These 9 maps show my best guess of the Central ROW in Queens from Flushing to Floral Park.
Here's an old map, (thanks to Michael Spiteri), which shows the exact route. Even though the map is from after rail service had ended it does show the "Old Railroad" ROW, which I have highlighted in yellow. Many of the street names have, of course, changed. But we can now see where the Hillside station was located, since the location of Rose St., and where it crosses the ROW, is now clear.
Looking west through parking lot towards Jericho Tpke./Little Neck Parkway intersection
Map of same area. "X" marks the spot where the above picture was taken. Although it still shows rails heading towards Jericho Tpke, they have been gone for over 25 years.
Under the fence adjacent to the lot lies an old rail.
Here's a picture (courtesy of Rob S.) of a steam engine on the Jericho Tpke. overpass at Tulip Ave. and Little Neck Pkwy., heading towards Creedmoor on a 1952 fan trip. The overpass was demolished in the mid-late 1970's, and the enbankment on the right was razed to make way for the parking lot mentioned above.
Looking east from the Floral Park Station. The tracks to the left are the LIRR Main Line while those to the right are the Hempstead Branch. which follow the Central RR's ROW. Originally the Central Crossed over the LIRR about a quarter mile east of here.
This is facing east from Commonwealth Blvd. Many of the local homeowners along the old ROW have extra large back yards, thanks to having purchased the adjoining land when the LIRR decided to give up the ROW.
The ROW shows up clearly in this map of the area, running just north of 88th Ave. and 88th Rd. The spur to the north which ran to the State Hospital diverged from the line approximately where the "A" in 88th Av lies. Tracks were visible crossing Hillside Ave. until the late 1970's, I believe.
The following two pictures show old rails which still lie on the grounds of the State Hospital. In the first picture an old turnout lies right in the middle of the parking lot! The second lies half buried right at the fence on Hillside Ave.
These pictures were taken along the Central ROW at Clinton Ave. in Garden City. The brick building in the first picture, which most certainly was at one time a railroad station*, is now used by the Garden City Fire Department. The other two pictures are looking east and west, respectively, from the same location. The tracks are still used for limited freight traffic to the factories in the area, including when the circus comes to Nassau Coliseum.
*Thanks to Ron Ziel, I now know this to be the Clinton Rd. station, through which a shuttle train ran from Country Life Press at least until the early 1950's. The next picture, from Mr. Ziel's collection, is a photo of the station in 1948. Here's a schedule from 1951. Here's an earlier one from 1943 (note the wartime advertisement). The second picture, shows a pair of MP-41's, #1101 and 1100, on the Mitchel field shuttle on April 2, 1949.
East of Eisenhower Park, this line of high tension wires traces the old Central ROW to Bethpage.
Stewart Rd. at Union Tpke.
The Kissena Corridor, a one or two block wide stretch of parks and playgrounds running from Flushing to Cunningham Park, which mostly follows the old Central ROW. So far we have been unable to find any evidence of old rails, ties, spikes, etc. If you know of any or have any historical information on the area, please let ME know.
Brian Cheung contributed the following pictures from Kissena park. The tribute to the Central RR must have been erected recently - within the last couple of years or so (as of 12/2006).
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