Montauk BranchEdit

===&nbsp The Babylon Branch is highlighted. Distances shown in miles from New York Pennsylvania Station. |} The Montauk – Babylon Branch is a rail line and service owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New York. The branch runs the length of Long Island, 115 miles (185 km)[citation needed] from Long Island City on the west to Montauk on the east. However, LIRR maps and schedules only east of Babylon; the line west of there is the Babylon Branch, West Hempstead Branch, and City Terminal Zone. [1][2]===


[hide]*1 Route description


[edit] Route descriptionEdit

The westernmost portion of the Montauk Branch in Queens, known as the "Old Montauk" or "Lower Montauk", runs from Long Island City to a connection with the Atlantic Branch west of Jamaica, mostly at street level with grade crossings. This portion of the line sees only two regular passenger trains on weekdays only, which make no stops on the Old Montauk itself. Five intermediate stations in Queens (Richmond Hill, Glendale, Fresh Pond, Haberman, and Penny Bridge) were closed on March 13, 1998[3] due to low ridership and incompatibility with then new high level platform only bi-level coach cars. [1][2]88th Street grade crossing over the Montauk Branch; Woodhaven Boulevard overpass in background.[3][4]Passing over Grand Avenue, QueensThe portion from Jamaica to Babylon has been electrified since 1925. From Babylon east to Montauk, diesel-electric or hybrid electric/diesel-electric locomotives haul trains of passenger coaches.

The Montauk Line has heavy ridership and frequent service as far as Patchogue and commuter service as far as Speonk. In the summer, with travelers going out to The Hamptons, Fire Island and other beaches, additional service is operated to the far eastern terminal at Montauk, such as the Cannonball, a Friday afternoon train departing from Hunterspoint Avenue and running non-stop between Jamaica and Westhampton. The Montauk Branch, along with the parallel Atlantic Branch, spawns three subsidiary branches: the West Hempstead Branch, Far Rockaway Branch, and Long Beach Branch.

The electrified portion of the Montauk Branch ends at Babylon; the electric service to Babylon is often identified as a separate service, the Babylon Branch. Some of the Montauk's diesel trains begin or end their runs at Babylon station, connecting with electric trains there. Other Montauk diesel trains operate into New York City, to Jamaica, Hunterspoint Avenue, Long Island City, or New York Penn Station. The terminal stations in diesel territory, east of Babylon, are Patchogue, Speonk, and Montauk. The Montauk Branch is double-tracked from Long Island City all the way through Babylon, becoming single track at Y Interlocking (located east of the Sayville Station). Most Montauk Branch diesel trains operate west to NYC via the diesel-only Central Branch, joining the Main Line east of Bethpage. Only a few actually run via the Montauk Branch west of Babylon, under normal conditions on the Main Line.

The Montauk was home to the only tower (PD Tower) in North America that regularly used "hooping" train operations, located in Patchogue. "Hooping" is the transfer of instructions to both the engineer and conductor by attaching the folded orders to the "hoop", a rod several feet long with a loop at the end that is passed from the ground to a moving train by catching the loop on one's arm. The last train to get hooped at PD was train 2730 on May 6, 2006.[4]

The Montauk Branch enjoys frequent service and has heavy ridership because it serves the suburban communities on Nassau County's and westernmost Suffolk County's south shore. It is grade-separated on embankments or elevated structures from Jamaica Station to Babylon Station.

[edit] HistoryEdit

Currently, the Montauk Branch intersects with the Bushwick Branch, Bay Ridge Branch, West Hempstead Branch, and Central Branch, as well as the Main Line at Long Island City and Jamaica and the Atlantic Branch at Jamaica and Valley Stream; the Far Rockaway Branch and Long Beach Branch are connected via the Atlantic Branch at Valley Stream. In the past, junctions existed with the Rockaway Beach Branch (a quarter mile east of Woodhaven Boulevard), Southern Hempstead Branch (Valley Stream to Hempstead), Manorville Branch (Eastport to Manorville on the Main Line), and Sag Harbor Branch (Bridgehampton to Sag Harbor). In early times, the Scoot ran frequently between Greenport on the North Fork, "around the horn" on the Manorville Branch, and east to Sag Harbor. In their day, both of those villages were very busy, bustling ports.

