S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Model Railroad Continuation Page 5 keywords = model rail train Z HO scale Ztrack Western Fruit Express WFEX Great Northern GN Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke Vest Pocket Long Island Degnon Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal BEDT Marion River Carry Adirondack Atlas ATCO

Updated:  24 Aug 2013 11:15  ET
[Page created 07 Aug 2002; converted 24 Aug 2013
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/mrr5.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/mrr5.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


Model Railroad Continuation Page 5



Continuation of SB,III's MODEL RAILROADING Page 4

NOTE:  My pages were limited by AT&T, without warning, to 30kB!  Thus, I was forced to add this continuation page and separate pages to fit the lengthy Berlinerwerke saga in HO and Z scales.


[To conserve space, this index has been truncated by removing some detail links;
go to the pages indicated - they are each indexed fully.]

On the MAIN mrr page:

    Sunrise Trail Division (STD) of the
        Northeastern Region (NER) of the
        National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)
    Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter (LIST) of the
        National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
    Long Island Live Steamers,     and model railroading miscellany at the end.

On MRR Continuation Page 2:

    Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model
(continued on MRR page 5):

Marion River Carry Railroad.
    (now moved to its own page)

Degnon Terminal Railroad, plus
    Murrer's Sidings
    Kearney Sidings
    as well as (on an LIRR page):
  Blissville/Laurel Hill,
Blissville Sidings
Laurel Hill Sidings
    and Maspeth and Fresh Pond -
Maspeth Yard
Fresh Pond Yard

The Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad segment was moved to its own separate page on 07 Sep 99.

New York & Atlantic Railway.

On MRR Continuation Page 3:

Model Railroading Miscellany
PRR/Wrong Island #007 Cabin Car
Garden Railway Scales
Making a Stacker from a Front End Loader
Berlinerwerke-ALCo RSD-1m
Model Railroading HELP!

On the preceding page 4:

Great Northern/Western Fruit Express Reefers -
    (moved to MRR page 4 on 07 May 2001).
Railroad Grades
Model Railroad Photography
More Model Railroad Miscellany, with
    Hobbytown of Boston (Bear Locomotive Co.).

On this page 5:

    Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model - continued
Atlas Terminals RR

On succeeding MRR Continuation Page 6:

Life-Like ALCo DL-109.

On MRR Continuation Page 7:

Oyster Bay Marine Turntable
    (moved from RR Page 3 and greatly amplified 07 Jun 2004).
HOMABED® Roadbed.

On the Great Northern/Western Fruit Express Page (10 Nov 04):

Great Northern/Western Fruit Express Reefers
    (moved to MRR page 4 from the main page 07 May 2001 and to this page 10 Nov 2004).

On Z-Scale pages:

    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
    Scale and Gauge
    Scale Conversion Table
    Ztrack Magazine
    Z-Scale Miscellany
    Z-Scale Wiring Conventions
    Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
    and much more on Page 2 and noted below.
    Sub-Z-Scale Page with
Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains and even 1:900 Tiniest Trains!

[To conserve space even further, the index for material on separate pages has been removed; see the main model RR page.

Visit the courtesy and official home pages listed in the index on the main MRR page.

You may also wish to jump to SB,III's RAILROAD Page.

(continuation of Page 2)

(continued from MRR page 2)

On page 2, I noted that we walked the Degnon Yard on 15 Sep 02; the handouts on that tour were fantastic and I''ll reproduce them here shortly.  The BIG eye-opener for me was that Murrer's Sidings and Kearney Yard are no more than the southern end of Degnon and that the line between them is STILL THERE (albeit buried and obstructed by illegal buildings) AND that the Kearney turnout is still in place!


One day, ca. 2000, after a visit to the New York & Atlantic Railway's (ex-LIRR) Fresh Pond Yard on Otto Avenue in Glendale, I was returning eastward along Cooper Avenue in central Queens County, New York City, on western Long Island, when I noticed a tiny diesel locomotive up on a plinth in front of a handsome old industrial building.  It turned out to be a retired (and restored) loco of the Atlas Terminals, at 8000 (80-00) Cooper Avenue.

