Main Line (Long Island Rail Road)

The Main Line is a rail line owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New York. It begins as a two-track line at the Long Island City station in Long Island City, Queens, and runs along the middle of Long Island about 95 miles (153 km) to the Greenport station in Greenport, Suffolk County. A mile east of the Long Island City station (east of Hunterspoint Avenue), the four tracks of the East River Tunnels join the two tracks from Long Island City; most Main Line trains use these tunnels rather than running to or from Long Island City.

LIRR Main Line
LIRR Main Line from Grand Av overpass jeh.jpg
At the Grand Avenue overpass
OwnerLong Island Rail Road
LocaleLong Island, New York, USA
TerminiLong Island City
Stations29 passenger, 1 employee-only
TypeCommuter rail
SystemLong Island Rail Road
Operator(s)Long Island Rail Road
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Electrification750 V (DC) third rail
(west of Ronkonkoma)
Route map

0.0 mi
0 km
Penn Station
Amtrak NJ Transit "1" train"2" train"3" train "A" train"C" train"E" train
Grand Central (future)
Long Island City
"7" train"7" express train
Hunterspoint Avenue
"7" train"7" express train"G" train
Sunnyside (future)
3.1 mi
5 km
"7" train"7" express train
Grand Street (closed)
Rego Park (closed)
6.7 mi
10.8 km
Forest Hills
"E" train"F" train"F" express train"M" train"R" train
7.7 mi
12.4 km
Kew Gardens
"E" train"F" train"F" express train
Westbridge (closed)
Jay Interlocking
9.3 mi
15 km
"E" train​​"J" train"Z" train
Canal Street (closed)
Hillside (closed)
Willow Tree (closed)
11.5 mi
18.5 km
Bellaire (closed)
13.2 mi
21.2 km
Queens Village
Zone 3
Zone 4
Elmont (future)
14.9 mi
24 km
Floral Park
16.2 mi
26.1 km
New Hyde Park
17.3 mi
27.8 km
Merillon Avenue
18.6 mi
29.9 km
Zone 4
Zone 7
20.4 mi
32.8 km
Carle Place
21.4 mi
34.4 km
New Cassel (closed)
24.8 mi
39.9 km
27.9 mi
44.9 km
Grumman (closed)
30.2 mi
48.6 km
Zone 7
Zone 9
Republic (closed)
32.4 mi
52.1 km
34.7 mi
55.8 km
38.4 mi
61.8 km
Deer Park
Zone 9
Zone 10
41.1 mi
66.1 km
43.6 mi
70.2 km
Central Islip
48.5 mi
78.1 km
Ronkonkoma Yard (end electrification)
Holbrook (closed)
Holtsville (closed)
54.1 mi
87.1 km
Zone 10
Zone 12
58.6 mi
94.3 km
Manorville (closed)
Calverton (closed)
Zone 12
Zone 14
73.3 mi
118 km
Aquebogue (closed)
Jamesport (closed)
Laurel (closed)
82.4 mi
132.6 km
Cutchogue (closed)
Peconic (closed)
90.1 mi
145 km
94.3 mi
151.8 km
Shelter Island Heights, New York

Distances shown from Penn Station

Continuing east, five branches split from the Main Line. In order from west to east, they are:

The Main Line contains four tracks between Harold and Queens Interlockings, and two tracks to the west and east of these points. Public timetables refer to the Main Line east of Hicksville as the Ronkonkoma Branch. The Ronkonkoma Branch continues eastward as a two-track electrified branch to Ronkonkoma station, where it was double-tracked in between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma in 2018. Prior, it was mostly an electrified single-track branch for the most part.

Trains on the Main Line between Long Island City and Ronkonkoma are governed by Automatic Block and Interlocking Signals and by Automatic Train Control (which the LIRR refers to as Automatic Speed Control). East of Ronkonkoma, trains operate in non-signaled dark territory, with all train movements being governed by timetable and train order authority. Several projects are underway to expand the Main Line's train capacity, including the Third-Track project between the Floral Park station and Divide Interlocking; the Double Track project along the Ronkonkoma Branch, completed in 2018; and the reconstruction of Harold Interlocking.

Route description and current serviceEdit

The Main Line has two tracks from just east of Long Island City to Harold Interlocking (HAROLD, 0.6 miles (0.97 km) northwest of the Woodside station), where the four track Northeast Corridor from Penn Station in Manhattan joins the Main Line after passing through the East River Tunnels.[1] East of HAROLD,[ua 1] the four-track Main Line runs adjacent to the two-track Port Washington Branch until, 0.7 miles (1.1 km) southeast of the Woodside station, the Port Washington Branch turns northeastward. The Main Line continues southeast with four tracks to JAY Interlocking where it meets the Atlantic Branch and Montauk Branch at the west end of Jamaica station. Eight platform tracks and two bypass tracks pass Jamaica station, along with a few yard tracks and two former freight tracks on the south side that can be used by trains bypassing Jamaica. At HALL Interlocking[ua 2] just east of the station there are eight through tracks: two usually westward tracks for Main Line and Montauk trains, two Atlantic Branch tracks that are about to duck under and turn southeast, two usually eastward Main Line/Montauk tracks, and the two former freight tracks on the south side of Hall tower.

