S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Central Railroad of Long Island Continuation Page 1 keywords = Central Railroad Flushing Garden City Central Park Bethpage rail road way Long Island LIRR Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke New York Atlantic

Updated:   26 Aug 2018 ; 15:35  ET
[Page converted 20 Sep 2012; created 17 Feb 2002>

[Many missing images restored 04 Nov 2003]
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/lirrcrr1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/lirrcrr1.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


Central Railroad of Long Island
Continuation Page 1



LIRR Keystone

[This page was separated out from my LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD Cont. page 5 on 17 Feb 2002; you might wish to see that and the main LI Rail Road page, et seq., and the LI Railroads page, also.]

NOTE:  Page size was limited by HTML to some 30kB; thus, I was forced to add this continuation page to fit the LIRR and related information, as well as several other continuation pages.
You may wish to visit my RR page, as well.

There are two related topics here on these pages:
(1) The Long Island Rail Road and (2) Long Island railroad information.

There IS a difference!

The Long Island Rail Road is the official name of the oldest Class 1 railroad still operating under its original name and charter (the B&O was older but has been subsumed into CSX).  Although there remain some offical documents with the two words combined, the correct name of the LIRR has the two words separately:
"Long Island Rail Road"!

There were and are other railroads on Long Island - these also are (or will be) covered on the LI Railroads page.

However, on this particular page we are specifically concerned with the
Central Railroad of Long Island, sometimes called the "Stewart Road"
or the "Stewart Line", part of which still serves as the
Central Branch of the Long Island Rail Road.


If these links don't work, click "back" and scroll down!

NOTE:  To conserve space, I have severely truncated the index on this page; see the LIRR index page.

    including LIRR boxcabs #401, the world's first production diesel road switcher,
    #402 (first and second), #403, and many others.

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad,
    and its successor roads, the New York Cross Harbor Railroad and New York Regional Rail.

Degnon Terminal Railroad, etc.


On the (first) LIRR page:
    Long Island Sunrise-Trail Chapter (National Railway Historical Society)
    Sunrise Trail Division (Northeastern Region, National Model Railroad Association)
    Steam Locomotive #35 Restoration Committee

Restoration of Pennsy Class G5 Long Island Rail Road 4-6-0 #35
    Steam Locomotive #39 Restoration
(Railroad Museum of Long island)
Restoration of Pennsy Class G5 Long Island Rail Road 4-6-0 #39

On LIRR Continuation Page 1a:


On the LIRR Continuation Page 2:

Odd Incident at Wreck Lead (on the LIRR)
LIRR and LI Railroad Miscellany
Converted LIRR HEP/Cab Control Units
Central RR of LI - moved to this page 5 on 17 Dec 00.
Dashing Dan and Dottie

On the LIRR Continuation Page 3:

Nassau County Police 2nd Pct. Booth D/Locust Tower
Victorian Stations Still Standing on the LIRR

On the LIRR Continuation Page 4:

Blissville and Laurel Hill Sidings, Maspeth Yard, and Fresh Pond Yard
    and NY&AR/NYCRR Interchange info.
  LIRR MISCELLANY - continued

On the LIRR Continuation Page 5:

Central RR of LI - moved to this page 17 Feb 2002.
LIRR DE30AC and DM30AC Locomotives
Victorian LIRR Stations (continued)
    Locust Valley Station
    Glen Street Station (update)

On the LIRR Continuation Page 6:

Nassau County Police 2nd Pct. Booth D/Locust Tower (cont'd)

On the Central RR of LI Page:
    Central RR of LI - moved to LIRR Cont. Page 5 on 17 Dec 2000,

and again on 17 Feb 2002 to this separate CRRof LI page.
    Brief History of the Central RR of LI.

On this Central RR of LI Continuation Page 1:
    Traces of the CRRofLI RoW in Flushing?.
    Central RR Bridge.
    Meadowbrook/Salisbury Plains Station.
    Bethpage Branch.

On Central RR of LI Continuation Page 2:
    General Bronze Sidings.
    Bethpage Junction "B" Tower.

On the Central RR of LI Continuation Page 3:

Mitchel Field Aerial Views.
WWI Long Island Map.

On the LI Railroads Continuation Page:

Long Island Railroads [with a link to the NYCRR (Hell Gate)]

On separate pages:

Long Island Live Steamers

The New York & Atlantic Railway, lessor of LIRR freight operations.

Railroad Eagles - Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, etc.

Long Island Rail Road Historical Society.

Central Railroad of Long Island (continued)

[Continued from the
Central RR of LI Page.]

