S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com BEDT Continuation Page 1 keywords = Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal BEDT Domino Havermeyer Elder Kent Avenue 4th Fourth Street model rail train Z HO scale Ztrack Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke Vest Pocket Long Island Degnon Erie Palmer dock marine water front sugar Queensboro "

Updated:   25 May 2016; 15:20  ET
{restored all missing images - 17 Jan 2003}
[Page created 11 Aug 2002; converted 30 Sep 2011;
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/bedt1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/bedt1.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


BEDT Continuation Page 1

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad

(extracted from SB,III's MODEL RAILROADING Continuation Page 2)

NOTE:  My pages were limited by AT&T to 30kB; thus, I had been forced to add this separate page on the BEDT and separate pages to fit the lengthy Berlinerwerke saga in HO and Z scales.

note-rt.gif  Click here re ex-railroad personnel records.


On the main BEDT page:

    Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad
The Eastern District of Brooklyn.   new (25 May 2016)
Older BEDT Locomotives.
        BEDT 0-6-0T Survivors:
BEDT #12
BEDT #13
BEDT #14
BEDT #15
BEDT #16
    BEDT HELP (questions I, at my sole discretion, may choose to post)

    (extracted from Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model - BEDT 07 Sep 99)

On this BEDT continuation page 1:

BEDT #10 in 1961
BEDT #15 Today
BEDT #16 Today
BEDT Queensboro Terminal! (moved 11 Aug 02)
Palmer's Docks/Cooperage
BEDT in Z-scale (1:220)
1963 BEDT Loco Photos.   new (12 Jan 2013)

See also other "Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model":

Degnon Terminal Railroad

Marion River Carry Railroad

New York & Atlantic Railroad

Atlas Terminal


Continuation Page 1



1932 BEDT Map

BEDT #13 at the RR Museum of Pennsylvania

(courtesy of Bill Russell's Penny Bridge}
Visit Penny Bridge for a wealth of info. on the BEDT,
rail-marine operations, NY City railroads, etc.}

Please also visit Phil Goldstein's BEDT site. http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/BEDT.html

See also my BEDT in Z-scale (1:220) write-up on the Z-scale continuation page 2.

- - - · - - -

BEDT #10 in 1961

Jerry Carroll was kind enough to send me his old negative of the BEDT's steamer #10 on a car float off Kent Avenue in 1961 (it's clearly post-WWII - that's the UN beyond her smokebox); the photo, backlit against the sun, is gigantic, so I shrank it up to show it as art, here (left) and lightened artificially (right):

BEDT #10 Reduced BEDT #10 Lightened
(1961 photo by and courtesy of J. Carroll - all rights reserved)

Now, cropping it down to the Rail-Marine aspect only; the tug (BEDT's Scranton) and float and load:

BEDT #10 Cropped and Lightened
(From 1961 photo by and courtesy of J. Carroll - all rights reserved)

and then just to the float and load:

BEDT #10 Enlarged and Lightened
(From 1961 photo by and courtesy of J. Carroll - all rights reserved)

and. lastly, the #10, herself:

BEDT #10 Enlarged Again and Lightened
(From 1961 photo by and courtesy of J. Carroll - all rights reserved)

BEDT #15 Today

We have a dual problem at the Wanamaker, Kempton & Southern with #15!  We were promised that the changes to #15, which had been kit-bashed into Thomas at the Strasburg, "do NOT affect #15's structural integrity", but I have learned that her saddle tank and oil bunker are sitting at the WK&S (don't blame them!) like scrap with no clue as to what their disposition may be.  Also, the WK&S has a similar old Porter 0-6-0T which they have dolled up as #15, just to further confuse matters:

WK&S65BPerch WK&S65asBEDT15a

WK&S65asBEDT15b WK&S65asBEDT15c
(Cropped from photos courtesy of B. Perch - all rights reserved;
upper left photo of #65 by Bob Vogel rev.gif 26 Dec 05)

Relax a little; the lettering and numbering on #65 as #15 are just paper templates stuck on and the number plate is wood.

BEDT #16 Today

As of 19 Apr 1998, BEDT #16 was to stay on Long Island - - - BUT!

It had supposedly been given to the Union (New Jersey) Railway Historical Society instead of to the Locomotive 35 group for the Oyster Bay museum.  It was confirmed; #35 was to get #16.  However, she was taken away to Riverhead by the RR Museum of LI on Friday, 29 Jan 1999.