[edit] Formation and early days: 1860s to 1925Edit

See also: South Side Railroad of Long IslandThe South Side Railroad of Long Island built the line from Bushwick, Brooklyn to Patchogue in the 1860s, and completed the new line to Long Island City in 1870.[citation needed] With the reorganization of the South Side as the Southern Railroad of Long Island in 1874 and its lease by the LIRR in 1876, this line became the Southern Railroad Division,[5], Southern Railroad of Long Island Division, or simply Southern Division.[6] Effective Sunday, June 25, 1876, all Southern Division passenger trains were rerouted to use the LIRR main line from Berlin Junction (west of Jamaica) to Rockaway Junction, and the LIRR's Rockaway Branch to Springfield Junction, where it crossed the Southern. This change resulted in the closure of the Southern's Berlin, Beaver Street (Jamaica), Locust Avenue, and Springfield stations.[7] The old line between Jamaica and Springfield, which became freight-only, was renamed the Old Southern Road.[citation needed] The Southern was reorganized as the Brooklyn and Montauk Railroad in 1879,[8] and on March 14, 1880, the name was changed from the Southern Division to the Montauk Division.[9] Thus the old South Side Railroad, except between Jamaica and Springfield Junction, was now the Montauk Division.

The LIRR opened the Sag Harbor Branch, including the present Montauk Branch from Eastport to Bridgehampton, on June 8, 1870.[10] On July 27, 1881, after the South Side became part of the LIRR, its line – then the Montauk Division – was extended east to the Sag Harbor Branch at Eastport.[11] The Sag Harbor Branch east of Eastport became part of the Montauk Division,[12] and the old line from Manor (Manorville) to Eastport became the Manor Branch.[13] An extension to Montauk, splitting off the old Sag Harbor Branch at Bridgehampton, opened to Amagansett on June 1, 1895[14] and to Montauk by September,[15] and the line between Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor reverted to the old Sag Harbor Branch name.[16]

[edit] Babylon electrification: 1925 to presentEdit

None of the Montauk Branch was electrified in the first round of electrification, in which the entire Atlantic Division, the Main Line to Queens Village, and many branches were upgraded.[citation needed] Electrification of the Montauk Division from Jamaica to Babylon was completed on May 20, 1925,[17] and normal operation began the next day.[18] The Central Extension between Bethpage and Babylon was reopened for freight trains that had run via the Montauk Division.[19]

1998 saw the closure of three lightly used stations: Center Moriches, Quogue, and Southampton College. Southampton College was temporarily reinstated in 2004, complete with a steel walkway over Sunrise Highway to the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, during the U.S. Open (golf) tournament. At the conclusion of the tournament, the walkway was dismantled and the station stop discontinued.

The Montauk station was initially near the center of a sleepy fishing village at the north end of Fort Pond (where Austin Corbin built a pier in his unsuccessful effort to have trans-Atlantic ships dock there.) The Great Hurricane of 1938 devastated the terminus area and tore up sections of the roadbed. The population center then moved two miles (3 km) to the south, away from the station.

[edit] StationsEdit

West Hempstead Branch trains split off after St. Albans. Babylon Branch trains terminate at Babylon, while Montauk Branch trains continue beyond.

Jamaica is 10.8 miles (17.4 km) from Penn Station.




