Sunnyside-Aerial_view SW_1939_DaveMorrison.jpg (958672 bytes)
LI City Sunnyside Yard/LIRR Yard A Aerial view SW 1939 Archive: Dave Morrison

LI City view E from Empire State Bldg. 6-10-2016_Mario Burger.jpg (195087 bytes)
LI City - Hunters Point yard view E from Empire State Building  6/10/16  Photo: Mario Burger



Queens-Tunnel-approach_MTA-c.1940_Fairchild Aerial Photo Inc.NYC-4gray.jpg (1246996 bytes)
Queens-Midtown Tunnel approach opened to traffic on November 15, 1940 MTA Bridges and Tunnels, Fairchild Aerial Photo Inc., NYC  Location identifications: Steven Lynch

LI-City-Area-map_Raudenbush_1952.jpg (1045872 bytes)
LI City/Jamaica Area map - Henry Raudenbush 1952 

1955 and LI City is busy indeed!

The current Long Island Rail Road East Side Access Project: Click: Track 17 

Sunnyside Yard  Rendering 1904
sunnyside1.jpg (342939 bytes)
       In 1910 the Pennsylvania Railroad had completed its terminal in New York City, which was connected by tunnels to New Jersey, and under the East River to Long Island. At Sunnyside the large yard of the Pennsylvania Railroad was constructed. An agreement was made with that Railroad and the Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Railroad Company whereby the cars of the Long Island Railroad would be carried through the tunnels under the East River into the Terminal at Seventh Avenue and Thirty-second Street, New York. Thus the Long Island Railroad acquired what successive administrations had striven for in vain, a terminal on Manhattan Island. In order to reach this terminal it was necessary to electrify from Jamaica to New York, which was accomplished in 1910, and the first train run into the Pennsylvania Station on September 10th of that year.  Felix E. Reifschneider's  1925 Long Island Rail Road History

Sunnyside Electric Storage Yard:

One of 1907‘s improvements of the greatest magnitude in the Borough of Queens is the big Sunnyside Yard, which is to be built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in the Sunnyside section of Long Island city as a terminal and car yard for its entire train service entering or departing from the city of New York.

By the use of this yard and the big system of loop tracks to be built in this territory, the Pennsylvania railroad company will be able to do away with all switching of trains, and will be provided with abundant room for storage of cars temporarily out of use. Every provision will be made in the yard for the cleaning of cars, the latest methods that do away with hand labor being installed. The cars will be carefully inspected before being sent out on their long journeys across the continent.

All westbound trains will be made up at this terminal and will pass under the great station in Manhattan without any delay. The repair shops will be provided with facilities for attending to any slight repairs. The yards will have a capacity for handling 700 or 800 trains a day without the least confusion. The yard walk you probably about 450 acres, about 2 miles in length and 1/2 mile in width at the widest section.

Work has already been started on the grading, which calls for the removal of 2,300,000 cubic yards of earth from the Sunnyside Hills and a fill of 1,000,000 yards on the Dutch Kills swamp. The Degnan contracting company is to do a large share of the work.

Three big steam diggers are at work in a dozen locomotives and trains of dirt cars are in use. In some sections the swamp is to be raised to a grade of 29 feet above its present Level, as high as the top of the tallest telegraph poles. Seven or eight viaduct highways will be built over the yard including a white extension of Blackwell’s Island Bridge; and there will be no crossings at any point at grade.

The yards will be finished in about a year and a half, in ample time for the completion of the tunnel now being constructed under the East River. -Brooklyn Eagle, April 13, 1907   Fred Hadley

Sunnyside Yard 1910

Sunnyside-c.1910.jpg (2215916 bytes)
Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Railroad , East River Division, Sunnyside Yard map from "Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers", hardcover edition 1910. Info: John Fusto
Main Line Tracks-Sunnyside Yard Under Constr.-View E - c. 1909 (Keller).jpg (79156 bytes)
Main Line Tracks - Sunnyside Yard under construction View E c.1909 Archive: Dave Keller
No covered platforms for the commissary tracks and the boiler house has yet to be erected. Also note:  All the multi-storied buildings bordering Northern Blvd. in the Yard A background yet to be erected. 
Tower Q-PRR-Pullman-Coach Yd-Sunnyside-View NE-c.1910-Keller.jpg (88885 bytes)
Tower "Q" PRR Pullman Coach Yard - -Sunnyside View NE c.1910 Archive: Dave Keller
Sunnyside-Yard-Q-Tower_ViewE_c.1920_BillMangahas.jpg (117690 bytes)
Sunnyside Yard "Q" Tower View E c.1920 Archive: Bill Mangahas
PRR Pullman-Coach Yard-Sunnyside-View W towards Tower Q-Queens Blvd - c. 1921 (J.V.Osborne-D. Keller).jpg (75082 bytes)
PRR Pullman Coach Yard - Sunnyside View W from the Honeywell Ave. overpass towards "Q" Tower and Queens Blvd  c.1921 (J. V. Osborne - D.  Keller)

