Hempstead Branch train #757 enters Stewart Manor, due west to Brooklyn.
|System||Long Island Rail Road|
|Locale||Queens and Nassau County, New York, USA|
|Opened||1873 (as part of the Central Railroad of Long Island)|
|Owner||Long Island Rail Road|
|Operator(s)||Metropolitan Transportation Authority|
|Electrification||750 V (DC) Third rail|
The Hempstead Branch is an electrified rail line and service owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New York. The branch begins at the Main Line at Queens Interlocking, just east of Queens Village station. It parallels the Main Line past Bellerose to Floral Park, where it splits southward and continues east via the village of Garden City to Hempstead Crossing. There it turns south to the final two stations, Country Life Press and Hempstead.
LIRR maps and schedules show Hempstead Branch service continuing west along the Main Line to Jamaica. The Hempstead Branch's trains stop at Hollis and Queens Village stations on the Main Line, but these two stations are not served by any other Main Line branch. The line is double tracked to just east of Garden City Station, where it is reduced to one track at Garden Interlocking for the final 1.4 miles to Hempstead station.
The Central Railroad of Long Island opened from Flushing east to Hempstead Crossing and south to Hempstead on January 8, 1873; the main line east from Hempstead Crossing opened later that year on May 26. CRRLI extended their line east to Bethpage, Farmingdale, and Babylon resulting in the creation of their own Hempstead Branch running parallel to the one owed by the LIRR. The Central Railroad's successor, the Flushing, North Shore and Central Railroad, was leased to the LIRR on May 3, 1876, and in June a connection at Hempstead Crossing was built, allowing trains from Mineola to use the ex-Central's Hempstead Branch; the original LIRR Hempstead Branch was abandoned south of Hempstead Crossing.
The old Central main line through Hempstead was named the Central Branch by the LIRR, while the line from Mineola on the LIRR's Main Line south past Hempstead Crossing to Hempstead was the Hempstead Branch. The New York Bay Extension Railroad opened the current West Hempstead Branch in 1893, resulting in a realignment of the Hempstead Branch from Hempstead Crossing south to Meadow Street to better connect to the new line.
Electric service on the current route of the Hempstead Branch, from Queens Village east along the Main Line and Central Branch and south along the Hempstead Branch to Hempstead, was inaugurated on May 26, 1908.:18 In 1910, the branch's connection to the Main Line was double-tracked.:23 The then-Hempstead Branch north to Mineola was electrified on October 20, 1926, along with the West Hempstead Branch.
The line north of Hempstead Crossing last saw passenger service on September 14, 1935, and was abandoned for freight in 1965. Park Interlocking at Floral Park was taken out in the circa-1960 grade crossing elimination; since then Hempstead Branch trains switch off the Main Line at Queens Village and continue next to it to Floral Park.
The MTA plans to build the Elmont station in Elmont, New York, as part of the Belmont Park redevelopment. The station will include two new 12-car platforms, and ADA-compliant elevators. The eastbound platform will open first, in 2021, followed by the westbound platform in 2023.
|Connections / notes|
|1||For continuing service west of Jamaica, see City Terminal Zone|
|3||Jamaica||10.8 (17.4)||1836|| LIRR; Atlantic, Babylon, Belmont Park, Far Rockaway, Long Beach,|
Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, and West Hempstead Branches
NYC Subway: (at Sutphin Boulevard - Archer Avenue - JFK Airport)
NYCT Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q24, Q30, Q31, Q43, Q44 SBS, Q54, Q56
MTA Bus: Q6, Q8, Q9, Q25, Q34, Q40, Q41, Q60, Q65
NICE Bus: n4
AirTrain JFK: Jamaica Station Route
|Union Hall Street||1890||1976||Originally New York Avenue|
|Hillside Facility||1991||Employees-only station|
|Woodhull Park||1890||c. 1905|
|Willow Tree||c. 1837||c. 1871|
|Hollis||13.4 (21.6)||1885||NYCT Bus: Q2, Q3|
MTA Bus: Q110
|Bellaire||1837||1972||Originally Flushing Avenue, then Brushville, then Interstate Park, then Brushville Road|
|Queens Village||15.0 (24.1)||1881||NYCT Bus: Q1, Q27, Q36, Q83, Q88|
NICE Bus: n24
|Belmont Park Branch diverges|
|Queens / Nassau county line|
|Floral Park||16.7 (26.9)||1878||LIRR: Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, and Ronkonkoma Branches|
|Main Line (Port Jefferson Branch) diverges|
|Stewart Manor||18.1 (29.1)||1873||NICE Bus: n25|
|Nassau Boulevard||19.1 (30.7)||1907|
|Garden City||20.2 (32.5)||1872||NICE Bus: n40, n41|
|Garden City-Mitchel Field Secondary diverges|
|Country Life Press||20.8 (33.5)||1911|
|Hempstead||22.6 (36.4)||1872||NICE Bus: n6, n6X, n15, n16, n16X, n27, n31, n32, n35, n40, n41, n48, n49, n54, n55, n70, n71, n72, Mercy Medical Shuttle|
Short Line Bus: 495