LIRR Central Branch

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Nassau Blvd., Garden City Station -  c.1901 colorized postcard  View N at MP17.5

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Library of Congress - April, 1873

What is now the LIRR's Hempstead branch, with junction at Floral Park, and tracks curving south east of the Garden City station, used to be the property of the Central Railroad of Long Island and was known as the Central branch.  Without getting into all sorts of varying and confusing rights-of-way, mergers and takeovers, I'll simply say this line ran from what later became the LIRR's Port Washington branch, curving off at Great Neck Junction, through Central Depot, Central Junction, Frankiston, Kissena Park, Creedmoor, Hinsdale and Hillside, crossing the LIRR's Main Line via trestle just east of what later became Floral Park, continuing on to Garden City then curving south towards Hempstead. The CRR of LI also extended the branch east of Garden City.  Referred to as the Central Extension, it crossed the LIRR at Bethpage Junction and headed further east to the Queens County Brick Mfg. Co., brick of which was used to build Stewart's Garden City and related railroad structures. The portion of the line going into the brick works was referred to as the "Bethpage branch."  Another part of this extension went southeast from Bethpage Junction towards Babylon, crossing the LIRR west of the station and ending at the Babylon town dock.  The portion from Bethpage Jct. to west of Babylon later became the LIRR's Central branch extension and eventually, just called the Central branch.  

GENERAL ORDER: EFFECTIVE 1921:
BETHPAGE AND CREEDMOOR BRANCHES AND CENTRAL EXTENSION “HC” TO BETHPAGE JCT. WILL BE CONSIDERED SIDINGS.

LIRR ETT 11-6 - Eff 05-05-1879 (Huneke) (1).jpg (220850 bytes)LIRR ETT 11-6 - Eff 05-05-1879 (Huneke) (2).jpg (210436 bytes)Special issue ETT effective May 5, 1879. The The timetable indicates Train #15 running eastbound from LI City to Patchogue via the Montauk branch to Jamaica then the Main Line 
to Stewart Jct. and the Central branch to Belmont Jct. and Babylon and on to Patchogue.  In addition, Train #10 running westbound from Patchogue to LI City via Babylon, Belmont Jct. and the Central branch to Jamaica and then the Main Line to L. I. City. 
Archive: Art Huneke Info: Dave Keller

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1879, the Central RR of LI abandoned their line from Great Neck Junction to Creedmoor.  The short stub that was remaining between Creedmoor and what would later become Floral Park was referred to as the Creedmoor branch. When the LIRR acquired the CRR's tracks, connection was made with the LIRR's tracks at Floral Park (then known as Stewart Junction) and the trestle crossing the Main Line was removed.

The LIRR's original Hempstead branch ran south from Mineola, crossing the CRR of LI at what was known as Hempstead Crossing and continued on to Hempstead, paralleling the CRR's ROW into that village.  When the LIRR acquired the Central RR of LI, the Central branch became the LIRR's Hempstead branch, curving south just east of Franklin Ave., Garden City, heading to Hempstead, where the LIRR abandoned their terminal building in favor of using A. T. Stewart's nicer, all brick structure.   "HC" tower was erected at Hempstead Crossing in 1890 as "Tower 44" and controlled traffic along the two branches. In later years, stops were added at Stewart Manor, Nassau Blvd. as well as at Country Life Press to provide access for employees of that so-named magazine. 

In later years the tracks heading east were cut back to just east of Salisbury Plains station with shuttle service operating between there and Country Life Press, using Ocean Electric streetcars operating off the third rail. Stops were made at Washington St., Clinton Road, A&P, Mitchel Field, Meadowbrook and Salisbury Plains. (Other stops were later added at General Bronze and Newsday.) 

In 1937, "HC" tower was renamed "GARDEN" tower and two years later, the tower and the crossing were removed.  A replacement block station was constructed in the form of "GARDEN" cabin at Franklin Ave., west of the former track crossing. 

The tracks were cut back again, this time to Meadowbrook, but shuttle service stopped at Mitchel Field.  The streetcar shuttle was replaced with an MP41 MU car, later expanding to two MP41 MU cars, which were later replaced by two MP54 MU cars. The shuttle service, which primarily was for employees of the various industries along the line, and which only accepted cash fares (no ticket sales) ended in 1953.

The branch extension came back to life when Roosevelt Raceway trains ran to Meadowbrook in the late 1950s where buses took riders to the racetrack and back. Years after the raceway trains ended, the tracks were cut back once again and terminated on the west side of Endo Blvd. west of what was once Mitchel Field. (Dave Keller data)

Station/MP/Location order after leaving Floral Park:

      Distance from LI City
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

14.9
16.3
17.3
18.4
18.68
18.88
19.00
19.47
19.5
20.2
20.58
20.7
21.18
28.04

Plainfield Ave.
Stewart Manor 
Nassau Blvd (Garden City)
Garden City 
"GARDEN" cabin at Franklin Ave.     
"HC" tower at Hempstead Crossing
Washington St. (shuttle station stop)
Clinton Road    
A&P / Newsday  
General Bronze (Later A&P/Bronze)
Mitchel Field  
Meadowbrook  
Salisbury Plains  
Bethpage Jct.
PLAINFIELD AVE., FLORAL PARK
1-MU Train 4739-W-Hemp Br Plainfield Ave-Grade Elim-Floral Park-06-04-61 (Keller).jpg (86957 bytes)
MU Train #4739 westbound Hempstead Branch Plainfield Ave  - Grade Elimination Floral Park 6/04/1961
2-MU Hempstead Train-East-Hempstead Br-Passing PARK Tower-Floral Pk-1950 (Keller).jpg (115287 bytes)
MU Hempstead Train East Hempstead Branch passing PARK Tower Floral Park 1950
3-Crossing Shanty and Power Grid-Plainfield Ave.-Floral Park-Hempstead Branch-View NE - 10-12-51 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (134835 bytes)
Crossing Shanty and Power Grid Plainfield Ave. Floral Park Hempstead Branch View NE 10/12/51 (Faxon-Keller)
4-MU_Train-Layup_Track-Plainfield_Ave_E_Floral_Park_10-12-36_(Keller).jpg (96495 bytes)
MU Train Layup Track Plainfield Ave. 
view E Floral Park 10/12/36
STEWART MANOR STATION

