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Archer Avenue


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When I was redesigning and testing the signaling for the Archer Avenue Extension for Union Switch & Signal, I noticed some interesting attributes on the drawings and in the tunnels at Van Wyck Blvd. I walked the tunnels many times in 1986 and 1987 and found the following:


1) The entire grade separated tunnels for tracks D1A and D2A were built as part of the Queens lines contract under Public Works Administration (PWA) project No. 2741 in 1935 and 1936. The original tunnel lighting was installed and operative. They were called tracks D5 and D6 in 1935 and were destined to terminate at Rockaway Blvd .


2) The tunnel was built originally from Van Wyck Blvd. to the middle of the present interlocking at Jamaica-Van Wyck.


3) When the Archer Avenue Extension was added the original tunnel was left original except for the addition of ties and track.


At Parsons-Archer, the tail track goes under the LIRR to allow for a several train storage. We provided rear home signals and red automatic signals with AK feature on these tail tracks. A Central Instrument Room (753CIR) is located deep in the tunnel on track D2A bench wall.


At the time I kind of figured the provision for the Van Wyck Blvd./Archer Ave. line south of the Van Wyck Blvd (Briarwood) station was built at the same time as the rest of the Queens Blvd line, given the numerous bellmouths elsewhere on the line, it made perfect sense. It certainly made things a whole lot easier when construction on the Archer Ave. line began in the 1970's.

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How many trains can be held in the storage behind the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer


About 3 600' ft trains can fit (upper level only).


On the upper level the tracks (both D1A & D2A) curves south on 160th Street, and ends on South Road.


The tail tracks at Parsons-Archer end at stationing 755+00 I believe the station platform end is at around 733+00, so there is approximatly 2200 feet of tail track.


It was intended that the upper level (IND) was to go all the way out to Springfield Gardens or Rosedale, parallel with the LIRR trackage, as I had once recall from the original planning. Right now, the tracks do continue further and curves, and ends where at the stub end that a provision for a portal to go outside would have built.


On the lower level (BMT) has the trackage all the way for the provision of a diamond crossover switch at the end of the tunnel (circa 160th Street), and perhaps extending into a possible terminal station at Merrick Boulevard. In any case, as right now, a train could be easily stored as layups on each track on both levels at each ends.




(The tail tracks on the map is made by G1Ravage)


As you can see, York College didn't even had their huge football field there when the line was built there in that area, and 159th Street used to go through to South Road.


The tail tracks on the upper level are positioned to meet up with the LIRR ROW at it's stub end.

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I'm pretty sure that it's two full-length trainsets.


Nope, it's 3 600' ft trainsets alright.


Are both the upper and lower levels of the Archer Ave extension US&S installations?


Yes, the signals and the interlockings in the Archer Avenue Subway were supplied by Union Switch & Signal in Pittsburgh.

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A little known fact, the Archer Ave Subway line was finished years before the line opened (12/11/1988). The Archer Ave Subway line (both levels) was finished in late 1983/early 1984. The Archer Ave Line original target date of full service was supposed to be sometime in 1985. I found that hard to believe though. By the September of 1985 the ramp from the existing Jamaica Ave. El to the tunnel of the lower level Archer Avenue Subway wasn't yet connected. I remember bumper blocks at 121st which prevented trains from going east of here well into 1987. But I was sure that the (NYCT) was preparing to open the subway portion earlier (upper level) because I can still remember signage over the eastbound local track at Union Turnpike (covered over with black tape, but still readable) depicting an earlier service pattern ((G) and (N) to Jamaica Center, not (E)) as far back as early 1986, which baffled me for nearly 3 years (No signs existed showing ®service to Jamaica Center, so I'd assume the (E) to Jamaica Center plan was already decided by mid 1987). You can kind of make out under the black tape of the northbound Grand Ave-Newtown platform sign something to the effect of "Late nights for Parsons/Archer take (F) local to Van Wyck Blvd for (G)".

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