Rego Park (LIRR station)
Site of former Rego Park station
|Location||At 63rd Drive
Rego Park, Queens
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Tracks||6 (when the station was open)
|Opened||May 23, 1928|
|Closed||June 8, 1962|
|Rebuilt||N/A; station abandoned|
Rego Park is a former Long Island Rail Road station. It was made of wood, unlike most other stations that were concrete. The station opened in May 1928 with two side platforms outside the two Rockaway Beach Branch tracks that bracketed the four-track Main Line, so only Rockaway trains stopped there. After the Rockaway Trestle fire in 1950, the line was closed station by station. The station closed on June 8, 1962, one day before the Rockaway Beach Branch was abandoned. Nothing remains at the site today.
The station, located on the west side of 63rd Drive, had two high-level side platforms, located at the north and south ends of the six-track Main Line right-of-way. The platforms only served the Rockaway Beach Branch, which used the outer two tracks. The platforms were constructed of wood with concrete bases, and featuring shelters along the platform. A single staircase from the east end of each platform went down to 63rd Drive, and an additional staircase was located at 63rd Avenue (formerly Marion Avenue) from the northbound platform. The 63rd Drive entrance also featured a ticket office and heated waiting room, with restrooms.
Prior to the construction of the Rego Park station, two former stations near Whitepot Junction were named Matawok, and were located on both the Main Line and Rockaway Beach Branch. Both stations were named for the Matawok Land Company, which built the neighborhood surrounding the junction known at the time as "Forest Hills West."
Matawok Rockaway Beach Line station
The first station to be given the name Matawok, near the junction at Rego Park was located along the Rockaway Beach Branch at Fleet Street on the northeast corner of a bridge over the street. It was opened between 1910 and 1913, although LIRR records of the station show its existence dating back to 1908 and into 1915. Some maps show the station existing as recently as 1922.
Matawok Main Line station
The other Matawok Station was located along the main line east of Whitepot Junction at 66th Avenue. It was opened on June 25, 1922, and had two platforms along four tracks, and a pedestrian bridge not only over the main line, but also over the Rockaway Beach Branch leading from 64th Road east of Alderton Street. The station closed on May 21, 1925, but the remnants of the station remained for decades.
In 1927, calls came from the Rego Park community for a new LIRR station at 63rd Drive (originally Penelope Street). This was contrary to the desires of the railroad, who wished to cease further expansion of Queens operations. Construction on the new Rego Park station began on January 30, 1928. The station was a modernized version of the design used at the Parkside station. Initially planned to open on April 1, the station was completed in April, and opened on May 23, 1928. Two parades were held in Rego Park on May 26 to commemorate the opening of the station.
- "Rego Park Celebrates As L.I. Railroad Starts Service at New Station: 300 Residents Make Merry on Trip on First Train at 1 A.M". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. May 23, 1928. p. 1. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "L.I.R.R. Station For Rego Park Now Under Way: Structure Ready in Month-First Trains Will Stop on April 1". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. January 31, 1928. p. 3. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Board Stays O.K. For Rego Park's Safety Crossing: Delay Will Permit City to Acquire Title Newr L.I.R.R. Tracks". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. November 21, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Rego Park Folk to Board First Train For Manhattan at 1.01 A.M. Tomorrow". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. May 22, 1928. p. 9. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Early Pioneers Who Bought Real Estate". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Fultonhistory.com. July 2, 1922. p. D15. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- The First Matawok Station (Arrt's Arrchives)
- "L.I.R.R. Opens Station Called Forest Hills West". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. June 26, 1922. p. 1. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "The Long Island Railroad New Station Opens Tomorrow at Forest Hills West". New York Evening Post. Fultonhistory.com. June 24, 1922. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Forest Hills West". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Fultonhistory.com. June 25, 1922. p. 18D. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "300 At Hearing Demand Station On L.I. Railroad at Rego Park; Adjournment Taken to Oct. 26". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. October 18, 1927. p. 2. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- The Second Matawok Station (Arrt's Arrchives)
- "L.I.R.R. Blamed For Neglecting Rego Park Folk: 'Left Out' With Discontinuance of Matawok Station, Says Kalich". Long Island Daily Star. ]]Fultonhistory.com]]. August 3, 1927. p. 11. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Legal War Looms If Rego Park Wins Fight For Station: L.I.R.R. Ready to Go to Court on Issue, Lockwood is Told". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. November 12, 1927. p. 4. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "May 23 Is Date Set For First Rego Pk. Trains: Stops to Wait on Change in Schedules of L.I.R.R. for Summer Service". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. March 30, 1928. p. 24. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Rego Park Sets Stage For Depot Dedication Fete: Community Club Advances Plans for Elaborate Program on May 23". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. April 11, 1928. p. 3. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Rego Park Folk Turn Out En Fete To Dedicate L.I. Railroad Station; Parades Feature Celebration". Long Island Daily Star. Fultonhistory.com. May 28, 1928. p. 3. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "An Era Ends at 6:09: Last Train Rides Forgotten Spur". Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. June 8, 1962. p. 11. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Dunlap, David W. (July 30, 2014). "Clashing Visions for Old Rail Bed (Just Don't Call It the High Line of Queens)". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- Bresiger, Gregory (July 18, 2012). "The Trains Stopped Running Here 50 Years Ago". qgazette.com. Queens Gazette. Retrieved 3 July 2015.