Long Island Rail Road 
Maintenance of Way
- MOW 


MOW ballast hoppers at Willets Point  View E  - 11/21/2013 Photo: Kevin Wong

LIRR G5s #22 pushing work train westbound under 65th Street overpass on Port Washington branch tracks east of station - Woodside, NY - c.1947 (view looking northwest from the 65th Place overpass.  IRT elevated station across tracks at LIRR Woodside station visible in background) Archive: Dave Keller

G5s-37-Work Train East-Carnation Ave.-Floral Park, NY - 1951.jpg (110236 bytes)
LIRR G5s #37 Work Train eastbound Carnation Ave., Floral Park, NY - 1951 Archive: Dave Keller

LIRR C420 #226 The MOW Rail train is on the siding, facing east at the old Pineaire station. The LIRR Main Line track is adjacent to the station platform. 
You can see one of the old platform lights at the far left. The overpass in the background is the Sagtikos Parkway. 

Pineaire was basically a freight station with manned freight office in a trackside trailer east of the station stop. The passenger stop wasn't discontinued until 
October, 1986, about the time the electrification project was underway.  This photo is probably c. 1978-1980 Research: Dave Keller

LIRR #229 & #225 MOW Stone train Extra Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

S2 #455 MOW train at New Hyde Park View E 7/1968
Photo/Archive: James Mardiguian

S2 #455 MOW train at New Hyde Park View W  7/1968
Photo/Archive: James Mardiguian
Seen here int New Hyde Park on a hot summer day in 1968, S2 #455 heads west after working out on the line, perhaps unloading ties.
A PRR designed N5 caboose brings up the rear as a couple of crew members are enjoying the breeze on the rear platform.
Note that the North Siding Team Track was still active with three boxcars visible over the train in the view west.  James Mardiguian
SPENO RAIL GRINDER, MP15 167  JAY JAMAICA en route to Montauk-Branch_10-26-79_Huneke.jpg (83555 bytes)
Speno Rail Grinder - LIRR MP15 #167 at JAY Tower, Jamaica en-route to Montauk Branch 10/26/1979  Photo/Archive: Art Huneke
R.H.Bogle_Weed-Brush-Control-train_Jamaica_1974_Huneke.jpg (91073 bytes)
R. H. Bogle Co. Weed and Brush Control train - Jamaica 1974
Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

R. H. Bogle Co.  BO-RID weed control car RHBX #313
Mill Neck 1973 Photo/Archive: John Scala

R. H. Bogle Co. Weed control car #301  -  L&N Yard, Etowah, TN 7/29/1978
Photo/Archive: Jay Thomson

MOW Roster 3/1920
Archive: Mike Boland

MOW roster 10-65

MOW Equip. c.<1975

Welded  Rail Cars c.<1975

lirrnumericmowlistdavekeller.jpg (36100 bytes)
MOW Alphabetical Supplemental
Roster Research: Dave Keller 4/07/2022

lirralphamowlistdavekeller.jpg (45805 bytes)
MOW Numeric 
Supplemental Roster 
Research: Dave Keller

LIRR Yard A W86 Crew Car ex-B&M car c.1980

crewcar-c.1980timdarnell.jpg (81865 bytes)
ex-PRR B60 Baggage car
c.1980 Photos: Tim Darnell



LIRR 1917 ORER page 176

LIRR 1917 ORER page 177

Crane 197 Morris Park  8/15/1958
Photo: G. Votova

Crane 197 at Center Moriches 11/01/1974 (Ziel-Queens Public Librar)


lirr197ad_04-15-1951.jpg (48149 bytes)
LIRR #197 04-15-1951 L.B. Smith Ad conversion  from to steam to diesel
Built by Brownhoist:  04/1926
Acquired by the LIRR:  11/1926  
PRR-E6s-460-Wreck-Train-Old-Southern-Road-Laurelton-10-20-39.jpg (85302 bytes)
Pennsy E6s pulling wreck train at speed through Laurelton on the old Southern Road, between Higbie Ave. and Farmer’s Blvd. in 1939. What’s unusual is that the E6s was a passenger locomotive, and known for its speed.
Collection and Info: Dave Keller 

lirr197.jpg (57391 bytes)
Crane 197 Morris Park  8/15/1958

mow-stjamesviewwest1979lentorney.jpg (64137 bytes)
Welded rail installation on the Port Jeff branch, in St James view west 1979
 Photo: Len Torney

C420-229-WorkTrainBurroCrane-QnsVillage07-14-85.jpg (53213 bytes)
LIRR C420 #229 Work Train with Burro Crane Queens Village, NY 07/14/1985
Archive: Dave Keller 


Jordan Spreader
Watermill 2/78

W93 Jordan Spreader

W83 2/75 Pushed by
2 leased GP7 B&A units

W83 Working
Mattituck 2/75

"Jaws" at Greenport Freight House

 W83 "Jaws" 1997

lirrW-83-Jaws-III.jpg (58454 bytes)
LIRR W83 "Jaws III" 12/1983
Photo: Chris Allen

PTS-62 #TC825 1/96
LIRR4230-Harsco-Spreader_Darth-Vader_ MTA-LIRR.jpg (113288 bytes)
LIRR #4230 Harsco Spreader/Ditcher aka "Darth Vader"  53'  80 ton steel snow removal vehicle. Photo: MTA-LIRR

darth-vader-snowplow-patrick cashin MTA.jpg (94964 bytes)
LIRR #4230 (Patrick Cashin- MTA) 


Videojournalist-Chuck Fadely Nov. 22, 2013 Credit Newsday -Thomas A. Ferrara.JPG (42010 bytes)
LIRR #4230 11/22/2013 
(Newsday-Thomas A. Ferrara)

Nick Kalis

How equipment enters MOW service makes for an interesting story. There have been periods when certain types of equipment became surplus either by law or by the advent of more modern equipment. As streamline passenger equipment appeared, surplus heavyweight cars were often turned into employee bunk cars. In the late 1940s, as diesels replaced steam locomotive, tenders were often salvaged to store water or fuel. It seems the LIRR owned at least one example of each of the AAR classifications of MofW equipment.
Early Practices
Earlier years on the Long Island witnesses a variety of practices and equipment associated with MOW. A ballast train headed up by an E-7 steam engine number 9714 and brought up from the rear by a caboose appeared on page 5 of Ron Ziel and George Foster's Steel Rails to the Sunrise.

As late as 1922, LIRR employees operated an oil train to spread oil on the railroad's right of way both to retard vegetation and control dust (see Ziel, pages 70-71). Work trains even used wooden coaches at one time as evidenced by a 1904 photo in Ziel page 79. G-53 (4-6-0 Camelbacks by Brooks) steam engines were often used to pull work trains (Ziel, pages 110-111) and saw much service with the Jamaica grade-crossing elimination. Besides H-6sb Consoles, at least one G-52 also saw work train service (see Ziel, page 130).

A great deal of information about LIRR work equipment in 1916 is available but was omitted from this article for the sake of brevity and on the assumption that most modelers are interested in more modern eras.

Work Equipment owned by the LIRR  as of October 1, 1965



Unit  Numbers


Burro Cranes

432, 85207, 85208



Locomotive Cranes

171, 172, 184, 198


Rail-Crane-198-Gondola-2953-Morris-Park-Shops-1915.jpg (26289 bytes)
LIRR Rail crane #198 swinging wheels into LIRR gondola #2953 - Morris Park Shops - Queens, NY - 9/27/1915 Archive: Dave Keller

Instruction Car 

I10-I12   Instruction "training" car where conductors and engineers qualified; located on the east end of yard D in Jamaica. Later moved to the Johnson Ave yard.

lirr-I-11_Instruction-car_Jamaica_5-70_JimParker.jpg (86698 bytes)
LIRR I11 Instruction car Jamaica 5/1970 
View W Photo: Jim Parker

Instruction-Car_I-11_was-MP54C-5751_built-1923-as-1751_Jamiaca_ 4-18-70_Huneke.jpg (79606 bytes)
Instruction Car I-11 was MP54C #5751 Built 1923* as #1751
View E  Jamiaca 4/18/70 Photo/Archive: Art Huneke
 *MP54C ACF 1923 series 1738-1777 ("Ping Pong")

I10  Built 1915   Acquired   11-62
I11           1923                   10-23
I12           1953                    ------

Instruction Car-482443_Morris-Park_1963_Huneke.jpg (101708 bytes)
LIRR Instruction Car ex-PRR # 482443 Morris Park 1963
Photo: Art Huneke


PRR Instruction Car-492443-1952.jpg (95781 bytes)
PRR Instruction car #492443  Jamaica 1952 Archive: Dave Keller

ClassroomcarJamaica2-1964JimGillin.jpg (75295 bytes)
LIRR I10 Instruction car (ex-PRR #49244, above) at Jamaica 2/1964 Photo: Jim Gillin 

LIRR I10 Instruction car at east end of yard D in Jamaica.