Vince Seyfried, noted Queens historian, states that Atlas Terminals was the largest employer in heavily-Germanic Glendale in the 1940s.

Naturally, I can't find the pictures I took at the time (they'll turn up - I reshot them digitally).  Not only did Atlas restore the loco, they even took the trouble to place a bronze plaque giving its history!  Bravo, Atlas!

I only vaguely remember Atlas of old and find virtually (pun) nothing about it on the Web; most hits turn out to be either the Atlas Terminal Company, Inc. (see Atlas Van Lines disclaimer, below), or Atlas terminals, rail joiners made by Atlas Railroad Company, Inc., the old and well-established model railroad firm!

Art Huneke's ARRt's ARRchives turned up the following; a map from the LIRR track plans (I have those!) and two photos of an older loco (apparently a Plymouth or similar) out of service and then in again:

Track Plan of Atlas Terminals
[Cropped and edited from ca. 1973-75 LIRR Track Plan courtesy of A. Huneke]

Atlas Terminals Loco 58
Jul/Aug 1958 photo by and courtesy of A. Huneke - all rights reserved]

Atlas Terminals Loco 59
Jun 1959 photo by either A. Huneke or J. J. Earle, courtesy of A. Huneke - all rights reserved]

I find it fascinating to spot that the two photos are a year apart and the loco is spotted within three or four bricks of the same spot!  Obviously, someone put the hood panels back sometime during that intervening year.

What does NOT show on the LIRR track plan is that Cooper Avenue runs immediately north of the property (I added it on my excerpted copy shown); the top of the plan is NORTH.  I also added an "X" to show the approximate location of the old loco on Cooper near 80th Street.

Note also that wild switchback directly across the spur, just shy of the Engine House turnout.

    [That track plan is excerpted from the LIRR track plan page "GLENDALE 5.2" (ca. 1973-75),

the area between "FRESH POND 3.9" (to the west) and "RICHMOND HILL 7.6" (to the east).]

First, it must be noted that ATLAS TERMINALS is NOT a warehousing and transportation operation; it is actually a very early INDUSTRIAL PARK (see also the 1905 Degnon Terminal).  The word "terminal" is applied here in the true railroad sense; a place where the track ends (as opposed to a station on a through track).  Secondly, ATLAS TERMINALS is in no way related to the ATLAS TERMINAL COMPANY, INC., one of the original seven founding firms of the 1947 Atlas Van Lines ("More than a mover.TM").  Because of the confusion engendered by the virtually identical names, "our" Long Island Atlas Terminal now uses the acronym "ATCO" (for ATCO Properties & Management, Inc.).  However, for the purposes of this page, which is to introduce yet another "Vest Pocket Railroad You Can Model", we will continue to call the operation ATLAS TERMINALS (except for present-day commercial matters) without meaning any disrespect for "ATCO".

Thanks to ATCO's superb cooperation, I am able to bring you material excerpted from the Thursday, 19 and 26 Mar 1987 issues of the RIDGEWOOD TIMES (now the TIMES NEWSWEEKLY), in an unsigned feature called "Our Neighborhood - The Way It Was" (pp. 17, 28, 31 and 17, 24, 32, respectively).  "Excerpted" because the articles are a very complete history of the land and the industry and the people involved, indeed, but far beyond the purview of a basically-RR-oriented page.

Should you desire more of this history, the Queensborough Public Library would probably be the best place to start.