Sunnyside Yard ex-PRR parlors with LIRR blue stripes staged for the Army-Navy game 11/28/1964
in Philadelphia, PA while PRR GG1 #4930 cruises past the coach  yard.  Archive: Mike Boland
PRR DD1-27-Track 17-Penn Sta-c. 1910 (Keller).jpg (83397 bytes)
PRR DD1 #27 Track 17 - Penn Station c.1910 Archive: Dave Keller
Station-Pennsylvania Station - NY, NY - Interior - 1910.jpg (189367 bytes)
Pennsylvania Station, NY Interior 1910
PRR Tunnels under 6th Ave at 32nd St (View E) - 05-12-39 (Keller).jpg (112115 bytes)
PRR Tunnels under 6th Ave at 32nd Street - View E 5/12/1939 Archive: Dave Keller

Note:  Catenary was installed in Sunnyside Yard in 1932. According to page 67 of Bob Sturm's New York Connecting RR book, freight service at Bay Ridge was electrified March 15, 1927. Dave Morrison

NY Terminal AC was energized in January 1932, way before the GG-1s were even designed. The first PRR AC units between Sunnyside and Manhattan Transfer were a few O-1's.  Then came the P-5's, THEN later the GG-1's.  DD-1's were still used by the PRR as late as 1936, on the LIRR into the 1950's.

NY Div MP54s were first used on PRR local service as far as New Brunswick (probably turning at Millstone Jct.) shortly after the start-up, then the AC was eventually extended to Trenton where it met the existing wires coming up from Philadelphia. George Chiasson Jr.


Sunnyside Yard  Rendering C. 1956 by Robert Wegner
sunnysideyard1956.jpg (292325 bytes)

LI City Facilities Valuation Photo Collection c. 1919

LIC boiler house.jpg (52562 bytes)
LI City Boiler House  070/7/1919
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC canopy and station.jpg (49822 bytes)
LI City Canopy and Station 
c. late 1914-1920 
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC coal tower.jpg (44803 bytes)
LI City Coal Tower 07/07/1919
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC Express Stable entrance.jpg (73468 bytes)
LI City Express Stable Entrance 07/14/19
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC ferry entrance.jpg (38035 bytes)
LI City Ferry Entrance 06/23/19
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC freight offices.jpg (50869 bytes)
LI City Freight Offices 07/14/19
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC ice house.jpg (63543 bytes)
LI City Ice House 06/24/19
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC pumphouse.jpg (44262 bytes)
LI City Pump House 06/23/19
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC shop office.jpg (36189 bytes)
LI City Shop Office c. 1918
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC trans and switch house.jpg (44570 bytes)
LI City Switch House 06/22/20
Collection: Dave Morrison
LIC wagon repair shop.jpg (48437 bytes)
LI City Wagon Repair Shop 
c. 1918 Collection: Dave Morrison
LICenginehouse.jpg (44393 bytes)
LI City Engine House valuation photo 1918 - LIRR #2 E51sa 4-4-2
Collection: Dave Morrison

PRR Sunnyside Yard view W 1955 Photo/archive: Art Huneke

LI City, Sunnyside Yard  view W Montauk Cutoff  in background 1968 
Sunnyside-Signals_4-15-42.jpg (463080 bytes)
Sunnyside Track Signals 4/15/1942

An eight car eastbound passenger train approaching Queens Blvd in LI City - 3/22/2024 - Photo/Archive: Kevin Katta

Sunnyside Yard car wash rack 4/25/1988
Photo/Archive: Edward Hand

Amtrak -  Sunnyside Yard car  washer equipment zoom 2/06/2020 Photo/Archive: John Deasy

Sunnyside Yard car wash rack 12/27/2015 illustrate the car washer’s position in relation to the remains of the former Harold Tower.  Photo/Archive: Jersey Mike’s Rail Adventures

Amtrak -  Sunnyside Yard car  washer equipment zoom 2/06/2020 Photo/Archive: John Deasy

The Amtrak (former PRR/PC) washer is located on the loop tracks at the south side of Sunnyside Yard, just north and west of the intersection of Skillman Avenue and 37th Street.  The washer is a short distance west of the 39th Street (formerly Harold Avenue) bridge over the Yard. Info: John Deasy

Office of Chief Engineer, Pennsylvania Railroad, May  20, 1946 Maps
Office-Chief-Engineer-PRR_6-20-1946-map.jpg (1542796 bytes)

licmap1v3.jpg (215530 bytes)
LI City Float Bridges 3-4, later renamed 1-2) and 5-6.

licmap2v3.jpg (402631 bytes)
Arch St. Team Yard
 Degnon Terminal
Montauk Branch Cut-off
Wheelspur Yard
Dutch Kills Creek
Newtown Creek
licmap3v2.jpg (348201 bytes)
LIRR Yard A (North Yard)
PRR Offices - PRR Sunnyside Coach Yard (South Yard)


licmap4v2.jpg (321028 bytes)
PRR Sunnyside Coach Yard east area 
REA Express Terminal
licmap5v2.jpg (259228 bytes)
NY Conn. RR to Hell Gate
LIRR Main to Jamaica
Gosman Ave Yard

LIRR  Westbound Main
LIRR Eastbound Main

Here is a photo of an underjump/duckunder (see Yard A map above) located west of Sunnyside Yard and east of the East River tunnels. The location is a few hundred feet west of the bridge that carries Queens Boulevard and the NYCTA # 7 train over the railroad. The two tracks are used by equipment moves coming out of the west end yard at Sunnyside, en-route to Penn Station. They pass underneath a LIRR mainline track that is used by both LIRR and Amtrak trains heading west to Penn Station.

