by David Paul Gerber
parts written by Chris Sattler, with revisions, additions
and updates to David’s original text)
Montauk branch is the LIRR’s longest rail line. At 117
miles from New York’s Pennsylvania station, the Montauk line
stretches alongside Long Island’s south shore. From
Bay Shore, through Patchogue, and into the Hamptons to
Montauk, there is plenty to see through your window.
The often scenic ride may take as much as 3.5 hours from New
York City, but riders won’t feel it because of the often
breakneck speed the train attains on mostly straight-aways.
The line operates in two sections: 1. From Bay Shore
to Patchogue, where the bulk of the service is provided,
from 4:30 AM to about 2 AM (although an overnight train from
Montauk to Jamaica will make these stops on weekdays only).
2. From points east of Patchogue to the line’s end at
Montauk, the line has service based on the season;
additional weekend trains are added during the summer
season. That is the time the entire Hamptons area
comes alive with the parties and summer house shares or
rentals. Trains departing from Jamaica station, have
the option of using the Babylon branch or the Main Line spur
from Hicksville to Babylon, bypassing Bethpage station.
Other trains begin/end at Babylon, with the transfer
connection to the electric M-Series train there.
Because of the acquisition of new bi-level coaches in 2000,
most platforms were renovated or converted to hi-level
platforms. Some other low usage stations were closed
in 1998 to consolidate operations with the remaining nearby
stations. The Montauk branch is also home to the
LIRR’s flagship (and most successful train service, ever),
the Cannonball. Departing every Friday at around 4 PM
from Hunterspoint Ave station (plus an additional train on
Thursdays, same time, during warm weather), the train makes
a connection at Jamaica from Penn and Flatbush trains, then
runs non-stop all the way to Westhampton, the first stop.
From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day the Cannonball
Fridays train is enhanced by an all-reserved Parlor Car
service for an additional charge to the base Zone 14 fare
(the train only makes Zone 14 stops), with special parlor
cars used for this purpose. A description of the
Parlor Car service will be available this summer.
Montauk line was a culmination of several jointly operated
railroad companies that built different sections of the
line. In the late 1860’s the competing South Shore RR
built the current line from Jamaica hub, along the Babylon
branch (at grade, of course), to Patchogue only. The
LIRR main line had a spur from the current Greenport branch,
about midway between Yaphank and Riverhead stations, to
Eastport (between the current Mastic-Shirley and Speonk
stations), before running east to Sag Harbor. This
spur is called the Manorville branch, and was still in use
until 1939. Some traces to the abandoned Manorville
ROW are still visible if a walking hike out there can be
attained in good weather. After the competing
railroads were consolidated to the LIRR, in 1879, a
connection from Patchogue to Eastport was made (this would
be the current line from Patchogue to Speonk.), and the
final section from Bridgehampton to the historic Montauk
station was built in 1895. The section to Sag Harbor
was also discontinued in 1939, although a 1900 station house
at Sag Harbor station is still in use as a private business
to this day.
start our trip byboarding our bi-level diesel train from
Babylon, and leave for our first stop. The stations
covered in this section are from Bay Shore to Montauk.
For stations west of Bay Shore, please see the
Babylon page All stations
use high-level platforms.
2 tracks on 2
platforms, only station along Montauk Branch to use old
style Hi-level platforms, use grade crossing at either end
to reach other platform. The 1912 farm-like station
house is on the north platform, and is the 3rd
house for this station. There is parking on both
2 tracks, 2
platforms, parking on both sides with new platform (the
appearance of these new platforms are dark green, complete
with ramps for the disabled). There is an interesting
station house just to the east of the North platform,
because not only does it have a clock tower, but a replica
of a classic LIRR banner is right below the clock itself.
The windmill arrow has a locomotive design on it. This
house looks restored to its original pre-war appearance, but
actually is young by LIRR’s standards. The station
house was built in 1963 and replaced an 1881 house.
The original station depot was built on the south side in
Abandoned station, first
used in private service in 1868 to service the South Side
Sportsmen’s Association, a private club. Closed in
station name was Youngsport until the current name changed
to current station name in 1881. The first station
house was built in 1897 and was gutted by a 1943 fire.
2 tracks, 2 platforms, parking on both sides. There is
a bus shelter on the south side.
2 tracks, 2
side platforms, parking on both sides, station house is this
time on the south platform. The station house is still
standing since 1890, however my observations does indicate
that it needs some TLC or a full restoration. This is
the 2nd station depot, the original station house
opened in 1868. Original low platforms are clearly
visible just to the west of the current hi-level station.
2 tracks, 2
side platforms, parking on both sides, station house on
south side. Only station on Montauk branch to have an
overpass. The station house was built in 1906 and
renovated in 2001. The prior station house opened in
in 1980, the station opened in 1869 and a replacement
station house in 1903 was demolished around 1963-64.
Bayport, this station ceased operations in 1980, apparently
for low patronage. Station opened in 1870, and a
replacement station house was built in 1900. The 2nd
depot was demolished in 1951. There is evidence of a
low platform next to a RR grade crossing but it may be
traced to either Bayport or Blue Point, exact station is not
this point, there is a breakaway track that heads to the
north, while a bit further , the line becomes single track
with ample evidence of a 2 track operation in most sections.
Some sections of the 2nd track still exist.
