White Line (Long Island Rail Road)
|White Line (LIRR)|
|Type||Passenger and Freight|
|Locale||Western Queens County, New York|
|Termini||Long Island City (west)
|Operator(s)||Long Island Rail Road|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
The White Line was a short-lived branch of the Long Island Rail Road in western Queens County, New York. Officially known as the Newtown and Flushing Railroad, the line was chartered in 1871, but was only in service from 1873-1876.
In the first two years of its existence, the Long Island Rail Road enjoyed a monopoly of rail service on Long Island. This came to an end in the early-1850s when competition came in the form of the Flushing Railroad, which ran along the north shore of Queens County, New York. In 1859, the FRR became the New York and Flushing Railroad, but as they attempted to expand into eastern Queens(now Nassau County, New York) and service declined, the LIRR decided to buy out the NY&F in 1867, and to build an additional Woodside Branch. The Woodside Branch, which was chartered under the subsidiary Flushing and Woodside Railroad was never finished, and northern Queens residence felt betrayed by the purchase of the NY&F. Therefore they convinced wealthy residents to buy the former railroads from the LIRR and chartered the Flushing and North Side Railroad as its replacement. Still seeking to compete with the F&NS for customers on the north shore of Queens, the LIRR chartered a subsidiary called the Newtown and Flushing Railroad. Due to the bright white passenger cars used on the line, it was nicknamed the White Line.
The service began at the original Hunter's Point station, today's Long Island City (LIRR station) and ran along the main line through Woodside Station. Southeast of Winfield Junction it split off between the Main Line (Long Island Rail Road) and what is today the Port Washington Branch. Running on a separate right-of-way south of the Port Washington Branch and north of the Main Line, it had its own Newtown Station, then the line curved northeast where it had a station for Corona called Corona Park station, then passed through the southern end of Great Neck Junction, where the Central Railroad of Long Island branched off to head towards Garden City, Bethpage and Babylon. Finally, the line ended along the south side of the Flushing and North Side main line at Flushing (F&NS station). After the Flushing and North Side and the Central Railroad of Long Island were consolidated into the Flushing, North Shore and Central Railroad in 1874, which itself was later merged into the LIRR in 1876, the LIRR no longer saw any need for the White Line and it was abandoned. Horsecars replaced the trains until 1880, and the depots were destroyed either before or after being moved to other lines.
The entire line was abandoned in 1876.