The LIRR Montauk Branch, looking west. The LIRR Montauk Branch runs from Jamaica station to Long Island City. Before the East River tunnels were built, the LIRR would take passengers along the Montauk Branch to LIC terminal. Once at LIC, the train's passengers would connect to ferries that would shuttle them to Manhattan. A couple of revenue-generating LIC trains still run out of Jamaica in the early weekday mornings.
Oldnyc.com contributor Walter Imhof adds this information: "The current mainline was the original ROW to Long Island City. It has of course gone through some changes over the years with realignment of track at Winfield and Maple Grove (Kew Gardens), and the grade crossing eliminations. The railroad's current Montauk Branch between Jamaica and LIC was owned by two different railroads - The South Side Railroad and New York & Flushing Railroad. The LIRR took over this route in the late 1870s after the roads went bankrupt. Also, the reason why the Rockaway Beach Branch was electrified and the Montauk Branch was not is that at that time the LIRR was still mostly a summer excursion railroad. The management at the time considered both the Rockaway Beach and the Far Rockway branches top priority when it came to electrification."
The Montauk Branch, looking east. Notice that there are no third rails along this route. Diesel and dual-mode (diesel and electric) trains run along this route.
Interesting how the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch was electrified, but the Montauk Branch was not. I guess the LIRR thought that the Rockaway Branch was going to generate more revenue, hence the electrification took place on the Rockaway Beach branch rather than on the Montauk Branch.
Another interesting analysis made by oldnyc.com contributor Jim Guthrie
follows: "But where the picture was taken on the Montauk Branch WAS
electrified! Starting about 1928, the PRR put 3rd rail everywhere
so as to amortize the DD-1s by placing them in freight service. The Montauk
Branch was electrified from the Union Turnpike bridge, east of this location,
all the way to Fresh Pond, where one engine length actually sported both
11kv catenary and 3rd rail. The NH brought in refrigerated meat using electrin
locomotives -- passing it off the DD-1-powered LIRR trains that ran down
to Ozone Park, reversed and headed to Flatbush Avenue meat packing plants.
Although electric/electric interchange happens thousands of times daily
elsewhere in the world, Fresh Pond and Butte, Montana (BAP/MILW) were the
only two locations in North America sporting an "all electric" interchange."
Oldnyc.com contributor Derek Stadle provided Oldnyc.com with this picture. Derek writes: "Here is a picture of Glendale Junction that I took in the summer of 1996 from atop the Woodhaven Blvd overpass looking east at the Montauk Line tracks. You can barely see one of the towers of the Rockaway Beach Branch because of all the blooming trees."
Picture courtesy of Derek Stadle.
The Rockaway Beach Branch is positioned on top of this hill. An old, rusted-out abandoned car sits along the Montauk right of way.
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