Just east of there, Montauk Branch trains get their own two tracks in the center of the four Main Line tracks until the Montauk tracks fly over[ua 3] the other tracks and head southeast. At QUEENS Interlocking, just inside Nassau County between the Queens Village and Bellerose stations, the four-track Main Line splits into the two-track Main Line and the two-track Hempstead Branch; the four tracks continue parallel to Floral Park station where the Hempstead Branch curves away southward. The two-track Main Line continues east to Mineola where the two track Oyster Bay Branch begins and curves to the north. The line continues east from Mineola to Hicksville where the two track Port Jefferson Branch begins and curves to the north. To FARM Interlocking (just east of Farmingdale station), the Main Line has two tracks to Ronkonkoma, except for some freight sidings along the route.

The Main Line west of Jamaica to Harold Interlocking is the only line that can reach the East River Tunnels, so all trains bound for Penn Station use it. The portion between HAROLD and the Long Island City station is used by trains originating or terminating at Hunterspoint Avenue or Long Island City.

Power station at NASSAU Interlocking in Mineola

East of Jamaica station, the Main Line is used by all trains on the Hempstead Branch (diverging east of Queens Village), the Oyster Bay Branch (diverging east of Mineola), the Port Jefferson Branch (diverging east of Hicksville), and the Ronkonkoma Branch (terminating at Ronkonkoma, the eastern limits of the line's electrification). Some Montauk Branch trains use the Main Line on their way to Babylon via the Central Branch, diverging east of Bethpage.

Only a few diesel shuttle trains, informally known as scoots, operate between Ronkonkoma and Greenport.


19th centuryEdit

The Main Line opened beyond Jamaica to Hicksville on March 1, 1837; shortly afterwards, the Panic of 1837 severely curtailed construction.[2] Construction on the line to Greenport resumed in 1840. It was extended to Farmingdale on October 15, 1841,[3] Deer Park on March 14, 1842, Brentwood on June 24, 1842, Central Islip on July 14, 1842[4] and Yaphank on June 26, 1844. An opening excursion to Greenport was operated on July 27, 1844, and revenue service began over the full line on July 29.[5]

The city of Brooklyn banned the LIRR from using steam propulsion within city limits effective July 1, 1851.[6] The railroad refused to comply[7] until early October, when they stopped freight[8] and passenger trains at Jamaica, directing passengers to take Fulton Street stages to Bedford and transfer there to "Jamaica Line" stages.[9] Laws passed on April 19, 1859 allowed for the appointment of commissioners, empowered to contract with the LIRR to close the Cobble Hill Tunnel, cease using steam within city limits, and instead run horse cars for freight and passengers to the city line or East New York, connecting with steam trains to and beyond Jamaica there. By the fall of 1861, both use of steam as propulsion and of the tunnel had ceased.[10]

In order to maintain access to New York, the LIRR chartered the New York and Jamaica Railroad (NY&J) on September 3, 1859,[11] and a supplement to the LIRR's charter passed March 12, 1860 authorized it to buy the NY&J and build a new main line from Jamaica to Hunters Point. The LIRR carried through with the NY&J purchase on April 25, along with the purchase of a short piece of the Brooklyn and Jamaica at Jamaica.[12] The new line to Hunters Point was officially opened on May 9, 1861, with regular service starting May 10, using a portion of the tracks of the Flushing Railroad between Winfield and Hunters Point.[13]

The line was double-tracked to Hicksville in 1890.[14]:11

Early 20th centuryEdit

The line was electrified to Queens Village and Belmont Park on October 2, 1905. On May 26, 1908, the line was electrified to Floral Park; Hempstead Branch stations southeast of Floral Park were electrified on the same date. The line was triple-tracked between Bellerose and Floral Park in 1908.[15]:18–19 Around the same time, the construction of Pennsylvania Station and Sunnyside Yard necessitated the construction of a new grade-separated route within Woodside to increase train capacity, which was limited by the previous at-grade routing. Land acquisition for this reroute, dubbed the "Woodside/Winfield Cut-Off", starting in 1908.[16]:2 On September 8, 1910, the line between Long Island City and Jamaica was electrified, and service to Pennsylvania Station was inaugurated. Initially, service consisted of 101 trains in each direction to the Hempstead, Far Rockaway and Long Beach branches.[17]:17

Meanwhile, the Winfield relocation project was delayed due to uncertainties about certain portions of the project, such as the new trestle that had to be erected across the under-construction Queens Boulevard near 67th Street, as well as the need to construct the elevated IRT Flushing Line over the new route at 61st Street. Work on the Winfield project resumed in 1912, and the following year, the Dual Contracts finalized the plans for the Flushing Line.[16]:2 The project entailed building six electrified tracks between Woodside and the Winfield Junction station, four for the Main Line and two for the North Side Railroad (now Port Washington Branch), with seven steel viaducts carrying the LIRR diagonally over the intervening street grid.[18][16]:3 A temporary Woodside station near 61st Street and Woodside Avenue opened in April 1913, replacing the old Woodside station at 39th Avenue and 58th Street. When the project was completed in November 1915, both the temporary Woodside station and the original Winfield Junction station on the old routing were replaced by stations along the new route.[16]:3

Stations along the Main Line east of Floral Park to Mineola were electrified by October 1926. The Oyster Bay Branch, which left the main line at Mineola, was partially electrified in June 1934 north to East Williston station.[19]:40