Brief History of the ATCO Property:

Suffice it to relate that the property was originally the farm of Edward Titus (of one of the oldest Long Island families) and by 1790 was owned by Johanes Bartlefolk (later shortened to John B. Folk).  In 1867, the Folk folks (like that?) sold a 50' strip of their land to the South Side Rail Road of Long Island, which built a single track line from Jamaica westward to the Williamsburgh's Bushwick Avenue terminal.  Traffic increased such that the line was double-tracked in 1870 (the SSRRofLI went under on 25 Sep 1874 and was subsumed into the Poppenhusen empire - Seyfried).  The Folks (I did it again!) sold the farm (some 20 acres with barns and a farmhouse), but excluding the RR RoW (good thing!), to Henri Wolfurst, a farmer, for $8,800 ($440 per acre) on 14 Jan 1868.  Henri died in 1902 and the farm (now down to 18.72 acres) was then sold to American Grass Products Company for $26,222 (~$1,400 the acre) on 10 Jun 1902.  AGP liked it for its proximity to local main roads such as Woodhaven Avenue (now Boulevard), Metropolitan and Myrtle Avenues, and the adjacent Cooper Avenue and Dry Harbor Road (80th Street) and, of course, the LIRR (which had by then absorbed the SSRRofLI's Poppenhusen successor, The Southern Railroad of Long Island).

AGP started building Building #1 (as it is now known) almost immediately, partly for their own use and partly for lease-out.  AGP ran into difficulty and sold the property to a Rhode Island knitting mill firm, J. W. Bishop Company, which pushed Building #1 to completion in 1904.  Demand for space was so great that Bishop leased out the entire building.  V & O Press Company, a manufacturer of metal-stamping presses and dies moved in, followed shortly by the Eastern Sales Book Company and Mirmont Photo Paper Company; you can barely make out the signs of Mirmont, Eastern, and V & O painted on the wall of Building #1 in this badly-reproduced 1905 photo:

Old Atlas Photo
(early 1905 picture from 19 Mar 1987 Ridgewood Times)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image.]

However, to save your eyes and patience, I enlarged that portion of the photo and captioned it:

Enlarged Atlas Photo
(enlarged from early 1905 picture from 19 Mar 1987 Ridgewood Times and captioned by SB,III)

In addition, by Feb 1905, Westinghouse Air Brake Company (of RR fame), Prairie Grass Furniture Company (sure hope they kept their stuff away from bison, antelope, and jackrabbits), Hawkes McD. Rec. Gibbs Engineering and Manufacturing Company {that's what it says! - "receiver"?}, and Samuel Carey Company had signed on.  Carey made equipment for producing chocolate candy and for mixing paints; Lofts Candy Company was one of their big accounts. Hercules Contracting and Columbia Knitting Mills were added by 1908 and 1912 saw the addition of Progressive Mills, a ribbon manufacturer (a division of Bay View Ribbon Company) and of braid manufacturer Walter J. Vogt.

About this time, the New York Connecting Railroad began operations, from Port Morris (just south of Oak Point Yard) in the Bronx, across the Hell Gate Bridge to Brooklyn's Bay Ridge cross-harbor float operations, running N-S at Fresh Pond, just under a mile to the west of Atlas.

In 1919, William J. Hughes & Co., Inc., came aboard on 18 Feb and Arctic Knitting Mills on 25 Jul.  Then, after some legal maneuverings, the property came into the hands of Bay View Ribbon and thence, on 27 Sep 1922, to Hemmerdinger Real Estate Corporation.  Now, we're getting somewhere; aren't you glad this is only a brief history?

Atlas Terminals, as we know it today, is a tribute to the vision of Henry Hemmerdinger, who, after acquiring Atlas in 1922, set about expanding it as a still-vital part of of today's ATCO Properties & Management, Inc., which is now headed by H. Dale Hemmerdinger, Henry's grandson and third generation realtor.  The Hemmerdingers settled in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn after coming from Germany in the 1880s; Moses (later known as Morris) Hemmerdinger started out as a rag merchant and built his trade up, finally manufacturing mattresses.  Son Henry took over from his father, who died ca. 1907, and located the firm near the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1910, reverting to the rag trade (as a supplier of bedding and upholstery supplies) in 1912.  He moved again in 1917, still in Williamsburgh, but then, in 1922, Henry's Hemmerdinger Estate Corporation (founded with his late father's assets) bought the Glendale property from Bay View Ribbon.