Wreck Derrick                         

197  Built by Brownhoist:  4/1926
Acquired by the LIRR:  11/1926

LIRR 197 builder plate - 9/21/2023 Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell


ex-LIRR 197 at Black River & Western Ringoes, NJ 9/21/2023 Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell

Work Train Cars            

W-50, W-51, W-52, W-53, W-54, 492512, 489589

                      Work-Car-W-26_Holban-Yard_3-82_Huneke.jpg (70861 bytes)

Work Car #W-26  Holban Yard 3/82
Photo: Art Huneke

Retire: W-51 W-52 W-53 W-54 and replace by RPO 7717 and 7737 converted for wreck train service. Dispose of: RPO 7743 7751 7752 7753
LIRR memo 8/09/1965 Archive: Mike Boland


lirr489589.jpg (21591 bytes) 
LIRR #489589

W53-wreck-train-tool-car_Morris-Park_2-27-66 (Rugen-Huneke).jpg (66353 bytes)
W-53 wreck train tool car Morris Park 2/27/66 (Rugen-Huneke)

Boom Cars                              

241, 491577, 491986



Jordan Spreader-Ditcher - Snow Plows

497498, 497499


JordanSpreader497498-HolbanYd-Hollis-2-6-49.jpg (87168 bytes)
497498 Holban Yd Hollis 2/06/1949
Archive: Dave Keller

JordanSpreader497499-inYard-Hicksville7-25-52.jpg (89978 bytes)
497499 in yard Hicksville 7/25/52
Archive: Dave Keller

Steam Rotary Blower &
 Water  Tender

193, 499151

#193 Sayville 6/03/1968 Photo: Ron Ziel

#193 & PRR tender East Moriches -  2/02/1970  Photo: Ron Ziel

lirr193_rotary-snow-plow.jpg (80687 bytes)
#193 at Flemington, NJ  3/1976 Photo: Tim Darnell

LIRR193-Steamtown.jpg (62342 bytes)
#193 at Steamtown c.2010



Cooke rotary #193 Morris Park 1898

#193 Morris Park c.1963
Photo/Archive: John Scala

#193 & PRR tender East Moriches -  2/02/1970  Photo: Ron Ziel

#193 Morris Park Shops c.1970 Photo: Ron Ziel

Long Island Railroad, Rotary Snowplow #193. Built at Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works, Paterson, NJ November 1898 with builder's number 55. Present tender is a Pennsylvania Railroad tender that replaced the original wood-frame tender after 1940. Number 193 was retired in 1965. The plow was purchased by private owners in 1968 and sold to the Steamtown Foundation in 1988. It remained in one place in New Jersey from 1968 until Conrail moved the rotary plow to Steamtown NHS in July 1993. Only surviving steam rotary snowplow known to have been used on railroads east of the Mississippi.

Snow Plows (Ray Type)

#2-5 renumbered #189-192

Russell Snow Plow no189-Morris Park _1915 (Votava-Keller).jpg (77790 bytes)
Russell Snow Plow #189 Morris Park Shops 1915 (Votava-Keller)


Pre-jaws #191 - Hillside yard 1934

Snow Flanger Cars

495744, 495745, 495746, 495772, 495773, 495791,  
495792, 495793

snow-flanger_495744.jpg (41257 bytes)
Snow Flanger #495744


snowscraper_495793worktrainHolbanYardHollis02-06-49dkeller_georgevotavephoto.jpg (40829 bytes)
#495793 Snow Flanger,  Holban Yard, Hollis 2/06/1949  Photo: George Votava Collection: Keller

MOW-495773_49884X_c.1950's.jpg (84737 bytes)
#495773 Snow Flanger,  Morris Park c.1950

Work Train Cars            

W11, W12, 491598, 491600, 491976, 491985, 494954,  494955, 494956




lirr-491985-Tool-Car-flat_Richmond-Hill_3-31-64_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (84005 bytes)
LIRR  #491985 Tool Car flat -  Richmond Hill 3/31/64 (Rugen-Huneke)

LIRR-491598_flatcar_Morris-Park_6-16-51_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (88991 bytes)
LIRR #491598 flatcar - Morris Park 6/16/51 (Rugen-Huneke)

Train Riding Car



MOW Camp Train Cars  

492761, 492763, 492764, 492765, 492766

MOW Crew Car #492764 and PRR E6s #1347 
Patchogue Yard view NE 7/03/1948  Archive: eBay

            MOW W88  Morris Park c.1970+
Photo: Steve Hoskins

MOW W6   Morris Park c.1970+
Photo: Steve Hoskins


Dormitory W37  Montauk c. 1970+
Photo: Steve Hoskins

This dormitory car is different from the MOW bunk cars, in that those cars were only occupied by trackmen during major repairs, i.e. derailments, etc. and they moved from one site to another as required.  

The car in Montauk was a f ixed feature . . . . it even had a bumper block installed at the west end of the car, so parlor trains wouldn’t couple to it by accident!  

It was a bunk car for parlor and bar car attendants during long layovers.
 Info: Dave Keller

W37stevehoskins.jpg (41176 bytes)
LIRR W37  Montauk c. 1970+
Photo: Steve Hoskins

W3priorW37stevehoskins.jpg (39132 bytes)
LIRR W3 (prior W37)  Montauk Scrapped 1975. Photo: Steve Hoskins

“Although it was not a revenue car, the crew dormitory at Montauk Yard is worthy of inclusion here. LIRR bought Pullman heavyweight (8 sections 1 drawing room 2 compartments) sleeper CENTHILL from PRR, assigned it number W37 and spotted it on track 4 at Montauk.  The sleeper was used by parlor and bar attendants who laid over between runs at Montauk.  It was placed behind a bumper block to keep it from being accidently coupled into the consist of an outbound train. It was eventually renumbered W3.  It was painted into MTA colors and finally scrapped in 1975.” Info: Jack Deasy  

Tool & Supply Cars                 

498571 to 498574 inclusive


 Tool-car-498573-Dunton-Electric-Car-Shop-11-29-47 (Keller).jpg (91785 bytes)
Tool car #498573 - Dunton Electric Car Shop 11/29/47 Archive: Dave Keller

Tool-Car-498572_Camp-Cars_Holban-Yard_1957_Huneke.jpg (90623 bytes)
Tool Car #498572 with Camp Cars at Holban Yard 1957  Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

Carrier Car for MOW
Burro Crane                    




Idler Cars

434903, 497983, 497993, 497999  

The idler car in use with the DD1 electrics was for 3rd rail continuity on freight trains.  These cars had third rail shoes. The same style car, with no doghouse atop the flatcar without 3rd rail shoes, were used with steam and later diesel at the float docks.



Hopper Car for Cinder and Ballast                 




Steel Ash Cars  (For Flatbush Avenue Sta.)     

494781, 494782



Gondola Cars (For Rubbish, Scrap, etc.)

#494908 LI City
Collection: Ted Culotta

Gondola #2775 - Holban Yard  9/22/1947
Archive: Dave Keller

494905, 494908, 494912, 494923, 494925, 494934, 494950, 494951- 494953, 494957, 494961, 494963- 494970, W1-W10

Gondola-494967_Richmond-Hill_9-20-1959_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (107505 bytes)
Gondola #494967 Richmond Hill 9/20/59 (Rugen-Huneke)

LIRR-2900-Gondola-1906_Morris-Park_5-5-54_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (71446 bytes)
#2900 Class GM - drop end gondola built in 1906 - Morris Park 5/05/54 (Rugen-Huneke)



#494964 Holban 07/05/54
Photo: Votava Collection: Keller

lirr494903.jpg (88553 bytes)
#494903 Built: 6/1916 class GM  - drop end gondola storage yard Richmond Hill 11/27/1947


Total Work Equipment, cars, etc.


P. H. Hatch, General Mechanical Superintendent

Until the mid-1950s one of the LIRR cabin cars, which had been box cars, was painted grey and used on work trains, Art Huneke recalls. By October 1, 1965, the era I model in HO-scale, burro cranes, tool & supply cars, the rotary steam plow, hopper car, steel ash car, and all camp train cars were gone from active service on the LIRR. Art Huneke identified at least one burro crane being on the LIRR property as late as 1971 and a Jordan Spreader, W93, surviving into 1981. One reacher car was added between 1956 and 1965.

Work Equipment owned by the LIRR  as of 1965 by James Gillin
additions by: Steven A. Lynch


Unit Numbers



Locomotive Crane         




Wreck Crane



W50 tending W197 Morris Park  8/15/58
Photo: G. Votova

Wreck Train Cars          

W-50*, W-56, W-57



Tool Cars

W-55, 491985


toolcarW-55licity05-03-60dkeller_georgevotavaphoto.jpg (46520 bytes)
W-55  LI City, NY   05/03/1960
Photo: George Votava
Collection: Dave Keller

Renumbered: #35014
Photo: Steve Hoskins

Jordan Spreader           


W93pinelawnteamyard6-91.jpg (47187 bytes)
Pine Lawn Team Yard  view SW, below SE
 6/1991 Photo: John Fusto
Farmingdale_ jordan-spreader_6-1991_JohnFusto.jpg (70851 bytes)



W93 at RMLI

W93-Jordan-Spreader_9-29-87_EdwardHand.jpg (97878 bytes)
W93 Jordan Spreader 9/29/1987 Photo: Edward Hand

Boom Car                              




Steam Rotary &
Water Tender                   

W-14*, 193*

LIRR Rotary Snowplow #193; built by Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works, 1898 (weighs 67.5 tons with a 9 foot, 8 inch blade assembly) Tender is a 1940 PRR replacement of the original wood tender                                      


#193 at Steamtown, PA

Snow Plow

W-80, W-83*           

W80 and W83 were both built by the LIRR shops in December, 1915 atop 1907 flatcars.

