An Average Day at the Patchogue L.I.R.R. Station

Footnotes to Long Island History

An Average Day At the Patchogue LIRR Station



Thomas R. Bayles


                The Patchogue station o the long island rail road is the transportation center for a large territory outside the village of Patchogue including the Moriches and through the middle of the island, Yaphank, Medford, Middle Island, Ridge, Pine Woods, Coram, Selden, Wellington Farms, Gordon Heights, Natures Gardens, Holtsville and to Ronkonkoma. People from all these places depend on the Patchogue passenger station for train information tickets, Pullman reservations and interline tickets tot all parts of the country.

                This is pay day on the Railroad and the pay checks have just come in on No.8 so we get them ready for distribution to all the railroad workers in this area, who will soon be in for them. Travel is heavy today as there has been a snowstorm and the roads are bad; more people are turning to the railroad.

                The phone rings and he transportation office of the Brookhaven National laboratory at upton gives us a bunch of Pullman reservation to confirm and issue tickets for to various parts of the country. This requires calling the Pullman Reservation bureau in New York and making out all the tickets.

                                                                                False Teeth Turned In

                A trainman comes in and turn in a set of false teeth that were left on a window sill in one of the cars on his train. (incidentally the teeth were never claimed and were sent to the lost and found department.) The phone is very active today as calls come in from Patchogue and the surrounding villages for train information and also information about trips and connections to various places throughout the country.

                A woman comes in to check several pieces of luggage to Seattle, Wash. She is enroute to join her soldier husband in Japan and we had previously secured Pullman Reservations for her to Chicago and from Chicago to Seattle where she will take a boat to Japan.

                A local undertaker calls up to arrange transportation for a body to a small town in northern Maine. This involves transfers at New York and connection o there will be no delay enrooted.

                A woman calls up to find out the next train to New York. She is given the information and comes back with the usual question "Isn't there one before?" The next call is a girl who inquires the fare to Maryland. When we ask he what part of Maryland she replies that she doesn't know as long as it is Maryland.

                The train from New York comes in and we are dulged with questions as to the next Mastic Acres, does the Ronkonkoma bus leave from the railroad station and so on. Half a dozen requests for change to make phone calls are a common occurrence. One man buys a ticket to New York and makes the amount by using every cent of his change the realizes he will have no change for the subways so asks for change of a dollar.

                                                                Students Lively Bunch

                It is 3 o;clock and in coes the bunch of boys and girls from Seton Hall High school ( about 100 of them) who commute from the villages all down the outh side as far as Rockville center. They are a nice bunch but after being kept in school all day are full of energy. One girl comes in and asks if we found her red wallet she left on the train that morning. It has been turined in so we give it to her. Another girl left her gloves and so it goes. They all leave on the 3:10 and things are nice quiet for a few minutes.

A young woman comes in and wants to arrange a trip to Phoenix, Ariz., for her and t firgure out connections ad stop-over's at the principal points of interest along the route. This is quiet an order and will take time.

                A man excitedly comes up to the window and says that due to an emergency his sister must get to Chicago at once. We pick up the phone and call New York and secure a bedroom to Chicago on one of the evening trains make out the tickets and deliver them to him. He leaves with the remark " That sure is quick Service."

                A man comes in and wants a seat on the streamliner "Champion" to St. Petersburg, Fla., for next week. We are lucky and get him a seat for the date he wants as the southern trains are sold out ahead all the time.

                The 5:48 express from New York is delayed tonight and in a few minutes the phone starts ringing as the women who have husbands coming home on the train call up to find out when they will be home as supper is ready on the stove.

                                                                Hubby Really Late?

                One woman later come in with fire in her eyes and demands if that train was really later as her husband had told her. We assumed her it was and she left satisfied that Hubby wasn't putting something over on her.

                Today's grist of tickets include: St. Petersburg, Fla: Phoenix, Ariz.: Seattle, Wash. " Chicago: Bangor, Me: Atlanta, Ga: Jacksonville, Fla: and a number of tickets to points like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Upstate to Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and others.

                 A lawyer calls up from Bay Shore saying he just got off the train and left his brief case with important papers for the court in the morning. When the train comes in we go out and with help of the train crews locate his brief case and call him back. He is much relieved and drives over for it. A woman calls up from Sayville that she left a layer cake on the speonk train which has already gone through. We are not so fortunate this time and someone probably enjoyed a good cake.

                Two girls come in from New York on one of the evening trains and inquire as to the next bus to Riverhead. We inform them there are no more buses to Riverhead tonight so they finally decided to stay in Patchogue all night and start out again in the morning. We call the Patchogue hotel and reserve a room for them and et a taxi to take them to the hotel.

                A man in the waiting room has been imbibing too much fire water and is getting noisy so call to the Patchogue village police brings a quick response and an officer takes him away to cool off.

                It is now time to close up for the night so after making out a ticket report and balancing up for the day we go down in the cellar bank he furnace for the night and cal it a day.

                There are no dull moments around a busy railroad station.

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