BUILT: 1909 AGENCY CLOSED:? REMODELED: 2006

Station-Stewart Manor (View NE) - 07-23-1918 (LIRR Valuation-Keller).jpg (122877 bytes)
Stewart Manor Station  view NE 7/23/1918 (LIRR Valuation-Keller)
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Stewart Manor Station view S 1/31/2016 
Photo: Robert Mortell
NASSAU BLVD. (MERILLON AVE) STATION

BUILT: 1907 AGENCY CLOSED:? DEPOT REMODELED: 2005

6-Station-Xing Shanty-Nassau Blvd-Garden City - Westbound - c. 1948 (Weber-Morrison).jpg (101214 bytes)
Station crossing Shanty Nassau Blvd, Garden City  view W c.1948 (Weber-Morrison)
5-MU Dbl Dk 1346 on 5-Car Train West at Sta - Nassau Blvd, Garden City - 9-14-48 (Hermanns-Keller).jpg (87966 bytes)
 MU double decker #1346 with 5 car train west at Nassau Blvd, Garden City 9/14/48 (Hermanns-Keller)
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Nassau Blvd Station view SW 10/16/2016 
Photo: Dave Morrison
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Nassau Blvd Station cupola weather vane  10/16/2016 Photo: Dave Morrison
Garden-City-renovations-Newsday_3-21-2019_Morrison.jpg (194449 bytes)
Garden City renovations - Newsday 3/21/2019 Archive: Dave Morrison
GARDEN CITY STATION

CRR OF LI DEPOT BUILT: OCT/1872-APRIL/1873. CLOSED: 1898  2ND DEPOT BUILT: 8/1898. AGENCY CLOSED: ?

9-Station-Garden City-CRRLI-c.1878 (Keller).JPG (83724 bytes)
Garden City Station CRRLI view E c.1878
Archive: Dave Keller

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Garden City Station CRRLI  view S c.1878
Archive: Dave Keller
 
8-Station-Garden City-CRRLI-c.1878 (Keller).JPG (65133 bytes)
Garden City Station CRRLI  view W c.1878
Archive: Dave Keller
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Garden City Station -  8/1967 (Sturm-Fehn)
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Garden City Station - Stewart monument view SW 10/16/2016 Photo: Dave Morrison

The Central branch between "HC" (Hempstead Crossing) in Garden City and Salisbury Plains was electrified in 1917. That year, 3 ex-Ocean Electric trolley cars were converted from trolley to third rail service and operated as a shuttle (one car at a time) between a layup track opposite the Garden City station and Salisbury Plains, making a stop at Mitchel Field (yes, "Mitchel" with one "L"). This shuttle ran until 1927.

On 10/31/1927, the shuttle was moved to a layup track at Country Life Press and all shuttle service then operated between CLP and Salisbury Plains. In 1928 the Ocean Electric cars were withdrawn from service and replaced at first by one MP41 MU car, then two MP41 MU cars (2-car train), and finally, two MP54 MU cars (2-car train)

Service was cut back to Mitchel Field during WWII, because the trip to Salisbury Plains ran through secure government territory. The field was fenced off and trains /ex-trolleys were no longer allowed to run past Mitchel Field station so Salisbury Plains station was closed.

Photo: Ocean Electric Car #29 at Clinton Road, Garden City 1918 Archive: Dave Keller    The last passenger shuttle trip ran between CLP and Mitchel Field on 5/15/53. Research: Dave Keller  
 


A ticket from a monthly ticket book for the Mitchel Field shuttle. c.1925

In the last years of shuttle service, tickets were NOT sold. Riders paid cash. I believe the fare was $ .25. On-train tickets were not issued. . . it was simply hand the trainman or conductor a quarter and I believe it was the same whether you went to Mitchel Field or closer stops like Newsday or A&P Bronze.

The ticket is printed Garden City to "Mitchell" Field (incorrect as it's "Mitchel" field . . . one "L".) This was not the end of the line in the 1917-1927 years of operation. It was but one of several stops on the way to the truncated branch at Salisbury Plains.

Based upon the dates I've provided above, this ticket would have been issued at the Garden City station anytime between 1917 and 1927. Riders would have walked across the tracks at Garden City and got on the ex-trolley car to Mitchel Field and /or Salisbury Plains.

It's possible that once the cars operated between CLP and Salisbury, printed tickets were issued at the CLP station beginning in 1927, however the agency was closed by 1940, so I'm assuming only cash fares were accepted after that, if shuttle tickets were ever issued at CLP. It was quite a walk from the shuttle's layup track and platform to the ticket office at CLP. Research: Dave Keller
 


Garden City station - View NW 8/01/1918
(LIRR Valuation - Art Huneke)
 

The inset sign tells riders to take the trolley on the other side of the station, where the layup track was originally located:
"TAKE TROLLEY CAR ON OTHER SIDE FOR CLINTON ROAD AND AVIATION FIELD No. 2"

Note:  Aviation Field No. 2 was the prior name of Mitchel Field. Info: Dave Keller

 

 

Garden City Station and Salisbury Plains Shuttle

An aerial view of Country Life Press looking east in 1928, the last year that the ex-Ocean Electric trolleys that were converted to third rail operation were used in shuttle service to Salisbury Plains station east of Mitchel Field. The cars had been relocated from the Garden City station the previous year, to the very north end of the Country Life Press station. In this photo, we see the historic Country Life Press building in the foreground, from which the nearby railroad station derived its name. Behind it, from left to right, is the straight track heading to Hempstead Crossing and which connected Mineola and Hempstead, and Mineola, West Hempstead and Valley Stream. In front of this track we can just make out the west leg of the wye which is the track between Garden City and Hempstead. Behind the straight track is the curving east leg of the wye which connected with the Central branch. An ex-Ocean Electric car is laying up at the platform. To the right of the car is the platform shelter and then following the very long platform southward (railroad eastward) we see the Country Life Press depot at the very far right. The track directly in front of it continues on to the terminal in Hempstead and the track branching away from it led to West Hempstead and on to Valley Stream. It was quite a walk from the depot to the shuttle so I'm not sure tickets for the shuttle were ever sold at that agency. They may have been, with the shuttle entering the station to pick up riders but if that were so, what was the purpose of a wooden platform and shelter constructed at the very north end? (Dave Keller archive and data)
 

