West Hempstead Branch

 

 lirr415westboundHempsteadAveWestHempstead.jpg (100597 bytes)
LIRR Alco S1 #415 westbound (View N) at Hempstead Ave., probably headed from Country Life Press West Hempstead  late 1950's Archive: Jim Gillin

1st-MU-Train_Valley-Stream_via-WHemp-Hemp-Branches_Mineola-10-1926_Keller.jpg (86249 bytes)1st MU train from Valley Stream via West Hempstead - Hempstead Branches arriving Mineola 10/1926 Archive: Dave Keller

This is the first MU train from Valley Stream via the newly-electrified West Hempstead branch and previously-electrified Hempstead branch arriving westbound at Mineola in October, 1926.

The view is east and you can see the train coming off the old Hempstead branch and crossing over to the Main Line westbound track.  At the left of the lead car, you can just make out some flag bunting displayed from the windows of the commercial buildings behind the Mineola station.

Storage battery cars ran on the non-electrified W. Hempstead branch between June, 1913 and May, 1926. According to Emery's notes, the upper end of the branch was electrified in 1911 or 1912 from Country Life press to Franklin Ave. in Garden City to allow MU baggage cars access to the Doubleday plant.  The remained of the line from Franklin Ave. to Valley Stream was electrified and placed into service on 10/19/1926.  I don't know if this train ran that day or perhaps a day later. . . .

These MU thru-trains first appeared in the timetable of October, 1926 and the last year of this MU thru-service was indicated in the timetable of September, 1935. The line was just one manual block from "HC" to "VA" (later "VALLEY") until "WM" block limit was installed near West Hempstead in 1935. Research: Dave Keller

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USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) 1897 Topographic Map - Nassau County, Oyster Bay Quadrangle

View the configuration from Valley Stream south to the Far Rockaway branch. What a weird sharp turn and the branch into the Rockaway Hunt Club south of Valley Stream at Woodmere. Note the two legs of the wye at Hempstead Crossing that later became four legs.  Also notice the old direction of tracks for Stewart's CRR of LI at Floral Park dead-ending and utilizing the LIRR's connection to Garden City and Hempstead.  Stewart's line used to cross the LIRR's Main Line via a trestle and then continued on to Garden City.  When the LIRR acquired the CRR of LI, that trestle was removed, the tracks were re-laid and a junction was made at Floral Park, then called Stewart Junction. Research: Dave Keller

WEST HEMPSTEAD BRANCH - (“VALLEY STREAM” BRANCH - NEW YORK BAY EXTENSION) From Bob Emery’s Notes

 Built by the New York Bay Extension Railroad Co.: 1893, Merged with the LIRR:  1902
Storage battery cars operated 6/1913 to 5/1926

At Valley Stream, on the north side of the Montauk branch, on the New York Bay Extension (later known as the West Hempstead branch) a single track spur stub ended in a sheet metal building which had large garage-type doors on the east end and which closed across the track.  There was a platform along the north side of the track inside the shed.  The building held two (2) 4-wheel, storage battery cars.  Car #s 2 and 4 were assigned to the NY Bay Extension.  Car #s 1 and 3 were assigned to the Bushwick branch between Fresh Pond station and Bushwick station.  Car #s 1 and 2 were combine cars while #s 3 and 4 were straight coach.  They were equipped for multiple operation.  They operated in multiples on two trips during commission hour, otherwise they ran as a single unit, while the other would be recharged during lay-over.  They were known locally by the native residents as “the Dinky” and by Railroaders as “the Moxie Wagons.”

Electrification:

Country Life Press to Franklin Avenue, Garden City (to allow MU baggage cars access to the Doubleday plant): 1911 or 1912  Valley Stream to Franklin Ave.,  Garden City: 10/19/1926    Freight sidings: 1927-28

First year of through MU operations, Valley Stream to Mineola : timetable of 10/1926
Last year of through MU operations, Valley Stream to Mineola : timetable of 9/1935 (service suspended in 1935 due to the Public Service Commission demanding grade crossing eliminations between West Hempstead and Mineola .)

Just one manual block from “HC” to “VA” until “WM” block limit was installed in 1935.

Track connection at Country Life Press to the West Hempstead branch removed: August 19, 1960 per General Notice No. 7-5

Tracks cut back from Country Life Press to the west side of Franklin Avenue crossing (“5 Corners”):  August 19, 1960

Remaining racks north of West Hempstead station at Hempstead Ave. still in place in 1967 (Dave Keller visual evidence) and most probably all removed by c. 1969.

