Never in a million years did Hampton Bays Civic Association President Bruce King think the Long Island Railroad would step-up to clean-up the Hampton Bays Train Station, which until recently was littered with garbage and railroad ties that dated back 20 years.
While King said his friends told him it was a lost cause, he said he pushed forward, contacting the LIRR, without much of a response.
Within a week, King said, work started; railroad ties and other materials — some that are being used for the ongoing in Hampton Bays — were removed.
"I couldn't believe it," said King, who was at the station on Wednesday morning, inspecting the work that had been done.
And while much was cleaned-up, King said there was still a lot more that needs to happen. For example, he pointed out, the wooded buffer to the tracks was still covered in trash and with old rail ties sinking into the ground, becoming part of the landscape.
He said on Wednesday that he wasn't sure the last of the trash would ever be removed, that is until he got a call from the LIRR late Wednesday night — LIRR officials wanted to meet him at the train station first thing Thursday morning to start removing the last of the trash.
And they did. With trash bags in hand, workers started removing broken bottles, plastic bags, empty soda cans and any other garage in sight as King led them down the track to show them where the garbage was.
"It was your phone call that made a difference," King told Patch.
After meeting King on Wednesday morning, Patch contacted the MTA about the remaining garbage. The LIRR responded with the direct call to King.
Salvatore Arena, a spokesman for the LIRR, "The LIRR is committed to maintaining a clean right of way for our customers and the communities we serve. We have been coordinating closely with Hampton Bays community leaders on this issue. Some materials need to be on site for ongoing maintenance projects while we have been able to relocate other supplies, along with some debris and litter that had accumulated over time. We will continue to work with the Hampton Bays community to address their concerns.”
"None of this would have happened without the media," King said.