Central Islip  
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The current modern Central Islip Station opened in November 1987 as part of the Ronkonkoma Branch electrification project about a third of a mile west of the previous Central Islip Station at Suffolk County Road 17. This old station location and depot has been rebuilt into police station for the MTA Police; the railroad police for the LIRR and Metro-North. The station was originally located on a short section of siding with the single-track line becoming two for the station area and a short distance in each direction from the station, the signals and switches on and off the siding were visible in both directions from the station platform. Originally most trains stopped on the Main track serving the southern Platform B, which contains the parking lot and depot, when I visited in 2013 Platform A had a sign that said “All trains platform other side” although a Ronkonkoma-bound train was scheduled to stop on Platform A, at 4:18pm to meet a Penn Station-bound train. Today with double-tracking opening first between Central Islip and Ronkonkoma in August 2016, and the rest of the project from Central Islip east to Farmingdale (where double-tracking previously ended) completed in September 2018. Ronkonkoma branch trains stop at the southern Platform B, closer to the parking lot and where the depot and other amenities are, while Penn Station-bound passengers have just a single silver shelter to wait inside on platform A.

The station’s two side platforms begin just west of the Lowell Avenue grade-crossing, here is a ramp up to Westbound Platform A, but just stairs to Eastbound Platform B, the ramp up to Platform B is by the station’s depot. The Westbound platform is along busy Suffolk Avenue (CR-100) which includes a car loop that begins at the traffic light across from the end of Hawthorne Avenue, continuing west for two blocks to Pineville Road, stretching beyond the western ends of the platforms. This car loop contains some parallel parking spaces and a bus stop for Suffolk Transit buses. This staircase up to the Penn Station-bound platform is near the middle the platform. Just beyond this staircase is the simple concrete with chain-linked fenced walls above the tracks pedestrian footbridge that provides a second connection between the two platforms. This arrives at the Ronkonkoma-bound platform right near the small station house and waiting room. Beyond the Ronkonkoma-bound platform is a Kiss’n’ride area with a large parking lot extending south from the platform all with a single vehicle station entrance from Lowell Avenue along the southern end of the parking lot.

The waiting room is a very simple pink cinderblock walled station house that really looks like a glorified shelter. This depot is identical to those at the Brentwood and Deer Park stops. There are doors leading into restrooms directly from the platform, and additional glass doors leading into the very 1980s looking waiting room with concrete benches. Tucked along one wall (opposite the restrooms) is a newsstand and a now closed ticket window. Other amenities for waiting passengers include two silver waiting structures on the Ronkonkoma-bound platform and just one along the Penn Station-bound platform (that was formerly the seldom-used siding platform).
All Photos November 11, 2013

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