Long Beach Branch  

Captions, Data, Maps and Photos by Dave Keller unless otherwise noted

Built by the New York & Long Beach R. R. Co. from Lynbrook to Long Beach: 1880
The Long Beach Marine Railway Co. extended the line 5 miles eastward from Long Beach to Point Lookout: 1881
The LIRR bought this line: 1886 and operated passenger trains to Point Lookout until 1890
Long Beach to Point Lookout abandoned: 1895
LIRR leased and operated the NY&LB RR: 1880-1904 at which time the NY&LB RR merged with the LIRR
Double track laid from Valley Stream to Lynbrook: late 1910
Double track in service from East Rockaway to Wreck Lead (“WL”): 1/15/27
Electrification from Valley Stream to Long Beach on main tracks: 9/1910
Electrification from Valley Stream to Long Beach on freight sidings: 1928-30
Color light signals installed: 1/1927   Info: Robert Emery



Ticket - East New York to Pearsalls - 1884
Station-Lynbrook-Tower 21-Long Bch Branch Side (View NW) - c. 1905 (eBay).jpg (101595 bytes)
Lynbrook Station Tower #21 -Long Beach Branch side of depot - view NW c.1905 

Lynbrook Station colorized post card c.1920 Archive: Dave Morrison

LIRR Freight receipt: Pearsalls Station - Agent E. P. Frost  - Consigned to
J. H. L'Hommedieu for 1 case hardware and 2 bundles sash cord  5/16/1882

LIRR Freight receipt: Pearsalls Station - Agent E. P. Frost  - Consigned to
Long Beach Improvement Co.  for 27 lengths of iron pipe and 8 boxes white gloss. 5/16/1882

LIRR Express Receipt - Pearsalls Station (Lynbrook) (E. P. Frost Agent) - 6/03/1882

LIRR Freight Receipt - Pearsalls Station (Lynbrook) (E. P. Frost Agent) - 5/17/1882

Note: The LIRR Express receipt does NOT indicate a station, but the agent, E. P. Frost, is the same agent on the freight receipt that is identified as Pearsalls. Info/Archive: Dave Keller

Emery Map PC east of Lynbrook to Merrick Rd. 1958
Archive: Dave Keller
Emery-Lynbrook-MP17-18.jpg (298797 bytes)
Emery Map Lynbrook 1958 MP 17-18
Station-Lynbrook-PT  Tower-Express Platform-View SE-c. 1907.JPG (85116 bytes)
Lynbrook Station - PT Tower - Express Platform view SE c.1907
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Lynbrook  Station - view NW c.1907
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Lynbrook Station - PT Tower 1908
Station-Lynbrook-1st Train from Penn Sta-09-08-10 (Huneke).JPG (114853 bytes)
Lynbrook Station - 1st train from Penn Station 9/08/1910 Archive: Art Huneke 
Station-Lynbrook - PT Tower-Exp Hse-c. 1910.jpg (113598 bytes)
Lynbrook Station - PT Tower - Express House c.1910
MU Train at Station - Lynbrook-View E - 11-03-53 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (74182 bytes)
MU train at Lynbrook Station view E 11/03/53 (Faxon-Keller)

Lynbrook - LIRR 2-8-0 freight engine snow plowing
eastbound crossing Broadway at grade. View SW 1931

Note:  Perhaps running light eastbound to be rescue motive power east of Babylon, where electrification ends.  Or a rescue unit for a stalled freight along the Babylon branch.  Basically, though, the H6 and the H10 were primarily freight locomotives, although both had seen passenger service. 