Here she is, pictured behind a chain link fence on Friday afternoon, 05 Feb 1999:

16RMLI1  16RMLI2  16RMLI3  16RMLI4
(Photos by SB,III - found a gap in the fence for the last one!)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images.]

Notice that the center driver was blind, even on such a short wheelbase.

    #35 has a separate page for #16.

    Funds were urgently needed to get #16 home to Oyster Bay and help was solicited; see the #16 page.

The Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad was a "pocket" railroad, one with no connection to other railroads by land.  It had a main pocket yard on the Brooklyn waterfront at Kent Avenue from North 4th Street (the PRR N. 4th St. yard, immediately north of the Domino Sugar plant and the Williamsburgh Bridge, in an area formerly known as Palmer's Docks), extending north to North 10th Street and east inland only a few blocks, and a small yard directly across Newtown Creek in Queens, Pidgeon1 Street Terminal, and a third yard, Navy Terminal, down at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (New York Naval Shipyard), but this latter was strictly for in-yard transfer.  It now (Jan 01) appears that there was a second Queens yard (see below).  All commerce by rail was via carfloats, barges with rails on them (see my Rail-Marine page and the links thereon), which were moved by tugboats across or along the East, North (Hudson), and Harlem Rivers2 to railheads at St. George on Staten Island (B&O) or in the Bronx (EL, NYC, NH) or New Jersey (PRR, CNJ, LV) where connections to the mainland railroads were available.  It is also possible that connections with the LIRR via its marine terminals in Bay Ridge or LIC might have given mainland access via the New Haven over the Hell Gate Bridge but I have never seen any indication this was so, nor is the LIRR listed on the BEDT's Feb 1964 connections list.  Historian Tom Flagg advised 19 Jan 01 that there was even a Warren St. Terminal in Jersey City which only lasted from about 1910-1915 until shortly after 1920; its track plan looked much more like a Christmas Tree layout, with a loop, than it did a real railroad.  Tom suggests that perhaps that's why it didn't last long!  Further, he advised that the BEDT became a common carrier in 1940, which certainly changes its status (source: Plowden, April 1961, article on BEDT in RR Magazine).  Aha, interstate commerce for sure!

Here, courtesy of Dave Keller, is a George Votava photo of the BEDT tug Petro Flame taken in Apr 1973 at the Kent Avenue Yard dock against the NYC skyline:

Petro Flame 4/73 Kent
(G. E. Votava photo courtesy of D. Keller - all rights reserved)

Steam Loco Data

Jim Herron found 11,000 original Porter drawings at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.  Here are two for #12:

Catalogue no.: E07342    Initial: X          Quarter: 872
Manufacturer:  PORTER, H.K. CO. INC.
Builder No.:   6368                          Locomotive Class:
Drawing Date:  1918/9 /13          Last Revision Date: / /
Drawing Type:  LINEN                         Condition:
Subject:       MOTIVE POWER
Cylinders:     18 X24 X X ins.
Drawing Nos.: Side: 41049 End: 41050 Other:
Other Classes on drawing:
Drawing Group:            Drawing Category:
Drivers:       46         Gauge: 56.5 Boiler Pressure: 180
Railway:       U.S. NAVY, SOUTH BROOKLYN
Equipment No.: 3           Type: 0-6-0T
Comments: SEE 6366.
Group: RAIL  Category: Archives        Sub-category: Operations


Catalogue no.: E07343    Initial: X          Quarter: 872
Manufacturer:  PORTER, H.K. CO. INC.
Builder No.:   6368                          Locomotive Class:
Drawing Date:  1918/9 /20          Last Revision Date: / /
Drawing Type:  LINEN                         Condition:
Subject:       MOTIVE POWER
Cylinders:     18 X24 X X ins.
Drawing Nos.: Side: 41049 End: 41050 Other:
Other Classes on drawing:
Drawing Group:            Drawing Category:
Drivers:       46.0       Gauge: 56.5 Boiler Pressure: 180
Railway:       U.S. NAVY, SOUTH BROOKLYN
Equipment No.: 3           Type: 0-6-0T
Comments: SEE 6366.
Group: RAIL  Category: Archives        Sub-category: Operations

Palmer's Docks/Cooperage

Rummaging through my copies of American Sugar/Amstar/Domino historical documents, I pieced together the background of the term "Palmer's Docks".  Palmer was a big Williamsburgh manufacturer of barrels and casks before Havemeyer (then Havemeyer, Townsend, & Co.) bought him out to move from Van Dam Street inland in Manhattan to the Williamsburgh waterfront in Brooklyn in 1875.  This was the first time that a sugar refiner had so much raw material to receive and so much product to ship that a waterfront facility was required.  The cooperage far predated the Havemeyer acquisition but was known at the time as Palmer's Cooper Shop and the property that came along with it was bounded by First and Second Streets (the former probably along the waterfront and the latter presumably now Kent Avenue) and by North Fourth and North Fifth Streets.  As of 1876, the operation was fully under the control of Havermeyers & Elder and was operated "under the supervision of Mr. Lowell M. Palmer".  Whether Lowell was the founder or a descendant is unknown to me.

