F" express train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
21st Street-Queensbridge northbound platform.jpg
Station statistics
Address21st Street & 41st Avenue
Queens, NY 11101
Coordinates40°45′14″N 73°56′33″W / 40.753954°N 73.942451°W / 40.753954; -73.942451Coordinates: 40°45′14″N 73°56′33″W / 40.753954°N 73.942451°W / 40.753954; -73.942451
DivisionB (IND)
LineIND 63rd Street Line
Services      F all times (all times) <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction (two rush hour trains, peak direction)​
Transit connectionsBus transport MTA Bus: Q66, Q69, Q100, Q102, Q103
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedOctober 29, 1989; 29 years ago (1989-10-29)[1]
Station code221[2]
AccessibleThis station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ADA-accessible
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[3][4]
Passengers (2018)3,340,366[5]Increase 5.8%
Rank146 out of 424
Station succession
Next eastJackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue (express): F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
36th Street (local): no regular service
Next westRoosevelt Island: F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction

Next adjacent station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 eastJackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue: F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
Next adjacent station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 westRoosevelt Island: F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction

The station opened in October 1989 with the opening of the 63rd Street Line. From its opening until 2001, this was the terminal of the line, although it was not originally intended as a terminal. The 63rd Street Line was originally part of a plan for a Queens Bypass Line running along the Long Island Rail Road Main Line. However, due to the lack of funds, the line terminated here, with layup tracks going to 29th Street. As a result, the tunnel become known as the "tunnel to nowhere."

In December 2001, the 63rd Street Tunnel Connection opened, allowing trains from the IND Queens Boulevard Line to use the line. This station then became a through station, serving express F trains since then.


View of the overpass and station architecture

The current 63rd Street Line was the final version of proposals for a northern 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.[6][7][8][9] The current plans were drawn up in the 1960s under the MTA's Program For Action, where the 63rd Street subway line was to be built in the upper portion of the bi-level 63rd Street Tunnel.[10] 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.[11][12][13][14][15]

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.[15][16][17] During construction, a large amount of disturbance was created along 41st Avenue, which runs through the heart of Queensbridge.[15]

This station opened on October 29, 1989,[18] 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][19] The Q train served the station on weekdays and the B train stopped there on weekends and late nights; both services used the Sixth Avenue Line.[1] For the first couple of months after the station opened, the JFK Express to Kennedy Airport also served the station until it was discontinued in 1990.[20] 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][9] The connection to the Queens Boulevard Line began construction in 1994 and was completed and opened in 2001, almost thirty years after construction of the 63rd Street Tunnel began.[21][22][23][24][25]

Station layoutEdit

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
B1 Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines, crossover
  Elevator at NW corner of 21st Street and 41st Avenue
B2 Side platform, doors will open on the right  
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  
B3 Track 1 LIRR East Side Access (under construction)
Track 2 LIRR East Side Access (under construction)
Escalator entrance
Elevator entrance

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.[26] The platform walls as well as the floor are made of brick, and towards the top of the platform walls is a line of larger brown sheets, on these are the station signs at regular intervals that say "21 Street–Queensbridge." Above this is a thin black strip of metal and above this are yellow squares that take the platform walls up to the station ceiling that is made of concrete.[27] The two side platforms do not have yellow tactile strips on the platform edges, which is a characteristic 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.[14][26]


Outside of fare control, the mezzanine leads to 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.[17][26]

Track layoutEdit

Track layout
to Roosevelt Av (express)
or 36 St (local)
Stub tracks

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,[10] 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.[28][29][30] 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.[31]

Stub tracks east of the stationEdit

East of the station, before the line connects to the IND Queens Boulevard Line, the tracks veer left while the tunnel wall goes straight, stopping around Northern Boulevard.[28][29][32][33][34][35] 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 also been built, a transfer concourse to the Queens Plaza station would have allowed transfers between local, express, and bypass trains.[11][12][13][14][28][36][33]

The current bellmouth, built along with the Queens Boulevard connection, is two levels deep with two additional stub-end subway tracks named T1A and T2A.[35] It is viable for future construction of the bypass or the Northern Boulevard transfer station. The original bellmouth stopped at 29th Street.[29][35] The lower level of the bellmouth was excavated in 2003 for the LIRR East Side Access project, which also extended the subway stub tracks farther east towards Sunnyside Yard.[35][37][38][39] Just above the connection sits the 29th Street Ventilation Complex, built with the connector, in the site of a former parking lot.[29][32][33][35] West of the station, a second ventilation complex lies in Queensbridge Park between Vernon Boulevard and the East River.[35]


