Jamaica, Queens Transportation Pre: 1920

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Jamaica, the railroad centre of Long island, is served by the Long island Railroad, a branch of the Pennsylvania System, with over 658 passenger trains daily, which exceeds the daily combined total of the Pennsylvania Station and Grand Central Terminal, Manhattan, the majority of which are electric.

This railroad inaugurated a policy of speedy electrification ten years ago, during which time it has electrified over 240 miles of main line track. This policy is gradually absorbing and eliminating the steam train for passenger service. The roadbed over the entire system is maintained at a high degree of efficiency which insures smooth riding and avoids discomfort. The road is protected by the most up-to-date electric automatic signal system and in parts by automatic train stops. The usual monotony of train rides is eliminated by the pleasant and varied scenery through which the road runs. Its New York terminus is the world renowned Pennsylvania Station, a beautiful and colossal monument whose construction cost $75,000,000. The various rivers encircling Manhattan island are tunneled and bridged, linking New England, the south, and west with Long island; thus a traveler from Boston may go to Washington, D.C. without a change, due to the most wonderful four-tracked railroad bridge in the world over Hell Gate Channel, and the New York Connecting Railroad, built at an expenditure exceeding forty million dollars.

The Jamaica Transfer Station and yard was erected in 1913 at a cost exceeding $3,000,000. It includes 12 passenger tracks and five wide platforms. The Station and Office Building is a six story brick-concrete-steel structure. Over 60,000 passengers pass through this station on an average for every day of the year.

Jamaica is a centre for nine divisions of the Long island Railroad, which are as follows:

Division 1- Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Long Island City, Pennsylvania Station, time 25 minutes, fare 33 cents. (By using the Woodside Transfer, 42nd Street can be reached from Jamaica in 30 minutes, fare 22 cents.)

Division 2- Morris Park, Woodhaven, East New York, Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, time 20 minutes on express, fare 22 cents; time 35 minutes on local, fare 11 cents. Thence subway to Manhattan.

Division 3- Cedar Manor, Springfield, Rosedale, Valley Stream, Hewletts, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, Far Rockaway, Edgemere, Arverne.

Division 4- (Montauk Division) Rockville Centre, Babylon, Islip, Bay Shore, Patchogue, Sag Harbor.

Division 5- (Main Line) Mineola, Hicksville, Central Islip, Riverhead Greenport.

Division 6- Floral Park, Garden City, Hempstead.

Division 7- Floral Park, Mineola, Roslyn, Sea Cliff, Glen Cove, Oyster Bay.

Division 8- Mineola, Hicksville, Huntington, Smithtown, Port Jefferson, Wading River.

Division 9- Valley Stream, Long Beach and Intermediate Stations.

Over three hundred thousand carloads of freight pass through this centre annually, moving on independent tracks.

Trolley Lines

The residents of Jamaica have unsurpassed facilities for reaching points in Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, as well as the surrounding territory, and are served by nine different trolley routes:

Route 1- Long Island Electric Trolley--Brooklyn City Line and thence by Fulton Street "L" to Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Route 2- Long Island Electric Railroad- Cedar manor, Springfield Dock, Hook Creek, Meadowmere, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, Inwood, Far Rockaway.

Route 3- New York & Queens Electric Railway-Flushing, College Point, Corona, Woodside, Long island City, 59th Street, Manhattan, fare 5 cents.

Route 4- Manhattan & Queens Railway-Springfield, St. Albans, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Newtown, Woodside, Long Island City, fare 5 cents.

Route 5- Long Island Electric Railway-Hollis, Queens, New Hyde Park, Mineola.

Route 6- Long island Electric Railway-Hollis, Queens, Hempstead.

Route 7- Brooklyn Rapid Transit-Richmond Hill, Ridgewood, Brooklyn, New York, fare 5 cents, 5 minute service.

Route 8- Brooklyn Rapid Transit-Richmond Hill, Cypress Hills, East New York, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, fare 5 cents, 5 minute service.
Route 9- Elevated- Brooklyn and Manhattan, 5 cents fare, 7 minute service, time 50 minutes to Manhattan.


Comment on the New York State system of highways is unnecessary. Eight trunk highways cross Jamaica and over five million people a year travel through Jamaica by motor. With the development of the motor truck as a public utility and freight carrier; the highways leading through Jamaica will have a tendency to make a manufacturing location in Jamaica an economical one.

Water Front Development

A vital factor in the future transportation facilities of Jamaica will be the development of Jamaica Bay. This Bay is approximately eight miles long and four miles wide.

Before the World War the United States Government cooperated with the City of New York in a comprehensive plan for the development of this Bay. The United States Government appropriated $1,000,000 and the City of new York a similar amount, and considerable was accomplished prior to the opening of hostilities. A 500 foot channel has been dredged as far as Garretson's Mill Creek. Plans for the development are only partly perfected and so far provide for only 500 miles of piers. Applications for rentals are ten times greater than the space available. Work on the project is to be resumed shortly.

If Congress establishes a Free Port at New York City, which is likely, the immense tracts of land adjoining Jamaica Bay will be available for manufacturing.

A trans-Atlantic port, to be established at Fort Pond Bay, is under consideration, which if developed, would greatly increase the commercial advantages of Jamaica.


Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: Jamaica, Queens Transportation Pre: 1920
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


Survey of Jamaica : borough of Queens, New York City.
New York: Jamaica Board of Trade, 1920 Anonymous
Time & Date Stamp: