Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay Long Island Rail Road Station is the terminus of the Oyster Bay Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The station is located off Shore Avenue between Maxwell and Larabee Avenues. It is a sheltered concrete elevated platform that stands in the shadows of the original station, which was accessible from the ends of Maxwell, Audrey, and Hamilton Avenues. Both stations exist along the south side of Roosevelt Park.

The original Oyster Bay Station was built on June 25, 1889 and remodeled in 1902. At one point there were plans to extend the line east towards the Port Jefferson Branch. There was also a large pier built to facilitate the loading of passenger cars onto a short-lived ferry to Wilson's Point in South Norwalk, Connecticut that is now owned by the Flowers Oyster Company. The former Oyster Bay Station and the Oyster Bay Long Island Rail Road Turntable were both listed separately on the National Register of Historic Places on July 6, 2005. Efforts are under way to transform the former station into a Railroad Museum.

No bus access is available for the station, however local taxicabs do stop there.

Platform and track configuration

This station has one high-level side platform located south of the tracks. The Oyster Bay Branch has two tracks at this location. The north track, not adjacent to the platform, is a passing siding leading to a seven-track yard just beyond the station.

History

In 1889 the Oyster Bay Extension Railroad, a subsidiary of the Long Island Railroad, extended the terminus of its rail line from Locust Valley to Oyster Bay and constructed this beautiful Victorian train station on land donated by Col. Robert Townsend. The original station had a large wooden platform and an elegant porte cochere - a covered porch large enough for horse-drawn carriages to pass through.

In 1891 the Long Island Rail Road connected the land to the sea via a 1,000-foot-long (300 m) wharf that enabled rail cars full of passengers to be loaded onto a ferry. This ferry, called the Cape Charles would take passengers to Connecticut where the railways would be connected to the Housatonic Railroad and continue on to Boston. Unfortunately, this unique service from New York to Boston ceased operations when a land route across Connecticut was built.

1891 also proved to be a tragic year, when Locomotive No. 113 violently exploded as it sat in the station awaiting passengers. People as far away as East Norwich felt the force of the blast, and three crewmen were killed.

When Theodore Roosevelt became President of the New York City Police Board in 1895 he commuted regularly through this station, and when he became President of the United States in 1901 a huge expansion of the station was planned to accommodate the expected rise in visitors to the hamlet. Those 1902 renovations included the removal of the porte cochere and the addition of 400-foot-long (120 m) weather sheds. Inside the station a large fireplace and tiled hearth were added, and on the exterior a special stucco was used that contained real oyster shells.

At the end of the 20th century the station fell into a state of disrepair. To accommodate newly built double-decker trains a new station and platform were built nearby.

An organization called The Friends of Locomotive 35 in conjunction with the Oyster Bay Historical Society, have begun work to transform the station into the new home of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum.

The Friends of Locomotive #35 Inc. has re-incorporated as the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, a NYS Historical/educational Not for Profit Museum and is working on the Museum on its own under the Town of Oyster Bay. The original LIRR Oyster Bay railroad station is now owned by the Town of Oyster Bay, rather than the LIRR and currently is not accessible to the public while undergoing various engineering and architectural studies and reviews in order to start the restoration into a museum. The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum Preview Center is now open at 102 Audrey Ave. a few hundred feet from the station building near Oyster Bay Town Hall. We can be reached by phone at 516-558-7036

Building Activity

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