The crew of G5s (4-6-0) #26 have just picked up their engine at Morris Park Shops and are preparing to leave to pick up their train, perhaps at the Richmond Hill Storage Yard, located on the other side of the Montauk branch embankment seen in this photo looking north around 1938. They have stopped at Dunton tower to receive permission from the block operator to proceed. The engine and crew will access the storage yard via concrete tunnels located in the embankment visible behind the locomotive. Those tunnel portals are located behind the tower and locomotive (H. Forsythe Collection – David Keller archive)
p3 – Title Page
p4 – Dedication This book is dedicated to all the railroad veterans, past and present, who, through their hard work, dedication and long hours, helped make the Long Island Rail Road great. David Keller
This book is dedicated to my mother and my wife, for their encouragement
and caring and always being there throughout my life to light the way.
p5 - TABLE OF CONTENTS: Chapter 1: Electrified Service p. 11
Chapter 2: Feeding the Firebox p. 29
Chapter 3: Our Diesel Heritage p. 45
Chapter 4: The Freight Business p. 61
Chapter 5: Passenger Service p. 77
Chapter 6: Morris Park Shops p. 93
Chapter 7: Depots and Towers Along the Right of Way p. 113
p6 - Acknowledgements
I would like to thank all the terrific people who were so impressed with our first book, they told me they expected to see a second one. Thanks also goes to three old friends: Art Huneke for his invaluable tower data, Vincent Seyfried for his also invaluable station and roster data as well as the dates of first-year electrification and Ron Zinn for his detailed Morris Park Shops data and for reviewing chapter 6 for any errors. Credit goes to the late Robert Emery for his outstanding, hand-drawn and highly detailed system maps of the LIRR, Morris Park Shops in particular. As always, I wish to acknowledge the wonderful photography of George E. Votava, William Lichtenstern, Jeff Winslow, W. J. Edwards, George G. Ayling, James V. Osborne and Jules P. Krzenski. Special thanks goes to the generosity of my friend Edward Hermanns. Finally, a special thank-you goes to my wife Susan, who has always supported me in my life’s interest during our past 25 years together. David Keller
I would like to thank all those that sent words of encouragement on the
first book and pushed the implementation of the second volume. A special thanks goes out to my friend, mentor and co-author Dave Keller. Without his archives none of this would have been possible. Steven Lynch
p7 – Introduction
The Long Island Rail Road this year (2005) celebrates its 100th anniversary of electrification as a means of moving both freight and passenger traffic on the nation’s largest and oldest commuter railroad. 0ver 700 trains daily with ridership in excess of 250,000 make the trip into New York City's Pennsylvania Station; all of which is made possible via the use of third rail electrified service.
As before, most of the images presented have never before been published and great care has been taken to provide high quality images with historical background information within the captions to provide the reader with a greater insight into the operations of the LIRR.
To that end, we start with:
Chapter 1: Electrified Service celebrates the rich heritage of electrification inherited from its parent the Pennsylvania Railroad and the need to enter the long East River tunnels for access to New York City's Penn Station with cost effective, pollution free operations in tunnels and dense urban environments with heavy volumes of freight and passenger traffic.
Chapter 2: Feeding the Firebox illustrates the diversity of both passenger and freight operations behind steam until its demise in October, 1955.
The introduction of major cost effective diesels starting in the late 1940’s as the LIRR began to dieselize its aging steam fleet, completing the task by 1955 is covered in Chapter 3: Our Diesel Heritage.
Chapter 4: The Freight Business focuses on the Long Island's freight hauling and switcher operations illustrating the “other” Long Island Rail Road. Timeless photos of LIRR cabooses, freight trains, switching operations and other facets of good old time LIRR freight operations are presented.
Chapter 5: Passenger Services provides a view of the varied equipment leased and purchased for both everyday commuter use and “special” occasion operations. MUs, ping-pongs, double deckers and parlor cars all have a special place in LIRR history.
