RS3-1552-Car-2959-Scoot-Greenport_4-77.jpg (101490 bytes)
Dave Keller photo and archive

The Long  Island Rail Road 
"Scoots" and Shuttles

“Neither rain, nor snow, nor gloom of night kept this train from making its appointed back-and-forth runs throughout the day.”

 

1914 LIRR System Map - Suffolk County 
Greenport Scoot

Once shuttle service began in the early 1970s between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma using push-pull service, the unofficially-named “Greenport Scoot” ran a shuttle from Ronkonkoma to Greenport Monday to Friday only. It consisted of several cars pulled by one engine and operated in lieu of Jamaica to Greenport train 204 (eastbound) and Greenport to Jamaica train 211 (westbound).

RS-1-463-Trn211-Grnprt-8-72.jpg (63687 bytes)Here's a 2-car train of steam cars is laying up westbound at Greenport station behind Alco RS1 #463 awaiting its departure time in August, 1972. This was NOT a shuttle train, but the actual Jamaica to Greenport and return series of trains mentioned above. 

If you like a "low-speed" ride east of Riverhead, then you'd have loved a ride I took on train #204/#211 out to Greenport and back in the hot, sweltering days of August, 1972.  

Two "ping-pong" cars pulled behind an ALCO RS1.  No air conditioning.  Front doors, rear doors and vestibule doors wide-open.  Windows open.  Anything to suck in a breeze.  Wonderful feeling as you sweated into a wet mass, then had dust and dirt blow in on you from the trackside potato fields, giving you and the seats and everything else inside the car a nice coating.

Add to that, the coup de gras:  the conductor sitting in the last bench seat of the rear car . . .. smoking a cigar and spitting on the floor between his legs every few puffs. Ahh . . . . Main Line railroading at its best!  Dave Keller  

Train service used to be substantial on these trains as can be evidenced by the photos below: 

G5s-31-Trn204-Medford-4-19-40.jpg (57982 bytes)LIRR G5s #31 Train #204 Medford 04/1940 
Thomas R. Bayles photo, Dave Keller archive

 

 

G5s-49-Trn-Medford-1940.jpg (54955 bytes)LIRR G5s #49 Train #211 east of Medford 1940
Albert Bayles photo, Dave Keller archive

 

 

 

 

But, in later years it was simply a 2-car train east in the morning and west in the afternoon. I mention that the “Scoot” was “unofficially-named” because it wasn’t indicated as such on timetables of the time and the OFFICIAL “Greenport Scoot” ran a shuttle between Greenport and Eastport over the Manorville-Eastport branch back in the early days of LIRR service. But everybody referred to it as the “Scoot” or the “Greenport Scoot” just as they did the shuttle train that ran for years between Patchogue and Babylon on the Montauk branch. It, too, was always known as “The Scoot.”

The “Greenport Scoot” train would lay up in Ronkonkoma yard over the weekend and run east again on Monday morning.

As ridership declined, the “Scoot” was relegated to one locomotive and one passenger car. At that time, the train would usually lay up at the end of the Ronkonkoma wye. On occasion, leased locomotives pulled the “Scoot’s” one-car train.

LIRR-PN 980 with Greenport Shuttle-Ronkonkoma-11-26-76.jpg (28392 bytes)Leased Precision National GP10 locomotive #980 is coupled to the one-car Greenport "Scoot" and is laying up eastbound in front of the crew shanty in Ronkonkoma yard on Friday, November 26, 1976. This shuttle would run between Ronkonkoma and Greenport as eastbound train #202 and westbound train #211 on weekdays only. Judging by the lighting, #211 has just made its return trip from Greenport and is laying up in the yard until ready to go back east again on Monday morning. At times, this one-car train would lay up on the wye tail north of the main yard. William Madden photo, Dave Keller archive  

Ridership must’ve picked up a bit by the mid-late 1980s, because the “Scoot” then consisted of a push-pull train of MP15ac locomotive on the powered end (east end of train) and a FA cab-control unit on the west end, with two P72 rebuilt MU cars sandwiched between. THIS “Scoot” resembles the K-Line “Greenport Scoot” train set that was marketed some years back.

