Queensboro Plaza is an elevated New York City Subway station over Queens Plaza in Long Island City, at the east (Queens) end of the Queensboro Bridge, with Queens Boulevard running east from the plaza. It is currently over only the south (railroad east) side of the roadway, but used to span the whole plaza. The current configuration is a double-decked station, with trains running into Queens on the upper level and Manhattan-bound trains below. The BMT Astoria Line (which to the south joins with the 60th Street Tunnel Connection and heads through the 60th Street Tunnel to the BMT Broadway Line) uses the two tracks west (compass north) of the platforms and the IRT Flushing Line uses the east two tracks.
The mezzanine is located below the lower level (and formerly connected to the torn-down BMT platforms to the west); there is a concrete ramp across Queens Plaza North to the second floor of a building. The station is currently being renovated by NYCTA employees (as opposed to an outside contractor). A computer assisted tower is being installed on the south end. (A traditional tower is already present, but will be renovated with new machinery.)
The station is wheelchair accessible for cross-platform (same direction) transfers only.
The station is near the Queens Plaza underground subway station, though the two stations are separate and do not allow free transfers.
In the original configuration, the IRT used both sides of the current platforms, and the BMT used now-demolished platforms west (compass north) of the current platforms, also double-decked. The east side of the IRT platforms were used by the Flushing Line, as today; the west side was used by Astoria trains, but instead of going through the 60th Street Tunnel, they went over the Queensboro Bridge to the elevated IRT Second Avenue Line. Double crossovers south (lower tracks) and north (upper tracks) of the platform allowed trains from either side to switch to the other line after leaving the station.
At the BMT half, the south track served subway trains to Manhattan and the BMT Broadway Line. Trains came from Manhattan on the upper level, continued north to a merge with the lower level, and then returned via the lower level. This configuration was in place by 1924; before that trains reversed direction using a double crossover south of the platforms. Until 1949, the Astoria and Flushing Lines hosted both IRT and BMT service. Since the platforms were IRT-size, the BMT used its own elevated cars to provide service on the lines, with a required transfer at Queensboro Plaza. Shuttles from Astoria came in on the west side lower track and then reversed direction to head to Flushing; Flushing trains came in on the upper track and reversed direction towards Astoria.
During the early period of dual service on the Astoria and Flushing portions, IRT and BMT trains had their own stopping marks on the platforms and the sections of the platforms were separated. Passengers had separate entrances at the platform depending on which service they wanted. This set-up prevented free transfers between the lines of the two companies. This arrangement had to end when the IRT increased the number of cars for the subway line stopping there. The two companies worked out an agreement in which the revenues collected on those stations were shared.
In 1949, the IRT started using the Flushing Line only, and the Astoria Line platforms were shaved back for through BMT service. New connections were built between the 60th Street Tunnel approach and the west tracks at the east (former IRT) platforms (the Second Avenue Elevated Line had closed in 1942), and the west (former BMT) platforms were closed.
Today the Queensboro Plaza station enjoys the distinction of being the only station in the entire New York Subway system where one enjoys cross-platform transfers between A Division and B Division trains.