Hempstead Branch Stations

(former abandoned stations in this font)

Union Hall St. - abandoned around 1970. This station was built at grade in 1913 about 1/2 mile east of the current Jamaica station at the approximate location of the old Jamaica station. When the residents heard that the new station was to be built so far west from the "center of town", they demanded this station be built. It was elevated around 1930 as part of the Jamaica East improvement. Thanks to Dave Keller for this information, as well as the second picture below which was taken 12/16/1929 and is looking west toward the Union Hall Street bridge


This older Hillside Station, about a quarter mile west of the Hillside Facility station, was abandoned in 1966. The first picture is from the 1950's and, looking west, shows the station platforms, evidence of which still exists today. That's the tracks from the Babylon branch coming in from the left. (Ron Ziel collection).

The station building is still standing and is currently used for a business on the north side of the tracks! Here's a recent (2/18/2001) picture of the old station building.


Under the trestle on 177th St. you can see the sealed-over former entrance to the Hillside station.



Hillside Facility - for LIRR Employees only. The Hillside facility was built starting in 1984 and completely finished in 1991. Formerly the area was known as Holban Yards. First is a copy of some facts and figures from a brochure issued by the LIRR when it was built. Next is a photo taken from the front of an eastbound train on the express track approaching the station, while both a westbound and eastbound local train is stopped at the station on the local tracks.


Hollis - At Hollis and 99th Aves. - Originally East Jamaica. Two side platforms - four tracks; the outer two are usually used for Hempstead branch trains and the inner for the Main Line. Name changed to Hollis and a station built in 1885. The station was burned down by vandals on the night of November 2, 1967 and for years afterward there was nothing, except the platforms. Finally, in the early 1990's, a small bus shelter type structure was built. The first picture was taken in 1999. The second photo shows the old station in 1912 (Ron Ziel collection). The remaining pictures were taken in January, 2007.

Bellaire - This station was abandoned about 1970. The station was originally built as Interstate Park in 1900 for the National Pigeon Shooter's Association (I'm not making this up :-) until 1902 when pigeon shooting was outlawed. The grade separation came in 1924 when the new Bellaire and Queens Village stations were built. The first picture is from August, 1951 (Ron Ziel collection). The second is Opening Day - September 20, 1924.

Queens Village - Two side platforms - four tracks (same configuration as Hollis). There's also a storage track in back of the eastbound platform, as ca be seen in the 5th photo below. On a high embankment. At Springfield Blvd., just south of Jamaica Ave. The present high level station opened in 1924, at which time the original station, built in 1871, was moved to Jamaica Ave. and converted into a store. It was demolished when the current station plaza was built. The first picture was taken in 1999 and is looking south and was taken from the park in the middle of the station plaza. The second, taken by George N., is looking eastbound from the platform as a train of the new double-deckers passes by. The water towers above, in the middle of the picture sit on top of the old Queens Theater. Further in the distance you can see the top of Queens tower. The third picture is Opening Day - September 20, 1924. The remaining pictures are from January, 2007.

Belmont Park - Here are two pictures of this station which is only used on racing days. Believe it or not, the spur to Belmont was one of the first to be electrified in the early 1900's.

Bellerose - At Commonwealth Blvd. and Atlantic Ave. Island platform for the two geographically south Hempstead bound tracks; the northern two are for Main Line trains. Opened 1898; station building erected 1908 and torn down in 1960 when the line was placed on an embankment. The current station was built at that time. The first picture from 1999, looking east shows the station platform, the second, also 1999, looking west shows an eastbound diesel train on the main line tracks. The third picture is of the old station from 1959 (Ron Ziel collection). The last 5 pictures were taken in March, 2006 - 1. view from Commonwealth Blvd.; 2. platform view towards Queens interlocking; 3.  platform view towards Floral Park; 4. Ticket office (now closed); 5. view from Atlantic Ave.

