Long Beach           
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Long Beach Station painting for a LIRR Christmas Card 2011

Train westbound (north) at Reynold's Channel (Wreck Lead bascule bridge) view SE
A LIRR eastbound between Long Beach and Lynbrook across the bascule bridge at "LEAD" tower, Reynold's Channel, east of Island Park Photo: unknown

Wreck Lead Bridge northern end - view W - Train heading eastbound (south) to Long Beach

Wreck Lead bascule bridge 9/05/2014 View W Photo: Jordan Torregrosa 

The channel was once called "Wreck Lead Channel" (Click link to Telegraphic Call Letters page for WL, Wreck Lead and Lead) and the location was listed on employee timetables as "Wreck Lead". The original cabin/tower that was built there was thus called "WL" (Wreck Lead). A station was also built there using the same name and appeared on timetables.  It was short-lived, and was removed, but there has been a cabin/tower there ever since. Info: Dave Keller
WRECK LEAD  Opened:  C. 1898, As combination low cinder/low wooden platform.  No depot building.  On NE side of Wreck Lead (Reynold's) Channel at water's edge.  Closed:  12/31/27.
ticket_Long-Beach-Wreck-Lead_8-22-1899_BradPhillips.jpg (39037 bytes) ticket_Long-Beach-Wreck-Lead_8-22-1899_reverse_BradPhillips.jpg (26334 bytes)
Ticket - Long Beach to Wreck Lead 8/22/1899 Archive: Brad Phillips

The "X" on the ticket dater die identified the die as being used by an extra ticket clerk.  Extra clerks worked busy stations and were assigned these "extra" dies to identify them while working there.  

This Wreck Lead ticket was sold at LI City.  Why someone purchased it at LIC for the short trip between Long Beach and Wreck Lead beats me unless . . ..the rider bought a ticket from LIC to Long Beach and planned, in advance that they would make the short jaunt once at Long Beach to the fishing docks at Wreck Lead for some recreation.  They would have purchased BOTH tickets at LIC.  Info: Dave Keller

A lead is an old nautical expression for a navigable channel or passage that also found its way into railroading. That portion of Reynold's channel where the bridge is was more complex prior to the dredging operation, with several sand bars and islands in the midst of the channel and the shore of Barnum Island (southern portion of Island Park) farther north than it is today. The wider passage hugged the shore of Barnum Island and that was the original Wreck Lead. Whatever event (shipwreck of some sort, perhaps) that named it occurred before then. 

Approximately where the bridge cabins used to be, there were several smaller bars, the largest was called Inner Island and the smaller channel was called Inner Lead. Around the turn of the century, they dredged Reynold's Channel as you see now and just retained the name Wreck Lead for that portion.

Western Hempstead Township, Nassau County 01/1899 US Geological Topographic Survey Map close-up insert
Info: Steven Lynch

Please Note: The following from the 1899 map:
            a.  Curved ROW and tracks to the 1880-era depot on the beach.
            b.  Outline of location of depot in relation to the tracks and related railroad structures.
            c.  The tracks extending a short distance beyond the depot as the tracks were cut back from Point Lookout in1895!
            d.  See Emery's 1908 map (posted below) with 1895 track cutback location at far right of map   Info: Dave Keller  

