Brentwood

BRENTWOOD: BUILT: 1870, BURNED: 4/1903
2ND DEPOT OPENED: 11/10/1903, AGENCY CLOSED: ? DEPOT CLOSED: 1987
3RD DEPOT RELOCATED EAST OF FORMER LOCATION WITH HIGH LEVEL PLATFORMS IN SVC: 9/14/87

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Brentwood Station View NE c.1895
 (Brentwood Public Library - Morrison
)
 

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LIRR  #111 H10s  2-8-0. Freight drag eastbound at Brentwood 1954  Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

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Brentwood GP38 #263 Electrification in place with fencing in place between old station platform and tracks. New station in service (9/14/87)  further east.  1/17/1988  Photo: Edward Hand

The railroad moved out of Thompson Station in 1869, and it was then relocated in the center of Brentwood. Local residents donated the land and money for a new frame depot. George E. Gilquist was the first Station Agent. The station remained in that spot until April 1903, when it burned down. Mr. Bureta, who was the Station Agent at that time, lit a fire in the old stove and left the building one day. The stove grow too hot, and the building caught fire. The L.I. Railroad then constructed a new brick building, which opened in November 1904 and remained on the same spot for many years.


Robert Emery map Brentwood MP 40-41
Original Emery hand drawn map

 

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Robert Emery map Brentwood MP 41 Sister's Siding
Original Emery hand drawn map
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Brentwood LIRR map 1966 Page 67
"Sisters of St. Joseph " girls convent in Brentwood had their own siding to bring in coal and to haul out manure.  They had a farm on the grounds. Info: Dave Keller
  

“SG” CABIN: 1  THOMPSON’S SIDING: W. OF BRENTWOOD (N. SIDE OF TRACKS AND W. OF 2ND ST. BLOCK OFFICE WITH US&S 4 LEVER STYLE TC TABLE MACHINE IN SERVICE: 06/28/1916 PER ETT #82. PERMISSIVE BLOCK ASPECT ADDED TO BLOCK SIGNALS: 6/25/1928. OUT OF SVC: 10/26/1931. UNATTENDED BLOCK STATION IN SVC. CONTINUOUSLY: 10/26/31. BLOCK STATION MANNED
“SUMMERS ONLY.” PARTIAL DATES AVAILABLE AS FOLLOWS:
IN SVC: 6/23/35, O.O.S: 9/15/35
IN SVC: 6/21/36, O.O.S: 9/ ?/36
IN SVC: 6/20/37, O.O.S: 9/ ?/37
CABIN CLOSED: 9/37 – 1943. PER G.O. #601, BLOCK AND BLOCK LIMIT STATION RELOCATED TO E. END OF PINEAIRE SIDING, N. OF MAIN TRACK.
IN SVC: 6/11/44. OUT OF SVC: 10/4/66. PER G.O. #112.)

“SG” CABIN: 2   WEST OF BRENTWOOD (EARLY SITE OF THOMPSON'S STATION, 2,292’ WEST OF FORMER CABIN LOCATION, N. SIDE OF TRACKS AND W. OF FIFTH AVENUE. 2 LEVER TABLE MACHINE. IN SVC: 10/4/66. BLOCK AND BLOCK LIMIT STATION OUT OF SVC: 9/14/87 WITH ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT)  Research: Dave Keller
 

Railfanning at "SG" by Dave Keller

I first met George DePiazzy at a Boy Scouts of America function.  I was a young, volunteer Assistant Scoutmaster from Troop 80 in Holtsville, NY and George was an Assistant Scoutmaster from a Bayport, NY Troop, if I remember correctly.

We got to talking and I discovered he was a block operator for the L.I.R.R. and assigned to the 1st trick (shift) at "SG" cabin, which was located at the time on the north side of the tracks and just west of 5th Avenue in Brentwood. I also discovered that he was the father of two guys with whom I had gone to high school.

I asked if I might visit him sometime while he was on duty and take some photos.  He said O.K. I visited "SG" cabin and George many times.  I photographed inside the cabin  (it had a table block machine: no Armstrong levers), and out, and took shots of trains getting orders, much as I did at "PD".

Other railroaders nicknamed George "Dippy", not because he was stupid or ditzy, but because of the way they would pronounce his last name: "Dippiazzy."  It  eventually got shortened to "Dippy."

"SG" cabin was a tiny block office made of block and faced with brick, replacing the old, wooden cabin south of the tracks and east of 5th Avenue.  George used to work that old cabin in it's last days, and  described in great detail how much "fun" it was having to use the old wooden outhouse, a common site all over Long Island and the rest of the United States for that matter.

George used to work "BK" block station at Stony Brook.  Once, he was sitting at the block operator's desk with his headphones on, talking to the dispatcher during a thunderstorm.  A lightning strike came through the phone lines and went into his ears and blew him off the chair and across the room, slamming him against the depot wall.

