Whitestone Branch
Photos/Research: Dave Keller Archive, unless noted

Whitestone-Village-Flushing-NY-1873-Beers-Map-with-Homeowners.jpg (1371436 bytes)
Whitestone Village 1873 Beers Map

According to Vincent F. Seyfried's chapter on the Whitestone branch construction from his Sixth volume of Long Island Rail Road history, the Whitestone & Westchester RR constructed a ROW for the Whitestone Extension in 1872 with Whitestone Landing the projected terminus of the line.

Five wooden bridges were built over the graded ROW and then, due to some financial issues / demands, all work was halted on the extension until 1885. Track laying was completed to Whitestone Landing on August 8, 1886 and the first rain train on August 9, 1886.

The map is dated 1873 and shows the line to Whitestone Landing in place, probably because the ROW was cleared and, in anticipation of the line being continued to be built, the mapmaker included it on their then-current maps of Whitestone. They and others had no idea that the line's construction was going to come to a screeching halt with nothing happening for another 13 years. (Dave Keller research)

Whitestone-Branch-1_ERA-Bulletin-4-2019-JeffErlitz.jpg (180030 bytes) Whitestone-Branch-2_ERA-Bulletin-4-2019-JeffErlitz.jpg (139243 bytes)

LIRR's Whitestone Branch Era Bulletin - April 2019
by Jeff Erlitz

Whitestone-Branch-3_ERA-Bulletin-4-2019-JeffErlitz.jpg (204173 bytes)

ticket-Whitestone-LICity-34th-St-ferry_08-14-1896_BradPhillips.jpg (125789 bytes)
Ticket Whitestone to LI City transfer
to 34th St. Ferry 8/14/1896 
Archive: Brad Phillips

ticket-Whitestone-LICity_reverse_8-14-1896_BradPhillips.jpg (66054 bytes)
Whitestone to LI City transfer 
to 34th St. Ferry - Reverse

Issued between 9/1910 - 01/1921  
Archive: Brad Phillips

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Ticket Flushing - Bridge St. New York Penn Station 1/14/1921 Archive: Brad Phillips

Whitestone Division (Abandoned) - Queens, NY - 1934  Hagstrom Map Archive: Dave Keller

Note: the solid lines drawn along some roads/avenues/causeways and not others are trolley lines. Some lines turn off a road and run alongside it. Those were called private rights-of-way (PROW).

For example, the NY & Queens Transit trolley turns northwest off Northern Blvd. at Lawrence St/College Point Causeway where it runs along the causeway up to 26th Ave. There it leaves the road and, to the right (east) of the road continues north on a PROW. Then, at 14th Rd. it turns left (west), enters the road and heads one-way towards the College Point Ferry. Returning trolleys would leave the ferry terminal and enter 15th Ave. eastbound one-way connecting to the PROW to head back south to Northern Blvd., etc. Dave Keller

LIRRWhitestoneBranch.jpg (159727 bytes)
Queens County, NY 2008

Robert Emery Maps of the Whitestone Branch -  Pre-February 19, 1932
All Emery maps archive: Dave Keller 

Emery-Map-WhitestoneMP6-MP7_10-1958.jpg (301085 bytes)
Whitestone MP6-MP7
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 Flushing Creek to Myrtle Ave 

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Myrtle Ave to Mill Creek

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Mill Creek to 3rd Ave
Emery-Map-Whitestone3rdAve-MalbaSta05-1959.jpg (84038 bytes)
3rd Ave to Malba Station
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Malba Station to 150th Street
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150th Street to Whitestone Landing Station 
Emery-Map-WhitestoneWLandingStationEndofDock5-1959.jpg (97779 bytes)
Whitestone Landing Station to end of dock

Mileage from LI City based on an old CR4 book and mileage from "WJ" tower ("WIN") from my 1929 ETT.  The mileage is indicated from "WJ" tower ("WIN") because the Whitestone branch was connected to the Port Washington branch (North Side Division) and Port Washington branch mileage was clocked from "WJ" tower where the branch left the Main Line.  I've provided a comparison below (these are mileages to the actual station building, not to even numbered mileposts as Emery provided on his other maps):

"JC" Tower (Whitestone  Junction) =  2.9 miles from "WJ" tower ("WIN") / 6.73 miles from LI City
Flushing Bridge St.   = 3.8 miles from "WJ" /   7.66 miles from LI City
College Point           = 5.2 miles from "WJ" /   9.09 miles from LI City
Malba                      = 6.2 miles from "WJ" / 10.06 miles from LI City
Whitestone               = 6.9 miles from "WJ" / 10.73 miles from LI City
Whitestone Landing  = 7.6 miles from "WJ" / 11.41 miles from LI City

The mileage indicated from "WJ" vs. the mileage indicated from LI City is off by about 3/10 mile.  Emery states Whitestone as station W11.  That means Whitestone branch station, 11 miles.  Looking at my mileages above from LI City, the stations were obviously numbered from LI City for identification purposes, and not "WJ" tower.  Whitestone is roughly correct . . . off by .27 miles . . . there's my indicated 3/10 mile difference. Research: Dave Keller