Chapter 6: Morris Park Shops takes you behind the scenes into the world of maintaining a large fleet of locomotives and passenger cars plus a tour of the service facilities required of a Class 1 railroad.
Chapter 7: Depots and Towers Along the Right of Way examines a part of daily operations that make the railroad function, usually unnoticed by the general public, but playing a critical role in the safe daily movement of people and goods over the line.
The authors’ intent is that this collection can stand alone or be viewed as a continuation of the first book. We hope this volume will enrich the reader's understanding and appreciation of a major force that has shaped Long Island’s past historical growth and affects the lives of so many even to this day.
Here is an official LIRR system map from the back of public timetable LI-1 effective September 20, 1936, however the Rand McNally & Co. map has a date of January, 1934. This map shows the Wading River extension as well as the Sag Harbor branch, both in use during this time frame, however it inaccurately also shows the Manhattan Beach branch which was abandoned in 1924. Curious, though, is the fact that the map had, indeed, been recently updated, as the Whitestone branch, abandoned in 1932, is not shown. (David Keller archive)
From the roof of the Oyster Bay freight house, we’re looking across the top of the boiler of leased Pennsylvania Railroad Atlantic class E3sd (4-4-2) locomotive #4176 on this winter’s day in early 1941. This close-up show the steam dome with the whistle mounted behind. The pull-chain leads from the whistle to the cab for the engineer’s use. Visible just below this chain is the ashpit track. Also seen is the brass bell in its mounting, then the sand dome, the smokestack, the generator and headlight. To the left of the headlight is one of the two classification lights which would soon be removed from all Pennsy locomotives by PRR edict. Beyond the steaming smokestack, smoke from which is covering the passenger cars in the right background, can be seen a wooden N52A class caboose laying up on the rear of a freight in the yard. (T. Sommer photo)
p11 – Chapter One
Celebrating 100 years (1905-2005) of electrification, the LIRR owes much of its success and viability to its parent road: The Pennsylvania Railroad. The PRR sought a terminus on Manhattan Island and undertook a massive project in 1903 to meet this need; a four-track main line set of tunnels under the Hudson River, the massive Pennsylvania Station, the four-track tunnels under the East River leading into the world's largest coach storage yard at Sunnyside, Long Island City, and the Hell Gate Bridge yielding access to New England. To accomplish this end the PRR bought controlling stock in the LIRR and commenced building in 1905.
That year saw some intense changes on the LIRR. July 26 saw the first electric service between Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn and Rockaway Park. On August 29, electric service opened from Flatbush Avenue to Jamaica. On October 2, electric service opened to Belmont Park Race Track. November 1 saw electric service to Queens Village. Three days later, the Flatbush Avenue station saw the last steam service and the new depot was placed in service on November 5. December 11 saw electrification spread from Jamaica to Valley Stream.
Pennsylvania Station was completed in June, 1910 and on September 8, the first LIRR commuter trains entered the East River tunnels and the Long Island connection to Manhattan was inaugurated. From that point forth the continued expansion and viability of Long Island suburban communities was assured.