I took this photo on 9/21/2012 from the vestibule of my MOUNT VERNON. We were on the rear of Amtrak train 91, The Silver Star, headed from Sunnyside Yard to Penn Station, for a trip from New York to Washington. Info: Jack Deasy
LI City Float Bridges - LI City Station
1.Hunters-Point_LI-City_1891_NYPublicLib-cropped.jpg (203085 bytes)
LI City 1891 map - NY Public Library cropped

LI City Vernon Av - MU cars to be sent to NJ for scrap
1972 - View W

2.Hunters-Point_LI-City_1903_NYPublicLib-cropped.jpg (145949 bytes)
LI City 1903 map - NY Public Library cropped

Hunters-Point_LI-City_1919_NYPublicLib-zoom.jpg (214442 bytes)
LI City 1919 map - NY Public Library cropped

3.Blueprint - Float Bridges-LIC - 03-20-1916  (Huneke).jpg (359397 bytes)
LI City Float Bridges blueprint 3/20/1916 
Archive: Art Huneke
Blueprint-Float-Bridges-LIC_03-20-1916_zoom-annotated_Huneke.jpg (114355 bytes)
LI City blueprint 3/20/1916 zoom-annotated
Archive: Art Huneke

In 1925 the new steel bridges #1 and #2 were added north, at 6th St. with the remaining bridges being renumbered accordingly, and then the wooden bridges (originally #1 and a reserved space) discontinued c. 1930 per Emery's map. 

Old #1 had a space south of it where #2 had been. Thus, old #1 became #3. The steel bridges down at 4th st. originally numbered #3 and #4 were then renumbered #5 and #6. Research: Huneke/Keller


LIRR-Information Bulletin_8-22-1925_FloatBridges_Huneke.jpg (537814 bytes)     LIRR-Information Bulletin_8-22-1925_FloatBridges2_Huneke.jpg (523057 bytes)
LI Railroad Information Bulletin 8/22/1925 Archive: Art Huneke1

3a.floats no date.jpg (56960 bytes)
LI City Float Bridges post-1916, date unknown

4. Office of Chief Engineer, Pennsylvania Railroad, May  20, 1946 Maps zoom.jpg (315613 bytes)
Pennsylvania Railroad Map 5/30/1946 cropped/zoom
5.Emery Float Bridgess LI City  cropped 1958.jpg (208536 bytes)
.Emery map LI City Float Bridges 1958 cropped
LI-City_S1-414_float-Bridges-Yardmasters-Office_ViewNW-1966.jpg (74386 bytes)
LI City S1 #414 working the float bridges by the 
Yardmasters Office View NW 1966

float docks 1and2.jpg (66742 bytes)
Hunter's Point 04/1998 - View E  Float bridges  #1&2
Photo: Bruce Carlson

lirr421_licity.jpg (101009 bytes)
LIRR #421 S1 LI City with Idler MOW car 
taking delivery of  Subway R32 cars. 11/1964

Float-Docks-LIC-Meitowax-zoom_c.1955+.jpg (86369 bytes)
Meitowax pilot house 
zoom c.1955

Float-Docks-LIC_c.1955+_bw.jpg (102579 bytes)
Float Docks LI City c.1955

LI City North Shore Yard float docks 1/1971 Photos: Dave Keller


carfloat20.jpg (13290 bytes)
LIRR carfloat #20 perhaps on its way to the 
North Shore Yard (LI City Floats)

lirr32s-LiCityGerryLandaufoto11-64.jpg (60482 bytes)
Delivery Subway R32s 11/64  Photo: Gerry Landau Archive: Art Huneke

LIRRer Nov 1953_zoom.jpg (191754 bytes)


LIRRer June 1951_zoom.jpg (91542 bytes)

LIRRer June 1951-_zoom2.jpg (81429 bytes)

li_tug.jpg (28397 bytes)

tugs.jpg (60684 bytes)

Tug "Garden City" working the floats c.1953-56 The Paragon Oil truck has a Mack B-63 tractor doing the pulling - it looks fairly new. Mack introduced the "B" series in 1953.  Info: Joe Hagen


LI City car float bridge -View E  10/1972

LI City float bridge yard 8/1974
Photo/Archive: John F. Ciesla 

lirrFloatDock-c.1963.jpg (42377 bytes)
LIRR #406 with Idler car c.1963

licityfloatdocks-carfloats.jpg (53013 bytes)
Car floats at docks 1&2
Archive: Henry Wagner
licity c.1910.jpg (56921 bytes)
11th Street Crossing c. 1910 into North Shore Freight Yard LI City

