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The Port Washington Branch is an electrified two-track rail line and service owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New Yorkmarker. It branches north from the Main Line at Winfield Junction, just east of the Woodsidemarker station, and runs roughly parallel to Northern Boulevard past Citi Fieldmarker, Flushing, Baysidemarker, Douglastonmarker, Little Neck, and then crosses into Nassau Countymarker for stops in Great Neckmarker, Manhassetmarker, and Plandomemarker before terminating at Port Washingtonmarker.

The branch has the distinction of being the only LIRR service whose trains do not serve Jamaicamarker, as it branches off the Main Line several miles west of that station.

Route description

The line has two tracks from Woodside to Great Neck, and one track from east of Great Neck past Manhassetmarker and Plandomemarker stations to Port Washington. This often causes massive delays during two-way rush hour operations. A second track cannot be added through Manhasset and Plandome due to the proximity of businesses to the narrow right-of-way in Plandome. Also, the trestle between Great Neck and Manhasset also runs only one track.

To eliminate as many delays as possible on the heavily-used line, most peak-hour east-bound trains (weekday afternoons/evenings) are either local from Penn Station to Great Neckmarker (making all stops in between the two) or express from Penn Station to Port Washingtonmarker (making stops only at Great Neck, Manhasset, Plandome, and Port Washington, although some trains make their first stop at Baysidemarker). Going west, a mix of local and express peak-hour trains (weekday mornings) are offered.

Extra service is offered during the U.S.marker Openmarker tennis tournament and for New York Mets home games, both of which are held in Flushing Meadows–Corona Parkmarker. These trains stop at a special Mets–Willets Pointmarker station between Woodside and Flushing Main Streetmarker.

The route originally terminated in Great Neck until the building of a train trestle over the marshes at the southern end of Manhasset Bay. According to Manhasset's website, "in 1897, a contract was given to the Carnegie Steel Company and a subsidiary, the King Iron Company, undertook the job of constructing the bridge." The trestle bridge cost about $60,000, and the first train to cross it was on June 23, 1898.

The bridge stands tall and runs across the bay, offering a spectacular view of the Manhasset Bay. According to the Manhasset Website, scenes from the silent film serial "The Perils of Pauline" were shot on the trestle.

Winfield Junction

History

The Port Washington Branch was originally built by the Flushing Railroad, in 1854 from Hunters Pointmarker in Long Island City to Flushing, before the LIRR opened its line to Long Island City. It was first non-LIRR line on Long Island. The company was reorganized in 1859 as the New York and Flushing Railroad, and established a subsidiary known as the North Shore Railroad to extend the line from Flushing to Great Neckmarker in 1866. Originally intending to run further east to Roslynmarker, Oyster Baymarker, and even Huntingtonmarker, the NY&F's plans were thwarted by the LIRR who reached those destination first, as well as poor service and competition with the 1868-established Flushing and North Side Railroad. In 1869, the New York State Legislature authorized the Flushing and North Side to buy the New York and Flushing east of the LIRR crossing at Winfield Station, while the segment between Hunters Point and Winfield was acquired by the South Side Railroad of Long Island until it was abandoned for passenger service east of the vicinity of Haberman Station in 1875.

By 1874, all branches of the Flushing and North Side Railroad, including the Main Line to Great Neck were incorporated into the Flushing, North Shore and Central Railroad, which included the Central Railroad of Long Island. Two years later, it would become part of the Long Island Rail Road. Despite a failed attempt to extend the line from Great Neck to Roslynmarker in 1882, wealthy Port Washingtonmarker residents persuaded the LIRR to bring the terminus to their hometown in 1895. This required the construction of the Manhasset Viaduct over Manhasset Bay, which was completed on June 23, 1898.