VALLEY STREAM

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Blueprint - VALLEY Interlocking -  Sheet #6 at  VA VALLEY TOWER  6/22/33 Art Huneke revised 12/15/1945 Archive: Dave Keller
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Emery map Valley Stream to 
East Merrick Road 1924

The "Tigertown" reference on the maps was for this odd, long-existing shantytown through which the LIRR traversed on its way between Valley Stream, West Hempstead, CLP and Mineola.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Jan., 4, 1903:
Tigertown, Far and Away the Oldest Settlement on Long Island

 

  VA-TOWER-VALLEY_6-28-33_ArtHuneke.jpg (101368 bytes)
"VA", "VALLEY" Tower  Evaluation photo 6/28/33 Archive: Art Huneke

“VA” TOWER: 2
Junction of Far Rockaway and West Hempstead Branches with Montauk Branch. Built east of station and junction. In  service 6/27/33. Renamed: “VALLEY”  4/30/37
Info: Dave Keller

LIRR-1966-map21_Valley-Stream.jpg (88664 bytes)
LIRR 1966 map #21 Valley Stream

DD1 Freight eastbound Long Beach Branch tracks from VALLEY Tower, Valley Stream c.1940

 

The view is looking WEST from VALLEY tower towards Valley Stream station. That tower in the distance AT the station is not a tower but the elevator shaft. The elevator was used to carry baggage to and from track level to and from street level. Sunrise Highway is at the far left of the photo.
 
The two tracks to the far right are the Montauk Branch #1 (westbound) and #2 (eastbound) tracks. They bypass the station altogether as Valley Stream is NOT a stop on the Montauk branch, but a stop on the Atlantic branch and Far Rockaway branch.

The track at the left side of the station platform WAS the Atlantic branch eastbound track #2. But is now the Long Beach branch track #2, as the Far Rockaway branch eastbound track #2 has branched off to Far Rock. The track curving off in the foreground to the left of the position light signal is the Far Rockaway branch westbound track #1, joining Atlantic branch westbound track #1. 

The eastbound Atlantic branch track #2 becomes the eastbound Long Beach branch track #2 AFTER the junction with the eastbound Far Rockaway branch track #2. Therefore, the DD1 is heading eastbound with a freight on the Long Beach branch tracks. A few feet previously, before it cleared the switch, it was running on Atlantic branch tracks. Had it been a freight bound for Babylon, it would have been heading eastbound on the far right of this photo running along eastbound Montauk branch track #2.

The track to the right of the station platform is the westbound Atlantic branch track #1, with westbound connecting track #1 from Far Rockaway. This WAS the Long Beach branch westbound track #1 from Lynbrook but once it clears the switch and junction from Far Rockaway, it becomes the Atlantic branch track #1 (westbound).

The tracks to West Hempstead are behind the tower and behind the photographer, with a bunch of crossover switches routing trains across 4 sets of tracks: 2 Long Beach branch tracks and 2 Montauk branch tracks. The West Hempstead branch then curves off behind the tower towards the NE.

The men on the front of the DD1 are the train crew. Probably the fireman and the freight conductor, OR . .. if the train is stopped, it could be the engineer and fireman. I can't tell if the train is stopped waiting for a westbound Far Rockaway train to clear the block or not . . . I don't see an engineer at the front window, so perhaps the train IS stopped and this is both enginemen looking at the photographer.

At Lynbrook, we lose the 2 southernmost tracks, with Long Beach track #2 (eastbound) curving south and Long Beach #1 (westbound) curving FROM the south (from Long Beach) to the west. . . like the way the Hempstead branch leaves the Main Line at Floral Park with the eastbound and westbound Main Line tracks continuing past the station on the north side. 

In this same manner as Floral Park, the Montauk branch tracks continue east towards Babylon, and, although Lynbrook is NOT a stop on the Montauk branch, the station has two island platforms, one between the two Long Beach tracks and one between the two Montauk Branch tracks. No idea why, unless the Lynbrook stop was /is made by the occasional Montauk /Babylon train.  Research: Dave Keller

LIRR - Far Rock MU at Valley - Jan 1971.JPG (174519 bytes)
Far Rockaway MU passing VALLEY Tower View E 01/1971 
Photo: Brad Phillips

Far Rockaway train (from Jamaica) arrived at Valley Stream station to unload West Hempstead Branch passengers. and departs  eastbound passing Valley Tower)