Traces of the CRRofLI RoW in Flushing?

Driving around Kissena Corridor and Park on 15 May 2002, I found all sorts of interesting things and, on retracing my route on my 1998 Hagstrom's, discovered a tiny park I'd missed (marked "PK" on the map):

CRR RoW at Coll Pt Blvd
(16 May 2002 map by and © S. Berliner, III 2002 - all rights reserved)
[Image restored 04 Nov 03]

This tiny fragment, about 2,500' along the CRR RoW from the LIRR Port Washington Branch, sure looks like the original RoW of the Central RR of LI, does it not?  And Maple Street is almost equally certain to be the NE side of the CRR RoW immediately E of the old junction.

The LIRR Port Washington Branch was originally the Flushing & North Side RR and the North Shore RR, bought by the LIRR in 1876.  The junction of the F&NS/NS/LIRR and the CRR was on the E bank of Flushing Creek, roughly where it now leaves the World's Fair site, west of Van Wyck Expressway; I went back 16 May 2002 to look for this park and Maple Street; bingo!  One of our Panelists wrote "Park---HAH!"  Little did he know!  Trashed lot is more like it; here we go - first view from the Neon, looking S from Avery at the NE corner of Avery and College Point Boulevard (at right/W), then looking NNW from the S side of Blossom (there's that Neon), and then another such view from further E:

[Images restored and thumbnailed 04 Nov 2003 and 20 Sep 2012; click on pictures for larger images]

CRR Flushing Avery 1 CRR Flushing Blossom 2 CRR Flushing Blossom 3
(16 May 2002 photos by and © S. Berliner, III 2002 - all rights reserved)

That's quite a grade from Blossom up to Avery; originally the CRR had a 160' long tunnel under Lawrence (CPB) and Avery Streets (per Seyfried).

Next, walking due E to the corner of Blossom and Crommelin and shooting SSE along the RoW (the W fence of the Queens Botanical Garden), then walking up to Avery and shooting SE across the lot at construction in the N end of the Garden, and SSE along the W edge of the lot, showing more equipment at work:

CRR Flushing Avery 4 CRR Flushing Avery 5 CRR Flushing Avery 6

It is not easy getting to or driving around this area; here's Maple looking SE towards its bend and Maple again, looking NW from the bend:

CRR Flushing Maple SE 7 CRR Flushing Maple NW 8
(16 May 2002 photos by and © S. Berliner, III 2002 - all rights reserved)
[Images restored and thumbnailed 04 Nov 03; click on pictures for larger images]

(Aren't these pictures of Maple EXCITING?)  :-)

The job in the Botanical Garden is installing a giant tank directly across the RoW and the area W of CPB between Maple and Avery is completely torn up for a huge construction project.

Central RR Bridge {moved here from LIRR Cont. Page 4 on 17 Feb 2002} - above I mentioned the old Meadowbrook spur, a remnant of the original Central RR of LI, running due east from Garden City and the Hempstead junction, past the old station that is now the firehouse at Clinton Street and James Street (one block south of Stewart Avenue), past the NY&AR/LIRR Garden City Freight Terminal, through Mitchel Field and Nassau Community College, behind Endo Labs, and terminating just short of the Meadowbrook Parkway.  It used to go further east, serving the Meadowbrook Club and continuing beyond through Salisbury Park (what is now Eisenhower Park, where G5 Engine #35 was displayed for many years after she was decomissioned).  Well, it crossed some road or another, now vanished in the welter of concrete of the Meadowbrook Parkway cloverleaf at Stewart Avenue, on a steel girder bridge which somehow survived scrap drives and such and ended up isolated from the world.  One day, ca. 1995, standing at a window on the 8th floor of 1600 Stewart Avenue in East Garden City (Westbury P.O.), then Jim McCann's old 800-FLOWERS and now 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, looking slightly south of west, I spotted what was unmistakeably an old bridge sitting in the trees in the loop of the cloverleaf, between the northbound Parkway entrance ramp from Stewart Avenue eastbound and the westbound lanes (running northerly here).

On a photo-documentation trip for remnants of the old Long Island Motor Parkway in that general area, on 24 Sep 99, I stopped off to check out the bridge at long last.  She's not quite flat on the ground, but the roadway was long-since filled in up to the bottom chords of the girders.  Sloped concrete lines the inner faces of both girders and the track is long gone, but the girders still have their silver paint and are in fairly good shape.

Views of the bridge itself, both those I took that day and some much older ones are now on LIRR/CRRLI page 3.

