S. Berliner, III's Long Island Railroads Page keywords = rail road way model train Z HO scale Ztrack Long Island steam diesel boxcab locomotive restoration Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Kiesel Berlinerwerke Vest Pocket Degnon Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal BEDT New York Atlantic Cross Harbor Dock Black River Western

Updated:   20 Sep 2012  13:25  ET
[Page converted 20 Sep 2012>

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/lirretc2.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/lirretc2.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


Long Island Rail Road Page



(and related Long Island railroad information)

LIRR Keystone

[this page was separated out from my Long Island Rail Road page; you might wish to see it also.]

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

There are two related topics here on this page:
(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"!

[The LIRR is covered on separate pages, beginning with Long Island Rail Road page 1.]

There were and are other railroads on Long Island - these also are (or will be) covered here.


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

ALCO-GE-IR BOXCABS, now on a separate page,
    including LIRR #401, the world's first production diesel road switcher,
    #402 (first and second), #403, and many others.

Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad,

now on its own separate page
    and its successor roads, the New York Cross Harbor Railroad and New York Regional Rail.

Degnon Terminal Railroad, plus

Murrer's Sidings
Kearney Sidings
    as well as Blissville/Laurel Hill (and Maspeth and Fresh Pond).

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

The New York Connecting Railroad (the old New Haven line from Oak Point Yard across the Hellgate Bridge
    and down through Fresh Pond to Bay Ridge) will not be covered on this site; a new book about
    the NYCRR is coming out, sponsored by the LI Sunrise-Trail Chapter, NRHS (see below).
    Better yet, there is now a NYCRR Society!  See below.

    However, see my Z-Scale Articles page for a detailed writeup on the Hellgate in Z (1:220).

MODEL RAILROADING Long Island Sunrise-Trail Chapter
    (National Railway Historical Society)

Sunrise Trail Division
    (Northeastern Region)
    (National Model Railroad Association)

Note:  There is also a Long Island Rail Road Historical Society, run by Dave Morrison, Branch Line Manager - Port Jefferson and Montauk Branches, and the reigning expert on the Penn Station (and Grand Central) eagles*; it's an internal LIRR employees and retirees group which can be reached by snail-mail at "Oyster Bay Train Station, Oyster Bay, New York  11771" (where they have an exhibit in the waiting room).  They can be reached through Dave at dmorrison4@home.com.  Dave is also the author of a book of LIRR steam locomotive photos (see the LIRR Bibliography - with a special offer for readers of my RR pages).

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

Long Island Live Steamers

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

On this page:
Long Island Railroads
Port Washington/Soundview/Manorhaven/Sands Point Railroad Tunnel
The Steinway System.
Cold Spring Harbor RR?
LIRR FIRSTSand LIRR Bibliography
    (both formerly on this page; moved to LIRR Continuation page 1a on 10 Dec 01)

Long Island Railroads

Railroads on Long Island

Flying and Fallen Flags
(not including subways/elevateds)

First to Last (partial listing -
after Seyfried - railroads that became part of the LIRR)

Long Island Rail Road and predecessor roads:

Brooklyn & Jamaica Railroad Company (inc. 1832, built 1836).
Brooklyn & Rockaway Beach Railroad.
Central Railroad of Long Island (Alexander T. Stewart).
Central Rail Road Extension Company of Long Island.
Flushing & North Side Railroad (Port Washington branch).
Long Island Rail Road (1834 - the main line).
New York & Flushing Railroad.
New York & Hempstead Plains Railroad.
North Shore Railroad.
Smithtown & Port Jefferson Railroad (Port Jefferson branch).
South Side Railroad of Long Island (Montauk branch).
Woodside & Flushing Railroad.