Hunter's Point Ave Station
1969 Photo: Dave Keller

Crossing Tower 5th St. LI City 1971
 Photo: Dave Keller
Float-bridges-LI-City_viewW_9-29-87_EdwardHand.jpg (137058 bytes)
Float bridges - LI City  View W 9/29/87  
Photo: Edward Hand
Montauk Branch Cut-off - Degnon Terminal
lirr462MontaukCutoff10-74_A.JosephDaly2.jpg (67651 bytes)
LIRR #462 on  Montauk Cutoff 10/1974 
Photo: Joe Daly

lirr155-156_RF15MontaukCutoff12-8-77.jpg (98329 bytes)
LIRR #155-156 RF15 on Montauk Cutoff crossing 49th Ave View N 12/08/1977 Archive: Henry Wagner


joegregorylLICitybordenave0218-08.jpg (58936 bytes)
Montauk Branch Cut-off
LI City Borden Ave 02/18/2008
Photo: Joe Gregory

lirrC420_viewEastHunterspointAveStationJoeDaly10-74.jpg (61654 bytes)
Montauk Cut-off above the oncoming C420 View east at Hunters Point Ave Station platform Photo: Joe Daly 10/1974

View toward Degnon, American Chicle Co.
Photo: Steve Lynch c.1980

Montauk-Cutoff-removed_GN3-22_8-19-17.jpg (113431 bytes)
Montauk Cut-off  - Removed GN 3-22 8/19/17

degnontermtrackmap66.jpg (110152 bytes)
Degnon Terminal
queenssubwayloftdegnon1922.jpg (261372 bytes)
Queens Subway Loft Bldg. 10/15/1922 NY Times
degnon.jpg (281447 bytes)
Degnon Terminal
LIRR Yard A (North Yard)
LI City Yard A (below) and north side of Degnon Terminal area (above) views NE 1927 (Ewing Galloway-NY Public Library)

Speed Queen was Spot 18 according to Maps of Freight Stations and Private Sidings published June 1966. Speed Queen, located east of Louis Sherry, had a street address of 32-04 Northern Boulevard and was located at the corner of Honeywell Street. For a time it was bounded to its right, facing it from Northern Boulevard, by a gas station.

Speed Queen was served by its very own LIRR siding. According to drawings by Robert Emery, this siding too entered into the building, which appears to be six-stories in height. It was constructed of poured concrete

Today, Shur Guard occupies this building , according to Bill Myers. Before that, according to a Track Plan titled "North Shore Freight Branch" it was Leck Industries - during the period roughly from 1945 to the 1960s. Before that it was occupied by Standard Plumbing (1920 - 1945). According to a map drawn by Robert Emery and corroborated by the Hyde Atlas, it was occupied even further back by Sexton Foods known on Hyde Atlas as John Sexton Co.. Vincent Seyfried reportedly has a photo of Standard Plumbing showing Northern Boulevard in foreground taken from the 39th Avenue BMT Subway - Elevated station.

According to Jay McDonald of Alliance Laundry Systems, Speed Queen’s warehouse received by rail finished washers, dryers, and wringer washers from its factory in Ripon, Wisconsin. Info: Nick Kalis

S2 #452 and N52 caboose #12 are backing up in Yard A, L.I. City, NY - Yard office is at the left.  
Brakeman is signaling the engineer.  View is looking SE - 2/22/54 (Will Faxon photo, Dave Keller archive)

LIRR- Yard A - View W 1959

LI City - Yard A freight car repair - View W 8/1966 Photo/Archive: John Ciesla

DS4-660 #410 LI City 8/1962 Photo/Archive: John Ciesla
LICityYardAviewW1974.jpg (135704 bytes)
LIRR Yard A view W LI City 1974
LI-City-yard-A_lirr-RS1-461_03-1976.jpg (183282 bytes)
LI City Yard A view E - LIRR RS1  #461 03/1976
BAR_GP7s-72-60-62_LI-City-YardA_viewE_1976.jpg (127860 bytes)
LI City Yard A - BAR GP7s #72 #60 #62  view E 1976
LI-City_YardA_c.1978.jpg (155525 bytes)
LI City Yard A GP38-2 #250, #253 - View E c.1978  Photo: Henry Maywald Archive: Al Castelli

Yard A - View E  c.1980

Yard A - View W  c.1980
ViewYardA_eastfromfloatdocks5-5-74.jpg (98176 bytes)
Entrance to Yard A, View E 11th St. overpass 
Archive: Henry WagnerYard-A_viewW_21st-overpass-Mallon-Co_1984_Rudolph-Schubert.jpg (84981 bytes)
Yard A view W toward 21st St. overpass at "8th street Hill." Mallon Co. siding at right 1984 - LIRR 1909 MOW series #800-802 tank cars
10/12/84 Photos: Rudy SchubertYard-A_MP54A-1632_MPB54-ex-1398-W6-combine_viewSW_10-12-1984_Rudolph-Schubert.jpg (95911 bytes)
Coach MP54A #1632 Combine MPB54 ex-#1398 than W6 moved to Terryville, NY in Tuscan repaint as Visitor Center
PRR-Sanding-Facilities-Engine-House-Sunnyside-Yd-LIC-c1958.jpg (120311 bytes)
PRR Sunnyside Engine Sanding Facility  c.1958
Dave Keller Archive

PRR-Yard-GG1s_Sunnyside_viewE_1954.jpg (112029 bytes)
Sunnyside Engine Facility 1954

Sunnyside Engine Facility c. 1980 Photo: Bob Redden


Sunshine Biscuits Bldg.

