Oyster Bay Branch

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Oyster Bay Branch
LIRR C3 5019 on Train 6506.jpg
Double-decker Train #6506 to Oyster Bay at Mineola
Type Commuter rail
System Long Island Rail Road
Status Operational
Locale Nassau County, New York, USA
Termini Jamaica
Oyster Bay
Stations 10 (2 others closed)
Daily ridership 6,000[1]
Opened 1865-1889
Owner Long Island Rail Road
Operator(s) Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification 750 V (DC) third rail
(to East Williston)
Route map
Oyster Bay Yard
Oyster Bay Turntable
34.7 mi
55.8 km
Oyster Bay
Mill Neck closed 1998
30.8 mi
49.6 km
Locust Valley
29.7 mi
47.8 km
Glen Cove
29.1 mi
46.8 km
Glen Street
28.5 mi
45.9 km
Sea Cliff
27.2 mi
43.8 km
Glen Head
26.0 mi
41.8 km
North Roslyn closed 1924
24.0 mi
38.6 km
22.6 mi
36.4 km
Zone 4/Zone 7
End of electrification
21.6 mi
34.8 km
East Williston
Former spur to West Hempstead Branch
Main Line
20.3 mi
32.7 km
Intervening stations served mostly by Port Jefferson
and Hempstead Branch trains
Zone 4
Zone 3
10.8 mi
17.4 km
Jamaica "E" train "J" train "Z" train
AirTrain JFK
Main Line continues

Distances shown in miles from Pennsylvania Station.

The Oyster Bay Branch is a rail line and service owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New York. The branch splits from the Main Line just east of Mineola station, and runs north and east to Oyster Bay.[2]


Early history[edit]

Locust Valley, the line's eastern terminus in 1869

The first phase of what is now known as the Oyster Bay Branch opened in January 23, 1865 as a branch of the Long Island Rail Road to Glen Head known as the Glen Cove Branch Rail Road.[3] Two years later the railway was extended to Glen Cove[4] and on April 19, 1869 the line was extended further to Locust Valley.[5]

By the early 1880s, there had been pressure to expand rail service eastward.[6] At this time another railroad, the Northern Railroad of Long Island threatened the Long island Rail Road's monopoly.[6] The Northern Railroad was incorporated on March 23, 1881, and it planned to build a road from Astoria to Northport via Flushing, Great Neck, Glen Cove, Oyster Bay and Huntington.[6] By June 1881, construction plans were authorized and in mid-July the building contract was signed, with work set to begin in August.[6] The Long Island Rail Road attempted to undermine the Northern Railroad's project before it could sell stock and acquire a roadbed.[6] It was going to link its north side branches together as a continuous railroad to Northport.[6] Construction cost from Great Neck to Roslyn and from Locust Valley to Northport was approximately $400,000.[6]

In February 1883, Austin Corbin, president of the Long Island Rail Road, offered to supply iron and rolling stock for the extension to Oyster Bay if local residents provided the right-of-way.[6] While citizens considered the offer, the Northern Railroad folded since not enough money was raised.[6] With the threat eliminated, the extension of rail service to Oyster Bay was temporarily delayed.[6] The project was revived in 1886 when some citizens offered to secure a right-of-way.[6] In June 1886, a public meeting was held and a committee of fifteen was appointed to secure land.[6] Although officials were still contemplating a through line to Northport, the LIRR organized the Oyster Bay Extension Railroad on August 31, 1886, which authorized a five-mile road from Locust Valley to Oyster Bay.[6] Ground was broken for the project on August 15, 1887.[6] One phase of construction was the building of a bridge over what is now Tunnel Street in Locust Valley.[6] The masonry project began in October 1888 and the arch was finished on April 13, 1889.[6] The entire bridge was completed by September.[6]

On June 24, 1889, the extension opened with a huge celebration in Oyster Bay.[6] A ceremonial train of ten cars left Long Island City about 9:30 a.m. and was met at Locust Valley by ten young ladies who decorated the locomotive with flags and wreaths.[6] Upon arrival at Oyster Bay, an organized procession commenced, which was viewed by 5,000 residents and visitors.[6] On Tuesday, June 25, the extension opened for regular passenger service with eight round trips daily to and from Long Island City.[6]

The line ended at Locust Valley for two decades until a final extension added four miles to Oyster Bay. One of the reasons for building to Oyster Bay was to create a connection to New England. A large pier, now owned by the Flowers Oyster Company, was built to facilitate the loading of passenger cars onto a ferry, specifically to the Danbury and Norwalk Railroad station and ferry pier in Wilson's Point section of Norwalk, Connecticut. Service lasted only a few years as overland service from New York to Boston, once thought impossible, commenced.

