Long Island Rail Road
Learn more about Long Island Rail Road
|Long Island Rail Road|
|Image:MTA Long Island Rail Road logo.png|
|Dates of operation||1834 – present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8½ in (1435 mm) (standard gauge)|
|Headquarters||Jamaica, New York|
The Long Island Rail Road or LIRR (often referred to as the "L-I-double-R") is a commuter rail system serving the length of Long Island, New York. It is the busiest commuter railroad in the United States, and the oldest railroad still operating under its original name. The LIRR is also a Class II railroad, as one of two railways providing freight service along Long Island. It is owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which has styled it MTA Long Island Rail Road.
 Key terminals
The LIRR has three terminals. The primary terminals are Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan and the Atlantic Terminal at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn; and a minor terminal is at Long Island City in Queens. The Hunterspoint Avenue station, just east of Long Island City, is served by roughly eight westbound trains and 12 eastbound trains per weekday. Five of those trains in each direction carry passengers to/from Long Island City; all of them continue to the yard at Long Island City.
Access to a third major terminal is currently under construction. In 2011–2012 the LIRR intends to initiate service to Grand Central Terminal via the East Side Access project; provision was made for this route during the construction of the 63rd Street Tunnel, which runs beneath the East River between the Upper East Side and Long Island City and currently carries the F</pre> service of the New York City Subway. Work to be done includes tunneling beneath Manhattan from 63rd Street and the East River across to Park Avenue and then south to Grand Central Terminal, as well as tunneling from the LIRR Main Line near Amtrak's Sunnyside Yard in Queens to the East River.
There is a major station and transfer point in Jamaica, Queens, where the railroad's headquarters are located. (The parent MTA is headquartered in Manhattan.) Jamaica Station encompasses eight tracks and six platforms, plus yard and bypass tracks. At Jamaica, passengers can transfer between all western branches, and all eastern branches save Port Washington. Frequent riders of the LIRR use the phrase "change at Jamaica" often. Transfer is also made to the separate facilities for three different subway lines, eighteen bus lines, and the AirTrain automated electric rail system to John F. Kennedy International Airport.
There are 11 branches on the LIRR. The longest two are the Main Line and the Montauk Branch, from which diverge six of the remaining nine branches. The Main Line and Montauk Branch each extend to points a few miles short of the end of Long Island's "forks," long peninsulas separated by Shelter Island Sound. The line to the North Fork, with limited service east of the prime commuter zone, ends at Greenport, and the line to the South Fork, with both commuter service and extensive seasonal excursion traffic, ends at Montauk.
There are five branches terminating in Nassau County, New York, at Port Washington, Oyster Bay, Hempstead, West Hempstead, and Long Beach; one branch runs through Nassau County but terminates in New York City at Far Rockaway. In addition to the two major branches, there is one subsidiary branch in Suffolk County, New York, to Port Jefferson.
From the early 1970s through the early 2000s, the LIRR's fleet was dominated by the electric multiple unit M1/M3 cars, built by Budd. Diesel-hauled trains through the late 1990s were operated using 1950s-era P72/PT75 series built by Pullman-Standard.
In the late 1990s, Kawasaki-built double-decker passenger cars hauled by General Motors Electro-Motive Division dual-mode diesel/electric locomotives replaced the 1950s-era equipment, allowing trains from non-electric territory to access Pennsylvania Station for the first time in many years, due to the prohibition on diesel operation in the East River Tunnels leading to Penn Station. These new trains have the distinction of being the only double-decker commuter trains in the New York City area, although New Jersey Transit is currently in the process of buying their own. They were also the first trains with computerized voices (complete with LED displays) announcing stations along the routes.
 Gateway to Boston, 1832-1849
The LIRR's history stretches back to 1832 and the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad, which built a ten-mile (16 km) stretch of track between Brooklyn and Jamaica. The Long Island Rail Road itself was founded in 1834, leasing the track laid by the B&J and building its own.
The original plan was not as a local service to serve Long Island, but rather a quicker route from Boston to New York. Trains would run from Boston to Stonington, Connecticut, where the passengers would cross by ferry to Long Island. They would then ride on the LIRR to Fulton Street in Brooklyn, and finally cross by ferry to New York. The reason for this rather complicated plan was the impossibility, at the time, of building a railroad through southern Connecticut.
