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.
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.
|Station/location||Station link||Miles to Penn Station||Connections/notes|
|For continuing service to points west, see City Terminal Zone|
Sutphin Boulevard between Archer Avenue & 94th Avenue, Jamaica
|10.8||Subway: E J Z trains at Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport|
|Union Hall Street||closed 1976|
|Hillside Facility||||Employees-only station|
193rd Street and Woodhull Avenue, Hollis
|||13.4||Bus (New York City Transit Bus):Q2, Q3|
|Bellaire||Named Interstate Park 1900 — 1907
Springfield Boulevard and Amboy Lane, Queens Village
|||15||Bus (New York City Transit Bus):Q1, Q27, Q36, Q83 (Late Night Only),Q88
Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N24
Commonwealth Boulevard and Superior Road, Bellerose
Tulip Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, Floral Park
|Stewart Manor 
New Hyde Park Road and Manor Road, Garden City
|||18.1||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N25|
|Nassau Boulevard 
Nassau Boulevard and South Avenue, Garden City
|Garden City 
7th Street between Hilton and Cathedral Avenues, Garden City
|||20.2||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N40, N41|
|Country Life Press 
Damson Street and Saint James Street South, Garden City
West Columbia Street, East of Main Street and Fulton Avenue, Hempstead
|||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|