Henry moved the operation into what is believed to be Building #9, part of some 300,000 square feet of available factory space and leased out the rest.  Hemmerdinger employed about 200 employees, processing about 100 tons of fiber daily for sale to paper and textile mills and to the mattress and upholstery trades.  If you'll look at the track plan (it's not a map), you'll see that the property extends from Cooper Avenue south to the LIRR tracks and east from 80th Street (Dry Harbor Road) to 88th Street.

You can also make out some of this on the (again-badly-reproduced and undated) aerial photo from the second half of the article:

Old Atlas Photo
(undated picture from 26 Mar 1987 Ridgewood Times)
[Thumbnail image - click on picture for larger image.]

In this view, which appears to be looking NNE over the LIRR's Montauk Division towards Cooper Avenue, with 80th Street at the far left and 88th Street at the upper right and 78th Avenue running diagonally across the bottom, parallel to the LIRR tracks, the tall chimney is barely visible in the lower left corner of the property, with the powerhouse to its right (east) and the water tower just east of that.  Doran and 73rd/Rutledge Avenues run westward into the property from 88th Street, below (south of) and parallel to the eastern end of Cooper Avenue.

Being a viable and active commercial operation, ATCO would, of course, be pleased to hear from you if you have commercial or industrial space needs in a location convenient to all forms of transportation (rail, road, air, sea) and Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau, as well as the other boroughs, Westchester and New Jersey and beyond.  Not only are the rails and roads noted in the preceding history still there but the property is also quite convenient to both Jackie Robinson (Interborough) and Grand Central Parkways (and thus the Triborough and Bronx-Whitestone Bridges) and the Long Island Expressway (I495, the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, and the Queensborough Bridge), the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I278 and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge), and the Van Wyck Expressway (I678 and the Throgs Neck Bridge).  Glendale is almost equally close to both LaGuardia and JFK airports and it's not all that much further to Newark, either.

Contact George Rozansky at:

ATCO Properties & Management, Inc.
80-00 Cooper Avenue
Glendale, New York  11385


[No, I am NOT being paid for this blatant plug!]

On 21 Sep 2002, on my way home from the Sunrise Trail Div./NER/NMRA Fall Meet nearby, I stopped by ATCo and took photos of this "Vest Pocket Railroad You Can Model"; first, here's a general sketch map of the area so you can orient yourself:

Atlas Term Plan
(24 Sep 2002 drawing by and © 2002, 2004 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved;
revised 08 Jun 2004 to add scale)

[If you think I can remember how 88th Street crosses the Montauk Division (at grade?), think again!]

First, here, looking SE, is the loco, 25-ton GE #13028 {Image 1}:

Atlas Term 1
(this and all succeding 21 Sep 02 photos by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

That enginehouse door goes nowhere; there isn't anything beyond the wall, so I assume that it may well have been the north wall of the original enginehouse.

The right side {Image 2}:

Atlas Term 2

The commemorative plaque (what a nice touch!) {Image 3}:

Atlas Term 3

A (nearly-)left side view showing that it is parked alongside Building 15 {Image 4}:

Atlas Term 4

The main gate into ATCO showing the loco and door at left and the water tower in the far right distance {Image 5}:

Atlas Term 5

A view looking east from the 80th Street bridge, giving the layout of Building 1, the stack, the water tower, and the LIRR Montauk Division (out of sight along the right side) {Image 8}:

Atlas Term 8

The large white arrow was added to show a very thoughtful detail; there is a photo port set into the fence on the east side of the bridge!  Of course, some vandal (railfan?) punched a smaller hole (a clear spot in front of the near left leg of the tower) a bit to the left (north), indicated by the smaller arrow.

