Welcome to part two!
We are now approaching…
The Arrochar station (pronounced - AHH-ro-car)
was located at
Departing the Arrochar station in the late 1940’s.
Two people pose for the camera on the St. George bound
platform of the Arrochar station in 1943.
The stairwell to the right leads up to Major avenue.
The cozy Arrochar station as it was in 1947.
Most of the rural background is now the
taken from the
A St. George bound train stops
at the Arrochar station in 1947.
I believe the houses to the left still stand today.
in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.
view of a
bound train leaving the Arrochar station.
Photo taken from the
NOTE: This photo- which may have been taken on
the last day of service (
is incorrectly listed on a few websites
Compare this to the previous photo and see what I mean.
By 1964, all that remained was the staircase which once led to the Arrochar station. The displaced dirt- from the construction of the approach to the Verrazano Bridge- had taken over.
we continue down the line, we come across
“Starry, starry night, paint your palette blue and gray….”
Oops! Wrong McClean!
There was once an overpass here as evidenced by this photo.
It’s now filled in to accommodate new houses and a restaurant.
What’s with all the houses going up on Staten Island?
At this rate, the island’s going to sink.
An aerial view of the filled in right of way and the new housing.
The bridge can still be detected by the cement in the middle of
At McClean and
The scene today.
abandonded ROW at the
The Cedar Avenue station was located at Cedar Avenue and Jackson place (approximately 3.6 miles).
A South Beach bound train stops at
the original wooden
Photo taken from the
The original wooden platforms of
The construction of the new
By Autumn, the
overhead walk were up and running.
Photo taken October,1937.
Approaching the Cedar Avenue station on
the last day of service:
Tuesday, March 31st, 1953.
McClean & Major Avenue overpasses
are visible in the background.
view down the ROW towards
from Cedar and Retner Avenues.
A St. George bound train arrives
taken on the last day of service (
view of the abandoned
station in 1965. When this photo was taken,
the station had been sitting dormant for 12 years.
1967, the dead
platforms continued to stand silently.
And so we thank you for visiting Cedar Avenue.
…we find ourselves at the Robin road trestle in April, 1937.
The abandoned Robin road trestle facing South Beach in 1965-
waiting patiently for reactivation that would never come.
Facing St. George in 1967…and still it waited in vain...
However! Jump ahead forty-some-odd-years
The Robin road trestle alive and well in the 21st century!
even ask what the powers that be were thinking but as of this late date, July,
2013, the trestle still spans Robin road and stands defiant between the houses
that killed off the
Aerial view of the Robin road trestle.
Now we’re making a sharp turn to the southwest
and pulling into our next station…
The South Beach station was located at Sand Lane (3.9 miles). This was the terminus for the crowds that would venture to the amusement parks...or was it?
Here is a 1907 Borough Hall survey for the area
South to Midland Beaches. Passengers arriving at South Beach could simply cross the platform and travel the extra mile or so to Midland Beach. ‘Twas rather convenient, yes?
It seems that during July 1901- while the construction of it’s ROW was being built- the Southfield Beach Railroad Company
ran into a few snags. click on the following links
to read some archived articles from the New York Times.
These are Adobe PDF files, you will need Adobe Reader to open them:
A steam engine pulls into the South Beach station in 1924.
One year later, the S.I.R.T. would electrify all three branches.
we see steam engine #16 at the
before electrification of all three lines. Pre- 1925.
Another shot of a single S.I.R.T. train
Here is the sub-station as it stood abandoned in 1967.
The dirt and gravel trail is the original ROW.
And the sub-station in it’s final days in the 1980’s - 90’s
Sand Lane during the 1930’s
And again during the 1940’s or ‘50’s.
This next photo was taken by S.I.R.T. fan
Steve Meyers circa late 1952…
…and there’s a story behind it:
owned and operated bus system on
fares and was on the verge of knocking the SIRT out of business.
Realizing what the loss of the rail system would mean to the Staten
Islanders, the NYCTA made a minor concession-they wouldn't
compete directly with the SIRT'S main line to Tottenville,. This left the
railroad with only one of their three lines protected and so they applied
for abandonment of the
And so it came to pass that I and my photo buddy, Will Faxon, found
ourselves at the grade crossing at the outer end
taking photos of the operation. After covering the area pretty well, we
were perplexed as to why the crossing gates were not operating but were
then only using single car trains. So we asked the gateman. He told us,
in highly Italian accented English that the line always used gatemen
after the summer rush was over; apparently it was less expensive
than using mechanical gates. Then he shyly asked me
if I would take a photograph of him "to send to my family in the old country".