Related (and Unrelated) Railroads on Long Island

(some may have been incorporated into the LIRR;
if so, they will be moved to the upper list)

AMTRAK (on former PRR/LIRR Sunnyside Yard trackage).
Brooklyn Dock & Terminal Railroad (25th Street "pocket " yard on Brooklyn
    waterfront, later DL&W).
Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad (several isolated "pocket" yards
    served by car floats), including Kent Avenue (No. 4th through No. 13th
    Streets), Pidgeon Street (in Queens), and the Brooklyn Navy yard terminals.
Brooklyn, Flatbush & Coney Island Railroad#
Bush Terminal Railroad (and the U. S. Army Supply Base, both connected to
    the LIRR at Bay Ridge and the SBK at Parkeville).
Conrail (on the NYCRR and former PRR lines).
Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad (operated the Wallabout Basin
    and 25th Street terminals on the Brooklyn waterfront).
Erie Railroad (original operator of BEDT).
Jay Street Connecting Railroad (a "pocket" yard on the Brooklyn waterfront).
New York & Atlantic Railway (lessor of LIRR freight operations).
New York, Greenwood & Coney Island Railroad#
New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (on NYCRR, q.v.)
New York Connecting Railroad* (joint PRR/NYNHHRR extension over the Hell Gate Bridge
    through Fresh Pond and Parkeville/SBK to Bay Ridge).
New York Cross Harbor Railroad (successor to BEDT, etc.).
New York Dock Railway (operated Fulton, Atlantic, and Baltic Terminal isolated
    "pocket" yards on the Brooklyn waterfront).
New York Regional Railroad (successor to BEDT/NYCH/NYD, etc.).
Pennsylvania Railroad (mainline from Washington and Philadelphia through
    Penn Station into Sunnyside Yard and around the turning loop
    there and back into Penn Station).
Pennsylvania Railroad North 4th Street Yard (a "pocket" yard isolated on the
    Brooklyn waterfront immediately between the BEDT's Kent Avenue
    yard and its No. 3rd Street yard and served only by car floats).
South Brooklyn Railway (SBK - NY Transit Authority's waterfront "pocket"
    road serving NY City's transit lines and Davidson Pipe Supply
    Company, connecting with the LIRR at Parkeville, near Bay Ridge).

* NOTE:  There is The New York Connecting Railroad Society, an all-volunteer organization started in 1993 and incorporated to preserve the history of the joint venture between the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New Haven (NYCRR and the Hell Gate Bridge); they publish a newsletter, "The Connecting".

# - the BF&CIRR and NYG&CIRR were new ones to me (as of 10 Dec 2001) and the gentleman who inquired about the latter sent along a scan of his stock certificate:

NY Grnwd & Coney Is

The mystery may well be solved before this is even seen; stay tuned.


William Steinway was not only a famed manufacturer of pianos; he was also quite an entrepreneur and innovator.  Borrowing heavily from Jim Dent's fabulous Railway Station Historical Society site:

Steinway moved his works to Long Island City in 1870 and, in 1881, built worker's housing near Bowery Bay, open to all, not just his workers.&bsp; He also put up the power plant (today's Con Ed Ravenswood plant) in Astoria.  Steinway built Daimler motor carriages (the American Mercedes, under license at his LIC plant (one of the earliest automobile factories in the US, circa 1896-1916).  He also came up with what amonts to today's rapid transit system and his first lines included the Astoria and Hunterís Point RR and the Steinway Avenue and Bowery Bay RR.  Eventually he bought most of his major competitor's and consolidated them as the Steinway System in 1892 and electrifying in 1893.

He planned the first Manhattan tunnels (the Steinway Tunnels) in 1887; they actually opened in 1907 but was built before the H&M tubes.  The Steinway Railway Company was sold to the NY and Queens County Railway Company in 1896 and had a brief resurgence as an independent railway in 1922 but was finally dissolved in 1939.

However, there was a survivor, the 1.64 mile line on the remanent two outer tracks on the Queensborough Bridge .  An elevator on the north side took one to Blackwell's/Welfare (today's Roosevelt) Island and I well remeber that station up on the bridge.  A subsidiary of the Steinway Omnibus Company ran the trolley and it was the last trolley line to run in NYC, lasting until 1957.

