The Far Rockaway Branch is an electrified rail line and service owned and operated by the Long Island Rail Road in the U.S. state of New York. The branch begins at Valley Interlocking, just east of Valley Stream station; the Long Beach Branch also begins there, heading east and south to Long Beach, and the Atlantic Branch heads west to Jamaica. From Valley Stream, the line heads south and southwest through southwestern Nassau County, ending at Far Rockaway in Queens. LIRR maps and schedules indicate that the Far Rockaway Branch service continues west along the Atlantic Branch to Jamaica. This two-track branch provides 24-hour service in both directions to the Flatbush Avenue terminal in Brooklyn, with transfers required at Jamaica (on almost all non rush-hour trains originating in Far Rockaway) for Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. During rush hour, express service may bypass Jamaica station.
The South Side Railroad built the branch in 1869. While constructing it in summer 1869, the company installed about 700 feet (200 m) of tracks across William B. McManus's farmland near Lawrence. But the transaction had not been completed, and McManus and his rowdy Irish friends tore up the track the next night; a legal battle led to the company paying McManus.
Due to the success of the branch, the South Side built the 200-foot (60 m) South Side Pavilion, a restaurant on the beach. The line was extended west to the Seaside House (Beach 103rd Street) by 1872 and Neptune House (Beach 116th Street) in 1875.
Two stations on the branch were built as Arverne (LIRR station), both of which were built by Remington Vernam. The first of which was in 1888 at Gaston Avenue(Beach 67th Street). It had a large tower, was shaped like a Victorian hotel and had a connection to the Ocean Electric Railway, as did much of the Rockaway Beach and Far Rockaway branches. Due to a quarrel between the LIRR and Vernam, another Arverne Station was built at Stration Avenue in 1892. From then on, the original Arverne station was known as Arverne-Gaston Avenue (LIRR station) to distinguish it from the Arverne-Straiton Avenue (LIRR station).
The Far Rockaway Branch had originally been part of a loop that traveled along the existing route, continuing through the Rockaway Peninsula and heading on a trestle across Jamaica Bay through Queens where it reconnected with other branches. Frequent fires and maintenance problems, most notably a May 23, 1950 fire between Broad Channel Station and The Raunt led the LIRR to abandon the Queens portion of the route on October 3, 1955, which was acquired by the city to become the IND Rockaway Line, with service provided by the A train. Most Queens-based stations along the former Far Rockaway and Rockaway Beach Branches reopened as subway stations on June 28, 1956, the exception being Far Rockaway-Mott Avenue station, which was split between the NYCTA and LIRR on January 16, 1958.
|Miles to Penn Station||Connections/notes|
|For continuing service to points west, see City Terminal Zone|
Sutphin Boulevard between Archer Avenue & 94th Avenue, Jamaica
|10.8||Subway: E J Z trains at Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport|
Bus (New York City Bus): Q24 Q30 Q31 Q43 Q44 Q54 Q56
|closed January 28, 1959|
Farmers Boulevard and Bedell Street, Locust Manor
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/locustma.htm||14||Bus (New York City Bus):Q3 (to JFK Airport); Q85|
140th and Edgewood Avenues, Locust Manor
|closed February 2, 1960|
225th Street and 141st Road, Laurelton
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/laurelto.htm||14.9||Bus (New York City Bus): Q77, Q85|
North Conduit Avenue and 243rd Street, Rosedale
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/rosedale.htm||15.8||Bus (New York City Bus): Q5, Q85|
Franklin Avenue and Sunrise Highway, Valley Stream
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/valleyst.htm||17.9||Transfer to Long Beach and West Hempstead Branch trains|
Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N2
Gibson Boulevard and Munro Boulevard, Valley Stream
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/gibson.htm||18.8||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N1|
Franklin Avenue between Broadway and West Broadway, Hewlett
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/hewlett.htm||19.7||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N31, N32|
Woodmere Boulevard and Cedar Lane, Woodmere
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/woodmere.htm||20.3||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N31, N32|
Cedarhurst Avenue and Chestnut Street, Cedarhurst
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/cedarhur.htm||21.2||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N31, N32|
Lawrence Avenue and Bayview Avenue, Lawrence
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/lawrence.htm||22||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N31, N32|
Doughty Boulevard and Foote Avenue, Inwood
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/inwood.htm||22.4||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N31, N32|
Nameoke Street and Redfern Avenue, Far Rockaway
|http://mta.info/lirr/html/ttn/farrocka.htm||23||Bus (MTA Long Island Bus): N31, N32, N33|
Bus (MTA New York City Bus): Q113
|The following stations were abandoned on October 3, 1955, many of them converted into subway stations on the IND Rockaway Line on June 28, 1956.|
|Sea Side House|