Electrification and grade-crossing eliminationsEdit

On September 12, 1964, a grade-crossing elimination project at Hicksville was completed, with the new station being located on an elevated structure. The $15 million project eliminated seven grade-crossings, provided 556 parking spaces, and rebuilt the Hicksville station as a three-track station with two 1,235 foot (376 m)-long island platforms.[20] The parking spaces were built along the old at-grade right-of-way.[14]:28 A grade crossing at Charlotte Avenue to the west of the station was removed in 1969.[21]

The LIRR was acquired by New York State in 1965 and was put under the control of the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority (MCTA). It authorized engineering studies for the extension of electrified service along the Main Line from Mineola to Hicksville, then along the Port Jefferson Branch to Huntington. On June 13, 1967 the LIRR received a $22,697,500 federal grant from the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) for the project. The total cost was estimated at $45 million.[21] Construction on the project began in 1968.[22] On October 19, 1970, the LIRR's $69 million electrification project from Mineola to Huntington was completed. The project was funded through grants from UMTA and a New York State Transportation bond issue. 16 miles (26 km) of track were electrified as part of the project. Diesel service on this section was replaced with electric service running directly to Penn Station, eliminating the need to change at Jamaica, and saving passengers an average of 15 minutes. This was the LIRR's first new electrification project since 1925.[23]

In 1983, the LIRR recommended electrifying and double-tracking sections of the Main Line from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma. As part of the project, four stations would be eliminated (Grumman, Republic, Pine Aire and Deer Park), eight stations would receive high-level platforms (Bethpage, Farmingdale, Pinelawn, Wyandanch, a new Deer Park stop, Brentwood, Central Islip and Ronkonkoma). The platforms at Farmingdale and Bethpage were replaced as part of a separate program. In addition, the line would receive new signaling, additional passing sidings, and a new yard at Ronkonkoma. Double-track would be installed between Deer Park and Brentwood.[24]:6 Initially, a full second track was going to be built between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. However, due to funding issues, only passing sidings, and double tracking at some stations was completed. In addition, bridges, substations and most platforms were built to accommodate a second track.[25]:60

On June 17, 1985 work began on a project to extend electrification from Hicksville to Ronkonkoma.[26] New stations were built at Wyandanch, Deer Park, Brentwood and Central Islip with high-level platforms. On April 30, 1987 electric service was extended by 3 miles (4.8 km) to Bethpage.[27] Electric service was extended to Farmingdale on June 22, 1987.[28] Limited electric service to Ronkonkoma began on December 28, 1987, with full electric service was completed on January 18, 1988. The entire project cost $168 million and electrified 23.5 miles (37.8 km) of track.[29][30][31] $49.875 million of the cost was funded by the Urban Mass Transportation Administration.[24]:RA-37 Some of the funding for the project was originally allocated for the construction of a yard in Northport on the Port Jefferson Branch, which would have been part of that branch's electrification project. The electrification of the Port Jefferson Branch became a lesser priority, since the Ronkonkoma Branch runs straight through the center of Long Island through less developed areas, and thus, there was more space to build large park-and-ride facilities along the Ronkonkoma Branch than along the Port Jefferson Branch.[32] Electric service reduced travel time by an average of 26 minutes, and allowed for direct service to Penn Station, eliminating transfers at Hicksville or Jamaica. It was expected that ridership at the stations now in electrified territory would be increased by 4,000 in 1988, attracting ridership from other diesel branches.[29] While the anticipated growth in ridership was expected to take place gradually, it took place within the first month of service.[33] By the 1990s, there was also an increased number of reverse commuters on the LIRR, and further improvements to the Main Line were needed, including the extension of electrification from Ronkonkoma to Yaphank and the installation of a third track from Bellerose to Hicksville.[34]

On April 28, 1998, a bridge over Herricks Road opened, replacing a grade crossing which was once "labeled the most hazardous in the United States by the National Transportation Safety Board." The grade-crossing elimination project was initiated after an incident on March 14, 1982, when a van with ten teenagers got struck at the rail crossing with the crossing gates down, killing nine of them. The project took five years and cost $85 million. Work continued for a year to widen the overpass to allow for a future third track.[35]

Major infrastructure improvementsEdit

Second track between Farmingdale and RonkonkomaEdit

Groundbreaking for Phase 1
The completed second track, as viewed from the reconstructed Wyandanch station

In 2012, the MTA approved a project to build a second track between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale. At the time, the only areas east of Farmingdale with two tracks were the segment between Deer Park and Brentwood stations, inclusive; at Central Islip station; and at Ronkonkoma station. Construction of the double track occurred on land that the LIRR has owned since the 1980s, when the land was acquired for the electrification project. The double track project also included upgrades to switches, grade crossings, and station facilities.[36] This project increased operational flexibility by allowing reverse-peak service between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma and by increasing off-peak service between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma, with service operating half-hourly instead of just hourly. This additional capacity allows the Main Line to better serve as a substitute for South Shore lines in case of a disturbance caused by extreme weather.[36] With the use of the New Track Construction (NTC) method, rail was laid down ten times faster than regular track laying methods, saving $7 million, and allowing the project to be completed 16 months ahead of schedule.[37]