Thus, H&E acquired both space in which to expand (dramatically) and a source of additional income and shipping materials.  I will expand further on this later, but the business was so great that Havemeyer established a freight depot on the north side of North Fifth Street, extending the full width of the block from First to Second Streets; which he turned over to the Erie Railroad, it quickly becoming one of their busiest terminals (fourth biggest in 1876).

In addition, the cooperage consumed such vast quantities of lumber that H&E bought large tracts of land across the country and established huge forest products firms.  This was in addition to their vast holdings in sugar cane and sugar beet plantations.

It appears (not verified) that Palmer's became H&E's Brooklyn Cooperage Company.

{more to follow}

BEDT Queensboro Terminal!

(Moved from the main BEDT page 11 Aug 02)

Now, here's a kicker for you; it sure surprised me beyond belief!  Our indefatigable LIRR photographer, Art Huneke, asked if I knew that the BEDT had a yard in Queens along the East river but NORTH of Pidgeon Street.  "No way!", sez I (in effect).  "Zap", sez he, literally, as he shot back an image of an old BEDT ad, from a "Port of New York" publication dated August 1926 (which predates adoption by NYC of its old 2-digit postal codes).  What to my wondering eyes did appear but a BEDT Queensboro Terminal, between 13th and 14th Streets in Long Island City!  Unless it was before Queens renumbered its streets (unlikely), this puts it (pardon the pun) in Put Cove, in the west end of the Hell Gate, opposite Wards Island, immediately west of where the Triborough Bridge stands today.  That's a very logical place from which to service the Hunt's Point, Oak Point, and Port Morris and Harlem River facilities.  However, that's really Astoria.  Alternatively, it could have been on the north bank of Newtown Creek, sandwiched between that and the LIRR's LIC Station track along Borden Avenue, two blocks east of where the Pulaski Bridge now crosses the Creek.  It sure seems odd to have a yard there, only a few blocks east of the Pidgeon Street Terminal, and even odder that neither one would connect with the LIRR (but they were arch car float rivals).  That neighborhood is Hunter's Point and it's NOT north of Pigeon Street.  Here's a scan of the ad (no map, dagnab it!):

Old BEDT Brochure
(Image courtesy of A. Huneke - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for the full, hi-res. (261Kb) image.]

The list of RR connections does NOT include the LIRR and the Brooklyn address is given as 86-88 Kent Avenue.  Does anyone out there have any information about this yard (please)?  It does NOT appear on the Port Authority's NY Harbor Terminals Map of Jul 1943 (page 63 in Bendersky) nor on the BEDT map of Feb 1964 (page 14, ibid).

Well, we know you can't get to China by sailing up Newtown Creek and now I know you can't get to the Queensboro Terminal by sailing to Put Cove OR to the Creek.  My idle speculations were just that; according to the knowledgeable Tom Flagg, the Queensboro Terminal opened in 1914 and probably closed at the beginning of the Depression, though he isn't sure about the latter, and it was located at 13th St. [now 44 Road (so I am a victim of Queens renumbering after all!)] on the East River, roughly opposite the southern tip of Ward's Island (Randall's or Roosevelt for you modern ninnies who probably think Our Lady of the Waters resides on Liberty Island instead of Bedloe's!).  Tom suggests that it was almost certainly a pier station only (much cheaper to establish that way - needs no float bridge, no track on land, etc.).  He tells me that there were plans for a carfloat terminal in Queensboro, maybe at the same site, filed with the city's Dept. of Docks, very modelgenic, but only prospective, never built.

Along comes Bernie Ente with a photo of the Queensboro Terminal in this BEDT ad from the CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE BOROUGH OF QUEENS, undated, but after 1914, since it has both the terminal and the overarching (overtrussing is more apt) Queensborough (59th Street, 1909) bridge:

(Ad image courtesy of B. Ente)
[Thumbnail image, click on ad for larger image.]

