Long Island Rail Road Double-Deckers

Their size and length were overwhelming. The big balloon roof with headlights and portholes at each end was always a pleasant sight. The two rows of paired windows staggered along the car side always seemed to disappear in the distance. With illuminated numberboards in the headlight housings — no other Long Island Rail Road electric multiple-unit car had this
feature — you always knew which car you were looking at.

"And I appreciated the little touches, like the equipment trust plate in the upper corner of each car and the upper-level window guard bars to prevent passengers from placing their arms outside the car. That’s how I remember Long Island’s double-deckers."  So begins author Michael Boland’s fond remembrance of LIRR’s unique fleet of commuter cars in the Spring 2003 issue of Classic Trains.

LIRR Double decker construction interior 1/1943  Archive: Steamtown National Historic Site

Double-deck-200_T62-aisle-view_7-6-1932.jpg (80652 bytes)
LIRR's double-deck MUs featured
a unique up-down seating configuration.
#200 Class T62 aisle view 7/06/1932
Archive: Bill Mangahas

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 Double-Deck interior c.1950

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#200 Class T62 7/06/1932
Archive: Bill Mangahas

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#200 Class T62 seating arrangement 7/06/1932 Archive: Bill Mangahas

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Double Deck Coach  c.1950 
Archive: Bill Mangahas

The roof is free of vents so this double-decker is the post-war 1947-1949 fleet. The paint looks fairly fresh, but has lost much of its original sheen. Also, notice the window frames; they are Tuscan Red; later double-deckers had silver or aluminum-colored window frames.

As there is no number at the center of the car, usually under or near the "I" in ISLAND, which usually designates the middle of the car, the car has numbers at the ends of the cars signifying that this was an early post-war double-decker. Perhaps, even
the very few MP70A cars, numbered 1337 through 1340 (originally control trailers) and 1341 through 1346. 

Votava double-decker prints show MP70A's with double numbers and Tuscan Red frames; later shots of MP70Bs show a single number centered in the middle of the car and aluminum (silver) window frames. I'd date the photo 1948 to 1950. Research: Mike Boland

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Double-Deck interior c.1950

            Wayne Martin - Islip High 1968

LIRR MP70Bc #1303 at Hunters Point - 11/1969 Photo/Archive: Ed Bacher

LIRR #1346 MP70 MTA scheme Jamaica 7/1971 Archive: Art Huneke

#1301 at Jamaica

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#1301 at Belmont Raceway

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Woodside Archive: Steve Zabel

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#1305 Archive: Steve Zabel 

#1313 at Babylon

#1313 at Jamaica

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#1346 Bliss 1971 Photo: Joe Saullo

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Jamaica view east end of the platform in 1971. The double decker was on the west end. Photo: Richard Glueck

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Special blue striped double decker at Yard D, Jamaica c.1958 (Maywald-Boland)

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Double deckers and P-S train westbound near Sunnyside Yard c.1965 (Maywald-Boland)

Perhaps special because of the blue stripe on the letterboard. Two double-deckers received these colors when there was a press run for the introduction of the new Wyer or 3500-series cars, which also had a blue stripe. Note: The roof is not black, but actually Brunswick Green, also known as (DGLE) Dark Green Locomotive Enamel, a PRR color. This color was used on all new P-S cars in 1955 and rebuilt cars. Research: Mike Boland

RockvilleCentre_c.1950.jpg (162017 bytes)

Rockville Centre :  The double decker is in Tuscan Red with Dulux lettering.  The cars in the distant background look like late 1940s.  Tichy color scheme began in November, 1949 and took several years for all the cars to be repainted.  

Since the transmission poles were on the north side at RVC and as they are visible in the photo, then we are looking northeast and the train is a westbound, early-morning train.  

That means that the temporary tracks, which were south of the original ROW, are NOT those tracks in the photo and the elevated camera angle was taken from somewhere else.  If these WERE the temporary tracks, then there would be signs of construction across the street where the original ROW would have been in the process of being torn up.  