Work on the two-phase project began in August 2015. As part of Phase 1, the section from Ronkonkoma to Central Islip, consisting of 4 miles (6.4 km) of track, was built to the north of the existing track. This section was laid using a NTC machine, followed by the installation of third rail. The southern track at Central Islip was extended to Brentwood to the south of the existing track.[38][39] Phase 1 was completed in August 2016.[37] As part of Phase 2, a second track was added between Deer Park, through Wyandanch, and past Pinelawn to the east end of FARM interlocking at Republic to the south of the existing track. A design–build contract for this phase was awarded in June 2016.[40] This phase also involved rehabilitating grade crossings, demolishing pedestrian bridges, and building a second platform Wyandanch. Starting in August 2016, to accommodate the second track, supports were pile-driven into the existing embankment near the old site of the Deer Park station, brush was, and embankment was added between Pinelawn and the grade crossing at Little East Neck Road.[41]:92[42] The last five miles of track were added in January 2018,[43] and the LIRR began connecting the new second track to the existing double-track segments in spring 2018.[44][45]

The entire project cost $387.2 million and was completed in September 2018,[46] over a year ahead of schedule.[47] As indicated in the MTA's 2015–2034 Capital Needs Assessment,the MTA will extend the double-track to Yaphank if funding is available. This will allow the LIRR to provide additional service in diesel territory, thereby saving travel time.[25]:64–65

Mid-Suffolk YardEdit

In 2015, the MTA conducted environmental studies to expand the existing rail yard in Ronkonkoma. This expansion, called the Mid-Suffolk Yard, will add 11 new tracks, increasing the number of total tracks from 12 at present to 23.[48] The expansion will use space already owned by the MTA located immediately to the south of the existing rail yard and north of MacArthur Airport. The increase in storage space will allow the MTA to increase peak-hour service once East Side Access is complete and service to Grand Central begins. The project is budgeted for $76.6 million.[49] Locations in Deer Park, Central Islip, and Yaphank were also considered for the construction of the yard. The Deer Park option was dismissed as it would have impacted several grade crossings, duplicated employee facilities and as it would not have benefited riders east of the station. The Central Islip site was dismissed as it would have been located in Connetquot River State Park. The Yaphank option was rejected because of the high cost of electrification and the requirement that station between Ronkonkoma and Yaphank receive upgrades.[50] Construction was expected to be finished by late 2018,[49] but as of June 2017 construction will start in September 2017, with completion being pushed back to March 2020.[51]

Possible reopening of Republic stationEdit

Staircase to former Republic station

The MTA plans to reopen Republic station, which is located between Farmingdale and Pinelawn. The station closed in 1987 as part of the electrification project between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma, and was only used by about a dozen daily riders daily, not making it cost-effective to upgrade the station to support electric railcars. However, since its closure, there has been an increased amount of commercial and residential development along the Route 110 corridor near the station, a major north–south commercial route.[52] The reopened station would serve this corridor. Funding for the station was deferred from the MTA's 2010-2014 budget due to budgetary issues, but was revived in 2012.[53][54] The MTA budgeted $5 million in 2015 to design a new station and carry out environmental studies, although construction itself has not been funded yet. The rebuilt station will have two new 12-car platforms, and ADA-compliant ramps.[41]:88, 204

Third track between Floral Park and HicksvilleEdit

The Post Avenue Bridge near Westbury station, which was replaced in October 2017 to accommodate a third track

To accommodate an expected increase in Long Island Rail Road ridership once the East Side Access project to Grand Central Terminal is completed and to expand local and reverse peak service, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to build a third Main Line track from Floral Park to Hicksville.[55][56] Also known as the LIRR Expansion Project, this would include purchasing properties in the track's right of way, eliminating grade crossings (in conjunction with New York State Department of Transportation), relocating existing stations, and reconfiguring Mineola Station. The project was stalled by fierce opposition from the villages of Floral Park, New Hyde Park, and Garden City,[57][58][59] which advocated that construction and the resulting increased train service will reduce the quality of life in their neighborhoods. These villages do, however, support the station improvements and the elimination of grade crossings that the LIRR has planned in conjunction with the third track, and called for the LIRR to complete them in lieu of third track expansion, but the MTA has long insisted that a third track is a necessary component of LIRR's East Side Access expansion.[60] In March 2015, LIRR president Patrick Nowakowski declared that the LIRR would not proceed with the project without the support of the local communities.[61]

Small segments of the third track have been built already or will be built. One segment is between Merillon Avenue and Mineola; this section was built in the vicinity of Herricks Road during the grade crossing elimination project that took place in 1998.[62] Another segment will be built as part of the upcoming station renovation at Hicksville. This construction will connect Track 1 at Hicksville station to the North Siding track located about 3,000 feet (910 m) west of the station. This short segment, when completed, will essentially serve as the eastern end of the future third track; it will also allow for a slight increase in peak-hour service.[63][64] The MTA has also left provisions for a third track in construction of other infrastructure along the line, such as the Mineola Intermodal Center located adjacent to Mineola station, Mineola Blvd Bridge, Roslyn Road Underpass in Mineola, and the replacement Ellison Avenue Bridge over the Main Line in Westbury.[65][66][67][68]

