Central Islip   


Central Islip Station colorized c.1905 Archive: Emery SUNY Stony Brook
Central Islip only had those crowds on hospital visiting day, as a similar postcard read "Central Islip with Hospital Crowd." Info: Dave Keller

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Central Islip Station View NE 1/1972 Photo/Archive: Dave Keller

CENTRAL ISLIP: Opened: 11/4/1873 to replace “Suffolk” Station further west. (see MP42-43 map below) Remodeled c.1916, Razed: 8/58
nd Depot Built: 1958. Agency Closed: ? Depot Closed: 1987
rd Depot Relocated 1,700’ east of former location on south side of main track with high level platforms in service: 11/16/87. Facilities on north side of passing siding in service: 12/14/87 
Research: Dave Keller

emery central islip MP42-43.jpg (65308 bytes)
Emery map Central Islip MP42-43 10/1957 Archive: Dave Keller

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Emery map Central Islip MP43-44 10/1957 Archive: Dave Keller

 Central-Islip_1966-map.jpg (63374 bytes)
LIRR map Central Islip 1966

Emery map #ML-1 Central Islip State Hospital 10/1957 
Archive: Dave Keller

 "X" above: Central Islip State Hospital Station - View W towards
Carlton Ave (Rte. 111)  9/25/1931 (F. J. Weber-Dave Keller)

C.I. State Hospital Class A3 (0-4-0) drill engine no.3

FA1-615-Push-Pull_eastbound_CISH-siding-spur_viewE_12-23-78_Madden-Keller.JPG (74711 bytes)
FA1 #615 Push Pull train eastbound Central Islip State Hospital 
(CISH) siding spur view E 12/23/78 
(William Madden photo, Dave Keller archive )

This photo shows the track configuration as the spur  led off the siding and NOT off the main. Additionally, the additional siding eastbound off the SPUR creating that odd-looking curve to the tracks.

View is looking east.  Train is eastbound.  You can just make out the engineer's silhouette in the door window of the GP38-2 at the east end and there are no headlights lit on the FA1 unit.

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Central Islip station is seen here in this cold, gray, winter's day c. 1922 view looking southwest from the intersection of Wheeler Road / Carlton Avenue and Suffolk Avenue.  It's train time and the scheduled westbound is about to make the station stop as block operator George G. Ayling focuses his Kodak 122 format folding camera on the scene. In the background is Fisher's Hotel, a landmark across from the depot for many years.  At the far right is the old open-air express house for westbound trains.  Several years later, this structure was rebuilt and enclosed for security issues and by the 1930s, enlarged, probably to accommodate the increased express business.  Dietz kerosene platform lamps are evident in this image.  (Dave Keller archive)

Eng-521-crew_Central-Islip-Station_c1905_Huneke.jpg (84414 bytes)
Engine #521 and crew at Central Islip Station c.1905 
Archive: Art Huneke


G54sb-Camelback-13-W-Carlton-Ave-Central-Islip_viewS_c.1922.jpg (75709 bytes)
It's train time at Central Islip. Block operator George G. Ayling has just photographed the depot scene and is in the process of walking back across Suffolk Avenue to resume his duties at the station when he turns and captures westbound G54sb camelback #13 as it pulls a train of old wooden passenger cars across the Carlton Avenue crossing in this view looking south from Suffolk Avenue c. 1922.  Notice the old wooden pole gates with crossing watchman's shanty as well as the fireman taking a momentary break, standing on the open platform behind the boiler.  The G54sb camelbacks were dual-service 10-wheelers (4-6-0) and as such, were used in both freight and passenger service.  The arrival of the G5s passenger locomotives and the ex-PRR H10s (2-8-0) freight locomotives around that time sounded the death toll for the camelback locomotives in LIRR service and this locomotive and its sister engines would be sent to the scrap yard by the end of the decade. (Dave Keller archive)

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Central Islip Station/Express House 1952-53 view NW
Photo: Dick Wetterau

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Central Islip at Carlton Ave. view SE c.1953 Photo: Art Huneke

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Central Islip Station 05/1954 view west
Archive: Jim Gillin