W80 was originally numbered 497750
W83 was originally numbered 497751

They were both renumbered in January, 1960
W80 was scrapped in August, 1974
W83 was rebuilt in November, 1978
Information: Dave Keller

lirrplow497750-W80.jpg (38027 bytes)
LIRR W80 ex-497750

W80 ex-497750 - Ed Schleyer plow drawing
Archive: Richard Glueck

W80.jpg (61891 bytes)
W80 Montauk view NE in front of Warehouse #4 ex-U.S. Navy torpedo facilities
 c. early 1960's Photo: Steve Hoskins
Info: Dave Keller


W83 prior to 11/78 rebuild/repaint

w83_2-28-70.jpg (91763 bytes)
W83 2/28/1970 east end Ronkonkoma Yard

W83 ex-497751 Ronkonkoma 6/1977

lirrW83jawsatRonk.jpg (28889 bytes)
Jaws After Repaint after 11/1978

lirrW83_Jaws-Ronkonkoma_12-20-80_Keller.jpg (51574 bytes)
Ronkonkoma 12/20/1980

Archive: Dave Keller

Instruction Car             

I-10, I-11, I-12  

  lirr-179_Instruction-car_Yard-D-Jamaica.jpg (73764 bytes)
LIRR #179 Instruction car Yard D, Jamaica

I-10 Instruction car - Jamaica  c.1965


prrinstructioncar492443jamaica1952classP-70.jpg (39836 bytes)
PRR  #492443  on the storage track at 
Jamaica station  Class P70 1952
Photo: George Votava  Collection: Dave  Keller 

Instruction Car I-10-Jamaica-1964version2.jpg (82572 bytes)
Air brake Instruction car, ex-P70 1964
Collection: Dave Keller

LII10jmcaInstruction Car I10.jpg (71042 bytes)
Just past the Jamaica station building on its west side, above Archer Ave at the east entrance to D yard. Photo taken across the street on Archer Ave in front of the old "Eye Gate" building. It is now offices for the RR. Info: Bob Anderson Photo: Tim Darnell 1974

Snow Flanger Car       

W-84, W-86, W-89, W-91

 W84 Snow Flanger Car - Morris Park

Float Reacher Car

W-23, W-27, W-29, W-39, W-70

Note: I would rather think that that was NOT a reacher car for the floats.  The float flats, as we called them, had a little shanty on them that had a pot belly stove and benches for the crew to get out of the cold.  

This one without the shanty would have been used on the east end ladder job as a car to improve vision for the engine crew while rolling the hump.  That job continued for some time after the floats stopped operating.  Freight came in from Fremont that needed classifying.

The car in question, however, WAS referred to as a float flat.  JJ Earl

That particular flat car was a "hump visibility" car, but was listed on the MOW roster as a float reach.  

LIRR #447 MOW W39 reacher flat car
LI City 1968


Reacher-Car-W27_Gondola-W5_Rail-Flats-R3-R34_LI-City_1-1973_Huneke.jpg (111513 bytes)
Reacher Car- W-27 with Gondola W-5, Welded Rail Flats R-3, R-34
in background at LI City 1/1973 Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

W-29 Yard A 5/1976 Photo: Tim Darnell

lirr416_reacher-car_LI-City_viewW_1976.jpg (55962 bytes)
LIRR #416 with float reacher car 
LI City  view W 1976

Gondola Car

W-1, W-4, W-5, W-8, W-9, W-10,
W-12, W-17, W-19, W-28, W-32,
W-35, W-37, W-38, W-60, W-61,
W-62, W-63, W-64, W-65, W-66,
W-67, W-68,W-69

                                    W12-Richmond-Hill-Yard_6-20-1959_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (60764 bytes)
W-12 Richmond Hill Yard  6/20/59 (Rugen-Huneke)

W60-gondola_Richmond-Hill_6-2-63 Rugen -Huneke.jpg (101588 bytes)
W60 gondola Richmond Hill 6/02/63 (Rugen-Huneke)

LIRR MOW Gondola
  Sayville 1980's
Photo: Steve Lynch


W-22_Morris-Park_1958_Rugen-Huneke.jpg (145448 bytes)
W-22 Morris Park 1958 (Rugen-Huneke)

w22_snow-plow-coal-only-keep-loaded.jpg (29641 bytes)
W-22 stencil: "Snow Plow Coal Only Keep Loaded Morris Park"

W-66_gondola-built1920_Richmond-Hill_1965_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (98677 bytes)
W-66 gondola with scrap load, built 1920, at Richmond Hill 1965 ( Rugen-Huneke)


Welded Rail Car            

R-3, R-6, R-7, R-15, R-18, R-30, R-31, R-33, R-34, R-40, R-41, R-42, R-43, R-44, R-45, R-46, R-47,  R-48, R-49, R-50, R-51, R-52




Welded Rail Car (far right) Yard A  5/1976   Photo: Tim Darnell 

Reacher-Car-W27_Gondola-W5_Rail-Flats-R3-R34_LI-City_1-1973_Huneke.jpg (111513 bytes)
Welded Rail Flats R-3, R-34 in background at LI City 1/1973
Photo/Archive: Art Huneke

Equipment marked with an "*" appear in color in: 
Volume 5: N.E. Railroad Work Equipment, Classic Freight Cars, The Series

MOW Storage Car

W-2  MES (Maintenance of Equipment Storage)  ex-LIRR #2 caboose


W2_Jamaica_6-77.jpg (108573 bytes)
Jamaica W-2 6/1977 

W2BobbyKaszaMParkc88-89.jpg (49146 bytes)
 Morris Park c. 1988-99  Photo: Bobby J. Kasza

Fuel Storage Car  W-88, W-89, W-90  MWM ( Store-Supply car equipped for handling material to be distributed for railway use) Acquired 10/1973  3 W-88_morrisparkyard_richmondhill_4-20-74dkeller_georgevotavephoto.jpg (45889 bytes)
W-88 Morris Park Yard
4/20/74  Photo: George Votava
 Collection: Dave Keller 
Brush Car A brush car cleaned off the 3rd rail.

BTW: This car is laying up at East Williston, because that was (and is) the extent of electrification on the Oyster Bay branch. 

Withdrawn from service between 1950 and 1955.  This one was shot at East Williston on 5/1/54.  I doubt ANY were renumbered “W-XX”. Built by ACF 1910. Info: Dave Keller  

BrushCar498846BrushClose-up.jpg (53665 bytes)
Brush Car Piping Photo: George Votava 
  Collection: Dave Keller  

1 brushcar_498846sidingacrossEWillistonstation5-01-54dkeller_edhermannsphoto.jpg (44099 bytes)
#498846 siding across E. Williston Station 05/07/1954  Photo: Ed Hermanns 
Collection: Dave Keller

MOW-Brush-Car_close-up_c.1950's.jpg (69552 bytes)
MOW Brush Car - Close-up c.1950's

Rail Road Vehicles timdarnell.jpg (39771 bytes)
Photo: Tim Darnell


flatbedhopperronkelecyafd7At new electric yard towards end of construction - Ronkonkoma - 12-1987dkeller.jpg (70647 bytes)
New  electric yard near end of construction - Ronkonkoma - 12/1987 Photo: Dave Keller
  1193.jpg (36114 bytes)
"Rail Way Best Way" Slogan LIRR Trucks
  MOW-TC016-RailTruckonMainWoodside-5-17-91.jpg (97369 bytes)
MOW TC016 Railroad Truck on Main Line at Woodside - 5/17/1991   Archive: Dave Keller

TC-121 at Pinelawn 1973
Photo/Archive: John Scala

MOW lineside truck at Holban South yard - 7/1976
Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell
Ore Jennies
Ore Cars

lirr4156.jpg (15603 bytes)
HO model LIRR #4156 Ore Jenny

They were used in removing tunnel boring excavated rock from the Third City Water Tunnel, Queens section. Loaded out in Maspeth where the LIRR used to have a freight house on Grand Avenue. There was a ban on shipping this material by truck from the Queens job site, so the railroad got the business. 

Cars extensions for use in hauling taconite pellets. Not as dense as iron ore.

Former CN and BN cars. The LIRR sold them to LS&I who shortened the cars.

String of cars in Yard A were bad order cars/part sources for the rest of the fleet. They got scrapped when the others were sold. Info:  John McCluskey

LIRR #4188 Ore Jenny
(tunnel boring debris)

lirr4044jenniesbobanderson.jpg (55765 bytes)
LIRR #4044  Ore Jenny  10/06-2000
Photo: Bob Andersen

li4023.jpg (53178 bytes)
LIRR #4023  Photo: John McCluskey

LIRR MOW Ore Cars:   Further Info and Photos
Ballast Spreader
As late as 1956, the Long Island had a Jordan spreader available to serve as a ballast spreader and trimmer (AAR classification MWE).
Bar Generator Car
LIRR #2103 rebuilt as bar-generator cars to provide trainline power to cars operating in the consist of trains without a powerpack cab control unit.

lirr2103bargeneratorObay.jpg (48026 bytes)
#2103 at Oyster Bay

lirr2101mineola07-01-1978timdarnellbargencar.jpg (69864 bytes)

#2101 Mineola   7/01/1978
Other side view of Bar Generator Car Photo: Tim Darnell

ex-LIRR-Bar-generator-car_former-Brooklyn-Army-Terminal.jpg (103778 bytes)
ex-LIRR Bar generator car at former Brooklyn Army Terminal

lirr2103bargenerator-lentorney.jpg (94492 bytes)
#2103 at Port Jefferson c. 1980 Photo: Len Torney