In January 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a transportation improvement plan which included several million dollars in funding to restart third track development.[69][70] Governor Cuomo said that unlike previous third track proposals, his plan involves building the third track within existing LIRR right of way, which will reduce the number of existing homes and businesses affected by installation of the third track.[71] While previous proposals would have affected around 250 properties, 80 of which were homes, Governor Cuomo's proposal would only require taking small amounts of property from 50 properties in total, including around 20 homes.[71] This reduction in properties affected is to be accomplished by shifting the alignments of tracks in some areas to make room for the third track within the right-of-way and building a shorter third track than previous proposals, resulting in a 9.8-mile (15.8 km) three-track segment starting at Floral Park, the easternmost station shared by the Hempstead Branch and Main Line, instead of the previously planned 11.5-mile (18.5 km) segment starting from Queens Village, where the Hempstead Branch and Main Line split from a 4-track corridor into two distinct pairs of tracks.[69][72] Despite the promise of mitigation efforts, several local politicians denounced the governor's plan within a day of its announcement; Floral Park's mayor told The New York Times that "we thought this was dead and buried",[69] while New Hyde Park's mayor pledged to "fight the governor vehemently on this" and a local state senator called the governor's plan "dead on arrival."[73]

In December 2017, the LIRR awarded a contract for the project to the consortium 3rd Track Constructors for $1.8 billion, with construction beginning in 2018 and completion estimated for 2022.[74][75][76] The first part of the contract includes the reconstruction of the Carle Place, Mineola, and Floral Park stations; the construction or reconstruction of six railroad crossings and underpasses; and the construction of a parking structure at Mineola station. These projects will start between winter 2018 and winter 2019.[77] A groundbreaking ceremony for the third track project was held on September 5, 2018.[78][79]

New Elmont stationEdit

The MTA plans to build the Elmont station in Elmont, New York, as part of the Belmont Park redevelopment. The station will include two new 12-car platforms, and ADA-compliant elevators. The eastbound platform will open first, in 2021, followed by the westbound platform in 2022.[80][81][82]


Traveling east, Hempstead Branch trains run on separate tracks from the Main Line east of Queens Village and separate from the right of way east of Floral Park. Oyster Bay Branch trains split off the line east of Mineola and Port Jefferson Branch trains split off east of Hicksville. Montauk Branch trains that use the Main Line and Central Branch, splitting off the Main Line east of Bethpage. Passengers traveling east of Ronkonkoma must transfer between electric and diesel trains at that station.

This list details which Main Line services stop at each station, but not all trains stop at every station. "○" indicates that select trains of a branch may stop at a given station, but this may not indicated in the branch timetable.

