LIRR GRADE CROSSING ELIMINATION PROJECTS

In Order Going EAST, station name and opening day of elevation.

VALLEY STREAM: February 5th, 1933
LYNBROOK: October 18th, 1938
ROCKVILLE CENTRE: July 18th, 1950
BALDWIN: October 2nd, 1957
FREEPORT: October 10th, 1961
MERRICK: June 28th, 1975
BELLMORE: June 28th, 1975
WANTAGH: October 22nd, 1968
SEAFORD: October 22nd, 1968 (Platform renovated and replaced started July 1st, 2008 completed July 31st, 2009)
MASSAPEQUA: January 18th, 1953
MASSAPEQUA PARK: December 13th, 1980 (Last station to be elevated on the Babylon Branch)
AMITYVILLE: August 7th, 1973
COPIAGUE: August 7th, 1973
LINDENHURST: August 7th, 1973
BABYLON: September 9th, 1964.

Other Stations:

HICKSVILLE: September 12th, 1964 (3 days after Babylon)
FLORAL PARK: Sometime in 1962
BELLEROSE: Sometime in 1962 (I think)
ROSEDALE: November 20th, 1950
LAURELTON: November 20th, 1950
LOCUST MANOR: October 1935
SAINT ALBANS: October 1935
SPRINGFIELD GARDENS: October 1935 (Abandoned in early 1970's, Demolished in the 1980's)

MONTAUK BRANCH
 
Merrick view east of  Meadowbrook Parkway,  June 1975. The  replacement of the temporary  tracks and cutting in the new elevated tracks. The temporary tracks were laid in June 1969 and removal began in June 1975. The program languished a few years due to lack of state funding, with the bulk of the elevation work occurring 1973-1975.
 Photo: William J. Madden  Info/Archive: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy

Station Location

In Service
Date

   
Richmond Hill c. 1924 RichmondHill-builtc.1924KevinWong07272007.jpg (99323 bytes)
Hillside Ave and Babbage Street. Photo: Kevin Wong 7/27/2007
St. Albans  10/22/35    
Springfield Gardens  07/24/36    
Rosedale  10/31/50    
Valley Stream  02/07/33    
Lynbrook  10/18/38    
Rockville Centre  07/17/50

rvc1949ArtHunekeCENTRE.jpg (86967 bytes)
Rockville Centre 1949 Photo: Art Huneke

 

Baldwin  10/02/57    
Freeport  10/08/60 H10s-Frt-east-past-Frt-Hse-Freeport-from-PORT Twr-c.1940.jpg (45509 bytes)
H10s Freight Eastbound past freight house View from PORT Tower c.1940
Archive: Dave Keller
1-Freeport-MU-From PORT.jpg (44622 bytes)
Freeport MU eastbound view from PORT Tower past the same location (Henry St. crossing) in 1959 during the grade elimination.  Old warehouses remains, the freight house is gone.  Info/Archive: Dave Keller
FreeportTempSta.jpg (43856 bytes)
Freeport Temporary Station
Archive: Dave Keller
Freeport-MUTrainPastElim.jpg (39490 bytes)
Freeport MU Train passing Elimination Project
Archive: Dave Keller
Merrick  06/28/75 Station-Merrick-Temporary Facilities-Grade Elim-View E-c. 1968 (Keller).jpg (108113 bytes)
Merrick Station Grade Elimination - view E c. 1968 (Keller)


Station-Merrick-Grade Elim-View E-Zoom-c. 1968 (Keller).jpg (117927 bytes)
Zoomed-in view of the old Merrick Station looking east from the pedestrian crossover of the temporary station facilities in c. 1968. (Dave Keller archive)
Merrick's first temporary station as seen here (above) looking east from the pedestrian crossover towards the old depot c. 1968. Built in 1902, the old depot was closed and temporary facilities with high-level platforms to accommodate the new M1 electric cars were constructed in 1968 along the original right-of-way, west of the original station location. A temporary ticket office (partly visible in the foreground at the far left) was constructed. The 1902-era depot was demolished in June of the following year. At the time of this photo, temporary platforms for the second temporary station were under construction south of these first temporary station facilities (platforms under construction are visible at the far right). Once the platforms were completed, temporary tracks were laid. These facilities were taken out of service on December 4, 1970 when the second temporary station facilities were placed in service and they remained in service for several years. The original main was torn up along with the first temporary station facilities sometime after June, 1972 (photo evidence). The new, center-island, elevated structure was finally completed and placed in service on June 28, 1975 (per G.O. #216), at which time the removal began of all the remaining at-grade temporary facilities and tracks. (Dave Keller archive and data)
 