Boarding Outfit/Bunk Cars
By 1965, boarding outfit cars (AAR classification MWX: includes kitchen, bunk, and other cars used for employee living) were absent from the roster due to the mobility of the work force on an island the size that the LIRR served. However, they were in use on the Long Island as late as 1936 (see Steel Rails to the Sunrise photo, page 216 showing wood coaches "downgraded to crew car service") and appeared on the roster as late as 1962.
Crew-Car-492513-LICity-7-22-50.jpg (88111 bytes)
Crew Car #492513 LI City 07/22/1950 
Sunshine Biscuit Co. at right, view SW 
Info: Ed Schleyer 
Crew-Car-492755-with-Platform-Holban-Yd-11-22-47.jpg (67088 bytes)
Crew Car #492755 with Platform 
Holban Yard 11/02/1947 Archive: Dave Keller
Crew-Car-492756-Holban-Yd-c1947.jpg (71357 bytes)
Crew Car #492756 Holban Yard c.1947
Archive: Dave Keller
Crew-Car-492758-Holban-Yd-11-22-47.jpg (60208 bytes)
Crew Car #492758 Holban Yard 11/22/1947
Archive: Dave Keller
Crew-Car-492764-Holban-Yd-11-22-47.jpg (65579 bytes)
Crew Car #492764 Holban Yard 11/22/1947
Archive: Dave Keller
Crew-Cars-492760-492759-Holban-Yard-Hollis-c1947.jpg (62872 bytes)
Crew -Cars  #492760 & 492759 
Holban Yard c.1947 Archive: Dave Keller
PRR-MOW-Crew-Cars-Harrisburg-PA-6-65.jpg (89920 bytes)
PRR MOW Crew- Cars Harrisburg, PA  June, 1965 Provided ONLY to show the actual color scheme of these cars when in service. Courtesy of  The Keystone, Archive: Dave Keller
Boom Cars
Typically, railroads supply each crane with a boom car to protect its boom while it is lowered and in transit. Railroads select boom cars first for the necessary length to accommodate the boom. Then they are fitted with hardware and needed appliances. In 1973, LIRR management kept Wreck crane W-75 along with idler car W-50 at Morris Park Engine Terminal.
W50 W197 lirr.jpg (48205 bytes) Boom tender flatcar W-50 with W-197 wreck crane at Morris Park 8/15/1958 Photo: G. Votova
Chloride Cars
EX-BAGGAGE/EXP: #641-#645  CONVERTED: 1934-35  #497100-#497104 Former baggage express cars with 3rd rail shoes added.   

ChlorideCar-497103-Holban-Yd-4-36.jpg (44331 bytes)  #497103 Holban Yard 04/1936
 Archive: Dave Keller






LIRR "crane" number 197 is more properly called a derrick as the 1956 roster described it because of its short boom style. Cranes differ from derricks (MWW: Wreck Derrick, propelled by locomotive, used for heavy lifting) in several ways. Cranes have long spindly booms for use with drag lines, electromagnets, and clamshells. Whereas derricks are husky, short boom style cranes one would see cleaning up a train wreck and sometimes known as the big hook or auxiliary. Cranes are typically used for everyday maintenance work while Derricks are used only for emergency work.
lirrcrane490999.jpg (20808 bytes) #490999 




Double-end Wedge Plow

Double-end wedge plow/spreader #s 497762, 497763 Acquired:  1935  Withdrawn from service:  c. 1953-54  Research: Dave Keller

Double-End Wedge Plow-Spreader 497762-Holban Yd-Hollis, NY - 07-05-54 (Votava-Keller).jpg (77204 bytes)Votava's photo shows a stenciled notation that reads "repacked: 11/15/52." 
This photo was taken in 1954 and shows the plow rotting as well as being 
cannibalized, so I've given the WFS date as c. 1953-54. Info: Dave Keller

Double-End Wedge Plow-Spreader # 497762 
Holban Yard, Hollis 7/05/54 (Votava-Keller)

Double-ended_plow-497762_Boland.jpg (86879 bytes)Double-ended Wedge Plow #497762 (Votava-Boland)
Flat cars
While they surely appeared earlier, Flat cars, known as AAR classification MWF, have been with the LIRR's MOW fleet since 1955. Today's parent company of the LIRR, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, acquired welded rail cars in 1974. These had been built in 1924.
pumpflatcar499999LICitypassengeryardOct1947.jpg (54380 bytes) #499999 Pump flatcar LI City 10/1947  Archive: Dave Keller





LIRR Flatcar 494976-Replica 1885 Piggyback Farmers' Train-MPShops - 10-60 (Rugen-Keller).jpg (111393 bytes) #494976 with 1885 farm wagon replica piggyback "Farmers Train". Done for an industrial exhibition at Roosevelt Raceway. Morris Park  10/1960 (Rugen-Keller)
Gondola Cars
The AAR lists at least two type of cars carrying ballast (MWB: Ballast cars, hoppers or gondolas that dump their contents from the bottom and MWD:  Dump cars, mostly gondola-type cars dumping sideways by air pressure). LIRR gondolas now in service are classified as MWF, sharing that classification with flat cars.

LI 6050-6086 Gondola GBS Class - Specialty Open top car, having fixed sides, fixed or drop ends and solid bottom.

GB LI 6057 093007_john mcclusky.jpg (77731 bytes)
Class GB  LI #6057 09/30/2007 
Photo: John McClusky

LI-6070_gondola_Binghampton_5-8-2010_ AustinMacDougall.jpg (128316 bytes)
LI #6070 gondola Binghamton 5/08/2010 
Photo: Austin MacDougall

lirr6078PaulStrubeck.jpg (50743 bytes)
 LI #6078 Photo: Paul Strubeck

LI #119 MOW gondola Sayville 10/12/1999
Photo/Archive: William Skeats

LI #107 MOW gondola Sayville 10/12/1999
Photo/Archive: William Skeats

The 66' gondolas, 15-20 series 6200’s, open ended for welded rail recovery.  AAR Clearance Plate C with cushion couplers on each end.  Built Dec 2023-Jan 2024 by Ebenezer Railcar Services in Buffalo, NY.
Info: Barry Johnson, LIRR Road Foreman Engines NRHS-LIST

LI #6205 gondola
Photo/Archive: Barry Johnson -NRHS LIST

LI #6208 gondola
Photo/Archive: Barry Johnson - NRHS LIST

The 166 sits uncoupled from a train of brand new open-end gondolas, #6205, brought out to AH in advance of trackwork on the eastern reaches of the mainline in Calverton 3/03/2024
Photo/Archive: Ronnie Schnepf
Hoppers: More info page
LI 6100-6162 Within the 6100-6162 series 13 rib we have early delivered version and an extended version: LI 6160-6162 15 rib series LI Ballast Hoppers  Class HT: Open top self-clearing car, having fixed sides and ends and bottom consisting of three or more divided hoppers with doors hinged crosswise of car and dumping between rails.  
lirr6131ballasthopperFreshPondJct11-11-99.jpg (45512 bytes)
LI #6131 Fresh Pond Jct. 11/11/99
lirr6161_102107JohnMcCluskey.jpg (42082 bytes)
LI #6161 15 rib extended version 
10/21/2007 Photo: John McCluskey


LI 100015-100034 The series 100015-100034 has 11 ribs with 3 center ribs close together
HT: Open top self-clearing car, having fixed sides and ends and bottom consisting of three or more divided hoppers with doors hinged crosswise of car and dumping between rails.
100034PtJeff9-21-2003JohnVolpi.jpg (47583 bytes) LI #100034 Port Jefferson 9/21/2003 Photo: John Volpi


Instruction Car
trainingcar1981.jpg (33929 bytes)In 1953, Pullman Standard delivered as lot 6911, plan W52354 twenty 128-seat commuter coaches for intermediate (non-control) use. All were retired save for one retained as instruction car I-121, according to Randall's Official Pullman-Standard Library, Volume 10 Northeast Railroads. Can any reader identify how long this car served and 
what sort of instruction was offered?

  Technical Support Group LIRR Training Car 1981

Misc. Equipment - Trucks, Buses, SUVs, Etc.
LIRR-Trucks_ATHS-Wheels-of-Time_pg. 28_ 9-95, _Kalis- Geletzke.jpg (241257 bytes) LIRR-Trucks_ATHS-Wheels-of-Time_pg. 29_ 9-95, _Kalis- Geletzke.jpg (229169 bytes)  
LIRR "Trucks of New York's Long Island Railroad" ATHS: Wheels of Time pages:28-29  9/1995 Author: Nick Kalis Collection Charles Geletzke

Hi-rail truck TC-155 eastbound on Main Line Track 4 at Woodside Station dropping new third-rail segments. The looks from the passengers watching are priceless. The New York City subway 7 Line is up above.
6/1983 Photo/Archive: John Krattinger

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Long Island Railroad Fuel Tanker

kuzzel06-20-07.jpg (87184 bytes)
LIRR Traffic Control trailer 6/20/2007 Photo: Kuzzel

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LIRR "Environmental Response System Safety" SUV 
St. James 9/14/2008 Photo: Mike McDermet

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Oakdale LIRR Vac-Con 12/31/07 
 Photo:  Mike McDermet

LIRR vacuum truck, it's used to clean out mud spots between ties 
and to clean out storm drains and culverts for ballast where track work was going on.   They call it the "Super Sucker"


kings_park_101908.jpg (86460 bytes)
Kings Park 10/19/08
 Photo:  Mike McDermet

That's the welding gang. Normally they work around the clock and handle emergency track repairs. It is a very senior crew. Track Foreman, welder and two trackmen. Very highly paid and experienced guys who can fix anything short of a major wreck. Their boss is the Supervisor of Track.