Looking through the photo port, the stack {Image 6} and the water tower (with the LIRR to the lower right) {Image 7}:

Atlas Term 6 Atlas Term 7

The view slightly further north with the signage on Building 1; the West Gate is under the sign on the bridge {Image 9}:

Atlas Term 9

Looking east down on the tracks, there is an abandoned loading dock on the left (north) side {Image 10}:

Atlas Term 10

Diverging slightly, there are some grand old buildings on the property; here is an oldie silhouetted against a western evening sky next to Building 22 over on 83rd Street {Image 11}:

Atlas Term 11

On the east side of 83rd Street, at 70-39, is Building 30-A, with a mock keystone still bearing the inscription (almost illegible on the image) "HEMMERDINGER ESTATE CORP"! {Image 12}:

Atlas Term 12

Further down, in the bend of 83rd Street, at 70-60 on the west side, is Building No. 12, with the old sign still visible under the new one in this NE corner view {Image 13}:

Atlas Term 13

Finally, down towards the SE corner of the property, on the south side of what possibly was 73rd Avenue, was this grand old building; they just don't make factory entrances like that any more! {Image 14}:

Atlas Term 14
(all preceding 21 Sep 02 photos by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

There is a West Gate under the 80th Street bridge, as indicated above, and an East Gate over at 88th Street near the LIRR.

Rumor had it, as of 29 Jan 03, that Atlas Terminals was to be turned into a giant shopping center (just what the world needs)!  Oh, 'tis true, 'tis true; as of Oct 2003, most of the old buildings are down!

Grosste Eisenbahnmodelleaustellung

(Moved from page 2 on 15 Sep 02)

On Railroad Continuation Page 4, there is a write up and photos of both the ruins of the Anhalter Bahnhof, the world's largest trainshed, and an HO museum model of it; that shed's about as long as the whole Marion River Carry Railroad!

Fernsehturm 27 Sep 87

On the same trip to Berlin, I went though Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin on a Sunday, 27 Sep 1987, and headed up the Unter-den-Linden from the Brandenburger Tor at Potsdamer Platz, past the ruined Dom cathedral, and towards the giant Fernsehturm (rundfunksturm, broadcast or radio-TV tower); here's what I saw as I wandered:

That's the Marienkirche (Mary's Church) on the left and the Fernsehturm; they really are both vertical but the perspective is something fierce!

As I got closer to the tower, I saw that there was a huge exhibition hall at the base with a big sign; closer still and the sign turned out to state, "Grosste Eisenbahnmodelleaustellung" (that's "greatest model railroad exhibition")!  Wow!  In I went and was promptly mobbed by East Berliners and just plain East Germans, most of whom had never met an American, let alone under friendly circumstances!  I stood out like a sore thumb, tall, relatively well dressed in sports clothing of obvious western cut; a buzz went through the room as I entered.

The show was their annual blowout and it was HUGE; each exhibitor had to personally drag me over and explain all about what he'd done (very few women exhibitors).  The biggest "modular" (well - disassemble-able) layout was that of the Deutsche Modellverein (DMV - German Model Club, strictly East German).

Here are two views of the DMV's giant layout (note the East German soldier in the left center of the second photo).

What you just can't see is that most of the stuff was handmade out of scrap wood and cardboard and discarded soda cans; these people were dirt-poor!  It took about a month's or more salary to buy an open-frame motor.  Many of the modelers were forced to turn their own wheels out of metal scrap!

DMV Berlin 27 Sep 87 1 DMV Berlin 27 Sep 87 2

But what touched me more than anything else was one East German who excitedly showed me his small diorama on which he had reproduced his home small-town station in "EXAKT" detail, down to every single sign and newspaper:

DMV Berlin 27 Sep 87 3
27 Sep 1987 photos by and © 1987 S. Berliner, III

I deeply regret that I've lost the gentleman's name and address; my camera could not focus down close enough and the exceedingly-fine details are not apparent on this blurred shot but they are there in profusion.  Note how he used a broken piece of Perspex scrap to protect the delicate arch over the entrance to the station grounds.

Continued from Model Railroading Page 3, VEST POCKET RAILROADS YOU CAN MODEL.

If you like model railroading nonsense (and good tips), take a gander at Jim Wells' incredible

and at the AW NUTS Magazine site, "A Publication of the A.W. N.U.T.S. Garden Railway Society".

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

of this series of Model Railroad pages.


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


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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