The Raunt station
Aerial view of the former station site in 2019
Queens, New York City
|Line(s)||Rockaway Beach Branch|
|Platforms||2 side platforms|
|Closed||May 23, 1950|
|Electrified||July 26, 1905|
The Raunt was a former Long Island Rail Road station on the Rockaway Beach Branch. It had no address and no station house, because it was meant strictly as a dropping-off point for fishermen using a small island in Jamaica Bay. The station was located 1,300 feet (400 m) west of signal station "ER" (presumably #96), and near the WU Tower. It was named for the channel on the south side of the island where it stood.
The Raunt station opened in 1888 by the New York and Rockaway Beach Railway. It had a wooden pedestrian bridge between the two sheltered platforms, and was electrified on July 26, 1905. The Jamaica Bay Trestle was prone to fires, but The Raunt was the source of a May 7–8, 1950 fire that broke out between here and Broad Channel, destroyed the bridge over Jamaica Bay and thus doomed the entire line. Service on the Rockaway Beach Branch west of Hammels continued only via the Far Rockaway Branch, until October 3, 1955, when the branch was abandoned west of Far Rockaway itself, along with the entire Rockaway Beach Branch south of Ozone Park.
Both branches were sold to the New York City Transit Authority, which replaced the Rockaway Beach Branch, and the Queens half of the Far Rockaway Branch with the IND Rockaway Line. The Broad Channel station was replaced in 1956 as a New York City Subway station, but the small community at The Raunt was ordered demolished by New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses and became part of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.
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