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Long Island Stations - Clinton Rd.

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Long Island Stations & Structures

by Paul S. Luchter

Photos by Paul S. Luchter

 

This is the Clinton Road Station in Garden City, Long Island, NY.  

This was originally A.T. Stewart's Central RR of Long Island, ( 1872, originally the Flushing RR) from Long Island City to Babylon via Flushing.  From Flushing to Creedmoor was abandoned after it merged with Long Island RR in 1879, the portion Creedmoor to Montauk Extension remained.  The Creedmoor branch was abandoned in the 1970's, the shuttle lasted to mid 1950's. A portion of it Floral Park to Country Life Press in Garden City still carry commuters (last stop Hempstead).

According to Vincent Seyfried, the station was opened in 1915. However, according to the late Robert Emery, the station was built in 1911. In anticipation of double tracking, two low level concrete platforms were constructed but the main track was the south track, with the north track not built until 1918 when wartime passenger and freight traffic to Camp Mills required the double tracking.

There was extensive residential development in the immediate vicinity of the station. The Garden City Company had a sidetrack built on the east side of Clinton Road in 1909 to handle building materials for the new homes in the area. The magnificent Clinton Road station may have been used to bring prospective home owners to the new development on special trains. 

For a short period of time, the station had a ticket office. The construction of the station was not mentioned in any of the LIRR annual reports for that period. Initially, the shuttle service to Clinton Road originated at the main station in Garden City where there was a short "trolley" platform. As an aside, it should be noted that Emery's 1911 date is probably correct since Country Life Press station, serving another newly developed area of Garden City, opened in 1911 (although the building was not actually started until 1912 and completed in 1913). The bridge abutment at Chestnut St. bears the 1911 date.  Seyfried's date, referring to the opening of the station, is probably also correct since regular service to Clinton Road probably started that year.

The site shown is one of the two unprotected grade crossing in Nassau County, only the yearly Circus Train (for Nassau Coliseum) passes this point. The NY and Atlantic RR wants to use the Stewart Ave. Intermodal yard a mile east of this point for freight but neighborhood protests have not allowed this thus far.

 

 

 

Plans have been discussed regarding the use of Light Rail Vehicles to the various shopping malls east of there...tracks still go that far.  Past that are abandoned - a large empty space, once the right of way, bisects Levittown, abandoned just as this famous auto-friendly community went up.   Another station, knocked down in the 1980's, was at Merrick Avenue, adjacent to the Meadowbrook Club and was called Salisbury Plains.  The station was built of white brick to match the Meadowbrook Club.  The Salisbury Plains station was similar architecturally to Clinton Road but was two stories high, with a baggage room below grade level.  Quite a unique structure and apparently, it had a ticket office for about two or three years in the mid 1920's (station opened on 12/10/1923)

Stewart built the first planned community in the US - Garden City which has 5 passenger stations still in use (Stewart Manor, Nassau Blvd., Garden City, Country Life Press and Merrillon Ave.).

He also ran the first Department Store in US, maybe the world - it is being rehabilitated.  It is on Chambers Street, north of City Hall and the Tammany Court House, in Manhattan.  His later stores are also existing landmarks in NY.

The street level tracks from Main line to Long Island City also remain, and were part of this Central RR as well (at least the right of way was).

 

 

This page was last updated Thursday, February 03, 2000

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