• Rockaway Beach Branch - Historical Operations

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

Moderator: Liquidcamphor

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  by BMT
 
A co-worker recalls that during the early years of NYCTA take-over of the Rockaway Branch that when Far Rockaway-bound A Trains got to Euclid Avenue there woild be a change of crews. He said that the New York City Transit Authority Motorman would get off and by replaced by a Long Island Rail road Engineer who would take the train the rest of the way out to Far Rockaway (or Rockaway Park). He said that this pecularity existed to the early or mid-60's. Is there any truth to this? Seems to me that if it IS true then it was some kind of consession made by the Transit Authority to the LIRR Engineers Union.

Can Dave K or JJ help out here???

  by Dave Keller
 
Hi BMT:

I'm sorry to say I've never heard of any such thing.

First of all, LIRR service to Rockaway Park ended when ownership of the station and tracks was transferred to the Transit Authority on 10/3/55.

As for the other direction:

The tracks from Far Rockaway (Mott Ave.) towards Rockaway Park were physically severed by removing the bridge section over the road west of the depot at the time of transfer to TA ownership.

A new station was built at Far Rockaway by the TA.

With no LIRR connection at Far Rockaway and no LIRR connection over Jamaica Bay, how, where and why would a LIRR engineman take over? The LIRR no longer owned the trackage.

That would also kind of kill the early-mid 1960s portion of that theory.

Also, I'm sure there would be a union issue involved had this been true.

The LIRR depot at Far Rockaway (Mott Ave.) was razed in 1957 and LIRR service cut back to Nameoke Avenue, so the LIRR didn't even have a presence at the old point of transfer. "ROCK" Interlocking tower had already been moved to east of Nameoke Avenue with the grade elimination in 1941. It was placed out of service by general order in 1950.

Anyone else have anything to add?

Dave Keller
  by Head-end View
 
In the book "Under the Sidewalks of New York", author Brian J. Cudahy states that when the NYCTA took over the Rockaway line, it was operated for a while as a fourth division of the subway system. And that a regular crew change did take place at Euclid Ave. the dividing point of the divisions. It doesn't mention anything about non-Transit Authority personnel, so I would assume it was T.A. crews.

  by BMT
 
Thanks for the responses....Yes, I think I read about the crew changes at Euclid Ave. In my mind that would be one transit crew being replaced by another TA crew. I'll have to point that out tomorrow when he gets in. I'd assume that was done because of the extra-length of the 'A' train route after the Rockaway Line was added to it.

  by Dave Keller
 
One amendment to my earlier post and one addition:

Amended:
LIRR service to Far Rockaway (Mott Ave.) ended on 2/21/58 when it was discontinued as a station stop and service was cut back to Nameoke Avenue.

The elevated tracks and old depot were razed shortly thereafter.

Added:
While ownership was transferred to the TA on 10/3/55, actual TA service did not begin on the ex-LIRR tracks and over the newly built and more substantial Jamaica Bay trestle until June, 1956.

I have to strongly agree with Head-end-view that if there were a crew change, as indeed there is a record thereof, the crews were BOTH TA crews.

Dave Keller

  by Clemuel
 
There was a change of crews at Euclid Avenue, but both were NYCTA crews.

Clem

  by BMT
 
Well gentlemen, my co-worker still swears up and down that it was a LIRR Engineer that took control of the 'A' train (most likely an R-10) at Euclid Avenue for the trip out to the Rockaways. He pointed out that he recalled that the Transit Conductor stayed on, but the Engineer ONLY was swapped. He said he vividly remembered the change of TA Motorman to LIRR Engineer because of the different style uniform. Now...either this guy has a very active imagination OR there was a brief period where this practice was done after the NYCTA take-over of the Rockaway Branch, and it wasn't well documented (?).