LEAD Tower and Swing Bridge Replacement - View N - 04-17-88 (Madden-Keller).JPG (141068 bytes)
LEAD Tower and  Swing Bridge Replacement - View N 4/17/1988 (Jeff B. Erlitz photo, Dave Keller+ archive)
LEAD Tower and Swing Bridge Replacement - View S - 04-17-88 (Madden-Keller).JPG (117684 bytes)
LEAD Tower and  Swing Bridge Replacement - View S 4/17/1988 (Jeff B. Erlitz photo, Dave Keller+ archive)
Cabin-LEAD-Swing Bridge-Reynold's Channel-Long Beach-View N-1964 (Schneider-Keller).jpg (146661 bytes)
Here's a different view of "LEAD" cabin and swing bridge at the boat channel of Reynold's Channel looking out the window at the rear of a moving MU electric train.  This 1964 scene is looking north. (Rolf H. Schneider photo, Dave Keller archive)
ROW-Tracks-Reynold's Channel-LEAD-View N from MU Train-1964 (Schneider-Keller).jpg (120595 bytes)
Shot the same day from the same train, only now off the trestle over Reynold's Channel and heading towards the Long Beach terminal facilities, the photographer has framed the image through the round "owl's-eye" window at the end of the MU car. (Rolf H. Schneider photo, Dave Keller archive)
Cabin-LEAD-Swing Bridge-Reynold's Channel-Long Beach-View SE-1967 (Keller-Keller).jpg (123495 bytes)
Looking southeast in 1967, LEAD cabin stood on the east side of the swing bridge, where it not only controlled the operation of the bridge to allow boats to pass, but also controlled the interlocking for trains into and out of the Long Beach terminal. (Dave Keller photo and archive)
MU Train-Reynold's Channel-LEAD-Long Beach-View NE-c. 1954 (Hermanns-Keller).jpg (117425 bytes)
A 10-car MU electric train is passing over Reynold's Channel c. 1954.  The lead car is in the Tichy color scheme.  At the far left in this view looking northeast is the swing bridge and LEAD cabin. (Edward Hermanns photo, Dave Keller archive)
MU Train-Reynold's Channel-LEAD-Long Beach-View N-1956 (Edwards-Keller).jpg (74132 bytes)
Wearing the Tichy color scheme but in real need of a repainting, a 5-car MU electric train is heading across Reynold's Channel.  Looking northwest in this c. 1956 view, we see the train consists of TWO combine baggage cars coupled at the same end of the train.  Also noticeable is the swing bridge and LEAD cabin in the right background.  Whatever the guy is doing, dangling from the open baggage compartment door of the combine, it can't be too smart.  (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)
MU Train-Reynold's Channel-LEAD-Long Beach-View NE-c. 1957 (Hermanns-Keller).jpg (113560 bytes)
Sporting the dark grey color scheme with orange-painted end doors, another MU electric train is heading across Reynold's Channel in this c. 1957 view looking northeast.  In the left background is the swing bridge.  (Edward Hermanns photo, Dave Keller archive)
MU Dbl Deck 1327 on 3-car Dbl Deck Train-Reynold's Channel-LEAD-Long Beach-View NW-10-13-63 (Edwards-Keller).jpg (93999 bytes)
A 3-car double deck train is heading across Reynold's Channel in this view looking northwest on October 13, 1963.  As the headlight is not lit, the train is heading north (railroad west) away from Long Beach terminal.  The swing bridge and LEAD cabin is in the right background.  The conductor, minus uniform cap, is checking out something that's obviously caught his attention. "Dang!  That's one helluva bikini!"  (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)
MU Train-Railfan Extra-Reynold's Channel-Long Beach-View NW-11-01-70 (Keller).jpg (134598 bytes)
Passing by the clutter of various forms of construction along the water's edge, an MU electric railfan extra passes near LEAD cabin as it crosses the wooden trestle over Reynold's Channel on November 1, 1970.  (Dave Keller archive)  

A LIRR DE30ac locomotive is pulling a special, daily shuttle westbound between Long Beach and Lynbrook across the bascule bridge at "LEAD" tower, Reynold's Channel, east of Island Park in November, 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The Long Beach branch is normally a third-rail-powered line, but the diesel shuttle service was put into place as the power had to be cut off to the third rail since so much of the line was under water. (George Povall photo, Dave Keller archive)

The Bascule Bridge is from Florida and was barged up. The Tower is called Lead Tower or simply "Lead", and it controls the tracks between east of Island Park RR Station and into and out of Long Beach yard and also, in conjunction with the Coast Guard and marine band radio, raises and lowers the bridge for marine traffic in Reynold's Channel...the LIRR's LEAD Tower Block Operator controls everything and has a liaison with the Coast Guard when necessary.

Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, an all-day shuttle service was put into effect. 

The train was double ended and had two 400 series diesels, or "DE"s with 4 cars (held about 120 people each) and the track in Long Beach yard was lined and spiked for Station Track No. 6 as the entire train cleared the overhead canopies on the north side of the train.

The shuttle train would originate in Jamaica Storage Yard, go to Lynbrook RR Station, pick everyone up, make all local stops to Long Beach, go into Station Track No. 6 (the only track used all day long) and basically when one train left Lynbrook, another left Long Beach and so on...special train numbers were used (9,000 series numbers) for the electrics and their connecting diesels for both eastbound and westbound service.

In Valley Yard the shuttle would change direction and then go back into the Lynbrook RR Station, pick everyone up and head back to Long Beach. 

Both sets of diesels were virtually identical...two 400's and four cars...back and forth all day, with an approximate layover of 30 minutes on either end, with constant MU's feeding the two shuttles every hour. The Long Beach commuters were extremely grateful to have anything at all running to their terminal and we got plenty of good press.

I rode the first day of the shuttle (the second trick portion of course) and rode every shuttle back and forth from 2pm - 10 pm or thereabouts. Very interesting operation and good crews.

They had two Engineers that never "changed ends" and each performed a brake test at each location and were in place and ready to go, so no delays or engine problems...great idea. Info courtesy: Robert L. Myers, LIRR Transportation Manager


LONG BEACH STATION:  Built: 1880, Closed: 1909 - 2nd Depot Opened: 6/1909, Restored: C. 1988

Emery-Map-Long Beach-1908 (Keller).jpg (165842 bytes)
Robert M. Emery hand-drawn map of Long Beach from a 1908 LIRR map.  Notice the proximity of the original 1880-era station building to the shoreline and how much further south it was than the present-day, 1909-era terminal building.