Cold Spring Harbor RR?  -   When churlish LIRR President Oliver Charlick refused to run the line up to their village, a whaling port then, the leading family of Cold Spring (now Cold Spring Harbor to avoid confusion with the one up the Hudson), the Jones family, decided to build their own, to connect with the LIRR at today's Cold Spring Harbor station on Woodbury Road at the head of Cold Spring Harbor Road.  The line was laid out and graded but the Joneses were unable to make satisfactory arrangements with Charlick for a terminal and track was never laid.  The RoW, which ran on the west side of the line of ponds and streams south of St. John's Episcopal Church and the Fish Hatchery and west of CSH Road (Route 108), is now part of the LI Greenbelt Trail.

Dave Morrison, former LIRR Branch Manager on the Oyster Bay and Port Jefferson branches, was hiking there and looked into the origins.  So far, we have no maps or definitive information.  The RoW is mentioned in Seyfried and in Ziel (see LIRR bibliography) and the most information found so far Dave reported from page 393, Vol. 1, of "The Borough of Brooklyn and Queens" published by Lewis Historical Publishing, 1925; the same write-up appeared in the October 1952 issue of the LIRR's "Long Island Railroader" under the series "117 Years of Long Island Railroading" and is excerpted here:

" - - - a few wealthy members of the Jones family - - - undertook to grade the railroad to their community on the harbor.  The job was completed in 1862, the route entering Cold Spring Harbor along the west side of the stream and mill ponds where the State Fish Hatchery is now located.  The Jones family and the railroad could not agree on the arrangements for a terminal, however, and the railroad finally abandoned the idea of going into Cold Spring at all.  No rail was ever laid on the route, which included some tortuous curves and grades."

I think Lewis is too kind to Charlick & Co.!

Here are Dave's photos of a straight section of the RoW (from the lay of the land, I assume we are looking north):

[thumbnailed image; click on the picture for a larger image]
(Jan 2006 photo by D. Morrison - all rights reserved)

and of the Greenbelt Trail marker:

(Jan 2006 photo by D. Morrison - all rights reserved)

Stay tuned for further details as we uncover them.

LIRR FIRSTS: - (moved to LIRR page 1a on 10 Dec 01)

LIRR Bibliography: - (moved to separate page)

Railroad Tunnel in Port Washington/
Soundview/Manorhaven/Sands Point Area:

First off, it's a railroad tunnel, NOT a trolley tunnel as I had originally assumed.  As of 12 Oct 1999, I did a bit of my homework on this; first take a look and decide for yourself if you wish to follow up on it -

PW-SP Railroad Tunnel
(Map by and © 1996/2006 - rev'd:  18 Feb 2006)

The tunnel under Sands Point Road is still there, with both portals blocked up but visible, the western portal barely seen down at the end of a fenced-off RoW with a sidewalk on its northern side, but the eastern one is right at the northwest end of the Sousa Elementary (formerly Junior High) School parking lot.

I went over on 11 Oct 1999 in the late afternoon and took pictures of the east side keystone surmount (looking upward and west-northwest and west-southwest) and of the west side portal from the east sidewalk on Ashwood Road looking east along a fenced-off sidewalk and RoW going towards the west portal.  As the light was failing, and I wanted morning light on the east portal, I went back at mid-day on 12 Oct 1999 and took two shots of the east portal, looking west-northwest and closer up looking just slightly more westerly and then another shot looking upward at the surmount, but in differing light and looking northwesterly:

Port Trolley Tunnel view up & WNW   Port Trolley Tunnel view up & WSW   Port Trolley Tunnel view up & NW

Port Trolley Tunnel W Portal view E   Port Trolley Tunnel W Portal view E   Port Trolley Tunnel E Portal view WNW   Port Trolley Tunnel E Portal view WNW [The lower set are thumbnail images; click on the pictures to get larger images.]
(All photos 11-12 Oct 1999 by and © 1999 S. Berliner, III - All Rights Reserved)

