In General
Getting Here
the Subways


In General

Location / Name:
Queens Borough of New York City, AKA, Queens County

What's Here:
Hell Gate Bridge
Sunnyside Yard
the Jamaica Long Island RR station, it's the BIG one!
The #7 IRT Subway line to Main St in Flushing
The BMT Q and N lines to Astoria (as of July 2016, the Q line has been redirected, replaced by the new W line)
-- BTW, the last station on the Astoria line is under Hell Gate bridge
The IND E, M, and R lines to Jamaica, the E is adjacent to the Jamaica LIRR station
The IND J and Z lines (which come "up" from Brooklyn) and join the E train at Jamaica station

GPS Coordinates: as needed

Access by train/transit:
Take your pick:
- the New York City/MTA Subway and Bus system
- and the Long Island RR commuter rail is all over the place

The Scoop:

Although both New York City airports are in the Borough of Queens, neither of them have direct subway service.  JFK is lucky, in that they decided to put in the AirTrain JFK people mover to get you from Jamaica and Howard Beach to the airport.  Laguardia is not as lucky, and is only served by MTA bus service.

Kid Stuff Background:

When I was a kid, I would spend a lot of time with my grandparents who lived in Jackson Heights - 69th Street and 37th Rd, right by a SB exit off of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (the BQE).  Here, their apartment building was and still is, the tallest structure around.  It had a commanding view from their 6th floor (the top floor, BTW) apartment, which was on the northeast corner of the building.  I'm going to all of this trouble describing the location, to give you an idea of what I could see from those windows.

It can't get much better than this for someone who loves trains and planes!  :-)  It Rocked!!!  The map below shows you all of the things I could easily see from the apartment.  As an extra bonus, altho it could not be seen from the apartment because it was on the far side of the Broadway RR overpass, was a SB semaphore. I wish I had some pictures of it..... :-(  The picture of the E-33's coming down from the bridge, I wish it was better, but it was taken with a Kodak Instamatic camera, print film, didn't get an SLR till the PC era .

So what could I see from this lookout?
     The New Haven RR on the southern approach to Hell Gate Bridge.
     Using binoculars, I could follow a NB train up to the bridge, and watch the semaphore at HGB turn from green to red, and then back "up" if I had the patience.
     Looking out the east side, I could watch the #7 IRT elevated line over Roosevelt Ave.
     Looking out a north window, and looking west along the northern face of the bldg, I could see the Empire State Building.
     Looking out a north window, I could watch planes landing on runway 04 at LaGuardia.
     I could also watch the planes stack up over Westchester, waiting to come down level by level for a landing at Newark or LaGuardia.
     Looking NE, I could just see the Whitestone Bridge lit up at night.
     Altho you couldn't see it, you could certainly hear the IND trains running under Broadway, there was the 65th St station just on the far side of the playground.
     In the winter, there was a huge 6x9 manhole in the middle of 37th and 69th that they would uncover and dump snow into!
     Sunsets were beautiful with the Empire State Building positioned almost perfectly in the sun!


If you need to stay overnight in New York City, I recommend staying in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.  It is convenient to several subway stations, and about 20 minutes or less from the Manhattan train stations for Amtrak, NJT, and MetroNorth.  We stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton when my wife and I went to NYC to see David Letterman back in 2015.  We were both happy with the onsite restaurant where we had several meals, dinner and breakfast.  Nice Place!  And yes, we took Amtrak from BWI Airport to NYC.

Daniel Schwen
Harrison Leong
Denver Todd
Open Railway Map
Google Maps

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:
A trip report on my trip to NYC on National Train Day 2012 - almost all subway stuff:
A trip report on a trip to NYC in 2014 to see Dave Letterman - lots more subway stuff:
A trip to NYC via commuter and light rail:

Because of the number of photos for the following subjects, I have given them their own page:
    Hell Gate Bridge
    Sunnyside Yard
    Jamaica Station

Getting Here

All roads lead to Queens :-)

If you're coming up the I-95 corridor, from say, DE or MD, take exit 13 from the NJT (New Jersey Turnpike) to get on I-278.  Look for the sign that says 278 EAST (stay left), and follow.  This will take you over the Goethals Bridge and put you on the Staten Island Expressway.  After an 8.3 mile ride, you will cross the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge into Brooklyn.  Staying on 278, the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), will take you up towards Sunnyside.