PNC-GP9-980_Greenport-Scoot_connection_Ronkonkoma_03-30-1977_viewW_(Madden-Keller).jpg (133464 bytes) The “Greenport Scoot” would lay up at the eastern-most end of the Ronkonkoma platform while awaiting the eastbound shuttle from Hicksville. Sometimes, they would come off the wye, through the yard and approach the already-arrived eastbound shuttle sitting at the platform.

It was interesting to find two trains on the same main, nearly touching. Should you have any question as to how that was handled by the block operator on duty, this info was provided by retired LIRR Transportation Manager, Robert Myers:  

"The Manual Block signal that controls the block from KO to YA is located east of Knickerbocker Avenue, even to this day...the station technically falls within yard limits thus the sometimes rear end connection or the Scoot sitting across from where the (modern day) MU pulls in is allowed to occur as the station in not located in a block."

Riders would get off the Hicksville shuttle and walk forward (eastward) the short distance to the rear vestibule to board the “Greenport Scoot.” The “Scoot” would head off east and the shuttle would return to Hicksville. Info: Dave Keller

Leased Precision National GP10 locomotive #980 is coupled to the one-car eastbound Greenport "Scoot" (train #202) and is taking on passengers from the eastbound Hicksville shuttle.  View W 03/30/77 (William Madden Photo-Dave Keller Archive)

Greenport-lastsummerrun10-09-2009.jpg (62206 bytes)Scoot in Greenport (last run of the summer Friday Extra Scoot) 10/09/2009 Photo: Nick Kudreyko 

 

Greenport - Bridgehampton Scoot


Ticket from Bellport to Jamesport - 9/19/1896  Collection: Richard Makse

The rider, from Bellport (Montauk Branch), takes the eastbound Montauk, Amagansett or Speonk train and gets off at Eastport. At Eastport, the rider waits for the "Greenport Scoot" heading westbound back up to Manorville via the Manorville branch, then eastbound as the "Scoot" takes the east leg of the wye to the Main Line and out to Greenport, making the stop at Jamesport.


Ticket from Easthampton to Sag Harbor - 10/02/1909  Collection: Brad Phillips

Easthampton to Sag Harbor would be westbound then eastbound after a connection was made at Bridgehampton:
1.  The Scoot went from Greenport to Sag Harbor and return.  Easthampton did not fall within that route.
2.  The rider had to catch a westbound train at Easthampton, get off at the next stop (Bridgehampton) then catch
     either the "Scoot" or the shuttle eastbound to Sag Harbor when either made the station stop at Bridgehampton

Info: Dave Keller


Ticket from Eastport to Riverhead - 08/10/1896 Collection: Brad Phillips

E51sa-4-Cannonball-MnrvlBr-Eastport-192E51sa-4-Cannonball-MnrvlBr-Eastport-1923.jpg (51612 bytes) E51sa camelback #4 pulls the "Cannonball" eastbound on the Manorville branch as it approaches the junction with the Montauk branch at Eastport.  The view is looking west from atop one of the semaphore signal masts - 1923  James V. Osborne photo, Dave Keller archive.
Tower-PT-Eastpt-MnrvilleJct-1921-1.jpg (39066 bytes) "PT" cabin and block signals looking east from between the Manorville (left) and Montauk (right) branches towards the junction at Eastport - 1921 (J. V. Osborne photo, Dave Keller archive)
Tower-PT-Eastpt-MnrvilleJct-1921-3.jpg (34231 bytes) "PT" cabin and block signals looking east from the Montauk branch towards the junction at Eastport - 1921.  Manorville branch is at the left. (J. V. Osborne photo, Dave Keller archive)

Greenport - Bridgehampton Scoot History

Sag Harbor Branch was the original name of the connection between Manorville and Eastport.  Once the LIRR acquired the SSRR and connected from Patchogue to Eastport, then later extending the Montauk branch beyond Bridgehampton, it became known as the Manorville branch and the Sag Harbor branch was the spur from Bridgehampton to Sag Harbor.

