Two local legislators are hoping Elmhurst residents will soon be “all aboard.”
Congressmember Joe Crowley and Councilmember Daniel Dromm joined MTA LIRR President Helena Williams on March 15 for a walking tour of the Elmhurst Station, which was closed and partially demolished in 1985. The officials are hoping the LIRR will consider reconstructing and reopening the station, located on Broadway between Cornish and Whitney Avenues, in order to service the consistently-growing Elmhurst population.
“Reopening the Elmhurst Station will increase residents’ access to Midtown, help create jobs in the community, and provide an economic boost to the many small businesses in the area. It will also open the door for all New Yorkers to experience the rich diversity and culture Elmhurst has to offer,” Crowley said. “I look forward to holding further discussions with my constituents, community groups, and LIRR about this issue as well as additional ways we can help Elmhurst grow and thrive.”
Williams said reopening the Elmhurst Station is a legitimate possibility, due to planned renovations of the Broadway Bridge – which is next to the old station and would ensure the structural support needed for a new center – and projects in Port Washington and Great Neck that will allow the LIRR to add more trains. She went on to say the station would include two 12-car platforms, staircase and elevator access, platform shelters, an audio-visual paging system, security cameras and ticket vending machines, and would cost at least $30 million.
Following the tour, the legislators and LIRR representatives discussed the subsequent steps in the reopening review process, including a ridership survey conducted by the MTA. Dromm and Crowley have also scheduled a town hall meeting on April 11.
The original station, which was a part of the Port Washington Branch commuter rail line, aided Elmhurst in growing by providing residents with direct access to Midtown Manhattan. It was reportedly closed due to a decrease in ridership following significant changes to train schedules.
“Restoring service to Elmhurst on the LIRR 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. We are encouraged by the initial talks with MTA LIRR President Helena Williams and I look forward to taking the next steps towards reopening a station that will burst open the doors for one of the world’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods.”