S2-448-Sunnyside-LIC-8-13-66.jpg (86992 bytes)
LIRR #448 1966 in front of  Sunshine Biscuit Archive: Dave Keller

PRR-GG1s-Sunnyside-Yd-LIC-c.1958.jpg (129298 bytes)
PRR GG1s Sunnyside c.1958
PRReastSunnysideyard1946.jpg (68246 bytes)
Location of  above photo
Map/Info: Steve Lynch
LI447ExecutoneTimDarnell .jpg (76045 bytes)
LIRR #447 at Executone Systems
Photo: Tim Darnell

licityAmtrakS-Side-viewfromCityStorageBldg11-07KevinKatta.jpg (182743 bytes)
Amtrak Sunny Side view from City Storage Bldg 11/07 Photo: Kevin Katta

SW1001_100_IdlerCarFrt_SunnysideLIC-04-11-77Keller.jpg (144080 bytes)
LIRR SW1001 #100 with Idler 4/11/77 Dave Keller archive

lirr100HoneywellSt5-21-77.jpg (93789 bytes)
LIRR #100  Honeywell St. 05/21/77
Archive: Henry Wagner

Yard A looking NE
c. 1980
 Photo: Steven Lynch

C54-Yard A.jpg (64068 bytes)
Yard A LIRR #C64 N22
Photo c. 1964+  Steve Hoskins

RS1-462-Original Colors-Sunnyside-LICity-2-26-49-Votava.jpg (113206 bytes)
LIRR RS1 #462 in original colors LI City 2/26/1949 (Votava-Keller)

Note: West of Sexton Foods/Speed Queen (Spot 18) LIRR 1966 maps

11th-Jackson_viewW_12-04-15_Joseph Anastasio.jpg (80437 bytes)
11th St. - Jackson Ave. view W 12/04/15 Floodlight remains from float docks Arch St. yard complex
Photo: Joseph Anastasio

SunnysideYardsLICbmyers1980s.jpg (61103 bytes)
LIRR Yard A View N from Honeywell Ave ramp into yard c. 1980's 
Photo: B. Myers
H10s-GG1-DD1-Sanding Facilities-Engine Hse-Sunnyside-c.1955.jpg (60512 bytes)
H10s, GG1, DD1 at sanding facility  c.1955 Dave Keller Archive

lirr154-162HoneywellSt4-21-77.jpg (106923 bytes)
LIRR #154, #162 Honeywell St. 04/21/77 
Archive: Henry Wagner

lirr106HoneywellSt5-16-77.jpg (104778 bytes)
LIRR #106 Honeywell St. 05/16/77
Archive: Henry Wagner


S2-460-Idler-Car-Sunnyside-LIC-c1958.jpg (136220 bytes)
LIRR #460 Alco S-2 with Idler Car c.1958 
Archive: Dave Keller

ALCO_S1-418,S2-452_LICity_10-4-76_Goldstein-Keller.jpg (139641 bytes)
ALCO S1 #418, S2 #52 LI City 10/04/76 (Goldstein-Keller)

Sternberger Warehouse to the left, Peter Mallon/ Bickford's
on the right.

sunnysideyard-pig.jpg (42356 bytes)
A "pig", "mule" or "barney" setup. (Note 1:) The 2 rails between the running rails, are used by a railed pusher to shove dead locos into shop area w/o catenary overhead. No steam locos in Sunnyside what so ever.
Info: K. F. Groh  Dave Keller Archive


West Building and West Annex
(aka CN Building) Archive: Bill Myers

SunnysideYards2LICbmyers1980s.jpg (62953 bytes)
Sunnyside Engine Facility c. 1980's Photo: B. Myers 

Sand Facilities Amtrak, ex-PRR c.1980
Photo: Steven Lynch

lirr162-154HoneywellSt4-21-77.jpg (104309 bytes)
LIRR #162, #154  Honeywell  St. 5/21/1977
Archive: Henry Wagner

LI City "Stink Track"  West Chemical 4 dome tank car GATX 3040 1/08/1974 Photo: Richard F. Makse

West Chemical 3 dome tank car GATX 70487 1/1972
 Photo: Frank Szcahacz

Ex-West Chemical Products - Weekend Boxcar Market Bldg view NW 8/14/1981

West Chemical made CN disinfectant cleaner (Motto: "You can't spell clean without CN"). CN was an iodine-containing product sort of like Betadine lotion, but it was made with industrial-grade ingredients  instead of pharmaceutical-grade. As a result it smelled of iodine with a strong overtone of dead fish. Stink track, indeed! Info: Albert Waltien

WEST CHEMICAL:  During the summer of 1960, I worked in the chemical laboratory of the West Chemical Company as a technician. It was my first job and I was excited to be working in a real lab. I made $65 a week and enjoyed Friday’s walk across Queens Plaza to cash my check. I always wanted to be a chemist and I loved the work.