The LIRR thus built its original tracks running straight down the middle of the island, which was largely uninhabited at the time, rather than serving the existing Long Island communities. This route to the North Fork was chosen as the most direct way to travel to New York.
The Island-long route was completed in 1844 and at first was highly successful.
Cornelius Vanderbilt was elected a director of the railroad in 1844 when he was primarily famous for his ferry empire in the New York area.
 Stiff competition on Long Island, 1849-1880
In 1849 the New York and New Haven Railroad opened through the "impassable" country of southern Connecticut, and a direct overland route from New York to Boston now existed. The LIRR's reason for existence was gone.
The only remaining business was to serve Long Island itself, something the railroad was not built to do. Efforts were made to build branches to the small Long Island communities. In 1850 only one such branch existed, but more were built, as well as a number of other railroad companies' branches.
In 1860, the City of Brooklyn banned the use of steam engines in populated areas. The LIRR reduced service to Brooklyn, eliminating the track between the current Flatbush Avenue terminal and the then Fulton Street terminal. Service between Jamaica Station and Flatbush Avenue was by horse-drawn cars. The LIRR built the route from Jamaica Station via Woodside Station to the Long Island City terminal, where ferry connections to Manhattan could be made. This route was entirely within Queens County, and avoided the Brooklyn law. Since that time, the routes to Brooklyn have always been considered secondary.
The combination of the loss of the New York to Boston traffic and all the competing railroads made for harsh financial times for both the LIRR and the newer roads. In 1876, the LIRR was bought out by the owner of one of the competing roads, but the Long Island Rail Road name was used for the merged company. Even consolidation could not prevent another receivership in 1879, however.
 Austin Corbin and the Montauk Shortcut to Europe, 1880-1900
Austin Corbin brought the various lines out of bankruptcy in 1880 under the LIRR umbrella and immediately made it profitable. Corbin set his sights on extending the rail from Bridgehampton, New York to Montauk, New York, which was occupied by Montaukett Native Americans, who occupied nearly 10,000 acres (40 km²) there. Corbin's plan was to build a deep water port in Montauk, where trans-Atlantic passengers could disembark and travel into New York at "a mile a minute" (100 km/h) and thus save a day in travel time. Arthur W. Benson, president of Brooklyn Gas & Light Company and founder of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, had acquired 10,000 acres (40 km²) of land in Montauk in 1879 for US$151,000, at what is now considered a suspect auction of land held by the U.S. government in trust for the Montaukett tribe. Benson proceeded to relocate what was left of the Montaukett tribe from Indian Field to East Hampton, thus clearing the way for Corbin's plans to extend the LIRR to the end of the island. In 1882 Benson sold Corbin's real estate company right-of-way through Montauk for Corbin's planned railroad extension. By 1895 Corbin had acquired a further 4,000 acres (16 km²) from Benson.
Corbin was successful in lobbying Congress to establish a duty-free port at Fort Pond Bay, despite objections from the United States Army Corps of Engineers about the suitability of the bay for a port. By the spring of 1896 the bill seemed headed for passage. On June 4, 1896, Corbin was thrown from his carriage while traveling with friends on a fishing expedition on his 24,000 acre (97 km²) nature preserve in New Hampshire, and his dream of a port at Montauk died with him. More than 1,000 acres (4 km²) that he had bought were eventually sold to the U.S. Government for Camp Wikoff, where Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were quarantined after returning from the Spanish-American War. The Pennsylvania Railroad purchased the LIRR in 1901 and focused their attention on an East River tunnel and access to Manhattan rather than a port to Europe at the tip of Long Island.
 Pennsylvania Railroad
 Glory days, 1901-1945
In 1901, the Pennsylvania Railroad acquired the LIRR and started an extensive program of improvements. The PRR had long desired a terminal on Manhattan Island itself, instead of in Jersey City. The PRR built a grand station, Pennsylvania Station, with tracks oriented approximately east-west, and dug two sets of tunnels, one under the Hudson River to connect the new station with the PRR network, and another set under the East River to connect with the LIRR.
In April 1905, Ralph Peters was elected president of the LIRR.
Due to a fatal accident caused by decreased visibility from smoke and steam in the tunnels near Grand Central Terminal, New York City passed laws in 1910 forbidding the operation of steam-powered trains within city limits. Thus, an ambitious program of electrification was initiated, culminating in a large portion of the LIRR's network being electrified via a third rail direct current system. This electrification is still in use today.