Emery-Map-Long Beach to Point Lookout - c. 1892.jpg (50385 bytes)
Robert M. Emery hand-drawn map of the branch continuation that extended from the 1880-era depot on the sand eastward to Point Lookout.  This map is c. 1892 and the tracks to Point Lookout were abandoned in 1895. Robert M. Emery hand-drawn map of the branch continuation that extended from the 1880-era depot on the sand eastward to Point Lookout.  This map is c. 1892 and the tracks to Point Lookout were abandoned in 1895.

Emery-Map-Long Beach-1920 (Keller).jpg (223699 bytes)
Robert M. Emery hand-drawn map of the 1909-era Long Beach terminal facilities from a 1920 LIRR map.  As occasionally drawn by Emery and for some unknown reason, "North" is facing DOWN!  This map shows the curve of the original right-of-way to the former depot location on the sand of the beach as well as a rather large team yard and freight station.  Emery notes that the old right-of-way tracks were removed in 1910, so for some reason they remained in place after the new depot was constructed.

Emery-Map-Long Beach-1958 (Keller).jpg (163344 bytes)
Robert M. Emery hand-drawn map of the Long Beach terminal facilities MP22.38 as they appeared in 1958.  Note that the team yard and freight station is no longer in existence, having been removed in 1943.  The curvature of the original right-of-way is still indicated.  

G.O. - LEAD Interlocking - Long Beach- 04-15-04 (LIRR-Keller).jpg (101992 bytes)
LEAD interlocking diagram from 4/15/2004 showing the terminal track configuration. (LIRR documents, Dave Keller archive)  

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LIRR track capacities maps Long Beach pre-1962 and post-1962 (LIRR documents, Dave Keller archive)


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LIRR Long Beach 1966 track map - page 26


Station-Long Beach-View NW-1892 (Keller).jpg (82314 bytes)
This is an extremely rare glass-plate produced image of the original 1880 Long Beach depot building sitting on the sand of the beach in 1892.  This view looking northwest is the rear of the station and it faces the water.  Note the depot does not have a sign that reads "Long Beach" but, rather, one that reads "R.R. Depot."  I guess people confused the structure with Carvel or some other place!  Note the wonderful clock tower with a clock face in each of the three directions!  Also note the lone house standing in the right background which I estimate to be approximately the location of the newer, 1909-era depot.  Other than that, it would appear that Long Beach was quite barren back in 1892!
Water Tower-Long Beach-View NW-1892 (Keller).jpg (113395 bytes)
Taken the same day by the same photographer on a glass plate negative is this view looking northwest showing the outstanding wooden-framed water tank!  Notice that Emery's 1908 map posted on this page shows the water tank and pump house north of the tracks.  Sometime between this 1892 image and the 1908 map, this picturesque water tank was demolished and its replacement built across the tracks from this location.  Note a portion of the station building at the far right, so you can see the relationship between the depot building and water tower.  Also note the boardwalk heading towards the water's edge as well as a covered snack bar with what appear to be urns . . . possibly of coffee as well as iced tea.  

Station-Long Beach-1909_Morrison.jpg (58901 bytes)
Long Beach Station  1909 
Photo: Ambrose Fowler Archive: Dave Morrison
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Long Beach Station Fountain close-up 1909 
Photo: Ambrose Fowler Archive: Dave Morrison
Station-Long Beach-ViewNE-c. 1910.jpg (78565 bytes)
Long Beach Station View NE c.1910.Photo: Ambrose Fowler
Long Beach Ry Co Railbus No. 13-at Station-Long Beach-View NE-1924 (Keller).jpg (80241 bytes)
We now move to 1924 and parked out front of the 1909-era station building at Long Beach is railbus #13 of the Long Beach Railway Company.  This view is looking northeast.
Station-Long Beach-View SE-1967 (Keller-Keller).jpg (84910 bytes)
By the time I photographed the Long Beach station in 1967, there was no way to take a photograph of the street-side of the building.  The beautiful entrance with curved windows and fancy brickwork had been built-over sometime around 1964 or earlier with storefronts which blocked the entire street-side of this once-beautiful structure!  This view looks southeast and shows a portion of that storefront at the far right, part of which housed, at the time, a Western Union office and a sign identifying this as the LIRR's station mounted on its roof.
Express House-Long Beach-View NE-1967 (Keller-Keller).jpg (85736 bytes)
Also photographed in 1967 was the former express office which was located behind the depot and is indicated on Emery's maps.  This view was looking northeast towards the station platforms
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Looking north from the bumpers at the depot building, MU trains of mixed equipment are laid up at the platform for tracks 2 and 1.  Construction for the installation of high-level 
platforms is underway in this 1968 view.  (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)
Station-Long Beach-Ticket Office-Interior-07-12-72 (Keller-Keller).jpg (136296 bytes)
I worked as an extra ticket clerk at Long Beach on July 11 and 12 of 1972.  On one of those two days I photographed the ticket window that I worked as well as my ticket case.  You can see from the style of decor that the ticket office had been remodeled from the original sometime around 1964.