MP41 cars numbered 1100 and 1101 are in Mitchell Field shuttle service on the east leg of the wye at Country Life Press in Garden City in this view looking northeast around 1938. The Central branch extension is visible at the left. These were the first MU (multiple unit) style cars in LIRR service. Built by American Car and Foundry in 1905, they measured 51’ – 4” in length. (Jeff Winslow photo)
Class AA1 electric locomotive #323 is laying up at the Richmond Hill Storage Yard in March, 1937. Built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1905 and numbered 10001, this experimental unit was the Pennsy’s first electric locomotive. It was sold to the LIRR in May, 1916 and renumbered 323. Nicknamed “Phoebe,” it was put into freight and switching service. In July, 1937 it was retired and scrapped. (Jeff Winslow photo)
Additional testing and experimentation (some held on the Central Extension in 1908) to develop an efficient electric locomotive that could accommodate passenger and freight service, especially into and out of the soon-to-be-opened Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, led to the production of the class DD1 electric locomotive in 1909. Here DD1 #341 is caught at Sunnyside Yard in Long Island City in April, 1934 (George E. Votava photo)
DD1 #347 in shiny new paint is deadheading an equipment train eastbound from Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan to Jamaica, passing through Sunnyside, Long Island City, in August, 1937. Deadheading means non-revenue (no passengers), and, in this case, the DD1 is serving the purpose of delivering equipment to a terminal where it will be used as a scheduled train. (George E. Votava photo)
Looking east from the Route 231 overpass in April, 1972 we see the huge Babylon electric yard. Laying up are the many M1 trains awaiting their next day rush-hour departure. A year or two earlier, this yard would have been filled with the old-style MU cars as well as MU double deckers. (George E. Votava photo)
Another style electric locomotive used in freight service was the B3 class. Equipped with folding pantographs, it got its juice from the overhead catenary wire system. This limited this locomotive’s service to the New York Interconnecting Railroad (former Bay Ridge branch) and areas of Long Island City. Here #337 with engineer and #328 are posing for the photographer at Bay Ridge, Brooklyn in July, 1938. (George E. Votava photo)
Looking into the motorman’s cramped quarters of a class MP72c MU car cab in 1957, we see the various equipment required to operate the car. The “owls-eye” window is visible above the air brake gauges. At the right are the various light switches. Directly under the air brake gauges is the controller handle. Various air lines are routed around the cab. (Jules P. Krzenski photo)
A three-car double decker train is sitting at the newer station platforms of Belmont Racetrack in Elmont, NY around 1960. The track is visible in the background. This spur branched off the Main Line just east of Queens Village and first provided service to the track in 1905. The original station covered platforms were razed in 1957 when the tracks were cut back to north of Hempstead Turnpike. (W. J. Edwards photo)
A two-car MU train is eastbound at the Valley Stream station in this 1967 view. This was one of the earlier grade elimination projects and notable are the LIRR keystone logos on either side of the station name. The tower-like structure at platform level is the baggage elevator, used to transport baggage checked at the ticket office at ground level up to track level. (David Keller photo)
Class A1 electric shop switcher #320 was used to move equipment around Morris Park Shops. Built by Baldwin-Westinghouse in 1927, this tiny locomotive is shown laying up on one of the tracks extending from the turntable in August, 1940. Part of the roundhouse is visible in the background, as is the Futura lettering on the locomotive tender. #320 was withdrawn from service in December, 1958. (H. Forsythe Collection, David Keller Archive)
An MU train is heading westbound from Hempstead towards the Garden City station, after having crossed over Franklin Avenue. Garden cabin is at the right, tight up against the store wall and protecting the crossing with manually operated gates. At the left is the wooden diamond crossing sign. The train is on the crossover switches accessing the westbound track and approaching the station in this 1956 view. (W. J. Edwards photo)
A brand new string of M1 cars is stopped at the Shea Stadium station at Flushing Meadows, Queens in this 1969 view. Originally the site of an ash dump, the surrounding area was used to host the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World’s Fairs. Shea Stadium was built here to house the New York Mets and the station was used for the ballpark after the Fair closed. (David Keller archive)
Looking east at Landia we see a MU train leaving the station and heading for the new end of electrified territory at Huntington in 1970. Originally opened in 1951 for employees of Circle Wire, the station continued in use years later after the company’s name was changed to Cerro Wire. The low platforms, one on alternating sides of Robbins Lane were removed on October 3, 1973. (W. J. Edwards photo)
A three-car MU train with REA (Railway Express Agency) car in the lead is heading eastbound over the Linden Boulevard crossing at Cedar Manor in 1954. Located on the Atlantic branch and opened in 1906, this little depot was razed in February, 1959 and the station stop discontinued with the grade elimination through here. (W. J. Edwards photo)
