Cedarhurst Cut-off

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Cedarhurst Cut-Off
Cedarhurst cutoff bridge.jpg
Remains of a bridge for the Cedarhurst Cut-Off connecting Queens and Nassau Counties at the north-east corner of North Woodmere Park.
Type Passenger and Freight
Status Abandoned south of Springfield Junction
Locale Queens, New York City
Termini Hollis (northwest)
Cedarhurst (southwest)
Stations 3 open, 5 closed (line abandoned)
Opened December 30, 1871 (1871-12-30)
Closed 1934 (1934)
Operator(s) Long Island Rail Road
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)

The Cedarhurst Cut-off was a rail line owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New York. The line split from the LIRR's Main Line at Rockaway Junction (near Hollis) and ran south via Springfield Gardens and Cedarhurst and on to Far Rockaway. The part north of the crossing of the old Southern Railroad of Long Island at Springfield Junction is now part of the Montauk Branch, while the rest has been abandoned in favor of the ex-Southern Far Rockaway Branch.


The New York and Rockaway Railroad was incorporated December 30, 1871 to build from the LIRR Main Line east of Jamaica south to Rockaway[1] in competition with the South Side Railroad's Far Rockaway Branch. In exchange for completing it, the LIRR agreed to lease the line on March 2, 1871. It opened from the Main Line south to Springfield Gardens on June 21, 1871,[2] and to Mott Avenue in Far Rockaway on May 14, 1872.[3]

Springfield Junction as seen from Laurelton Station on the Atlantic Branch

After the LIRR and South Side were brought under common ownership in 1876, the line was abandoned from Springfield Junction south to Cedarhurst on June 2. The portion north of Springfield Junction was connected to the old South Side main line, and is still the main Montauk Branch line.[4]

The line between Springfield Junction and Cedarhurst has been rebuilt and abandoned twice, with electrification, first between 1905 and 1908 to help relieve the traffic off the Far Rockaway Branch; however, for unknown reasons the branch was never put into revenue service and instead was used to route equipment. In 1918 the rail was torn up and used for World War I, however, in 1928 the LIRR, in an effort to protect their right of way with the anticipation of new street and residential development in the Southeastern areas of Queens, relayed the track with third rail. However, with service to the Rockaways sufficiently served by the Far Rockaway Branch, the cut-off was deemed redundant and torn up for good in 1934. Ironically the new street grid being laid down in the area was designed around the cut-off leading to an unusual street pattern in the Rosedale section of Queens in the area of the now vanished cut-off.[5]

The New York and Rockaway Railroad was sold at foreclosure on May 27, 1903 and reorganized as the Jamaica and South Shore Railroad on October 18.[6] The Jamaica and South Shore was merged into the LIRR on December 6, 1912.[7]


Besides the existing and former stations along the current Montauk Branch, stations along the line included the following;

Station Miles (km) from
Penn Station[8]
Connections / notes
For continuing service to points west, see Main Line (Long Island Rail Road)
Hillside November, 1909 July 1, 1966
Rockaway Junction June 24, 1890 1905 Also called Woodhull Park
St. Albans 13.6 (21.9) July 1, 1898 BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Babylon and West Hempstead Branches
Originally named Locust Avenue[9]
Springfield Gardens 1873 October 30, 1979 Originally Springfield
Atlantic Branch converges at Springfield Junction
Segment south of the junction was abandoned in 1934
Ocean Point
Lawrence Handicapped/disabled access 22.0 (35.4) July 29, 1869[10] BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Far Rockaway Branch
Existing station was rebuilt in 1905
Far Rockaway Handicapped/disabled access 23.0 (37.0) July 29, 1869[10] BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Far Rockaway Branch
BSicon SUBWAY.svg "A" train (at Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue)
Bus transport MTA Bus: Q22, Q113
Bus transport NICE Bus: N31, N32, N33
Far Rockaway Branch converges continues south, section was abandoned in 1877
Far Rockaway–Lockwood's Grove 1872 September 1877


  1. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1870" (PDF).  (57.0 KiB), January 2005 Edition
  2. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1871" (PDF).  (72.9 KiB), January 2005 Edition
  3. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1872" (PDF).  (86.1 KiB), February 2005 Edition
  4. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1876" (PDF).  (116 KiB), April 2006 Edition
  5. ^ "Cedarhurst Cutoff". lirrhistory.com. 
  6. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1903" (PDF).  (76.7 KiB), March 2005 Edition
  7. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1912" (PDF).  (45.1 KiB), March 2005 Edition
  8. ^ Station pages linked from LIRR Stations
  9. ^ 1898 Railroad Map of Queens and Kings County (Unofficial LIRR History Website)
  10. ^ a b Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, Part One: South Side R.R. of L.I., © 1961