JC-Tower_Whitestone-Jct._1922_Huneke.jpg (78153 bytes)
1922 JC Tower - Whitestone Jct. Interlocking blueprint Archive: Art Huneke

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JC Tower Whitestone Junction Flushing valuation photo 04/04/1921 Archive: Art Huneke

lirr152-MP15_Whitestone-Junction-turnout_4-15-1977.jpg (114577 bytes)
LIRR #152 MP15 at  ex-Whitestone Junction 
turnout  4/15/77

The station at the time of the photo was Shea Stadium. The Transit facility, in the left background is Corona Yard. The EL station here is Willets Pt.

The LIRR yard that used to be there a little further up towards the Corona-Flushing EL was called Corona Yard. The World's Fair located south of the tracks at that spot was called Flushing Meadows.  Info: Dave Keller

Looking North across the marshland from the Roosevelt Avenue bridge on September 30, 1935, we see the Corona Meadows team yard which opened in 1926.  Prior to that date, all freight was handled at the Flushing, Bridge Street freight facilities on the Whitestone branch.  A pair of DD1 electrics with headlights lit are working some freight cars and the freight station is just beyond.  At the far right, the former electrified tracks of the Whitestone branch are visible, paralleling the Flushing River.  After the Whitestone branch was abandoned in February, 1932, this portion of the branch tracks was left intact to access the team yard from the Port Washington branch.  The marshland in the foreground became the site of the large passenger yard constructed in 1938 to handle the layup of passenger trains in service to and from the 1939-40 N. Y. World's Fair trains.  It was torn up in 1954, leaving the team yard in place.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

This is a close-up view of the Corona Meadows team yard.  The former Whitestone branch track at the far right curves in the distance, where it once went across the Flushing River over a swing bridge.
Corona Meadows Team Yard (View NE) - 10-18-36 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (102470 bytes)
On October 18, 1936, Percy Loomis Sperr photographed the LIRR's Corona Meadows team yard looking northeast. The yard was constructed in 1926 with newer facilities in place in early 1931. While under the jurisdiction of the agent at Corona on the Port Washington branch, the yard was actually constructed between Whitestone Junction and the west end of the Flushing River draw (swing) bridge with access to the team yard via the Whitestone branch. When said branch was abandoned in February of 1932, a short stretch of the original tracks was left in place to continue to allow access to the team yard. In addition, a large passenger layup yard was constructed in 1938 in preparation for trains to and from the 1939-40 NY World's Fair. All tracks were electrified but after 1951, third rail was removed. The layup yard tracks were removed in 1954 but the team yard remained in service. (David Keller archive)



Flushing-Creek-Bridge_Whitestone-Branch_train-eastbound_c.1890.jpg (69807 bytes)
Flushing Creek Swing Bridge Train is eastbound c.1890
Swing Bridge-Flushing Creek-Whitestone Branch-(View N) - c. 1904 (Keller).jpg (74546 bytes)
Swing Bridge Flushing Creek- View N  c.1904 Archive: Dave Keller
1-Whitestone Br-Flushing Creek-View SW - 07-06-17 (Keller).jpg (49884 bytes)
Swing bridge trestle over Flushing Creek view SW - 07/06/1917 (Dave Keller)
Whitestone Br-Swing Bridge-Bridge Tender's Cabin-Flushing River-Flushing (View S) - 04-08-1927 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (72039 bytes)
Looking southeast from Northern Blvd at the Flushing River bridge, we see the LIRR's swing bridge with bridge tender's cabin at the left as it looked on April 8, 1927. Beyond the bridge is the long-established and high-end furniture and rug company of W & J Sloane. In the left foreground is a barge docked at the Commonwealth Fuel Company. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

Whitestone Br-Swing Bridge-Bridge Tender's Cabin-Flushing River-Flushing (View S) - 04-08-1927 (Sperr-Keller) (Zoom).jpg (101065 bytes)
This close-up view of the previous image better displays the swing bridge and bridge tender's cabin.