This is a zoomed-in image of the shuttle and shelter. You can see that the wooden platform extended even further north of where the car was laying up. After 1939 when Hempstead Crossing was eliminated, the track to Mineola was cut back south of the Central branch and former crossing to about where this platform ended and the shuttle then laid up on THAT track in lieu of its former layup spot on the wye track. It would then head south (railroad east) to clear the switch, then head east on the wye track to Salisbury Plains station.


MP41 #1100 as Mitchel Field one-car shuttle at the shuttle lay-up track just north of the Country Life Press station. View is NE. The old CRR of LI brick water tower at Hempstead Crossing is visible in the left background and the main through-track to and from Hempstead Crossing is in the foreground - c. 1933 (George Arnoux photo; Dave Keller archive)

 


MP41 #1101 - Mitchel Field - One car shuttle -at Country Life Press -View NE- 4/05/1934 (Votava-Keller)

MP41 #1100-1101 - Mitchel Field Shuttle at east leg of Wye - Country Life Press-View NE
c.1938 (Winslow-Keller)
 

MP41 #1100-1101 at Country Life Press 1942

MP41 #1100-1101 - Mitchel Field Shuttle at Clinton Rd. Station - View NE 3/25/1947 (Hermanns-Keller)

 


MP41 #1100-1101 - Mitchel Field Shuttle north of Country Life Press -View SE 3/30/1947 (Hermanns-Keller)

MP41 #1101 Interior - Country Life Press
5/30/1949 Archive: Dave Keller

After practically all of the MP41 MU cars were taken out of passenger service, the last few were used on the shuttle. They, too, were eventually withdrawn from service and were replaced by two MP54 MU cars. Here's a peaceful view from the summer of 1949 with puffy, fair-weather clouds in the sky looking NE. It shows the 2-car shuttle of MP54 MU cars consisting of car #s 1762 and 1943, coupled, and laying up on the truncated segment of the former Mineola to Hempstead track. Note both cars are in the PRR Tuscan Red color scheme with Dulux gold lettering and the car at right has what appears to be an aluminum-painted roof, designed to reduce the summer's heat in the car. The rail visible at the very bottom of this image is that of the Hempstead branch between Garden City and the terminal at Hempstead. (W. J. Edwards photo, Dave Keller archive)

"B" CABIN

Franklin Ave., Garden City Central Branch - View E c.1930 Archive: Art Huneke

“B” CABIN: CROSSING WATCHMAN’S CABIN - GARDEN CITY (EAST SIDE OF FRANKLIN AVENUE, BETWEEN CENTRAL AND HEMPSTEAD
BRANCHES, BUILT WITH A 2-LEVER DWARF INTERLOCKING MACHINE CONTROLLING DERAILS AND DWARF SIGNALS 
ON THE N.Y. & L.I. TRACTION CO. TRACKS ON FRANKLIN AVENUE. INTERLOCKED WITH “HC” TOWER. IN SVC: 1920s. 
OUT OF SVC: 1/27/39 WITH OPENING OF “GARDEN” CABIN.)

 

 

 

The trolley tracks and derails were gone from the crossing at the time of this photo. At the far left, the track curving north to Mineola and at the far right, the tracks curving south to Country Life Press and Hempstead. The electrified Central branch is in the foreground.  Research: Dave Keller

At the left center, the siding to access the portable sub-station storage facility. A portion of the section house is visible at the far right. Just beyond that, a full view of the section house with "HC" tower at the crossing of the Hempstead branch from Mineola and the Central Branch.

Behind "HC" tower is the all brick water tower dating back to Stewart's construction of Garden City (1870s). Back in the early days of the tower, windmill blades were positioned atop to draw the water up. The tracks for the crossing were located between "HC" tower and the brick water tower.

After 1939, no structures in this image remained and "GARDEN" cabin was constructed at the far left of the overall view, on the west side of Franklin Ave. crossing.  Research: Dave Keller

Portable-substation-storage_valuation-photo_1-27-1919_Huneke.jpg (92314 bytes)
Portable sub-station storage LIRR valuation photo 1/27/1919 Archive: Art Huneke

GARDEN CABIN

“GARDEN” CABIN GARDEN CITY – JCT. OF HEMPSTEAD BRANCH. OPENED 1/27/39, NORTH SIDE OF TRACKS, WEST SIDE OF FRANKLIN AVE., 650’ WEST OF FORMER LOCATION. OUT OF SVC. BY 6/5/95. RAZED: c. 1999-2000

11-MOW Crew Car 492755-Work Train-Cent Br-Garden Cabin-Gdn City-c. 1947 (Votava-Keller).jpg (100816 bytes)
MOW Crew Car #492755 Work Train at  Garden Cabin, Garden City c.1947 (Votava-Keller)
10-Cabin-Garden-with Keystone Sign-Gdn City-c. 1947 (Votava-Keller).jpg (92227 bytes)
Garden Cabin with Keystone Sign c.1947 (Votava-Keller)
Cabin-GARDEN-Jct. Central and Hempstead Br - View E - 05-17-81 (Madden-Keller).jpg (137402 bytes)
Cabin GARDEN - Junction of Central and Hempstead Branch View E 5/17/81 (Madden-Keller)
ROW-Start Secondary Track E of Franklin Ave.-MP19-Gdn Cty (View E) - 11-21-93 (Madden-Keller).jpg (161075 bytes)
ROW Start of Secondary Track east of Franklin Ave. MP19 Garden City View E 11/21/1993 (Madden-Keller)