A three-car MU train is westbound in front of the Lynbrook freight house and crossing over Earle Avenue in this 1935 image looking east. The elevated crossing tower, at the right, allowed the watchman to see over the spotted gondolas on the substation track. The coal silos of Dependable Fuel are visible in the distance. Info/Archive: Dave Keller

Lynbrook Station - White Castle and new construction location further east
c. 1970 Photo: John Cribben Archive: Art Mattson

ALCO-RS1s-freight-eastbound_Lynbrook_09-28-63_Smith-Keller.jpg (87139 bytes)
ALCO RS1s freight eastbound - Lynbrook 9/28/1963 (Smith-Keller)

Lynbrook aerial - View E 6/12/1951 - NY State Archives

Two ALCO RS1 units, lashed, are pulling a freight train eastbound through Lynbrook, NY on September 28, 1963. Now we'll fast forward to 1967, the last year my father worked before his retirement. He was a stationary engineer and had worked the night shift at Piel Bros. brewery in Brooklyn since 1950. I was 15 at the time of his retirement and on several occasions, he'd take me into work with him and in the morning, when his shift was over, we'd pick a LIRR branch and he'd drive me along the branch, using a 1966 employee timetable as reference and stopping at every station and tower we'd find, for me to get photos for my archive.

When we photographed the branches along the south shore (Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Montauk-Babylon, West Hempstead) we'd stop at the White Castle restaurant in Lynbrook, as they actually served a limited breakfast. We'd both have coffee and an English muffin. Coffee was a nickel and the English muffin was a dime. You can see in this image that burgers around that time were only twelve cents. McDonald's burgers were 15 cents but were a bit larger than White Castle's and weren't full of holes! Not only are the ALCO units long-gone, but so is the old Desoto automobile in the foreground, waiting on Broadway for the light at Sunrise Highway to change. (Harold Smith photo, Dave Keller archive)



Station - Centre Ave. - Lynbrook - Rough Platform Only -View NE - c. late 1920s (Huneke).jpg (90415 bytes)
Centre Ave. Station, Lynbrook rough platform only -view NE c. late 1920s 
Archive: Art Huneke

 Crossing-Centre Ave.-Lynbrook-View E) - c. 1920s (Huneke).jpg (92365 bytes)
Centre Ave. crossing, Lynbrook   - view E c.1920s Archive: Art Huneke

Lynbrook -
Centre Ave. crossing sign "Notice this road crosses private property 
and is
not a public thoroughfare" road sign

Station - Centre Ave. - Lynbrook - Depot and Platform View NE - c. late 1930s (Huneke).jpg (91022 bytes)
Centre Ave. Station, Lynbrook  Depot and Platform view NE c. late 1930s 
Archive: Art Huneke
Centre-Ave-Station-Lynbrook_viewSE_1966_Sturm-Fehn.jpg (96394 bytes)
Centre Ave. Station, Lynbrook View SE 1966 (Sturm-Fehn)
Station - Centre Ave. - Lynbrook - Former Low Platform (View NE from Hi Level Platform) - 12-09-82  (Huneke).jpg (108981 bytes)
Centre Ave. Station, Lynbrook -  former low platform - View NE from 
Hi-level Platform 12/09/82 Archive: Art Huneke 


MU train-First from Penn Sta at East Rockaway - 09-08-10.jpg (75336 bytes)
First MU train from Penn Station at East Rockaway 9/08/1910
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East Rockaway Station 1966 (Sturm-Fehn)
East-Rockaway-Station.jpg (86647 bytes)
East Rockaway Station - Platform Reconstruction View E c.1995. The LIRR had a program to replace any of the remaining asphalt on wood high level platforms 
that date from that late 60s/early 70s era. The “meatball” M further dates this sign to the first half of the 1990s. Info: Mike McEnaney

East Rockaway Station:  Not so long ago, a member of the Davison family reached out to HSERL to share with us a memoir written by her Grandfather, Oliver S. Davison II. It was the first time I had read this particular account of East Rockaway’s history, needless to say, it has been a huge asset to our collection, and we look forward to sharing more of these stories with you!