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Fairbanks-Morse Model CPA24-5 diesel #2404 is westbound making the station stop at the Central Islip station c. 1954.  The locomotive is sporting the "Tichy" color scheme. (Archive unknown.  Dave Keller data)

Sta-Central-Islip-c1885.jpg (43635 bytes)
Looking northwest from Carlton Avenue we see the old Central Islip station building as it looked c. 1885.  Notice the fancy gingerbread at the corners of the roof ridge and the large, enclosed express house at the far left.  Between the two structures is a shed for horse-drawn wagons to be parked.  This shed lasted up into the 1950s.  (George G. Ayling collection, Dave Keller archive and data)
Sta-Central-Islip-c1895.jpg (35463 bytes)
We see another view of the old Central Islip depot, express house and wagon shed as the area looked c. 1895.  On the platform in the foreground is a Dietz kerosene platform lamp with ornate bracket and standing in LIRR uniform is the station agent, Frank Kelly, who was agent at Central Islip until 1923 when block operator George Ayling was promoted to agent there. This wonderful vintage view is looking west.  (George G. Ayling collection, Dave Keller archive and data)
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Central Islip Station - Agent Frank Kelly c.1910 Archive: Dave Keller

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Central Islip - Express House/Station view NE c.1925

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Looking west after a heavy snowfall in 1916, we see the mail crane and "CP" interlocking cabin.  The mail crane has a U. S. Mail bag suspended from the frame and is in position for a moving train to capture the bag via the Railway Post Office car as it heads through Central Islip.  The low, slat fence along the tracks kept mailbags tossed off the train for mail delivery to the Central Islip Post Office from bouncing and going back under the wheels of the moving train.  "CP" cabin was constructed for the block operator to handle the semaphore signals, but after building the structure, the railroad decided it would behoove them to pay the block operator a slightly higher salary and let him stay in the ticket office to handle both the train traffic as well as ticket sales.  This cabin, named but never placed in service, was loaded onto a flatcar and taken further east to the newly-created Upton Junction in 1917 to handle the block signals at the rail entrance to the U. S. Army's newly-constructed Camp Upton.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
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On September 8, 1910, the first train from the newly-opened Pennsylvania station in Manhattan headed eastbound.  It was an electric MU train and it was full of the press and dignitaries and the fare was by special invitation only.  After coming out of the tunnel on the Long Island City side of the East River, the train was broken into several sections, with each section pulled by a steam locomotive along each of the LIRR's branches.  At each station in the system, large crowds gathered, bunting was draped on the station and flags waved.  In this image, D16b #201 is pulling the Main Line section of this special eastbound train non-stop past the Central Islip station.  (George G. Ayling collection, Dave Keller archive and data)
Sta-Grade-Xing-Accidnt-Central-Islip-c1920.jpg (54890 bytes)
The crossing protection diamond-shaped wooden sign that was placed at all railroad crossings stated "Railroad Crossing.  Stop.  Look out for the Cars."  In addition to these signs, some of the busier crossings were manned by a crossing watchman who either held up a "stop" sign for traffic and/or lowered crossing gates. The Carlton Ave. crossing at Central Islip had the crossing signs, a crossing watchman AND heavy pole gates to stop traffic.  Despite all this protection, we see the aftermath of an automobile whose driver decided he'd ignore all of the above and try to beat the train to the crossing. He lost. This view, taken c. 1920, is looking northeast. In the left background is the crossing shanty which protected the watchman from the weather and in the right background is the eastbound express house. (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
Cabin-CP-East-Central-Islip-1916.jpg (107026 bytes)
Here is a view of the newly-constructed "CP" interlocking cabin and the Central Islip depot's two-stall outhouse as it all looked in 1916.  As mentioned previously, the cabin was never placed in service and was loaded onto a flatcar the following year, moved to Upton Junction, renamed "WC" cabin and used to control train movements into and out of the newly-constructed U. S. Army training facility at Camp Upton east of Yaphank.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
Cabin-CP-West-Central-Islip-1916.jpg (112651 bytes)
In the winter of 1916, we are looking due west at Central Islip with "CP" interlocking cabin at the left and a freight on the passing siding at the right.  George G. Ayling, the block operator, had rested his camera along the top wooden rail of the protective fence used to keep the mailbags tossed off the moving trains from bouncing back up and under the wheels of the train.  Notice the trench that has been dug in the snow so the mailbags could be readily retrieved after delivery.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
G53-Frt-PoleGates-Central-Islip-c1916.jpg (29927 bytes)
No . . that's NOT an ALCO diesel heading west at Central Islip!  Don't let the smoke fool you!  That's coal smoke and not diesel exhaust.  It's a class G53 ten-wheel freight locomotive which is pulling a heavy load of cars and is smoking up the neighborhood.  The single-length pole gates are down across Carlton Avenue and a vintage open touring car with top up is parked alongside the station platform in this 1916 image.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
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Some track work is in order and a shipment of railroad ties has been delivered to Central Islip in this summer, 1916 view looking east.  In the distance, beyond the pile of ties at the right, is the westbound express platform before it had a roof added to the structure.  Beyond that is the depot building, the pole gates at the Carlton Ave. crossing and in the center background, the old, wooden Episcopal church building. At the far left behind the other pile of ties, is the old horse carriage stable.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
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Looking east after an earlier snowstorm, this time in 1916, we see the Main Line tracks have already had a train or two pass through and there are a lot of footprints to and from the eastbound express house! Two Dietz kerosene platform lamps are visible and beyond the distant lamp, can be seen the westbound U. S. Mail crane.  The Central Islip State Hospital siding is buried under the snow at this point.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
Pole-Gates-Carleton-Ave-Central-Islip-c.1918-2.jpg (134047 bytes)
Looking east along the Central Islip station platform towards the Carlton Avenue crossing c. 1918 we see the old Dietz kerosene platform lamps, the single pole gate (one on either side of the tracks) protecting the crossing, along with the crossing watchman and his shanty.  By the 1930s, these pole gates were replaced by a double set of shorter pole gates on either side of the tracks.  Beyond the shanty is the eastbound express house and at the far right, it appears a work train is on the Central Islip State Hospital siding.  The old Episcopal church building with steeple is visible to the left of the express house.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
D56-82-Trn-Central-Islip-c1920.jpg (77094 bytes)
Looking west around 1920, we see class D56 (4-4-0) #82 pulling a passenger train eastbound approaching the Central Islip station.  This class locomotive had only a few more years of life left before it would be taken out of service and scrapped, being replaced by the fleet of new, heavier and much more powerful class G5s (4-6-0) passenger locomotives.  In the right background, we see a freight car spotted in front of the freight house. The team track is to the far right.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)

