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By Peggy Darlington

Revised By Wayne Whitehorne

East refers to trains to Hempstead while west refers to trains to NY.

Overview

The LIRRís Main Line offers some rich history. From the moment the train leaves Jamaica station, it can be a pretty fast run to Hicksville, and offers a mixture of elevated, and at grade stretches. The Main Line is home to five different branches that use all or part of the 25 plus miles of track from Jamaica to Hicksville. Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma trains make up the bulk of the LIRRís main line. Some Montauk trains occasionally use the main line, before branching south to Babylon once it passes Bethpage station on the Ronkonkoma branch. Oyster Bay trains usually start at either Jamaica or Mineola then tail off towards the north shore upon leaving Mineola.  Port Jefferson line is a branch of the LIRR main line from Hicksville and serves Long Islandís north shore. Finally, Hempstead trains follow the main route from Jamaica to Floral park, before angling to the right, en route to its branch terminal.

The current main line from Jamaica to Hicksville was complete in 1837.

LIRR Main Line

Stations Turns off After Direction Line
Hollis-Floral Park Floral Park Southeast Hempstead
(None) Queens Village Southeast Belmont Spur
Floral Park- Hicksville Hicksville Northeast Port Jefferson
Floral Park- Mineola Mineola North Oyster Bay
Hicksville Hicksville Southeast Ronkonkoma

 

Union Hall

Union Hall  Abandoned station at the intersection of Archer Ave and Union Hall Street of what is now the main gate entrance to York College of CUNY. The presence of the former station, closed in the early 70ís, is a metal gated staircase that is visible to the right wall facing the college campus entrance. The station walls and railings can be seen from standing across Archer Ave.

Leaving Union Hall, there are 2 sets of tracks that are flyovers or run underneath the main line tracks, these are for the south shore branches.

 

Hillside

Abandoned Hillside station is at approx. 178th Street. This station sat in the shadow of the flyover and was located approximately three blocks west of the current Hillside Facility station. Eastbound platform is removed completely; westbound platform has remnants. Oddly enough, the original station house still stands intact; it is used as an office for a local auto salvage business.

 

Hillside Maintenance

Hillside Maintenance  This active station is separate from the abandoned Hillside station , and is a stop for LIRR employees only. Built in the 1990ís, this sprawling complex is the backbone of maintaining and repairing the LIRRís entire fleet of railcars. Entry only for LIRR employees only. From inside the train, you can see the massive yard and storage barns.

 

Hollis

Hollis  4 tracks, 2 side platforms, with underpass just east of Farmers Blvd and Hollis Ave. The station and station house suffered extensive fire damage from vandals who torched the station on 10/2/1967 and the fire lasted for nearly a whole day. The station has no signs, but is one of the few LIRR stations with wooden platforms and is need of some TLC. Since the 1967, LIRR has not yet decided if and when they will renovate the station and build a new station house. The underpass allows passage from one platform to another.

 

Bellaire

Bellaire  abandoned station between 211th Place and 212th Street. Not much is left
except for some platform supports and a closed-up stairwell at 211th Place.

 

Queens Village

Queens Village   Active station at Springfield Boulevard; two side platforms, with one original stationhouse still present on the north side. There is a bus
stop on the north side along with a small plaza. It is a good spot to take pictures of the express trains that serve the main line. 

 

Bellerose

Bellerose 2 tracks for only Hempstead trains use the south island platform. The 2 northern tracks are main line tracks that bypass that station. Station house is on platform with underpass linking both north and south sides of the street level. There is very limited parking on the north side of the station underpass. The prior station house was built in 1909 and demolished in 1960. This station was actually built after Floral Park opened,

 

Floral park

Floral Park 4 tracks, 2 side platforms and one center island platform. Track and platform configuration is similar to Woodside station, and are as follows (from north to south). Platform A is a side platform for Main Line inbound trains. Platform B is an island platform for Main Line outbound and Hempstead-only inbound trains. Platform C is a side platform for Hempstead-only bound trains. There is ample parking and staircases below the entire length of the station. Most trains stop here hare from the Hempstead branch, only a very limited number of Main-line trains make a scheduled stop at this station. The ticket office/waiting area is on street level near the west end of the station. The station house was built along with the elevated station in 1960 and replaced a grade level station and station house. This station opened in 1879 and a new station house was built in 1909. The station house was razed along with the 1960ís grade elimination of this station. Looking east of the station, from any platform, you can see the Hempstead tracks tail off to the right side, while the mainline tracks continue straight on the left side. These lines run parallel to each other as Far East as Mineola/Garden City stations respectively.

 

Stewart Manor

Leaving the main line behind we enter Stewart Manor , an at grade station with two tracks and two wall platforms and a crossover. A  closed stationhouse, now reopened was located at the east end of the westbound platform and bus shelters toward the center of both platforms.

 

Nassau Blvd

The home of Adelphi University is next, Nassau Blvd. with two tracks, two wall platforms crossover and a closed stationhouse at the east end of the westbound platform. this station is at grade.

 

Garden City

Garden City follows with two tracks, two wall platforms. Two stationhouses were present. the east end of the eastbound platform is open and the East end of the westbound platform is closed. A crossover connects the stationhouses

 

Country Life Press

The line becomes one track the South track being removed, after a sharp curve and enter. Country Life Press. The high platform is on the North side. No evidence was found of any platform on the South side. there is a closed stationhouse at the west end of the station. East of the station an electrified  siding was found which is  an electrified spur actually continuing eastward for nearly two miles, with an abandoned station at Clinton Road which is now a fire house.  This line was actually served by a shuttle service between Mitchell Field and Country Life Press' low platform until the 1950s. Opposite the Country Life Press high platform there is evidence of an abandoned spur which connects with the West Hempstead branch.

 

Hempstead

The line becomes 4 main tracks and 4 yard tracks and we enter Hempstead with two island platforms serving four tracks. A crossover is at the west end, and bump block to t he east end also featuring a jewel of the line stationhouse and the .L.I. Bus depot across the street The bus station has a display of the old station which was closed around 2001 in favor of the current high platform station. The yard tracks are to the North of the North track. Tracks 5/6 and 7/8 share the high islands.  Mini high platforms serve tracks 4/3. 3/2, 2/1 and 1.

The station has great artwork featuring metal sculptures of items "left behind" such as newspapers- in this case a copy of Newsday celebrating the Islanders win of the Stanley Cup, Easy chairs made of "luggage", basketballs, etc.

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 Last revised 03/12/2011

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