Farmingdale 
 

  Pinelawn - Republic Station

MP 30 is 4 blocks west of Farm Station 
The east end of Farmingdale is MP 31, just west of Rt. 110.
Republic station was at Rt. 110, so falls between MP 31 and MP32. 
Pinelawn falls between MP32 and Mp33.

Farmingdalexing_c.1946FredWeber.jpg (92398 bytes)
Farmingdale Crossing Shanty c.1946 view E
Photo: Fred Weber Archive: Dave Keller

Farmingdale Station
Photos: Ziel collection - Queens Library

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Farmingdale Station 1909
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Farmingdale crossing view SE 05/18/31 
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Crossing view N 05/18/31
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Farmingdale 5/18/31 view W

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Farmingdale view N  1/13/1937
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LIRR lighting manhole cover 12/05/2010 (Not in Ziel collection)

View is looking north. The skewed siding was south of the Main Line .

It was removed in 1947 and replaced by a crossover/siding combination that allowed access to a new, also-skewed siding from the westbound main line track, with a trailing switch, across the eastbound main line track.

Must’ve made freight moves more convenient to the crews.
Research: Dave Keller

Farmingdale1952Ziel.jpg (47866 bytes)
Farmingdale Station 1952
lirr220farmingdale.jpg (43218 bytes)
LIRR #220 eastbound 
Photo: Unknown
Farmingdale Station Area
Photos: Fred Weber Archive: Dave Morrison
Station-ex-Block Office Xing  Shanty-Main St.-Northbound-Farmingdale-4-24-47.jpg (79489 bytes)
Ex-Block Office crossing Shanty Main St. view N 4/24/1947
Station-ex-Block Office Xing  Shanty-Main St.-Southbound-Farmingdale-4-24-47.jpg (84158 bytes)
Ex-Block Office crossing Shanty Main St. view S 4/24/1947
Station-ex-Block Office Xing  Shanty-Main St.-Eastbound-Farmingdale-4-24-47.jpg (104966 bytes)
Ex-Block Office crossing Shanty -Main St. View E 4/24/1947
Station-ex-Block Office Xing  Shanty-Main St.-Westbound-Farmingdale-4-24-47.jpg (102202 bytes)
Ex-Block Office crossing Shanty Main St. view W 4/24/1947
Maine-Central-box-5419_spotted-Hills-Supermarket-Warehouse_Farmingdale_9-7-55_Keller.jpg (73712 bytes)
Maine Central boxcar #5419 spotted at Hills Supermarket Warehouse (see location below)  9/07/55 Archive: Dave Keller
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Station Area Express House and baggage car 

View E 10/06/1948The crossing shanty in the 4 views of Main St. wasS the ex-“A” Cabin block office which was in service from 1918 – 1925 when it was converted to a crossing shanty to manually operate the crossing gates. Research: Dave Keller

Station-Farmingdale-Division St. Xing - Eastbound - 4-24-47.jpg (110468 bytes)
Division St. crossing view E  Hills Supermarket Warehouse at back center 4/27/1947
Station-Farmingdale-Division St. Xing - Westbound - 4-24-47.jpg (110517 bytes)
Division St. crossing view W 4/27/1947
Station-Farmingdale-Division St. Xing - Northbound - 4-24-47.jpg (106524 bytes)
Division St. crossing view N 4/27/1947
Station-Farmingdale-Division St. Xing - Southbound - 4-24-47.jpg (96888 bytes)
Division St. crossing view S 4/27/1947
Station-Farmingdale-West Towards Secatogue Ave. Xing - 10-6-48.jpg (81146 bytes)
Secatogue Ave. crossing view W 10/06/1948 
Hills Supermarket Warehouse at left center   
Station-Farmingdale-Shelter Shed-Crossover-East-11-21-48.jpg (74636 bytes)
Shelter Shed Crossover E 11/21/1948
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Station-Shelter Shed-Crossover Entrance-Express House 11/21/1948
FarmingdaleHistoricSign.jpg (235136 bytes)
Farmingdale LIRR Station 
Historical Sign Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society 

What I thought was great was how this entire area had so many structures and old houses so close to trackside!  Sidings everywhere, manned crossing gates,  and an overall feeling of “tiredness”.  Definitely an “old” railroad community is portrayed here.