In 2016, the station had 3,009,540 boardings, making it the 173rd most used station in the 424-station system.[5] This amounted to an average of 9,779 passengers per weekday.[40]


  1. ^ a b c d Lorch, Donatella (October 29, 1989). "The 'Subway to Nowhere' Now Goes Somewhere". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  2. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  4. ^ 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."
  5. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  6. ^ Raskin, Joseph B. (2013). The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System. New York, New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-82325-369-2.
  7. ^ Roger P. Roess; Gene Sansone (August 23, 2012). The Wheels That Drove New York: A History of the New York City Transit System. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-3-642-30484-2.
  8. ^ Project for Expanded Rapid Transit Facilities, New York City Transit System, dated July 5, 1939
  9. ^ a b Knowles, Clayton (December 16, 1964). "Proposed Subway Tube Assailed As 'Nowhere‐to‐Nowhere' Link". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b Burks, Edward C. (June 6, 1976). "Shortage of U.S. Funds May Delay Subway Link" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Burks, Edward C. (July 29, 1976). "New Subway Line Delayed 5 or 6 Years" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Burks, Edward C. (September 24, 1976). "Coming: Light at End of 63d St. Tunnel" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  14. ^ a b c Burks, Edward C. (August 7, 1976). "New York Improving Subway, But Still Trails Foreign Cities" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  15. ^ a b c Lichtenstein, Grace (May 9, 1978). "Planned 40-Mile Queens Subway, Cut to 15, is Costly and Behind Time" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 68. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  16. ^ Daley, Suzanne (November 1, 1984). "63D ST. SUBWAY TUNNEL: MORE SETBACKS FOR A TROUBLED PROJECT". The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Long Island City" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  18. ^ "63 St Subway Extension Opened 25 Years Ago this Week". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 31, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  19. ^ Kershaw, Sarah (December 17, 2001). "V Train Begins Service Today, Giving Queens Commuters Another Option". The New York Times. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
  20. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (November 25, 2009). "If You Took the Train to the Plane, Sing the Jingle". Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  21. ^ "Review of F Line Operations, Ridership, and Infrastructure" (PDF). MTA New York City Transit Authority. October 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 31, 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  22. ^ "Review of the G Line" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 10, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 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 August 2, 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 "Silvercup West FEIS:10.0 Transit and Pedestrians" (PDF). New York City Department of City Planning. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 13, 2006. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  27. ^ Cox, Jeremiah. "21 St-Queensbridge (F) - The SubwayNut". Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  28. ^ a b c Queens Subway Options Study, New York: Environmental Impact Statement. United States Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Urban Mass Transit Administration. May 1984. pp. 83–. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  29. ^ a b c d Final Environmental Impact Statement for the 63rd Street Line Connection to the Queens Boulevard Line. Queens, New York, New York: Metropolitan Transportation Authority, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration. June 1992. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  30. ^ "PLAYING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: LONG ISLAND CITY; Tortoise Heads Into Queens". The New York Times. October 18, 1998. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  31. ^ Marrero, Robert (January 1, 2017). "472 Stations, 850 Miles" (PDF). B24 Blog, via Dropbox. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "MTA 63rd Street Connector". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  33. ^ a b c Silano, Louis G.; Shanbhag, Radmas (July 2000). "The Final Connection". Civil Engineering. 86 (7): 56–61.
  34. ^ Caitsith810 (December 17, 2008). "Railfan Window Of An R32 F Train From 57th Street to 36th Street, Queens Part Two (The bellmouth for the intended super-express bypass can be seen towards the right, at the 3:09 mark into the video.)". Youtube. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  35. ^ a b c d e f East Side Access in New York, Queens, and Bronx Counties, New York, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York: Environmental Impact Statement. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration. March 2001. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  36. ^ Erlitz, Jeffrey (February 2005). "Tech Talk". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders Association. 48 (2): 9–11. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  37. ^ Nasri, V.; Lee, W.S.; Rice, J. (2004). "Comparison of the predicted behavior of the Manhattan TBM launch shaft with the observed data, East Side Access Project, New York". North American Tunneling. Taylor & Francis: 537–544. Retrieved July 23, 2016.
  38. ^ Reed, Mary. "Tunnel Boring Machines Core Under Big Apple's East River" (PDF). Retrieved July 23, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ mtainfo. "East Side Access – 1/24/2012 Update". Metropolitan Transportation Authority (via its YouTube channel). Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  40. ^ "Facts and Figures: Average Weekday Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.

External linksEdit