Looking south from Northern Blvd. as it crosses over the Flushing River Bridge, we see the former track and ROW of the abandoned Whitestone branch truncated on the west side of Flushing River. The Corona Meadows Team Yard is at the far right with some freight activity underway. The layup yard for New York World's Fair trains has not yet been constructed. In the distance is the Roosevelt Ave. bridge and beyond it can be seen the symbols of the 1939-40 New York World's Fair: the Trylon and bottom half of the Perisphere under construction. Image photographed on May 30, 1938 by Percy Loomis Sperr. (Dave Keller archive)
S2-455-Switching Freight-Whitestone Jct-Flushing Meadows-View SE-06-02-51 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (135908 bytes)  
S2 #455 in original "as-delivered" black livery, gold lettering, small road numbers, and white pilot is switching a boxcar and a pole car at the old Whitestone Junction, on the Port Washington branch just east of the former 1939 NY World's Fair grounds on June 2, 1951.  This view is looking SE from the old pedestrian overpass which was constructed for the fair, so visitors arriving by IRT trains could cross the LIRR tracks and access the entrance.  Directly behind the photographer was the site of the old United Nations station, which was in service at the time this photo was taken.  "JC" tower was once located inside the switch to the former Whitestone branch in the left background.  By 1952, both the overpass and the United Nations station were history. (Will V. Faxon, Jr. photo, Dave Keller archive)
Anchor-Coal-Co._view SW-toward Shea-Stadium-ex-World'sFair_1979Richard and Joseph Braun.jpg (116735 bytes)
Anchor Coal Co. (see map MP6-7 above left - location #8) view SW toward Shea Stadium - ex-World's Fair site 1979. The coaches are awaiting scrap in what once was the Corona Yard. Photo: Richard Braun 
4-Whitestone Br-Lawrence St. Xing-Flushing-View N - 09-05-10 (Keller).jpg (105522 bytes)
Looking north toward the grade crossings of Lawrence St. (left; now College Point Blvd.) and 36th Ave. (right), west of Flushing, Bridge Street station on 09/05/1910. Compare this view with the view at right. (Dave Keller archive)
5-Whitestone Br-Lawrence St. Xing-Flushing-View S - 07-05-17 (Keller).jpg (85159 bytes)
Grade crossing of Lawrence St. looking S. - 07/05/1917 (Dave Keller archive)
Crossings-Lawrence St (L)-36th Ave. (R) & Xing Tower W. of Flushing Bridge St. Sta (View NE) - 03-13-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (74312 bytes)
Looking NE towards the crossings of Lawrence Street (at the left) and 36th Ave. (at the right) with the elevated crossing tower and related outhouse on March 13, 1932, shortly after the branch was abandoned. These crossings were just west of the Flushing, Bridge St. station. The tracks curved around the right side of the building visible behind the crossing tower, then crossed Northern Blvd. (Bridge St.) and accessed the station on the north side of the street. Compare this view with the similar view shot 21-1/2 years earlier in 1910. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
Whitestone Branch-Crossing-Elevated Tower-36th Ave., (Old Lawrence St.) Flushing (Bridge St)-View SE - 03-12-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (87141 bytes)
Grade crossing and elevated watchman's tower - 36th Ave. (formerly Old Lawrence St.) at Flushing (Bridge St. station around curve at far right) - view N. (railroad E.) on 03/12/32, shortly after abandonment of branch.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)



7-Whitestone Br-MU Combine-Lawrence St. Xing-Flushing-c. 1925 (Keller).jpg (69291 bytes)
 MU combine and train over Old Lawrence St., negotiating the curve just west of Flushing (Bridge St.) station.  View N. (railroad E.) - c. 1925 (Dave Keller archive)
3-Whitestone Br-Broadway-Flushing Bridge St. Station-View W-07-06-17 (Keller).jpg (124498 bytes)
Tracks and ROW looking W. from Broadway, Flushing (Bridge Street) toward Old Lawrence St. - 07/06/1917 (Dave Keller archive)
6-Whitestone Br-Broadway Xing at Flushing Bridge St. Sta-View E - 07-06-17 (Keller).jpg (89216 bytes)
Grade crossing of Bridge St. (Northern Blvd.) at Flushing (Bridge St.) station.  Swift & Co. wooden  2-1/2 story building at left.  LIRR station covered platform visible beyond at the crossing gates. View E. - 07/06/1917 (Dave Keller archive)
2-Whitestone Br-Station-Flushing Bridge St-c. 1925 (Osborne-Keller).jpg (75326 bytes)
Flushing (Bridge Street) station (view E) - Reefer cars at left on siding for Swift & Co.   Old newsstand facing street at end of station platform - c. 1925 (James V. Osborne photo/Dave Keller archive)
Station-Flushing Bridge St-Northern Blvd-Flushing (View N) - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (95813 bytes)
Bridge Street Station, Flushing View N 1932

Looking north on March 3, 1932, we see the closed station at Flushing Bridge Street (Northern Blvd). (Photo upper right) The NY & Queens Transit trolley tracks are visible in the cobble-stoned center of the street. Swift & Company with their siding is at the left and a beat cop appears to be watching something, or posing for the camera. When the branch was in service, there was a large newsstand at the street end of the platform but with abandonment of the line, the newsstand was removed. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

Looking NE from just north (railroad east) of the Flushing Bridge Street station, we see the right-of-way and tracks of the passing siding at the left, the main track to its right and the throat of the Flushing Bridge Street team yard further right. The semaphore block signal is at the left and is cantilevered over the passing siding to allow the signal to be above the main track. Just beyond the signal mast, a portion of the section house is visible, along with planked area between the rails to allow maneuvering of the handcar. The freight house is in the center background and looming beyond it is the holder for the Flushing Gas Works. This view was photographed on 03/03/32, just shy of two weeks after the branch was abandoned on 02/19/32 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)

