Polar Express: A History of the Long Island Rail Road

Long Island has produced some amazing things and people over the years, from Billy Joel to the historic Long Island Rail Road. It's the largest island along the contiguous U.S. and would rank No. 1 in terms of population density as a state. It has abundant and diverse neighborhoods and helpful, hardworking residents all the way from Flatbush and Flatlands to Massapequa. Besides your local self storage experts at Safeguard Self Storage, nothing has worked harder than the Long Island Rail Road.

Safeguard Self Storage Celebrates the Long Island Rail Road

With the rise of the automobile, many railroads across the country have closed over the years, but the Long Island Rail Road continues to carry passengers as it has since the 1830s. In fact, it's the oldest railroad in the U.S. that still operates under its original name and charter.

The track stretches for more than 700 miles and has 124 stations along the way. Nearly 340,000 passengers travel the railroad on a single weekday, making it the busiest passenger railroad in North America. On top of that, it runs 24/7 and provides year-round service to everyone on the island.

Overall, the Long Island Rail Road has 11 passenger branches and three main truck lines: the Atlantic Branch, the Main Line and the Montauk Branch. These three lines branch off into eight smaller branches, each of those lines branch off into different sections to serve specific areas. The main passenger lines are the: 


·      Main Line
·      Atlantic Branch
·      Montauk Branch
·      Oyster Bay Branch
·      Far Rockaway Branch
·      Port Jefferson Branch
·      Central Branch
·      Long Beach Branch
·      Port Washington Branch
·      West Hempstead Branch


The LIRR: First at Almost Everything

When it comes to innovation, the Long Island Rail Road has led the way since 1832. Today, railways across the country use hooked track spikes, but the LIRR was the first to implement them in 1836. It was also the first railroad that featured a locomotive with a steam whistle. By 1905, it was the first to have an all-steel passenger car and main line electrification.

Through the early 1900s, the LIRR became the first to have remote-controlled electrical substations, to use a diesel locomotive and to install electronic rail defect detectors for spotting flaws along the rails. In 1958, it installed the first automatic inventory control system and changed how railroads handle their logs.

The LIRR updated to automatic systems thanks to the successful installation of a fully electronic and automatic speed control system in 1951. As the railroad continues to thrive, it adopts technologies and sets an example for all other railroads in the country.

Take a Ride on the LIRR

If you've never taken a ride on the LIRR, it's not too late to hop aboard. Whether you live in Flatbush or plan to move to Flatlands or Massapequa, the LIRR can get you anywhere on the island, including a trip to Safeguard Self Storage. We're only a train ride away when you need affordable and convenient storage units for your belongings. Like the LIRR, our storage units are open and available year-round to serve customers in Long Island.

Celebrate Brooklyn's Basketball Heritage This Month in Flatlands

For those who have waited patiently for the NBA season to start, the moment has finally arrived. With the season just tipping off, it's time to reflect on our favorite sport and admire how it has spread across the entire world, from the Flatlands area in Brooklyn, NY to places like China and beyond. The NBA played its first game on November 1, 1946, when the N.Y. Knickerbockers faced the Toronto Huskies on Canadian soil. Today, Safeguard Self Storage talks about what basketball means to our area and the best places to play a game with friends.

Basketball in Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Nets weren't always a Brooklyn-based team. In fact, the Nets were called the Americans when the team was founded in 1967. The Americans moved to Long Island a year later and adopted New York Nets as the name. The team moved back to New Jersey in 1977 and evolved into the New Jersey Nets. After 35 seasons, the Nets moved back to New York, changed the team name once again and are now the Brooklyn Nets you know and love.

Famous NBA Players from the Area

Chris Mullin, an All-Star who played for both the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers, was born and raised in the Flatlands area. His plaque stands proudly in the prestigious College Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Mullen now coaches St. John's in the NCAA, a position he gladly accepted in 2015.

Local Courts in the Brooklyn Area

Want to play a game in Brooklyn? You have more than 170 courts to choose from throughout the area. Of course, some are better than others. Our picks for the best basketball courts to play on include:

  • Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 2, in Brooklyn Heights
  • J.J. Byrne Playground in Park Slope
  • Dean Playground/Conrad McRae Playground in Prospect Heights
  • St. John's Recreation Center in Crown Heights
  • Parkside Playground in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

Safeguard Self Storage Tips Off the NBA Season

Celebrate the 2016-2017 NBA season by getting out to play, or by watching your favorite team at home in Barclays Center. If you need a place to store your basketball equipment and gear, our local storage units make the ideal place. We have the perfect storage unit for your equipment while saving you space at home.

Teaching with Tunes: How Music Expands the Minds of Students

In your role as a teacher, there's nothing more satisfying and joyful than knowing that you're really connecting with the kids. Take a cue from the Brooklyn Center of Performing Arts, and put the power of music to work in your classroom. Add a collection of tunes to your teaching supplies at a Safeguard Self Storage facility here in Brooklyn, NY, and join the chorus of educators expanding young minds with a little music.

Local Resources for Teachers

Children and music have always been natural partners. Educators recognize that bringing songs into the classroom plays on that wonderful relationship. This isn't a new concept, but it's quickly moving from performing arts classes to campuses all across the city. Local teachers embrace tips from diverse programs like the Brooklyn Center's Target Family Fun program and SchoolTime series. The school's downloadable Performance Study Guides are excellent resources for connecting music to classroom time.

Why Tunes Work

From controlling a room of noisy kids to building a sense of community, music can be one of your best teaching aids. Children and adults respond to a good song with the same sense of enjoyment that opens up minds to creativity and critical thinking. It simply puts everyone in a good mood, and that fires up neurons that turn on the learning process. Used correctly, tunes in the classroom raise energy levels, increase attention and improve memory.

Music as Your Teaching Tool

Today's digital world makes it easy to introduce your students to sounds from around the globe. If you want a half hour of classical to quiet things down, selections are at your fingertips. Music for kids in the classroom today has become a compact, inexpensive and very effective teaching tool. Instead of storing vinyl and bulky record players in self storage, you can fill your unit with textbooks, notebooks and binders. Whether you use songs to teach vocabulary, explore poetry or set the mood for creative writing, a good tune makes the classroom experience more enjoyable.

The sound of happy kids learning and having fun creates a beautiful melody that never grows old. Our Flatlands storage facility is just down the street from the Brooklyn Center of Performing Arts and supports local educators with affordable, convenient options. You do a great job every day, and our teams here at Safeguard Self Storage applaud your dedication to inspiring young minds all across the city.