Brairwood/Van Wyck Blvd
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Kew Gardens
Union Turnpike
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Sutphin Blvd
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Jamaica-Van Wyck
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Queens Blvd Express·8th Avenue Local(Evenings, Weekends & Late Nights only)<Brairwood/Van Wyck Blvd
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Queens Blvd Express·6th Avenue-Culver Local<Brairwood/Van Wyck Blvd

Van Wyck Blvd had the second name Briarwood for the surrounding neighborhood added to avoid confusion with the next stop Jamaica-Van Wyck on the E train's Archer Avenue extension that in opened 1988. Briarwood has been added in small tiles, not in a standard subway font, beneath each name tablet and column signs saying Briarwood have been added. E trains only stop at the station during evenings, late nights and on weekends when the express tracks here are used for laying up trains and use a flying junction with equal access from both the Express and Local tracks to reach the Archer Avenue extension just east (railroad north) of the station. The actual street the stop is named for no longer exists in its original form; Van Wyck Blvd has been widened and turned into the Van Wyck Expressway complete with service roads on either side of the subway line. This makes leaving the station a bit of a disaster for subway riders.

When I visited in In 2011 this was especially apparent because of a major construction project, the Kew Gardens Interchange Project, was going on that has closed off the main underpass exits. A really amusing feature during this construction project is highway style railroad station signs (with the standard railroad station logo found at Amtrak stations all across the nation) with E and F bullets beneath directing people to the proper crosswalks to safely cross Queens Blvd and around go around the construction site on the Van Wyck, when they would normally be using a pedestrian tunnel.

The station itself is like the rest of the local stations here on the Queens Blvd line with two side platforms for the four-track line. The platforms have teal blue columns, with yellow borders over the white text on black name tablets, and yellow trim with a black border.

Four staircases lead up from the middle and about two cars from the eastern end of the platform up to what was once a full length mezzanine, but only eastern portion of this mezzanine is still open to the public. The Western half of the mezzanine has been taken over by NYPD Transit Police Pricinct Number 20. At the western end of the mezzanine, which would be nearly impossible to reopen because it would lead into the Male Police Officer locker room is a closed and slabbed over streetstair from the service road of the Van Wyck Expressway that would pretty much only lead to the side of Maple Grove Cemetery.

The open portion mezzanine is almost entirely outside of fare control, there is no free transfer between directions here, the four banks of staircases lead to a single bank of turnstiles from each platform that are mostly enclosed by a very ugly floor to ceiling chain link fence, the token booth is in between them. There are also a few High Exit Only turnstiles at each end of the open portion of the Jamaica-bound mezzanine for easier access to the stations two exits. At the eastern end of the open portion of the mezzanine is a streetstair signed for "Van Wyck Service Road." This leads up to the western service road right outside of Maple Grove Cemetery. This streetstair leads directly up to the street, without an additional passageway. This cemetery is the only landmark the exit really serves except for maybe a few houses just south of the cemetery (but these are also quite close to the Jamaica-Van Wyck Station).

The more widely used and crowded exit is at the western end of mezzanine (basically in the middle of the platform). It consists of an underpass that curves north, away from the mezzanine and transit police station. The first exit is almost immediate, there is a street stair on the south side of Queens Blvd between Main Street and where Queens Blvd passes above the Van Wyck Expressway. This entrance is tucked away down a series of outdoor pedestrian ramps in a little pedestrian plaza and now contains a more modern glass canopy above the subway entrance staircase.

The underpass continues under the Van Wyck Expressway before ending on the north side of Queens Blvd at a wide pedestrian island in a triangle formed by Main Street between two vehicle ramps that lead under Queens Blvd and become the service roads of the Van Wyck Expressway and Queens Blvd. There is are roadways on all four sides of the wide pedestrian island with the subway entrances, one forming the North Loop Connector designed for traffic to change directions on Main Street's local roadways without needed to turn around via Queens Blvd. This exit has a staircase covered by a modern glass canopy (similar to those found at Second Avenue Subway stations) and a street elevator up to a modern elevator landing. This elevator was installed by the State DOT as part of the Kew Gardens Interchange Project, opened on May 1, 2017, and saved commuters having to climb of descend three flights of stairs (more than 3 dozen steps) to the long underpass that continues to ramp down into the subway station. Plans to install mezzanine to platform accessible elevators are unkown, Brairwood is not one of the MTA's ADA Key Stations.
Photos 1-10: June 2, 2008; 11-38: January 3, 2011;

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Queens Blvd Express·8th Avenue Local(Evenings, Weekends & Late Nights only)<Brairwood/Van Wyck Blvd
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Last Updated: December 20, 2021
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