One shot I loved was an overall view of the station area looking east from the Secatogue Ave. crossing . . .  the old brick depot with attached power plant, open-air express platforms at both station platforms.  Wooden shelter shed across from the depot.  Covered stairwell for the below-track underpass, Pennsy baggage/express car laying up at the old express/freight house adjacent to the team tracks!

Another interest were 4 shots taken of the crossing of Main Street .  One view looking in each of the 4 directions.  What’s wonderful about these shots is that the old, manned crossing shanty that is a bit more substantial than most crossing shanties we’ve seen in photographs.  This is because, between 1918 and 1925, this structure was the block office of “A” cabin!  Semaphore signals were located at this spot as well.

When “B” tower was first opened in 1925, “A” cabin was no longer required as a block office so the signals were removed and the cabin was transformed into an oversized crossing shanty with watchman to crank up and down the gates. In the 1947 views, you can see the old crank stand adjacent to the cabin.

If Weber hadn't shoot these overall general views for the LIRR’s insurance department we'd have no photo evidence of any of this stuff.  Nobody went out of their way to take photos of trackside buildings or overall scenes.  Even railfans only shot action shots of trains or roster shots of locomotives and equipment and didn’t bother with the buildings!

George Votava, having taken thousands of LIRR negatives in his 50+ years of railfanning  (mid-1930s to early 1980s) shot only a handful of LIRR stations to my knowledge and only one tower!  How sorry is that when you figure what structures were standing in the mid-1930s-50s! 
Commentary: LIRR Historian Dave Keller
 

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Emery track map 6/1958 Farmingdale Main Line MP29-30
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Emery track map 6/1958 Farmingdale Main Line MP30-31
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LIRR track map 1966 page 63 Farmingdale Main Line MP30-31
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LIRR track map 1966 page 64 South Farmingdale to
  Montauk Branch MP32 area
South Farmingdale Station - Central Extension
Station-S. Farmingdale-Staples St. Xing-West-11-27-48.jpg (82228 bytes)
South Farmingdale Staples St. crossing view W 11/27/1948
Station-S. Farmingdale-Staples St. Xing - East-11-27-48.jpg (104386 bytes)
South Farmingdale Staples St. crossing view E 11/27/1948
Station-S. Farmingdale-West from Staples  St. Xing - 11-27-48.jpg (107725 bytes)
South Farmingdale view W from Staples St. crossing11/27/1948
Note: Position Light Signal in "Approach" mode in background.

 

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West Babylon c.1918 
Photo: Ed White, Archive: Jim Gillin
In early years it was called the Central Extension, for at least the past 60 years it has been known as the Central Branch. In Vince Seyfried's LIRR History Vol II on page 140 it states " In 1925 the disused Central Extension between Farmingdale and Babylon was extensively overhauled for the use of through trains to Babylon and points east, this change being necessitated by the electrification of the Montauk Division." So my Uncle Ed White was right about the line being rarely used at the time of his photo. 
Info: Jim Gillin

The Central branch ran the occasional freight and that was it.  Passenger service ended before the end of the previous century and the line was NEVER used as a connecting branch as was the high-volume Manorville-Eastport connection.   

