St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby MattAmity90 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:26 am

This is related to St. Albans, and what exactly are they doing there? In a video they are showing work on the North end of the platform.
This station is Babylon, this is the train to Penn Station. Stopping at: Lindenhurst, Copiague, Amityville, Massapequa Park, Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Freeport, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Lynbrook, Valley Stream, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodside, Penn Station.
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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:11 am

Everyone: I visited RMLI earlier this week and did some research - this is what I found:

May 23, 1974 was not just the beginning of the LIRR Branch timetables - they were released with
major systemwide schedule changes from improvements such as the full deployment of the 770
car M1 fleet along with commuting operations on a zone basis as K&K previously mentions.

A special issue of LIRR News and Views reviewing the May 20, 1974 timetable changes on the
West Hempstead Branch mentions that through trains do make better time by avoiding having
to switch at Valley Interlocking-westbound trains in particular. There was no mention as to why
St. Albans and Springfield Gardens were placed in the WH Branch TT.

What I was unaware of was just how small the service to St. Albans and Springfield Gardens was
as of the May 23, 1974 schedule -
Westbound Monday thru Friday:
#903 from West Hempstead stops at St. Albans at 7:16 AM.
#905 from West Hempstead stops at Springfield Gardens at 7:36 AM.
#907 from West Hempstead stops at St. Albans at 7:55 AM.
Eastbound Monday thru Friday:
#142 to Babylon stops at St. Albans at 5:04 and Springfield Gardens at 5:06 PM.
#874 to Long Beach stops at St. Albans at 6:43 PM.
Saturday and Sunday:
#4817 stops at Springfield Gardens at 9:08 and St. Albans at 9:10 AM westbound.
#4858 stops at St. Albans at 4:56 and Springfield Gardens at 4:58 PM eastbound.
This is just two trains each way on weekdays and one each way on weekends serving St. Albans.
Springfield Gardens was served by one train in each direction daily.

I have a TDI TT in my collection for St. Albans and Springfield Gardens dated September 12, 1966
showing service levels of 27 eastbound trains (three stopping only at St. Albans) and 30 Westbound
trains (six stopping only at St. Albans) on weekdays; 23 eastbound (20 at SGD) and 26 Westbound
(23 at SGD) on weekends. Two trains each way-one each stopping at both stations and one SAB
ran on Saturdays only. Most of these trains operated to and from Penn Station back then.

The interesting finding here is to notice how service to St. Albans and Springfield Gardens dropped
off over just a eight year period - was there a reason for this decline in ridership?

The train service at both St. Albans and Springfield Gardens stayed the same for three years with
the only change being weekend service with the May 24, 1976 timetable:
#4101 stops at Springfield Gardens at 8:34 and St. Albans at 8:36 AM.
#4168 stops at St. Albans at 5:03 and Springfield Gardens at 5:05 PM.

The May 23, 1977 timetable brought big changes for St. Albans service - which was increased
to 9 trains each way on weekdays; 8 trains eastbound and 7 trains westbound on weekends.
The Babylon Branch timetable at the same time began to note trains stopping at St. Albans with
a star next to train numbers with note "Stops at St. Albans; Consult West Hempstead timetable
for times" for trains operating to and from the Babylon Branch.

The Babylon Branch timetable was changed to show service between (Lynbrook) Rockville Centre
and Babylon with the October 16, 1978 schedule change. Babylon to Patchogue trains would be
covered in the Eastern Long Island timetable along with Montauk and Greenport services.

Springfield Gardens continued to be served by one train in each direction daily and would be
closed with the October 13, 1979 timetable.

I will add TDI Timetable changes that I noticed:
November 25, 1968 - Begins MTA blue for all Long Island Rail Road TDI timetables replacing the
seasonal four colors previously used. The M logo replaces "Dashing Dan".
March 15, 1975 - Last all blue TDI timetable issue for all stations.
May 19, 1975 - Begins Branch TDI timetable colors.

The earliest TDI timetable in the RMLI collection with the light blue West Hempstead Branch
color is dated October 6, 1975 for the West Hempstead Branch (Westwood to West Hempstead).
St. Albans and Springfield Gardens is included in this timetable - Form WM1. St. Albans continued
to be listed in this timetable after Springfield Gardens was closed with the October 13, 1979 issue.

MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS
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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby Union Tpke » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:41 am

Thanks for the research!
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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby BAR » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:05 am

At least part of the decline in riders using the St. Albans station between 1966 and 1974 is attributable to the demographic changes that took place in both St. Albans and neighboring Cambria Heights which also provided passengers.
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