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.

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