Floral Park - Between Tulip and Carnation Aves. at Atlantic Ave. The only true elevated station on the line and a very impressive one at that. Two side platforms and a center island platform allow both Hempstead branch and Main Line trains to stop here (however there is very limited Main Line service: three eastbound and one westbound trains weekday mornings). Originally Stewart Junction in 1879, then Hinsdale in 1880 (not to be confused with the Central RR's Hinsdale station which was located further west on the north side of Jamaica Ave./Jericho Tpke.) The original depot was built in 1879. A new one was built in 1909 and torn down in 1960 when the line was elevated in the area and the current station built. The first picture is from ground level, the second looking east from one of the side platforms and the third looking east showing the split of the Main Line to the left and the Hempstead branch to the right. The fourth is a 1898 shot of the 1879 building and the fifth was taken on opening day of the 1909 building (Ron Ziel collection). The sixth shot is from the 1930's and shows G-5 #37 heading eastbound through Floral Park back when the tracks were at grade. That's the Hempstead branch tracks going off to the left. The last 6 photos were taken in March, 2006

Stewart Manor - At New Hyde Park Road south of Stewart Ave. on the old Central RR ROW. Two side platforms - two tracks. Originally called Hyde Park in 1873 when the Central RR was built, the current station building was built, and the name changed, in 1909. Here are some pictures of the station, the first from January, 1999 and the second from February, 2001. The station seems to have gotten a new paint job, although I prefer the earlier one! The remaining pictures are from January 5, 1006. It looks like a new paint job again! Check out the waiting room, compared with that of Nassau Blvd., below.

Nassau Boulevard (my "home" station) - At Nassau Blvd. south of Stewart Ave. on the old Central RR ROW. Two side platforms - two tracks. Station opened 1907 and the original building is still in use. The first picture was taken in 2000, the second is from 1907 (Ron Ziel collection - note the horse carriages in front). The rest were taken in January, 2006 after an extensive restoration - Nice Job! Check out the Keystone Logo!

Bill West was nice enough to stitch together the three banner pictures:

Garden City - South of 7th St. and east of Cathedral Ave. Two side platforms and two tracks. The original station, built 1872, was the "flagship" station of the Central RR. The current station was built in 1898 and is unusual since there is also a large waiting area building on the eastbound side of the track. The first picture is of the westbound platform and station building. The second is the original station building in 1879 (collection of Ron Ziel). The third shows the waiting area on the eastbound side. The rest of the photos were taken in May, 2006 after a major restoration - similar to that done to Nassau Blvd. Thanks to Rich Terrana for the picture of the banner and keystone logo on the floor of the restored building.

Country Life Press - At Chestnut and St. James Sts. One track with a side platform. Opened in 1911, specifically for Doubleday's new book factory which was located just across the tracks. The original small depot built in 1912 survives but has not been used for many years. In 1893, the current West Hempstead branch was built and at that time continued past West Hempstead to join the Hempstead branch at CLP. The connection between the two was abandoned for passenger service around WWII, although the tracks were not torn up until the late 1950's. The first picture shows the depot; the second is looking south at track level and shows the old ROW to West Hempstead branching off to the right, while the single track to Hempstead goes off to the left. The next two pictures were taken in 1948 and 1950, repectively and show the station house as it looked when it was open (Ron Ziel collection). The rest of the pictures were taken in February, 2007.

Hempstead - At Jackson St., east of Main St. Four tracks with two island platforms (in additional there are several "yard" tracks). Originally, the first branch to Hempstead was built south from Mineola in 1839 by the LIRR and travelled along Main St. to Fulton. The original station was torn down in 1878, when the LIRR branch was abandoned. At that time, the Central RR's ROW and station (built 1872) to Hempstead was used, which was slightly east of the LIRR's line. In 1913 the next station was built at Fulton, but was moved north to Jackson in 1943. The first picture shows the station building; the second was taken from one of the platforms. The building was demolished and a new station was built in  2002.


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