When electrification was underway to Babylon in 1925, the Central branch was revitalized to now become a connecting branch and upgraded service was planned along the line.  The tracks were torn up and re-laid with then-current sized rail and new ties.  New signals were installed and the newly renovated branch placed in service at or around the same time as the first electric trains ran to Babylon in May, 1925.
Info: Dave Keller

Emery-Map-Central Ext. - Heisser's Lane to MP 31 - S. Farmingdale.jpg (130294 bytes)
Emery Map Central Ext. Heisser's Lane to 
MP31 S. Farmingdale 8/1958   Archive: Dave Keller
 Emery-Map-Central Ext. - MP 31 to MP 32 - Maywood.jpg (48431 bytes)
Emery Map Central Ext.  MP 31- 32  Maywood 8/1958
Archive: Dave Keller

 

"Mile-A-Minute" Murphy

South Farmingdale Station, located just of MP30, is the site of "Mile-A-Minute" Murphy's record bicycle ride starting location. The sign reads: "Mile-A-Minute Murphy" - "This tablet commemorates Charles M. Murphy's World Record Bicycle Ride of 1 mile in 57 4/5 seconds June 30, 1899 - Paced by a LIRR Train on Hempstead Plains"
(See above maps for start/end location)

Long Island Metro Lines 1974 Apr-May No39 article Murphy.jpg (404541 bytes)
Long Island Metro Lines 1974 Apr-May No. 39 article on Charles "Mile-A-Minute" Murphy
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LIRR Central Branch looking west towards Route 110. A position
light signal is visible to the left with the Route 110 bridge beyond it.  7/25/10 Photo: Al Castelli

 

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Emery Map Central Ext. MP 32-33 8/1958

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Central Branch bridge over the Southern State Parkway at MP32 view east 7/25/10 Photo: Al Castelli

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Wellwood Ave view W 10/23/2010
Photo: Al Castelli

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Emery Map Central Ext.  MP33- 34 Breslau 8/1958

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Whistle Post view W to Straight Path Road 10-30-10
 Photo: Al Castelli

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View W near MP34 to Straight Path Road 10-23-10
Photo: Al Castelli

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Emery Map Central Ext. MP 34-35 8/1958

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Sunrise Highway Trestle 10/23/2010
Photo: Al Castelli

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LIRR Central Branch and Grand Ave. crossing looking north in West Babylon.  8-5-10

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This small stream runs under the LIRR Central Branch NW of MP35 along South Railroad Ave. About 100 feet to the right, it goes under S. Railroad Ave., flowing south and going under Montauk Highway and into the bay. In that area it is known as Santapogue Creek.  8-5-10 Photo: Al Castelli

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MP35 Central Branch 7/25/10 Photo: Al Castelli

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Emery Map Central Ext. MP 35 to SD 22-26 West Babylon 8/1958

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Central Extension east of Muncy Ave view NW 1st train into 
new elevated Babylon Station  Old ROW at left 8/26/64 
Photo: Brad Phillips

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A zoomed in shot from the Muncy Ave. crossing shows the siding into the LIRR yard. The yard, at the Albin Ave. crossing, stores maintenance-of-way equipment. View W.  7-25-10 Photo: Al Castelli

closedMuncyAveCrossing7-25-10.jpg (78372 bytes)
The closed Muncy Ave. crossing on the LIRR Central Branch in West Babylon. South Railroad Ave. runs to the left & right at this intersection. View N. 7-25-10
Photo: Al Castelli

 

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Emery Map Central RR Co. of LI at Belmont Jct.  c.1874  to Babylon Dock  Archive: Dave Keller
Emery-Map-CRR(Belmont Jct).jpg (260004 bytes)
Emery Map Central RR Co. of LI at Belmont Jct. prior to 05/16/1906 
MP35-36 Archive: Dave Keller
Farmingdale Price Parkway Rail Complex
priceparkwaymapAlCastelli6-23-10.jpg (335575 bytes)
LIRR MP31 Main Line Google Imagery, DigitalGlobe New York GIS ©2010 from 06/2010

Farmingdale Price Parkway Railroad Remnants Photo album: Al Castelli

The Price Industrial Park is centered around Price Parkway in Farmingdale , N.Y.   It is north of the LIRR mainline and west of Route 110.  Freight service was provided to the area but the tracks in the industrial park have been long out of service.  The rail service extended just to the north of the industrial park and includes Avon Court .