Viewed from the westbound platform is an eastbound MU train leaving the Broadway station in Flushing, bound for Port Washington in 1954. Opened in 1906, the station and platforms were elevated during 1912-13. (W. J. Edwards photo)
Looking east towards the 149th Place overpass and the Murray Hill depot beyond, a MU train is heading west at the station in 1950. Opened in July, 1914, the station platforms were built into the concrete embankment walls with safety openings every several feet to allow trackmen to stand to be safely clear of passing trains. The depot building spanning the tracks was razed in 1964. (W. J. Edwards photo)
The trainman is making sure all passengers are clear of the train as this MU is about to depart the Manhasset station eastbound for Port Washington in 1954 The substantial depot building was opened in 1925, with the ticket office and waiting room at street level. (W. J. Edwards photo)
It was a bright, sunny day at Port Washington terminal when this photo was taken in 1944. Standing on the low platforms and looking east towards the depot, we see two MU trains laying up. The train at the left appears ready to depart, with trainman standing on the closed trap and conversing with the motorman. At the far right is the freight house. (W. J. Edwards photo)
This MU train is heading westbound at the Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn station in 1960. The elevated structure opened in August, 1905 and, at the time of the photo, still sported the fancy goose-neck platform lights and the decorative ornamental handrails visible at the far left and far right of this scene. (W. J. Edwards photo)
An MU RPO car is on the head end of this eastbound MU train approaching the St. Albans station in 1954. Looking west we see a mother and child awaiting the train. At the left is a T box housing the LIRR crew telephone. In front of it is an old, low, switch target. The business district is visible in the right background. (W. J. Edwards photo)
An MU train is discharging passengers at the platform of the West Hempstead station in 1950. The old depot building at the left had been built in 1928 on the north side of Hempstead Turnpike. It was moved south to this location and placed in service in September, 1935, to eliminate blocking the busy thoroughfares at train time. The depot was destroyed by fire in 1959. (W. J. Edwards photo)
Racing along westbound on the express tracks, this MU train is passing through Rego Park around 1952. The train has two RPO/REA cars in tow and the view is westward. Rego Park was located along the Main Line, but was a station stop only for trains servicing the Rockaway Beach branch. The structure was razed in November, 1958 and discontinued as a stop in June, 1962. (W. J. Edwards photo)
It’s 1940 and the 1906-era inspection shed at the Dunton Electric Car shops is hosting a selection of early MU equipment. At the left, looking east, is class MP54 motor #1438, built in 1908. In the center is MP41 motor #1001, built in 1905 and the first electric car used in LIRR service. To the right is class T54A trailer #983, built in 1917. (George E. Votava photo)
The grade elimination is progressing swiftly in the background as this MU train passes by on the westbound temporary track at Freeport in 1960. In the foreground are the hand-operated crossing gates with shiny crank handles. The temporary low-level platform is to the left of the train and a shelter shed can be seen on the eastbound platform at the right. The new station opened in 1961. (David Keller archive)
After the LIRR’s last MP41 class MU cars were retired from Mitchell Field shuttle service, they were replaced with two MP54 class MU cars. Looking northeast, #1762 and #1943 are laying up north of the station at Country Life Press, Garden City in 1949. This track once crossed the Central extension at Hempstead Crossing, a short distance beyond the left of the photo and continued to Mineola. (W. J. Edwards photo)
Another view of the shuttle in its last years is this shot taken at the Mitchell Field station. The station was used to service the air base located there. Looking east, the old wooden shelter shed is visible to the left of the 2-car train in this scene from 1950. All shuttle passenger service would end on this branch on May 15, 1953. (W. J. Edwards photo)
A westbound MU train in Tichy color scheme is at the Merillon Avenue, New Hyde Park, station in 1954. In this scene looking east, the remains of the decorative shrubs are visible amongst the weeds along the edge of the westbound low platform. Built in 1912, this pretty station was razed in 1958 and replaced in April of that year by a small brick and block structure. (W. J. Edwards photo)
When the Budd M1 “Metropolitan” electric cars first saw service on the LIRR, they were an eye-catcher. There were several display locations at outlying stations where the curious could climb into and inspect a set of cars. This scene, looking west at Valley Stream on April 20, 1969, shows a new M1 train being run as a railfan extra. The tower above the platform was the baggage elevator. (David Keller archive)
It’s a cold winter’s day c.1955 and a MU train in Tichy color scheme is emerging westbound on the express track from under the Lefferts Boulevard overpass, passing through Kew Gardens. The train has two double deck cars that appear to have just squeezed under the overpass.