 Decline, 1945-1966
Rail service -- and in particular passenger rail service -- declined dramatically after the Second World War as it faced competition from the rise of the automobile and improved air travel. Passenger rail travel was very vulnerable because government regulations required certain levels of service even if unprofitable. The PRR struggled to find new avenues for cash, including the infamous 1964 demolition of New York's Penn Station to make way for the Penn Plaza office towers and a new home for Madison Square Garden, with a new train terminal under the complex of buildings.
The PRR expressed a desire to rid itself of the LIRR, which had been undergoing a painful restructuring under bankruptcy. Assuming the possibility of the worst, complete abandonment of the LIRR system, the State of New York studied alternatives and reported that the loss of the LIRR would require an unacceptable wave of highway building as a replacement. In 1966, New York State acquired all of the capital stock of the LIRR.
Trimming the LIRR from its system did not provide the relief the PRR sought and, on February 1, 1968 the PRR merged with the New York Central Railroad to form the Pennsylvania New York Central Transportation Company, popularly known as the Penn Central. As a condition for approval of the merger, the Interstate Commerce Commission required the railroad to include the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in its system on January 1, 1969. The new company was no more financially viable than it components, and In 1970, the Penn Central declared bankruptcy.
 State ownership, 1966-Present
 Nelson Rockfeller initiatives
In 1966 the State of New York purchased the LIRR from the PRR by acquisition of all of its capital stock, though the PRR continued management until, in 1968, the LIRR was handed over to the newly formed Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority (MCTA) to oversee its operation. This in turn became the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), created to oversee the LIRR and other New York State transit facilities, though each retained separate corporate existence and management. This created rivalries between the LIRR and its sister Metro North, with charges that the latter was better run.
One of the most popular decisions by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller after the 1966 takeover was replacing the entire electric passenger fleet with Budd Company M1 and M3 cars. The decision was to haunt the LIRR in the 1990s as the entire fleet began to break down all at once and there was no plan to provide a less expensive phasing-in of replacement cars.
 George Pataki initiatives
Under Governor George Pataki the LIRR remodeled its lower level concourse of Penn Station in the 1990s, increasing the ceiling height and making it less dreary, as well as opening two new entrance/exit corridors spanning various tracks and lengthening some platforms. The LIRR also added air conditioning, which was not in the original Penn Station.
The MTA announced in October 2002 that it plans to merge the LIRR and the Metro-North Commuter Railroad into a new entity, to be called MTA Rail Road<ref>Metropolitan Transportation Authority Announces Historic Restructuring, press release dated October 9, 2002</ref>, which requires approval by the New York Legislature, which has so far rejected the pleas for merger.
Shortly after 2000, LIRR began replacing its electric fleet with new-generation Bombardier M7 cars.
Citing costs, the LIRR has refused to join New Jersey Transit at the proposed "new" Penn Station one block west across Eighth Avenue at the James Farley Post Office Building at what is to be called the "Moynihan Station."
 East Side Access to Grand Central and other improvments
East Side Access is a project being undertaken by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), designed to bring the LIRR into a new East Side station to be built below and incorporated into Grand Central Terminal.
The project, under construction since 1998, would connect the Port Washington and Main lines to the station via Sunnyside Yard in Queens and cross the East River on the lower level of the 63rd Street Tunnel, which is currently served on the upper level by the F</pre> train of the New York City Subway.
The project cost has jumped in price from US$3 billion in 1998 to US$6.3 billion in 2006, with the biggest and most expensive work yet to be done—tunneling through Manhattan 90 feet (30 m) below the current Metro-North Railroad tracks under Park Avenue, 175 feet (50 m) below the street surface.
There would be no connections between the two sets of tracks. The LIRR concourse would be under Vanderbilt Avenue to the west of Grand Central Terminal. Current plans are to bring 24 trains per hour at peak time to the station (Penn Station currently can handle a maximum of 42 trains an hour at peak).
The project has so far not run into substantial opposition although some Midtown East businesses have started raising concerns. In addition, Cardinal Edward Egan has expressed concerns about the impact of a proposed air vent (disguised as a building) at 50th Street and Madison Avenue, very near to St. Patrick's Cathedral.
The project was justified by a 1998 study that showed that approximately 70% of all jobs in Midtown Manhattan are within walking distance of Grand Central, while only 36% of jobs are within walking distance of Penn Station (there is some overlap, and some jobs are not within walking distance of either facility).
