LIRR Far Rockaway Line

From nycsubway.org


LIRR M-7 EMU (Bombardier) 7456 entering Valley Stream on the Far Rockaway Line. Photo by Andrew Sparberg, November 2006.


Far Rockaway trains usually platform on Track 6 at Jamaica as this track provides a straight shot to the Atlantic branch underjump which is located about 200 yards east of the station. HALL Tower, which controls movements east of Jamaica station is on the south side. The branch crosses under the mainline and heads southeast on a two track embankment. The Far Rockaway line shares this right-of-way with the Long Beach and West Hempstead branches, but the next three stations are served only Far Rockaway trains (although, some Long Beach trains do make these stops, especially on the weekends).

The next stop is Locust Manor, two outside 8 car platforms. After Locust Manor the branch curves east. The next stop is Laurelton, a center 8 car platform. There is a ticket office at platform level in the middle of the station. Just east of this station the Montauk branch rejoins the Atlantic branch. The line runs on a 4 track embankment from this point to just east of the Lynbrook station on the Babylon branch. The next stop is Rosedale, a duplicate of the Laurelton station. There is no access from the Montauk branch, the platform splits the two southernmost tracks only.

The line continues on to Valley Stream. A full set of switches is located west of the station, allowing access from the Montauk to Atlantic branches as well as "reverse platforming" at Valley Stream station. Long Beach branch trains are allowed to continue into the station at regular speed while Far Rockaway trains are given a slow approach which they follow until they are in the station. Valley Stream station is a center 8 car platform, similar to Laurelton and Rosedale except the ticket office is at street level. Again, their is no access to the Montauk branch tracks. VALLEY Tower is located about 100 yards east of the station.

From Valley Stream, the line turns south and descends to grade. There is a set of switches which allow trains to access either side of Valley Stream station. A pedestal position light signal governs this switch. From this point there are no other signals except for ATC. If a train has its speed control cut out, it must remain at this signal until all other trains have cleared the block, which extends to the end of the line at Far Rockaway.

The next station is Gibson, 2 outside 10 car platforms with a crossover pedestrian bridge at the south end. The line is running north and south at this point. The station house is at the north end. The ticket window has been closed for a few years, there is a Ticket Vending Machine outside. I believe there is an apartment in the upper portion of the station building.

The line continues south, rising to cross over Peninsula Blvd., then returning to grade where it will run to Far Rockaway. After crossing West Broadway the line turns back toward New York City. From this point on, eastbound trains will be traveling west and vice-versa. The next stop is Hewlett. The old low level station is visible along the curve with the station building at the west end. The high level platforms begin across Franklin Avenue. The eastbound platform is 8 cars long while the westbound can platform 10 cars.

The next stop is Woodmere, 2 outside 10 car platforms with the station near the east end of the station. The line continues to Cedarhurst. Right before the station was the old switch off for the Laurelton-Cedarhurst cutoff. There are no visible traces of this line (see Herbert George's book Change at Ozone Park: A History and Description of the Long Island Railroad Rockaway Branches for complete details.). The Cedarhurst station is 2 outside 10 car platforms. There are station houses on each side at the east end of the station. The westbound station house is used by a taxi company.

The next station is Lawrence, 2 outside 10 car platforms with the station located at the west end of the Westbound side of the station. This station. like Gibson has not been staffed for a few years. There is a Ticket Vending Machine outside. The next-to-last stop is Inwood, 2 outside 4 car platforms. Most of the station is located under NYS highway 878, also known as the Nassau Expressway. There is no station house.

The branch crosses Doughty Blvd. and then re-enters the borough of Queens. A 2 track storage yard is located on the south side of the right-of-way. The line is tracked in a double "Y" fashion which allows access to the yard and to the 10 car center platform at Far Rockaway station. The station ticket office is at the west end of the platform at Nameoke Avenue. There is no visible remnant of when the line continued on and connected to the present "A" train terminal at Mott Avenue. It is a 5 minute walk to the "A" train, though the neighborhood is not very safe. See Herbert George's book for more information.

Photo Gallery

Five Random Images

Image 10666

(153k, 1024x667)
Photo by: Joe Testagrose
Location: Valley Stream

Image 42540

(98k, 1024x716)
Photo by: Steve Hoskins
Location: Valley Stream

Image 48283

(121k, 800x533)
Photo by: Neil Feldman
Location: Valley Stream

Image 73055

(204k, 800x600)
Photo by: Robert Marrero
Location: Rosedale

Image 87788

(234k, 1044x788)
Photo by: Chris Reidy
Location: Far Rockaway

More Images: 1-45

Photos By Location

Photo locations: Locust Manor, Springfield (at Springfield Blvd.), Laurelton, Rosedale, Valley Stream, Gibson, Hewlett, Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, Inwood, Far Rockaway

Page Credits

By Aaron I. Philipson.

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