Hempstead Branch
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Hempstead Branch

Hempstead Branch
LIRR Bombardier M-7 7425 train 757.jpg
Hempstead Branch train #757 enters Stewart Manor, due west to Brooklyn.
TypeCommuter rail
SystemLong Island Rail Road
LocaleQueens and Nassau County, New York, USA
TerminiHillside Facility
Opened1873 (as part of the Central Railroad of Long Island)
OwnerLong Island Rail Road
Operator(s)Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Track gauge
Electrification750 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.[1][2] 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 original Hempstead Branch of the LIRR ran south from Mineola, ending just west of the current terminal in Hempstead.[3] It opened on July 4, 1839 as the first branch of the LIRR.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

Covert Avenue grade 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.[7] The New York Bay Extension Railroad opened the current West Hempstead Branch in 1893,[8] resulting in a realignment of the Hempstead Branch from Hempstead Crossing south to Meadow Street to better connect to the new line.[9]

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.[10][11]:18 In 1910, the branch's connection to the Main Line was double-tracked.[12]:23 The then-Hempstead Branch north to Mineola was electrified on October 20, 1926, along with the West Hempstead Branch.[13]

The line north of Hempstead Crossing last saw passenger service on September 14, 1935,[14] and was abandoned for freight in 1965.[15] 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.[16]


New Elmont station

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.[17][18]


Zone Station Miles (km)
from NYP[19]
Connections / notes
1 For continuing service west of Jamaica, see City Terminal Zone
3 Jamaica Handicapped/disabled access 10.8 (17.4) 1836 BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR; Atlantic, Babylon, Belmont Park, Far Rockaway, Long Beach,
Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, and West Hempstead Branches
BSicon SUBWAY.svg NYC Subway: "E" train​​"J" train"Z" train (at Sutphin Boulevard - Archer Avenue - JFK Airport)
Bus transportNYCT Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q24, Q30, Q31, Q43, Q44 SBS, Q54, Q56
Bus transportMTA Bus: Q6, Q8, Q9, Q25, Q34, Q40, Q41, Q60, Q65
Bus transportNICE Bus: n4
BSicon TRAM.svg AirTrain JFK: Jamaica Station Route
Union Hall Street 1890 1976 Originally New York Avenue
Canal Street 1890 1899
Hillside 1966
Hillside Facility 1991 Employees-only station
Woodhull Park[20] 1890 c. 1905
Willow Tree[21] c. 1837 c. 1871
Hollis 13.4 (21.6) 1885 Bus transportNYCT Bus: Q2, Q3
Bus transportMTA Bus: Q110
Bellaire 1837 1972 Originally Flushing Avenue, then Brushville, then Interstate Park, then Brushville Road
Queens Village Handicapped/disabled access 15.0 (24.1) 1881 Bus transportNYCT Bus: Q1, Q27, Q36, Q83, Q88
Bus transportNICE Bus: n24
Belmont Park Branch diverges
Queens / Nassau county line
Elmont Handicapped/disabled access 2021-2023 Proposed station
Bellerose 16.1 (25.9) 1898
Floral Park 16.7 (26.9) 1878 BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, and Ronkonkoma Branches
Main Line (Port Jefferson Branch) diverges
Stewart Manor Handicapped/disabled access 18.1 (29.1) 1873 Bus transportNICE Bus: n25
Nassau Boulevard Handicapped/disabled access 19.1 (30.7) 1907
Garden City Handicapped/disabled access 20.2 (32.5) 1872 Bus transportNICE Bus: n40, n41
Garden City-Mitchel Field Secondary diverges
Country Life Press Handicapped/disabled access 20.8 (33.5) 1911
Hempstead Handicapped/disabled access 22.6 (36.4) 1872 Bus transportNICE Bus: n6, n6X, n15, n16, n16X, n27, n31, n32, n35, n40, n41, n48, n49, n54, n55, n70, n71, n72, Mercy Medical Shuttle
Bus transportShort Line Bus: 495


  1. ^ MTA LIRR - LIRR Map
  2. ^ LIRR Hempstead Branch Timetable
  3. ^ Map showing the route & connections of the Central Rail Road Extension Company of Long Island, 1873
  4. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1839" (PDF). (82.7 KiB), June 2004 Edition
  5. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1873" (PDF). (100 KiB), February 2005 Edition
  6. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1876" (PDF). (116 KiB), April 2006 Edition
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Railroad, Long Island Railroad map Archived July 24, 2012, at Archive.today, 1941
  8. ^ Interstate Commerce Commission, Valuation Report, Long Island Railroad Archived January 12, 2002, at Archive.today
  9. ^ Arrt's Arrchives: Hempstead Crossing
  10. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1908" (PDF). (52.2 KiB), March 2005 Edition
  11. ^ The Long Island Railroad Twenty-Seventh Annual Report For The Year Ending December 31st, 1908. Long Island Railroad Company. 1909.
  12. ^ The Long Island Railroad Thirtieth Annual Report For The Year Ending December 31st, 1911. Long Island Railroad Company. 1912.
  13. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1926" (PDF). (101 KiB), June 2004 Edition
  14. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1935" (PDF). (47.8 KiB), August 2004 Edition
  15. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1965" (PDF). (83.5 KiB), June 2004 Edition
  16. ^ Floral Park Station History (TrainsAreFun)
  17. ^ "Islanders arena project at Belmont Park now includes new LIRR station". Newsday. July 8, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ "New Full-Time LIRR Station Planned Near Belmont Park - CBS New York". CBS New York. July 8, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ Station pages linked from LIRR Stations Archived September 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Woodhull Park Station, Hillside Station & RJ Tower (Arrt's Arrchives)
  21. ^ Willow Tree Station (Arrt's Arrchives)

External links

Route map:

KML is not from Wikidata

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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