In addition to this plan, a proposal is on the table to build a new tunnel in the East River to bring LIRR trains downtown to the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub. This plan is on the drawing board and construction has not started.
The plans to de-emphasize the LIRR presence at Penn Station — the country's busiest train station — have contributed to the MTA's decision not to join New Jersey Transit on the "Moynihan Station" project.
All branches except the Port Washington Branch pass through Jamaica Station; the trackage west of Jamaica (except Port Washington) is known as the "City Terminal Zone".
 Montauk Branch
"The Montauk" or "Montauk Line" is the longest LIRR branch, extending 115 miles (185 km) east from Long Island City to Montauk, New York.
The westernmost portion of the Montauk Branch in Queens, known as the "Old Montauk" or "Lower Montauk", runs from Long Island City to a connection with the Atlantic Branch west of Jamaica Station, mostly at street level with grade crossings. This portion of the line sees only two regular passenger trains on weekdays only, which make no stops on the Old Montauk itself. Five intermediate stations in Queens (Richmond Hill, Glendale, Fresh Pond, Haberman, and Penny Bridge) were abandoned in 1998 as unprofitable when all platforms on the railroad were raised to floor-level loading for the new double-decker trains.
The portion from Jamaica to Babylon Station has been electrified since 1925, and is the busiest single commuter railroad branch in the U.S. From Babylon east to Montauk, diesel-electric or hybrid electric/diesel-electric locomotives haul trains of passenger coaches.
The Montauk Line has heavy ridership and frequent service as far as Patchogue and commuter service as far as Speonk. In the summer, with travelers going out to The Hamptons, Fire Island and other beaches, additional service is operated to the far eastern terminal at Montauk, such as "The Cannonball," a Friday afternoon train departing from Hunterspoint Avenue and running non-stop between Jamaica Station and Westhampton. The Montauk Branch, along with the parallel Atlantic Branch, spawns three subsidiary branches: the West Hempstead, Far Rockaway, and Long Beach branches.
The electrified portion of the Montauk Branch ends at Babylon Station—the electric service to Babylon is often identified as a separate service, the "Babylon Branch". Some of the Montauk's diesel trains begin or end their runs at Babylon station, connecting with electric trains there. Other Montauk diesel trains operate into New York City, to Jamaica Station, Hunterspoint Avenue, Long Island City or Pennsylvania Station. Terminal stations in diesel territory, east of Babylon, include Patchogue and Speonk. The Montauk Branch is double-tracked from Long Island City all the way through Babylon, becoming single line at the former site of Bayport station. Most Montauk Branch diesel trains operate west to NYC via the Montauk Branch, though a handful of trains operate via the diesel-only Central Branch, joining the Main Line east of Bethpage Station.
Until 1949 the Montauk Branch was connected to the Main Line via a branch that ran from Manorville (Main) to Eastport (Montauk).
Until 1940 the Montauk Branch also ran from Bridgehampton north into Sag Harbor. In early times, the 'Scoot' ran frequently between Greenport on the North Fork, 'around the horn' at the Manorville-Eastport line, and east to Sag Harbor. In their day, both of those villages were very busy, bustling ports.
The Montauk is home to the only tower in North America that uses "hooping" train operations, located at Patchogue. "Hooping" is the transfer of instructions to both the engineer and conductor by attaching the folded orders to the "hoop," a rod several feet long with a loop at the end that is passed from the ground to a moving train by catching the loop on one's arm. Plans are underway to suspend hooping by mid-May 2006.
The Montauk Branch enjoys frequent service and has heavy ridership because it serves the suburban communities on Nassau County's and westernmost Suffolk County's south shore. It is grade-separated on embankments or elevated structures from Lynbrook Station to Babylon Station, the only LIRR branch east of New York City to have no road crossings at grade.
The Southampton College stop was demolished in 1998, along with other lightly-used stations. In 2004, the stop was temporarily reinstated, complete with a steel walkway over Sunrise Highway to the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, during the U.S. Open (golf) tournament. At the conclusion of the tournament it was dismantled.
The Montauk station was initially near the center of a sleepy fishing village at the north end of Fort Pond (where Austin Corbin built a pier in his unsuccessful effort to have trans-Atlantic ships dock there.) The Great Hurricane of 1938 devastated the terminus area and tore up sections of the roadbed. The population center then moved two miles to the south, away from the station.