LIRR 270T boom truck - Mineola 7/11/2020 Photo/Archive: John Ciesla

LIRR 309T Boutet truck
- Mineola 7/11/2020 Photo/Archive: John Ciesla

LIRR 225T Thermite welding truck - Mineola 7/11/2020
Photo/Archive: John Ciesla

LIRR 851 Freightliner chassis boom truck - Mineola 7/11/2020
Photo/Archive: John Ciesla

LIRR newspaper clipping, St JamesLen Torney.jpg (81792 bytes)
Suffolk Life newspaper, the date was around October of 1980. I was in the St James Volunteer  FD and responded to this. It reeked of diesel fumes for hours.
 Info/Archive: Len Torney

LIRR-MTA-bus.jpg (62188 bytes)
LIRR/MTA bus c.1970

LIRR Blue Bird Vision 253T bus Copiague 10/08/2022 Photo/Archive: Julian Leary

Naphtha Fuel Gas Cars 
Pintsch compressed fuel gas distilled from naphtha designed specially for the illumination of railroad cars.
Appears as MOW
Gas Transport #207-208 LIRR Official Railway Equipment Register (ORER) 1904, #207 listed in 1917

Photograph taken of LIRR Pintsch gas transport car No. 207 at Jamaica Station, near Archer Avenue
and Sutphin Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens in 1904.  Photo: Harold B. Fullerton  Collection: Queens Public Library Digital Collection
Oil Sprinklers 
Oil Sprinkler car #149 photographed, c.1898, by H. B. Fullerton, Public Relations.

LIRR MOW petroleum dust subduer at work. 

Paint Schemes
Mike Boland, the foremost expert on this subject, authors "Long Island Railway Modeler" a monthly column in the Long Island Sunrise Trail Chapter - NRHS Semaphore. Mike Boland writes that "the Long Island used a Pennsy-style method of numbering M/W equipment; gondolas were assigned a six-digit number that began with a 494. Cars such as these could regularly be seen behind steam or diesel power in work train consists. Several 'gons' were usually in the consist." Into the 1960s a small number of these cars remained on the Long Island in work train service. Cars surviving into the 1960s wore Goodfellow Grey sides with orange ends and white lettering. "By this time they had a simpler numbering system with a W and a two-digit number." Boland advises that gondolas that entered MOW service earlier could be painted in the 1950s-era PRR M of W light grey.
Pile Driver Car
lirr222_steam-pile-driver_lirr240-tender_lirr491957-flatcar_Richmond-Hill-1949_billrugen-Huneke.jpg (35960 bytes)
Steam Pile Driver #222, tender #240, flatcar #491957 Richmond Hill 1949 (Rugen-Huneke) 
lirr240-tender_lirr222_steam-pile-driver__Richmond-Hill-1949_billrugen-Huneke.jpg (41707 bytes)
Steam Pile Driver #222, tender #240 Richmond Hill 1949 (Bill Rugen-Art Huneke)
Poling Cars

Crew-Car-497994-Holban-Yd-11-22-47.jpg (64308 bytes)
Poling Car #497994  Holban Yard 11/22/1947 Archive: Dave Keller

These cars allowed a switching crew to work three tracks from the center track saving time in switching. Poling cars represented a safety advance over wooden poles positioned by a brakeman between the poling pockets on the car and the locomotive’s pilot beam. According to the PRR Classification of Cars No. 146-D, the S-5 steel poling car design was adopted in 1913.  The 25 ft. long S-5, had a total weight of 51,000 lbs. which is a lot, compared to a 40 ft. Class X25 Steel Box Car’s 49,100 lbs. Info: David J. Vinci
Portable Substations
LIRR-electrification-cover-1906_Street-Railway-Journal.jpg (405556 bytes)

Portable-substation2-1906.jpg (733499 bytes)

Portable-substation-1906.jpg (783103 bytes)

 Portable-substation3-1906.jpg (207859 bytes)

  lirr-2_portable-substation_1906_Boland.jpg (58008 bytes)
LIRR #2 portable substation builder photo American Car & Foundry Co. 1906 Archive: Mike Boland

LIRR-map-west-1905.jpg (408977 bytes)

Portable substation cars #1-#2 at Belmont Park Archive: Art Huneke

The Electrification of The Long Island Railroad - Street Railway Journal, 1906

LIPSS 1.jpg (620928 bytes)

LIPSS 7.jpg (149982 bytes)

LIPSS 3.jpg (760953 bytes)

LIPSS 6.jpg (219030 bytes)

LIPSS 5.jpg (236188 bytes)

 Dave Keller research

Builder: American Car & Foundry Co:  1906

1.  Manufacturer per stenciled name on wheel as seen in builder's photo

2.  Date and quantity per Street Railway Journal of 1906

3.  Numbered cars 1 and 2

4.  Still listed on the 1917 Official Railway Equipment Register / Long Island Railroad (one word) p. 176, indicating cars 1 & 2.

Cars either replaced or two more added per Railway Review (12/28/1918)

1.  Builder:  Railway & Industrial Engineering Co. - 1918

I believe these cars may have been the cars that later were numbered 70553, 70554   (photographic evidence) c. 19__?___

Cars 70553, 70554 also bore concurrently numbers 3 and 4 (photographic evidence 1957) and were later renumbered to S1, S2 (photographic evidence) c. 1960.  I have no idea of the disposition of the American Car & Foundry Co. car 2 (and possibly car 1?).

Large Portable Substation, Long Island Rail Road - Railway Review, 1918

Hempstead-Crosing_ViewE_from-Franklin-Ave_Huneke.jpg (82993 bytes)
Hempstead Crossing View E from Franklin Ave c.1930 Archive: Art Huneke

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Portable substation storage LIRR valuation photo 1/27/1919 Archive: Art Huneke

World's-Fair_two-substation-cars-no.3-4_substation_FAIR-cabin_viewW-1939_RodDirkes.jpg (91695 bytes)
World's Fair two substation cars #3, #4  FAIR Cabin view W 1939 
(Rod Dirkes-Dave Keller)

  lirr-70554_portable-substation_Hillside_Boland.jpg (65193 bytes)
LIRR #70554 portable substation Hillside Archive: Mike Boland

lirr-70553_portable-substation_Island-Park-1948_Boland.jpg (78356 bytes)
LIRR #70553 portable substation at Island Park 1948 Archive: Mike Boland

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LIRR S1 portable substation 1960
Archive: Mike Boland

LIRR-no.70554-portable-substation-at-LIRR-substation-no.13_2-1957_Wantagh.jpg (122531 bytes)
LIRR #70554 portable substation at Wantagh LIRR substation #13 2/1957

LIRR S2 portable substation at Wantagh LIRR substation #13 1957
Photo/Archive: John Scala

Portable-Electric-Substation-Car_W.Hempstead_4-23-72_Votava-Keller.jpg (100526 bytes)
Portable substation Car at W. Hempstead  4/23/72 (Votava-Keller)

Portable substation Car W. Hempstead 1974 Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell

Portable-Electric-Substation-Car_W. Hempstead_LIRR-substation-no.6_4-20-69_Keller.jpg (126804 bytes)
Portable substation Car - 
W. Hempstead at LIRR substation #6 4/20/1969 Archive: Dave Keller

This is one of those unusual sights that many have never seen. For decades, the LIRR had portable substations that the railroad moved from place to place when power demand increased (usually timetable-based).

Prior to this December 11, 1965 photo at West Hempstead, the portables were last used at the 1964-65 Worlds Fair. Substation #6 at West Hempstead was always a light weight and depended on its parent feed from Nassau (recall that a lot of this is early electrification and Nassau fed the old "Hempstead Branch" (Mineola to Hempstead Crossing in Garden City).

Old timetables showed an incredible complexity of traffic between the Rockaways, Valley Stream, West Hempstead, Mineola and even Oyster Bay.
Photo/Archive/Info: Richard Makse

Radio Repair Car
W-6_ex-MPB54- 1398_Radio-Repair_ Johnson-Ave-Yard_Jamaica_1978_Huneke.jpg (79658 bytes)W-6 ex-MPB54 #1398 Radio Repair car at Johnson Ave Yard, Jamaica 1978 Archive: Art Huneke
Reacher Cars
The Long Island used its five reacher cars at its Long Island City and Bay Ridge float bridges. A reacher car was coupled between the switcher and the freight cars to be loaded or removed from the cars floats. Their purpose was to allow switchers working these yards to avoid entering upon the car float and causing an imbalance of load. When a reacher was in the shop and thus unavailable, the Long Island would often borrow a foreign road gondola for this purpose. The LI would pay the foreign road a per diem charge. Employees preferred drop-ended gondolas as they made it easier for them to board.  

Equipment roster  10/01/65, the following five in use:
W23    no data
W27    Built: 11/1906   Acquired 12/52
W29    Built: 09/1906   Acquired 04/52
W39    Built: 12/62       Acquired new: 12/62
W70    Built: 08/64       Acquired new: 08/64    Research: Dave Keller

LIRR-497998_c.1927_float-reach-car_Bill Mangahas.jpg (154264 bytes)
LIRR #497998 c.1927 float reacher car Archive: Bill Mangahas


 W16 LI City - View NE 4/05/1958

W23 at LI City car floats - View NW 6/10/1967 (Votava-Keller)

W27 Yard A, LI City - S2 #446 
Nickname "Batman" c.1970

W27 LI City  - View N 1/1973 Archive/Photo: Art Huneke


W39 Yard A LI City view N 5/25/1963 (Votava-Keller)

Reacher car LIRR B3 #337 #325
Bay Ridge 4/08/1946
Sand Service

W13 Sand Service Only - Morris Park 1960's
Photo: Bill Rugen Archive: Art Huneke

Preston Cook (see "Sand Service Cars", RMC, August 1987 pp.86-87) writes that "most railroads have fleets of specialized covered hopper cars set aside strictly for the transportation of locomotive sand. These hoppers are generally two-bay, or very small three-bay cars." I uncovered no such covered hoppers in use with the Long Island. Instead, the LIRR carried locomotive sand on at least one hopper dedicated to this service. Art Huneke
Side Dump Cars 
LI 6001-6005 Diffco Side Dump Class MWD - Dump Cars. On the type of contractors' car used for building up fills; the body of the car dumps being raised by means of counterweight, air or hand power. 