(kilometers) from Jamaica[20]

Long Island City [6]

Long Island City

Jamaica [7]


0.0 (0.0) Transfer to all but Port Washington Branch trains
St. Albans

Linden Boulevard and Montauk Street, Saint Albans

2.8 (4.5)
Lynbrook [8]

Sunrise Highway and Peninsula Boulevard, Lynbrook

8.7 (14.0) Transfer to Long Beach Branch trains
Rockville Centre [9]

North Village Avenue and Front Street, Rockville Centre

10.3 (16.6)
Baldwin [10]

Sunrise Highway and Grand Avenue, Baldwin

12.2 (19.6)
Freeport [11]

between Henry Street and Benson Place, Freeport

13.7 (22.0)
Merrick [12]

Sunrise Highway, between Hewlett Avenue and Merrick Avenue, Merrick

15.1 (24.3)
Bellmore [13]

Sunrise Highway and Bedford Avenue, Bellmore

16.6 (26.7)

Wantagh Avenue and Railroad Avenue, Wantagh

17.0 (27.4)

Sunrise Highway and Jackson Avenue, Seaford

18.7 (30.1)
Massapequa [14]

Sunrise Highway east of Broadway (New York State Route 107), Massapequa

19.7 (31.7)
Massapequa Park

Sunrise Highway and Park Boulevard, Massapequa Park

20.0 (32.2)

John Street, between Sunrise Highway and New York State Route 27A, Amityville

22.2 (35.7)

Marconi Boulevard and Great Neck Road, Copiague

23.4 (37.7)

Wellwood Avenue and East Hoffman Avenue, Lindenhurst

24.7 (39.8)
Babylon [15]

Railroad Avenue just west of Deer Park Avenue, Babylon

27.6 (44.4) Most Montauk Branch trains operate via the Central Branch, which diverges west of this station. Transfer from Babylon Branch trains
Bay Shore [16]

Park Avenue and Oak Street, Bay Shore

31.7 (51.0) Ferries to Fire Island
Islip [17]

Islip Avenue (NYS Route 111), between Sunrise Highway and Montauk Highway, Islip

34.1 (54.9)
Great River [18]

Connetquot Avenue and Hawthorne Avenue, Great River

36.2 (58.3)
Oakdale [19]

Montauk Highway and Oakdale-Bohemia Road, Oakdale

38.4 (61.8)
Sayville [20]

Lakeland Avenue and Depot Street, Sayville

40.8 (65.7) Ferries to Fire Island
Patchogue [21]

Division Street between West Avenue and South Ocean Avenue, Patchogue

44.9 (72.3) Ferries to Fire Island
Bellport [22]

Station Road and Montauk Highway, Bellport

48.8 (78.5)
Mastic–Shirley [23]

William Floyd Parkway and Northern Boulevard, Shirley

53.3 (85.8)
Speonk [24]

Phillips Avenue and Depot Road, Speonk

62.6 (100.7)
Westhampton [25]

Station Road and Depot Road, Westhampton

65.3 (105.1)
Hampton Bays [26]

Ponquogue Avenue and Good Ground Road, Hampton Bays

72.2 (116.2)
Southampton [27]

North Main Street, between Prospect Street and Willow Street, Southampton

80.3 (129.2)
Bridgehampton [28]

Maple Lane and Butter Lane, Bridgehampton

85.0 (136.8)
East Hampton [29]

Railroad Avenue, between Newtown Lane and Race Lane, East Hampton

91.9 (147.9)
Amagansett [30]

Main Street and Abrahams Landing Road, Amagansett

95.3 (153.4)
Montauk [31]

Edgemere Street and Fort Pond Road, Montauk

106.8 (171.9)

