Babylon Branch

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     Babylon Branch
LIRR Train 108 leaves Lynbrook.jpg
Babylon Branch train #108 departs the Lynbrook Station, bound for Babylon.
Overview
Type Commuter rail
System Long Island Rail Road
Status Operational
Locale Nassau, and Suffolk County, New York, USA
Termini Lynbrook
Babylon
Stations 14
Services
  Babylon Branch
Operation
Opening 1867 (as part of the Southern Railroad of Long Island)
Owner Long Island Rail Road
Operator(s) Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification 750V (DC) Third rail

The Babylon Branch is a rail service operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New York. The term refers to the trains serving Montauk Branch stations from Valley Stream east to Babylon. (In other words, "Babylon Branch" is the railroad's designation for a set of trains that run along the Montauk Branch. There is no track called the "Babylon Branch".) The electrification of the Montauk Branch ends east of the Babylon station, so the Babylon Branch is mostly served by electric trains.

The west end of the "Babylon Branch" is the junction between the West Hempstead Branch and Montauk Branch (Valley Interlocking); St Albans, the only stop on the Montauk Branch west of Valley Stream, is shown in the West Hempstead Branch timetable. Trains that continue past the east end of the Babylon Branch are known as Montauk Branch trains; several of these use the Central Branch between Belmont Junction west of the Babylon station and a junction at Beth Interlocking on the Main Line southeast of the Bethpage Station, running to New York City via the Main Line.[1][2] On weekends, Babylon Branch trains typically stop at Forest Hills and Kew Gardens in the eastbound direction as opposed to other Main Line trains that serve other branches.[2]

The Babylon Branch portion of the Montauk Branch is completely grade separated with bridges over all intersecting roadways. Route 231 in between Babylon and the electrified yard, and the Meadowbrook Parkway in between Merrick and Freeport go over the tracks, with the tracks going under those roadways.

History[edit]

The South Side Railroad of Long Island in the 1860s built what was to become the Montauk Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The Babylon Branch as a separate operational entity began as the electrification of the Montauk Branch between Valley Stream and Babylon on May 20, 1925. Eventually, this would also include the former "Springfield Branch" which the Montauk Branch was relocated to northeast of Springfield Junction. The tracks were elevated from ground-level from the 1950s through the 1970s. Elevation of the line sparked grass-roots efforts to preserve the previous versions of Wantagh and Lindendurst Stations, the former of which resulted in the creation of the Wantagh Railroad Museum. The last station to be elevated on the branch was Massapequa Park on December 13, 1980.[3]

Since the 1990s, many station houses along the branch have been rebuilt, including the entire platform at Seaford from July 2008 to July 2009. Additionally, from July 2007 to April 10, 2011 the signals, switches, and gantries were replaced between the Wantagh Interlocking and Amityville Station, with color light signals replacing the old PRR-style position-light signals installed during the elevation of that section in 1973. Plans for the future include the modernization of Babylon Interlocking, viaduct track replacement at certain stations, replacement of platforms, escalators, and elevators at Babylon, Massapequa, and Wantagh (which will have an elevator installed to comply with ADA standards). There is also the possibility of Massapequa Park, Amityville, Copiague, and Lindenhurst receiving elevators to make them ADA accessible, and installation of a pocket track east of Massapequa.

Stations[edit]

Zone Station Miles (km)
from Penn Station[4]
Date opened Date closed Connections / notes
3 Jamaica Handicapped/disabled access 10.8 (17.4) 1836 BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR; Atlantic, Belmont Park, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach, Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, and West Hempstead Branches
BSicon SUBWAY.svg NYC Subway: NYCS E NYCS J NYCS Z (at Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport)
Bus transport NYCT Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q24, Q30, Q31, Q43, Q44, Q54, Q56
Bus transport MTA Bus: Q6, Q8, Q9, Q25, Q34, Q40, Q41, Q60, Q65
Bus transport NICE Bus: N4
BSicon TRAM.svg AirTrain JFK: Jamaica Station Route
Union Hall Street ca. 1890 1976 Originally New York Avenue
Canal Street June 24, 1890[5] 1899
Hillside June 24, 1890[5] ca. 1930? Originally Rockaway Junction
St. Albans 13.6 (21.9) July 1, 1898[6] Bus transport NYCT Bus: Q4
Queens / Nassau County border
Springfield Gardens 1870s October 30, 1979 Originally Springfield
Rosedale 15.8 (25.4) May 1870 Served by Atlantic Branch trains
Originally Foster's Meadow
4
Valley Stream Handicapped/disabled access 17.9 (28.8) June 1869[7] Served by Atlantic Branch trains
Lynbrook Handicapped/disabled access 19.5 (31.4) October 28, 1867[7] BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Long Beach Branch
Bus transport NICE Bus: N4, N25, N31, N32, N36
Originally Pearsall's Corners, then Pearsall's
7 Rockville Centre Handicapped/disabled access 21.1 (34.0) October 28, 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: N14, N15, N16
Baldwin Handicapped/disabled access 23.0 (37.0) October 28, 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: N35
Originally Baldwinsville,[8] then Baldwins
Freeport Handicapped/disabled access 24.5 (39.4) October 28, 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: N4, N19, N36, N40, N41, N43, N62, N88 (summer only)
Merrick Handicapped/disabled access 25.9 (41.7) October 28, 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: N51
Bellmore Handicapped/disabled access 27.4 (44.1) October 1869 Bus transport NICE Bus: N45, N46, N50
Wantagh 27.8 (44.7) October 28, 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: N73, N74
Originally Ridgewood
Seaford Handicapped/disabled access 29.5 (47.5) May 26, 1899 Bus transport NICE Bus: N54
Massapequa Handicapped/disabled access 30.5 (49.1) October 26, 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: N54, N55, N80, N81
Originally South Oyster Bay
Massapequa Park 30.8 (49.6) December 3, 1933 Bus transport NICE Bus: N54, N55, N80, N81
Unqua 1880 1881
Nassau County / Suffolk County border
9 Amityville 33.1 (53.3) 1868 Bus transport NICE Bus: N54
Bus transport Suffolk County Transit: 1A, S1, S33
Copiague 34.2 (55.0) 1902 Bus transport Suffolk County Transit: 1B, S20, S31
Belmont Junction January 1875 late 1876
Lindenhurst 35.5 (57.1) October 28, 1867 Bus transport Suffolk County Transit: 1B, S20, S35
Originally Wellwood, then Breslau
Babylon Handicapped/disabled access 38.4 (61.8) October 28, 1867[7] BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Montauk Branch
Bus transport NICE Bus: N19, N72
Bus transport Suffolk County Transit: S20, S23, S25, S27, S29, S40, S42, S47 (summer only)
Originally Seaside[7]
Montauk Branch trains transfer between diesel and electric
10 For continuing service to Montauk, see Montauk Branch

References[edit]

External links[edit]