The laboratories were housed in the long, thin second floor rectangle of the flat roof building shown in the picture. The staff size was about 21 people: the laboratory director, managers, secretaries, chemists and a small library. The lower story was a long internal shipping dock connecting the main five story building with the single story plant. The plant had several large blending kettles, probably 500 gallons each. The larger building had at least one blending kettle of about 2000 gallons. It also had presses for making Para dichlorobenzene, (PARA) blocks, (urinal disinfectant) and other blending and bottling equipment.

The biological lab performed tests to evaluate the germ killing ability of materials and products. It was the smaller of the two labs and needed to be kept separate for hygienic reasons.

The chemical laboratory staff ran routine analysis on materials and finished products such as moisture, water, solids and iodine content. They also performed applied research including developing more durable wax formulations or more stable emulsifier blends or selecting better raw materials. Most people handled non-routine problems as they arose. My job was to clean the glassware and equipment for all of them. One person had the special job evaluating pesticide strengths using live cockroaches.

His laboratory was housed in a separate, isolated, disused part of the facility on the west side of West St and was termed the “roachatorium”, denoted R in the picture, because cockroaches were raised for pesticide evaluation. He had a large (12’ x 7’ x 6’) climate controlled room dedicated to raising dozens of types of cockroaches. There were thousands of sexually segregated cockroaches kept comfortable and well fed, (dog biscuits were the preferred food) in high wall Petri dishes.

The company had a broad product line primarily catering to industrial customers. The company made some products familiar to the public, of which CN and possibly Pine-Sol are the most memorable. But, much of their product line was for industrial customers. This included PARA, or naphthalene blocks for urinal cleaning and deodorization, a range of industrial strength detergents, floor wax, animal disinfectants using iodine for farm and veterinary applications, hand cream for chapped and rough skin, pesticide sprays, cleaning compounds for ship’s boilers are a few. I believe they also did a fair amount of custom formulation to meet customer’s specific requirements.

A fairly unique product was Isosan, an animal disinfectant used for farm applications. Its main ingredient was suspended or solubilized iodine. It was gentler on skin than chlorine based products, (Chlorox) but still had significant germ killing properties.

Raw materials like alcohol, sulfonated hydrocarbons, and ammonia were used in large amounts and could well have been received by tank car. Smaller amounts of PARA, iodine, carnauba or Ouri-Curi wax, (the wax in floor waxes) emulsifiers, disinfectants, oils, creams, etc. were received in metal and fiber drums or bottles, which could also have been received in boxcars.

I’m reasonably certain that the major ingredient in CN was comprised of phenols and cresols obtained from coking and the subsequent processing of the volatile coal tar. Coke was used in steel manufacturing and the closest steel making region was Pennsylvania. The phenols were most probably shipped to LI City by tank car resulting in some transfer spillage at the siding. These materials have a very unique and sharp odor, which would have been noticeable by the yard workers. Chlorinated phenols or alkylated sulfonates may also have been used. The sources are different, but the shipping method and odors would be the same.

Other finished products were shipped in 55 gallon drums gallon bottles or smaller consumer specific containers. For local customers they were shipped by truck. For more distant clientele or those purchasing large amounts of product rail was preferred. The track siding at the rear of the five story building served both boxcars and tank cars. Invariably some of the material spilled from transfer hoses contributing to the name “stink Track.”

In fairness to my first employer, West Chemical, I really think that a contribution to the source of the “Stink Track” name was the van Iderstine rendering plant. Rendering plant odors are unique, “heavier and more sickening.” I was in Blissville once and smelled that oppressive odor and never forgot it. I didn’t encounter it again for 25 years, until I came close to a similar plant in Indiana.

After Graduate school in the very early ‘70s I came back to visit my parents. I swung by West Chemical, but it was abandoned. I hope this summary helps fill in some details. I also give you permission to use any of this material in your website or other documentation you feel may be applicable.    Peter A. Pospisil  - 2005 email to Nick Kalis

Note 1:  This looks like a “Barney”arrangement.  A small car, the barney,  would run on those two inner rails, pulled by cables which you can see in the middle of the track.  When up on the level with the normal track, it would stick up high enough to engage the coupler of an engine, which it could them move along the track.  When not in use, it would be rolled down into the pit so as to clear normal movements.  This sort of thing was used to push hoppers up into the car dumpers that used to exist at Jersey City and Weehawken , and also was used at CNJ’s Ashley inclined plane, pushing car up the mountain from Wilkes Barre. 

