Brentwood
 


Brentwood-ticket_half-fare_BradPhillips.jpg (36733 bytes)

Brentwood-ticket-reverse_half-fare_BradPhillips.jpg (28542 bytes)
Half fare ticket Brentwood and Central Islip
9/27/1961 Archive: Brad Phillips

H10s-111-Freight-East-Past-Brentwood-1954.jpg (68946 bytes)
LIRR  #111 H10s  2-8-0. Freight drag eastbound at Brentwood 1954  Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

Emery-Map-Brentwood-MP40-41.jpg (135025 bytes)
Robert Emery map Brentwood MP 40-41
Original Emery hand drawn map

Brentwood-Station_viewSW_1954.jpg (64670 bytes)
Brentwood Station view SW 1954

Emery-Map-Brentwood-MP 41 - MP 42 (Sister's Siding).jpg (34790 bytes)
Robert Emery map Brentwood MP 41 Sister's Siding
Original Emery hand drawn map

"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

lirr1554train4210_brentwood6-01-69richmakse.jpg (81633 bytes)
LIRR RS-3 #1554 train #4210 6/01/1969 view west
Photo: Richard Makse

lirr_212_sg_06071968_1richmakse.jpg (46802 bytes)
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

lirr_212_sg_06071968_3richmakse.jpg (61018 bytes)
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. Info/ Photo: Richard Makse
lirr_sg_cabin_03101977richmakse.jpg (71776 bytes)
SG from 1977 with a clear block displayed for a westbound. 
Photo: Richard Makse
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 west, 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 west
J.V. Osborne Photo

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.

You can see that they moved the newer cabin quite a bit west and removed a LOT of track in the process, including the team track.

 
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. 

Emp-GDePiazzy-SG-1972.jpg (55134 bytes)
George DePiazzy throwing the switch for the long siding at "SG"

LINewsday-GDePiazzy-5-30-77.jpg (117552 bytes)
Newsday Memorial Item 5/30/77

All photographs from the archive of Dave Keller unless so noted.