The Aqueduct Racetrack Station is one of the most unusual stations on the New York City Subway. Trains can only stop in the Manhattan-bound/Uptown direction because a downtown platform has never been built. It is subway's only 'special event' station although beginning with its most recent reopening on August 2, 2013 it is open year round 24 hours a day to serve the new resorts world casino for only. As of the 2013 reopening the station is fully wheelchair accessible. The station is also the only station in the subway that lacks a token booth and MVMs, all fares must be paid at high entrance/exit turnstiles. Rockaway-bound passengers must exit at the northern end of the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station (which has high entrance/exit turnstiles), and use the tunnel at the northern end of the platform to enter the racino's parking lot where a minibus shuttle is available to the racino. According to the MTA this stop is part of the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station and linked there by a passageway (An outdoor sidewalk connects the stations, this not true).
The platform originally opened in 1959 when the 'modernized' Aqueduct Racetrack reopened. Service to the racetrack was previously provided by the LIRR although I believe just via the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station since this was closer to the racetrack entrance before the renovations. The platform and station was funded by the New York Racing Association during Aqueduct's renovations in the 1950s and in a cost cutting move it was decided to only build a platform along the Manhattan-bound track to avoid having to fund an over or underpass. Service to the station was originally only from Aqueduct Specials and their adjacent add (replicated in the current R1-9s museum train) discusses two departures per racing day as an extra fare service costing 50¢ instead of the normal 15¢ subway fare. These trains left from the lower level platform at 42 Street-8th Avenue. This platform (that served a single track) is now abandoned and now mostly destroyed for the Hudson Yards 7 train extension. These trains stopped at the single platform wrong railing into the station for Racetrack-bound trips.
Service to the races over the years continued in a variety of ways, both from Rockaway-bound A trains (reportedly at times single tracking in the area of the station so trains in both directions could serve Aqueduct Racetrack). The premium fare JFK Express that ran between September 23, 1978 and April 14, 1990 did double-duty on racetrack days taking passengers both to the JFK Airport and stopping at the racetrack (all had to pay the same premium fares that rose from $3.50 to $6.50 over its years of operation). The platform would eventually close in the late 1980s to early 1990s forcing racetrack patrons to walk (and take shuttle buses) to and from the Aqueduct-North Conduit Avenue station.
The stations second opening began in 1997 when the station appears on subway maps for uptown service only and a note saying "Open 11am to 7pm racing days." This racing days only service from Uptown trains to Aqueduct Racetrack continued until April 28, 2011 (I never visited the original station, never got off during its seasonal openings). At the end of the 2010-2011 Aqueduct Racetrack season construction of the new Resort Worlds Casino at the racetrack closed the station. The station continued to appear on subway maps never getting removed. The first section of the racnio opened in October 28, 2011, but this didn't the subway stop reopening because of ongoing construction. The station continued to be listed on subway maps with the Open 11am to 7pm Racing Days only note for the station.
On August 2, 2013 the station reopened along with the new $15 millon Resorts World SkyBridge over the parking lot between the station and casino opened with no formal announcements before and signs popping up in A train cars that Manhattan-bound trains would stop at Aqueduct Racetrack at all times Effective Immediately. The racino isn't open 24-hours a day closed between 4am and 8am but the subway stop will be open 24/7 to better serve both patrons and employees. Resorts World is also in discussion with the MTA to buy the naming rights to the station so Restorts World Casino can become the name of the stop instead of Aqueduct Racetrack.
The single station platform itself is along the eastern, uptown track of the original LIRR Rockaways Line ROW. This line originally housed four tracks and now only has two in regular service. The platform for its 2013 reopening was given a tactile warning strip but not fully repaved the platform mainly has a low black fence that had three incandescent bulbs until the 2013 reopening that replaced these fixtures with unique black new ones that have single, more high intensity bulbs. The middle of the platform is much wider and where the large platform canopy is; green support beams hold up this canopy. A single LED display says Racetrack Open (this was in the station when it was opened in 1997). At the southern end of the canopy is a fenced off cinderblock kiosk that was perhaps once a token/ticket booth (the JFK Express used tickets). To leave the station is a set of four high entrance/exit turnstiles and a line of 7 emergency exit gates (this number seems excessive), one is an autogate MetroCard Gate that lead to an elevated station entrance area (that lacks any MVMs but the service changes signs are at least maintained). From here two triple-wide covered staircases with green railings lead down to the Aqueduct Road that is the racetrack's driving. The southern one also has a modern glass elevator shaft with a silver top. The signs for these staircases read Brooklyn & Manhattan, For the Rockaways Transfer at Rockaway Blvd. Enter with MetroCard at all times. Finally form the middle of this mezzanine area is an MTA sign that says Casino above a set of red doors these automatically open to the climate controlled SkyBridge that leads into the casino with speakers that play advertisements to passersby.
Also See: NY Times Article from March 26, 2002, about a Man fighting a fare violation fine for entering the station without paying because of no Vending Machines or Token Booths at the station