I wasn’t aware that such a thing had existed at Sunnyside.   Probably was originally put in when there was only 3rd rail, and DD-1 and L-5 locomotives.  You wouldn’t want 3rd rail around a maintenance pit.  That whole engine house was designed to work on a production line basis, engines moving through in one direction only.  Using a steam switcher would have been a nuisance as it would have had to run around using another track.  The barney avoided that and was probably electric powered, thus in keeping with the modern standards PRR had in mind in the whole Penn Station complex.  Commentary: Henry Raudenbush 7/09/2008

lirrC420-4unitlashup-LICity08-12-81.jpg (128641 bytes)
C420 #229 lead on 4 Unit  LI City 8/12/1981 Archive: Dave Keller
licity1922NYScollection.jpg (52664 bytes)
Queen's Blvd. (Diagonal St.) view NE 1922 NYS Collection

Queen's Blvd. view NE LIRR main in back c.1980
Photo: Steven Lynch



yarda-circus-train-caboose.jpg (85008 bytes)
Yard A - Circus Train
Archive: Henry Wagner

 yarda-freight.jpg (104314 bytes)
Yard A freight view NE
Archive: Henry Wagner

National Carbine c.1915

Brett Bldg. c. 1915
LI City - Harold Ave
Yard-Sunnyside - View NE Towards R Tower and Harold Ave. - US ARMY Trench Warfare Training - 1919 (Reuters-AMC).jpg (135266 bytes)
Sunnyside view NE towards R Tower and Harold Ave.  US ARMY Trench Warfare Training - 1919 (Reuters-AMC)

licity1934NYScollection .jpg (72435 bytes)
Honeywell Ave - Sunnyside Yard
view NE 1934  NYS Collection
SunnysideYard04-1946.jpg (37186 bytes)
Sunnyside Yard View NE 4/1946

SunnysideYard-c.1953.jpg (43420 bytes)
Sunnyside Yard View NE c.1953

PRR-R Tower-W of Harold Ave-Sunnyside Yd-LICity-View W-09-05-60 (Faxon-Keller).jpg (138713 bytes)
PRR R Tower west of Harold Ave Sunnyside Yard
View W 9/05/1960 (Faxon-Keller)

Harold Ave  view NW driveway to REA c.1980
Photo: Steven Lynch 

Sunnyside Yard - LIRR Harold Ave Team Yard
REA Facility 1956  Photo view right

Harold Avenue Team Yard - View E 6/1922
Photo: Queens Chamber Commerce Archive: Dave Keller


LIRR S2 #443 Reacher car #497882 at Harold Ave Team Yard - REA Facility in the background - View SE
9/27/1951  Archive: Bob's Photos

Harold Avenue Team Yard view E 1942
Photo: Fred Weber Archive: Mike Boland 
Arch Street Yard
LICityArchSt-Salt-c.1986.jpg (80928 bytes)
Arch St. NY City rock salt  piles c.1986 as Citicorp Tower  not yet built.  Archive: Henry Wagner
arch-street-yard_9-29-87_EdwardHand.jpg (119831 bytes)
Arch St. Yard   9/29/1987 Photo: Edward Hand
arch-street-yard_9-29-87_salt-storage_EdwardHand.jpg (118818 bytes)
Arch St. Yard  Rock Salt piles 9/29/1987 Photo: Edward Hand
arch-street-yard_entrance_9-29-87_EdwardHand.jpg (177908 bytes)
Arch St. Yard entrance 9/29/1987 Photo: Edward Hand

Arch-St_salt-piles_4-25-88_EdwardHand.jpg (127977 bytes)
Arch St. Yard Rock salt piles 4/25/1988 
Photo: Edward Hand

Freight House-Frt Acctg Ofc-Arch St. Yard-LI City, NY - 05-21-65_Makse-Keller.jpg (84344 bytes)
Arch St. Yard - Freight House - Freight Accounting Office  5/21/1965 (Makse-Keller)
Freight House-zoom-sign_Arch St. Yard-LI City, NY - 05-21-65 (Makse-Keller).jpg (42072 bytes)
Arch St. Yard Freight House zoomed sign 5/21/1965 (Makse-Keller)
Arch-St-freight-terminal-LI-City__viewE_6-6-09_KevinWong.jpg (55000 bytes)
Arch St. freight terminal view E 6/06/2009
LICity-Arch-St_freight-terminal-and-house house_12-17-14_outofserviceApril2015_KevinWong.jpg (104076 bytes)
Arch St. freight terminal and house  
LICity-Arch-St_freight-terminal-and-house_12-17-14_KevinWong.jpg (112089 bytes)
Arch St. freight house and terminal  12/17/2014  -  Out of service as of 4/01/2015 Photos: Kevin Wong unless noted.
M-3-9843-scrapped_last-blue-striped-unit_Arch-Street_2-14-2011_KevinWong.jpg (121894 bytes)
M-3 #9843 scrapped as the last blue-striped unit Arch Street 2/14/2011
Photo: Kevin Wong
LICity_Arch-Street-freight-terminal_7-30-2017_KevinWong (2).jpg (122662 bytes)
LI City Arch Street freight terminal 7/30/2017
Photo: Kevin Wong

Arch-St-Yard_ 8-19-2017_KevinWong.jpg (144120 bytes)
Arch Street Yard 8/19/2017 Photo/Archive: Kevin Wong

LICity_Arch-Street-freight-terminal_7-30-2017_KevinWong.jpg (60527 bytes)
LI City Arch Street freight terminal 7/30/2017 Photo: Kevin Wong

