LI City Degnon Terminal

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Emery map - Degnon Terminal 9/1958  Archive: Dave Keller


PRR B8 #1109 Degnon Terminal - NE corner of  47th Ave 29th St., LI City view NE 11/14/1946  Archive: Dave Keller


LI  City Yard A and north side of Degnon Terminal area view NE 1927 (Ewing Galloway-NY Public Library)

Just south of Sunnyside Yards is Degnon Terminal, operated by the Degnon Realty & Terminal Improvement Company. A subsidiary, Degnon Terminal Railroad Corporation operated a switching terminal. It received and delivered cars from and to connections and switched them to the various industries, also the reverse operation. This carrier's only railroad connection was with the Montauk Cutoff of the Long Island Rail Road at Pearson Street [Hunterspoint Avenue], Long Island City. Degnon constructed its tracks about 1919, although land reclamation and grading began about 1907. The road consisted of two main tracks along Nelson Avenue, in addition to many warehouse and industry tracks. Structures include a one-stall engine house, (covered with corrugated iron), a one story frame office building and a water crane (attached to the city main. In the 1916-1927 era, the Degnon Terminal Railroad had a 0-6-0 locomotive with a slope-back tender.

In September 1928 management merged the rail property into the Long Island Rail Road and disposed of all Degnon equipment. After years of inactivity, workers removed Degnon's switch in 1989. 
The Keystone, Spring 1996 - page 50 Author: Nick Kalis

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Dutch Kills - Newtown Creek Industrial District view S c.1910
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Dutch Kills - Newtown Creek Industrial District view S c.1921
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Dutch Kills - Degnon Terminal view N 1927
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 Dutch Kills Creek Area, c.1946 

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LIRR #3121 Degnon RailFan Extra 
03/23/1958 Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

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Gimbel Bros. building  with an FMS class heavy duty Army flat 
and  2-axle (A-A) diesel truck on a dead siding. 
Archive: Henry Wagner

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Track into Degnon Terminal, view looking west towards Montauk Cutoff 1991 Archive: Henry Wagner

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Degnon view NW from Macy's roof   1/16/2016
Photo: Joe Anastasio

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Guiness Brewery - 60 47th Ave, LI City view N

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Degnon Terminal c.1966

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Degnon Terminal Area c.1978

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Queens Subway Loft Bldg. 10/15/1922 NY Times

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LIRR #103 110-47th Ave and 29th St 08/24/77
Archive: Henry Wagner

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LIRR  #103 110-47th Ave and 30th Pl. 08/24/77 Archive: Henry Wagner

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LIRR #404 Alco S1 1946 
Archive: Henry Wagner

View east near the intersection of 47th Avenue and 29th Street from Prima Cement. The track curves off to the right to reach the industries along 29th St and Hunters Point Ave.

Directly behind 404 is Concrete Steel Co. (the scene is partially visible). The taller buildings beyond that are the Macy's warehouse buildings (still there today). 
Info: Henry Wagner

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Degnon lead 03/26/74 Photo: Richard F. Makse

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Packard Motors LI City 1912 Archive: Queens Library

Brothers Edward Frederick Burke (1827?-1887) and John Burke (1829-1892) were Irish distillers, brewers, bottlers and (in New York especially) importers. They were in business in New York City from 1874 to 1953.

In 1922/23 Burke relocated to Long Island City. They seem to have had at least three locations in Long Island City. This notice appeared in the New York Times, 12 May 1933, "E. J. Burke, Ltd., of New York, Dublin, London and Liverpool, importers and bottlers of Bass's ale and Guinness stout, have bought an entire block on the Degnon Terminal from the George A. Fuller Company bounded by Skillman Avenue,
Twenty-seventh to Twenty-eighth Street and Nelson (Forty-seventh) Avenue. The site fronts 245 feet on Skillman Avenue and 358 feet on Twenty-eighth Street. The buyers plan to erect a six-story fireproof building for bottling and warehouse purposes ..." This Guinness sign is located at the 1933 facility. This is just one block away from a later Burke brewery and distribution center at 47-24 27th St. Apparently E. & J. Burke was taken over by Arthur Guinness Son & Co., and the later building was used to brew Guinness stout in the U. S. sometime in the 1940s. This account appeared in the New York Times, 14 June 1949, "Henceforth, Guinness's stout for American consumption will be brewed exclusively in the United States, it was announced yesterday by Arthur Guinness Sons & Co., Ltd., Dublin, Ireland. The recently acquired brewery of E. & J. Burke, Ltd., in Long Island City, Queens to which a large addition is now under construction, has been named the Arthur Guinness Son & Co., Inc., brewery and will be used for this purpose ... E. & J. Burke, Ltd., which has handled the distribution of Guinness stout in the United States for eighty years, will continue to act as prime distributors of the product brewed here."

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View west Macy's 3/20/74 The boxcars are spotted on the Macy's sidetrack. Photo: Richard F. Makse
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That's Philip A. Hunt to the right and Macy's on the right where the truck is blocking the view down the ROW. View east 30th St. 3/26/74 
Photo: Richard F. Makse
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Principe Dana, note that the Degnon Lead is essentially "double track" with two closely-spaced crossovers. Curving to the right, following the turning basin for Dutch Kills is the long lead to Viking Criterion Paper. The track going into the gated area is Concrete Steel Company (#20 on the 1966 maps). To the left is #11 (Sunshine Biscuit). 3/25/74 Photo: Richard F. Makse
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James S. Rhodes Paper & Bag, Crane Plumbing Dutch Kills 3-26-74 
Photo: Richard F. Makse

This is looking north from the Hunterspoint Avenue bridge to the Dutch Kills turning basin. Principe-Dana is straight ahead. The building to the right is Hunterspoint Steel; the one with the barge is James S. Rhodes Paper & Bag. Next is Crane Company Plumbing Supplies. I remember Principe-Dana would get barges of rock probably from Hudson River quarries. Never paid that much attention to the commodities on the barges but the bridges across Dutch Kills opened quite regularly.

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Viking - Criterion Paper 03/25/1974 Photo: Richard F. Makse

Viking Criterion was the most distant consignee off the Degnon Lead, located at the corner of Hunterspoint Avenue and Van Dam Street. (Spot #16 map above) The building is now occupied by the National Braid Manufacturing Corp. 

Additional Degnon Links: Phil Goldstein's Degnon Link History, News Articles, Map, nice Loco Rosters