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JFK AirTrain set to open December 17th

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AirTrain To JFK Airport To Make Debut In Two Weeks


More than a year after a deadly accident delayed its debut, the AirTrain to John F. Kennedy Airport will begin passenger service in about two weeks.

Governor George Pataki said Tuesday the AirTrain will take its first trip on Wednesday, December 17. That coincides with the 100th anniversary of manned flight.

The light rail service will connect JFK to the Long Island Railroad and the city transit system.

The nearly $2 billion project began in 1999 and was scheduled to open last year, but the train crashed during a test run in September 2002, killing the driver, 23-year-old Kelvin DeBourgh Junior. The crash caused an estimated $4 million in damage.

Investigators said excessive speed and poor communication were to blame.





Project Description

* Light rail system (compatible with the region) to John F. Kennedy International Airport.


AirTrain at JFK Airport

System Length


* Approximately 8.1 miles:

o 1.8-mile loop connecting airline terminals in JFK's Central Terminal Area (CTA).

o 3-mile extension to Jamaica transportation center.

o 3.3-mile extension to Howard Beach subway station.




Howard Beach Station

* Fully enclosed, heated and air conditioned with platform doors, wide escalators, large glass enclosed elevators, moving walkways to airline terminals, and 240-foot platform lengths. Ten stations will serve the following locations on and off airport:

o Terminal 1 (Air France, Lufthansa, Korean Air, Japan Airlines)

o Terminals 2 and 3 (Delta)

o Terminal 4 (International Air Terminal)

o Terminals 5 and 6 (United Airlines and JetBlue)

o Terminal 7 (British Airways)

o Terminal 8 (American Airlines)

o Federal Circle/Rental Cars

o Long Term/Employee Parking Lot

o Howard Beach

o Jamaica Station





Jamaica Station

Transportation Connections

* Jamaica - Long Island Rail Road trains; New York City Transit's E, J and Z subway lines; local bus lines.

* Howard Beach - New York City Transit's A subway line.

Travel Times

* Complete trip around Central Terminal Area: 8 minutes.

* Manhattan to JFK via Jamaica: less than 45 minutes

* Manhattan to JFK via Howard Beach: less than one hour.

Regional Benefits


Model of AirTrain at the Van Wyck Expressway


Construction over the Van Wyck Expressway

* Reduced highway congestion; improved air quality.

* Requires 4,150 construction jobs, generating $580 million in wages and $980 million in sales.

* Stimulates the Queens economy by contributing to the revitalization of Jamaica.

* Provides local residents who work at JFK with a transit connection to the airport.

* Ties JFK Corporate Square, a planned airport-themed mixed-use development located adjacent to Jamaica Station complex, to JFK with an 8-16 minute ride.

* Boosts New York City's international business and $15-billion-a-year tourism industry.

More information at: Port Authority - JFK AirTrain

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Very intresting article. There should be more of these trains gong from airports to the center of town.

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Right on track?


The 3,500-mile transcontinental railroad that connected the east and west coasts took six years to complete.

The eight miles of track connecting Kennedy Airport to the subway and Long Island Railroad has taken nearly four decades to be realized.

When it comes to railroad building, it

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Awesome news! It is amazing how much of a chore it is to get a basic rail system that is a few miles opened nowadays.

I think part of the problem is that stations are designed a little too elegantly - transportation needs to be functional, not an art gallery.

Air conditioning and heating? Good.

Picasso and the most post-modern architecture available? Probably waste.

Contractors that do the job well for less money? Good.

Contractors that are bed buddies with the elected mayor and/or local officials? Bad.

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that's cool that is a nice train I bet is is a joy yo ride it could be the best train to ride on in New York

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I can't believe it is taking this long to have a rail connection from airport to city. Our transit system in the U.S. really sucks when compared to Europe and asia.

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2 billion to construct one 8 mile line. 3 billion for Charlotte's entire rail transit system...and people here complain.

Seriously, this is awesome. I will prob use if I fly into JFk. I like flying into Newark b/c its so easy to take NJ transit into the city.

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