At the left is the depot. On the platform at the right is the enclosed eastbound waiting room (W. J. Edwards photo)
A westbound MU train is entering Malba station in this c. 1925 scene. Built in 1908-09 on the Whitestone branch, north of the tracks and west of Malba Drive (144th Street), the station name was an acronym from the initials of the five original developers who bought the surrounding properties and incorporated the Malba Association in 1908. The branch, electrified in 1912, was abandoned in 1932. (James V. Osborne photo)
An MU train is crossing Hempstead Avenue and arriving at Malverne station on the West Hempstead branch on this summer’s day in 1954. The gates are down and the children are patiently waiting with their bicycles in front of them. Malverne depot was opened in February, 1913 and originally the West Hempstead branch connected Valley Stream with Country Life Press and Mineola. (W. J. Edwards photo)
p29 – Chapter Two
The LIRR as the largest commuter Class 1 railroad in the world had steam and plenty of it. Additionally, the size of the fleet required the needed support facilities in place to repair, upgrade, and maintain this large number of engines. The parent Pennsylvania Railroad met its own demand by designing and manufacturing most of their own locomotives at their own shops and as a result, was able to lease hundreds of engines of varying classes to the LIRR up to and ending in 1951 due to the volume of Long Island traffic handled. Said volume increased dramatically during the years of World War II as a result of troop trains to and from Camp Upton in Yaphank, plus increased freight activity to and from the aircraft and defense plants on the island. As a result of increased war demand, these classes included not only switcher-types but additional long-haul passenger locomotives such as the K4s Pacific and the massive L1s Mikado freight engines that saw LIRR service on the western end of the island during the war years only.
This chapter provides a look at steam in its various facets: switching in the yards, hauling freight along the line, and speeding the hundreds of thousands of commuters to Jamaica and Long Island City to make their connections to work in New York City, Brooklyn and Queens, returning home again on a daily basis.
Barreling westbound at speed through Floral Park on the express track is PRR K4s Pacific class (4-6-2) #5406 pulling Montauk train #27 on this September day in 1948. In the lead is a RPO (Railway Post Office) car. The tracks running along the platform at the right curve off beyond the grade crossing for the Hempstead branch. Covered in smoke in the distance is Park tower. (George E. Votava photo)
Looking east from the Oyster Bay freight house platform in 1940 we see locomotive class G5s (4-6-0) # 20 laying up. The NL stenciled on its pilot means the locomotive was to be used in the Pennsylvania Railroad’s New York region, Long Island zone. In the left background is the old, squat water tower with suspended spout. (T. Sommer photo)
In this crystal-clear and well-lighted shot, G5s #25 is seen laying up with its train in the Richmond Hill Storage Yard on a cold, crisp January day in 1937. The locomotive is sporting a low-sided tender. (David Keller archive)
Also in the Richmond Hill Storage Yard, awaiting the go-ahead for departure on this May day in 1937 is G5s #30 and train. The engineer is leaning out the cab window and his fireman is standing on the deck. This locomotive is sporting a high-sided tender. In the right background is the embankment of the Montauk branch and beyond it is the smokestack of Sheffield Farms. (David Keller archive)
Posing in front of the Trainmen’s building at the Richmond Hill Storage Yard in November, 1936, is G53sd (4-6-0) #143. The fireman is leaning out his side of the cab and watching the photographer. A tower was added to the top of this building in 1945, becoming the yardmaster’s office. (David Keller archive)
This is Maspeth, Queens on a winter’s day around 1946. C51sa (0-8-0) freight switcher #261 is running light against traffic with the ground showing the residue of filthy snow. The sloped-back tender is filled with coal and the locomotive is probably heading out to couple onto its freight laying up on a siding somewhere ahead. (Rolf Schneider photo)