Zone[83] Location Services Station Miles (km)
from NYP[84]
Connections and notes
1[a] Long Island City, Queens Long Island City  
(limited service)
[b] 1854 New York City Subway: 7 and <7>​ (at Vernon Boulevard–Jackson Avenue)
MTA Bus: Q103
NYC Ferry: East River Ferry
Hunterspoint Avenue
(limited service)
[b] 1860 New York City Subway: 7 and <7>​ (at Hunters Point Avenue)
New York City Bus: B62
MTA Bus: Q67
Woodside, Queens Woodside   3.1 (5.0) 1869[85] Long Island Rail Road: Port Washington Branch
New York City Subway: 7 and <7>​ (at 61st Street–Woodside)
New York City Bus: Q32
MTA Bus: Q18, Q53 SBS, Q70 SBS
Maspeth, Queens Winfield Junction 1864 1929
Elmhurst, Queens Grand Street 1913 1925
Rego Park, Queens Rego Park 1928 1962
Matawok 1922 1925
Forest Hills, Queens Forest Hills   6.7 (10.8) 1906 New York City Subway: E, ​F, <F>, ​M, and ​R (at Forest Hills–71st Avenue)
MTA Bus: Q23, Q60, Q64
Kew Gardens, Queens
Hopedale 1875 c. 1884
Kew Gardens   7.7 (12.4) 1879 New York City Subway: E, ​F, and <F> (at Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike)
New York City Bus: Q10, Q37
MTA Bus: QM18
Originally named Maple Grove, then Kew
Richmond Hill, Queens Westbridge[86] 1916 1939 Originally named High Bridge
Dunton 1897 1939
3 Jamaica, Queens Jamaica   9.3 (15.0) 1836 Long Island Rail Road: Atlantic, Babylon, Far Rockaway, Long Beach, West Hempstead branches
New York City Subway: E​, ​J, and ​Z (at Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport)
New York City Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q24, Q30, Q31, Q43, Q44 SBS, Q54, Q56
MTA Bus: Q6, Q8, Q9, Q25, Q34, Q40, Q41, Q60, Q65
Nassau Inter-County Express: n4
AirTrain JFK: Jamaica Station Route
Union Hall Street 1890 1976 Originally named New York Avenue
Canal Street 1853[87] 1899
Hillside c. 1909
May 15, 1911
Hillside Facility 1991 Employee-only station
Rockaway Junction 1875 or 1890[88] c. 1905 Also known as Woodhull Park[89]
Hollis, Queens
Willow Tree[90] March 1, 1837 June 1872
Hollis 11.5 (18.5) 1885 New York City Bus: Q2, Q3
MTA Bus: Q110
Originally named East Jamaica
Queens Village, Queens
Bellaire 1837[91] 1972 Originally named Flushing Avenue, then Brushville, then Interstate Park, then Brushville Road
Queens Village   13.2 (21.2) 1881 New York City Bus: Q1, Q27, Q36, Q88, Q83
Nassau Inter-County Express: n24
Elmont Elmont   2021-2023 Under construction
Floral Park Floral Park 14.9 (24.0) c. 1870 Originally named Plainfield, then Stewart Junction, then Hinsdale, then East Hinsdale
New Hyde Park New Hyde Park   16.2 (26.1) 1845 Nassau Inter-County Express: n24, n25
Originally named Hyde Park
Garden City Park Merillon Avenue   17.3 (27.8) 1837 Originally named Clowesville, then Garden City
Mineola Mineola   18.6 (29.9) 1837[91] Nassau Inter-County Express: n22, n22X, n23, n24, n40, n41
Originally named Hempstead, then Branch or Hempstead Branch
7 Carle Place Carle Place   20.4 (32.8) 1842[92] Nassau Inter-County Express: n22
Originally named Carll Place
Westbury Westbury   21.4 (34.4) 1837[91] Nassau Inter-County Express: n22, n35
New Cassel New Cassel November 1875 March 1876
Hicksville Hicksville   24.8 (39.9) 1837[91] Nassau Inter-County Express: n20H, n22, n22X, n48, n49, n78, n79, n80
Grumman 1942 1985
Bethpage   27.9 (44.9) c. 1854[93] Originally named Jerusalem, then Central Park
Bethpage Junction 1873
Farmingdale Farmingdale   30.2 (48.6) 1841[94][95] Nassau Inter-County Express: n70, n72
Republic 1940 1987
East Farmingdale Pinelawn  
(limited service)
32.4 (52.1) c. 1890 Originally named Melville
Wyandanch Wyandanch   34.7 (55.8) 1875 Suffolk County Transit: 2A, 2B, S23, S33
Originally named West Deer Park, then Wyandance
Edgewood 1892 1914
Deer Park   38.4 (61.8) 1842[96][97] Suffolk County Transit: S27
Tanger Shuttle Bus
Thompson 1842[98] 1869
Pineaire 1915 1986
10 Brentwood   41.1 (66.1) 1870 Suffolk County Transit: 3A, 3B, 3D, S27, S41, S45
Originally named Modern Times
Central Islip
Suffolk 1842[99] 1873
Central Islip   43.6 (70.2) 1873 Suffolk County Transit: 3C, 3D, S42, S45
Islandia Nichols Road
Lakeland 1843 1883 Originally named Lake Road
Ronkonkoma   48.6 (78.2) 1883 Suffolk County Transit: 6A, 7A, S57, S59
Eastern terminus of electrification, originally named Lake Ronkonkoma
Hermanville 1850
Holbrook Holbrook 1907 1962[100]
Holtsville Holtsville 1843 1998 Originally named Waverly[101]
Medford Medford   54.1 (87.1) 1844[102] Suffolk County Transit: S61
Bartlett's 1844 1880 Originally named Bellport
Fire Place June 26, 1844[102] 1845
12 Yaphank   73.3 (118.0) 1845 Originally named Milleville
East Yaphank East Yaphank TBD Proposed replacement for Yaphank
Carman's River June 26, 1844[102] June 14, 1845
Upton Upton Road 1918 1922
Camp Upton 1917 1922
Manorville Wampmissic c. 1847–1848
Manorville 1844 c. 1968 Originally named St. George's Manor, then Manor
Calverton Calverton 1852
Originally named Hulse Turnout, then Baiting Hollow
14 Riverhead Riverhead   73.3 (118.0) 1844 Suffolk County Transit: 8A, S58, S62, S66, S92
Aquebogue Aquebogue June 1892 July 1967
Jamesport Jamesport 1844 1985
Laurel Laurel 1967
Mattituck Mattituck   82.4 (132.6) 1844
Cutchogue Cutchogue 1844 1962
Peconic Peconic 1844 1970 Originally named Hermitage
Southold Southold   90.1 (145.0) 1844 Suffolk County Transit: S92
Greenport Greenport   94.3 (151.8) 1844 Suffolk County Transit: S92
North Ferry
  1. ^ Part of the City Terminal Zone
  2. ^ a b Not part of the branch to Penn Station


Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML


  1. ^ The tunnels and the track to Penn Station are not owned by LIRR, but by Amtrak.
  2. ^ Baer, Christopher T. (June 2015). "A General Chronology Of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company Its Predecessors And Successors And Its Historical Context 1837" (PDF). Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  3. ^ Baer, Christopher T. (June 2015). "A General Chronology Of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company Its Predecessors And Successors And Its Historical Context 1841" (PDF). Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Baer, Christopher T. (June 2015). "A General Chronology Of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company Its Predecessors And Successors And Its Historical Context 1842" (PDF). Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Baer, Christopher T. (June 2015). "A General Chronology Of The Pennsylvania Railroad Company Its Predecessors And Successors And Its Historical Context 1844" (PDF). Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  6. ^ "Brooklyn Daily Eagle". Brooklyn, NY. July 5, 1851. p. 4.
  7. ^ Brooklyn Daily Eagle (July 11, 1851). "Steam on Atlantic Street". Brooklyn, NY. p. 3.
  8. ^ "The Long Island Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. October 2, 1851. p. 2.
  9. ^ "New Stage Arrangements". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. October 8, 1851. p. 3.
  10. ^ "Brooklyn Daily Eagle". Brooklyn, NY. June 2, 1859. p. 1.
  11. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1859" (PDF). (60.9 KiB), March 2005 Edition
  12. ^ "PRR Chronology, 1860" (PDF). (91.7 KiB), May 2004 Edition
  13. ^ "The Long Island Railroad: Opening of the Hunter's Point Route". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. May 10, 1861. p. 2. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Morrison, David D. (October 28, 2013). Long Island Rail Road: Port Jefferson Branch. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781439644218.
  15. ^ The Long Island Railroad Twenty-Seventh Annual Report For The Year Ending December 31st, 1908. Long Island Railroad Company. 1909.
  16. ^ a b c d Chiasson, George (September 2019). "The Genesis Of Dashing Dan — A New Jamaica And The Main Line Complete" (PDF). The Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 62 (9): 2–3. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  17. ^ The Long Island Railroad Twenty-Ninth Annual Report For The Year Ending December 31st, 1910. Long Island Railroad Company. 1911.
  18. ^ Minutes of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the City of New York. M. B. Brown Printing & Binding Company. 1913. pp. 2677–2678. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  19. ^ Morrison, David D. (March 5, 2018). Long Island Rail Road: Oyster Bay Branch. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9781467128544.
  20. ^ "The Watusi Opens New L.I. Station". The New York Times. September 13, 1964. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Stadler, Derek (January 22, 2016). "Evolution of Hicksville Station: From Its Origins as a Stop on the Long Island Rail Road's Main Line to a Modern Transportation Hub". Derek Stadler. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  22. ^ Annual Report - State of New York Joint Legislative Committee on Transportation. Legislature of New York State. 1970. p. 20.
  23. ^ Bamberger, Werner (October 20, 1970). "Change at Jamaica Is Only a Memory For 12,000 Riders". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Environmental Assessment Report For The Long Island Rail Road Main Line Electrification Project. Kontokosta Associates. April 1984.
  25. ^ a b "Capital Needs Assessment 2015-2034" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "Hicksville–Ronkonkoma Electrification The Impact on Service Effective June 17, 1985". Long Island Rail Road. June 1985. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  27. ^ National Railway Bulletin. National Railway Historical Society. 1988. p. 34.
  28. ^ Keller, Dave. "LIRR Ronkonkoma Electrification 1987". Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  29. ^ a b Schmitt, Eric (December 31, 1987). "Electric Service Extended by L.I.R.R.". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  30. ^ "LIRR Branch Notes".
  31. ^ "Ronkonkoma Branch Timetable: Electric Service Direct To Penn". January 18, 1988. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  32. ^ Cerra, Frances (January 27, 1985). "RAIL ELECTRIFICATION TO RONKONKOMA NOW TOP PRIORITY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  33. ^ Saslow, Linda (September 11, 1988). "Electrifying L.I.R.R.: Pluses and Minuses". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  34. ^ Lutz, Phillip (April 30, 1995). "Reverse Commuting Is Making Some Gains". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  35. ^ Draffen, Duayne (April 28, 1998). "16 Years After Death of 9 Teen-Agers, Rail Bridge Opens". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  36. ^ a b "Long Island Rail Road Double Track Project" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 26, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  37. ^ a b "LIRR Double Track Project on Pace to be Completed Ahead of Schedule". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  38. ^ "Double Track' Information Center Opens Today at Ronkonkoma Station as Part of LIRR Public Outreach". January 16, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2015. The first phase includes an environmental review and, after completion of that review, a design of the entire project and construction of a four mile segment between Ronkonkoma and Central Islip. This phase is already completely funded and tentatively scheduled for completion by late 2016. Phase two – which requires $297 million and is not yet funded - will stretch a second track from Central Islip all the way to Farmingdale by the end of 2018.
  39. ^ "Double Track Project - Phase 1" (PDF). Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  40. ^ "Two design-build contracts awarded for LIRR Double Track project". Railway Track & Structures. June 6, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  41. ^ a b "MTA 2015-2019 Capital Program" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 28, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  42. ^ *"1st phase of LIRR project ends with Cuomo visit". Newsday. August 22, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  43. ^ Wanek-Libman, Mischa (January 16, 2018). "Last rail being laid for LIRR double track". Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  44. ^ "LIRR's double-track project nears completion". Progressive Railroading. April 30, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  45. ^ "LIRR schedules change as track work nears completion". Metro US. April 27, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
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  47. ^ "LIRR Double Track project completed ahead of schedule". ABC7 New York. September 21, 2018. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  48. ^ "Mid-Suffolk Yard".