This is a zoom image showing more closely the items  indicated in the photo left.
Team Yard-Flushing Bridge St - View NE towards Flushing Gas Plant - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (120859 bytes)
View of the Flushing (Bridge St.) team yard, looking NE towards the Flushing Gas Works - 03/03/32 - Out of service with branch abandonment on 02/19/32 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)  
  8-Whitestone Br-Myrtle Ave. Xing-Flushing-View E-07-06-17 (Keller).jpg (91151 bytes)
Grade crossing of Myrtle Ave. (now 32nd Ave.) east of Flushing (Bridge St.) station, at the LIRR's team yard. Freight house at right in shadow.  View E. - 07/06/17  (Dave Keller archive)
ROW-View N-Start of Frt Yrd at Myrtle Ave (32nd Ave)-Flushing - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (105291 bytes)
Looking north along the abandoned ROW from Myrtle Ave. (32nd Ave.), just north of the Flushing Bridge Street station on March 3, 1932, we see the west end of the freight/team yard. The switch in the foreground has been removed but the ties and third rail are still in place. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
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Whitestone Branch - Post 1889 College Point map zoom
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College Point Google roadmap 2016
College-Point-2016-satellite.jpg (211964 bytes)
College Point - Google Satellite view  2016 
Crossing at 20th Ave & 128th St-College Point (View SE) - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (78233 bytes)
This is the crossing of 20th Ave. at 128th St. at the southern end (railroad west) of the College Point station platform. The view taken on March 3, 1932 is looking southeast. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
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College Point station (rear view) looking geographically east along 18th Ave. - c. 1890 (Art Huneke archive)
12-Station-College Point - 1906 (J. Antos).jpg (86274 bytes)
College Point station (trackside view) looking geographically SW - 1906 (Jason Antos archive)
13-Whitestone Br-Station-College Point-View E - c. 1925 (Osborne-Keller).jpg (77225 bytes)
College Point station (trackside view) looking NW (railroad E) c. 1925. Note in this image that while the main track at the depot side has a high-level, wooden platform, which remained up to the end of branch service, there is also a low, concrete platform with electric lamp posts running alongside the passing siding, as well as a mid-track fence, giving the impression of double track, which did not exist here. What's interesting to note is that in subsequent images on this page, these items no longer exist. (James V. Osborne photo, Dave Keller archive)
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College Point station (trackside view) looking NW (railroad E.) - Freight house at right background - c. 1930 (Fred Weber photo / Art Huneke archive)
Station-College Point (View N from 20th Ave) - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (116334 bytes)
Spinning around, and looking north from the 20th Ave. crossing on March 3, 1932, the photographer captures the closed station at College Point with curved, high-level wooden platform. The switch in the foreground with track curving to the right is the southern end (railroad west) of the passing siding. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
Station-College Point-View E Along 18th Ave - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (111386 bytes)
Rear, broadside view of College Point station looking geographically E along 18th Ave. (The tracks physically extend north/south at this portion of the branch.) - 03/03/32 Out of service with branch abandonment on 02/19/32 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)
Station-College Point (View NE along 127th St. towards 18th Ave) - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (86273 bytes)
Standing alongside 127th St. and looking north on March 3, 1932, the photographer captures a rear, street-side view of the closed station at College Point at 18th Ave. Notice the limited parking space. At the time the station was constructed, parking wasn't an issue as passengers would either walk to and from the depot or take a carriage to be dropped off or picked up. Commuting on this branch wasn't as we know commuting today. It appears it remained the same as late as branch abandonment on February 19, 1932, as there still are no parking spots other than for taxis. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
Station-College Point-View NE Along 127th St - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (86863 bytes)
Rear view of College Point station looking geographically NE along 127th St. (The tracks physically extend north/south at this portion of the branch.) - 03/03/32 Out of service with branch abandonment on 02/19/32 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)  
Station-College Point (View W) - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (107749 bytes)
Standing in the freight/team yard on March 3, 1932, the photographer looks due west and captures the front/trackside view of the closed College Point station. In the foreground are the two team tracks. Note that, while the depot windows at ground level are boarded up, the upper windows are still visible and accessible, with clothes dangling from one of the center windows. Apparently, the agent and his family resided in the upper level, as was the case at many 2-story depots (Whitestone included), and, while the branch and ticket agency closed on February 19, 1932, this structure remained standing for a little over another 2 1/2 years, possibly to allow the family time to relocate amongst other LIRR reasons unknown to us at this time. The building was razed on September 19, 1934. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
Freight House-College Point-View NE - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (75552 bytes)
College Point freight house in team yard - view geographically NE (The tracks physically extend north/south at this portion of the branch.) - 03/03/32 Out of service with branch abandonment on 02/19/32 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)  