I quickly agreed at which point he disappeared into his shack for a moment,
emerging, not only with his red caution flag but also with a tall STOP sign.
And he was grandly wearing his official, dusty, obviously rarely used,
official crossing guard hat. Proudly, he posed when the next train came down the line,
his face glowing with happiness that somebody cared enough to notice him in
his position of importance at a lonely
railroad crossing in
I don't recall if he ever received his copy of the photo I sent to him in
care of the SIRT but I was proud as anything to have captured such a
memorable moment on film. And if you check the internet for photos of
the SIRT in action, you'll probably see a copy of this picture, taken as a
railroad was about to lose some of the pride and glamour that made
railroading such an interesting subject.
Steve Meyers, March 2011
Thank you Steve!
A different S.I.R.T. worker, wearing his amazing pink sweater
and checkered cap, stops traffic at the
Again, the power sub-station is at the right.
Photo taken last day of service. Gee, what day could that be?
views of the
Here’s one I had to cut in two as my
It shows a bird’s eye view of the South Beach station facing Sand Lane.
The photo was most likely taken in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.
A single car (#303) stops at the South Beach station
on it’s way to the end of the line on the last day of service:
Tuesday, March 31, 1953.
By now I am sure you have memorized that date.
Candid shots of two-car trains at the
99.9% of the photos I have seen of
The power sub-station stands in the background.
An S.I.R.T. conductor calls out from the back of
a St. George bound train at the
train leaving the
A terrific shot of the
Last day of service, perhaps?
A group of kids gather to watch a single train
Service ended at midnight but during the afternoon,
Mr. Stop Sign was still doing his job.
An undated photo of the crossing at
This could be after the line was abandoned.
A depressing scene.
The South Beach station as it stood rotting away.
Photo taken mid 1950's to mid-1960’s.
We’re not finished yet…
A single S.I.R.T. car just beyond the South Beach Station on
A lonely S.I.R.T. train travels beyond the South Beach station.
But wasn’t this the end of the line?
This next and last station on the South Beach line was the shortest- and quite possibly the coolest- rapid transit station in the world.
asked Ed Bommer if he had ever traveled to or from
No, I never did ride to or get on at
There were some people who did, as they
lived in that area, beyond
During WW II it was kept dimmed and
darkened because of the German U-boats off of
They were controlled by the ticket agent
When ticket agents weren't needed anymore, the crew of the first train in would turn the lights on.
The crew of the last train out for the day would turn them off.
This was true for many SIRT stations.
S.I.R.T. train at the
Here’s a color slide circa 1953. We are looking southwest towards what is now Father Capodanno Blvd.
Since the Wentworth avenue sign is missing,
I wonder if this was taken after the line closed?
How about this?! The actual S.I.R.T.
plans for the
A northerly view of the colossal
A rare view of the Wentworth Avenue station with
a three car S.I.R.T. train parked on the siding.
Another view of everyone’s favorite train station.
Notice the “South Beach” sign on the train.
An undated photo of a train picking up passengers
Various S.I.R.T. employees chat on the
more views of the
Station. Photos taken in November, 1949.
Various views of the
the late 1940’s – early 1950’s.
more recent aerial view of where the
the Southfield Beach Railroad’s trolley line.
The latter runs parallel with and beyond the access road.
I wonder if much of that trolley ROW still exists? Guess I’ll have to take a meander down there and check it out!
I’ll bet the Wentworth avenue station was a spooky place at night.
Here are two views of the same place in the 1920’s.
This photo pre-dates 1925- the year in which
The South Beach station is at upper right and SIRT trains
rest at the end of
the station would be built. The Southfield Beach Railroad ROW is clearly visible. Happy Land amusement park is visible
at the bottom right of each photo.
So there you have it.
My little tribute to Staten Island Rapid Transit’s
If you have any photos of the SIRT South Beach Line that would like to share, please send me an email at:
Thanks to the following generous people and sites:
Silver Leaf Transit
and of course…
Captain Red Dog!