In the document, Mr. Davison shares a story his father, Russell S. Davison, had told him about the railroad coming through East Rockaway in the early 1880s. In those days, his great-grandfather, Oliver, and his great-granduncle, Charles, had owned the old mill, and most of the land south of modern-day Ryder Place. When the New York & Long Beach Rail Road was planning its route, which ran from Pearsalls to Long Beach, it needed to obtain land, not only for trackage but for passenger stations and freight houses. According to the story, representatives of the Davison family, likely Oliver & Charles, met with the railroad company to work out a deal. The Davison's agreed to gift a one-mile right of way through their property, in return for siding at their lumberyard. Siding is when a loop is built off of the main rail line. In this case, freight trains could stop to load and unload goods and materials, without disrupting passenger service. On November 5th, 1880, a passenger station and freight house were opened for service on the newly laid out Davison Plaza, where it would remain for many years.

This is where the story gets interesting.  As a part of the state’s initiative to eliminate grade crossings along the Long Island Rail Road’s, Montauk and Atlantic branches, tracks east of Jamaica were elevated. By 1938, the project reached Lynbrook. The plans called to elevate the Long Beach line to a point just south of the present-day Oceanside station and to consolidate both the East Rockaway and former Atlantic Avenue signal station, which once stood just south of Atlantic Avenue, into one elevated station situated where the present-day station now stands. According to the story passed down by Russell, his cousin, John W. Davison, who along with his brothers had inherited the lumberyard, after their father died in 1906, was infuriated by the railroad's proposal. Raising the tracks through East Rockaway would have eliminated the Davison’s siding, and violated the deal his father made nearly six decades earlier. John’s pushback on the plan was successful. The railroad canceled the station consolidation and elevation, at that time. It wasn’t until December 11th, 1951, five months after John’s death, that the railroad decided to move forward with their plan. By then, the elevation portion of the plan had been scrapped, but the consolidation of the two stations was completed, and the current East Rockaway station as we know it today was born.
Collection: Historical Society of East Rockaway & Lynbrook


OPENED: 5/1/15, BURNED: c. 1958-59  2ND DEPOT BUILT: 1959, RAZED: SUMMER/2002  3RD DEPOT OPENED: 2/26/2003. AGENCY CLOSED: 8/19/2009

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Oceanside Station - LIRR valuation photo 1919 Archive: Art Huneke
Oceanside-Station.jpg (50454 bytes)
First Oceanside Station c.1920's eBay image
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Emery map - East Atlantic Ave Station to Oceanside MP19 1925
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Emery map - Powell's Creek to Oceanside MP19  1943
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Emery map - East Rockaway to Oceanside MP18-19 9/1958
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Oceanside Station View N 3/29/1960 (Weber-Morrison)
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Oceanside Station View S 3/29/1960 (Weber-Morrison)
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Oceanside Station View SE 3/29/1960 (Weber-Morrison)
Oceanside-Station_ViewSW_3-29-1960_Weber-Morrison.jpg (81215 bytes)
Oceanside Station View SW 3/29/1960 (Weber-Morrison)
Station-Oceanside-Train-10-21-61 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (81228 bytes)
Train at Oceanside 2nd Station 10/21/61 (Faxon-Keller)

Oceanside Raze - LI Railroader 11/05/1959 Archive: Dave Morrison
Oceanside-raze-10-1959_Solomon-Morrison.jpg (97178 bytes) Oceanside-RAze_ LIRRer_ 5Nov1959_Morrison3.jpg (92704 bytes) Oceanside-RAze_ LIRRer_ 5Nov1959_Morrison2.jpg (113852 bytes)
Oceanside Raze 10/1959 - Photos: Irving Solomon Archive: Dave Morrison
Oceanside-Station-3rd.jpg (108514 bytes)
Oceanside 3rd Station c. 2005

Research: Dave Keller

The station’s main operating equipment includes two steam electric units (Units 1 and 2) with a combined generating capacity of up to 370 megawatts (MW) that were placed in-service in 1956 and 1963, respectively. The northern portion of the site is developed with gas turbines (GTs), including eight General Electric Frame units (combined capacity of 120 MW) and four Pratt & Whitney aero-derivative twin-pack gas turbines (combined capacity of 160 MW) that were placed in service in 1970 and 1971, respectively. 

