Forgotten New York is a program of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, a non-profit organization supported by the Long Island City community.
I lived in Astoria from 1993 to 2006 and I could remember this line. It was like a dream come true. Before the “W” was introduce to us, wait times was horrible. The “N” never came, so many times I would be forced to take the “R” and than a bus. On a good day, I would walk to the “Q” or “B” and later the “F” line. Sometimes I would take a Q102/103/18 buses. This was before free transfers.
With the introduction of the “W” line, it make life a whole lot easier. It was always dependable. I used to get to work, which was the City Hall station.
At one time, the “W” was express. That did not matter, but I kind of felt sorry for the people on 30th Avenue and Broadway, which received a higher passenger load. I used Astoria Blvd mostly, but 30th Avenue (and BWY) had the bus lines on them.
When 911 happened, the “W” was still there. The N/R was canceled for about 2/3 weeks.
During it later years, the “W” terminated at Whitehall Street. Because it did not go to Brooklyn, it did not suffer the same delays that the other lines did. It was always there and always reliable. My Aunt told me that when ever she went to Astoria, she always rode it. She never remember riding the “N” line, because it was never there. She saw the “R” only rarely.
The slanted 40s was my second to my favorite train. My all time favorite was the R38s. There acceleration was incredible I could never forget how they used to bust in the West 4th Street Station. All 4 cars at speed and than slowdown. But the slants performed better in downgrades. I could always remember how incredibly fast they were before hitting that underwater tunnel from Queensboro Plaza.
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