 Main Line
The Main Line, also known as the Ronkonkoma, begins in Long Island City and runs directly across the middle of Long Island before turning North and terminating in Greenport approximately 95 miles (153 km) from its starting point. Along the way, the Main Line spawns five of the remaining ten branches. These branches, in order from west to east, are:
- Port Washington (at Harold Interlocking in Sunnyside, Queens)
- Hempstead (at Queens Interlocking along the Queens/Nassau County border)
- Oyster Bay (at Nassau Interlocking in Mineola)
- Port Jefferson (at Divide Interlocking in Hicksville)
- Central (at Beth Interlocking just east of Bethpage Station)
The Main Line's electric service ends at Ronkonkoma. Several daily diesel trains connect with electric trains at Ronkonkoma, two in each direction extending to the end of the branch at Greenport. Service is light, however. The railroad has tried to discontinue service east of Ronkonkoma on several occasions, citing low ridership. New York State has declined this request and will most likely continue to do so, as Long Island's population continues to grow eastward.
 Port Jefferson Branch
This branch provides frequent electric service to Huntington, with diesel service continuing to Port Jefferson. The heaviest traffic tends to be to the Stony Brook station, where State University of New York at Stony Brook is located. This line formerly extended to Wading River, and was once slated continue eastward and rejoin the Main Line at Riverhead. The line east of Port Jefferson was abandoned in 1938. The right-of-way is now used for the Long Island Power Authority's power lines. There are occasional plans to electrify this line past Huntington, at least to Northport, which will probably be undertaken in conjunction with the construction of a planned new yard for the branch.
 Hempstead Branch
This electric branch leaves the Main Line at Queens Interlocking, just east of Queens Village Station. It continues east to Hempstead through Garden City. The reason for the high concentration of rail stations in the village of Garden City, can be traced back to the village's founder, Alexander Turney Stewart, who had initally created a railroad to service his town. This is the remains of the Central branch, which ran to Bethpage, meeting up with the Main Line near where the current Central Branch cuts off towards Babylon. The former Central trackage ran through what is today Eisenhower Park, and portions of the trackage were in use up into the 1990s to carry freight into the Garden City and Uniondale areas, also known as Mitchell Field in the past. LIRR still uses a small portion of this line, east of Hempstead, as a place to store equipment, and each year the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train uses this Garden City Secondary to reach the Nassau Coliseum.
 West Hempstead Branch
This electric branch splits off from the Montauk Branch at Valley Stream to West Hempstead. A stop at St. Albans, in Queens, is shown on West Hempstead Branch customer timetables, but is actually on the Montauk Branch, with more Babylon branch trains serving it than West Hempstead.
During off-peak hours, this line mostly has one train per hour from Brooklyn to West Hempstead.
 Atlantic Branch
The Atlantic Branch begins at the second major city terminal, Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, and runs 16 miles (26 km) through Kings, under Atlantic Avenue, Queens, and enters Nassau County, terminating at Valley Interlocking in Valley Stream. The Flatbush Avenue station is undergoing a $93 million renovation and will be renamed Atlantic Avenue Terminal.<ref>Governor Tours Atlantic Avenue Terminal Improvement Project: $200 Million Project Underway at Terminal Complex in Brooklyn, press release dated July 11, 2002</ref>
 Far Rockaway Branch
This double-tracked electric branch begins in Nassau County at Valley Interlocking in Valley Stream, proceeds east and ends in Queens at the Far Rockaway station. It provides round-the-clock service in both directions to Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, with transfers at Jamaica on most off-peak trains for Penn Station. During rush hour, express service bypasses Jamaica station.
It was originally part of a loop that travelled along the existing route, continuing through the Rockaway Peninsula and heading on a trestle across Jamaica Bay through Queens where it reconnected with other branches. Frequent fires and maintenance problems led the LIRR to abandon the Queens portion of the route, which was acquired by the city to become the IND Rockaway Line, providing service on the A</pre> train and S</pre> Rockaway Park Shuttle.
 Long Beach Branch
 Port Washington Branch
This is the only LIRR branch that does not stop at or have connecting service in Jamaica. It splits off the Main Line east of Woodside and runs through northeastern Queens to Port Washington, in the northwestern corner of Nassau County. It is electrified and has heavy ridership and frequent service.