LIRR #605 ERA (Electric Railroaders Assn.) Special westbound at Garden Cabin 10/1986

 

Into the setting sun at Garden Cabin, in Garden City, an Electric Railroaders' Association special is seen westbound leaving the Garden-Mitchel Secondary. As it passes the tower, operator Freddie Glenn is saying hi to the head-end crew of the 605. He will have to manually re-line the switch for its normal position, the Hempstead Branch, once the special passes. With so much automation, such personal encounters along the railroad today are, sadly, very few and far between. Photo/Archive/Info: Jay Bendersky


LIRR #227 Garden Cabin - View W 4/1984

The Electric Railroaders Assn. operated a fan trip excursion over parts of the LIRR. One of its destinations that day was the Garden-Mitchel Secondary. It is seen here, with LIRR #227 in the lead eastbound, and the "Morris Park" parlor car directly behind, crossing Franklin Avenue in Garden City. Normally, weekends at Garden Cabin would be very quiet, but not this Saturday! The special would visit other LIRR branches later that day. Photo/Archive/Info: Jay Bendersky

Renaming of Secondary Tracks:  While the Central Extension appears in the station pages (of employee timetables), from at least 1936 on, the “branch” was classified as a siding, meaning restricted speed. Since the shuttles had no timetable authority (you need to have main track for that), I have to assume that the freights working cleared the “main” when the shuttle was operating. Note that the Central Extension was largely double track so there were many crossovers and turnouts.

In 1946, (probably also in 45, timetable for which I am missing), the Central Extension was gone from the station pages and the only reference was to a siding in SI 2207 which stipulated that the track extended from Garden to Meadowbrook Hospital. In 1947, in a couple of places in the Special Instructions, was referred to as the Meadowbrook Hospital Siding. (Richard F. Makse)

G.O. #1208 eff. 08/25/47 (ETT #12) changes the name of the Meadowbrook Hospital Siding to the Central Extension and states it will be operated as a secondary track between east of GARDEN to west of Mitchel Field. (Art Huneke data)

In the special instructions for Timetable #14 (June 13, 1948) and under Secondary Tracks of No Assigned Direction, Garden to Mitchel Field is called Central Extension. (Jeffrey Erlitz)

ETT #15, eff. 09/12/48 shows Garden-Mitchel Field Secondary Track. (Art Huneke data)

Other than temporary block stations during the Vanderbilt Cup races, I don’t believe the line ever had any signaling. Both Clinton Road and Salisbury Plains did have ticket offices for a short period of time but likely there were no signals since the shuttles were run by the same crew. (Richard F. Makse)

LIRR -ETT-12_G.O.-1208_eff.-8-25-47_Huneke.jpg (91828 bytes) LIRR -ETT-12_G.O.-1208_eff.-8-25-47_map_Huneke.jpg (76969 bytes)
LIRR ETT  #12 G.O. #1208 eff. 08/25/47 changes the name of the Meadowbrook Hospital Siding to the Central Extension and states it will be operated as a secondary track between east of GARDEN to west of Mitchel Field. (Art Huneke data)


Henry Raudenbush map insert: Central Extension October 1952

HEMPSTEAD CROSSING

HC TOWER:  HEMPSTEAD CROSSING, GARDEN CITY – JCT OF HEMPSTEAD BRANCH AND N.Y. BAY EXTENSION (PER 1903 CR4.) (NORTHWEST QUADRANT OF    CROSSING.  ORIGINALLY TOWER #44, 36-LEVER SAXBY & FARMER MECHANICAL MACHINE IN SVC:  1/1890. WAS RENUMBERED TOWER #105 IN 1894 WHEN BLOCK SYSTEM WAS EXTENDED EAST.  TOWER #44 ASSIGNED  BRUSHVILLE.  RENAMED “HC” IN 1907. BECAME TRAIN ORDER OFFICE ON 10/01/1907 WHEN GARDEN CITY STATION CEASED BEING A TRAIN ORDER OFFICE.  INTERLOCKING PLANT INCREASED TO 40 LEVERS: 1/28/1919. RENAMED “GARDEN”: 4/30/37. 
OUT
OF SVC: 1/27/39.

12-MU Train-Roosevelt Raceway-E at Franklin Ave.-Garden City-View SE-1956 (Edwards-Keller).jpg (75231 bytes)
MU Train for Roosevelt Raceway eastbound at Franklin Ave., Garden City  view SE 1956 (Edwards-Keller)
13-Crossing Shanty-Franklin Ave - Hempstead X-ing - Garden City - c. 1930 (Huneke).JPG (45475 bytes)
Crossing Shanty at Franklin Ave., Hempstead Crossing, Garden City c.1930 
Archive: Art Huneke
14-HC Tower and Old CRRLI Water Tower-Hemp-Xing-c. 1920 (Keller).jpg (89933 bytes)
Site #2: HC Tower and old CRR of LI Water Tower at Hempstead Crossing c.1920
Archive: Dave Keller
Water Tank-Hempstead Crossing-Garden City-View NE-01-27-19 (Keller).jpg (121050 bytes)
 Site #19: The old, brick CRR of LI water tank at Hempstead Crossing east of Garden City on 01/27/1919.  View NE Archive: Dave Keller 
Emery_Central-Branch_Hempstead-Crossing_zoom_MP19_5-58.jpg (79711 bytes)
Central Branch Hempstead Crossing MP19 5/1958
   MU Train-Roosevelt Raceway Special-at Former Hempstead Xing-Country Life Press-c. 1959 (Keller).jpg (82526 bytes)
Roosevelt Raceway special train passing the former location of Hempstead Crossing.  View is NE - c. 1959 (Dave Keller archive)

 

 

MP19 SPUR TO MINEOLA

Emery_Central-Branch_Hempstead-Crossing_legend_MP19_5-58.jpg (84092 bytes)
Central Branch MP19 Map Legend