The use of the "Scoot" in round-the-horn service was the reason for the east leg of the wye being installed at Manorville, allowing trains (freights included) westbound from Greenport to change direction and head eastbound towards Eastport and points east, and vice-versa for return trips.

As you can see from the attached Emery maps, the east leg of the wye had no station platform for boarding/offloading passengers AND the track was quite a distance from the station stop/ depot.  

Emery-Map-Manorville-map-key.jpg (201648 bytes)
Manorville map key 
Archive: Dave Keller

 

Emery-Map-Manorville-west-MP65-Lanes-Rd.jpg (182094 bytes)
Emery map 1934 Manorville - MP65 
to Lanes Rd. Archive: Dave Keller

 

Emery-Map-Manorville-Lanes-Rd-East-Leg-wye.jpg (618186 bytes)
Emery map 1929 Manorville - Lanes Rd. to east leg of wye Archive: Dave Keller

Emery Maps-Manorville Br-1.jpg (110840 bytes)
MP65-66 03/1949

Station-Manorville-Rear-West-6-34.jpg (130968 bytes)
Manorville Station rear view facing westbound 6/1934 Archive: Dave Keller

 

Station-Manorville-Water-Tank-Jct-East-9-27-06.jpg (119287 bytes)
Manorville Jct. Station view E 9/27/1906 Archive: Dave Keller

Station-Manorville_Manor_Water-Tank-Jct-East-9-27-06_zoom.jpg (78957 bytes)I believe the Scoot, or a freight, with loco on the west end headed westbound, entered the east leg of the wye, cleared the switch at the wye throat and backed into the station area, where a curved platform was located on the south side of the depot.  Passengers boarded/offloaded and the train, with loco still on the head end but now facing eastbound, headed towards Eastport and points east. 

Zoom view of 9/27/06 photo showing the station sign says "Manor".  It wasn't changed to Manorville until 1907. (Weber - Keller)

If the east leg of the wye was not in place, the train would have to pass the station AND block signal westbound, make a reverse move, and back onto the spur.  With no place to run the engine around the train, it would have to be pushed all the way to Eastport and beyond . . . not a feasible thing to do for visibility/ safety sake.

The Scoot serviced those customers with an around-the-horn type of run between Greenport and Bridgehampton via Manorville and Eastport, with a connection at Bridgehampton with the shuttle to Sag Harbor.  Also, passengers could get off from eastbound Greenport trains and await the eastbound Montauk train which made the Manorville stop, picking up passengers headed for the South Shore, but I can't see much of that happening because all they needed to do was to board the Montauk train coming through there.

So I believe, ridership along that branch was affected by the end of "Scoot" service sometime in the late 1920's-early 1930's.  Not sure when the "Scoot" stopped running.  Research Dave Keller


So, let's back-step a bit with dating:

The fact that the Manorville depot was razed in June, 1941, tells me that the agency closed some years prior to that and the depot remained abandoned for some time afterwards, as was the typical procedure on the LIRR at that time.  So, let's say that the agency closed sometime in the mid-late 1930s, that meant ridership dwindled prior to that to cause the agency to be closed, so I'm thinking that Manorville, as a functioning, manned, station stop wasn't needed as far back as then.  

Most Montauk trains at the time were being routed via the Central branch between B Tower and Babylon. Finally, the spur to Eastport was taken out of service on December 27, 1949.

I guess the LIRR just felt they had two branches connecting the Main Line with the south shore (Montauk/Springfield branch at Hillside and Central branch between "B" tower and Babylon) and didn't need to maintain yet another.  The war was over (1945) and Camp Upton closed for good, so circular routing of trains to and from the camp was no longer necessary and nobody was anticipating a third world war that would require the camp to be opened for a third time.

Again, this is all conjecture on my part, based upon dates of events and upon prior LIRR actions.  

