A Day With Charles Mattina, LIRR Trainman

N.Y. Daily News Story:  "A Day with Charles Mattina, LIRR Trainman"  All shot 09/20/46:  Photos by John De Biase for the N.Y. Daily News
 Dave Keller archive / Captions by Dave Keller

1.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Woodside-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (117411 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is figuring out his previous hours worked while awaiting his N.Y.-bound train at the Woodside station to take him to the start of his daily run.

 

 

2.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Breakfast-Penn Sta-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (65356 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is grabbing a bite to eat at a lunch counter in Penn Station.

3.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-with Train-Pt. Washington-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (130215 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina stands with his train at a station platform (unidentified location but in third-rail territory).

4.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Signaling-Long Beach-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (128670 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is standing with his train at the Long Beach station platform.  He's checking his watch and appears to be signaling to his conductor "Hey . . what's the story here . . shouldn't we be leaving?"
5.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Punching Ticket-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (96865 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is punching tickets on a crowded commuter train. Note the old-style wicker seats.  It's standing-room-only on this train.

6.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Issuing Cash Fare-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (80445 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is issuing a cash fare on a crowded commuter train. He's handing the lady passenger her change while his trainman's punch is firmly looped around his pinky finger.

7.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Punching 10-Trip Tkt-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (104238 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is punching a commuter's 10-trip commutation ticket. Notice the old-style, semi-ornate seat ends and arm rests.
8.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Making Way Thru Car-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (86738 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is attempting to make his way through a crowded passenger car to punch tickets and collect fares.
9.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Other Trainmen-Lunch Counter-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (97152 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina and other trainmen are crowded around a lunch counter.  The trainman reaching out appears to have purchased an ice cream soda. 

Note the "Mrs. Wagner's Pies" stacked on the counter and the other items that were popularly sold during that era:  tobacco pipes (Medico and others), cigarettes, cigars, lighter flints, Reid's ice cream and soda fountain service.

Look out the window of the store and you can make out the track-side portion of the Long Beach station.

10.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Others-Trainmen's Room-Penn Sta-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (89121 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina and other trainmen are relaxing between runs in the old trainmen's room at the old Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan.  Look out the window at the left and you can see N.Y. City traffic, a portion of a skyscraper and a sign indicating W. 33rd. St. and a hanging sign for the Turf Cafe. 

Through the window at the right you can see one of the ubiquitous luncheonettes which were familiar sights all over the N.Y. metropolitan area.  The headlines of the N.Y. Daily News being read by one of the trainmen reads "Rescuers Reach Wrecked Plane.  7 0f 45 Aboard May Be Alive."

11.  A.W. Stuke-Trainman-Handling Baggage in Combine Car-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (161928 bytes)
Trainman A. W. Stuke, working the same train as Brakeman Charles Mattina, is handling baggage in the combine car.  Note the U. S. Mailbags in the foreground and also note that they're being carried along with general baggage in a combine car and not an RPO car with Post Office Department personnel handling the bags.
12.  A.W. Stuke-Trainman-Tossing Mailbags from Combine Car-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (91864 bytes)
Trainman A. W. Stuke is tossing U. S. Mailbags from the combine car onto the station platform.  This may possibly be Jamaica station, but the location is not indicated.
13.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Others-Deadheading-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (75419 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina and other trainmen are dead-heading in a passenger car as they head to and/or from their assigned runs.

14.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Totaling Cash Fares-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (70387 bytes)
Back in the trainmen's room, Brakeman Mattina is adding up his cash fares sold on board his runs.  Compare the LIRR's 1946 adding machine with the 2016 calculator on your Smart Phone!

 

15.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Cash at Ticket Recvr's. Window-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (69635 bytes)
Brakeman Mattina is counting his cash to turn in at the ticket receiver's window for his on-board ticket sales that day.
16.  Charles Mattina-Brakeman-Snoozing on Trip Home-09-20-46 (Biase-Keller).jpg (136761 bytes)
After a long and busy day, Brakeman Mattina gets a little shut-eye as he heads home.  He'll be ready to do it all again tomorrow.