LI City 6006 102107  JohnMcClusky.jpg (70010 bytes)
LI  #6006 LI City 10/21/07 
Photo: John McClusky

lirr-side-sump-MOW_6000series_YardA_c.1990.jpg (43584 bytes)
Diffco MOW 6000 series Yard A c.1990
Wash track and runaround track at Hunterspoint Avenue. The location is just east and south of the station. c.1990 no.6004.jpg (147060 bytes)
LI #6004 at wash track and runaround track at Hunterspoint Avenue. The location is just SE of the station. c.1990
Steam Power Cars
Parked on a unused siding in a yard, connected to the steam piping buried in the yard, and plumbed to a water source to heat passenger cars laid up, keeping the onboard water systems from freezing. They may have had two steam generators installed. Also, used at times as a track washer, the steam sprayed under pressure to remove debris from the rails/trackbed while connected to at least 4-5 tank cars of water.
W94Speonk6-1969JimGillin.jpg (69511 bytes)
W94 Speonk 6/1969 
Photo: Jim Gillin

lirrW94-LIC-05-13-73.jpg (72993 bytes)
W94 LI City 5/13/1973
Archive: Dave Keller

lirrW94southsideyard-timdarnell.jpg (78974 bytes)
W94 c.1980 Photo: Tim Darnell

W95Steamgeneratorcar8-82TAD.jpg (62447 bytes)
W95 Richmond Hill 8/1982
Photo: Tim Darnell


Reading #92100 Steam Power car c.1962
Originally a baggage car converted to a steam power car. 
Posted: eBay

W-95ExRDGsteamgeneratorcarMorrisPark1-1969JimGillin.jpg (77550 bytes)
Ex-RDG #92100 W95 Morris Park 1/1969 
Photo/Archive: Jim Gillin   Note: Steam connection

W95 Freshly painted at Morris Park Shops
Receiving Yard Track #8
1/1969 Archive: Dave Keller


Storage Supply cars

The LIRR used available cars converted to MOW usage as storage supply cars for track work, the Electric Dep't, and 3rd rail work, for example. Info: Art Huneke
Fuel storage cars, AAR classification MWM, were usually a box car, assigned to transport company material.  

MOW Supply car #489699 ex-MB45 baggage car at VD Yard 4/1933 (Votava-Boland)

W72 a previous baggage car #7721 at Morris Park
 Photo/Archive: John Scala late 1970's
Storage-Utility-Car-10586_3504_Morris-Park_6-27-65_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (102282 bytes)
Storage utility car #10586 #3504
Morris Park 6/27/65 (Rugen-Huneke)
lirr100exMorisParkstorage.jpg (34623 bytes)
LIRR #100 Garden City Yard c. 1998
Archive: OBRM 

LIRR SHOP #100 ex-NH-40'-boxcar
6/2021 Steve Torberg
Snow Removing Equipment  
The AAR classifies snow removing cars, whether rotary, wedge, flanger, or Russell Type as MWK. Today, railroad infrequently call upon rotaries to clear their tracks. The LIRR's rotary plow was retired about 1967 after 68 years of service. Today, the LIRR's rotary plow is awaiting restoration at Steamtown. A plastic model of this plow painted in grey/orange has been lettered by F & F Custom Trains.

LIRR Snow flanger car W-84 is a converted electric MU coach that sprays alcohol on third-rails as a de-icer. Huneke recalls that the LIRR had a tank car in recent years to store the alcohol used in W84. Two other alcohol cars were ex- Boston & Maine and later LIRR coaches.

Jet Snow Blowers: LIRR seemed to have reused the same numbers for the Jet snow blower. The first  (TC900) arrived in 1967 as shown in the LI Railroader Issue 12/28/1967 photo below.

LIRailroader-122867-Vol12No26-p4-TC900.jpg (80729 bytes)
The first TC90 arrived in 1967
Archive: Al Castelli
TC990 Thunderbolt Hicksville Feb 9, 1986.jpg (50483 bytes)
TC990 Thunderbolt Hicksville 
Feb 9, 1986
LIRR-TC990-jetsnowblowerrear-092607-WestBabylon.jpg (72546 bytes)
TC990 in West Babylon 9/26/2007
Photo: Al Castelli
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TC990 in West Babylon 9/26/2007
Photo: Al Castelli

ESSCO TC-990 in Port Washington  12/23/2021
Photo/Archive: Craig Lignelli
jetsnowblowerMP2009.jpg (26525 bytes)
TC990 Morris Park Shops Bone Yard 03/28/2009 Photo: Richard Lalomia
railboundjet.jpg (59783 bytes)

        AF1 Snow Blower  in action 12/25/2010

coldairblower.jpg (27205 bytes) lirrAF1snowblowerAction12252010.jpg (21475 bytes) lirrAF1snowblower12252010.jpg (17428 bytes)
Test Weight Car
LIRR test weight car (scale test cars as other railroads termed them) where used to calibrate the weighing scales to determine loaded railroad cars weight. LIRR #219
lirrtestweightcar219.jpg (23182 bytes)   lirrtestweightcar219v2.jpg (16384 bytes)


Tool Cars

The AAR has assigned the classification letters MWC to Caboose and tool cars which were generally used as a lookout on wreck trains. On other roads they would be fitted with bunks, stove, and water storage.

Many tool cars never leave their assigned location, especially if the gang they are assigned to has a small territory and is highly mobile. I have assumed the LIRR also followed this practice. Anyone with contrary information is encouraged to respond.

Track Vehicle - VW's
VW track vehicles: #1035 (stenciled "Gandy Wagon" ), #1036, #1040 and #1041.

VW "Gandy Wagon"  GW-5 Track Inspection Car #1040
9/1960  Photo: Henry Maywald  Archive: Dave Keller

VW Track Inspection c.1962 - Archive: Martin Quinn

LIRR-VW-track-vehicle_1960_viewW_track9-nearJay.jpg (111194 bytes)
LIRR VW #1036 track vehicle 1960 view W Track 9 
Jamaica near Jay Tower

MOW VW #1037 Bridgehampton 1/15/1962
Photo: Norman E. Kohl Archive: LIST-NRHS

LIRRer  "Gandy Wagon Inspection"
Volkswagen 7/02/1959 Archive: Dave Morrison

vwrailvan.jpg (45916 bytes)
 VW Rail Bus #1036 inspection car Collection: Art Huneke

vwrailvan1041.jpg (54461 bytes)
LIRR #1041, VW Rail Bus inspection car

Track Inspection Cars

Note: Sperry Rail Service Inspection Cars check rails with a form of ultrasound for cracks inside the railhead.
Plasser Track Geometry Cars check rail beds, how the rail is held and reacts under load, check gauge, banking, and deflection, etc. 6/08/2008


Sperry SRS 126 head end at Locust Valley 1963

Sperry SRS 140 rear end 1966

SRS 126 and 140 both electronically scanned the inside of steel rails to detect internal flaws, which were either innate or the result of wear and tear.  In the days of these photos, the LIRR would contract with Sperry to test the entire RR yearly.  These days they do it at least thrice yearly.

Both detector cars utilized two different systems for detection:  an ultrasonic system which used high frequency sound like sonar, and a magnetic induction system which induced a current into the rail to create a magnetic field and then measure anomalies in the field which would represent internal flaws.  The latter system was the original system invented by Dr. Elmer Sperry in the early twenties.

SRS 126 and many of its sisters were built on second hand gas-electric passenger vehicles that many roads used for passenger service on branch lines during the late twenties and into the very early 50's (kind of the forerunner of the Budd RDC's).

SRS 140 was a relatively brand new car in this photo and was built into a NYCTA car body so that it could also be run over the TA's rails, as the older cars like SRS 126 wouldn't fit TA clearances.  Prior to the 140 class, SRS used a remodeled Mack Railbus equipped with just an ultrasonic system for detection on the TA.

In the pictures we're looking at, the head end of the SRS 126 and the rear end of the SRS 140. Cars detected only in the forward mode which made for lots of deadheading on multiple track branches. Both cars were only operated from the head end.  However, they could operate MAS backwards, with an operator on the head end and with the operator on the rear end signaling on a buzzer system to the head end.

Eventually all the cars were converted to diesel electric; much to my disappointment.  I loved it when  the gas electrics idled and unburnt gasoline fumes would collect in the 3 stacks; so that when the operator pulled back on the accelerator handle, three to four foot flames would erupt from the stacks...such fun!   Photos/Info: Win Boerckel  Archive: Dave Morrison

Note:  Sperry #126 was numbered 9900 and in service as a gas car/"doodlebug" on the C&NW at Belvidere, IL on Jan 3, 1931.
In Aug, 1937 it was acquired by the Sperry Rail Service, and turned into a detector car.  Dave Keller


Sperry Inspection Car SRS #140 - VALLEY Tower 1969 (Hoskins-Lynch)

SRS 140 has a very unique history: it is actually a leftover IRT R33 shell built by St. Louis Car sometime in 1963, but assembled and completed by Sperry in Danbury 1965. The R33 order was for 540 IRT cars, but in late summer of 1963 (likely under influence from Moses, Fair Chairman), there was a push to get some of the new "Blue Arrow" cars to the Flushing Line sooner so all cars would delivered in time for the fair opening in nine months. So the last 40 R33s ended up as single units for the Flushing Line, with large picture windows and two-tone turquoise livery along with 390 R36s (all pairs). However this resulted in some leftover R33 shells for the IRT Main Line ("conventional" equipment in bright red with yellow grab irons, standard drop sash windows). 34 of the leftover R33 shells were assembled and delivered at the tail end of the R36 order between late July 1964 and early 1965 and known as "Main Line R36s", completing the 424 car R36 order. These would be the very last passenger equipment in North America with the conventional drop sash windows (excluding historic replicas). Other leftover R33 shells at St. Louis remained and Sperry purchased at least one, which became 140. 140 is now in private ownership in Australia.