A dock facility located on Barnum's Channel allows barges to unload No. 6 fuel oil to an on-site fuel tank farm currently consisting of five (5) aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) with a combined capacity of approximately 20,160,000 gallons. There is an active wastewater treatment facility located on the southeastern portion of the property. The northeastern and southwestern portions of the property are undeveloped tidal wetlands

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Barnum's Channel - Island Park - Edward F. Barrett Power Station View S Source: Mapcarta 2018


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LILCO Power Plant approaching Barnum's Channel - Island Park View S Google Maps 2018
Barnums-Channel-Island-Park_viewS.jpg (61725 bytes)
Barnum's Channel - Island Park View S
Google Maps 2018

Note: Referred to as Hog Creek/Channel at one time; as per Emery Map 1958 (below left)

SOUTH SIDE EXTRA:   In 1957 the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) opened a new coal burning power plant in Island Park. The railroad underbid a barge operator and won the contract to deliver their coal.  The coal trains were known as "South Side Extras"

LILCO Island Park Plant c.
Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

LILCO Island Park Plant view SE
1/11/2023 Photo: Joe Vila

LI Railroader 6/20/1957 LILCO Island Park Plant Archive: Art Huneke


EXTRA 206 East with C420 #212 east of Valley Stream - Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

EXTRA 209 East passing VALLEY Tower with three READING leased RS3s.
Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

lb branch mp20-21.jpg (143935 bytes)
Emery maps MP20-21, MP21-22 9/1958
Archive: Dave Keller
lb branch mp21-22.jpg (97485 bytes)

Extra 208 West routed through Zero Track to the westbound Montauk Branch as seen from JAY Tower. Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

EXTRA 220 East  C420s #220-221 Lynbrook Station 8/30/1968 Photo: Harold A. Smith Archive: Art Huneke


lb branch mp20-22.jpg (212013 bytes)
Emery map MP20-22 9/1958 composite

 Switching the Coal at Island Park by JJ Earl

"...the coal train used the trailing point cross over east of Long Beach Road to shove across into "The Light" (LILCO plant).  Loads would be placed in the empty tracks and empty cars gathered up and pulled out onto #2 main.

The engines uncoupled and were reversed at LEAD to come back west on #1, over the cross over and pull back west onto #1 stopping for a member of the crew to throw these hand thrown switches back to their rightful position.

All main line crossovers had/have what is called a locking bar halfway between the switches with a lever that, when thrown over, moves a rod that connects to a locking device in each switch that will not allow it to be thrown unless this security device itself is thrown.


 "Moving Coal by Prayer" 
by Mark Smith (Retired LIRR Locomotive Engineer)

The following is an excerpt pertaining to the map (left):

"... After Jamaica, passenger trains were on your back as soon as you fell down at all.  After Valley Stream, the trains were on an hourly basis.  This means that you had to pull past the crossover at the coal siding, back your train in, cut off the hack, pull out and shove your train away, pick up the hack, place it on the westbound empties, pull out and run around the train on the main between regular trains.  This required some fancy operation by the crews..."


Island Park USGS 1979 topographic map of Island Park MP20-22

Island Park elevated signal equipment 4/2019 Source: thelirrtoday.com

Island Park new signals 4/2021  Source: thelirrtoday.com

The new signal system brings full, bi-directional 261/410 speed control and cab signaling to the Long Beach Branch between LEAD Interlocking in Island Park and VALLEY Interlocking in Valley Stream. This will offer additional flexibility and brings this branch into line with what LIRR has in most other places on the railroad. Previously, the Long Beach Branch had cab signaling and speed control only in the 'normal' direction (meaning for westbound trains on track 1, eastbound trains on track 2). When trains operated in the 'reverse' direction, they did so under "Controlled Manual Block" and without speed control.