It’s a hot, sunny, summer’s day in July, 1947 as is evident by all the windows opened on train #4619, allowing the passengers some cooler air. On the head end is G5s #40, pulling into Merillon Avenue station in New Hyde Park. The engineer is leaning out his cab window, giving the photographer a hearty wave. (George E. Votava photo)
Recently built, newly arrived and sporting a shiny smokebox is G5s #30 seen here at Morris Park Shops in 1928. Posing proudly next to the new engine are, at left, fireman Bill Aha and engineer Ferdinand Shiertcliff. In the right background is the LIRR “Doodlebug” #1134, the self-propelled, gasoline-powered railcar used in shuttle service to Sag Harbor. (Jefferson I. Skinner photo)
G5s #36 has just left Kings Park station, visible in the background along with the town water tower, and is heading westbound with weekend train #4615 from Kings Park State Hospital on this May day in 1947. The LIRR provided passenger service to the state hospitals on Long Island, carrying visitors on Sundays and delivering carloads of coal for heating and power. (George E. Votava photo)
Oyster Bay yard appears kind of empty of locomotives on this winter’s day in 1941 as we see a broadside view of G5s #38 after having just been spun around on the turntable. In the background can be seen a couple of Lehigh Valley Railroad hopper cars. (T. Sommer photo)
It’s a cool, February day in 1937 as PRR-leased E3sd (4-4-2) pulls 4-car train #529 from Oyster Bay westbound through Mineola. The REA/RPO car and three passenger coaches have just cleared the Mineola station platform. This old locomotive was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad’s shops in 1904 and used in LIRR service for several years. Originally classed E3d, it was reclassed E3sd after undergoing superheating conversion. (George E. Votava photo)
Sitting in front of the Hicksville express house, awaiting departure time, G5s #22 has a full head of steam and is waiting to head westbound on this July day in 1937. At the left is the express house and hovering over the tender is the semaphore block signal indicating the “stop” aspect. It’s a hot day as indicated by the windows open in the combine car. (George E. Votava photo)
Typical of the onslaught of Long Island winters is this scene from 1933. A class G5s locomotive, with wet snow adhering to and highlighting its pilot, is pulling its train at speed through the driving snow, and is about to cross Carleton Avenue in Central Islip. Beyond the old platform lamp and visible to the left is the diamond crossing sign. The wooden pole gates are down and the crossing guard is waving at the engineer. Beyond him is his shanty into which he will shortly hurry to warm up in front of the glowing pot-bellied stove. (George G. Ayling photo)
On a bright, sunny, crisp February day in 1937, G5s #23 and 3-car Port Jefferson train #627 heads westbound at Mineola station. The fireman is leaning out his cab window, peering at the photographer from behind his partial fold-out windscreen. At the far right can be seen a position light block signal. Beyond it is the soot-encrusted Mineola Boulevard overpass. (George E. Votava photo)
On a cold, March day in 1947, G5s #26 pulls train #4615 westbound through what appears to be miles and miles of endless farmland in rural Huntington. The tight, billowed smoke is indicative of the cold temperature of the day and envelops the train. At the right is one of the many diamond crossing protection signs seen all over the island at most crossings. (George E. Votava collection)
Another hot, sunny, humid Long Island day in July, 1948 finds G5s #26 pulling Oyster Bay train #4527 westbound through Albertson. The photographer has found a small patch of shade in which to wait to capture this shot. The water level in the tender is very evident by looking at the condensation formed along its side, almost giving it the appearance of a two-toned paint scheme. (George E. Votava collection)
It seems kind of deserted for train time at Port Jefferson on this June day in 1940. G5s #28 is laying up with its train at the platform ready to head westbound. Visible above the combine car behind the tender is the semaphore arm block signal. This signal once had two blades mounted on the mast when trains serviced Wading River prior to October, 1938. (George E. Votava photo)