Merrick06-72TimDarnell.jpg (37017 bytes)
June 1972  Photo: Tim DarnellMerrick1973crossingTimDarnell.jpg (45756 bytes)
1973 Photo: Tim Darnell lirr1520RS2_09-17-74MerrickTimDarnell .jpg (53454 bytes)
LIRR #1520 RS2 09/17/1974 
Photo: Tim Darnell 


June 1975 view East  Photo: William J. Madden Archive: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy

merrickvieweastbabylontpket06-1975williamjmadden.jpg (61340 bytes)
 Merrick Ave view E view 06-1975 Photo: William J. Madden Archive: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy

Bellmore  06/28/75 bellmorevieweast11-11-74williamjmadden.jpg (73587 bytes)
View east 11/11/1974  Photo: William J. Madden
Archive: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy
bellmorevieweast06-1975williamjmadden.jpg (69566 bytes)
View east approaching Old Mill Rd  06-1975 
Photo: William J. Madden
Archive: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy
Wantagh  10/22/68

Wantagh-Station_viewE_ 01-1966_BradPhillips.jpg (70161 bytes)
Wantagh Station view E  01/1966 Archive/Photo: Brad Phillips

Wantagh-Station_during-elevation-work_BradPhillips.jpg (112088 bytes)
Wantagh Station during elevation work Archive/Photo: Brad Phillips

WantaghMUpastElim.jpg (52331 bytes)
Wantagh MU train passing Elimination
Project Archive: Dave Keller 

Seaford  10/22/68 3-Seaford-Elim-West-Elev.jpg (79967 bytes)
Seaford Elimination Elevation West
Archive: Dave Keller
7-Seaford-Temp and Elim East-Elev-2.jpg (70104 bytes)
Seaford Temp Station and Elimination Elevation East  Archive: Dave Keller

MU 4110-Train-West-Seaford-8-8-65_TempStationUnderConstr)_Makse-Keller.jpg (100476 bytes)
MU 4110 train view west Seaford 8/08/65 temporary station under construction Photo: Makse Archive: Keller 

Massapequa
 12/14/53

LIMass1s.JPG (249254 bytes)
Massapequa Photo: Art Huneke

Massapequa Park  12/13/80

1-Mass Park depot and temp tkt ofc.jpg (69803 bytes) 
Massapequa Park depot and temp Ticket Office
Archive: Dave Keller

 MasPkJuly79viewWesttowardsParkBlvd.jpg (45546 bytes)
Massapequa Park July 1979 view west towards Park Blvd  Photo: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy

    Station-MassapequaPark-Temp Facilities-M1 Westbound-12-30-77 (Madden-Keller).jpg (119561 bytes)
Massapequa Park temporary facilities LIRR M1 Westbound 12/30/77 Photo: Bill Madden Archive: Dave Keller

This slide shows the red paint that was used on the miles of lumber that where put in place for temporary high-level station platforms all along the south shore, beginning with Babylon in 1963 and continuing on to this last one at Mass. Park in 1977.  Dave Keller

 

Amityville
 08/07/73


Amityville MU train West under old Trolley Trestle 1963 Photo: Art Huneke

 
Copiague  08/07/73  

3-Copiague-Temp-West.jpg (65480 bytes)
Copiague view west  Archive: Dave Keller

Lindenhurst  08/07/73

LindenhurstMUTempPlatformsWest.jpg (76900 bytes)
Lindenhurst MU Temp Platforms West Archive: Dave Keller

 
Babylon  09/09/64


Babylon view East 
Photo: Frank Pfuhler

New-Babylon-Station_Elevation_viewW_9-09-64_BradPhillips.jpg (86265 bytes)
New elevated Babylon Station levation view W 9/09/1964 
Photo: Brad Phillips

Trackwork-east-of-new_Babylon Station_8-26-64_BradPhillips.jpg (88421 bytes)
Trackwork view east from Babylon Station 8/26/1964 
Photo: Brad Phillips

lirr2002viewE_Babylon_c.1963.jpg (99155 bytes) 
LIRR #2002 view W c.1963
Photo: LIRR Archive: Jim Gillin

Babylon-Crossing-elimination_viewW_BradPhillips.jpg (207171 bytes)
Babylon crossing elimination view W Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

The Montauk Branch between Jamaica and Babylon is completely grade-separated. The grade reconstruction program lasted 30 years, 1950-80, beginning at Rockville Centre in 1950 and ending at Massapequa Park in December 1980. 

Abandoned freight sidings: Some that come to mind, west to east.