He had no recollection of this event, but was aware of it because he was told what happened after he had regained consciousness. The story was confirmed to me by witnesses.

George was an avid and experienced outdoorsman: hunter, boater, fisherman and camper.  He made a great Boy Scout leader.  He and I attended an adult training weekend together in 1972.

On Memorial Day, 1977 he was out fishing with a friend when he noticed a small boat in trouble.  It was stormy weather and the boat appeared to be sinking.  He and his friend put their boat in the water and went out to assist the vessel..  The people in the boat were inexperienced, and in attempting to save them, George and his friend banged their heads, lost consciousness and drowned. He was 48 years old.

When the main line was electrified through to Ronkonkoma and double tracked around 1987, "SG" cabin was no longer needed and was razed.

The first photo is of the old "SG" cabin c. 1925 looking east, photographed by block operator James V. Osborne.

The second photo is of the "newer", relocated "SG" cabin looking west in 1969, prior to my having met George.  The cabin was closed at the time I photographed it (it was only open for 1 trick, Monday through Friday, I believe) and the security shutters were closed. "SG" block signals are visible in the distance.

The third photo is of operator George DePiazzy throwing the switch for the long siding at "SG". I took this photo of George in 1972.

The fourth item is a memorial article from Newsday, dated 5/30/77 about the men who died that day.


"SG" cabin c. 1925 looking east
J.V. Osborne photo, Dave Keller archive.

In the distance you can make out the Brentwood express house and see the track configuration matching Emery’s map. The gondola car is on the team track on the west side of 2nd Street. The team track was a continuation of the passing siding beyond the crossover switches.
The cabin is shown at its original 1916 location, quite a bit west of the later location (June 11, 1944) which relocates it at the distant crossover at the end of the passing (near the gondola car in this view)
 

 
Relocated  “SG” cabin on the west side of  5th Avenue and north of the tracks. This cabin is just east of MP 40, view  looking west in 1969. Photo/Archive: Dave Keller

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Newsday Memorial Item 5/30/77
Archive: Dave Keller

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George DePiazzy, block operator at the replacement "SG" cabin throwing the switch opposite the cabin for a westbound train to access the relocated passing siding in 1972.
Photo/Archive: Dave Keller
 

Emery map - Brentwood MP40-41 5/1958 prior to when "SG" cabin was placed out of service, the passing siding and new cabin relocated on the west side of Fifth Ave. in Brentwood.
Archive/Info: Dave Keller


"SG" Interlocking  - 1959 Archive: Dave Keller

The double-ended passing siding is indicated in its entirety (west switch and east switch) as meets were held here.  In later years, when "SG" cabin and signal were relocated west of Fifth Ave. crossing, the passing siding was reconfigured and meets were held between Fifth Ave. where the east end of the siding was located and just short of Pine Aire where the west end of the siding was located.


"SG" Cabin - Thompson's Siding west of Brentwood - View W   This October, 1966 view shows the cabin as relocated further east, back on June 11, 1944.  Photo/Archive: Dave Keller

Note: The train order board displayed on the trackside wall of the cabin.  It's got the black side with white stripe facing the photographer, meaning the yellow side is facing the other way, to advise an eastbound train engineer that there are orders for him to pick up here.

You can see the jog in the passing siding to accommodate the distant (and very tall) position light signal as indicated on Emery's map (left).  Very distant is the Sagtikos Parkway overpass west of Pine Aire! Dave Keller


 

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"SG"  - View W 1977 Photo: Richard Makse

 

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Half fare ticket Brentwood and Central Islip
9/27/1961 Archive: Brad Phillips

Brentwood Station C420 #213 View E - Winter 1967
"Funny Girl" Broadway Theatre, (11/28/1966 - 7/01/1967)  (Sturm-Fehn)
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LIRR RS-3 #1554 train #4210 6/01/1969 view west
Photo: Richard Makse
 

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On June 7, 1968, I worked train #212 as parlor car attendant with Bob Emery our conductor. While 212 was always on time into Riverhead, it did frequently catch up with the preceding Ronkonkoma local. Bob Emery is walking to the T box to talk to the operator. Info/ Photo: Richard Makse

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Train #212 (The Shelter Island Express) got an expanded consist in July and August, with an added parlor and a ping combine whose baggage section was the bar car. 6/07/1968 Info/ Photo: Richard Makse
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Brentwood LIRR map 1986 Page 53
 
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M7 #7628 "BRENT" Interlocking east of Brentwood
View W - 4/18/2013 Photo/Archive: Chris J. Allen
 
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M7 #7196  Brentwood - View W 2/05/16 Photo:  Edward Hand
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M7 #7235 - Brentwood Double Track Project View E 8/2018