Used for controlling train movements on the Whitestone Branch after head-on-collision of  MU trains east of  College Point, NY:  9/22/13. IN USE 1913 1926 ONLY


9-Whitestone Br-MU Combine 1371-Tr 308-Head-On-Collision-College Point-09-22-13 (Keller).jpg (108399 bytes)
MU combine car #1371 (on train #308) in aftermath of head-on collision between eastbound train #308 and westbound train #311 just east of College Point station - 09/22/13  (Dave Keller archive)
10-Whitestone Br-MU Motor 1526-Tr 311-Head-On-Collision-College Point-09-22-13 (Keller).jpg (99785 bytes)
MU motor #1526 (on train #311) in aftermath of head-on collision between  eastbound train #308 and westbound train #311 just east of College Point station - 09/22/13  (Dave Keller archive)  
ROW-View N toward 14th & 15th Aves Overpass - College Point - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (98612 bytes)
ROW-View N toward 14th & 15th Aves Overpass - College Point - 3/03/32 (Sperr-Keller

Looking north along the ROW from just north of the College Point station on March 3, 1932, we see the overpass of 14th / 15th Avenues. At the left is a cantilevered semaphore block signal, at the right of the main track is the passing siding and at the far right are the tracks from the northern end (railroad east) of the freight/team yard. What was unusual about this branch was that, prior to the deadly head-on collision of two MU electric trains just east of the College Point station on September 22, 1913, trains along this single-track branch were operated with only employee timetable and pocket watch. There were no signals installed. As a result of the wreck, a "staff" system was put into effect on October 21, 1913 and remained in use until semaphore block signals were installed in October, 1926. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

Overpass of 14th & 15th Aves N of Station - College Point (View N) - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (109482 bytes)
Overpass 14th/15th Aves View N of College Point station 3/03/32 (Sperr-Keller)
Here is a close-up of the 14th/15th Avenues overpass just north of the College Point station. This March 3, 1932 (after abandonment) view is looking north (railroad east) with the switch and track to the passing siding (which also fed the freight house and team tracks) curving off to the right in the foreground. Robert Emery, when drawing his maps of the branch in 1957, indicated this overpass was designated as "W95" but was unable to find a date as to its construction. He notes the structure, which was a combination of wood and large stones, was built pre-1908. Judging by the very old style of construction, it would appear that it's possible that this overpass was even older than that, having maybe been built when the branch was constructed to Whitestone in 1869. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

The electric lock stand to the right of the hand-operated switch, as well as manual block signals at Flushing-Bridge St and Whitestone Landing, were installed in 10/1926. This electric lock was controlled from lever 31 at WE Block Station in Whitestone Landing station. Lever 32 controlled the eastbound manual block signal at College Point and the westbound signal leaving Whitestone Landing. The machine was a US&S Style TC table-top with only the two levers, 31 and 32. JC Tower at Whitestone Junction had signal, switch and lock levers up to #30. Research: Jeff Erlitz


ROW-Tracks-N (RR East) from 15th Ave. Overpass - College Point - 03-16-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (133642 bytes)
ROW view N from 5th Ave. overpass just N of College Point 3/16/32 (Sperr-Keller)

ROW and tracks looking north (railroad east) from the 15th Ave. overpass just north of the College Point station.  The tracks along the Whitestone branch headed north after leaving the LIRR's Port Washington branch at "JC" tower in Flushing Meadows traveling through College Point and this image shows them curving sharply to the right to head in an eastward direction towards Malba and Whitestone stations. This image was taken on 3/16/32, shortly after the branch was officially abandoned on 2/19/32.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

Malba Station postcard c. 1910 eBay

This postcard image would have to have been shot between 1909 and sometime before 10/22/1912 as there are no high-level platforms in place, no third rail indicated, nor any signs of installation being underway. Research: Dave Keller

15-Station-Malba - 1921 (LIRR-Huneke).jpg (102950 bytes)
Malba station (rear view) looking SE (railroad E) - 1921 (LIRR valuation photo / Art Huneke archive)
16-Whitestone Br-MU Train WB at Sta-Malba-View NE - c. 1925 (Osborne-Keller).jpg (91863 bytes)
MU train westbound at Malba station - View NE (railroad E) - c. 1925 (James V. Osborne photo / Dave Keller archive)   
Station-Malba-View NE - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (93562 bytes)
Malba station view NE in semi-rural Queens (The tracks head due east along this portion of the branch) - 03/03/1932 Out of service with branch abandonment on 02/19/32 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)
Station-Malba-Whitestone, NY (View E) - 03-03-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (103381 bytes)

This view is looking east at the abandoned Malba station on March 3, 1932. The LIRR's Whitestone branch, along with its stations, freight stations and manned crossings was taken out of service twelve days earlier on February 19, 1932. This picturesque wood and stucco station with Spanish tile roof was constructed in 1909 for the convenience of residents of the new community of Malba being developed in Whitestone. 

