- Port Jefferson Branch
Infobox rail line
name = Port Jefferson Branch
image_width = 250px
caption = Train #7706 at the Mineola station.
Long Island Rail Road
status = Operational
locale = Nassau and
Suffolk County, New York, USA
stations = 10
routes = rail color box|system=LIRR|line=Port Jefferson
open = 1854-1873
Long Island Rail Road
operator = Metropolitan Transportation Authority
gauge = RailGauge|ussg
Third rail(west of Huntington)
The Port Jefferson Branch is a
rail lineand service owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Roadin the U.S. stateof New York. The branch begins at the Main Line just east of Hicksville station, and runs northeast and east to Port Jefferson. LIRR maps and schedules indicate that the Port Jefferson Branch service continues west along the Main Line to Floral Park, which is where the Hempstead Branchbegins to parallel the Main Line. However, the Hempstead Branch does not merge with the Main Line until east of Queens Village, and so the Main Line between Floral Park and Queens Village is served by Port Jefferson Branch trains. [ [http://mta.info/lirr/html/lirrmap.htm MTA LIRR - LIRR Map] ] [ [http://www.mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/j.htm LIRR Port Jefferson Branch Timetable] ]
The Port Jefferson Branch is one of the busier branches of the LIRR, with frequent electric service to Huntington, and diesel service east of Huntington.
Route description and plans
Port Jefferson Branch service in Nassau County begins when the Hempstead Branch separates from the Main Line at the Queens Interlocking in Bellerose. The line from Queens Interlocking to Huntington is electrified and double tracked. Electrification extends to a point east of Huntington before Greenlawn Station on a layup track for electric trains. The line east of that point is not electrified and has a single track with passing sidings at Greenlawn, east of Northport, Kings Park, Smithtown and Stony Brook.
Stations on the electrified portion that have the heaviest traffic include Mineola, Hicksville, and Huntington. On the non-electrified portion, the heaviest traffic tends to be to the Stony Brook station where the
State University of New York at Stony Brookis located.
There are occasional plans to electrify this line past Huntington, at least to Northport, in conjunction with the construction of a planned new electric train yard, to alleviate overcrowding and service limitations on the
Ronkonkoma Branch, and to otherwise accommodate increased ridership expected once the East Side Accessproject to Grand Central Terminalis completed. [ [http://www.mta.info/mta/planning/portj/ Port Jefferson Branch Yard EIS] ] As of 2006, funding for this project has been deferred to a future capital budget and preparation of the Environmental Impact Statementhas been suspended.
In addition, a third Main Line track from Bellerose to Mineola has also been proposed in order to provide increased services.
Most Port Jefferson electric trains operate the full route from Penn Station to Huntington. Supplemental service is provided on
Ronkonkoma Branchtrains to Mineola and Hicksville. Additional service to Mineola is provided by Oyster Bay Branchtrains, and some Patchogue-bound Montauk Branchtrains also stop at Mineola and Hicksville during the weekdays. Also, one Montauk-bound train makes a stop at Hicksville overnight on weeknights. During off-peak hours, including weekends, a diesel shuttle runs between either Hicksville or Huntington and Port Jefferson. During rush hours, there are specialized services to and from stations west of, and including, Huntington Station. These services provide for express service, through service to Flatbush Avenue, and service to Penn Station that bypasses Jamaica. Also, east-of-Huntington service is extended to Jamaica, Hunterspoint Avenue, Long Island City, or Penn Station.Fact|date=February 2007
The line from Hicksville to Syosset opened in 1854. The LIRR later planned to extend to Cold Spring Harbor, but
Oliver Charlick, the LIRR's president, disagreed over the station's location, so Charlick abandoned the grade and relocated the extension south of Cold Spring, refusing to add a station stop near Cold Spring for years. Another argument at Huntington led to the line bypassing the town two miles (3 km) to the south, though a station was built. The line was extended from Syosset past Huntington to Northport in 1868,PDFlink| [http://www.prrths.com/Hagley/PRR1868%20June%2004.wd.pdf PRR Chronology, 1868] |93.8 KiB , June 2004 Edition] and in 1873 the Smithtown and Port Jefferson Railroad opened from a mile south of Northport to Port Jefferson,PDFlink| [http://www.prrths.com/Hagley/PRR1873%20Feb%2004.pdf PRR Chronology, 1873] |100 KiB , February 2005 Edition] turning the old line into Northport into the Northport Branch, the result of another argument between Charlick and Northport.Ron Ziel and George H. Foster, Steel Rails to the Sunrise, ©1965]
The Port Jefferson Branch formerly extended to Wading River, and was once slated to continue eastward and rejoin the Main Line at Riverhead. The line east of Port Jefferson was abandoned in 1938. The right-of-way is now used for the
Long Island Power Authority's power lines.
* [http://world.nycsubway.org/us/lirr/lirr-portjeff.html NYCSubway.org Port Jefferson Line]
* [http://www.arrts-arrchives.com/contact.html Wading River Branch (Arrt's Arrchives)]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.