Note:"North" is towards Flushing. "South" is towards Manhattan.
New (12/17/06): Click on any station name for a detailed map and neighborhood info
We will start our tour of the 7 at Flushing Main Street () (map), with two center (island) platforms and 3 tracks. Mosaic name tablets read "MAIN STREET" and with tiles "M". The original entrance/exit is in the center which leads to a mezzanine with 24-hour booth. The new Lippmann Plaza north end entrance exit is beyond the bumper blocks, (also with 24-hour station agent) and has ADA-accessible elevator, along with escalators ans stairs to Roosevelt Avenue. Station was renovated in 1998-2000. The tracks once continued north of the bump block (as there were plan to extend the 7 eastward), but were removed in the renovation. The 7's main office (home of the line superintendent and control center) is located at the south end of the station. LIRR's Flushing Main Street station on the Port Washington branch is one block away to the south.
Boarding our 1964 R36 or 1986 R62A train, we rise out of the short tunnel, over Roosevelt Avenue and onto a short drawbridge over the Flushing River and the Van Wyck Expressway (Interstate 678). To our right is the section of Flushing nicknamed the "Iron Triangle" for its numerous auto repair shops and scrapyards-many are visible from the window looking north. CitiField and the US Tennis Center (Arthur Ashe Stadium) are ahead in the distance. We arrive at Mets-Willets Point (map), an express stop with 3 tracks and 3 platforms. From north to south they are: southbound local platform, southbound local track, express track, center plaform, northbound local track, northbound local platform. The northbound outer platform is only used during the US Open and special events at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The platforms are connected via ramp and stairs to the mezzanine, which also has direct access to CitiField (game days) and Flushing Meadows Park via the Passerelle Promenade over Corona Yard. The current station is not the original 1928 station, which was about 1 1/2 blocks to the east. Remnants of the original station can be seen to the north of the current station
The 7 continues south over Roosevelt Avenue and over the Grand Central Parkway into Corona. The center express track elevates above the local tracks, nicknamed the "Flying Express Track". The yard leads from Corona Yard join the 7 line, with storage and layout tracks between the two locals tracks. 111 Street (map) is our first local stop, with two side platforms. The stairways in the center lead to the wood mezzanine. Some weekday locals terminate here to allow access to Corona Yard
After a brief curve, 103 Street-Corona Plaza (photos)(map) is next. This is a local station, with 3 tracks and 2 side platforms. The wood mezzanine is in the center with stairs
Junction Boulevard () (photos) (map), an express station is next. It has two center plaforms and three tracks with the exit/stairs to the wood mezzanine level. Renovations, including ADA access began in 2005.
The next set of local stops begins with 90 Street-Elmhurst Avenue (photos) (map), with two side platforms. This station has red trim with white paint. The center mezzaine exit has transluncent block glass windows on the platform
82 Street-Jackson Heights (photos) (map) has green trim with beige aluminum walls on two side platforms. The center exit has the large numerial "82" in bold green.
74 Street-Broadway () (photos) (map) is a major transfer station and offers a connection between the 7 and the E/F/M/R on the IND Queens Boulevard line below at the Roosevelt Avenue-Jackson Heights subway station. The main mezzaine entrance/exit is located at 74 St and has a booth with escalators/stairs linking to the IND. The south mezzanine at 73 St has no booth and connects to the IND via a another series of escalators. This complex was completely renovated in 2005.
69 Street-Fisk Avenue (map)again consists of two side platforms with green trim. The mezzanine and exit is in the center. Interstate 278 (Brooklyn Queens Expressway) and the massive CSX Railroad cross underneath just north of the station
61 Street-Woodside () (photos) (map) is the next express stop and has connections to the Long Island Rail Road on the mezzaine level. There are two platforms, with three tracks. The station agent's booth and LIRR ticket office are both located on the mezzaine level opposite each other. ADA access is offered via elevator from street level.
52 Street-Lincoln Avenue (photos) (map) is the final station on Roosevelt Avenue and is a local stop with two side platforms. The main exit is the the center and has the 24-hour booth. The north (53 Street) exit is unmanned.