Bernie advises, "It didn't have rail access -- it was for truck trans-shipment only."; thus answering another question.  Note that the terminal is officially at 14th Street and that the ad was placed by the BROOKLYN EASTERN DISTRICT TERMINAL COMPANY, adding fuel to the fire about "Company" vs. "Railroad" (there are those who say that there never was a BEDT RR - I'll have to check the Domino records).

Now, I am truly grateful to Tom and Bernie for all this BUT did Tom HAVE to tell me that there was also a BEDT terminal in Jersey City for a while?  HA! - Interstate Commerce!

Bernie Ente sent me two links to David Pirmann's NYCSubway site with lots on the BEDT/NYCH, The Brooklyn Waterfront and photos of same.

Here's a stab at reproducing the BEDT in Z scale (1:220), where 6' = ¼-mile!
(moved from the main BEDT page 11 Aug 02)

(Autosketch image by and © 1996, 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image.]

Those are exact renderings of Märklin Z turnouts and track sections superimposed on the trackplan and the RED lines are completely spurious run-around tracks to connect the BEDT and 4th Street and allow continuous running from tracks 12 and 13 to 49 and around again via 24 and 59 along the bulkhead line and back to 12.

1963 BEDT Loco Pix - since moving to West Medford, Massachusetts, in Jul 2010, I've become friendly with a neighbor, Bill Pappas, who (talk about a small world!) turned out not to be only a railfan but a very knowledgeable rail historian!  So, it should have been no big surprise that, when the conversation drifted to Long Island and the BEDT, he remembered that he had visited the Kent Avenue property back in 1963 and took some color slides which he could dig up.  Now that I have my very own slide and neg. scanner, I was all ears and today, 12 Jan 2013, Bill brought them over.  Promptly scanned, here they are, with #14 in yard service, #15 on a float bridge, #16 on the service track at the engine house, and new {?} #23 and #22 southeast of the engine house (13 Jan 2013): :

Pappas36BEDT14a Pappas36BEDT14b Pappas36BEDT15 Pappas36BEDT16 Pappas36BEDT23
  #14 - #14 - #15 - #16 - #23/22
(Ca. 1963 pictures by and courtesy of W. G. Pappas - all rights reserved)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images.]
{The thumbnail links appear to have been corrupted - sorry - 03 Nov 2015}

These pictures have never before been published; thank you, Bill!

I deeply regret to note the passing of William George Pappas in Jun 2015 after a long illness.   new (03 Nov 2015)

Dating these photos - since the steam locos are in active use, we can easily determine that the photos were taken between the removal of #14 from the property and the end of steam operations on the BEDT, but after the arrival of the second and third diesels.  Per Phil Goldstein's fabulous and comprehensive site, PALMER'S DOCK, EAST RIVER TERMINAL RAILROAD & BROOKLYN EASTERN DISTRICT TERMINAL, A COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF OPERATIONS, PROPERTY, EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL, 1870 - 1983, BEDT documents dated 24 Jun 1963 show an asking price of $9,500 for #14 (and $5,000 for #15).  It seems a safe bet that #14 was still on the property at that point.  ALCo S1 #21 (ex-Union RR #453) showed up in "the fall of 1962", with three more ALCo S1s following "over the {next} few weeks or so".  #22, #23 and #24 were ex-New Orleans & Lower Coast Railroad #9013, #9014 and #9015 (a subsidiary of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, where they were later #6604, #6605, and #6606) [actually, all three NO&LC/MP diesels were bought in Nov 1962].  #15 and #16 participated in the end of steam ceremony on 25 Oct 1963, but #14 was gone by then.  So, we can logically conclude that Bill took his pictures no earlier than Fall 1962 and no later than 25 Oct 1963.  However, Bill clearly remembers that it was an exceedingly hot summer day when he popped over from Grand Central Terminal to Kent Avenue in June or July (told me by Bill, personally, on 13 Jan 2013) AND, further, Eastman Kodak stamped its processing date on the slide mounts as "JUL".   added (13 Jan 2013)

BEDT HELP - on the main BEDT page.

There are some very odd BEDT "loco"s on Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page 5!

Remember to visit the main BEDT page and the other "Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model":

Degnon Terminal Railroad and

Marion River Carry Railroad (now on it's own page).

New York & Atlantic Railroad

Atlas Terminal

and more model railroading

and more railoading in general.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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