Tracing Out The LIRR Whitestone Branch

Trains began running on The LIRR Whitestone Branch in northern Queens in the late 1800’s. The line was in service until 1932 when the railroad shut it down. I traced out where it would lay on a current area map.  I like the line traced out on a map because you can see where the branch stands with regard to today’s landscape . It’s hard to imagine train tracks in most of these locations, and yet they were there less than 85 years ago.
fromportwashingtonThe line started out as it forked off the Port Washington branch just west of the Flushing River. This is just past where Citi Field now stands. The first station was Flushing Bridge Street, which stood on the north side of Northern Boulevard. The road was originally called Bridge Street, thus giving it the name of the station.

flushingtocollegepointThe line turned north as it made its way towards the College Point Station.

whitetrain5

After College Point it turned east towards the Malba and Whitestone stations.

whitestonebranchlanding

Whitestone Branch Laid Over Current Map – Whitestone Landing to Whitestone

The line ended at the Whitestone Landing station at the East River. The branch was initially built in the hopes that it would one day go north to The Bronx and to Westchester. The plans never fully materialized. It is amazing to think that Whitestone had its own LIRR branch for more than 50 years and it wasn’t that long ago.

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5 Comments

  1. they could easily have it go over the bridge… hmmm… did Moses have anything to do with it?

    Reply
  2. Many projects for the railroad in the late 1800’s were high on promises and low on resources to follow through on them. I am not sure how they thought they could put a track across the East River but it doesn’t sound like anything easy. The line shut down a few years before Moses got started in earnest on the Whitestone Bridge, although yes he certainly wouldn’t have allowed any rail lines to go across it or any of his other bridges, which wouldn’t have been that difficult to facilitate.

    Reply
  3. ErnieM

     /  January 24, 2015

    Moses had nothing to do with it. After the Hellgate bridge was built there was simply no need for a parallel crossing.

    I’m with Todd here, it was just overly ambitions from the start.

    Reply
  4. Angela

     /  January 23, 2016

    I lived off 255th street off Union Turnpike. As a child I went to Our Lady of Snows, and when I wanted a treat we’d go to the hamburger coach, always had a side mini box of chicklets. My mom always ordered the old fashion egg cream. Early 70’s

    Reply
  5. Side/Dishes

     /  March 10, 2016

    Being a Flushing native (long displaced), I regret not exploring Malba. I’d love to check out some of the bridges and architecture along this line, whatever may still exist…

    Reply

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