The tracks elevated slightly here and the depot was constructed on a slightly elevated piece of land with a broad circular driveway at the rear of the building, useful for dropping off and picking up passengers without having to park in a lot. I don't believe ridership ever required a parking lot. Originally constructed with a low-level platform for steam-drawn trains, the wooden, high-level platform seen here was added when the branch was electrified on October 22, 1912. While I don't have a date for closing of the ticket agency, I think it shut down sometime in the late 1920s. The late station agent James V. Osborne worked this station as an extra clerk around 1925.

Note the safety rails in the middle of the single track. These are usually in place at a bridge or at sharp curves to keep derailed equipment on the ROW and not flying off the tracks. A review of Emery's map (posted above) indicates no nearby curves and no nearby bridges west of the station and one railroad bridge over Malba Drive followed by a broad curving of tracks, both east of the station. I can see these rails being in place BEYOND the station area at the bridge, but in front of and west of the station? I'm curious as to the LIRR's reason . . . . (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive and data) 

Rear view of the Malba station looking SE from an unpaved 11th Avenue on March 3, 1932 shortly after the line's abandonment. Note the sweeping curved roadway to drop off and pick up riders. This entrance is curbed and sidewalked and appears to possibly be paved . . . quite a juxtaposition with the dirt version of 11th Ave. Today's 143rd Place would be on the far side (east side) of the depot building. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive and data)




Here's a close-up of the PRR-style Keystone station sign for Malba 03/03/32

This view is looking east from just east of the Malba station, toward the 144th St. (Malba Drive) overgrade crossing located just past the curve.  You can make out the white concrete stanchion for the girder trestle.  Malba Drive is seen in the right background behind the large, landmark tree.  This view was also photographed on March 3, 1932, shortly after abandonment.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive and data)

Here's a zoomed view of the previous image.  11th Avenue
is visible through the trees at the far left, paralleling the tracks.

Looking north along 144th Street (Malba Drive), we see the LIRR's undergrade crossing.  Built in 1908, this was one of the last two trestles built on the branch (Cross Island Blvd. / Clintonville St. (or Rd.) was the other. 11th Avenue is visible on the other side of the trestle on the right, intersecting Malba Drive.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive and data)





Zooming in to the sign on the side of the Malba Drive girder trestle, we see
the notification:


Station-Whitestone.jpg (42718 bytes)
Whitestone Station rear view with freight house in background View NE  c.1910  (eBay image)

18-Station-Whitestone-08-17-1914 (Sepia) (e-Bay) (2).JPG (94214 bytes)
Whitestone station  (trackside view - railroad W) - 08/17/1914 (eBay image)

Whitestone Station colorized post card c.1900 Archive: Tom Byrne
19-Station-Whitestone-View NW - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (84923 bytes)
Whitestone station (rear view - railroad W) minus porte-cochere on 03/05/1932 shortly after branch abandonment.  While the windows are boarded up on the ground floor, it appears the former agent and his family are still in residence on the upper floors as indicated by the wash hanging out to dry on a line stretching to a nearby tree. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)
Station-Whitestone-View NE at 15th Ave - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (139741 bytes)
Whitestone station looking NE at 15th Ave. - 03/05/32.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo/Dave Keller archive)

Station-Whitestone-Possible Orig. Depot-Later Frt Hse - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (132446 bytes)
A close-up of the former freight house and possibly Depot #1 from 1869.  Check out the railroad-style architecture. 3/05/1932 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)

  Whitestone-Station_viewE_c.1925_(Osborne-Huneke).jpg (69355 bytes)
Whitestone Station - View E c.1925 (Osborne-Huneke) 

Note: The rectangular station sign, prior to 1929 Pennsylvania Keystone station sign replacements.

Station-Whitestone-Keystone Station Sign - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (117717 bytes)
Whitestone Station Keystone Sign close-up 3/05/1932 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)


In this close-up of the former freight house, in use as a taxi building in 1932, it looks architecturally as though it MAY have been the original depot building from 1869 and relegated to use as a freight / express house after 1871 when the 3-story depot was constructed. This was done at Good Ground (Hampton Bays) and several other sites on the LIRR. You'll note the architectural style is very much like those used on the SSRR of LI which also dated from the 1868-70 era. In the early street image of Whitestone depot posted above, one can see the exact same structure when in use as the freight house, but with the trackside eaves extended and apparently no bay window.  Also it appears to be of vertical board-and-batten construction, in contrast to the 1932 image which appears to be of brick.  This was probably the then-popular brick-style asphalt panels installed over the wood frame, probably so nobody had to paint the walls.  When freight service dwindled to nothing, it may have been sold or leased to the taxi company who may themselves have applied the asphalt brick panels, cut back the trackside overhanging eaves as they were no longer needed and added an office bay window.  Emery indicates a high-level platform around the structure which would explain why the top of the door and the top of the adjacent window are in line in the older view but with the removal of the high-level platform, the door was lowered to street level for access, now making the top no longer in alignment with the window.  (Dave Keller's thoughts)