If you wanna do Sunnyside, take 495 west, and then get off at Van Dam St, and take a right, this will take you up to Skillman Ave, which runs along the southern border of the yard.

If you're going to Flushing or Jamaica, go the other way on 495, east.....



Because there is a lot on this page to view, I've included the shortcuts below to make it easier.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   F1

  Sunnyside Yard

Sunnyside Yard has it's own page:

  Hell Gate Bridge

Hell Gate Brisge also has it's own page:


As does Jamaica:

  Queensboro Plaza

Queensboro Plaza has to be one of the coolest subway / EL stations around.  Period.  And, prior to ~1952, the streetcars used to go over the outside lanes of the Queensboro Bridge and you could see them from here.

The station is conveniently located from a number of hotels a few blocks to the north that are considerably cheaper to stay at than those in Manhattan.


Double-decked elevated structure at the west end of the station.  Structures leading to the now-demolished northern (BMT) platforms can be seen here.
  Photo: Daniel Schwen via Wikipedia

The upper level platform at Queensboro Plaza, serving the IRT's #7 line on the right, and the BMT's N and Q lines on the left.
  Photo: Harrison Leong via Wikipedia


None to report on as of yet.... might find some somewhere :-).....


A shot from Google Streetview at the tail end of Sunnyside Yard, adjacent to 53rd Street, kinda under 11th St.  I don't know if any of it is active, but there is "exposed" third rail at some of the street crossings here in the neighborhood.

the Subways

Stations in Queens:
- Vernon-Jackson
- Hunterspoint Av
- Court Square
- Queensboro Plaza
- 33rd St
- 40th St
- 46th St
- 52th St
- Woodside 
- *69th St (used to be 69th St / Fisk Ave) (1 of 2 closest stations to where I lived)
- 74st St/Broadway (transfer to the IND E, F, M, and R lines)
- 82nd St / Jackson Heights
- 90th St / Elmhurst Ave
- Junction Blvd
- 103rd St / Corona Plaza
- 111th St
- Willets Point / Shea Stadium (Mets Baseball)
- Main St

the BMT N and W Lines (Formerly the N and Q lines)

Stations in Queens (all stations serve both lines):
- Queensboro Plaza
- 39th Ave
- 36th Ave
- Broadway
- 30th Ave
- Astoria Blvd
- Ditmars Blvd

the IND E, F, M and R Lines

Stations in Queens:
- Court Square/23rd St: E, M
- Queens Plaza: E, M, R
- 36th St: M, R
- Steinway St: M, R (the F is an express, and goes straight up Northern Blvd, while the E, M and R travel via Steinway and Broadway, meeting up at Northern Blvd)
- 46th St: M, R
- Northern Blvd: E, M, R
- *65th St: E, M, R (1 of 2 closest stations to where I lived)
- Roosevelt Ave/Jackson Heights (transfer to the IRT #7 line): E, F, M, R
- Elmhurst Ave: E, M, R
- Grand Ave/Newtown: E, M, R
- Woodhaven Blvd: E, M, R
- 63rd Dr/Rego Park: E, M, R
- 67th Ave: E, M, R
- Forest Hills/71st Ave: E, F, M, R (end of the line for the M and R trains)
- 75th Ave: E, F
--- Yard
- Union Turnpike/Kew Gardens: E, F (Queens Courthouse - where the Red Bird is on display)
- Briarwood/Van Wyck Blvd: E, F
- Jamaica/Van Wick: E
- Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer: E, J, Z (the J and Z lines join the line for the last station, having "come up" from Brooklyn)

the IND J and Z Lines

Stations in Queens (previous stations in Brooklyn)(all stations serve both lines):
- 75th St
- 85th St/Forest Pkwy
- Woodhaven Blvd
- 104th St
- 111th St
- 121st St
- Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer: E, J, Z (joining the E train for the last stop in the Queens)



I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find on the subject in one convenient place.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)  :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


NEW 07/06/2016, JUL13/2016, MAR01/2018,AUG12/17/2022
Last Modified 18-Aug-2022