So in a sense Sperry 140 owes its existence to Moses, with the rush for new cars on the Flushing Line in time for the fair resulting in leftover R33 shells at St. Louis Car Company. Research: Kevin Wong

SRS #140 - Sunnyside Yard 2/28/1976  Archive: Extra 2200 South Locomotive Magazine

Sperry Rail Service Inspection Car #129 at 
PD Tower, Patchogue 1972 (Keller- Keller)

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Sperry Rail Service Inspection Car #128 at KO Ronkonkoma,  04/18/08
Photo and Collection: Ernie Murphy

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Sperry Rail Service Inspection Car #128 at KO Ronkonkoma 11/01/2015 
Photo: Edward Hand

  Just as other railroads have chosen, the Long Island owns no Track Inspection Car (AAR classification MWG). 
Instead, Sperry Rail Service would send a track inspection car to inspect LIRR rails annually. 

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Sperry Inspection Car  #402 at Montauk
12/05/63 (Newsday -  Max Heine)

The Sperry Ultrasonic Detector Car reaches the Montauk station after traveling 61 miles of track from Patchogue on Dec. 5, 1963. The Detector Car was leased to the LIRR for the day in order to electronically check for weak areas along the tracks. Two days earlier, a train had derailed near the Brookhaven station, injuring 20 passengers. (Newsday -  Max Heine) SRS126Jmca 3-77timdarnell.jpg (55890 bytes)
Sperry Inspection Car  #126 Jamaica  3/1977
Photo: Tim Darnell

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Sperry Inspection Car  #143 behind Hall Tower, Jamaica 05/08/1986
Archive: Dave Keller

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Sperry Inspection Car  #118 Sunnyside Yard  4/1977 Photo: Tim Darnell

Sperry Inspection Car #137 at Jamaica  (Ziel-Boland)

Sperry Inspection Car #130 at YA, Yaphank - View NE 2/2020 Photo: MTA/LIRR

Sperry #128 is making its annual tour of the LIRR and testing on the Port Jefferson Branch while waiting out the weekend on the passing siding at Greenlawn.  Built by St. Louis Car and out shopped 9/1925
with s/n 1386B-363.  Originally B&O #6007,  returned to St. Louis Car 12/1926 and then sold to the Lehigh Valley as their  #15. Sperry purchased it from the Lehigh Valley in 3/1939. Info/Photos/Archive: Jeff Erlitz

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Sperry Inspection Car #126 Jamaica  3/1977
Photo: Tim Darnell

Sperry Inspection Car #138 at Ronkonkoma  Photo/Archive: William Skeats
Sperry Inspection Car #141 at Pinelawn
Photo: Steve Lynch c. 1990
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T-18, Federal Railway Administration Gage Restraint Measurement System (GRMS) Vehicle - Smithtown
Photo: John Volpi


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T-18, (GRMS) Vehicle - Smithtown
Photo: John Volpi  8/15/2006


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A state-of-the-art deployable GRMS vehicle which utilizes a 5th split railroad axle to laterally load the head of both adjacent rails of railroad track in order to measure rail motion under a combined vertical and later load for the detection of weak ties and fasteners.
Track Geometry Cars
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LIRR TC80  Greenport view NW 07/18/1977 
Wm. J. Madden photo, Archive: Dave Keller

TC80 westbound Clinton Road Station 12/1985 Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky


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TC81 Grand Ave., Maspeth 12/03/1990
Archive: Dave Keller

Before there was the TC82, there was the TC81 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


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TC81, Plasser Track Geometry Car, 
 Jamaica Station 1995 Photo: Phil Goldstein

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LIRR TC82 Track Geometry Vehicle Jamaica 08/28/2007 Photo/Archive: Joe Gregory

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LIRR TC82 Track Geometry Vehicle

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TC82 - Floral Park  4/04/2019 
Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell

TC82 Babylon Yard - View NW 7/24/2022

Photo/Archive: Craig Lignelli

TC82 Port Jefferson Branch 7/25/2022
Photo/Archive: Craig Lignelli

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Trackmobile #4250 12/19/2007 Morris Park
Photo: Mike Scholz

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Shuttlewagon  #203 Morris Park Demolition  Aug-Oct 2008


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Wreck Train Cars
W-52_Wreck-Train-Car_Morris-Park_7-27-1966_(Rugen-Huneke).jpg (75469 bytes)W-52 Class  MWT, a tool and block car. Mike Boland wrote that enthusiasts can model it in HO-scale using Bethlehem Car Works' flat-pack plastic model of a B60. Other MWTs were W-50, W-57, W-59, and W-60. 


W-52 Wreck Train Car at Morris Park 7/2/1966 (Rugen-Huneke)

James Bradley's book provided me with a great deal of general information on MofW equipment. Fred Twombly of F & F Custom Trains shared with his copy of a "Record of Work Equipment as of October 1, 1956". Art Huneke provided valuable additional information. Research assistance was provided by our own Edmund McGill of Arlington, Virginia.
Boland, Mike. "Modeling LIRR Pennsy Class GR Gondolas" Semaphore April 1993 page 6-7.
Bradley, James T. North American Maintenance of Way Equipment 1992.
Gillin, James. "Work Equipment Roster" Semaphore January 1993, page 2.
Volume 5: N.E. Railroad Work Equipment, Classic Freight Cars, The Series

Track Maintenance Cars on the LIRR

Fairmont Tie Inserter

RTW Tie Handler

Spike Driver

Track Leveling

Kershaw Ballast Regulator (Spreader)

Spike Driver

Nordberg Scarifier
Cable Tie Inserter

Kershaw Ballast Spreader
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Jet Engine Ice Melter Babylon Team Yard 2007
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"Little Giant" Crane TC-904 - Mainline Double Track Project MP47  Ronkonkoma view SW 10/18/15 Photo: Edward Hand
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LIRR Plasser Unimat 09-164S, LI City 
View east 11/2007 Photo: Kevin Katta
Plasser American MOW 
Distributing and Profiling the Ballast Tamping the Ballast Stabilization and Consolidation
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Calverton - Edwards Ave. View E


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Plasser METRO 4x4 rear cab

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The Plasser Ballast Distribution System consists of two complete, separate units that can work together as one machine, or as two separate machines. The BDS-100 is equipped with a hopper for ballast storage, conveyors to distribute ballast and a fully adjustable x-type ballast plow, and unique shoulder plows to profile the ballast.

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The BDS-200 can be equipped with one or two ballast brooms to sweep the excess ballast from the track and a conveyor to load excess ballast to the BDS100 or to a Plasser MFS-Type Conveyor and Hopper Car. The machine can also be equipped with a water mist system in order to reduce dust created during the operation.

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Plasser METRO 4x4 is a heavy-duty, high performance switch and production tamping machine specially designed for the stringent requirements of transit railway systems. It is standard equipped with fully automatic, computer controlled (AGGS) lifting, leveling and lining systems

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Plasser Dynamic Track Stabilizer PTS-62  is designed to apply controlled, accurate stabilizing forces into the track structure at continuous speeds of up to 1.5 mph. All track is subject to settling due to traffic loads. This settling occurs irregularly and uncontrolled, resulting in track deterioration. Dynamic track stabilization is a combination of horizontal vibration and a vertical load.


All photos: Calverton, NY 5/17/2017 Steve Rothaug



Plasser Unimat 09-16 4S #TC-034 New Hyde Park Rd. view W  7/12/2020 Photo: Dave Morrison

Plasser American Unimat  09-16 4S switch and production tamping #3215

Plasser Unimat 09-16 4S LIRR #TC-033

Plasser Unimat 09-16 4S LIRR #TC-033

Plasser American Unimat 09-16 4S switch and production tamping machine. The LIRR purchased two of these machines which were delivered in 2005; #TC-033- 034.  They are used to tamp the track while correcting the track geometry; surfacing and alignment to improve the ride quality for passenger confront and safety of keeping the trains on the track. They have 16 tamping tools to “pack” the ballast under the ties and are capable of production tamping on plain track as well as tamp switches.  Tamping switches requires being able to work around the rails as the transition and all of the hardware in a switch to allow it to operate.  This is a 09 series tamper which means it has a satellite which contains all the working components. During operation the satellite moves from tie to tie while tamping while the mainframe moves in a continuous motion which allows the machine to work at a higher production rate while reducing wear and tear on the machine.
Courtesy: Ronald Olds, Vice President Sales & Marketing Plasser American

Knox Kershaw KTC1200 TC-629 at Port Washington track no.6 12/23/2021
Photos/Archive: Craig Lignelli

Plasser American TC-032 ballast tamper Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky

Plasser American TC-814 ballast regulator Photo/Archive: Jay Bendersky
"Fire Water Tank" Cars

There is a tank car the LIRR owns, number 5001.  I think there is now, or was, a number 5000 as well.  It's actually believed that 3 tank cars used to exist for the purpose of fire suppression, but that would have to be confirmed with the Railroad for actual truth.  I do have a friend that has a LIRR equipment roster updated as of 1994, so I may be able to check that and confirm myself, though the only car I know the whereabouts of is actually located in Speonk yard on the wye tail and has been there for months - and that is the 5001. It is painted black with white spray painted stencil lettering.