The line is double-tracked for most of its length, but the Manhasset and Plandome stations have one track and platform. This often causes massive delays during two-way rush hour operations. A second track cannot be added through Manhasset and Plandome due to the proximity of businesses to the narrow right-of-way in Plandome.
To eliminate as many delays as possible on the heavily-used line, most peak-hour trains are either local from Penn Station to Great Neck (making all stops in between the two) or express from Penn Station to Port Washington (making stops only at Great Neck, Manhasset, Plandome, and Port Washington, although some trains make their first stop at Bayside).
Extra service is offered during the U.S. Open tennis tournament and for New York Mets home games, both of which are held in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. These trains stop at a special Shea Stadium station between Woodside and Flushing–Main Street.
 Oyster Bay Branch
This is a moderately used diesel branch from Nassau Interlocking (Mineola) to Oyster Bay.
 Service cuts and improvements
In addition to service cuts, several of the more lightly used branches were threatened with abandonment in 2006. The threats included the Oyster Bay Branch, the Main Line between Ronkonkoma and Greenport, and the West Hempstead Branch. The service cuts were intended to reduce opposition to a fare increase or encourage the state to provide more money (which it ultimately did). All the threatened lines have had considerable capital investment in recent years to "bring them up to a good state of repair." The LIRR was originally chartered with the specific purpose of service to Greenport, and the land under the Main Line tracks would revert to heirs of the original owners if that service were abandoned. In addition, a large portion of the threatened Main Line east of Ronkonkoma has been slated for electrification by 2016 as part of LIRR forward planning.
A second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma on the Main Line is also planned, which would greatly increase capacity. Ronkonkoma already suffers from overcrowding, and locals have called for additional service east of Ronkonkoma. The capital program also provides for a landfill in Yaphank (east of Ronkonkoma) to be capped and set aside for this future railroad purpose. This may involve extending electrification, building parking structures, or a building a yard needed for Main Line storage. (The current yard in Ronkonkoma already operates at capacity.)
 Freight Service
The LIRR and other railroads that became part of the system have always had freight service, though this has diminished over the years. The process of shedding freight service accelerated with the acquisition of the railroad by New York State.
In recent years there has been some appreciation of the need for better railroad freight service in New York City and elsewhere on Long Island. Both areas are primarily served by trucking for freight haulage, an irony in a region with the most extensive rail transit service in the Americas.
Freight service is now operated on lease by the New York and Atlantic Railway, a short line railroad owned by the Anacostia and Pacific Company. It has its own equipment and crews, but uses the rail facilities of the LIRR. To the east, freight service operates to the ends of the West Hempstead, Port Jefferson and Montauk branches, and to Southold on the Mainline. On the western end it provides service on the surviving freight-only tracks of the LIRR: the Bay Ridge and Bushwick branches; the nearly freight-only "Lower Montauk"; and to an interchange connection at Fresh Pond Junction in Queens with the CSX, Canadian Pacific, and Providence and Worcester railroads.
 Long Island Rail Road Massacre
On December 7, 1993, Colin Ferguson, a New York City resident, boarded the 5:33 p.m. local train to Hicksville at Pennsylvania Station with a concealed weapon. After the train entered Nassau County, he walked down the aisle of the car he was riding in and shot some passengers while passing others. When the engineer realized that there was a serious problem on the train, he stopped the train at the Merillon Avenue station in Garden City. Several passengers overpowered Ferguson while he was attempting to reload for the second time and held him for police.
Ferguson was convicted of shooting 25 passengers, six of whom died; he received six consecutive life sentences. This propelled Carolyn McCarthy, whose husband was killed and son seriously injured, to successfully run for the United States House of Representatives on a gun control platform.
 See also
 External links
- MTA Long Island Rail Road
- Official LIRR Commuters Web Site
- LIRR Historical Society
- LIRR History
- LIRR Online Museum and Photo Gallery
- Felix Reifschneider's 1925 LIRR History
- The LIRR Crash at Kew Gardens on 11/22/50
- New York & Atlantic Railway
| Class II railroads of the United States (Class I railroad, Class III railroad)
Current (operating) |
|Former or fallen flag Class II railroads of the United States|
|Long Island Rail Road branch lines|
|Atlantic - Babylon - City Terminal Zone - Far Rockaway - Hempstead - Long Beach - Montauk - Oyster Bay - Port Jefferson - Port Washington - Ronkonkoma - West Hempstead|