Not only hard, but nearly impossible to believe that you are really in the heart of a fairly densely populated, semi-commercial neighborhood. Yet that's exactly what you are gazing at, a mere block or so north of ultra-busy thoroughfare Atlantic Avenue, which cuts a long swath through the center of western Long Island, from the Van Wyck Expressway all the way west to the Brooklyn piers along the East River.
rusting stanchion to the right stands just shy of the northern edge of the
northbound Atlantic Avenue Woodhaven Junction station platform. My
understanding is that it held one of those round railroad signals. Knowing basically nada about railroad fixtures,
I leave the true purpose of this relic to your imagination.
>When you look over the photos that follow, just keep in mind the fact that none of that greenery existed as recently as 1963, a scant 40 years ago. For those who think the jungle covered ruins of Mayan civilization are so quaint and funny, keep these stark images from your own civilization in mind and remember, it doesn't take long at all for nature to reclaim its own, and for everything your civilization built over eons to simply disappear into the trees as though it never were.
This station wasn't that old either, perhaps one of the youngest railroad stations ever to be cast aside, having been laid off, as it were, at the mere age of 20 - built in 1942 and deep sixed in 1962.
I believe the rails leaning against the north end of
the southbound platform held a set of stairs used by maintenance crews to
get to and from track level. The iron steps were either removed to
discourage trespassing on the platform, or pilfered by vandals.
A sizeable homeless colony lived on and beneath the two platforms at the time I ventured by here in June of 2000. The city evicted them in a major sweep during 2003, but I'm sure despite what ever measures have since been taken to seal these tracks off, that many have made their way back here.
Above, the view south from between the station platforms. This used to be the middle ground between the two tracks. What an awful shame and waste it is that neither the city or state ever saw fit to at least turn this right of way into parkland, hiking trail and bike path, let alone rehabilitating it for some sort of rail transit. Supposedly elements in the surrounding communities object to anything being done, for fear that any improvement will draw certain unwanted outsiders into their area, but I can't believe that the great majority of residents and small businessmen here back such a view.