When the wild fires occurred near Westhampton in the Pine Barrens, the #5000 was used to combat the flames.  There is a gasoline powered pump located on that tank car which pumps water to the nozzle.  I believe that the tank has to be filled for it to work. In other words, the car cannot be connected to a fire hydrant with the pump running because it won't work.  It's capacity is 10,000 gallons and is used for water only.  Joe Tischner  09/14/2006

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LIRR #5000 Speonk, NY 06/01/2006 Photo: Nick Kudreyko

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LIRR #5000 Speonk, NY 06/2007
Photo: Joe Gregory

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LIRR #5000 Ronkonkoma 5/20/16 Photo: Edward Hand


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LIRR #5001 Ronkonkoma, NY 05/22/08
Photo: Ernie Murphy

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LIRR #5001 Ronkonkoma, NY 07/07/08
East end of yard by Knickerbocker Ave.
Photo: Mike McDermet
The small motor under the middle of the car so it can pump its own water. Info: Bob Anderson

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LIRR #5001 Ronkonkoma, NY 07/07/08
East end of yard by Knickerbocker Ave.
Photo: Mike McDermet

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MNCW #601 Fire Protection Car, LIRR #257 Westhampton c.1989 Thomas Collins photo, Dave Keller archive
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MNCW #601 Fire Protection Car Croton-Harmon Shops/Yard 10/19/1996 Photo: Jason R. DeCesare 

Metro-North AAR reporting mark is MNCW for Maintenance of way equipment. Info:  John McCluskey

I remember back when there was the wildfires out east in the mid-90's the LIRR borrowed a few of these from MN, ended up buying their own, 5000 shows up in SK yard every summer around the beginning of dry season. Info: Joe Gregory  The track dept. used them sometimes to water down the stone ballast cars during big projects to keep down the dust in the hot dry summer .

Sandite - Alcohol Cars
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W84 MP54, ex LIRR 1691
Built 1920 at Morris Park 10/1977

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W84 MP54  Built 12/1920
 Photo: Tim Darnell 11/1985

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W84 MP54, ex LIRR 1691
Built 1920 Photo: Art Huenke

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W85 P74B Morris Park 1/1979
Photo: Tim Darnell

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W85 ex-7526 Ronkonkoma
2/2/2006 Photo: Mike Arnold

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W85 #7526  Ronkonkoma, now at RMLI Riverhead 
Photo: Paul Strubeck

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W85 Alcohol car ex-B&M car #7526 at Ronkonkoma 
Photo: Paul Strubeck

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LIRR #2907 Ronkonkoma 10/02/2006
Photo: Paul Strubeck 

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W86 in Morris Park in the yard behind the shops.
Project 39 tour of  Morris Park Photo: Al Castelli  6/06/1987

W84- MP54, ex LIRR 1691, I believe this was part of a restaurant in Water Mill. Disposition unknown - Scrapped?
W85- P74B, ex B&M 4590, in KO 
W86- ex B&M, Scrapped in 2004

2907, P72, built Pullman Standard 1955, LIRR as a bar car and sandite car, at RMLI
2909, P72, built Pullman Standard 1955, in Morris Park

E401 M1  ex-9401 Scrapped Summer 2023
E591 M1  ex-9591 Scrapped Summer 2023
E775 M3  ex-9775 painted orange with white stripe
E932 M3  ex-9932 
E901 M3  ex-9901 painted dark blue with a bright yellow stripe
E902 M3  ex-9902
E869 M3  ex-9869 Morris Park 4/01/2024

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E901 4/04/2019 Morris Park
Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell
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E401, E902 4/04/2019 Morris Park
Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell

The LIRR currently uses two M-1 cars to "slime" the rails during falling leaf season. Modified M1's 9401 & 9591 (now E401 & 591) are utilized sandwiched between a pair of MP15's.They operate entirely at night and are serviced at
Richmond Hill during the day.

There are also leaf crusher trains. These consist of two MP15's and gravel hoppers. They crush the leaves on the Oyster Bay , Pt. Jeff, Montauk, and Greenport branches. These trains are based at KO and Wellwood siding and operate at night."  

Both sandites and leaf crushers have run on the branch simultaneously, and have been on the branch with both. Leaf
crushers are operated on the branch to pulverize leaves that may be wedged in the circuits for the crossing gates. If leaves are not crushed, the potential for leaves to impede a circuit and crossing gates to stay up while a train goes through a crossing increases. All leaf crushers are run at the direction of the train dispatcher.
Information courtesy: Ben Jankowski, Oyster Bay RR Museum 2019

Spotted in Morris Park - M3 9869 has been converted to a work car, with a “new” number of E869. After losing its mate (9870) in a crossing accident, it was paired with 9772 until the most recent rounds of M3 scrapping. 9772 was taken off property, while 9869 seems to have been spared the torch by way of work service. (4/01/2024) Thomas Farmer





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Sandite is a sticky, slimy goo stuff.  These are a set of cars that were converted with large tanks inside used during the fall/winter. The cars drop the sandite on the railhead and it helps with traction. Alcohol is used on the 3rd rail to prevent freeze ups. A pair of these cars are out in KO, the one above, W85 and a P72. Both haven't been used in awhile. Now there are M1s used in place that have been converted.  #2907 and  #2909 are alcohol cars. Paul Strubeck   Photo: Mario Craig

  Leaves on the tracks can lead to slippery rail conditions. view LIRR/MTA video 

Hillside Maintenance Complex - Alcohol M1's E401 and E591, prior #9401, #9591 to be scrapped. 4/12/2023
Photo/Archive: Jake Rothman

The LIRR MOW leaf control program trims and removes vegetation. 
Photo: 2016 LIRR/MTA

Sandite application - Photo: 2016 LIRR/MTA

Lynbrook stationary Sandite applicator
Photo: 2016 LIRR/MTA

Crushed Autumn leaves create an oily residue, pectin, causing wheel slip and slide. This slip-slide creates wheel flat spots and track damage.  Wheels must be taken out of service for reshaping, termed truing.

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General Orders issued 10/29/1997 on the utilization of Sandite Operations by R. A. McDermott, Superintendent of Train Movements. Info: Chris Soundy,  Paul Strubeck Archive

Alcohol Trains

Alcohol train LIRR #157-162 W85
Bethpage c.1989  Photo: John61

Alcohol train  LIRR #171 02-12-94 W85 at KO
Photo:  LI Joe

Alcohol 2 train heading to Huntington at Cold Spring Harbor
1/26/2021 - Photo/Archive: William Skeats
Laser Train

Power wash travel is 2x faster with increased pressure washing by 400%.  Laser technology decreases wheel slip traction problems caused by fallen leaves
and to increase wheel adhesion to the rail by burning the slippery residue (pectin) off the rails. Info: John Deasy

M3 E902 laser car 11/14/2020
Archive: Brian Lee
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M3 ex-9775 converted to  #E775 laser car - 2018
Photo/Archive: Jeff Erlitz
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M3 ex-9932 converted to #E932 at Jamaica 10/12/18
Photo/Archive: Tim Darnell

MP15 #163 and #161 Laser train at Roslyn  11/15/2020 Photos/Archive: Daniel Foran

Choo Choo, Pew Pew: How a New York Railroad Uses Scorching Lasers to Stay on Schedule
TheDrive.com December 28, 2019

Laser trains may sound like an invention of the 2030s, but they’re already a real tool for the Long Island Rail Road.

New York’s Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has struggled for years with decaying leaves on the line during what its president Phillip Eng calls “low-adhesion season.” Trains can struggle to accelerate or stop on the rails' slick surfaces, sometimes locking their brakes and squaring off their wheels, which forces them to be removed from service for repairs. As the busiest commuter railway in the United States, the LIRR can’t afford delays or service interruptions and has adopted a novel solution to its traction problems: Burn the rails clean with powerful lasers.

The LIRR partnered with Netherlands-based company Laser Precision Solutions (LPS), which operates a single laser-equipped vehicle on LIRR's most-trafficked lines. Though the LIRR and LPS have only the one laser train in operation, the railroad now considers it to be the most effective weapon in its arsenal against seasonal delays. Furthermore, it calls lasers “a game-changer for the Long Island Rail Road, and a game-changer for the industry.”

LIRR President Phillip Eng reported that train cancellations through November 2019 have fallen 48 percent year-over-year versus 2018, and that frequency of lighter, but less capacious, ridership-reducing "short trains" is down 32 percent. Delays are down too: 90.7 percent of trains were on time in November 2019, an improvement of 3.8 percent over the year prior, and delays of 15 minutes or more are down 30 percent. Weather-related delays as a whole shrank 65 percent, all thanks to pioneering laser technology that most railroads are too scared to try out.

“No railroad wanted to try it because... It’s not service-proven. Somebody’s got to be the first to do it,” remarked Eng, who is so pleased with the laser train’s effectiveness that the LIRR is reportedly working on leasing the technology for future use, as well as outfitting a second train with the same system. 

LIRR/MTA 2016 (left) typical high pressure water jet leaf removal examples.  Photos/Archive:  Laser Precision Solutions