Two-bridges_abandoned-Whitestone-branch_150th-Murray-Streets_Whitestone_05081935_IrvingKaufman.jpg (58903 bytes)
Two bridges over abandoned Whitestone branch of Long Island Railroad, at 150th and Murray Streets., Whitestone. 05/08/1935 Photo: Irving Kaufman Daily News 1999
150th-Street_CrossIslandParkway.jpg (181509 bytes)
Abandoned Whitestone Branch in dash line on current Cross Island Pkwy.  Photo: Google maps 2014
ROW & Tracks NE from Murray St. towards 150th Place & Cross Island Blvd. Overpasses E of Sta-Whitestone, NY - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (117632 bytes)
Looking NE from the Murray St. overpass just east of the Whitestone station, we see the 150th Place wooden overpass and beyond it, the steel and concrete overpass of Cross Island Blvd (later Clintonville St). In the center background we see the onion-shaped dome of St. Nicholas' Russian Orthodox Church. In this view shot on March 5, 1932, a short time after the branch was abandoned, we see the tracks curving to the north, heading towards the former terminus of the branch at Whitestone Landing. The Murray St. and 150th Place overpasses have long since been removed but the Clintonville St. overpass has been replaced with a newer structure spanning the Cross Island Parkway which was constructed atop the LIRR's Whitestone branch ROW in this section of Whitestone. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
Whitestone Branch_Clintonville St.-Bridge_c.1912.jpg (79066 bytes)
The 1908 steel and concrete overpass of Cross Island Blvd. (now Clintonville St.) east of the 150th St./Murray St. twin bridges as it appeared on a colorized postcard c. 1912. This view is looking SE. Archive: Dave Morrison 
Cross Island Blvd (Clintonville St) Overpass E of Sta-Whitestone, NY (View NE) - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (81674 bytes)
Here's a closer view of the steel and concrete overpass of Cross Island Blvd (Clintonville St.) which bears a construction date on its side of 1908. Looking NE on March 5, 1932, we see St. Nicholas' Russia Orthodox Church with onion-shaped dome and, to the right of it, the First Church of Christ, Scientist. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

This view is looking NE from the Cross Island Blvd. (later Clintonville St.) overpass towards the old 14th Ave. overpass in Whitestone, NY on March 5, 1932, a mere two weeks after the branch was abandoned.  In the foreground is MP 11 and in the distance, the tracks are making their curve northward to the end of the line at Whitestone Landing.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
Wooden Trestle over LIRR tracks - 14th Rd - Whitestone - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (131781 bytes)
The wooden trestle over the LIRR tracks at 14th Ave. just east of the Whitestone station.  The very old house appears to perch extremely close to the depressed LIRR tracks in this March 5, 1932 image, taken shortly after the branch was officially abandoned the month prior.  How'd you like to have to paint all the pickets in those fences?  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

Wooden Trestle over LIRR tracks - 14th Rd - Whitestone - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller) (Zoom).jpg (139663 bytes)
Close-up of the 14th Ave. wooden trestle in Whitestone.  There doesn't appear to be a lick of structural steel in that overpass!  Also, it doesn't look as though those pickets have ever felt a paintbrush, at least not in recent years!

ROW-Tracks E from 14th Rd. Overpass towards 12th Rd. Xing - Whitestone - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (128604 bytes)
ROW and tracks looking east from the 14th Ave. trestle towards the 12th Road grade crossing and shanty in Whitestone (see image of this crossing and shanty posted on this page).  The tracks are making their sweeping curve to the north as they cover the short remaining distance to the branch terminus at Whitestone Landing in this image from 3/5/32. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)
  20-Crossing-Shanty-12th Rd., Whitestone Landing, NY - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (100821 bytes)
 Crossing Shanty at 12th Rd. Whitestone Landing 3/05/1932 (Sperr-Keller)
Crossing-10th Ave-Whitestone Ldg. (View W) - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (91356 bytes)
The crossing and shanty of 10th Ave. at Whitestone Landing, looking west from 154th St. on 03/05/32.  Check out the diamond crossing sign at the far right, warning turning traffic on 154th St. as well as the sign at actual trackside on 10th Ave!  Whitestone Landing station would be to the right, outside this image.  The entrance to the station facilities is visible behind the diamond crossing sign at the tracks and gates.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive


Whitestone Branch Map Post 1889 Whitestone Ldg. Depot Relocation.jpg (126657 bytes)
Map of the Whitestone branch.  The branch was extended from Whitestone to Whitestone Landing in 1886 and the depot constructed at the water's edge.  In 1889 the depot was relocated further inland.  This map shows the relocated depot location, indicating a map date of 1889 or later.
Crossing-10th Ave.-3rd Rail Sign-Whitestone Ldg - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (110739 bytes)
A close-up of the shanty and the old, cast-iron electrified 3rd rail warning sign at the 10th Ave. Whitestone Landing crossing.  3/05/1932 (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)
Whitestone-Landing-colorized-postcard_c.1900.jpg (97762 bytes)
Whitestone Landing colorized postcard c.1900

WB Steam Loco at Sta-Whitestone Ldg-c. 1900.jpg (48237 bytes)
Early American-type (4-4-0) steam locomotive and open-vestibule-car train westbound at Whitestone Landing station c. 1890 - 1900.