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A Railway Post Office (RPO) car on an eastbound express train is grabbing the mailbag off the mail crane as it whips through Central Islip at 55 mph back around 1930.  This view is looking northwest.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)

Station-Central Islip-Train Order Lantern Board-c. 1928.jpg (58708 bytes)
When a train order was sent by the dispatcher to a specific block office, the block operator stationed at that office had to deliver the train order to the specific train to whom the order was addressed.  His means of communication for this was to place a yellow-painted metal and wood signal flag out for the train crew to see, so they could slow down to catch the train order "on the fly" by means of a train order hoop.  At night, a yellow-globed kerosene lantern (hand lamp) was used for this purpose.  These signal flags and signal lanterns were hung in a special bracket assembly which hung on the wall of the block office.  The brackets were made of wood and contained a divider between the two sides, so that the lit lantern at night could ONLY be seen by the train going in the proper direction for the train order, to avoid any confusion as to which train was to pick up the orders.  During the day, this problem was solved by the signal flag being painted yellow on the "business" side and black with a line through it on the other side.  An eastbound and a westbound flag, painted on opposite sides made up the matching set and either one would be placed in the lower metal bracket seen in this close-up image of the assembly on the exterior wall of the Central Islip station building ticket bay window.  The numbers visible atop the windows designated the fact that the depot was last painted in November, 1925.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
D16sb-228-CISH-Relief-Loco-Crew-CI-1931.jpg (83729 bytes)
Once a year the little class A3 switcher of the Central Islip State Hospital made a trip to the LIRR's Morris Park Shops west of Jamaica for an annual inspection.  Additional trips were made if repairs were needed.  When the locomotive was being attended to, the LIRR replaced it with a relief engine.  Here we see LIRR class D16sb relief engine #228 and crew in hospital service on the team track west of the Central Islip station c. 1931.  This view is looking northwest.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)