I kept a daily diary of every ticket office I worked and stamped each page with that office's dater die.  This is the dater die stamping in my diary from one of the two days I worked the Long Beach station.
Station-Long Beach-View NE-10-24-90 (Keller-Keller).jpg (128603 bytes)
Sometime in 1988 or 1989 . . . not sure, a costly restoration was made to the Long Beach terminal building, returning the structure to its original beauty as well as the original style Long Island Railroad (one word!) sign that was displayed street-side.  The ugly storefronts were torn away, and the exterior of the depot restored to original condition as-built.  This view, taken October 24, 1990 looks northeast, and presents a somewhat busier appearance than images of the same depot when it opened back in June of 1909.
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The restored station looking north on October 24, 1990.
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The restored station looking northwest on October 24, 1990
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The covered station platform looking south towards the depot building on October 24, 1990.  The old express house from the 1967 image posted above, and which once stood at the far right of this view, no longer exists.
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"Push Pull" fan trip - Long Beach 3/22/1980 
Photo: Brad Phillips
MU Train 4845 Westbound Leaving Long Beach-View SW-05-20-61 (Keller).jpg (89616 bytes)
MU electric train #4845 is railroad westbound, leaving the Long Beach terminal facilities in this view looking southwest on May 20, 1961.  Considering the shine, the cars appear to have been recently painted.  A double deck car is trailing.  (Dave Keller archive)
MU Trains and Terminal-Long Beach-View S-09-13-62 (Lichtenstern-Keller).jpg (95369 bytes)
This is a great overall view of the Long Beach terminal facilities looking south on September 13, 1962.  Notice that the depot building still retains the original Spanish roof tiles.  Compare the construction to my 1967 image of the depot and some others posted on this page, which show ordinary asphalt shingles replacing the fine Spanish tiles.  It's nice to see that the restored station had those roof tiles once again installed. (Wm. Lichtenstern photo, Dave Keller archive)

MU Train  at Platform-Track 4-Long Beach-1958 (Edwards-Keller).jpg (79748 bytes)
Here's another view of the terminal facilities looking south in 1958.  An MU electric is laying up on track 4, awaiting departure.  (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)



MU Trains-Lo-Level Platforms-Long Beach-07-30-65 (Keller).jpg (88842 bytes)
Now a view of the terminal looking in the opposite direction.  We see a close-up of a couple of MU electrics at the bumpers photographed on July 30, 1965.  Note that the platform for tracks 5  and 6 is low level.  Compare with the image following.  (Dave Keller archive)
MU Trains-Hi-Level Platforms-Long Beach-08-17-68 (Keller).jpg (110152 bytes)
Now we rotate a little to our right and look at another pair of MU electrics at the bumpers as photographed on August 17, 1968.  Note that the platform for tracks 5 and 6 is now a high level one, and of wooden-plank construction.  This was necessitated by the arrival on the LIRR's property of the M1 "Metropolitan" cars manufactured by the BUDD Corp.  Those cars were not equipped with steps but were designed for high-level platform use only, so the LIRR had to install those type platforms at all their stations in electrified territory that did not already have high level platforms, in preparation for the onslaught of the M1 cars, which would completely replace ALL the old MUs within  a few short years.  (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)
 MU Train at Platform-Track 7-Long Beach-c. 1968 (Edwards-Keller).jpg (79524 bytes)
Looking back towards the station building, which now is devoid of its Spanish tile roof, an MU electric train is laid up on track 7.  Notice the platform at the far left, which is depicted in the preceding image, is now high level and no longer of wooden plank construction.  It appears to have undergone some changes to make it a permanent platform. This image may be late in 1968 or sometime in 1969, depending on when that high level platform was made more permanent. (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)
M1 Train-Railfan Extra- Long  Beach-04-20-69 (Grotjahn-Keller).jpg (116796 bytes)
After the new M1 cars were placed on display at several terminal locations in 1968, a fan trip was organized using these new cars.  The M1 railfan extra traversed several branches in electrified territory.  Here we see it as it's laid up in the yard at Long Beach on April 20, 1969  (Douglas N. Grotjahn photo, Dave Keller archive)
long-beach-platform-gate_1966_BradPhillips.jpg (132247 bytes)
Long Beach - 1966 - Platform gate - Track 2 
Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

Captions, Data, Maps and Photos by Dave Keller Unless Otherwise Noted