Arch St. from 21st St. LI City 9/13/2019

rail-for-new-Arch-St.-Shop_viewE= 21st-St_Joseph Anastasio.jpg (124290 bytes)
Rail for new Arch St. shop View E at 21st St. 
Photo Joseph Anastasio

Arch Street freight station
MOW LIRR flatbed hauling Jet snow blower 1/27/2024
Photo/Archive: Kevin Wong

Arch St. yard - 9/13/2021 Photo/Archive: Alexander Martone

Arch St. Shops, LI City 2/06/2023
Photo/Archive: Kevin Katta

M9's Arch Street Shops, LI City
Photo: LIRR Road Foreman of Engines Barry Johnson  Archive: LIST-NRHS

Arch Street freight station Rail King RK330 G6 Mobile Railcar Mover Photo/Archive: Kevin Wong

Arch Street freight station 1/27/2024
Photo/Archive: Kevin Wong

Arch Street freight station 1/27/2024
Photo/Archive: Kevin Wong
Dutch Kills Area

Newtown Creek view E 6/10/2016 Photo: Mario Burger

Newtown Creek 1860 illustrating the vast flat marshy undeveloped area that became the Sunnyside LIRR yard complex

Dutch-Kills-Trestle_7-26-1997_EdwardHand.jpg (113707 bytes)
Dutch Kills Swingbridge
7/26/1997 Photo: Edward Hand

Newtown Creek over 125 years later - 1985
  Dutch-Kills-bridge_viewW_c.2010_HenryFSommers.jpg (124704 bytes)
Dutch Kills Swingbridge 
view W c.2010 Photo: Henry Sommers

Dutch Kills during construction

“DB Cabin Dutch Kills Swingbridge 12/1970 (opened: 10/1915  north side of tracks - east of bridge) Collection: Dave Keller

newtoncreek.jpg (45358 bytes)
Newtown Creek -  w from the Kosciusko Bridge  Photo: Copyright  2000 Bernard Ente

Dutch Kills leading into Newtown Creek -  southwest 2001

 dutchkill-bridge-cabin.jpg (63538 bytes)
Dutch Kills view from the Montauk Cutoff, 1960s. DB Cabin is visible, and what looks like a C420 on the Lower Montauk Archive: Henry Wagner

DB Cabin 05/16/1976 Archive: Henry Wagner

LI City, M Cabin bridge - LIRR #222-225 RF-15 westbound  7/1982
Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

Dutch Kills Swingbridge - 'C' Secondary 1986
Photo/Archive: Frank Fiore

Dutch Kills Swingbridge - View W 8/2020 Archive: George Sekavec

Dutch Kills 9/17/2022 Photo/Archive: Paul Pesante

How the scene here at Dutch Kills has changed in 40 years!
Jay Bendersky 1982 photo:  C420 Centuries were on the LIRR, freight ran across the Dutch Kills Drawbridge, the Dutch Kills Drawbridge didn't have a drop of graffiti on it, Dutch Kills didn't look polluted, and the World Trade Center proudly stood sentinel over Downtown Manhattan!

My photo from my morning bike ride this morning, 9/17/2022. C420 Centuries long retired and scrapped, freights gone from the Montauk Cutoff and Dutch Kills Drawbridge, replaced by hipster trespassers, the bridge itself is in shit shape and chock full of graffiti, the waters polluted and sadly 21 years ago the World Trade Center was taken from us and this view, and sadly not even the Freedom Tower can be seen as "hipster towers" have eye sored and ruined the LI City, Brooklyn waterfront, and great views of the NYC skyline!
Change...sigh...not always good! Paul Pesante

Newton-Creek-Dutch-Kills-zoom-track-block_4-10-2018.jpg (84091 bytes)
Newton Creek - Dutch Kills zoom on the track block to Montauk Cut-off  View SW 4/10/2018
Photo/Archive: Restrict on the Hanger

"Extra Over DB" - On the evening of May 5th, 2022, New York & Atlantic Railway EMD GP38-2 268 is seen leading a "Film Extra" east over the Dutchkills Bridge on the Lower Montauk in Long Island City, NY. Aside from moving Long Island's freight, NYAR occasionally assists local production companies with television and movie scenes that feature freight trains in New York City. Photo/Archive: Greg Grice

LI-City_LIRR_Google-2018.jpg (88046 bytes)
LI City -Newton Creek-Dutch Kills  Google 2018

Everything from the remains of Yard A to the Swingbridge (M Cabin) is out of service (OOS). The approach fills to the bridges from Yard A remains have been removed to make space for leads to Arch St Shop. The former cutoff trackage from the drawbridge to Bliss are now stubs used to store cars for Wheelspur yard. The track  block on the old cutoff is right past that WMX garbage car on the swing bridge.

Note 1: Article Continuation:  "is on concrete footings, with concrete piles; the Buckley Street tank is on concrete footings, through which a large drain passes.  All of this improvement work was carried on under the supervision of Mr. L. V. Morris, Chief Engineer, and his immediate staff.  The design of bridges was under the supervision of Mr. F. Auryansen, Bridge Engineer."

LI City Page 2