A veteran engineer told me the RR was making a big issue about how much scrap $ they would get for the rails they tore up. They were quick to tear up the line. Ridership ended many years before the branch was shut down.

First, Manorville was (and until recent years, still is) out in the boondocks. There was nothing there that warranted a station stop, except for people making a connection to the south shore. Dave Keller

Patchogue - Babylon Scoot

RDC1-2-RPO Car-River Ave-Patchogue-4-6-63.jpg (55072 bytes)The Saturday afternoon Patchogue-Babylon “Scoot” consisting of BUDD RDC1 #3101 and RDC2 #3121, coupled, is heading eastbound near  River Ave. crossing as it approaches Patchogue on April 6, 1963.  In tow is RPO (Railway Post Office) car #7743.  As an aside, this towing of non-BUDD cars caused the BUDD Co. to void its warranty on these cars with the LIRR.  At the left is Underwood Coal & Coke and in the foreground is the Ringhouse Siding, which extended all the way from west of the Underwood siding eastward to the west side of the Railroad Ave. crossing (after a 1949 track rearrangement) and had a capacity of 35 cars.  One month later, demolition of the old Patchogue terminal and engine repair facilities would begin.
RDC1-2-BabylonTwr-1955.jpg (81196 bytes)
RDC1-2 Babylon Tower 1955
RDC1-2-Babylon-1955.jpg (38274 bytes)
RDC1-2 Babylon 1955

RS3-1554-SCOOT-Islip-1969.jpg (65162 bytes)
RS3 #1554 SCOOT Islip 1969

PNC-1702-westbound_Scoot_Great-River_Shelter-Shed_11-1975-Huneke.jpg (99671 bytes)
PNC #1702 WB Great River Shelter Shed 
11/ 75 Photo/Archive: Art Huneke
BAR-GP9-69_eastbound_Scoot_Connetquot-Ave-Great-River_11-1975-Huneke.jpg (114531 bytes)
BAR GP9 #69 EB Connetquot Ave., Great-River 11/ 75 Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

lirr1559PDTowerWinter1970westbound.jpg (97401 bytes)
Winter 1970 at PD Tower with LIRR RS-3 #1559 Westbound

lirr1553_D.P.-Bender_Scoot_Patchogue_viewW_10-1972BobBender.jpg (404032 bytes)
LIRR #1553  Scoot Engineer D. P. Bender Patchogue view W 10/1972 Archive: Bob Bender

PD_1553Caboose1972.jpg (60172 bytes)
PD LIRR #1553 Hack view E 1972
RDC-At-PD-BaggHse-Patchogue-4-6-63.jpg (64099 bytes)
RDC at PD Baggage House 4/06/1963
RDC1-2-RPO Car-River Ave-Patchogue-4-6-63.jpg (55072 bytes)
RDC1-2 RPO Car at River Ave,  Patchogue 4/06/1963
Scoot_2-11-86_ Tom Beckett.jpg (34075 bytes)
 GP38-2 #274 2/11/1986 
Photo: Tom Beckett
"Scoots" and Shuttles

22-FA1 616-Push-Pull train 655-Pt Jeff-Hunt-Shuttle-W at Stony Brook - 6-5-78 (GP38-2 260 power end).jpg (130975 bytes)
ALCO FA1 control cab #616 is on the west end of westbound push-pull shuttle train #655 making the station stop at Stony Brook, NY, amidst all the summer foliage - 6/5/78.  GP38-2 #260 is on the powered end pushing the shuttle to Huntington.  George E. Votava photo  Dave Keller Archive

All photos and captions below are from the Dave Keller Archive unless noted otherwise

