I haven’t been out to East New York for awhile, but fortunately I have a number of photos on file, and I remembered the East New York Long Island Rail Road station, outwardly one of the more decrepit-looking stations in the entire system; many of the stations in open cuts, including Murray Hill on my own Port Washington branch, are hard to maintain. East New York seems to be in a class of its own, though. It’s located at Atlantic and Van Sinderen Avenues and is actually at grade level, with the LIRR entering and exiting tunnels on both sides.
For a century until 1940 the LIRR ran at grade most of the way down Atlantic Avenue, except for a short tunnel to the waterfront on the west, some of which is actually still in place (the late Bob Diamond would occasionally run tours in it until the city and the FDNY ended them). Beginning in 1905 the city wanted to end grade crossings and so put much of the Atlantic Branch in a tunnel or on an elevated overpass, depending on how high the ground, while continuing to run at grade east of East New York until 1940. [thanks Andy Sparberg] At East New York a complicated arrangement developed with the station placed at grade but covered by an auto viaduct.
In the title card you see one of the the subway-like entrances on Van Sinderen Avenue that undercut the Atlantic Avenue roadway and bring passengers to staircases to the platforms.
Here you see the platforms with the staircases in the distance. Bare bulbs without glass reflectors light the platform, likely because vandals would make quick work of any glass coverings. During the day, natural light suffices.
A view of the platform from Atlantic Avenue.
For me the most fascinating aspect is the use of IND-type subway signage, the black and white squares and arrows used for directional signage.
The “Rockaways” refer to the LIRR service to the Rockaways across Jamaica Bay that ran until the original trestle burned down in 1950. The city rebuilt it and used it for IND service in 1956. Because trains to Far Rockaway make this stop, the sign still applies.
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