This is not the case, so this is the original ROW and construction has not yet begun. . . . .. That would make the photo no later than the Winter of 1948-49 and the elimination construction has not yet begun. Also, everyone is bundled up for the winter chill

The station and tracks were placed out of service in April, 1949 and temporary tracks and station facilities placed in service.  The elevated tracks and station were placed in service in July, 1950.
Archive: Jim Gillin Photo: LIRR Research: Dave Keller

New double decker paint scheme - Morris Park 1964 Archive: Mike Boland

MP70B #1310 - Track 10, Jamaica Station


LI Railroader "New Double-Deckers 11/1948    Archive: Mike Boland

MP70A #1341 photo by George E. Votava of the first train of double-deckers on the LIRR laid up in Yard D probably in 1947.  Archive: Mike Boland

MP70A 1346 is at the east end of a train of double-deckers at Floral Park in a photo taken by George E. Votava on September 15, 1948. Archive: Mike Boland

A train of double-deckers and Pullman-Standard cars laid up south of Jamaica station and west of HALL Tower (seen in the background). The last car is an MP70A and in the Tichy paint scheme and was probably taken in 1956 or 1957. Notice the equipment trust plate on the double-decker by the vestibule. Since the storm door is open, this is probably a shot taken in summer.
Archive: Mike Boland

Newly arrived MP70A train led by #1341 at Jamaica-Station 1947 Photo: LIRR  Archive: Mike Boland

This is a shot of MP70AT #1340 and train at Long Beach station on September 27, 1964. Notice the marker light, porthole engineer's window and whistle holder have been painted over in the conversion to a motor trailer. Notice, too, the car's number on the side of the headlight housing. Archive: Dave Keller.
MP70B #1312  is one of the "modernized" double-deckers. Note the brown solarized windows and NO Dashing Dan heralds on the car, indicating this was
a late "modernized" car and repainted in the World's Fair paint scheme AFTER the May 1966 edict that came down abandoning the affixing of Dashing Dan heralds on LIRR passenger cars. Some cars that were not rebuilt or modernized also got the World's Fair paint scheme. Info: Mike Boland




LIRR #1312  2/29/1972  Photo/Archive: Steven Waldman


Road No.

Class Type









72’ 0”



1, 8

#200 at Jamaica

lirr200riverhead08-26-07.jpg (38936 bytes)
#200 Riverhead 08/26/2007




80’ 8-34”




#201 at Jamaica




80’ 8-34”



3, 6





80’ 8-34”



4, 5

  Union Hall Street  7/12/1971  #1296




80’ 8-34”




#1326 at Babylon




80’ 8-34”




LIRR #1343 built PRR-Juniata, 4/1947 Photo: 5/23/1947
Archive: Jeff Erlitz

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#1346 at West Hempstead




80’ 8-34”




#1347 and #201 fairly new c.1937 Photo: Rod Dirkes Archive: Mike Boland

#1347 Morris Park Yard 7/09/1950 Photo: George Votava Archive: Mike Boland
#1347 5/04/1954 Jamaica
Archive: Dave Keller

#1347 c.1960 Archive: Mike Boland
Notes to table:*
1. Mid-train trailer; no motors or controls. Only surviving LIRR double-decker; preserved at Railroad Museum of Long Island.
2. Controls removed 1958.
3. Delivered without motors due to Westinghouse strike; motors added 1947-48; renumbered 1337-1340; re-classed MP70A.
4. Seven cars (1287-1289, 1291, 1334-1336) converted to motorized trailers in late 1950's, re-classed MP70BT.
5. Ten cars (1301-1307, 1309, 1311, 1312) rebuilt in 1967 with sealed  windows and improved air-conditioning.
6. Five cars (1337, 1338, 1340, 1341, 1345) converted to motors in 1958; re-classed MP70AT.
7. Controls and motors removed 1958, re-classed T70.
8. The first double decker car built, lacking both motors and controls, but was also the FIRST ALL ALUMINUM railroad car
    produced.  A major historical  milestone. (Dave Keller)        *Classic Trains Information