Beechhurst Yacht Club, the site of the former northern terminus of the Whitestone Branch
|Type||Passenger and Freight|
|Locale||Queens, New York City|
|Termini||Willets Point (south)
|Closed||February 19, 1932|
|Operator(s)||Flushing and North Side Railroad
Long Island Railroad
|No. of tracks||1 – 2|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The Whitestone Branch was a branch of the Long Island Rail Road, running north and east along the left bank of the Flushing River from the Port Washington Branch near the modern Willets Point, Flushing. It crossed the river on one of the three bridges later torn down for the Van Wyck Expressway, then ran north along Flushing Bay and east along the East River to Whitestone. Originally conceived as a branch of the Flushing and North Side Railroad that was intended to lead into Westchester County (a connection that never materialized) in 1869, it was consolidated into the Long Island Rail Road in 1876 when its owners, the Poppenhusen family, took over the bankrupt LIRR. It later became part of a subsidiary called the Long Island City and Flushing Railroad.
In the 1920s the branch began to lose patronage and the LIRR sought to rid itself of the line. There was a proposal for the city owned IND subway to buy the line and incorporate it into the subway system. The deal never panned out most likely due the numerous grade crossings that would have cost the city a large amount of money to remove. The Interstate Commerce Commission allowed the LIRR to abandon the line in 1932.
Most of the branch was removed, except a small section of the line leading to the Corona Yard which remained well into the 1970s when the LIRR closed the Corona Yard and turned it over to NYC Transit for subway use. Today only a small section of track, just east of Mets – Willets Point, remains branching off from the Port Washington branch. The Flushing-Main Street station of the Port Washington Branch was so named to distinguish it from the Whitestone's Flushing-Bridge Street station. Despite the closing of the Bridge Street station the LIRR continues to use "Main Street" on signs and timetables to this day.
The entire line was abandoned on February 15, 1932.
|Connections / notes|
|Port Washington Branch diverges|
|Junction with Flushing Bay Freight Spur|
|Woodside Branch diverges|
|Flushing – Bridge Street||1870||1932||Named to distinguish it from Flushing – Main Street station|
|Malba||1909||1932||Only station on the line built by LIRR|
|Whitestone – 14th Avenue||1869||1932||Whitestone Trolley|
|Whitestone Landing||1886||1932||Originally Beechhurst Yacht Club Station|
- Whitestone Branch (Unofficial LIRR History Website)
- Like a Rolling Whitestone (ForgottenNY.com)
- Whitestone Branch Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five (Arrt's Arrchives)
- Tracing Out The LIRR Whitestone Branch (LI & NY Places that are no more)