1) West of St-Albans are remains of  former freight sidings that used to trail eastbound into Montauk 2.
2) Coal siding for the Vet Hospital at St. Albans
3) Siding off MTK1 West of former Springfield Gardens (Recently uncovered by the tree chopping campaign)
4) Siding off MTK2 East of former Springfield Gardens (Recently uncovered by the tree chopping campaign)
5) Valley Lead which had 2 team tracks off it. (Used for MOW today)
6) Valley Coal co via the viaduct on the West Hempstead branch at Valley.
7) Siding West of RVC on MTK2 to the REA yard (Mavis Tire today)
8) Siding West of RVC on MTK1 to the LILCO substation site, and former  Coal Co. (Hot Skates today)
9) Siding off MTK1 West of Freeport into what looks like a Verizon property today. 
10) Freeport Team Yard. (Used for MOW today)
11) Siding off MTK1 west of Massapequa. (goes into a municipal sand dome today)
12) Hendrickson Siding just east of Babylon. (Might have been the remains of a shoo-fly just used as a MOW siding?)
Author: Joseph Vila

East Islip
Carleton Ave
 (old Rt 111)
 04/1932

CarltonAveex-Rte111viewN10-12-2001stevelynch.jpg (50741 bytes)
East Islip  view N 10/12/2001
Photo: Steven Lynch


Sayville (Rt 27)  1931

sayvilleRt27viewNEfredmiller.jpg (53597 bytes)
Sayville  view NE Photo: Fred Miller


Hampton Bays (Rt 27)  07/1929


A few more details on crossing signals of that time period were the number of tracks sign was black background with white letters, which is the opposite of what they use today. The last black and white stripped crossing gate I saw was in late 1978 at the Second or Third Ave crossing just east of Bay Shore. The first time I saw the red and white stripped single plank fiberglass gates similar to those in use today were around 1973-4 at Yaphank and a few crossings east of Patchogue. By the late 1970's the Massapequa Park group had the single plank fiberglass style gates. The last dual-plank gates I remember seeing were in the mid 1990's along the main line at Lowell Ave, Rte 111, Merritt's Rd, Broadway, Grumman Private Crossing and Herrick's Rd, which were stripped red and white. Around 1974, the LIRR went on an aggressive program to put automatic crossing gates at all railroad crossings, especially the ones out east. By 1976, the Main Line west of Ronkonkoma had only Pond Road, 2nd St and Pine Aire Drive/Long Island Ave with flashing lights only. Recent developments have added electronic bells (vice the old mechanical style) at some locations, LED Flashers and larger roundels for the flashing lights. Author: Unknown

PORT WASHINGTON BRANCH

Station Location

In Service
Date

   
Elmhurst c. 1927 Elmhurst-builtc.1927Kevin Wong08192005.jpg (95651 bytes)
Broadway & Whitney Ave, view SE Photo: Kevin Wong 8/19/2005
Corona c. 1930 Corona-builtc.1930KevinWong04042007.jpg (50019 bytes)
National St. View NE
Photo: Kevin Wong 4/04/2007
Flushing Main Street 1913
Murray Hill 1913
Broadway 1913
Auburndale 1930
Bayside 1928

MAINLINE

Station Location

In Service
Date

   
Woodside 10/17/15
Forest Hills  1911
Kew Gardens 1910

 

Jamaica 

3/9/13

JamaicaStationAtGradeNearUnionHallStreet.jpg (140415 bytes)
Jamaica Station at grade near Union Hall Street  Archive: Dave Keller

 

 

 

 

Union Hall St. Eastbound
6/21/30
Westbound
2/26/31
While Jamaica was elevated in 1913, Union Hall St. was not part of that project.

Union Hall St. was created as a substitute station stop to appease the riders who lived in the location of the OLD Jamaica station when it was at grade.  It was near Union Hall Street. When the station was moved further west, the people felt they were being inconvenienced by having to trek all the way west to Jamaica so the LIRR gave them Union Hall St. station.

After the grade elimination project was finished at Jamaica, the tracks leading up to that new elimination from east of the station, passing right through the former Jamaica station site were depressed BELOW grade level and the tracks were crossed by a combination of grade crossings as well as iron bridges.

turntableWashingtonSt-nearUnionHall.jpg (65553 bytes)
Turntable at Washington St. near Union Hall Street
Archive: Dave Keller

Union Hall St. station was newly-created and opened in 1913, and was later elevated in 1930-31 as a result of the Jamaica East project, which stretched all the way from east of Jamaica station up to and including Hillside station.  My father, an electrician for the LIRR at the time, actually wired the elevated Union Hall St. station for lights.