21-Station-Whitestone-Ldg-1912.jpg (58762 bytes)
Colorized postcard view of steam locomotive and train westbound at Whitestone Landing station c. summer/1912 (Electrification of the branch occurred in October, 1912 and no third rail is indicated in image) - View NE (railroad E) (eBay image)

Whitestone-Landing_first-electric_10-12-12.jpg (57259 bytes)
Officials and dignitaries are all on hand for the arrival of the first MU electric train to Whitestone Landing on October 12, 1912. The rail line was extended from the former terminus at Whitestone station to the water's edge at Whitestone Landing in 1886, providing steam locomotive service to this new terminus of the Whitestone branch. After 26 years of wooden passenger cars, coal smoke and soot, electric service was a rather major and looked-forward-to event in the life of both the LIRR and the local communities it served. In this panorama view we see the MU electric train at the left and the old water tank for steam locomotives in the background. In the center and far right foreground, the newly-installed brackets to support the third rail are visible alongside the yard tracks, minus the rails and wooden guards, so the secondary track work for the yard tracks was apparently still underway. (Dave Keller archive and data)

22-Whitestone Br-Station-Staff Cabin W-Whitestone Ldg-View N (RR East) - c. 1925 (Osborne-Keller).jpg (60664 bytes)
Whitestone Landing station viewed N (railroad E) with "staff station" Cabin W at far left.  Staffs were kept locked up here and were required to be used in the aftermath of the September, 1913 head-on collision east of College Point, until October, 1926.  This is the only known surviving view of a "staff" cabin in use on the Whitestone branch - c. 1925 (James V. Osborne photo / Dave Keller archive)
23-Station-Whitestone Landing-View NE from 10th Ave. - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (79580 bytes)
Whitestone Landing station viewed NE (railroad E) on 03/05/32 shortly after the branch was abandoned.  (Percy Loomis Sperr photo / Dave Keller archive)

Freight House-Tugboat Repair Facilities-Whitestone Landing, NY (View NW) - 03-05-32 (Sperr-Keller).jpg (100625 bytes)
This is the freight house at Whitestone Landing, the terminus of the Whitestone branch, as it looked on March 5, 1932, shortly after the branch was abandoned. The view is NW and it would appear some remaining items were being removed from the building, before it was boarded up. The brick structure in the left background was the LIRR's Whitestone Shops which were their tugboat/maritime repair facilities. The waters of the East River, before it joins the Long Island Sound, are visible in the distance. (Percy Loomis Sperr photo, Dave Keller archive)

LIRR Tug Boat Repair Shops-Whitestone Ldg-c. 1890.jpg (107020 bytes)
LIRR Whitestone Shops at water's edge, Whitestone Landing, c. 1890. LIRR tugboats, floats and ferries were repaired at this facility, per Robert Emery's map data. 

LIRR Information Bulletin - 9/1926 Archive: Dave Morrison



A comparison of Whitestone station pre-1932 branch abandonment and what the area looks like today.  In all actuality, I've seen later-year views of various locations along the former ROW and it is virtually unrecognizable, either due to highway construction, or run-down looking commercial construction having been added at various times since the 1932 abandonment. I've approximated the former location of the Whitestone station (red star) and ROW (solid red line). The 2nd map is Emery's map of the same location back when the line was in service. The Cross Island Parkway pretty much wiped out the ROW, thru the Whitestone location, as can be seen in the image below the two maps. Info: Dave Keller

Emery-map_Whitestone-Station_pre-1932_Keller.jpg (116893 bytes)
Emery map - Whitestone Station Pre-1932 Archive: Dave Keller
Ex-Whitestone-Station-area-map_Cross-Island-Pkwy_10-2018.jpg (89585 bytes)
Ex-Whitestone Station area - Cross Island Parkway 10/2018 Design: Dave Keller

Whitestone Station - View E c.1925 (Osborne-Huneke) 
Ex-Whitestone-Station-area_Cross-Island-Pkwy_10-2016.jpg (91661 bytes)
Ex-Whitestone Station area - Cross Island Parkway  10/2016 Source: Google Maps

Both images above are looking east towards the older and "newer" 150th St. overpass from about the same location, only approximately 91 years apart.
 Ever since its construction which began in 1934, the Cross Island Parkway occupies the LIRR's former ROW through the Whitestone area. Dave Keller