From this point on, the line is single track with the
customarily side platform until we reach Montauk.
platform, bus stops and station house on south side, this is
the terminal for most regular trains, they will use a relay
track to the east of PD Tower. The current station
house opened in 1963 and has an ample waiting area; this is
the 3rd station house. Original station
house opened as a shelter shed in 1869, and was replaced by
the 2nd depot in 1888. There is an unused
north track. To the east of Patchogue station, at
grade crossing, is PD Tower. This tower is
noteworthy for the leaning appearance, as much as 10-15
degrees to the right facing the tower’s steps. The
tower is still standing since 1906 and underwent an interior
renovation in the early 1970’s. Tower Operators
usually come out, with a long “reel” stick in hand and guide
the top of the stick to the engineer as his train passes by
the tower. This is the most efficient way of relaying
instructions to the crew on the train.
Continuing on our way we bypass East Patchogue
another abandoned station that was axed, due to the close
proximity to the current Patchy station. Some gravel
and low platform observed is the most likely location to
this former station. Service to this station was from
1890 to 1928 only.
(Originally Accobomac, then Brewster Place):
Short 1 car platform
to the south, this station opened in 1882. This
station and Amagansett are the only 2 stations on the
Montauk branch to have 1 car platforms. Parking on
south side only
(Originally Forge station):
First built in 1882 as
Forge station, it was renamed to Mastic in 1893. In
1960, the station was moved to the current location and the
new station house sits to the west end of the platform.
All facilities on south side.
Abandoned station, one of
several stations that closed in 1998, the last station house
opened in 1985. The parking lot on the south side is
all that remains from the station closing. First
opened in 1881.
Abandoned station, closed in 1958, yet the brick station
house is still intact. Previous station house opened
in 1897 and burned down in 1936.
Eastport: (Originally Moriches station on the
abandoned Sag Harbor branch in 1870).
The station was renamed to Eastport in 1881 and moved to its
current location. It was closed in 1958. Soon
after the closing, the station house was moved to a private
Before arriving at Speonk, there is evidence of a second
track in this stretch.
(Also named Remsenburg from 1895-1897). This is the
terminal for a couple of trains; there is a relay track to
the east of the station. All facilities on south side,
current station house is to the east of the hi-level
platform. The first station house opened in 1870 and
was replaced by a second one due to a 1901 fire. That
second house closed in 1958 and is in use today as a
restaurant, with some table service. The 3rd
station house was built along with the new platform in 2001
and lies to the east of the hi-level platform.
to the south side. First station house built in 1870
and replaced in 1905 by a 2nd house. The 2nd
station house survived a fire and underwent a 1995
renovation. This station house is to the west of the
Abandoned station. 3 station houses were built at this
location, in 1875, 1882 and 1905 respectively. The 2nd
house was moved to a private location and the 3rd
was torn down in 1964. This station didn’t make the
1998 cut to continue service and was abandoned at this
(Originally named Good Ground):
The named changed to
current station name in 1922 to avoid confusion with the
street (Good Ground Road) which runs to the north of the
current station. All facilities are to the north,
continued unused second track in existence. There were
3 station houses at this location. The first depot in
1871 was destroyed by a fire in 1873. A year later,
the 2nd station house opened and lasted until
1913. The 3rd depot opened in 1913 and
closed on 1958, later razed in 1964.
leaving Hampton Bays, we cross the Shinnecock Canal Bridge,
a drawbridge similar in design to one of the 2 Rockaway
subway line Bridges crossing North and South Channels.
The following 4 abandoned station locations listed below are
not known, so the first station might be before the bridge
we are crossing.
Opened 1907, and closed in 1927. Station house moved
to private property in 1923.
Opened 1887, closed in 1932. After the closure, the
station house was converted to a United States Post Office,
and later sold to private interests. This structure is
Abandoned station. Opened 1907, closed in 1932.
Station house moved to private property after the closure.
It was later replaced by
station. Because of the close proximity to the nearby
Southampton station, it closed during the 1998 ax of several
on south side. First station house opened in 1871 and
replaced by the current depot in 1902.
Station house and service began in 1875 and replaced by a
new house in 1903 and closed sometime in the 1940’s, this
site is currently in use as a private business.
Service to this station ended in 1968.
to the south. Opened in 1870, the first station house
was destroyed by an 1884 fire; it was replaced by a 2nd
house soon after that. The 2nd station
house closed in 1958 and later demolished in 1964.
There is no station house currently at this location.
Station houses were built in 1898 and 1915, the latter moved
to private property after the station closed in 1936.
facilities to the south side. Original station house
built in 1895 and is still standing. The exterior of
the house needs some TLC.
One car short
platform to the south. An 1895 freight station
directly to the opposite of the station (to the left in the
direction we are traveling) sits there to this day.
There is a shelter shed on the platform, it was built in
1965. Original station house built in 1895 and
replaced due to a 1910 fire. That 2nd
station house closed in 1958 and demolished in 1964.
arrived at our destination after 3 plus hours on the rails.
New hi-level island platform sits to the west of the old low
platform that is still there (as a sidewalk). Gravel
parking to the north, LIRR yard and mobile office to the
south of the current platform. I myself was walking on
the RR tracks instead of using the low platform, just for
the feel or “working on the railroad”. The first
station house opened in 1895. The 2nd house
is built next to the end of the stub track at the yard (I
was not able to find this house because I had only a 30
minute layover, it should still be there). The 3rd
and current station house (built in 1942) sits to the end of
the bumper block of the low platform, is now used as a
private art business and museum. The waiting bench in
front of the white house, and facing the track, is left
intact. Taxi service is usually identified as purple
cars or vans and will take you to the Montauk Lighthouse and
State Park, a 15 minute ride from the station, or anyplace
with Montauk. Breathtaking views of the landscape can
be taken in while at Montauk station, among them a mansion
sits at the crest of a hill, facing east.