Mets–Willets Point station (LIRR)


Mets–Willets Point (formerly Shea Stadium) is a limited-use station on the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City.

Mets–Willets Point
The station, during the 2007 U.S. Open.
LocationMeridian Road (Flushing Meadows Park)
Corona, Queens, New York
Coordinates40.7525°N 73.8437°W / 40.7525; -73.8437
Owned byLong Island Rail Road
Platforms3 island platforms
Tracks6
ConnectionsNew York City Subway:
trains at Mets–Willets Point
NYCT Bus: Q48
Construction
Disabled accessNo; accessibility planned
Other information
Fare zone1
History
Opened1939
Rebuilt1964
Electrified750 V (DC) third rail
Previous namesWorld's Fair (1939–1946)
United Nations (1946–1952)
World's Fair (1961–1966)
Shea Stadium (1966–2008)[1]
Passengers
201220140 (seasonal service)[2]
Rank125 of 125 (seasonal service)
Services
Preceding station LIRR Following station
Woodside
towards Penn Station
Port Washington Branch
special events only
Flushing–Main Street

The station is used only during New York Mets home games at Citi Field (Shea Stadium prior to 2009), the U.S. Open tennis tournament at the USTA National Tennis Center and major events such as concerts, as well as emergencies. Although Mets–Willets Point was originally not part of CityTicket, it was added to the CityTicket program in August 2011,[3] and fares are collected before boarding when the station is in use.

The proposed AirTrain LaGuardia service to LaGuardia Airport would connect with the LIRR at the Willets Point station.[4]

History


The station, which opened in time for the 1939 New York World's Fair, included a modernistic structure above the tracks that could accommodate up to 18,000 passengers per hour. Resembling an airplane hangar, it combined both Art Deco and Bauhaus features,[5] and was also in close proximity to the Railroads on Parade exhibit.[6]

Between 1946 and 1952, the station was known as United Nations Station. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was the temporary site of the U.N. General Assembly, and had shuttle buses to their temporary headquarters in Lake Success at the time. Once the UN moved to its permanent home on the east side of Midtown-Manhattan, the station closed. However, it was reopened again with its original name on January 11, 1961, and the 1939 World's Fair ramp was expanded for the 1964 New York World's Fair to connect the Flushing Meadows–Corona Park to Shea Stadium, which opened that same year (though it was not part of the World's Fair). After the World's Fair closed in 1965, the station was named for Shea Stadium in 1966.

When the Elmhurst station closed in 1985, Shea Stadium station became the westernmost station on the Port Washington Branch before merging with the LIRR Main Line at Winfield Junction. As of 2003, a portion of track from the Whitestone Branch, which diverged just east of the station, was still visible next to the westbound track.

Following the 2009 closure and demolition of Shea Stadium, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority renamed the station to Mets–Willets Point, matching the name of the adjoining subway station and omitting the corporate-sponsored name, Citi Field, associated with the current stadium. The MTA was unsuccessful in achieving a similar naming rights deal and would not post the name for free. Had the naming rights deal been achieved, the station would have been known as Citi Field.[7]

Fans ascending from the platform to the walkway to Citi Field, during the Mets' 2014 Home Opener game.
Fans streaming into the station following the conclusion of a September 2008 Mets game at the former Shea Stadium.

Planned renovation and accessibility

In September 2014, the MTA announced renovation plans for the Mets–Willets Point LIRR station, which would see its current active platform (see below) extend in length from eight cars to 12 cars, including the installation of an elevator, which would connect to the New York City Parks Department passarelle, leading to Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, making the station fully ADA accessible. The project was scheduled to be completed in time for the 2016 baseball season, but as of 2020, the elevator has not been installed.[8]

Station layout


The Port Washington Branch has six tracks at this station. This station has three high-level island platforms. The north platform, adjacent to Tracks 1 and 2, the two main tracks, is eight cars long. The center platform, adjacent to Tracks 3 and 4, is also eight cars long. The south platform, adjacent to Tracks 5 and 6, is six cars long. Only the north platform is currently in use; the other tracks have not been used in regular passenger service since the 1964-65 World's Fair. The stairwells leading to the other platforms are blocked off, the platforms are in disrepair, and the tracks are rusted over. The platforms are decorated in the Mets team colors, blue and orange. East and west of the station, the six tracks merge into two tracks.

M Mezzanine Walkway to Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Tennis Center, CitiField, Roosevelt Avenue, trains
P
Platform level
Track 1      Port Washington Branch does not stop here
     Port Washington Branch special event service toward Penn Station (Woodside)
Island platform, doors will open on the left or right
Track 2      Port Washington Branch special event service toward Great Neck or Port Washington (Flushing–Main Street)
     Port Washington Branch does not stop here →
Track 3 No regular service
Island platform, not in service
Track 4 No regular service
Track 5 No regular service
Island platform, not in service
Track 6 No regular service

References


  1. "LIRR Station History". trainsarefun.com. Archived from the original on January 6, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2010.
  2. "2012-2014 LIRR Origin and Destination Report : Volume I: Travel Behavior Among All LIRR Passengers" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. August 23, 2016. PDF pp. 15, 199. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 17, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2020. Data collection took place after the pretest determinations, starting in September 2012 and concluding in May 2014. .... 2012-2014 LIRR O[rigin and ]D[estination] COUNTS: WEEKDAY East/West Total By Station in Numerical Order ... Mets-Willets Point
  3. "MTA LIRR'S Discounted Weekend 'CityTicket' Now Good for Travel to Mets-Willets Point Station". August 4, 2011. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  4. Maps of proposed Airtrain LGA route at ny.gov
  5. "Long Island Gets Modernistic Station at World's Fair". Railway Age: 823–826. May 13, 1939. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  6. Railroad Building; The Eastern Railroads Presidents' Conference (1939 New York World's Fair.com)
  7. Neuman, William (May 11, 2009). "Stadium Is Citi Field, but the Subway Stop Has Other Ideas". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
  8. "ADA Accessibility Planned for LIRR's Mets-Willets Point Station As Part of $9.7 Million Renovation That Includes a New Elevator". September 4, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.