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I rode the LIRR growing up on Long Island and it has always been an impressive railroad to me. It is one of the oldest railroads in the United States that still operates under its original charter from 1834. 66 years of operation as an independent railroad, 66 years under PRR ownership, and owned by the State of New York since 1966.


Last edited by MELGAR

I had a relative who was a conductor on the LIRR. He took me to work with him one day in the summer of 1980, when I was 13 years old. I had a BLAST riding trains all day, with a GP on one end, and an FA on the other, push-pull fashion. Got to ride in the vestibules. Even was aboard when some punk kids put a lawn mower on the track and we ran over it, breaking the train line and going into emergency!

Ah, the GREAT LIRR! Rode the electric MU's to Rockaway Beach with my parents as a young child (1945-48), and to my grandfather's house in Hicksville behind those marvelous G5's. We would take the Atlantic Ave. Line from Brooklyn to Jamaica, and I still vividly remember the heat from the boiler of that G5 as it pulled into Jamaica Station. Later, in my college years, I rode the Atlantic Avenue line from Woodhaven to Jamaica, and then to the Nassau Blvd. station in Garden City, for a short walk to Adelphi College. Once I walked from the campus to the Mineola station to catch the train for a short ride to Hicksville to spend the weekend with my cousins. After having moved to Hicksville in 1962, I frequently took the train into Penn Station with the change at Jamaica to the electric MU's. The ride through Sunnyside Yard before plunging into the East River tunnel was a  always a special treat with those GG1's and DD1's and the  huge passenger car marshalling yard! I well remember ALCO RS1's and the FM C-Liners, after steam had been phased out. As a child growing up in Woodhaven, Queens in the 1950's, my friend and I occasionally rode our bikes out to the Morris Park engine terminal, where the old coaling tower still stood in the early diesel years. Wonderful memories of a GREAT railroad!

Last edited by Tinplate Art
Tinplate Art posted:

Ah, the GREAT LIRR! ...

...Wonderful memories of a GREAT railroad!


It certainly was great. My favorite was riding the double-decker passenger cars from Merrick through Jamaica, past Sunnyside Yards to New York Penn Station. Even today, standing alongside the tracks during commuter rush hours is a thrill. The frequency of twelve-car commuter trains is impressive. Hundreds of people waiting to board. There are still crossings at grade in Mineola. The only G5s I can photograph today shown below.





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Kelly Anderson posted:
MELGAR posted:

I rode the LIRR growing up on Long Island and it has always been an impressive railroad to me. It is one of the oldest railroads in the United States that still operates under its original charter from 1834. 

HELLO!!  The Strasburg Rail Road is still operating under its original charter from 1832!!!  And has never been a subsidiary of another railroad either!!!!

Sorry. I stand corrected and have revised my post. However, as much as I like and truly admire today's Strasburg Rail Road, the LIRR moves a far greater number of people. I do wish the Strasburg all the best.


I grew up in Mineola, with the Oyster Bay Branch running past the little league field, my grammar school, over Jericho Turnpike, and had a spur run to what was then Latham Bros. Lumber. I was born after steam stopped running, but the 4-6-0 G5s is one of my favorite engines. And I only run Long Island motive power and passenger cars. Dan lives on my layout too! 




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Last edited by Steamfan77

From 1946 to 1965, I lived just up Tyson Avenue (AKA 260 St) from the LIRR crossing at Tulip Avenue in Floral Park. So I had the great experience of knowing the LIRR in its steam era, and very fortunate to get a round trip cab ride is G5s No. 34 from Floral Park to Oyster Bay.

My teenage friends & I drank beer siting on the tracks of the Creedmore Branch, at what was once was the site of the Central Railroad's East Hinsdale Station. I still remember the LIRR's coal trains to Creedmore on the branch that ran through the backyards of homes in Bellrose and Queens Village.

On my walk to Our Lady of Victory School in Floral Park Village, I would take the underpass walkway at the LIRR's Tulip Avenue Crossing. As I recall, there were 3 tracks at the crossing and the Hempstead Branch cut-in just to the east of Tulip Avenue. The Hempstead Branch was also originally a part of the Central Railroad.

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Back in the early 60s in Suffolk County, I decided to play hooky on occasion and spent all day at the Oakdale station.  I was friends with the station master, a Grandfather type'.  I used to to help him with small maintenance jobs in maintaining the station.  Then wait for the PM trains returning from the city. The motive power was mostly RS-3 if I recall correctly, and they were all in pristine condition...

 Image result for lirr oakdale 

Thank you Mel and Art. Jon, that’s very cool. I used to love going there with my father. I was fascinated by how the tracks came up into the lumber shed. Bob, that is a great story. How long were those classes given?  Nice rolling stock all who have posted. I’ve learned a great deal as I’ve researched LIRR history, and specifically the Oyster Bay Branch. All great memories and stories. I’d like to keep this thread going too. 


Last edited by Steamfan77
Steamfan77 posted:

Thank you Mel and Art. Jon, that’s very cool. I used to love going there with my father. I was fascinated by how the tracks came up into the lumber shed. Bob, that is a great story. How long were those classes given?  Nice rolling stock all who have posted. I’ve learned a great deal as I’ve researched LIRR history, and specifically the Oyster Bay Branch. All great memories and stories. I’d like to keep this thread going too. 