ROW-Tracks-Jct. of Mineola Spur-MP 19 (View W) E of Gdn City - 1955 (Schneider-Keller).jpg (106862 bytes)
ROW MP19 Former junction with Mineola Freight spur Garden City View W east of Garden City - 1955 (Schneider-Keller)
ROW- Spur Curving N. Towards Mineola From Central Br-Gdn City - 03-19-73 (Madden-Keller).jpg (162895 bytes)
Spur curving N towards Mineola from Central Branch, Garden City 3/19/73 (Madden-Keller)
ROW-Spur from Mineola Joining Central Br-Gdn City (View SE) - 03-19-73 (Madden-Keller).jpg (151169 bytes)
Spur from Mineola joining Central Branch, Garden City View SE 3/19/73  (Madden-Keller)
ROW-Spur from Mineola Joining Central Br-Gdn City (View E) - 03-19-73 (Madden-Keller).jpg (154809 bytes)
Spur from Mineola joining Central Branch, Garden City View SE 3/19/73  (Madden-Keller)
ROW-MP19-Former Jct with Mineola Frt. Spur-Gdn Cty (View W) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (134865 bytes)
ROW MP19 Former junction with Mineola Freight spur Garden City View W 9/08/1978 (Madden-Keller)
ROW-Mitchel Field Secondary-Former Jct with Mineola Spur-MP19 (View E) - 09-08-78(Madden-Keller).jpg (124323 bytes)
Mitchel Field - Secondary former junction with Mineola Spur at MP19 View E 9/08/1978 (Madden-Keller)
WASHINGTON STREET

EAST OF GARDEN CITY STATION. LOW PLATFORM FOR LIRR’S BATTERY CAR SHUTTLE SERVICE AFTER 1923.

15-Caboose 34 and Freight-Washington St.-Garden City-7-29-53 (Votava-Keller).jpg (98246 bytes)
Caboose #34 and freight at Washington St. Garden City 7/29/53 (Votava-Keller)
Station-Washington St. - Garden City (view SE) 1973 (Art Huneke archive).jpg (103517 bytes)
Washington St., Garden City - Station stop for the LIRR's storage battery cars only, beginning in 1923.  It was never a scheduled station stop. View SE 1973 Photo/Archive: Art Huneke  
ROW at Washington Ave. Trolley Sta-Gdn Cty (View W) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (131533 bytes)
ROW at Washington Ave. Trolley Station, Garden City View west (above) - east (below) 9/08/1978 (Madden-Keller)ROW at Washington Ave. Trolley Sta-Gdn Cty (view E) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (131435 bytes)
ROW E of Washington Ave-Gdn Cty (View E) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (159648 bytes)
ROW east of Washington Ave., Garden City View E 9/08/78 (Madden-Keller)
CLINTON RD.

BUILT: 1915, USED AS TICKET OFFICE FOR CAMP MILLS IN WW I. CLOSED: 5/15/1953, DISCONTINUED AS STATION STOP. USED AS FIRE STATION #3.

16-MP41 1100-1101 as Mitchel Field shuttle at Clinton Road station (Garden City), view NE - 3-25-47 (Ed Hermanns photo;  Dave Keller archive).jpg (72024 bytes)
MP41 #s 1100-1101 as Mitchel Field shuttle at Clinton Road Station, Garden City, view NE - 3/25/47 ( Hermanns, Keller)

Clinton Rd. Station 12/21/1965
Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips
Extra-159_WEST at CLINTON ROAD GARDEN CITY 12-8-1977 JOHN SCALA_Huneke.jpg (108709 bytes)
Extra #159 westbound at Clinton Rd., Garden City 2/08/1977 Photo: John Scala Archive: Art Huneke
Station-Clinton Rd-Garden City-Central Branch  (View W) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (152422 bytes)
Clinton Road Station, Garden City view W 8/08/78 (Madden-Keller)

Before there was the TC-82, there was the TC-81 and before that, the TC-80! Here the TC-80 is proceeding west on the Garden Mitchel Secondary, going past the former Clinton Road Station, which is now Garden City Fire Department Station #3. 12/1985 Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky
 
  EAST OF CLINTON RD.  
Station-A&P-E of Clinton Rd-Garden City-Central Br-View E-12-20-38 (Keller).jpg (85215 bytes)
A&P station east of Clinton Road, Garden City on the Central branch, 
view E 12/20/1938 Archive: Dave Keller

LIRR #223 with short hood forward westbound on the Garden-Mitchel Secondary
1/1985 Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

On a cold late-afternoon in January, 1985, the RF-48 heads back west after finishing its work on the Garden-Mitchel Secondary. Just about to flag the busy crossing at Clinton Road in Garden City, it will be a slow ride home with the eastbound commission hour already under way.
Jay Bendersky

ROW E of Clinton Rd-Gdn Cty (View E) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (171265 bytes)
ROW east of Clinton Road, Garden City 
View E 9/08/78 (Madden-Keller)

The Mineola-Garden City Freight House/Yard was moved east on the Central Branch and the switch at  NASSAU (formally "MT") was removed. Info: Art Huneke

 


The RF-48 is about to get ready to shove its train across Stewart Avenue in East Garden City. The cars were headed to Global-Sysco Frozen Foods, who was the busiest receiver of cars on the Garden-Mitchel Secondary at the time. 1/1985 Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

The RF-68, with the 164, crosses Stewart Avenue in E. Garden City with an empty car from Global Sysco. By the end of the decade, regular freight would be all but gone on the Garden-Mitchel Secondary. 6/1982
Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

The RF-48 switches Global Sysco on the Garden Mitchel Secondary in June of 1982. In the shadows of the old Roosevelt Raceway, this siding was reached by a trestle over the Meadowbrook Parkway. Today, the trestle is still there, with trees growing through the rails. 6/1982. Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky
 
 

The Mineola-Garden City Freight Yard in an unusually busy day, even for almost 30 years ago! The RF-7, with 2 L-2's has just crossed Stewart Avenue re-entering the yard, and Work Extra 152 is in the clear waiting for the RF-7 to get their work done. Today, the yard's future remains uncertain with the re-development of the Nassau Coliseum. The RB&BB Circus Train is the lone tenant of the Garden Mitchel Secondary, just once every year. 7/1986 Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky  Note: LIRR MOW Burro Crane at far left.

