2008-06-20 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

The Edgemere LIRR Station… 1895 to 1943… Beach 35-36 Street
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev,Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

When the giant Edgemere Club Hotel opened on the beachfront of old Edgemere in 1895, the Long Island Railroad opened a new station between Beach 35 and Beach 36 Streets. The new stop for the hotel was neatly tucked in between the then Edgemere Avenue (Beach 31 Street to Beach 38 Street) and Rockaway Beach Boulevard heading west from Norton Creek Bridge at that time.

Edgemere station was small, with a covered platform on the eastbound or beach side of the tracks, with the westbound platform between the double track. Both platforms were ground level.

Afew years later, when the LIRR opened its ocean electric trolley from Far Rockaway to Neponsit, a third track was added on the north side of the LIRR right of way from Far Rockaway to Hammel's station. The trolley stopped there using the north of bayside of the westbound platform.

When trolley service was ended or abandoned by the LIRR, the center or old westbound track was removed, and the trolley track became the new westbound track.

Edgemere station was renovated many times; for the trolley track and when the trolley was discontinued (1899 and 1929 respectively), longer trains, as well as platform locations and heights. Deluges brought by nature often flooded the railroads right of way in Edgemere, causing service to be halted until the tide went out or the trackage was pumped dry.

When the LIRR was elevated, and opened for service in 1943, the new Edgemere station on the "El" opened for service. As on the ground, each "El" station had an attendant to keep the station and waiting room clean. In the cold months the attendant also kept a small coal stove going to warm waiting passengers… 24/7 I believe! At times he was also the ticket agent in the smaller stations. Can an oldtimer validate the last few statements?

Drop us a line, and please include any other remembrances of the LIRR days!

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