Acres of empty field and farmland surround Pennsy-leased E6s (4-4-2) #230 as it pulls Saturday-only train #236 eastbound for Ronkonkoma through Hicksville on this hot, humid, July day in 1937. The engineer is leaning out the window for a breath of air and most of the car windows are open. Condensation has formed along the side of the tender and the summer haze encompasses everything. (Geoge E. Votava photo)
Typical Long Island industries of 1937 are seen on the north side of the tracks as G5s #31 pulls train #631 from Port Jefferson through Hillside on a hot September’s day. The fireman’s cab door is open as are many car windows to get some air. A signal bridge is overhead with position light signals controlling the 4-tracked main and Holban Yard appears to the right. (George E. Votava photo)
Looking west from the platform of the Hillside station in December, 1948 we see G5s #33 with a full head of steam and train #4228 in tow blasting its way out from under the elevated tracks of the Montauk branch. Visible behind the opposite platform can be seen one of the “new” diesels pulling a westbound freight train. This area was once known as Rockaway Junction. (George E. Votava collection)
PRR-leased G5s #5717 has just departed the old, wooden Cold Spring Harbor station and is heading west through the barren woods with 8-car train #4615 on this day in early March, 1947. The following year, the residents would have a brand-new depot and #5717 would soon leave Long Island, being sold for scrap in August, 1949. (George E. Votava collection)
The photographer is standing diagonally across from “B” tower and captures Pennsy-leased K4s #3655 with recent “face-lift” pulling its train eastbound through Bethpage Junction, Bethpage around 1947. In the distant background can be seen the overpass of the Long Island Motor Parkway and the diamond crossing signs of the grade crossing of Central Park Avenue. (George E. Votava collection)
The early evening sun backlights K4s #3741 as it pulls train #20 commonly know to all as the “Cannonball” eastbound through Hicksville on this July day in 1937. Behind the locomotive and tender can be seen the Pennsylvania Railroad parlor cars. At the far right is wooden snow plow #191 laying up in Hicksville yard. (George E. Votava photo)
Another hot day is evident as K4s #3754 pulls Sunday-only train #4230 eastbound for Ronkonkoma through Westbury in June, 1947. The K4s has not yet had its “face-lift” whereby the headlight and generator locations are switched, a smaller headlight installed and a platform added across the front of the smokebox with relocated handrail. The locomotive is, however, sporting a bright-silver-painted smokebox with black smokebox door. (George E. Votava photo)
PRR E3sd #2985 is deadheading a 2-car extra train westbound for Jamaica at Hicksville on this hot, July day in 1937. In the distance can be seen the old wooden express house and semaphore block signals. At the left can be seen an old, wooden, exterior-framed Erie boxcar spotted at the freight house and beyond it, one of many produce houses seen along the right-of-way. (George E. Votava photo)
Here is the Long Island City passenger yard in 1950. Looking west in the haze can be seen, from left to right, coupled to their respective trains, K4s #3887, an unidentified K4s, a train without locomotive, G5s #33, G5s #32 and train with tender only visible. In the center background can be seen the terminal building and in the right background, the PRR’s 1906 power plant. (W. J. Edwards photo)
Presenting a fine quartet, G5s locomotives are laying up at Oyster Bay on the old roundhouse tracks in February, 1948. (The roundhouse was removed in 1929.) Looking east, from left to right can be seen #39, #45 behind a small cloud of escaping steam, #30 and #22. They’re all fired up and are awaiting their engine crews to couple them to their respective commuter trains. (George E. Votava collection)
Viewed from a distant hillside, we have a very picturesque view, indeed, of Pennsy-leased E3sd #2985 steaming away into the cool fall air as it pulls a 3-car train westbound on the embankment after having just departed from the station at Mill Neck (located just to the right of the curve in the tracks, outside the photo) in November, 1940. Looking east we see the rural panorama of the community as well as Beaver Dam Pond cut in two by the railroad but connected by a stone-framed culvert, visible to the right of the embankment by the water. (George E. Votava photo)