Wednesday December 27, 2017
AirTrain JFK is a 3-line, 8.1-mile-long (13 km) people mover system and elevated railway in New York City, serving John Fitzgerald Kennedy International Airport in Queens. The system runs a 24/7 service all year round and stops at 10 stations, connecting six terminals at the airport with the New York City Subway and Long Island Rail Road at Howard Beach and Jamaica. AirTrain JFK is operated by Bombardier Transportation under contract to the airport’s operator, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
A railroad link to JFK Airport had been proposed since 1968 as part of the Program for Action, but was not actually implemented for almost three decades. From the 1970s to the early 1990s, various plans surfaced to try to build such a link. Meanwhile, the JFK Express subway service and shuttle buses provided an unpopular transport system to and around JFK. There were 21 failed proposals for rail links to New York City airports during this time. Serious planning for a dedicated transport system at JFK began in 1990. An environmental impact statement for a JFK light-rail system was released in 1997, and the current people-mover system started construction a year later. AirTrain JFK opened on December 17, 2003, despite being the subject of several lawsuits during construction and a death during one of the system’s test runs.