Oyster Bay Branch

  (Redirected from Glen Cove Branch Rail Road)

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] The branch is electrified between East Williston and Mineola.

Oyster Bay Branch
LIRR C3 5019 on Train 6506.jpg
Double-decker Train #6506 to Oyster Bay at Mineola
TypeCommuter rail
SystemLong Island Rail Road
LocaleNassau County, New York, USA
Oyster Bay
Daily ridership6,000[1]
OwnerLong Island Rail Road
Operator(s)Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Track length14.68 miles (23.6 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification750 V (DC) third rail south of East Williston
Route map

10.8 mi
17.4 km
AirTrain JFK notext logo.svg "E" train​​"J" train"Z" train
Hillside Facility
employees only
Queens Village
Zone 3
Zone 4
Belmont Park Branch
seasonal service
Floral Park
New Hyde Park
Merillon Avenue
20.3 mi
32.7 km
21.6 mi
34.8 km
East Williston
end of electrification
Zone 4
Zone 7
22.6 mi
36.4 km
24.0 mi
38.6 km
North Roslyn
26.0 mi
41.8 km
27.2 mi
43.8 km
Glen Head
28.5 mi
45.9 km
Sea Cliff
29.1 mi
46.8 km
Glen Street
29.7 mi
47.8 km
Glen Cove
30.8 mi
49.6 km
Locust Valley
Mill Neck
34.7 mi
55.8 km
Oyster Bay
Oyster Bay Yard

Distances shown are
from Pennsylvania Station


Early historyEdit

Locust Valley, the line's eastern terminus in 1869

The first phase of what is now known as the Oyster Bay Branch opened on January 23, 1865. The line was built by the Glen Cove Branch Rail Road, a subsidiary of the Long Island Rail Road, and extended to Glen Head.[3] On May 16, 1867 the railway was extended to Glen Cove (now known as Glen Street).[4] and on April 19, 1869 the line was extended further to Locust Valley.[5][6]:8

By the early 1880s, there had been pressure to expand rail service eastward.[7] At this time another railroad, the Northern Railroad of Long Island threatened the Long island Rail Road's monopoly.[7] 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.[7] By June 1881, construction plans were authorized and in mid-July the building contract was signed, with work set to begin in August.[7] The Long Island Rail Road attempted to undermine the Northern Railroad's project before it could sell stock and acquire a roadbed.[7] It was going to link its north side branches together as a continuous railroad to Northport.[7] Construction cost from Great Neck to Roslyn and from Locust Valley to Northport was approximately $400,000.[7]

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.[7] While citizens considered the offer, the Northern Railroad folded since not enough money was raised.[7] With the threat eliminated, the extension of rail service to Oyster Bay was temporarily delayed.[7] The project was revived in 1886 when some citizens offered to secure a right-of-way.[7] In June 1886, a public meeting was held and a committee of 15 was appointed to secure land.[7] 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.[7] Ground was broken for the project on August 15, 1887.[7] One phase of construction was the building of a bridge over what is now Tunnel Street in Locust Valley.[7] The masonry project began in October 1888 and the arch was finished on April 13, 1889.[7] The entire bridge was completed by September.[7]

On June 24, 1889, the extension opened with a huge celebration in Oyster Bay.[7] 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.[7] Upon arrival at Oyster Bay, an organized procession commenced, which was viewed by 5,000 residents and visitors.[7] On Tuesday, June 25, the extension opened for regular passenger service with eight round trips daily to and from Long Island City.[7][6]:8

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.