Meadowbrook/Salisbury Plains - Coverage of the CRR/Central Branch got a wee bit scrambled; there was some at Central RR Bridge on LIRR page 4.  That was from a 24 Sep 1999 trip; material about the clubhouse and station was moved here 17 Oct 2001.

On that 24 Sep 1999 trip, I walked from the CRR bridge site diagonally across the 1600 Stewart Avenue parking lot southeasterly to Merrick (Post) Avenue; on the south side of the lot, behind a chain-link fence, lies what remains of the glory of the Meadowbrook Club.  When I first saw it up close (and inside), in 1956, it was the production facility of Hank Viscardi, Jr.'s Abilities, Inc. (now the National Center for Disabilities Services and the Henry Viscardi School), where disabled people were trained and employed in manufacturing and packaging (services I used while working for Servomechanisms,Inc. and later for Pall Corporation).  The Meadowbrook (Salisbury Plains) Station was by then abandoned by the LIRR and used as Abilities' Paint Shop.  Ca. 1980 or so, NYU took the Club and station over as a physics research center, erecting a high-pressure sphere to the southwest and building a tall facility above the station.  It has been abandoned and deteriorating since about 1995.

Here are two views of the sad wreckage of the Clubhouse, looking northwest and west, and one of the station (well, of the superstucture erected over it), also looking west:

Meadowbrook Club, looking NW Meadowbrook Club, looking W Meadowbrook Station, looking W
[Thumbnail images - click on the pictures for the full (180Kb avg.) images.
Photos (24 Sep 99) by and © 1999 S. Berliner, III]

The station (barely visible with a small window, under all that garbage) is immediately north (right in these views) of the Clubhouse and the Central Branch/Meadowbrook Spur RoW is visible in the lower right of the station picture.  There is also what appears to be a concrete ramp (perhaps a pedestrian underpass) on the north side of the RoW but foliage obstructed a clear shot and the fence prevented closer inspection; I do not recall any such on the site in 1956.

On 15 Oct 2001, Art Huneke sent me a 1974 photo of the Salisbury Plains station, already part of the Abilities (later NYU) complex at that date, as I recall; here it is, taken looking NW from the curb of the N driveway at Merrick Avenue, with an enlargement of just the station [I remember those vent stacks on the left (SW) from the Paint Shop]:

Salisbury Plains Station ca. 1974
(1974 photo courtesy of A. Huneke - all rights reserved)

Art wonders if the fire hydrant is the same one as in the 1923 photo on the new Central page on his massive Website.

Well, we may never know!  Art said that he thought they'd torn down the Club and Station so I stopped by one evening and, sure enough, it was all gone!  Stopping by again at mid-day on 11 May 2002, here is what met my eye; the Club (looking WSW), the Station (looking WNW), and the CRR RoW (looking due W):

Meadowbrook Club 4-02 Meadowbrook Station 4-02 CRR RoW at Meadowbrook 4-02
(11 May 2002 photos by and © S. Berliner, III 2002 - all rights reserved)
[Images restored and thumbnailed 04 Nov 03; click on pictures for larger images]

Because of some question that arose in Aug 2018, I whipped up this rough markup of a satellite view of the area, with the locations of the Salisbury Plains CRRofLI station and the Meadow Brook (or is it Salisbury) Club club house (and of the extant CRRofLI Bridge):   new (26 Aug 2018)

Salisbury Plains Station ast. view
(26 Aug 2018 Image by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The approximate location of LIRR steam locomotive #35 when it was on display on the CRR RoW in Salisbury (now Eisenhower) Park in the mid '50s and the location of the M42 "Duster" Twin 40mm Self Propelled AA Gun on Merrick Avenue and the former 800-FLOWERS building (noted above) are shown for historical reference,

The Library of Congress has a map of the Central Rail Road Extension Company of Long Island.

Art Huneke added (14 Jan 2002) that the Hinsdale Station remained as a private dwelling into the 20th Century and may still stand, the CRR had a Flushing Station a few blocks south of the F&NS, their main station was CENTRAL JUNCTION, and that, in 1915, the LIRR petitioned the PSC for permission to rebuild the line but was turned down.

Motor Parkway Panelist Mitch Kaften turned up these Queens County views (#717-C dated 10-31-28) titled "Stewart {sic} R.R. right-of way S. from L.I. Motor Parkway", and (#717-G dated 10-31-28) titled "Stewart {sic} R.R. right-of way N. from Hollis Court Blvd. (Queens Rd.)":

Stewart RR S of MP/N of HCB [Thumbnail images - click on pictures for much larger images.
Photos courtesy of Queens County Topographical Bureau]

I believe the S view was at today's intersection of Stewart Road/Bell Boulevard between 77th and Kingsbury Avenues.  One might logically assume that the photographer merely turned around 180° for the N view but it's not so.

