Kew Gardens is a railroad station on the Main Line of the Long Island Rail Road in Kew Gardens, Queens. The station is located at Austin Street and Lefferts Boulevard. One of Kew Garden station's unique features is the 119th Street(Lefferts Boulevard) Bridge which has one story commercial buildings on both sides for local businesses.
The Main Line has four tracks at this location. The two middle tracks, not adjacent to either platform, are used only by express trains.
The former Maple Grove Station, 18 years before the LIRR realignment project.Kew Gardens Station originally opened in May 1879 as Maple Grove, a flag stop for Maple Grove Cemetery. The station was closed in 1882, reopened in 1883, and removed in 1909 as part of a track realignment project. The new Kew Station was moved approximately 600 feet south alongside and perpendicular to the tracks for use as a real estate office of developers of Kew in September 8, 1910. The former station was razed a short time later, and the existing station was renamed Kew Gardens in 1912.
The Kew Gardens station has the unfortunate distinction of being the site of the worst accident in Long Island Rail Road history, as well as the worst in New York State History. On November 22, 1950, a collision between two Long Island Rail Road commuter trains killed 79 people and injured hundreds. This occurred nine months after a collision at Rockville Centre Station on February 17, 1950 that resulted in the deaths of 32 people, and serious injury of 158 people. A far more notorious historical aspect is the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese, which occurred near this station.
This station has two high-level side platforms each four cars long. Generally, only the first four cars of a train in either direction will receive and discharge passengers at this station. The northern platform, adjacent to Track 3, is generally used by westbound or inbound or Manhattan-bound trains. The southern platform, adjacent to Track 4, is generally used by eastbound or outbound trains.
Most LIRR trains that pass through the station do not stop at the station. As with the Forest Hills Station, this station is served by fewer trains that continue to points in Long Island than are other City Terminal Zone trains. The one line serving Long Island that consistently makes stops at Kew Gardens is the Babylon Branch.
NOTE: The route is a former Green Bus Lines route.