 
MITCHEL FIELD

ORIGINALLY "AVIATION FIELD NO. 2" ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE FORMER CAMP MILLS EAST OF GARDEN CITY. CAMP MILLS CLOSED IN 1920 AND AVIATION FIELD NO. 2 BECAME "MITCHEL FIELD" SOMETIME IN THE 1930s. WOODEN SHELTER SHED BUILT: ? DISCONTINUED AS STATION STOP: 5/15/53 WITH END OF SHUTTLE PASSENGER SERVICE ON BRANCH.

Office of Information Services, Head Quarters Continental Air Command, Mitchel Air base, New York  26 October 1955

1. Designation. On July 16, 1918, the installation was named for Major John Purroy Mitchel who had been Killed in an accident in Louisiana ten days before. Mitchel, who was an early advocate of American air power, had served as Mayor of New York. The designation "Mitchel Field" was officially approved in April, 1919. 

2. Historic Role. For over 150 years the area presently occupied by Mitchel AFB has played an important role in our history. During the Revolutionary war it was known as the Hempstead Plains and used as an Army enlistment center. In the War of 1812 and in the Mexican War it was a training center for Infantry units. During the Civil War, it was the location of Camp Winfield Scott. In 1898, in the Spanish-American War, Mitchel's site was known as Camp Black. During World War I, Camp Mills was located here. Here, on the grounds familiar to American Servicemen since the days of our minutemen, trained the Rainbow (42nd) Division, including the famous Fighting 69th Regiment. 

Camp Black was opened in 1898 and was 2.5 miles east of Garden City, making that mileage 21.18 from LI City, which doesn't line up with previous indicated mileages.  21.18 was the location of the original Meadow Brook station and later, Salisbury Plains.  (Camp Black was renamed "Camp Mills" and the east side of the camp "Aviation Field No. 2" during WWI.  Camp Mills closed in 1920 and Aviation Field No. 2 was renamed  "Mitchel Field" sometime in the 1930s.)

 

 Mitchel Field was originally established in 1917 as Aviation Field #2 just south of Hazelhurst Field as a training and storage base. It was named Mitchel Field in July 1918 after former New York City Mayor John Purroy Mitchel, who was killed while training for the air service in Louisana.

The Motor Parkway was less than one-half mile north of Mitchel Field. The "Hempstead Spur Road" to the west of Mitchel Field connecting the Motor Parkway with Fulton Street was never built.

1919 view before the housing construction. Siding in the foreground is the one recently removed in the c.1930 image below. Archive Art Huneke

 


Mitchel Field sidings new 1918 removed 1930.
Archive: Art Huneke

 

View NE of the LIRR Country Life Press-Salisbury Plains shuttle (ex-Ocean Electric car equipped with third rail shoes) passing new Mitchel-Field base housing. Trackmen are removing the switch to one of the 5 former (1918) warehouse sidings in the center of the image. This image shows the warehouses being replaced with the new housing. One warehouse, siding and switch off the main still remain in the upper right portion of this c.1930 image. Research/Archive: Dave Keller


Mitchell Field area - 1923 Belcher Hyde Map

LIRR #449 approaching Mitchel Field 12/21/1965 Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

Mitchel Field Passenger Office 12/21/1965
Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

Mitchel Field rail facilities - View E 12/21/1965
Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

Mitchel Field Station platform- View W 12/21/1965 Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips
ROW W. of Zeckendorf Blvd (View E) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (115382 bytes)
ROW west of  Zeckendorf Blvd - View E 9/08/78 (Madden-Keller)

ROW at Quentin Roosevelt Blvd - E. Gdn Cty (View E) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (145970 bytes)
 ROW at Quentin Roosevelt Blvd, East Garden City  View E 9/08/1978 (Madden-Keller)
 


Garden City secondary tracks and ROW
View W. Short St., Garden City 1/1988   Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky


 

By 1988, freight on the Garden-Mitchel Secondary was no longer daily, and was switched as-needed. The RF-7 has just finished picking up it's refrigerator cars at Global-Sysco, on the other side of the Meadowbrook Parkway. There are no other empties to add on to the train, so it will now be heading back to Yard A, with the C-63 on the east end.  Jay Bendersky

 

 


 

20-Garden City Secondary Tracks and ROW-View W-Quentin Roosesvelt Blvd-Garden City - 06-99 (Lynch-Keller).jpg (94118 bytes)
Garden City secondary tracks and ROW View W Quentin Roosevelt Blvd. Garden City 6/1999 (Lynch-Keller)
21-Garden City Secondary Tracks in Street-View E-Quentin Roosesvelt Blvd-Garden City - 06-99 (Lynch-Keller).jpg (159747 bytes)
Garden City secondary tracks in street View E  Quentin Roosevelt Blvd. Garden City 6/1999 (Lynch-Keller)
ROW-Selfridge Ave.-Central Branch (View E) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (161974 bytes)
ROW Selfridge Ave. Central Branch View E 9/08/78 (Madden-Keller)
MP15ac-156-Train RF-68 WB over Mdwbrk Pky- 08-25-77 (Madden-Keller).jpg (154307 bytes)
MP15ac #156 Train RF-68 westbound over Meadowbrook Parkway  8/25/77 (Madden-Keller)
ROW-at Mdwbrk Pky-View E - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (122945 bytes)
ROW at Meadowbrook Parkway View E 8/08/78  (Madden-Keller)
LIRR-156_Central-Branch_c.1980_Madden.jpg (58880 bytes)
LIRR #156 Central Branch  c.1980 Photo: William Madden

Electric Railroader's Association fantrip in October of 1985. LIRR #605 is in the lead west as it crosses the Meadowbrook Parkway on the Garden-Mitchel Secondary. Today, the trestle is still there - with trees going through it, with that segment of the Secondary being long out of service. Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

Former CRR of LI bridge - Garden-City View W 3/25/2016 Photo/Archive: Joshua Soren
MEADOWBROOK

1ST DEPOT BUILT: ?, CLOSED: 6/1917 BECAME SITE OF SALISBURY PLAINS STATION. MEADOW BROOK OPENED FURTHER WEST.  LOW, CINDER PLATFORMS ON EITHER SIDE OF TRACKS OPENED FURTHER WEST OF ORIGINAL LOCATION SOMETIME AFTER 1924 (STATION DOES NOT APPEAR IN 1924 C.R.4 BOOK). CLOSED: c. 1939.  LOW, CINDER PLATFORM RE-OPENED ROOSEVELT RACEWAY AS A CENTER-ISLAND STATION PLATFORM: 19__?. IN USE FOR RACEWAY TRAINS. STOP DISCONTINUED: 1961.