As part of the project, the railroad installed new Central Instrument Locations at LEAD Tower and Long Beach Yard, as well as new signal huts, impedance bonds, and battery sets along the branch. Most of the equipment has been built up on elevated platforms to make it more resilient to future storms. At LEAD Interlocking in Island Park, the old position light signals have been replaced with tri-color light signals, similar to what has been installed elsewhere along the South Shore over the last 15 years, including most recently as part of the Massapequa Pocket Track.
Source: thelirrtoday.com

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Island Park Station - Summer view E 1966 (Sturm-Fehn)
Island-Park-Station_6-10-2009.jpg (99963 bytes)
Island Park Station 6/10/2009 View NE

A new signal system was placed into service on the Long Beach Branch on 4/18/2021. This was part of a Sandy recovery project. Until that date, eastbound movements on Track 1 and westbound on Track 2 were still manual block with no Automatic Speed Control. The new signal system remedied that but also converted the position light signals at Lead (pronounced Leed, from the water channel the railroad crosses here, Wreck Lead Channel) Interlocking here to color lights. What goes around comes around, though. Until 6/30/1976 the signals at Lead were color light, from the original signal contract in 1927 when the double track was extended from Oceanside to this point, in Island Park.  M7 #7586 Train #6852 (Penn Station-Long Beach) onto the single main track east of Island Park station (geographically south) in this view northeast on 2/26/2023
Photo/Archive: Jeff Erlitz
Consist: 7586-7585+7686-7685+7152-7151+7328-7327
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

Long Beach - Reynolds Channel - NOAA Nautical Chart view N

LEAD Interlocking diagram - 9/06/1946  Archive: Jeff Erlitz

RENAMED: 5/1/37.  US&S 7 LEVER STYLE TC TABLE MACHINE  OUT OF SVC:  4/29/88. SWING BRIDGE OUT OF SVC: 5/2/88)  Research: Dave Keller

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)

MPB-54 heading across Reynold's Channel (Wreck Lead) trestle.
View S - 9/23/1956 Photo: Frank Pfuhler Archive: Daniel V. Brown, Jr.
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-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)  
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-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)
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LEAD cabin Swing Bridge open position 11/01/70

Cabin-LEAD-Swing Bridge Open-Reynold's Channel-Long Bch (View S) - 02-05-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (87069 bytes)
LEAD Cabin Swing Bridge Open at Reynolds Channel, Long Beach 
View S 2/05/1978 (Madden-Keller)

  Cabin-LEAD and Swingbridge-02-05-1978 (Madden-Keller).jpg (112573 bytes)
LEAD Cabin and Swing bridge View N 2/05/1978 
(Wm. Madden Photo / Dave Keller archive)

LEAD Cabin and Swing bridge (Wreck Lead) View S 6/1986
Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

Public timetable notice operating white headlights and red marker lights
1/18/1988 - Archive: Jay Bendersky

M1 electric MU cars had red markers lit alongside the headlights of the lead car. This was to alert people that it would be making a Jamaica stop and not a Penn Station express. The markers also indicated the train would be short cars from its normal consist. ANY LIRR train coming into Jamaica w/b that normally had, for example, 10 cars, only had 8 cars that day, so commuters seeing the markers on the train arriving (at a distance, say, before HALL Tower), could readjust their platform position and get a better seat or to not delay the train further by having to walk "up" from the east end of the platform. Believe it or not, that came from commuters who complained that the LIRR should let them know when a train was going to be short cars before actually arriving at Jamaica and then their having to run up to board and lose a potentially good seat to boot. (Robert Myers data)

LEAD Tower and Swing Bridge Replacement - View N - 04-17-88 (Madden-Keller).JPG (141068 bytes)
LEAD cabin and  Swing Bridge Replacement - View N 4/17/1988 
(Jeff B. Erlitz photo, Dave Keller archive)