CISH-A5-03-Express-Car-CI-1933.jpg (99922 bytes)
Photographed on the team track on the west side of the Central Islip station, and looking northwest, we see the Central Islip State Hospital's 0-4-0 switcher #03 and its LIRR crew.  The  engine is coupled to an old LIRR Railway Express Agency (REA) car in this 1933 view.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)


G5s-21-Sunrise-Special-Eastbound-Central-Islip-c.1927.jpg (99833 bytes)
Station agent George G. Ayling captured with his camera G5s #21 pulling the LIRR name train "Sunrise Special" eastbound through Central Islip c. 1927.  The lead car is a PRR steel combine.  Locomotive #21 was assigned to pull this train. A special logo was designed and painted on both sides of the tender.  The Montauk-bound train ran along the Main Line, accessing the south shore to the Hamptons and Montauk via the Manorville-Eastport connection. (Dave Keller archive and data)
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The interior of the Central Islip ticket/block office was typical of many of the old, wooden, LIRR depots of the 1920s and 1930s.  In this image, taken around 1935, we see the ticket counter at the far left with rubber destination stamps hanging on the wall along with a ticket punch. At the far right was the station agent's desk and chair and in the center of it all, was the block operator's bay window, and desk, allowing him a full view in each direction down the tracks.  Originally equipped with armstrong levers to throw the semaphore signals, this view shows a table model block machine (the box-like item with the two rounded tops, behind the telephone) which allowed the operator to change semphore signals with the flick of a small lever on the face of the mechanism.  The train order "hoop" is on the bay window desk at the left, leaning against the wall, telegraph and telephone equipment is visible around the room and strips of flypaper are hanging down in front of the windows.  The employees working in these old offices never had the comfort of air conditioning units.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
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The Central Islip State Hospital, which housed patients with mental conditions, was located south of the tracks and east of the Central Islip station and Carleton Avenue.  There was a track spur that accessed the hospital for deliveries of coal and supplies as well as passenger trains bringing visitors to the hospital.  For a period of time, the hospital owned a former PRR class A3 (0-4-0) switcher locomotive which would be used to switch cars in and out of the hospital grounds.  It bore the road number 03 and the tender was lettered "Central Islip State Hospital."  It was manned by a LIRR crew and the locomotive's annual inspection and repairs were done at the LIRR's Morris Park Shops west of Jamaica.  By 1935 it had been taken out of service as can be seen in this April 25th view of the locomotive laying up along the fence on the hospital grounds.  (Art Huneke archive, Dave Keller data)


