St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

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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
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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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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:07 pm

Everyone:

I checked the RMLI timetable archive and found that there was a drastic reduction in service that
went into effect with the May 21, 1973 schedule change for St. Albans and Springfield Gardens.

The March 26, 1973 schedule shows a level of service consistent with the 1966 timetable that I
previously mentioned: 27 westbound (7 trains stopped at one or the other station); 18 eastbound
trains stopping at both stations weekdays; 15 westbound and 10 eastbound trains weekends.

The May 21, 1973 timetable shows that westbound trains stopped between 7 and 9:15 AM and
between 4:45 and 6:45 PM eastbound daily (7 days/week); All other service was eliminated.

The RMLI timetable collection had both TDI timetables showing these major schedule changes.
The period between Summer 1972 (when the last old-type folder timetables were issued) and
the May 1974 beginning of the Branch timetables in which the only public timetables were the
TDI type is tough to research - but in this case RMLI had the "before" and "after" here.

Westbound:
7:06 AM St. Albans weekday to New York 7:31 AM.
7:41 AM Springfield Gardens and 7:44 AM St. Albans weekday to Brooklyn 8:12 AM.
8:07 AM St. Albans weekday to Brooklyn 8:32 AM.
8:45 AM St. Albans (holiday) to Brooklyn 9:11 AM.
8:52 AM St. Albans weekday to New York 9:18 AM.
9:08 AM Springfield Gardens and 9:10 AM St. Albans weekend to New York 9:34 AM.

Eastbound:
4:30 PM from Brooklyn weekends stops at St. Albans at 4:57 PM and Springfield Gardens at 4:59 PM.
4:32 PM from Brooklyn weekdays stops at St. Albans at 5:00 PM.
4:49 PM from Brooklyn weekdays stops at Springfield Gardens at 5:20 PM.
5:07 PM from Brooklyn weekdays stops at St. Albans at 5:35 PM.
5:10 PM from New York (holiday) stops at St. Albans at 5:36 PM.
5:47 PM from Brooklyn weekdays stops at St. Albans at 6:14 PM.
6:16 PM from Brooklyn weekdays stops at St. Albans at 6:44 PM.

Weekday-Monday thru Friday; Weekend-Saturday and Sunday; Holidays are: Memorial Day, July 4,
Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Another factor in the reduction and eventual closing of the Springfield Gardens Station was the
proximity of both the Locust Manor and Laurelton Stations which were one mile or less northwest
and southeast respectively which was previously not mentioned.

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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby Kelly&Kelly » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:26 pm

I recall the closing of Springfield Gardens station. At the time it was eliminated, ridership counts indicated 13 - 15 people were using it daily.

The station had fallen into decay, and the area was riddled with crime. The City of New York would not pay for the needed structural renovation, which would cost in the millions of dollars. The City then simply didn't have the money; the LIRR had even less. The concrete platform was failing and 6 x 6 timbers had be placed under the slabs to shore them up. Asphalt and plywood boards were applied atop the concrete, and long portions of the platform were removed from service. It was a mess.

As MAX said above, other options existed for the passengers' use, and with the blessings of the City, and mainly the cIty's Police Department, the station was closed in 1979.
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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby BAR » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:27 pm

Was there ever a ticket office with an agent on duty at Springfield Gardens? I don't remember seeing one.
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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby MACTRAXX » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:04 pm

BAR wrote:Was there ever a ticket office with an agent on duty at Springfield Gardens? I don't remember seeing one.
BAR

BAR: After almost a month dormant I was able to get some information concerning ticket offices
thanks to RMLI - they have some Ticket Office Hours cards carried by train crew members from
the 1960s that are used to show when to apply the on-board penalty charge (then 25 cents) and
for other internal uses.

A June 8, 1961 card shows that Springfield Gardens had a ticket office open 6:45 AM to 9:30 AM
on weekdays. By September 30, 1963 (the subsequent card in the RMLI collection) the SG ticket
office was closed and no longer listed.

St. Albans had a full-time day ticket office weekdays from 6:10 AM to 10:30 AM; 11:15 AM to
2:30 PM. 10:30 to 11:15 was a 45 minute "lunch" period. At some point between September 29,
1969 (the last St. Albans ticket office listing) and June 26, 1972 (again the subsequent card in
the RMLI collection) the St. Albans ticket office was closed. MACTRAXX
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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:43 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:St. Albans had a full-time day ticket office weekdays from 6:10 AM to 10:30 AM; 11:15 AM to 2:30 PM. 10:30 to 11:15 was a 45 minute "lunch" period.
Where was the ticket office located at the elevated station - street level or a shed on the platform?
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby BAR » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:52 pm

MACKTRAXX,
Thanks very much for the information on St. Albans and Springfield Gardens. Very informative and interesting.

BAR

R36 Combine Coach,

The Springfield Gardens ticket office was definitely not at street level so it must have been on the platform. The stairs to the platform level were just a few steps from Springfield Boulevard and I think there was only one set of stairs to the platform.

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Re: St. Albans - The Identity Crisis Station?

Postby Kelly&Kelly » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:21 pm

Waiting room and agency on the platform under the canopy.
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