Cabin-LEAD-New Tower and Bridge Replacement-Reynold's Channel-Long Bch (View S) - 05-15-88 (Erlitz-Keller).jpg (102148 bytes)
LEAD Cabin New Tower and Swing Bridge Replacement 
Reynolds Channel View S 5/15/1988 (Jeff B. Erlitz photo, Dave Keller  archive)

LEAD Tower and Swing Bridge Replacement - View S - 04-17-88 (Madden-Keller).JPG (117684 bytes)
LEAD cabin and  Swing Bridge Replacement - View S 4/17/1988 
(Jeff B. Erlitz photo, Dave Keller  archive)

Reynolds-Channel_ViewS_2018.jpg (167778 bytes)
Reynold's Channel View S 2018 Photo: Unknown

That's the replacement "LEAD" tower and drawbridge.  The  waterway is "Reynold's Channel," formerly "Wreck Lead" hence the derivation of the name of the old block cabin and this replacement tower.  The drawbridge was placed in service on May 2, 1988 and the new tower on May 9, 1988.   Research: Dave keller

Tower-LEAD-Model Board-Long Beach-02-05-78 (Erlitz-Keller).jpg (77541 bytes)
LEAD Cabin Model Board 2/05/1978 (Erlitz-Keller)

Tower-LEAD-Interlocking Table Machine-Long Beach-02-05-78 (Erlitz-Keller).jpg (74390 bytes)
LEAD Cabin Interlocking Table Machine 2/05/78 (Erlitz-Keller)

LEAD Cabin - Reynold's Channel M3 eastbound  9/1987

Although I worked at Lead occasionally, at the time, I always wanted to try something different for a photo before the old Lead Bridge was replaced. In September of 1987, I got the opportunity and took this photo of an M3 eastbound, from my Parent's boat while in Reynolds Channel. View W
Photo/Archive/Info:  Jay Bendersky



Page 376 - Rule 1038-A - Lead Drawbridge: Class AS-6 locomotives 15 MPH; All other types PROHIBITED.
Page 389 - Rule 1160-B - Cars exceeding 210,000 pounds are prohibited between LEAD and Long Beach



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 

M1 crossing Wreck Lead bascule bridge - Summer 1988 - Archive: LIRR/MTA

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.  Research: Dave Keller

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)

Train #6854 (Penn Station-Long Beach), with M7 7030 (Bombardier Transportation, 1/2003) up front, crosses the Wreck Lead Drawbridge west of Long Beach station in this view northeast. This was a former Florida East Coast drawbridge that was floated up here and installed back in 1988. This replaces a timber trestle that was even lower to the water line!
2/26/2023 Photo/Archive: Jeff Erlitz
Consist: 7030-7029+7132-7131+7264-7263+7038-7037+7528-7527


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 (Retired)


Built: 1880, Closed: 1909 - 2nd Depot Opened: 6/1909, Restored: c.1988   Research: Dave Keller

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)  

Map-Track Capacities-Long Beach-Pre-1962-Post-1962 (LIRR-Keller).jpg (183584 bytes)
LIRR track capacities maps Long Beach pre-1962 and post-1962 
(LIRR documents, Dave Keller archive)

 26-Long Beach.jpg (57295 bytes)
LIRR Long Beach 1966 track map - page 26

D53b-55 and Crew-White Hats-Long Beach-c. 1890 (Huneke).jpg (65477 bytes)
Long Beach LIRR #55 D53b and White Hats Crew  c.1890 Archive Art Huneke

Electric Rail Service to Long Beach - Brooklyn Eagle ad 7/20/1910

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!  (Dave Keller archive)
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.   (Dave Keller archive)

Station-Long Beach-1909_Morrison.jpg (58901 bytes)
Long Beach Station  1909 
Photo: Ambrose Fowler Archive: Dave Morrison
Station-Long Beach-Fountain Closeup-1909_Morrison.jpg (67791 bytes)
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.