LIRR - W Hemp Local From Yard to Station - Valley Steam - Jan 1971.JPG (140227 bytes)
West Hempstead 3 car MU shuttle, laid-up in the Valley Stream yard until departure of the Far Rock train,  moving westbound on the eastbound track passing Valley Tower with red markers on. View E 01/1971 
Photo/Info: Brad Phillips
WestHempstead_ Local-Valley-Stream_eastbound_01-1971_BradPhillips.jpg (143571 bytes)
MU shuttle at Valley Stream 
view W 01/1971 Photo: Brad Phillips

Photo above is of that same train now eastbound leaving the station and heading towards the crossover switches to access the West Hempstead Branch.  We're looking at the rear end of the train as no headlight lit.  The train is passing VALLEY tower in the process. Info: Dave Keller

VALLEY INTERLOCKING PROJECT - 10/24/2009
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Valley Interlocking brochure 10/24/2009

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Valley Interlocking brochure reverse 10/24/2009

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Valley Interlocking project Map MTA 2009

WESTWOOD

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Emery map Valley Stream to MP17 8/1958
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Westwood Station view NW 2/23/46 Archive: William Gilligan 
Westwood-Station_viewE_12-26-03_WilliamGilligan.jpg (86092 bytes)
Westwood Station view E 12/26/03 
Photo: William Gilligan
Westwood-Stationsign_12-26-03_WilliamGilligan.jpg (70802 bytes)
Westwood Station sign 12/26/03 
Photo: William Gilligan

Westwood Station pedestrian crossing view NW 12/26/03 
Photo: William Gilligan
Westwood-Station_viewN_12-26-03_WilliamGilligan.jpg (107497 bytes)
Westwood Station view N 12/26/03 
Photo: William Gilligan
MALVERNE
WestHempstead_ Local-Malverne_eastbound_01-1971_BradPhillips.jpg (116405 bytes)
West Hempstead local Malverne view W 01/1971 Photo: Brad Phillips

WestHempstead_Local-near-Malverne_eastbound_01-1971_BradPhillips.jpg (115891 bytes)
West Hempstead local near Malverne view E  01/1971 Photo: Brad Phillips

 

 

Malverne_Fan-trip_c.1956_BradPhillips.jpg (57968 bytes)
Malverne LIRR fan trip c.1956 Archive: Brad Phillips

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West Hempstead local near Malverne view E 01/1971  Photo: Brad Phillips

Emery-Malverne_West-Hempstead-Branch_MP17-18_8-58.jpg (91999 bytes)
Emery map Malverne MP17-18 8/1958
Archive: Dave Keller


Coach ticket NY to Malverne Archive: Brad Phillips

Malverne-Station_01-1971_BradPhillips.jpg (210800 bytes)
Malverne Station 01/1971 
Photo: Brad Phillips

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MU train at West Hempstead Ave. Malverne Station view N 1954
West-Hempstead-Ave_Malverne_10-73_viewN.jpg (79121 bytes)
West Hempstead Ave. Malverne Station view N 10/1973
Archive: Brad Phillips
LIRR-1966-map22_Malverne.jpg (96763 bytes)
LIRR 1966 map #22 Valley Stream to Malverne
LAKEVIEW
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Emery map Lakeview  MP18-19 8/1958
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Lakeview Woodfield Rd. 1969 
Photo: William Gilligan
LIRR - WB W Hemp Local at Lakeview -  Jan 1971.JPG (87919 bytes)
Lakeview westbound local, West Hempstead Branch Jan 1971
Lakeview-Woodfield-Rd._12-26-03_WilliamGilligan.jpg (156021 bytes)
Lakeview Woodfield Rd. 12-26-2003 Photo: William Gilligan
HEMPSTEAD GARDENS

Emery-West-Hempstead-Branch_MP19-Chestnut-St._8-58.jpg (67123 bytes)
Emery map West Hempstead Branch MP19 to Chestnut St. 8/1958

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Emery map Hempstead Gardens to Fulton St. 1893-1926

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Emery map Hempstead Gardens to Fulton St. 1926-1935

EmeryW.HempBranch1935-59.jpg (270502 bytes)
Emery Map Hempstead Gardens to West  Hempstead Station 9/1935-1959
EmeryW.HempBranch1959+.jpg (137767 bytes)
Emery Map Hempstead Gardens to West Hempstead Station 1959+
Emery-West-Hempstead-Branch_MP19-Chestnut-St._8-58.jpg (67123 bytes)
Emery map MP19 to Chestnut St. 8-58
Station-Hempstead Gdns-c. 1928.jpg (78064 bytes)
Hempstead Gardens station view N 
c. 1928
Hempstead-Gardens-Station_1953_WilliamGilligan.jpg (77104 bytes)
Hempstead Gardens Station 1953 Archive: William Gilligan
Station-Hempstead Gdns-Shelter Shed-MU Dbl Dk 1330-01-01-72 (Keller).jpg (117676 bytes)
Hempstead Gardens station: Shelter Shed MU Double Decker #1330 View N 1/01/72
WEST HEMPSTEAD
EmeryW.HempBranch1935-59.jpg (270502 bytes)
Emery Map West Hempstead Station 9/1935-1959

LIRR-1966-map23_West_Hempstead-Station.jpg (34420 bytes)
LIRR 1966 map #23 West Hempstead

WestHempstead_viewS_1931.jpg (27195 bytes)
West Hempstead view S 1931, previous location was north of Hempstead Ave at location "M" on Emery map left. 