[edit] Full list, including all former stationsEdit

Miles from Jamaica Name Opened Closed
Long Island City

earlier Hunter's Point

June 26, 1854 present
Penny Bridge June 26, 1854 March 16, 1998[3]
Laurel Hill 1890s ca. 1900
Haberman September 1910 March 16, 1998[3]
Maspeth February 1895 1924 or 1925
5.73[21] Fresh Pond

earlier Bushwick Junction

June 1869 March 16, 1998[3]
Ridgewood June 2, 1883 1924
4.50[21] Glendale June 1869 March 16, 1998[3]
2.64[21] Richmond Hill

earlier Clarenceville

July 1868 March 16, 1998[3]
1.06[21] Dunton

originally Van Wyck Avenue, then Berlin

June 1869 June 1876

November 1939

0.00 Jamaica 1836 present
Union Hall Street

earlier New York Avenue

ca. 1890 1976
Canal Street June 24, 1890[22] 1899
0.97[21] Hillside

earlier Rockaway Junction

June 24, 1890[22] ca. 1930?
St. Albans July 1, 1898 present
3.65[21] Springfield Gardens

earlier Springfield

1870s October 30, 1979
5.05[21] Rosedale

earlier Foster's Meadow

May 1870 present (Atlantic Branch only)
6.95[21] Valley Stream June 1869 present (Atlantic Branch only)
8.52[21] Lynbrook

originally Pearsall's Corners, then Pearsall's

October 28, 1867 present
9.81[21] Rockville Centre October 28, 1867 present
11.83[21] Baldwin

originally Baldwinsville, then Baldwins

October 28, 1867 present
13.18[21] Freeport October 28, 1867 present
14.90[21] Merrick October 28, 1867 present
16.17[21] Bellmore May 1870 present
17.20[21] Wantagh

earlier Ridgewood

October 28, 1867 present
Seaford May 26, 1899 present
19.00[21] Massapequa

earlier South Oyster Bay

October 28, 1867 present
Massapequa Park December 3, 1933 present
Unqua 1880 1881
21.89[21] Amityville October 28, 1867 present
Copiague 1902 present
Belmont Junction January 1875 late 1876
24.45[21] Lindenhurst

originally Wellwood, then Breslau

September 1, 1868 present
27.19[21] Babylon

earlier Seaside

October 28, 1867 present
31.30[21] Bay Shore

originally Penataquit, then Bayshore

May 20, 1868 present
Islip Centre December 1, 1868 June 1869
33.73[21] Islip September 5, 1868 present
Club House May 1870 1897
Great River 1897 present
38.03[21] Oakdale December 1868 present
40.46[21] Sayville December 1868 present
42.37[21] Bayport March 1869 1980
Blue Point May 1870

June 1900

June 1, 1882


44.54[21] Patchogue April 1869 present
East Patchogue
Hagerman October 1890 1928 or 1929
48.38[21] Bellport

originally Accobomac then Brewster Place[23]

1882 present
50.21[21] Brookhaven 1884 October 6, 1958
Mastic–Shirley July 15, 1960 present
54.30[21] Mastic

earlier Forge

1882 July 15, 1960
56.94[21] Center Moriches

earlier Moriches

1881 March 16, 1998
58.37[21] East Moriches 1897 October 6, 1958
60.54[21] Eastport

earlier Moriches

March 1870 October 6, 1958
62.07[21] Speonk February 1870 present
64.93[21] Westhampton 1870 present
67.67[21] Quogue June 1875 March 16, 1998
East Quogue

earlier Atlanticville[24]

1871 unknown
72.69[21] Hampton Bays

earlier Good Ground

February 1871 present
Canoe Place 1935 1953
Suffolk Downs 1907 1921
76.00[21] Shinnecock Hills 1887 September 1932
Southampton Campus

earlier Golf Grounds

April 1907

May 24, 1976


March 16, 1998

79.85[21] Southampton February 1871 present
82.52[21] Watermill

earlier Water Mill

1875 ca. 1968[25]
85.11[21] Bridgehampton June 1870 present
87.61[21] Wainscott 1898 ca. 1936
91.55[21] East Hampton

earlier Easthampton

1895 present
94.71[21] Amagansett 1895 present
Napeague Beach 1895 December 5, 1927
Fanny Bartlett 1924 December 31, 1928
Promised Land 1924 December 31, 1928
106.34[21] Montauk 1895 present