1-Gas Car-1134-at Sag Hbr. Br. Platform - Bridgehampton, NY - 1927.jpg (55322 bytes)
J. G. Brill gas car (“doodlebug”) #1134 at the designated Sag Harbor platform at the station – Bridgehampton, NY – 1927.  These gas cars were very convenient to short-line or shuttle operations in that one car could be used to carry both passengers and mail/express/baggage, with a crew of 2:  conductor and engineer, and they ran on what was then inexpensive gasoline.  It eliminated the need for a steam locomotive, tender loaded with coal, combine car and a full crew of engineer, fireman, conductor and trainman/brakeman.  They were the forerunner of the BUDD Rail Diesel Car
2-Gas Car-1134-Sag Hbr Br. Platform-B'hampton-8-14-38.jpg (75423 bytes)
A later view of J. G. Brill gas car (“doodlebug”) #1134 at the designated Sag Harbor platform at the station – Bridgehampton, NY – 8/14/38.  View looking southeast.  Depot at right.  This designated platform was accessed by a track branching off the Sag Harbor branch track north of the Montauk branch Main, so the shuttle never had to enter the Main and never ran the risk of a collision or fouling the Main.
3-Gas Car-1134-Crew-Sag Hrbr-4-1939.JPG (79305 bytes)
The end is near.  J. G. Brill gas car #1134 and crew with supervisor at Sag Harbor, NY – View looking northwest from in front of the depot - 4/1939.  The branch was abandoned the following month, the gas car laid up for a short period of time at the Richmond Hill Storage Yard, was sold and left the property.  (F. W. Weber photo)
4-PRR-Leased-Gas-Car-4744-Wading River-1-1932.jpg (75193 bytes)
PRR-leased gas car #4744 is seen laying up at the wye at Wading River, NY in January, 1932.  The shuttle ran between that station and Port Jefferson, where a special lay-up track was built on the east side of the depot building.  This branch extension between Port Jefferson and Wading River was abandoned in 1938. (George G. Ayling photo)
5-PRR-Leased-Gas Car-4744 at Sag Harbor platform-Bridgehampton-1936.JPG (36306 bytes)
PRR-leased gas car #4744 is laying up at the designated Sag Harbor platform at Bridgehampton, NY.  View is looking east from the rear of a moving westbound train.  Bridgehampton depot is at the right – 1936.  These gas cars were used wherever the LIRR needed them in shuttle service.  One even ran on the Patchogue – Babylon “Scoot” for a period of time.  (Wm. Moneypenny photo)
6-MU-2-car shuttle-West-Hempstead-c1955.jpg (60972 bytes)
When through-train passenger service was ended between Valley Stream on the LIRR’s Montauk branch, through West Hempstead and on northwards to Country Life Press in Garden City and continuing north to Mineola on the LIRR’s Main Line in the 1930s, West Hempstead became the end of the line for that branch.  The depot building was moved south of Hempstead Avenue to prevent disruption of traffic at train time and service to West Hempstead was in the form of a 2 or 3-MU car shuttle operating between Valley  Stream and West Hempstead.  This view looking northeast shows the recently-modernized 2-car MU shuttle at the station platform with the relocated depot at the left - c. 1955. 
7-RS1-462-Patch-Bab-Scoot-Westbound Near Great River-1968.jpg (89709 bytes)
RS1 462 Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound Near Great River 1968
(J. P. Krzenski photo)

 

8-RS3-1553-Patch-Bab-Scoot-Westbound near Great River-1968.jpg (127986 bytes)
RS3 1553 Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound near Great River-1968
(J. P. Krzenski photo)

 