WestHempstead_viewS_c.1952.jpg (71677 bytes)
West Hempstead view S c.1952 The OLD station building fronting Hempstead Ave

West-Hempstead_viewS_12-26-03_WilliamGilligan.jpg (102459 bytes)
West Hempstead view S 12/26/03 
Photo: William Gilligan

West-Hempstead-Station_viewS_12-26-03_WilliamGilligan.jpg (53807 bytes)
West Hempstead Station view S 12/26/03 Photo: William Gilligan

YardWestHempstead02-20-54.jpg (73937 bytes)
 West Hempstead Yard with passenger cars  in the yard. Note: One yard track with access  switch has been removed 02/20/1954 
Info/Archive: Dave Keller

lirr1206_MB62WestHempstead07071953.jpg (154112 bytes)
MU MB62 REA car #1206 at old express house West Hempstead 7/7/53 Courtesy of: Jim Gillin, 
Negative: Dave Keller

StationandYardWestHempstead02-20-54.jpg (55377 bytes)
West Hempstead  Station and Yard  02/20/1954 with the freight conductor checking bills

View N towards the old depot.  You can see its angle away from the tracks and can just make out the covered walkway platform leading from the rear of the depot to the covered station platform.

At the left is the old freight yard and at the right is the old LIRR electric sub-station.  A freight is at the platform and an MU electric two-car shuttle at the station is at the other side of the platform up by the depot. Info/Archive: Dave Keller

 

LIRR - West Hempstead LH-262.jpg (37839 bytes)

Ticket West Hempstead -Hempstead Gardens 02/23/1962 Archive: Brad Phillips

LIRR - West Hempstead LH-262 Reverse001.jpg (35039 bytes)
ABANDONED LINE TO COUNTRY LINE PRESS STATION
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DD1 #358 Freight Brakeman walking Cathedral Ave. crossing - West Hempstead  view NE 9/28/47 
Photo: Ed Hermanns

Cathedral-Ave-Hempstead_ex-LIRR-ROW-West-Hempstead-Mineola_viewN-2014.jpg (100572 bytes)
Ex-LIRR ROW of West Hempstead Branch, Cathedral Ave., West Hempstead to Mineola view NE 2014 Archive: Google Maps

Despite the sad deterioration of my negative depicting something very rarely photographed, this photo depicts what freight service had to contend with along the W. Hempstead branch:  A brakeman had to manually walk ahead of the train at each crossing and protect that crossing until the engine passed.

The LIRR was allowed this with freight service but was NOT allowed it with passenger service.  The powers-that-be wanted the grade crossings eliminated if the LIRR wished to continue Mineola-Country Life Press-West Hempstead-Valley Stream passenger service and as it was the 1930s and the height of the depression and some grade eliminations were already underway (Springfield Gardens, St. Albans, Rockville Centre, etc.), the money just wasn't readily available to do this so passenger service ceased between W. Hempstead and Country Life Press.  Freight service lasted several more decades until the connection at CLP was removed, the tracks cut back and the branch stubbed out on the south side of Hempstead Ave. at the W. Hempstead station. 
Research: Dave Keller  

West-Hempstead_County-Line-Press.jpg (101326 bytes)Ex-LIRR ROW of West Hempstead Branch, West Hempstead Station to Country Life Press 2014 Archive: Google Map

 

Emery-Fulton-St.-to Franklin-Ave_10-1926_9-1935.jpg (203653 bytes)
Emery map Fulton St. to Franklin Ave, West Hempstead - 10/26 to 9/35
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Emery map Fulton St. to Franklin Ave, West Hempstead - 07/1958
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Emery map Franklin Ave, to Country 
Life Press (CLP) Station 1937
Country-Life_Press-razed-ROW_12-1964_BradPhillips.jpg (85702 bytes)
Country Life Press razed ROW view towards West Hempstead 12/1964 Photo: Brad Phillips
Note: For track continuation from County Line Press (CLP) Station to Mineola CLICK HERE