  by Noel Weaver
 
BMT wrote:Well gentlemen, my co-worker still swears up and down that it was a LIRR Engineer that took control of the 'A' train (most likely an R-10) at Euclid Avenue for the trip out to the Rockaways. He pointed out that he recalled that the Transit Conductor stayed on, but the Engineer ONLY was swapped. He said he vividly remembered the change of TA Motorman to LIRR Engineer because of the different style uniform. Now...either this guy has a very active imagination OR there was a brief period where this practice was done after the NYCTA take-over of the Rockaway Branch, and it wasn't well documented (?).
I would say "highly unlikely" on this one. Rules are totally different and so
are operating practices. LIRR and other railroad engineers would need to
be qualified on TA rules and practices. LIRR engineers do not wear any
uniforms that I am aware of.
Different unions are involved too.
I think this is someone's imagination, nothing more than that.
Noel Weaver

  by Dave Keller
 
I agree.

Urban legend.

Someone mis-remembering and swearing by it.

And, no . . engineers did NOT wear uniforms.

The closest thing to a uniform he would have worn would have been a striped hat.


Dave Keller

  by BMT
 
I would say "highly unlikely" on this one. Rules are totally different and so
are operating practices. LIRR and other railroad engineers would need to
be qualified on TA rules and practices. LIRR engineers do not wear any
uniforms that I am aware of.
Different unions are involved too.
I think this is someone's imagination, nothing more than that.
I tend to agree with this as well. I think either he's mis-remembering something or is trying to continue and Urban Legend.

  by Lirr168
 
I would learn toward your co-worker mis-remembering. When NYCTA acquired the route from the LIRR in the mid-1950's, they made a few changes to the Jamaica Bay Crossing, but for the most part retained the original LIRR R.O.W.. Until 1962, the LIRR ran trains to Liberty Ave., at which point IND service began. So, while the engineers did not change, it does appear that both LIRR and NYCTA trains did operate on the Rockaway Branch for a few years. My guess would be that your co-worker is confusing trains changing with engineers changing.

  by RedSoxSuck
 
I agree that it is highly unlikely that an LIRR engineer took over. But, is it possible that in the time immediately after the takeover that no TA personell were qualified to operate on the Rockaway branch, and therefore had to hire LIRR engineers who were still qualified?

I know it's a stretch, but that's the only even remotely logical explanation that I can think of.

  by Noel Weaver
 
RedSoxSuck wrote:I agree that it is highly unlikely that an LIRR engineer took over. But, is it possible that in the time immediately after the takeover that no TA personell were qualified to operate on the Rockaway branch, and therefore had to hire LIRR engineers who were still qualified?

I know it's a stretch, but that's the only even remotely logical explanation that I can think of.
Engineers do not remain qualified forever when they have not worked over a line and this line had not been operated for quite some time.
Further, the physical characteristics most certainally underwent major
changes regarding switch locations, signal locations and indications, rules
and speeds.
Nothing is being accomplished on here, suggest this topic be dumped.
Noel Weaver

  by Dave Keller
 
So, while the engineers did not change, it does appear that both LIRR and NYCTA trains did operate on the Rockaway Branch for a few years.
The LIRR stopped running trains over the trestle after the fire of 1950.

The LIRR stopped running trains via Far Rockaway into Rockaway Park in October, 1955.

Transit service started back up in June 1956.

How could both LIRR and NYCTA trains be run?

And WHY?

LIRR trains went as far as Liberty Avenue to layup for the return trips back from the newly created terminal at Ozone Park.

Nothing LIRR-affiliated ran over the trestle once it became TA property.

If you have official proof of this statement, please provide it here. Otherwise you're just spreading more mis-information for fans who are really interestd in a correct answer and don't quite seem to understand the statement: "LIRR severed the track connections and transferred Ownership of the ROW to the NYCTA."

Seems cut and dried to me!

Dave Keller

  by timz
 
"it does appear that both LIRR and NYCTA trains did operate on the Rockaway Branch for a few years."

Presumably he's referring to the LIRR train to Ozone Park. If that's not the "Rockaway Branch", then okay, he needs to improve his terminology.
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