UnionHallStStation12-16-29.jpg (147539 bytes)Union Hall Street Station 12/161929
Archive: Dave Keller

 

 

Hillside 10/01/30
Hollis  1915
Bellaire  9/20/24 Special dedication ceremony opening day.
Queens Village 9/20/24 Special dedication ceremony opening day.
Bellerose 11/08/62
Floral Park 11/08/62 Station-Floral Park-Temporary Facilities and Tracks-View E-09-05-60 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (154610 bytes)
Station Floral Park temporary facilities and tracks view E 09/05/60 (Faxon-Keller)
Station-Floral Park-Temporary Facilities and Tracks-View E-09-05-60 (Faxon-Keller) with Notes.jpg (127033 bytes)
Zoom shot with notes of old Depot, shelter, PARK Tower and siding end bumper Research: Dave keller
Mineola - Herrick's Road
4/98

herricksrdvieweast06-1961willaimgilligan.jpg (61395 bytes)
Herrick's Rd view east 6/1961 
Archive: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy

herricksrdvieweast05-10-96willaimgilligan2.jpg (57933 bytes)
Herrick's Rd view east 5/10/1996 
Archive: Capt. William Gilligan, US Navy



Roslyn Road

05/1998 MineolaRoslynRoadcrossingatgradeViewS.jpg (56625 bytes)

View S on the original Roslyn Road crossing at grade.  It is looking towards the Mineola Court Complex, which is over Old Country Road and to the west out of the picture Main Street (right next to the tower)

MineolaRoslynRoadrestleViewNgates.jpg (58575 bytes)
View N with crossing gates still in place.

MineolaRoslynRoadtrestleViewN.jpg (61546 bytes)
View N elimination project nearing completion.
Charlotte Avenue 1973?

Hicksville
7/01/64  

 

LiftingbridgegirderEdBady.jpg (87413 bytes)
Lifting bridge girder Photo: Ed Bady

LookingeastBroadway in viewEdBady.jpg (73147 bytes)
View east to Broadway Photo: Ed Bady

takingdowngatesEdBady.jpg (82565 bytes)
"Taking down the gates" Photo: Ed Bady
Hicksville - Bethpage Rd bethpagerdviewsoutheast_8-64.jpg (56956 bytes)
Bethpage Rd view SE 08/1964
BethpageRdviewSE-AlCastelli04-07-10.jpg (59438 bytes)
Bethpage Rd view SE 4/07/2010
Photo: Al Castelli

BethpageRdviewNW-AlCastelli04-07-10.jpg (55207 bytes)
Bethpage Rd view NW 4/07/2010
Photo: Al Castelli

Deer Park Ave. 12/17/36
Medford 9/09/40 17-Station-Medford-Rt 112-Xing-North-4-1940 (1).jpg (90233 bytes)
Rt. 112 crossing at grade, looking north – 4/19/40 Albert Bayles photo, Dave Keller archive
15-Station-Medford-Rt 112 and Trestle-NE-1969.jpg (22403 bytes)
The double-wide girder trestle over Rt. 112, looking northeast. 1969 
Dave Keller archive

ATLANTIC BRANCH

Station Location

In Service
Date

   
Nostrand Ave 1903
East New York 1940
Woodhaven 1942
Locust Manor 1959
Laurelton 10/31/50
Rosedale 10/31/50

MISC DATES:

Huntington Electrification Complete 10/19/70
LI Expressway Opens from Queens Mid-Town Tunnel to Old Westbury 8/12/60

NY State highway crossing eliminations from the LIRR PRR-style employee timetable era (Fall 1928 and on):

Jericho Tpke (Rt 25), Syosset, July 1929
Montauk Hwy (Rt 27), Hampton Bays , July 1929
Montauk Hwy (Rt 27), Sayville , 1931
Carleton Ave (Rt 111), Islip , April 1932  Note: Actually East Islip
  Jericho Tpke (Rt 25), East Williston , August 1936
Deer Park Ave (Rt 231), Deer Park , February 1937
Main St (Rts 25/25A), Smithtown , February 1937
  Medford Ave (Rt 112), Medford, November 1940

Archive: Jeffrey B Erlitz

Sources:
Dave Keller’s LIRR Stations Page
General Chronology PRR Company (1913-1973)
Newsday (Long Island Newspaper)
Village/Town Newspapers (Merrick/Bellmore/ Wantagh/Seaford/Massapequa/Amityville/Lindenhurst/Hicksville/ Mineola)
Queensboro Public Library, Long Island Room, Ron Ziel Collection
1960/1976 Nassau County Hagstrom Atlas