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Re: A Question about the Lower Montauk Branch

Posted by GP38/R42 Chris on Wed May 6 22:01:08 2009, in response to Re: A Question about the Lower Montauk Branch, posted by Andrew Kirschner on Wed May 6 13:06:41 2009.

Most people probably didn't even know there WAS a station at Fresh Pond or Penny Bridge!

That is true. I lived in Ridgewood, and no one knew there was a station at Metro and Fresh Pond Rd. even I didn't realize there was on there until I got "into" trains.
Glendale was known by more people than Fresh Pond, but even so, there was no sign there all through the 80's, and until 1993 or so when they finally put a sign up. None of the stations had signs until 1993. They did have signs from 1993 until 1998 when they closed.

Little slab of concrete, no sign.

Not even. While Fresh Pond had the stairway crossover from the street, and curbs at the tracks, the platform was just ballast. Haberman, Penny Bridge, and Glendale were NOTHING more than a stop on a regular grade crossing.

The stepchild branch on the stepchild railroad.

Only for passenger service. There's nothing stepchild about it otherwise. The line handles just about 100% of Brooklyn, Nassau, and Suffolk's freight service. All of Long Island's freight must pass through on this line. It's well used in that respect. Just because it doesn't have passenger service doesn't mean it's "stepchild".

It would have been the perfect conversion for subway service, but NIMBYism killed it (I believe ol' Al D'Amato spearheaded the NIMBY effort too.) Now with all the freight action on it, it cannot be.

But the freight service is NECESSARY on the line. You can't just through the freight off the line and make it a subway line. That would kill all the freight on Long Island dead in it's track. And while Long Island doesn't have the amount of freight it had prior to the 60's or 70's, the New York and Atlantic has really increased carloads since they took over from the LIRR in the early 90's.
It would be a shame to destroy all that progress. The only way it could be converted to subway is if it was expanded to three tracks so one would be a freight track. Either that, or just expand LIRR service, as that would be able to run with freight.
The reason the passengers were so sparse is because they made the line impossible to use. How can you have more people if you only have one train in each direction running local?


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