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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 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 indicate that the Hempstead Branch service continues west along the Main Line to Jamaica.

HistoryEdit

The original Hempstead Branch of the LIRR ran south from Mineola, ending just west of the current terminal in Hempstead. It opened on July 4, 1839 as the first branch of the LIRR.

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. 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. 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 electrified on May 26, 1908. 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. This meant that all Hempstead Branch trains now left the main line at Queens Village, and at some point the old Central Branch west of Hempstead Crossing was renamed as part of the Hempstead Branch.

StationsEdit

Station/location Station link Miles to Penn Station Connections/notes
For continuing service to points west, see City Terminal Zone
Jamaica

Sutphin Boulevard between Archer Avenue & 94th Avenue, Jamaica

[1]

[2]

10.8 Subway: E J Z trains at Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport

AirTrain JFK Bus (New York City Bus): Q24 Q30 Q31 Q43 Q44 Q54 Q56

Union Hall Street

Union Hall Street at York College (New York), Jamaica

closed 1976
Hillside

Jamaica

closed 1966
Hillside Facility [3] Employees-only station
Hollis

193rd Street and Woodhull Avenue, Hollis

[4] 13.4 Bus (New York City Transit Bus):Q2, Q3
Bellaire

Bellaire

Named Interstate Park 1900 — 1907

closed 1972

Queens Village

Springfield Boulevard and Amboy Lane, Queens Village

[5] 15 Bus (New York City Transit Bus):Q1, Q27, Q36, Q83 (Late Night Only),Q88

Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N24

Bellerose

Commonwealth Boulevard and Superior Road, Bellerose

[6] 16.1
Floral Park

Tulip Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, Floral Park

[7] 16.7
Stewart Manor [1]

New Hyde Park Road and Manor Road, Garden City

[8] 18.1 Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N25
Nassau Boulevard [2]

Nassau Boulevard and South Avenue, Garden City

[9] 19.1
Garden City [3]

7th Street between Hilton and Cathedral Avenues, Garden City

[10] 20.2 Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N40, N41
Country Life Press [4]

Damson Street and Saint James Street South, Garden City

[11] 20.8
Hempstead [5]

West Columbia Street, East of Main Street and Fulton Avenue, Hempstead

[12] 21.6 Bus (MTA Long Island Bus) at Hempstead Transit Center: N6, N15, N16, N17, N27, N31, N32, N35, N37, N40, N41, N46, N47, N48, N49, N54, N55, N70, N71, N72

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