The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for September 12th, 2011

little memories

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

What you’re looking at used to be one of the centers of the world, the Long Island Railroad terminus at 2nd street and Borden Avenue. The original version of the place was built in 1861 and provided egress to Manhattan via an enormous ferry terminal which shuttled commuters back and forth across the East River. This was (and is) the literal “End of the Line”.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The station was electrified (WRONG, Sharp Eyed Reader “Kevin” points out that these are diesel trains) along with the rest of the LIRR western spurs, when the tunnels to Manhattan were opened in the early 20th century. The tunnels allowed direct transport to Penn Station, eliminating those delays associated with weather which plagued the ferry service.

Today, excess capacity during the slack time between rush hours can be found idling on the tracks on any given day.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Several versions of the station have been installed here- for instance, a calamitous fire in 1902 destroyed the wooden buildings and train sheds which distinguished the place in the late 19th century. A trip to the acknowledged masters on the subject- the website is recommended for the curious.

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