  49. ^ a b "Mid-Suffolk Yard Schedule". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  50. ^ "Mid-Suffolk Yard Alternatives Analysis" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  51. ^ "L60601YN New Mid Suffolk Electric Yard". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  52. ^ "Connect Long Island: Double Track Main Line & TODs" (PDF). Transportation Research Forum. April 3, 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  53. ^ Castillo, Alfonso A. (April 26, 2010). "Plans for Republic Airport LIRR station put on hold". Newsday. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  54. ^ Hinko, Christy (June 1, 2012). "Senators Announce $138 Million To Advance New Republic Train Station". Farmingdale Observer. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
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  57. ^ Stephanie Mariel Petrellese (November 11, 2005). "Floral Park Mayor To Address LIRR Expansion". The Garden City News. Archived from the original on March 22, 2006. Retrieved December 23, 2006.
  58. ^ Carisa Keane (June 24, 2005). "Residents: MTA/LIRR Needs to Get on Right Track". New Hyde Park Illustrated News. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2006.
  59. ^ Stephanie Mariel Petrellese (December 15, 2006). "Village Meets With LIRR On "Third Track" Project". The Garden City News. Archived from the original on January 12, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2006.
  60. ^ Nardiello, Carolyn (September 16, 2008). "Third-Track Plan Isn't Dead, L.I.R.R. Insists". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  61. ^ Castillo, Alfonso A. (March 3, 2015). "3rd track plan conditional on community support, LIRR chief says". Newsday. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  62. ^ Robert Gearty (April 22, 1998). "END'S NEAR FOR A KILLER LIRR X'ING". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  63. ^ "Governor Cuomo Announces Final Design for Revitalized Hicksville Station". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 24, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  64. ^ "LIRR finalizes Hicksville Station design; includes East Side Access work". RT&S. February 24, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  65. ^ "$24.3 MILLION LIRR ROAD CROSSING ELIMINATION PROJECT IN MINEOLA COMPLETED". New York State Department of Transportation. December 31, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  66. ^ "National Steel Bridge Alliance 2009 Bridge Prize Competition" (PDF). Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  67. ^ "Application for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Funds Ellison Avenue Bridge Reconstruction, page 3" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  68. ^ "40,000 Customers Facing Delays This Weekend, Oct. 24-25, as LIRR Installs a New Bridge in Westbury". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 22, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  69. ^ a b c Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (January 5, 2016). "Cuomo Revives Long-Stalled Plan to Add Track to L.I.R.R.". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  70. ^ Third Main Line Track project web site
  71. ^ a b Madore, James T. (January 5, 2016). "Andrew Cuomo tells Long Island Association he'll push LIRR third track, LI Sound tunnel". Newsday. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  72. ^ "LIRR Main Line Expansion Will Ease Commuting and Attract Businesses and Jobs" (Press release). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  73. ^ Manskar, Noah (January 7, 2016). "Cuomo revives LIRR third track plans". The Island Now. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved January 8, 2016.
  74. ^ Berger, Paul (December 13, 2017). "MTA Awards $1.8 Billion Contract to Expand Long Island Rail Road". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  75. ^ Castillo, Alfonso A. (December 13, 2017). "MTA approves $1.9B contract to design, build LIRR 3rd track". Newsday. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  76. ^ Klar, Rebecca (December 20, 2017). "MTA approves $1.8B contract for third track project". The Island Now. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  77. ^ "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting June 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 18, 2018. p. 27. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  78. ^ "LIRR Third Track Project Moving Forward Despite Concerns Of Residents". CBS New York. September 5, 2018. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  79. ^ Rivoli, Dan (September 5, 2018). "Cuomo continues infrastructure tour with Long Island Rail Road groundbreaking". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 6, 2018.
  80. ^ "Islanders arena project at Belmont Park now includes new LIRR station". Newsday. July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  81. ^ "New Full-Time LIRR Station Planned Near Belmont Park – CBS New York". CBS New York. July 8, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  82. ^ "LIRR Elmont station projected to be ready in 2022". Newsday. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  83. ^ "New Fares — Effective April 21, 2019". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  84. ^ Station pages linked from MTA LIRR - Stations, accessed April 24, 2020.
  85. ^ Vincent F. Seyfried, The Long Island Rail Road: A Comprehensive History, Part Two: The Flushing, North Shore & Central Railroad, © 1963
  86. ^ "WESTBRIDGE".
  87. ^ "Travel". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. June 16, 1853. p. 4.
  88. ^ "Rapid Transit Extension". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. June 24, 1890. p. 1.
  90. ^ "CABIN 10 JAMAICA".
  91. ^ a b c d Brooklyn Advocate, Long Island Rail Road, February 1837
  92. ^ "Long Island Railroad Company". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. May 28, 1842. p. 3.
  93. ^ "RAILROADS". The New York Times. April 13, 1854. p. 7. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  94. ^ "The Long Delay at Hicksville". Newsday. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007.
  95. ^ "Brooklyn Eagle v1, #1 (LIRR timetable)". Brooklyn Eagle. October 26, 1841. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. This is the very first edition of the paper. (Whether "late Bethpage" is meant to indicate 1> a flag stop at the community near Merritts Road, or 2> that the area near the Farmingdale LIRR station had lately been called Bethpage, or 3> that the Merrits Road community had been a temporary stop until the Farmingdale station was completed has not yet been determined.)
  96. ^ "Brooklyn Daily Eagle". Brooklyn, NY. March 14, 1842. p. 2.
  97. ^ "Long Island Railroad Company". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. March 16, 1842. p. 3.
  98. ^ "Long Island Railroad". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. June 29, 1842. p. 2.
  99. ^ "Brooklyn Daily Eagle". Brooklyn, NY. August 6, 1842. p. 2.
  100. ^ Holbrook Station @ Ronkonkoma MP 49-50; October 1957(
  101. ^ May 13, 1912, Photo @ Ron Ziel collection (Unofficial LIRR History Website)
  102. ^ a b c "Long Island Railroad Co. Opening of the Long Island Railroad To Medford Station (PACHOGUE), Fire Place & Carman's Riv". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. June 24, 1844. p. 2. Retrieved May 7, 2018.

External linksEdit

Route map:

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