The keystone surmount gives it all (almost) away; it definitely reads (contrary to my earlier misreadings*):


I had thought, originally (and erroneously), that this was a trolley line tunnel.  There was no elementary school there in 1911, the PW trolley never ran that far north, and a school walkway would hardly have a RR initial engraved above its keystone!  I completely forgot to go to the PW library to research this while I was over there; they apparently had nothing on it (which simply is not true), though, so I (like MacArthur) returned!  I contacted the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society, which had the key!  They put me in touch with an area historian who knew much about it.  Incidentally, he confirmed that the traction line up from the south terminated in downtown Port Washington; it never reached further north.

There was a series of articles, "Port Remembered", by Ernest Simon, in the Port Washington News ca. 1970-75, one of which touched on the tunnel, with a photo.  Those familar with the area know that both the east and west shores of Cow Neck were high bluffs of pre-historic ocean sand, eaten away by commercial sand mining operations in the 19th and early 20th centuries (just as happened over here in Sea Cliff); the entire Soundview area, then known as the Morewood Property, is the bottom of a sand pit and the sand was taken out by rail to a dock (or docks) on the west shore.  At some point, the pit owner wanted to remove Sands Point Road, itself!  Local residents set up a storm of protest and the tunnel was built to allow passage of the road without disrupting rail service or v.v. (I knew that was no simple passageway but never dreamed of an east-west rail line so close to the water's edge.  The tunnel was, however, later used as a passageway for Sousa students.

I found the article; it appeared in the 05 Oct 1972 issue (no page number given) and tells all about the story related above, adding that the sand company was the Goodwin Sand & Gravel Co.*, later merged with the Gallagher Sand and Gravel Co., and then acquired by today's Colonial Sand and Gravel Co.  The battle royal was joined in 1909, resolved in NYS Supreme Court in 1910 with an agreement between Goodwin and the residents.  According to Simon, the application for the tunnel was only granted in 1912, and the tunnel was abandoned around 1920 or so and closed off after high school students took to setting off cherry bombs or such inside.

* - That keystone inscription is quite obviously GS&G CO, Goodwin Sand & Gravel CO., once you realize and look again!

Here is an old photo of Goodwin-Gallagher Sand & Gravel dinky tank engine #55 by Win Boerckel:

(Goodwin-Gallagher S&G #55 tank engine in the sand pits.)
[Photograph by W. S. Boerckel; courtesy of A. Huneke - all rights reserved.]

#55!  How many engines could they have had?

There was a show and attendant catalog by Elly Shodell, an oral historian, "Particles of the Past", published by the Port Washington Public Library in 1985, ISBN 0-9615059-0-7, about sand mining in the area but it would not turn up in searches (not when you spell her name "Ellie Schoedel").  The library found it for me and it gives no specifics but shows several 0-4-0T dinkies in the pits and a fair-sized electric box motor over on the line crossing West Shore Road; tracks were both narrow and standard gauge.

I am seeking information about the Metropolitan Sand and Gravel Company's mining railroad operation in Port Washington, which used an ex-Cincinnati and Lake Erie box freight motor (with a diesel engine installed inside to power it) to haul the cars used to carry the sand.

Those interested in that part of Long island should visit the site of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society, also noted above.

LIRR modelers should look at Model Railroading on Long Island and at Mike Boland's articles in the SEMAPHORE, the monthly newsletter of the Long Island Sunrise-Trail Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and consider joining the Sunrise Trail Division of the Northeastern Region of the National Model Railroad Association.

[this page was separated out from my RAILROAD and Long Island Rail Road pages;
you might wish to see them also.]


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


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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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 first LIRR page to LIRR continuation pages 2, 3, and 4, then to the other LI railroads page, and lastly to the LIRR Historical Society page.  Follow the links to the various yard maps and other related pages and sites.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2012  - all rights reserved.

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