17-H10s-107-Railfan-Extra-Station-Meadowbrook -10-26-52 (Votava-Keller).jpg (116311 bytes)
H10s #107 Railfan Extra  Meadowbrook Station Westbury 10/26/52 (Votava-Keller)

18-MU Train-Roosevelt Raceway-at Sta-Meadowbrook-View W-1953 (Edwards-Keller).jpg (62376 bytes)
MU Train for Roosevelt Raceway at Meadowbrook Station view W 1953 (Edwards-Keller)

 

19-MU Train-Roosevelt Raceway-On Layup Track-Meadowbrook-1953 (Edwards-Keller).jpg (84803 bytes)
MU Train for Roosevelt Raceway on layup track Meadowbrook 1953 (Edwards-Keller)

Station-Meadowbrook-Roosevelt Raceway-Sign-10-21-61 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (67313 bytes)
Meadowbrook Station Roosevelt Raceway Sign 10/21/1961 (Faxon-Keller)
ROW-Former Site Roosevelt Raceway-Meadowbrook Station-Central Branch (View W) - 04-19-73 (Madden-Keller).jpg (129463 bytes)
Former site of Roosevelt Raceway, Meadowbrook Station - Central Branch View W 4/19/73 (Madden-Keller)
ROW-Former Site Roosevelt Raceway-Meadowbrook Station-Central Branch (View W) - 09-08-78 (Madden-Keller).jpg (135997 bytes)
Former site of Roosevelt Raceway, Meadowbrook Station - Central Branch View W 9/08/78 (Madden-Keller)
qq426.jpg (42822 bytes)
View east from west of Carman Ave, behind Meadowbrook Hospital. Construction materials for the building of Levittown were delivered here at this siding known from 1948 C.R.4 as "C 24 Newbridge".  Photo: Vincent F. Seyfried 1952

C.R.4 October 1, 1948 Station "C 24 Newbridge" apparently siding installed for delivery of construction materials for Levittown

 

qq415.jpg (21082 bytes)
Employee Timetable (ETT) No.2, June 21, 1942 showing track still ran 7.5 miles to Plain Edge and Pass Service to Salisbury (Plains)
qqhwmap.jpg (48412 bytes)
Henry Wilhelm visited the area in 1942, 1948, and later. In 1945 the track ended behind Meadowbrook Hospital. In 1948, he noted the sidings for the Levittown constructions materials. 
qq416.jpg (20695 bytes)
Employee Timetable No.3, September 20, 1942.
Branch cut back to Meadowbrook Hospital, Service cut back to Mitchell Field
23-Cent-Br-Trestle-E-of-Mdwbrk-Pky-East Meadow-1955 (Schneider-Keller).jpg (141748 bytes)
Central Branch trestle east of Meadowbrook Parkway, East Meadow 1955 (Schneider-Keller)
22-Cent-Br-Remains-ROW-at-Grade-Wantagh Pky-Levittown-1955 (Schneider-Keller).jpg (115104 bytes)
Right of way crossing Wantagh Parkway at grade with provision for tracks to be reinstalled should service be resumed - near Levittown, NY - 1955
(Rolf Schneider photo, Dave Keller archive)
24-Cent-Br-Stone-Overpass-W-of-Bethpage-State-Pky-1955 (Schneider-Keller).jpg (154855 bytes)
Central Branch stone overpass west of Bethpage State Parkway 1955 (Schneider-Keller)
lirr extension.jpg (181457 bytes)
Ex-LIRR ROW Jerusalem Ave. to Hicksville Rd., levittown ROW zoom.jpg (219914 bytes)
Ex-LIRR ROW at Wantagh Ave., Levittown
Bing Maps
 
Meadowbrook Station platform view W 12/21/1965 Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips
SALISBURY PLAINS

WOODEN SHELTER SHED BUILT: c. 1916. USED TO STORE LUMBER DURING CONSTRUCTION OF 2ND DEPOT. RAZED: 1923 (?) 2ND DEPOT OPENED: 12/10/23, CLOSED: c. 1942-43 DUE TO WARTIME SECURITY OF TRAINS PASSING THROUGH MITCHEL FIELD TO GET TO THIS STATION STOP. DEPOT BECAME A RESIDENCE AFTER WWII (1946) AND LATER HOUSED A PRIvATE BUSINESS. TRACKS REMOVED: 1956. RAZED: c.1990s 

Salisbury Plains was originally just a shelter shed but Clinton Road was a substantial brick structure whose prime reason for existence was ticket sales to the camp. Salisbury Plains was built c. 1916 on the site of the old Meadow Brook station  (Meadowbrook station was later moved further west).  Salisbury Plains and Clinton Road stations were built in 1915 to service Camp Mills & Aviation Field No. 2.  MORE Salisbury Plains