Mitch then turned up an old Hyde map showing precisely where the CRR crossing of HCB is located:

Creedmoor Parkway dpky.gif ALT="Creedmoor Parkway" width=40%>
[Thumbnail image - click on pictures for much higher res. image.
Photo courtesy of M. Kaften]

Motor Parkway Panel member and LIRR historian Art Huneke contributed these two blueprints, part of the LIRR's Valuation Plan of the abandoned old CRRofLI RoW in eastern Queens; this first shows the Long island Motor Parkway on the left and Springfield Boulevard (formerly Rocky Hill Road) on the right:


The second (cropped from a larger one with no features to the right) shows what appears to be the E end of North Hempstead Turnpike (the continuation of today's Booth Memorial Parkway) and the CRR RoW crossing Queens Road (today's Hollis Court Boulevard), and Black Stump Road (today's 73rd Avenue):

CRR/NHT/QR-HCB/BSR-73 (Old LIRR maps courtesy of A. Huneke - all rights reserved)

On top of all this, there is a ticket for the 1936 George Vanderbilt Cup race at Roosevelt Raceway that shows both the Long Island Motor Parkway, the LIRR Main Line (with the Carle Place and Westbury Stations), AND the LIRR Central Branch (with a relocated Meadowbrook Station)!  Here, courtesy of the seller, Richard Moody of Moody's Collectibles, who offers vintage postcards (some of which have been old LIRR cards) via eBay, is the map on the back of the ticket:

hi-res map (Image courtesy of R. Moody)

Next, Motor Parkway Panel member Al Velocci advised that George Vanderbilt was one of Willie K's nephews who donated a substantial-sized cup and cash as a prize to the winner.  The race, which ran only two years, was very popular and would have continued except for the conditions then developing in Europe.

Bethpage Branch.

Dave Morrison, former LIRR Branch Manager and LIRR buff extraordinaire, went to the site of the former Bethpage Branch turntable off Round Swamp Road and sent along these views:

Bethpage Turntable Pit 1/2/P/3/4/P/5
(Feb 2002 photos courtesy of D. Morrison - all rights reserved)

Since the branch served the Nassau Brick Works, I will only give you one guess from whence the bricks came.  The branch branched northward from Bethpage Junction and apparently terminated at a station about where Winding Way meets Battle Row.  It opened in Jun 1873 and was abandoned only some 15 years later (or so) {Seyfried}.

On the morning of 09 Mar 2002, a group of folks, including yours truly, from the Friends of Locomotive #35 Incorporated (the old Steam Loco #35 Restoration Committee) swamped out the pit; here, courtesy again of Dave Morrison, we are hard at work and with the results:

CRR Turntable Pit 3 CRR Turntable Pit 6

CRR Turntable Pit 7 CRR Turntable Pit 1
(09 Mar 2002 photos courtesy of D. Morrison - all rights reserved)

The big, bearded, old geezer in the old chinos is yours truly, wearing my advertising for the NRHS, #35, and the Motor Parkway Panel; I look like a jerk, but, hey, ya gotta try.  It's amazing what a little conviviality, dedication, and elbow grease can accomplish.  The pit is located in Bethpage State Park in the southeast corner of the intersection of Round Swamp Road and Winding Way, just northwest of the service road, in a narrow strip between RSR and a riding trail.  Alice is holding up what I grandly pronounced a tender water hatch that was uncovered (as was some coal); another equally-knowedgeable person pronounced it a ground throw cover plate.  In the cold light of the next morning, I have to confess that it sure looks like the cover of an old wood or coal stove!

Here's how to find the pit:

CRR Turntable Pit Map
(10 Mar 2002 map by and &coy; 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Do NOT try to park there; park in the park or somewhere legal and walk in; go north on the bridle path a hundred feet or so, keeping your eyes peeled to the west (left, towards RSR) and down and you can't miss it.

[This page was separated out from my CENTRAL RAILROAD of LONG ISLAND page on 17 Feb 2002; you might wish to see that and the main LI Rail Road page, et seq., and the LI Railroads page, also.]

You may wish to visit the Railroad Continuation Page, et seq.

of this series of Railroad pages.


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


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of this series of LIRR pages.

To tour the Long Island railroads pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the previous page to the LIRR index, to the first LIRR page, and on to pages 2 and up, then to the other LI railroads page, and lastly to the LIRR Historical Society page.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2012, 2018  - all rights reserved.

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