In early 1892, a second track was built between Mineola and Albertson.[8]

20th century to presentEdit

The line was double-tracked to Roslyn, Glen Cove and Locust Valley in 1905, 1909 and 1911, respectively.[8][9]:19[10][11] The extension of the line's second track was done in anticipation of electrification.[12]:21

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.[13][14]

In November 1928, LIRR officials surveyed the branch to evaluate the feasibility of electrifying the line. The Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce petitioned the LIRR, advocating for electrification. In response, the Vice President of the LIRR, in December, stated that the LIRR had to deal with the completion of multiple grade crossing elimination projects before electrifying the Oyster Bay Branch, which was estimated to cost $3.28 million.[15][8]

By June 1934, the section of the line between East Williston and Mineola was electrified, with the remainder of the branch expected to be electrified soon after.[6]:40 However, the remainder of the work was not completed. Instead, the branch is 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).[16]

In 2009, the LIRR replaced the bridge over West Shore Road between Locust Valley and Oyster Bay Stations.[17]


Zone Station Miles (km)
from NYP[18]
Connections / notes
3 Jamaica   10.8 (17.4) 1836   LIRR; Atlantic, Belmont Park, Far Rockaway, Hempstead, Long Beach,
Montauk, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, and West Hempstead Branches
  NYC Subway:  ​​   (at Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport)
  NYCT Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q24, Q30, Q31, Q43, Q44, Q54, Q56
  MTA Bus: Q6, Q8, Q9, Q25, Q34, Q40, Q41, Q60, Q65
  NICE Bus: n4
  AirTrain JFK: Jamaica Station Route
4 Mineola   20.3 (32.3) 1837   LIRR: Montauk, Port Jefferson, and Ronkonkoma Branches
  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   21.6 (34.8) 1880[19]   NICE Bus: n27
Terminus of electrification
7 Albertson   22.6 (36.4) 1875   NICE Bus: n27
Roslyn   24.0 (38.6) January 23, 1865   NICE Bus: n23, n27
North Roslyn 1924 Originally Wheatley Hills
Greenvale   26.0 (41.8) 1866   NICE Bus: n27
Originally Week's
Glen Head   27.2 (43.8) January 23, 1865   NICE Bus: n27
Sea Cliff   28.5 (45.9) May 16, 1867   NICE Bus: n27
Glen Street   29.1 (45.2) May 16, 1867   NICE Bus: n21, n27
Glen Cove   29.7 (47.8) 1895 Originally Nassau
Locust Valley   30.8 (49.6) April 19, 1869
Mill Neck June 25, 1889 1998 Originally Bayville
Oyster Bay   34.7 (55.8) June 25, 1889


  1. ^ Ain, Stewart (August 8, 2004). "M.T.A.'s Threat Drops Some Jaws". The 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 Morrison, David D. (March 5, 2018). Long Island Rail Road: Oyster Bay Branch. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781467128544.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b c Stadler, Derek (November 15, 2014). "Underutilized Tracks: A Chronicle of Electric Train Service to East Williston and a History of the Neighboring Communities". Derek Stadler. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  9. ^ The Long Island Railroad Twenty-Seventh Annual Report For The Year Ending December 31st, 1908. Long Island Railroad Company. 1909.
  10. ^ Annual Report of the Long Island Rail Road Company to the Interstate Commerce Commission for the Year Ended December 31, 1911. Long Island Railroad Company. 1912. p. 17.
  11. ^ "New Incorporations, Surveys, Etc". Railway Age. 50 (8): 368. February 24, 1911.
  12. ^ The Long Island Railroad Twenty-Eighth Annual Report For The Year Ending December 31st, 1909. Long Island Railroad Company.
  13. ^ "Mineola to West Hempstead". lirrhistory.com.
  14. ^ Mineola Station History (Steve Lynch's LIRR Maps, Photos, Charts, etc.) (TrainsAreFun.com)
  15. ^ "Position of L.I. On Oyster Bay Electrification". Railway Age. Simmons–Boardman Publishing Company. 85 (24): 1203. December 15, 1928.
  16. ^ Morrison, David D.; Pakaluk, Valerie (2003). Long Island Rail Road Stations. Chicago: Arcadia. p. 57. ISBN 0-7385-1180-3. Retrieved November 20, 2011.
  17. ^ Vans Replace Oyster Bay Trains Weekend of November 21-22 (MTA-LIRR News; November 2009)
  18. ^ Station pages linked from LIRR Stations Archived September 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ 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 linksEdit

Route map:

KML is not from Wikidata