We now curve onto the massive and elegant Queens Boulvard concrete viaduct, with 46 Street-Bliss (photos)(map) immediately next. Two side platforms and two exits. The main exit to 46 Street has no free crossunder, due to dual fare controls. A free crossunder is at the part time 47 Street mezzanine.
40 Street-Lowery (photos) (map) has two side platforms and a single exit in the center with no free crossunder.
The last station on the arched viaduct, 33 Street-Rawson (photos) (map) has two side platforms and a full time exit to 33 Street with no crossunder and a part-time exit to 34 Street with crossunder. A view of the Midtown Manhattan skyline can be seen from the south end of the platform. The entire concrete viaduct and stations were renovated 1993-97.
The 7 curves northwards and the express tracks merges into two tracks as we cross a long bridge over the Amtrak/NJ Transit/LIRR Sunnyside Yard and Amtrak/LIRR main lines. Looking out of the windows of a southbound trains, the rider is treated to a great view of the yards. The northern (southbound) track then glides directly under the southern (northbound) track, creating a double-deck structure. We arrive at Queensboro Plaza (photos)(map), which is shared with BMT Astoria line (N/W) with a single center island platform on each level. BMT N/W trains uses the north track, with the 7 on the south track. Northbound service is on the upper level, with southbound service on lower level (with several exceptions such as track work or G.O.s). The mezzanine level below the platforms connects to the pedestrian walkway to Queens Plaza.
The 7 curves south over a double-deck elevated trestle and over the Queensboro Bridge approach ramps before arriving at 45 Road-Courthouse Square (photos) (map), with two side platforms. The exit to the mezzanine is at the south end, with free crossunder. The Citicorp Court Square tower, is located across the street. A transfer to the E/G/M at 23 Street-Ely Avenue is available.
We make another sharp curve over the Amtrak Northeast Corridor and LIRR main lines, with the LIRR freight yards and Arch Street car shop to our right. Descending into the portal of the tunnel, Hunters Point Avenue (photos) (map) is the first underground station since the 7's terminal at Flushing, which has "HP" mosaics and name tablets in an Italianate style. Their are two side platforms, with a mezzanine and free crossover. The east exit leads to the the LIRR's Hunterspoint Avenue station (weekdays only).
A short curve and a quick straightway brings us to Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue (photos)(map), with two side platforms and no free change of directions. Styling consists of yellow I-beams and mosaic name tablets. The 24-hour exit with station agent is located at the south (Vernon Blvd) side, an unmanned exit/entrance on the north (Jackson Av) end of the southbound side. LIRR's Long Island City station is 1 1/2 blocks to the south, on Borden Avenue. This is our last stop in Queens.
Crossing the East River in the 1.3 mile Steinway tunnel (the second underwater East River rail tunnel; opened June 13, 1915), the first of the three Manhattan stations, Grand Central () (photos) (map) is next. The 7 station consists of a single center platform in a round arched tube (similar to the London Underground) with exits in the center and at both ends. The stairs connect to the IRT Lexington Avenue 4/5/6, with long 80-foot escalators to the main mezzanine, which connects to the Metro-North concourse. An ADA elevator to the concourse is at the south end of the platform.
5 Avenue-Bryant Park (photos) (map) has a center platform with "5" mosaics and red I beams. Exits lead to the mezzanine and the transfer to the IND 6 Avenue (B/D/F/V).
Times Square () ( (map), the 7's south terminal is next and also consists of a single center plaform and "TS" mosaic tablets. Exits located along the platform connect to the mezzanine with transfers to the IND A/C/E, IRT 1/2/3 and BMT N/Q/R/W and S shuttle. The 7 platform is located under 41 Street, just between 7 and 8 Avenue and about halfway between the IND and BMT, along the transfer walkway. Connection to the Port Authority Bus Terminal is available by following the transfer corridor from the west from the 7 platform. An office is on the north end of the platform. The tracks continue south (west) beyond the station before they dead-end. This was intended for a turnover or layover area, but was never used. It may be used for the proposed 7 Extension when built.