I'm not exactly sure Andy but it was a successful program while it ran. I knew Prof Gutman and he was a great guy. He passed away too early in 2004 unfortunately.

I posted this over on FEF yesterday too.

And a bunch more on SWSat today


Continuing on the subject of the Long Island Rail Road:

Beginning in 1910, 33 pairs of PRR boxcab electric DD1 locomotives moved trains from Manhattan Transfer (New Jersey) into New York Penn Station and through the East River tunnels to Sunnyside Yard. In 1924, most of the DD1s were transferred to the LIRR and hauled empty passenger trains from Penn Station to Sunnyside Yard. They ran on 650-volt DC third rail. Each pair weighed 313,000 pounds, developed 55,500 pounds tractive effort and had a rating of 1,580 horsepower (continuous) at 58 miles-per-hour. The LIRR scrapped most of its DD1s between 1949 and 1951 with two pairs remaining in 1962. The last pair was donated to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in 1978.

Pictured below, on the trestle of my 10’-by-5’ layout, which does not look at all like Sunnyside Yard, is my MTH Premier model of LIRR DD1 electric locomotive #352 (20-5516-1) with PS-2, purchased about 2002.




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Thanks to @prrhorseshoecurve for starting this thread.

Let's keep it going. As one of the oldest RR's in the US, constant maintenance and improvements are required to keep it going. For many of us who use the LIRR on a regular basis this can be a double edged sword, often leading to delays, cancelled trains, use of buses around track closures, etc.

The LIRR is in the midst of two MAJOR improvement projects at the present time. The one that grabs the headlines is the East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal. This project still has several years to go and is billions over budget. Unfortunately most of the work is beyond view of the public from Sunnyside Yards under the East River and into GCT.

The second is called the "Third Track Project". This one will add a third track to the existing two on the LIRR Main line from Floral Park to Hicksville. This section of the ROW carries hundreds of daily trains and moves several hundred thousand commuters on the Main Line, Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson Branches to and from points west including Jamaica Station and NY Penn Station. This section of track runs through the heart of Nassau County and through all three townships, Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Oyster Bay. The project was met with resistance initially from local politicians and residents but the RR did a good job of working with the community to get the issues resolved and approve the final plans. The unique part of this project is that all of the ROW runs through commercial and residential neighborhoods and is readily accessible and easy to find spots to watch the progress. The project will eliminate 7 grade crossings, upgrade several bridges, upgrade stations along the way and add parking. Major construction started late last year and some significant things are already underway.

So since I live right near Mineola, I will try and post some photos of the progress regularly. Any one else who lives in the area please feel free to add posts. Today I was going through Carle Place and saw the early stages of the Cherry Lane bridge replacement. They are building the new three-track bridge to the north and will slide it into place in June.

Here's the project web site. Enjoy.


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Last edited by RSJB18

From age 2 (1946) until 22 I resided in Suffolk, County, LI.  First in Lake Ronkonkoma, then Blue Point, and lastly Brookhaven.  All 3 towns at one point had LIRR stations.  My affinity for locomotives with keystone number plates and Belpaire boilers can be traced to the LIRR.  On summer Sundays the LIRR would have several G5's  "hot" for late afternoon/early evening runs back to the city from Ronkonkoma, NY .  After Catechism class I sometimes would ask dad to take me to the ready tracks that lead off a Y just west of the Ronkonkoma station.  On more than one occasion the duty hostler invited me up into the cab of a G5.  At 6 years old the sights, sound and smell of active steam locomotives were impressions indelibly formed in my young mind.  My last sight of an active Long Island steam locomotive was very brief.  One afternoon (I believe 1954) I was playing Little League baseball on a field next to LIRR tracks in Blue Point NY.  Standing in the outfield I heard the whistle of a steamer running light westbound toward the city.  The smoke  (and smell)  floated over the field.  I'm glad no one hit a ball my way as my focus was not on the game. 

Last edited by Keystoned Ed

My grandfather's house in Hicksville was located at the intersection of Bay Avenue and Woodbury Road, just across from the LIRR grade crossing on the Port Jefferson branch. There used to also be a WYE between the Port Jefferson Branch and the Montauk Branch, and I well remember the occasional "protect" steamer (K4 or G5) .spotted on that WYE in the late steam years to help a potentiallly disabled diesel train. The main diesels on that Port Jefferson branch grade crossing were FM C-Liners.

I will relate a humorous story involving those C-Liners blowing for that grade crossing. I had acquired a very nice Webcor Coronet reel to teel tape recorder at age 16 in 1958, and me and my mischievous cousin, Tommy, decided to record one of those engines, and then we would play it back loud to annoy my Aunt Tillie, who would often cuss when those trains blew for that crossing! (We called my grandfather's third wife aunt instead of grandma.) After playing that recording repeatedly for several minutes, we were finally discovered, and were fussed out accordingly, but some of the adults got a kick out of it! That Webcor unit had a pretty good amp and three speakers, so the recording was LOUD, with the volume turned up. It was quite a hoot (pardon the pun!).

Last edited by Tinplate Art

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