Over the years this area has changed from basically a sand pit to a developed industrial area.  From the 1958 hand-drawn map by Bob Emery, it can be seen that in the early 1950s this area was served by a railroad spur off the LIRR’s mainline.  That spur is essentially what remains today.  The spur exists as two sections, one running north in a large curve (call this the north section), and the other running east along the mainline then curving north (call this the south section) where it connects with the north section.  Emery’s map as well as another hand-drawn map by Henry Raudenbush in 1952 shows the south section looping back west to join with the north section.  This also can be seen in a 1953 aerial photograph and most likely made the movement of cars through the Picone Brothers operation more efficient.

In the 1958 map, the area includes the sand/cement operations of Picone Bros and a few warehouses along Route 110.  The 1966 freight map makes no reference to Picone Bros. and doesn’t include the loop of the south section of track.  This map also includes more warehouses/businesses, and the 1978 map shows even more of these.  This latter map shows the spur closer to as it appears today.  The only map to include any reference to a road in the area is the 1958 map.  That reference is to a private road which appears to be where Price Parkway is.  Regarding Avon Court , the street sign at Route 110 includes a notation that it is a private road.  Also note that on several on-line maps, this road is labeled as Glove Circle .

Price Parkway itself has had several businesses over the years.  Along the mainline the predominant business was White Rose, a food distributor.  Along the curved section of the south track just west of Route 110 was a Levitz Furniture showroom/warehouse, previously a J. Homestock furniture showroom/warehouse.  Today, the White Rose location is the headquarters and main warehouse of P. C. Richard & Son, a regional appliance and electronics retailer.  The Levitz building was torn down and a Lowe’s home center was opened in 2006.  The Lowe’s building occupies the former Levitz parking lot, and the Lowe’s parking lot occupies the former Levitz building.  This latter building had a siding of which a small part still remains along the Lowe’s parking lot.

The buildings north of Price Parkway and those on Avon Court and Daniel Street for the most part haven’t changed much physically over the years.  The businesses they housed have changed, such as the former J. C. Penney warehouse with a siding and the former Sears warehouse.  The Sears warehouse is fronted on Daniel Street but the back of the building along Avon Court has a two-track siding.

The aerial photo from 1953, although not of the higher resolution of satellite images, provides a good view of what the area looked like almost 60 years ago.  A Google satellite photo available in 2007 showed the tracks serving the area clearly visible.  Although Lowe’s opened in 2006, this photo still showed the Levitz building.  A Google satellite image from today (2010) shows the area as it now exists.  Looking at a birdseye view from the BING web site, the image also is as it appears now.  However, changing the view of the BING image will show the area from a different aspect and a different time period – that of the construction of Lowe’s.  From that view, part of the siding that fed the Levitz building is visible in the construction area.

I visited the area several times in the 1980s and 90s and noticed the railroad tracks serving the area, but I never bothered to take any notes or photos.  An inquiry on one of the railroad web forums in 2007 prompted some research into this area as well as a visit to see and photograph what remained.  Much of the track still existed then, and still does today.  Some portions were removed or just paved over, like the double-track crossing Price Parkway .  The track crossing Avon Court for the Sears and Penney warehouses was still visible in 2007, but that road has since been repaved.

Other trackage still in existence is either partially buried in weeds or sandy soil, heavily overgrown, or clearly visible with some overgrowth.  From the Google image shown here with the notations, an accurate picture exists of the area.  Much of the track is easily accessible, while some is behind buildings.  The crossover behind The Place furniture store is partially visible in the sandy soil there.  The two tracks for the Sears siding are intact, and the switch to them is overgrown but easily seen in the weeds.

The switch into the whole complex from the mainline siding is in place as well as the switch that feeds the two sections of the spur.  Where the two tracks of this switch diverge and run along the two sides of the pond/storm basin, the earth is all sand with a heavy growth of weeds and various types of trees.  It resembles more of the Long Island pine barrens further east, but hints at the past history of sand mining and the associated gravel and concrete industry once there (and along other parts of Route 110 in Farmingdale). Al Castelli, July 2010