Station listing

Station/
location
Station
link
Miles (kilometers)
to Penn Stationmarker
Connections/notes History
Pennsylvania Stationmarker
34th Street and Seventh Avenue, Midtown Manhattan
[261871] 0 (0) Subway: 1 2 3 (Manhattanmarker to The Bronxmarker and Brooklynmarker) (7th Avenue) and A C E (Manhattanmarker to Brooklynmarker and Queensmarker) (8th Avenue)
Bus (New York City Bus): M4, M10, M16, M20, M34, Q32
Woodsidemarker
61st Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Woodsidemarker
[261872] 5.1 (8.2) Subway: ( )
Bus (New York City Bus): Q32 (MTA Bus): Q18, Q53
Opened November 15, 1869 on north side of tracks west of 58th Street; closed 1914 and demolished 1916 (replaced with current structure during grade crossing elimination)
Winfield
Woodsidemarker
Opened July 1854 on southeast corner of 50th Avenue and 69th Street; moved to the junction in August 1876 to also serve the Main Line; closed 1929
Elmhurst
Elmhurstmarker
Opened 1855 as Newtown; name changed to Elmhurst June 1897; closed 1985
Corona
Coronamarker
Service began June 26, 1854; station opened April 2, 1855 on west side of National Avenue as Fashion Race Course; renamed West Flushing when 108th Street was abandoned, and Corona in June 1872; closed 1963
West Flushing
Coronamarker
Opened September 1854 on north side of line and east side of 108th Street; later abandoned and name assigned to later Corona station
Mets–Willets Pointmarker (seasonal service)
Flushing Meadows Parkmarker, south of Roosevelt Avenue
[261873] 8.6 (13.8) Subway: ( )
Bus (New York City Bus): Q48
The New Citi Fieldmarker baseball stadium opened for a game between the St. John's Red Storm and Georgetown Hoyas on March 29, 2009, as Shea Stadium has been demolished
Flushing Main Streetmarker
Main Street and 41st Avenue, Flushing
[261874] 9.5 (15.3) Subway: ( )
Bus (New York City Bus): Q12, Q17, Q20, Q25, Q26, Q28, Q34, Q44, Q48, Q58
Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N20, N21

Service began June 26, 1854
Murray Hillmarker
150th Street and 41st Avenue, Flushing
[261875] 10.3 (16.6) Bus (New York City Bus): Q15
Broadwaymarker
162nd Street and Northern Boulevard, Flushing
[261876] 11.1 (17.9) Bus (New York City Bus): Q12, Q13, Q28 Service began October 27, 1866, as Flushing - Broadway station. Elevated between 1912 and 1913.
Auburndalemarker
192nd Street and Station Road, Auburndale
[261877] 11.7 (18.8) Bus (New York City Bus): Q12, Q13, Q28, Q76
Baysidemarker
213th Street and 41st Avenue, Baysidemarker
[261878] 12.6 (20.3) Bus (New York City Bus): Q13, Q31
Douglastonmarker
235th Street and 41st Avenue, Douglastonmarker
[261879] 13.9 (22.4) Originally Little Neck Station between 1866 and June 1870.
Little Neckmarker
Little Neck Parkway and 39th Road, Little Neck
[261880] 14.5 (23.3) Bus (New York City Bus): Q12, Q79
Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N20, N21
Great Neckmarker
Middle Neck Road and Station Plaza at Great Neck Road, Great Neckmarker
[261881] 15.7 (25.3) Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N20, N21, N25, N57, N58 Service began on October 27, 1866, and served as the terminus of the line until 1898.
Manhasset Viaduct.
Manhassetmarker
Plandome Road and Maple Place, Manhassetmarker
[261882] 17.2 (27.7) Built in 1899 a year after the construction of the Manhasset Viaduct.
Plandomemarker
Off Stonytown Road and Rockwood Road, Plandomemarker
[261883] 18.3 (29.5) Built in 1909, the last station to be built on the Port Washington Branch.
Port Washingtonmarker
Main Street, between Haven Avenue and South Bayles Avenue, Port Washingtonmarker
[261884] 19.9 (32.0) Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N23


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