9-RS3-1553-Patch-Baby Scoot-Crossing Creek Westbound W of Oakdale-1968.jpg (133245 bytes)
RS3 1553-Patch-Baby Scoot Crossing Creek Westbound W of Oakdale-1968
(J. P. Krzenski photo)
10-RS3-1552-Patch-Bab-Scoot-Westbound West of Oakdale-1969.jpg (101216 bytes)
RS3 1552 Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound West of Oakdale-1969
(J. P. Krzenski photo)
11-RS3-1552-Patch-Baby-Scoot-W Leaving Great River-1969.jpg (91700 bytes)
RS3 1552 Patch-Baby-Scoot W Leaving Great River-1969
(J. P. Krzenski photo)
12-RS3-1554-Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound at Montauk Hwy Overpass-W of Oakdale-1969.jpg (126661 bytes)
RS3-1554-Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound at Montauk Hwy Overpass-W of Oakdale
(J. P. Krzenski photo)
13-RS3-1554-Patch-Bab-Scoot-Westbound past signals east of Great River-1969.jpg (80863 bytes)
RS3 1554 Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound past signals east of Great River (J. P. Krzenski photo)
14-RS3-1555-Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound approaching Great River-1969.jpg (89209 bytes)
RS3 1555-Patch-Bab-Scoot Westbound approaching Great River 
(J. P. Krzenski photo)
15-RS3-1556-Patch-Bab-Scoot broken down Eastbound at Great River-1969 (1).jpg (97408 bytes)
RS3-1556-Patch-Bab Scoot broken down Eastbound at Great River-1969
(J. P. Krzenski photo)
16-RS3-1556-Patch-Bab-Scoot broken down Eastbound at Great River-1969 (2).jpg (81443 bytes)
RS3 1556-Patch-Bab-Scoot broken down Eastbound at Great River
(J. P. Krzenski photo)

 

17-RS3-Patch-Bab-Scoot-Westbound through field east of Great River-1969.jpg (105452 bytes)
RS3 Patch-Bab-Scoot-Westbound through field east of Great River
(J. P. Krzenski photo)

 

18-FA2 601-Push-Pull train 4255-Ronk-Hicks-Shuttle-Bethpage-7-15-72 (C420 207 power end).jpg (65563 bytes)
ALCO FA2 control cab #601 is on the west end of push-pull weekend train #4255, the Ronkonkoma to Hicksville shuttle, shown here at Bethpage, NY – 7/15/72.  ALCO C420 #207 is on the powered end pushing the train.  This shuttle operated with the beginning of push-pull trains put into service with the arrival of the FA1 and FA2 control cabs.  With the control cab on one end and the powered unit on the other, the train could be pushed in one direction and pulled in the other, without wasting the time it took in running the locomotive around the train and recoupling  it in the opposite direction.  This shuttle ran to meet Main Line-bound riders arriving on electric trains bound for Huntington on the Port Jefferson branch and changing for the shuttle at Hicksville or taking westbound riders from Ronkonkoma and other Main Line stations to Hicksville to connect with the electric train there which originated at Huntington.  The diesel train would arrive on the track across from the electric trains.  This shuttle service ended with the electrification of the  Main Line to Ronkonkoma and the operation of through electric service.
(Geroge E. Votava photo)
19-FA2 603-Push-Pull train 604-Pt Jeff-Hunt-Shuttle-E at Huntington - 7-26-72 (C420 227 power end).jpg (77473 bytes)
A similar shuttle service was placed into service on the Port Jefferson branch with the arrival of the control cab units and the institution of push-pull trains.  Electrification was completed to Huntington in 1970.  Push-pull shuttle service ran between Port Jefferson and Huntington throughout the day, carrying riders between electrified territory and non-electrified territory.  Here we see ALCO FA2 control cab #603, on push-pull train #604 eastbound at Huntington with C420 #227 on the powered end. (George E. Votava photo)
20-FA1 616-Push-Pull train 255-Ronk-Hicks-Shuttle-Bethpage-8-16-74 (C420 219 power end).jpg (81403 bytes)
ALCO FA1 control cab #616 is seen on push-pull train #255 in Ronkonkoma-Hicksville shuttle service at Bethpage, NY on 8/16/74  C420 #219 is on the powered end.  (George E. Votava photo)
21-FA2 603-Push-Pull train 63-Patch-Babylon-Scoot-W at Patchogue-8-17-76 (GP38-2 257 power end).jpg (76803 bytes)
An updated view of the Patchogue-Babylon “Scoot” is shown here with FA2 control cab #603 on the west end of  westbound train #63 at the station in Patchogue, NY – 8/17/76.  GP38-2 #257 is on the east and powered end preparing to push the train to Babylon.  (George E. Votava photo)