Long Beach Station. Park Street, c.1930
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
Long-Beach-Baggage-House_ex-Express-Office_8-1966_Sturm-Fehn.jpg (83754 bytes)
Long Beach Baggage House ex-Express Office 8/1966 (Sturm-Fehn)
MU-train-Long-Beach_1964_keller.jpg (64016 bytes)
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.
Station-Long Beach-View N-10-24-90 (Keller-Keller).jpg (103759 bytes)
The restored station looking north on October 24, 1990.
Photo/Archive: Dave Keller
Station-Long Beach-View NW-10-24-90 (Keller-Keller).jpg (123641 bytes)
The restored station looking northwest on October 24, 1990
Station-Long Beach-Platform View S-10-24-90 (Keller-Keller).jpg (105771 bytes)
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.
Push-Pull-Fantrip_Long-Beach_3-22-80_BradPhillips.jpg (66672 bytes)
"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
Station-Long Beach-View NW-C. 1910 (e-Bay).JPG (94678 bytes)
Long Beach Station View NW c.1910 Photo: Unknown


Station-Long Beach and Floor Plan - 06-08-1910 (e-Bay).JPG (70629 bytes)
Long Beach Station and floor plan View NW 6/08/1910 Photo: Unknown
Long Beach Fare Flyer 4/12/1941
Ocean Beach Z3 SX 233.jpg (80279 bytes)
Ocean Beach Park, Long Beach  Archive: Kevin Fehn Ocean Beach Z1 SX 133.jpg (78832 bytes)

Long-Beach_Kew-Gardens_BradPhillips.jpg (77540 bytes)   Long-Beach_Kew-Gardens_reverse_BradPhillips.jpg (58007 bytes)
Long Beach to Kew Gardens ticket 9/2/1966
Archive: Brad Phillips

Long Beach Station and historical marker -  View NW 2023 MTA

M7 7041 (Bombardier Transportation, 5/2003), with train #6857 (Long Beach-Penn Station), leaves Long Beach station and Yard and a whopping 5 mph, just like at Atlantic Terminal. I can certainly understand having a speed limit that slow coming up on bumping blocks. I feel there is no need to proceed less than 15 mph when departing a terminal if the block is clear. All of the switches here, except for the one on the far right in this view, were converted to controlled switch machines in the past 10 years or so, controlled from Lead Tower on the bridge. This 12-car train was practically at the beginning of double track on the other side of the bridge before it accelerated past 5 mph! That’s one of the yard switch indicators on the right, right in from of milepost 22.
View southwest 2/26/2023 Photo/Archive: Jeff Erlitz
Consist: 7041-7042+7209-7210+7067-7068+7595-7596+7113-7114+7743-7744

LIRR business/observation JAMAICA #2000  - Newsday  4/30/2023
Actors Sophia Loren, Tab Hunter filming "That Kind of Woman" June 24, 1958 at Long Beach

Long Beach Branch - Valley to Oceanside Track profile map 1994

Long Beach Branch - Island Park to Long Beach Track profile map 1994
LIRR Long Beach Visitor Guide 2011 Archive: Kevin Wong
LIRR Long Beach Visitor Guide 2013 Archive: Kevin Wong
Two LIRR Visitors' Guides to Long Beach, 2011 and 2013. They were distributed by LIRR in conjunction with the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce and the City of Long Beach and available
at ticket offices at staffed stations (I picked them up at Woodside). They included a Long Beach map, local contacts, events listing and ads from local sponsors.  Kevin Wong
Station-Long Beach-Painting for LIRR Xmas Card-2011.jpg (111661 bytes)
Long Beach Station painting for a LIRR Christmas Card 2011

Long Beach Historical Marker 4/24/2019 Photo/Archive Andrew Ruppenstein