20th century to present[edit]

Until 1928, a direct connection to the West Hempstead Branch existed just east of Mineola station. This spur crossed the Main Line, then terminated at the end of a wye at what was often called the Garden City Branch. Until passenger service was abandoned along this branch, passengers would transfer between the two lines at Mineola Station itself.[7][8]

Except for the section between East Williston and Mineola, this branch is not electrified and thus can only be served by diesel powered-locomotive trains (except for one AM peak train that originates at East Williston and ends at Penn Station using Electric-Multiple Units). There were plans to electrify the entire branch in June 1934, but that never occurred.[9]

In 2009, the LIRR replaced the bridge over West Shore Road between Locust Valley and Oyster Bay Stations.[10]


Zone Station Miles (km)
from NYP[11]
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: "E" train "J" train "Z" train (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
4 Mineola Handicapped/disabled access 20.3 (32.3) 1837 BSicon BAHN.svg LIRR: Montauk, Port Jefferson, and Ronkonkoma Branches
Bus transport NICE Bus: n22, n22X, n23, n24, n40, n41
Originally Hempstead, then Branch or Hempstead Branch
Main Line diverges
Former West Hempstead Branch diverged until 1928
East Williston Handicapped/disabled access 21.6 (34.8) 1880[12] Bus transport NICE Bus: n27
Terminus of electrification
7 Albertson Handicapped/disabled access 22.6 (36.4) 1875 Bus transport NICE Bus: n27
Roslyn Handicapped/disabled access 24.0 (38.6) 1865 Bus transport NICE Bus: n23, n27
North Roslyn 1924 Originally Wheatley Hills
Greenvale Handicapped/disabled access 26.0 (41.8) 1866 Bus transport NICE Bus: n27
Originally Week's
Glen Head Handicapped/disabled access 27.2 (43.8) 1865 Bus transport NICE Bus: n27
Sea Cliff Handicapped/disabled access 28.5 (45.9) 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: n27
Glen Street Handicapped/disabled access 29.1 (45.2) 1867 Bus transport NICE Bus: n21, n27
Glen Cove Handicapped/disabled access 29.7 (47.8) 1895 Originally Nassau
Locust Valley Handicapped/disabled access 30.8 (49.6) 1869
Mill Neck 1889 1998 Originally Bayville
Oyster Bay Handicapped/disabled access 34.7 (55.8) 1889


  1. ^ Ain, Stewart (August 8, 2004). "M.T.A.'s Threat Drops Some Jaws". New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2009. 
  2. ^ LIRR map MTA Retrieved July 12, 2009
  3. ^ PRR chronology: 1865 Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society Retrieved July 12, 2009
  4. ^ PRR chronology: 1867 Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society Retrieved July 12, 2009
  5. ^ PRR chronology: 1869 Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society Retrieved July 12, 2009
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Oyster Bay, Mill Neck, and Syosset: The History of Long Island Rail Road Service to Northeastern Nassau County". Derek Stadler. September 21, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Mineola to West Hempstead". lirrhistory.com. 
  8. ^ Mineola Station History (Steve Lynch's LIRR Maps, Photos, Charts, etc.) (TrainsAreFun.com)
  9. ^ Morrison, David D.; Pakaluk, Valerie (2003). Long Island Rail Road Stations. Chicago: Arcadia. p. 57. ISBN 0-7385-1180-3. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ Vans Replace Oyster Bay Trains Weekend of November 21-22 (MTA-LIRR News; November 2009)
  11. ^ Station pages linked from LIRR Stations
  12. ^ Morrison, David D.; Pakaluk, Valerie (2003). Long Island Rail Road Stations. Chicago: Arcadia. p. 57. ISBN 0-7385-1180-3. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]