In 1901, Auburndale, the neighborhood just east of Flushing, Queens, was empty farmland. Enter the New England Development & Improvement Co., which bought the 90-acre Thomas Willets farm, and lo and behold, Auburndale the community was born. The name comes from Auburndale, Massachusetts, the home of L. H. Green, who developed the community starting in 1901, when the Long Island Railroad started offering train service to the area. Auburndale’s early station house stood until 1929, when the grade crossing at Utopia Parkway was replaced by an overpass and as a result, Auburndale is one of the handful of LIRR stations without a station house. information from Ron Ziel’s Victorian Railroad Stations of Long Island
In the photo, train buffs mill about on the Auburndale Long Island Rail Road elevated platform above 192nd Street. MP-72 units are visiting the station for perhaps the first time since electrified M-1 units replaced them in 1970 (the M-1s have themselves been consigned to scrap; the new M-7s succeeded them beginning in 2003). The station has been given noew elevators, shelters, lighting and signage since 1999, when the photo was taken.
Notice that it seems that only men were on the fantrip. There are, of course, no gender restrictions on these trips, but the vast majority of train buffs seem to be boys and men. An unfelicitious nickname, “foamers,” has been assigned to them, as that was perceived to be the natural reaction they have when witnessing old train engines and cars. I have, however, met two women train buffs, both named Emily. One is a modern dancer who married a train motorman, and the other is now an Amtrak executive. Not foamers.