Local elected officials are hoping the LIRR rolls back into Elmhurst – allowing residents to ride the rails again after roughly three decades.
Congressmember Joe Crowley and Councilmember Daniel Dromm have called on the MTA LIRR to reopen its Elmhurst Station, located on Broadway between Cornish and Whitney Avenues, which was closed in 1985.
“Reopening the Elmhurst Station will go a long way toward revitalizing the Elmhurst community and growing Queens’ economy,” said Crowley. “This is more than an investment in improving residents’ commutes; it’s about making Elmhurst a destination for all New Yorkers and visitors. Councilmember Dromm and I are joining forces in calling on the LIRR to join us in making this idea a reality. The truth is Elmhurst residents already endure the noise and inconvenience of a train running through their neighborhood, why shouldn’t they enjoy the benefits of it becoming an integral part of the neighborhood?”
The Elmhurst Station, which was a stop on the Port Washington Branch commuter rail line, provided Elmhurst and East Elmhurst residents direct passage to Midtown Manhattan. The station was reportedly closed down due to a decrease in ridership after significant schedule changes made it unappealing to commuters.
“Restoring service to Elmhurst on the Long Island Railroad is vitally important for the development of Elmhurst and the surrounding areas here in Queens” said Dromm. “By linking its residents to Manhattan, we are effectively spurring the job creation and economic growth necessary for communities like Elmhurst to flourish. The reopening of this station is something that will be a boon to all New Yorkers as it would burst opens the doors to one of the world’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods.”
Crowley and Dromm recently co-wrote a letter to Helena Williams, the president of the LIRR, in an effort to coax the rail road to reutilize the station.
“The LIRR has been invited to meet with Congressmember Crowley and we look forward to the opportunity to discuss the growth in the Elmhurst community,” said LIRR spokesperson Salvatore Arena.
Community leaders also appear in favor of the station’s revival, echoing the elected officials’ claims of likely economic growth.
“The Elmhurst and Newtown community are eager to see the restoration of the Elmhurst LIRR station,” said Robert Valdes Clausell, director and treasurer of the Newton Civic Association. “Doing so will increase transit options for residents and help spur economic and residential development.”