Ex-Ocean Electric Car 15 Eastbound-New Sta Under Constr-Salisbury Plains-View NW-1923 (Keller).jpg (115492 bytes)
Ex-Ocean Electric car #15 in Country Life press-Salisbury Plains shuttle service eastbound past the new Salisbury Plains station under construction (View NW) - 1923 
Archive: Dave Keller
Salisbury Plains-Station-background_viewW-1952_(Vincent F. Seyfried-Art Huneke).jpg (43018 bytes)
View looking west toward Salisbury Plains Station in left background. Photo: Vincent F. Seyfried 1952 Archive: Art Huneke
Station-Salisbury Plains_8-09-1964_maske.jpg (76183 bytes)
The original grade AND concrete platform were still in place 8/09/64 in this view looking NW.  Right after WWII, a young couple lived in the building.  When photographed, it appears that some commercial enterprise had occupied it and really messed up the looks of the building.  (Richard Makse photo/Dave Keller archive)
Station-Salisbury Plains (Former Trackside View NE) - 04-01-79 (Madden-Keller).jpg (150832 bytes)
This front view is looking NE on April 1, 1979.  The station was on the north side of the tracks and where the photographer stood to take the photo would have been about where the tracks once were.  The platform was at the base of the doors and bay window brickwork, with the parking lot in this image at a lower elevation than when tracks ran here.   (William Madden photo / Dave Keller archive)

Salisbury Plains Station 12/21/1965 Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

 


Overpass Salisbury Plains 12/21/1965 Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

Central Branch end view E 12/21/1965 Photo/Archive: Brad Phillips

This photo is the farthest east end of the Central Branch trackage remaining as of 12/21/1965.

Note the Meadowbrook Parkway is in the distance. Info: Brad Phillips
 


"Ruckus over old rail site"  8/18/2016 (NEWSDAY- Dave Morrison)

BETHPAGE JUNCTION

CENTRAL RAILROAD OF L.I. DEPOT FIRST APPEARS ON TIMETABLE OF 6/1873. LOCATED AT WEST SIDE OF JUNCTION. USED BY BOTH CRR AND LIRR TRAINS TO 
AFFORD CONNECTIONS TO RIDERS (Per Art Huneke). ABANDONED: 10/1/1877 (Per Vincent Seyfried). STILL APPEARS ON 1897 TIMETABLES WITH MINIMAL SERVICE. (??) 

GENERAL ORDER: EFFECTIVE 1921: BETHPAGE AND CREEDMOOR BRANCHES AND CENTRAL EXTENSION “HC” TO BETHPAGE JCT. WILL BE CONSIDERED SIDINGS.

The Bethpage branch was the short spur off the Central extension east of Bethpage Jct. accessing the brick works in Bethpage (see map top of page). Info: Dave Keller

Maps of the Central Branch
Archive: Dave Keller 

centralbranchMP15-16_1943.jpg (232802 bytes)
Emery Map Central Branch MP15-16 1943

Emery-Map-CentralBr.-MP16to MP17-StewartManor6-58.jpg (264231 bytes)
Emery Map Central Branch MP16-17 Stewart Manor  6/1958
Emery-Map-CentralBr.-MP17toMP18-NassauBlvd.1-58.jpg (176683 bytes)
Emery Map Central Branch MP17-18 Nassau Blvd. 1/1958

Emery map 5/1958 Central Branch MP18-MP19 west/east
Also, Hempstead Branch to Garden City MP20 north/south

Emery-Map-CentralBr.-MP19toMP20 - ClintonRd5-58..jpg (370145 bytes)
Emery Map Central Branch MP19-20 Clinton Rd 5/1958


Emery Map Central Branch MP20 to USAF Crossing 5/1958


Mineola - Garden City Secondary 1966 LIRR Track Map p.48

Garden-City_profilemap.jpg (62631 bytes)
Garden City LIRR Profile Map 

Garden-City-Secondary-1966.jpg (118857 bytes)
Mineola - Garden City Secondary 1966 LIRR Track Map p.49
Garden-City-Secondary-1978.jpg (110268 bytes)
LIRR Track Map Garden City Secondary 1986
northnassau1873.jpg (166202 bytes)
North Nassau Closeup - Central Railroad of Long Island Extension 1873 - Farmingdale Area Archive: Steve Lynch
central.gif (19118 bytes)
LIRR Central Branch
Info: Roger Ramsdale/LIST Semaphore
LIRR 1966 Freight Map LIRR 1986 Freight Map

Became*

30 E.A. Gillespie
31 Max Rosen Lumber
32 Oxford Filing 1 Oxford Pendaflex 1969 Esselte in 1976... FedEx
33 Newsday 2 Daily News
34 LILCO LIPA/Nat Grid
35 A&P 3 A&P Stewart Plaza parking lot 1990
36 Marta Coop.
37 Capital Warehouse 4 Borus Bros. Garden City Paper...Mattress shop and a small Professional building
38 Hampton Sales 5 Hampton Sales
39 Team Tracks 6,7 Team Tracks
40 General Bronze 17 Grumman HQ of Computer Associates... Retail Stores...BJ's and LA Fitness
41 Waldbaums 13 Global Sysco/Garden City Refrig Lowes
42 Blanchard Press 14 Mercury Litho/Georgia Webb Fortunoff's Outdoor store...Life Time Fitness
43 Arma Corp Gallard & Schlesinger...Budenheim in 2005... AAR Aircraft Services
44 AMF Corp AVIS...Cendant...Retail Center...Gallery At Westbury
45 Colonial Press
46 Continental Extrusion 9 Continental Extrusion  Foremost Cold Storage...Printing facility for Herald/Prime Time 
47 Mitchel Air Force Base 10 Navy Annex Abandoned
48 Hogan Industrial Supply
49 J.W. Walthers
50 NY Telephone
51 Lee Story 11 Lee Story Serivoli Foods
52 Borus Bros. Paper Co. J&L Trucking/LI Pipe
53 Master Millwork 12 Master Millwork
54 Garden City Paper Co. 16 Garden City Paper
55 Plowman Bros.
56 Lamparter Acoustical Co.
57 Wimaco Co.
Note *:  As of 2016
The NY&A officially took over Long Island Rail Road's freight operations on May 11, 1997

MTA Headquarters Press Release February 5, 1997

Freight Agreement Addresses Community Concerns

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced that the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New York Atlantic Railway (NYAR) have agreed to a moratorium on the rail movement of municipal solid waste, including ash, and the use of the intermodal facility in Garden City until December 31, 1999. The agreement comes at the request of Governor George E. Pataki, who had expressed his concern to the MTA over issues raised by local officials.