Many people are aware that the Lower Montauk and Bushwick branches of the LIRR run through Maspeth but very few people were alive back when Maspeth had an actual passenger station. Maspeth at one time had not one, but two railroad stations on two different lines. One was along the Lower Montauk, located where the Maspeth Railyard is today. But the other has been erased, with little evidence of it remaining.
The long-forgotten New York and Flushing Railroad (aka the Flushing and North Side Railroad) was built in 1854 from Hunters Point in Long Island City east to Flushing. Some of the stations in existence at the time – Hunters Point, Penny Bridge and Haberman – situated next to Newtown Creek, were later taken over by the LIRR. Penny Bridge and Haberman passenger stations were operational until 1998, when low ridership forced their closure. The NY&F built a branch from Laurel Hill to Winfield Junction where it connected to the LIRR. Along it they established two stations: Winfield in 1854 and Maspeth in 1855.
The branch ran at-grade down present-day Garfield Avenue. The NY&F Winfield stop was located near Madison Avenue (70th Street) and Monroe Street (50th Avenue). The Winfield LIRR stop opened in 1865 less than a half mile away. Finding itself redundant, the LIRR stop closed in 1876, and patrons used the NY&F stop, renamed “Winfield Junction,” in its place. Both lines were moved about one block north of their former locations and elevated for safety between 1912-1915, which is when the Winfield Junction station closed. There are no traces of either stop remaining, however, the present-day point in Woodside where the LIRR splits is still referred to as Winfield Junction.
The Maspeth stop was located at Covert Avenue (58th Street) at Joy Street (54th Drive). Few records that mention this station are available. This was believed to be just a clearing or short platform, with no station building. This station was active for only 3 short years and ceased operation in 1858. Passenger service ceased along the segment between Laurel Hill and Winfield stations in 1875 and the right-of-way was completely abandoned in 1880. Mount Zion Cemetery purchased property on both sides of the right-of-way in the 1890s and the path that the railroad once took is still discernible in aerial photos.
The other Maspeth stop, on the LIRR’s Lower Montauk Branch, was located along present-day Rust Street at 58th Avenue between the Haberman and Fresh Pond stops. The station was opened in February 1895 and closed in October 1903. It was reopened at some point but closed again around 1924 and the depot building was removed. At least one photo of the station does exist and accompanies this article. The site of this former LIRR stop has since been incorporated into the Maspeth Railyard.