Aqueduct Racetrack
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The Aqueduct Racetrack Station is one of the most unusual stations on the New York City Subway. Trains can only stop in the Manhattan-bound/Uptown direction because a downtown platform has never been built. It is the subway's only 'special event' station although beginning with its most recent reopening on August 2, 2013 it is open year round 24 hours a day to serve the new Resorts World Casino and is fully wheelchair accessible. The station is also the only station in the subway that lacks a token booth and MVMs, all fares must be paid at high entrance/exit turnstiles. Rockaway-bound passengers must exit at the northern end of the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station (which has high entrance/exit turnstiles), and use the tunnel at the northern end of the platform to enter the racino's parking lot where a minibus shuttle is available to the racino. According to the MTA this stop is part of the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station and linked there by a passageway but this just and outdoor sidewalk that connects the stations so this not true.

The platform originally opened in 1959 when the 'modernized' Aqueduct Racetrack reopened. Service to the racetrack was previously provided by the LIRR although I believe just via the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station since this was closer to the racetrack entrance before the renovations. The platform and station was funded by the New York Racing Association during Aqueduct's renovations in the 1950s and in a cost cutting move it was decided to only build a platform along the Manhattan-bound track to avoid having to fund an over or underpass. Service to the station was originally only from Aqueduct Specials and their adjacent add (replicated in the current R1-9s museum train) discusses two departures per racing day as an extra fare service costing 50¢ instead of the normal 15¢ subway fare. These trains left from the lower level platform at 42 Street-8th Avenue. This platform (that served a single track) is now abandoned and now mostly destroyed for the Hudson Yards 7 train extension. These trains stopped at the single platform wrong railing into the station for Racetrack-bound trips.

Service to the races over the years continued in a variety of ways, both from Rockaway-bound A trains (reportedly at times single tracking in the area of the station so trains in both directions could serve Aqueduct Racetrack). The premium fare JFK Express that ran between September 23, 1978 and April 14, 1990 did double-duty on racetrack days taking passengers both to the JFK Airport and stopping at the racetrack (all passengers had to pay the same premium fares that rose from $3.50 to $6.50 over its years of operation). The platform would eventually close in the late 1980s to early 1990s forcing racetrack patrons to walk (and take shuttle buses) to and from the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station.

The stations second opening began in 1997 when the station appears on subway maps for uptown service only and a note saying "Open 11am to 7pm racing days." This racing days only service from Uptown trains to Aqueduct Racetrack continued until April 28, 2011 (I never visited the original station, never got off during its seasonal openings). At the end of the 2010-2011 Aqueduct Racetrack season construction of the new Resort Worlds Casino at the racetrack closed the station. The station continued to appear on subway maps never getting removed. The first section of the racenio opened in October 28, 2011, but this didn't the subway stop reopening because of ongoing construction. The station continued to be listed on subway maps with the Open 11am to 7pm Racing Days only note for the station.

On August 2, 2013 the station reopened along with the new $15 millon Resorts World SkyBridge over the parking lot between the station and casino opened with no formal announcements before and signs popping up in A train cars that Manhattan-bound trains would stop at Aqueduct Racetrack at all times Effective Immediately. The racino isn't open 24-hours a day closed between 4am and 8am but the subway stop will be open 24/7 to better serve both patrons and employees. Resorts World is also in discussion with the MTA to buy the naming rights to the station so Restorts World Casino can become the name of the stop instead of Aqueduct Racetrack.

The single station platform itself is along the eastern, uptown track of the original LIRR Rockaways Line ROW. This line originally housed four tracks and now only has two in regular service. The platform for its 2013 reopening was given a tactile warning strip but not fully repaved the platform mainly has a low black fence that had three incandescent bulbs until the 2013 reopening that replaced these fixtures with unique black new ones that have single, more high intensity bulbs. The middle of the platform is much wider and where the large platform canopy is; green support beams hold up this canopy. A single LED display says Racetrack Open (this was in the station when it was opened in 1997). At the southern end of the canopy is a fenced off cinderblock kiosk that was perhaps once a token/ticket booth (the JFK Express used tickets). To leave the station is a set of four high entrance/exit turnstiles and a line of 7 emergency exit gates (this number seems excessive), one is an autogate MetroCard Gate that lead to an elevated station entrance area (that lacks any MVMs but the service changes signs are at least maintained). From here two triple-wide covered staircases with green railings lead down to the Aqueduct Road that is the racetrack's driving. The southern one also has a modern glass elevator shaft with a silver top. The signs for these staircases read Brooklyn & Manhattan, For the Rockaways Transfer at Rockaway Blvd. Enter with MetroCard at all times. Finally form the middle of this mezzanine area is an MTA sign that says Casino above a set of red doors these automatically open to the climate controlled SkyBridge that leads into the casino with speakers that play advertisements to passersby.
Also See: NY Times Article from March 26, 2002, about a Man fighting a fare violation fine for entering the station without paying because of no Vending Machines or Token Booths at the station

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An Aqueduct Racetrack platform sign.
8 March, 2003
Looking out and down the fairly wide platform at Aqueduct Racetrack. The small canopied area with fare control is visible off in the distance.
29 December, 2008
Approaching the new wide staircase and new elevator of the recently reopened station
13 September, 2013
The new glass elevator shaft, the station is ADA compliant although the MTA doesn't seem to acknowledge this
13 September, 2013
Under one of the new wide staircases built on stones
13 September, 2013
The new Resorts World Skybridge above the parking lot to the racino
13 September, 2013
The north wide staircase
13 September, 2013
The new sky bridge from the station
13 September, 2013
The platform is up on concrete
13 September, 2013
Up the wide staircase (with unique railings) to the fare control area
13 September, 2013
Entering passengers have only 4 High Entrance turnstiles, the station lacks a token booth and MVMs, the only station in the system
13 September, 2013
Red doors lead to the surpassingly small entrance to the Resort Worlds Casino Sky Walk. The only MTA sign for Casino
13 September, 2013
The wide and empty fare control area
13 September, 2013
The southern exit down to the resort world parking lot
13 September, 2013
The upper elevator landing to the side of the staircase
13 September, 2013
Top of the elevator to street (parking lot)
13 September, 2013
On the Sky Bridge, reaching the doors to the subway and only high turnstiles with no MVMs
13 September, 2013
The air conditioned sky bridge, modern glass walls, and piped in ads for the racino
13 September, 2013
If there is an emergency
13 September, 2013
The four high exit turnstiles to leave the station
13 September, 2013
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<-Next stop Rockaway Blvd
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Last Updated: 27 September, 2013
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