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It's been one heavy duty snowstorm as we can see in the westward c. 1935 view and the Central Islip station employees have just completed a lot of shoveling to clear off the platform as well as the stairs and high-level express platform at the westbound express house.  Judging by the condition of the right-of-way at the left, there won't be any trains passing through here any time soon, until either a wedge plow or the rotary has been dispatched.  If the rotary is sent out, chances are it will toss the snow to the south side of the tracks.  Of course, if the wedge plow comes through, all bets are off and these men will be re-shoveling that platform!  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
G5s-32-DblHdg-Trn12-Shinnecock Express-Central-Islip-1930.jpg (59849 bytes)
It's a hot summer's evening in 1930 and train #12, the "Shinnecock Express" is heading eastbound, non-stop, through Central Islip being pulled by a double-header of class G5s ten-wheeler locomotives.  This train, like the previous images, would traverse the Manorville-Eastport connection to reach the Hamptons, Amagansett and Montauk along the south shore.  These Montauk-bound trains were usually pulled by a pair of G5s locomotives as there was a weight restriction over the old, rickety, steel trestle that spanned the Shinnecock Canal at Canoe Place.  In 1931, the old bridge was replaced by a much heavier structure, which is still in place today, and, as a result, these Montauk trains would be pulled by a single Pennsylvania Railroad class K4s locomotive.  As a result, the replacement bridge over the Shinnecock Canal was popularly referred to by just about everyone for many years as "the K4 bridge."  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
H6sb-304-Crew-Central-Islip-c1929-Closeup.jpg (109902 bytes)
Rarity of rarities!  George G. Ayling worked at the Central Islip station from about 1910 until he retired from the LIRR in 1954.  While he took a number of railroad photos he didn't manage to take as many as he COULD have taken in that time frame.  But when you consider the images that he DID take, it is amazing.  First, we see the only known images of the never-used "CP" cabin.  Then we see images of the "Sunrise Special" speeding through the quiet village.  And now, on a cold, dreary, snow-and-ice-filled day c. 1929, we have an amazing photo of H6sb locomotive #304 and her crew posing on a westbound freight in front of the depot (yes . . and blocking the crossing while everyone hams it up for the camera!  So  . . . what's so special about this nice shot, you may ask.  Well, it seems that H6sb #304 "disappeared" from the roster around 1931 and nobody knows whatever happened to her.  What's more, George Ayling seems to have been the only person to ever have photographed her, either in service or out, so this is a one-shot deal.  A photo of a "ghost" locomotive that one day just vanished.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller and Art Huneke archive, Dave Keller data)
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H10s #103 is pulling an afternoon freight westbound through Central Islip c. 1930. The brakeman is on the platform, probably preparing to throw the switch as the freight passes by, so it can access the siding for the Central Islip State Hospital.  Notice the locomotive is flying white flags!  This view is looking southeast with the pole gates at the left protecting the Carlton Ave. crossing.  The corner of the depot building is in the right foreground.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
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The snow is falling and visibility is getting poorer by the minute as a G5s locomotive pulls a passenger train westbound through Central Islip c. 1930.  The snow is sticking to the pilot beam and pilot, highlighting the metal lattice.  The crossing watchman is waving to the engineer as he awaits the train to pass so he can raise the double sets of pole gates guarding the Carlton Ave. crossing.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
CISH-A3-03-Crew-Team-Track-CI-1931-Closeup.jpg (143148 bytes)
This view is a close-up of the little class A3 Central Islip State Hospital drill engine #03 and its crew posing on the team track behind the CI freight house west of the depot around 1931.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
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A Pennsy K4s class locomotive is pulling a late summer afternoon Montauk express train eastbound through Central Islip c. 1933.  Although still a distance from the Carlton Ave. crossing, the engineer is not making the station stop and is blowing the whistle because at his speed, he'll be at that crossing in seconds.  (George G. Ayling photo,
Dave Keller archive and data)
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Another Pennsy K4s class locomotive is pulling another late summer afternoon Montauk train eastbound through Central Islip c. 1933.  As is the case with the previous image, both Montauk trains will head towards the south shore via the Manorville-Eastport connection, making stops at the Hampton's, Amagansett and Montauk.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
K4s-Trn-Central-Islip-Snow-1933.jpg (45445 bytes)
With snow nearly above the pilot beam, a Pennsy class K4s locomotive is pulling a Montauk train eastbound through Central Islip in the aftermath of yet another heavy Long Island winter snowstorm.  Smoking away while trying to maintain traction and pull the long train, the engineer has got a heavy hand on the whistle cord as he blows for the Carlton Avenue crossing up ahead.  The billboard behind the locomotive's smokebox is advertising the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.  (George G. Ayling photo, Dave Keller archive and data)
central-islip_striped-poles-station-express-house-GLF_viewNW_c.1950.jpg (51195 bytes)This northwest photo view of the station facilities is c.1950. The Grange League Federation (GLF), 85’ grain elevator tower, built in 1938, processed and stored feed and grain. 

The switch target in the foreground identified the switch for the Central Islip State Hospital siding/spur. Note the highly unusual pole gates; located nowhere else on the LIRR except here at Carlton Ave.

The Express House serviced express shipments. The Crossing Shanty for the Crossing Watchman in the right foreground, was occupied between train runs during inclement/cold weather. Wilbur Pearsall and later John Zimmerman held this position. Johnson's Garage is across the road.

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AGWAY (ex-GLF since 7/25/64) grain elevator  - Central Islip view W 10/14/1980 Archive: Dave Morrison

GLF commodity groups (feed, seed, fertilizer and chemicals, petroleum, and farm hardware) as well as market for the farmer huge volumes of eggs, grain, and dry beans.

Main Line - Brentwood to Central Islip Track profile map 1994