2. The 1939 World’s Fair Subway Line

Bluebird subway car for World's Fair

There is a line of the IND (Independent) subway that no longer exists, created specifically for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Near the Forest Hills-71st Street stop (along today’s M/R lines), the World’s Fair Line began at a flying junction (a rail crossing where tracks cross over ground level trucks via a bridge) and ran through Jamaica Yard. Two tracks that formerly went up to or through the yard storage area were extended, turning north along the east side of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park atop a pine wooden trestle built atop marshland and ending at a new station, the World’s Fair Terminal Station. The spur was a total of 2 miles, built at cost of $1.7 million.

The IRT and BMT lines also ran World’s Fair trains, but those special trains ran along existing routes. As the IND was the only line “the city then owned directly,” reported the New York Times, it seemed necessary at the time to build this extension and terminal.

Though there were some plans to make the line permanent following the closure of the fair, the idea was dropped due to a combination of expense, political pressure and other factors. Robert Moses wasn’t able to convince the city yet that Flushing held development promise. Demolition of the World’s Fair Line began on January 15th, 1941. Jamaica Yard returned to its original state, but the signals added for the spur still remain in use.

The 1964 World’s Fair also had its own subway line and cars. Discover what happened to them here.