NASSAU Tower Raze


NASSAU Tower and Substation #8 - View SW 1969
Photo/Archive: Dave Keller

NASSAU Tower 3/1993 Photo/Archive: John Ciesla

US&S Tower Control Panel 5/09/1996 installation.
  Photo/Archive: Jeff Erlitz  5/08/2020

NASSAU Tower was the LIRR's interlocking and signal tower for Nassau Interlocking at Mineola Junction, just east of the Mineola station, from 1923 until 2020. As part of LIRR's Main Line Expansion Project, which is creating a third track along the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville stations, the tower was decommissioned. Nassau Tower opened in 1923, located right next to the Mineola station and the LIRR's Mineola Electrical Substation, which was built in 1910. This tower replaced the original, brick tower, which was built in 1890 and destroyed in a train wreck on December 31, 1922.

Back when Nassau Tower was still operational, we can see train orders being given to the locomotive engineer (left 2015). Train order operation, or more accurately timetable and train order operation, is a largely obsolete system by which the railroads of North America conveyed operating instructions before the days of centralized traffic control, direct traffic control, and the use of track warrants conveyed by radio. The system used a set of rules when direct communication between train dispatchers and trains was limited or non-existent. Trains would follow a predetermined operating plan, known as the timetable, unless superseded by train orders conveyed to the train from the dispatcher, through local intermediaries. Train order operation was a system that required minimum human overhead in an era before widespread use of technology-based automation. It was the most practical way for railroads with limited capital resources, or lines with limited traffic, to operate. To this day, many short lines, heritage railways, and railroad museums continue to use Train Order operation. Currently, train order operations have been completely replaced by modern operating methods. RIP 1923-2021 Photo/Archive/Info: Karim Odr

SAVE NASSAU TOWER pole posting 7/21/2020
Photo/Archive: Dave Morrison

NASSAU Tower view SE 1966
Photo/Archive: Dave Keller

NASSAU raze view SE 9182021 Photo/Archive: Gregory Grice

Note: Photo tacked on the pole is the
Dave Keller photo (left)!


NASSAU Tower - Photos/Archive: Dave Morrison
Pedestrian Grade Crossing Removal - September 9th, 2021

NASSAU Tower LIRR DM30 #501 eastbound at the pedestrian grade crossing 4/06/2021
Photo/Archive: Ed Frye

NASSAU Tower pedestrian grade crossing view S 4/08/2021 Photo/Archive: Ed Frye

NASSAU Tower pedestrian grade crossing stanchion removal with temporary field office at left. 9/09/2021  Photo/Archive: Ed Frye


There's Now a "Hush" Over Nassau Interlocking

With the razing of Nassau Tower now imminent, crews -- yesterday -- "got the ball rolling" by dismantling the remaining grade crossing in the "friendly confines" of Nassau Interlocking...namely, the small pedestrian crossing that was located just west of the Tower. With all the local thoroughfares that once cut through the Interlocking now re-routed by way of newly-engineered underpasses, this pedestrian crossing -- used, lately, only by railroad personnel -- has been the only reason for Main Line and Oyster Bay train crews to sound their horns...echoing mightily off the walls of adjoining structures, such as multi-level parking garages and the lofty, retro-styled Morgan Parc apartments. That is...until now. With the whistle boards and crossbucks taken down, and the flashing red lights extinguished, a "hush" has fallen over Nassau Interlocking, as trains, now, glide-by on welded rail, barely noticeable.  Ed Frye
NASSAU Tower Demolition Preparation Views - September 11th-17th, 2021

A hazardous material remediation/abatement team -- who previously surveyed and assessed the nature of Nassau Tower's environmentally-dangerous components -- set-out to remove these issues in advance of the demolition that took place on Saturday, September 18th to safely prepare Nassau Tower for its razing...

I spoke with the on-site manager and he told me the greatest concern was the shingles that covered the upper-half of the entire building.  They're referred to as "cementitious", meaning they are basically composed of ordinary cement, bonded with asbestos fiber...a commonplace exterior building material that lasted well into the 1950's.  He also said Nassau Tower's interior had many surfaces coated with lead-based paint, as well as ceiling and wallboard material composed of what he referred to as "ACM", i.e. "asbestos containing material".   Ed Frye

NASSAU Tower tar paper removal View SW 9/11/2021 Photo/Archive: Ed Frye

NASSAU Tower fascia removal View SW 9/11/2021 Photo/Archive: Ed Frye

NASSAU Tower shingle removal View NW 9/12/2021 Photo/Archive: Ed Frye

NASSAU Tower shingle removal complete
View NW 9/12/2021 Photo/Archive: Ed Frye

NASSAU Tower shingles removed 9/15/2021 Photo/Archive: Dave Morrison

NASSAU Tower hazardous material removal truck 9/15/2021 Photo/Archive: Dave Morrison

Nassau Tower - View E 9/17/2021
Photo/Archive: Dave Morrison

Nassau Tower - View E 9/17/2021
Photo/Archive: Dave Morrison
NASSAU Tower Raze Day - September 18th, 2021

Shortly after sunrise, September 18th, 2021, the LIRR and contractor crews, clad in yellow safety vests and hard hats, lined-up their dump trucks, utility vehicles, and one, solitary, excavator along Mineola's Main Street, the lone access to Nassau Tower,  to take down the time-honored structure, unfortunately "standing in the way" of LIRR's soon-to-be-laid "Third Track".  I was there..."on the dot" of 8 Gateway Demolition's "dinosaur-jawed" machine -- previously here to "gobble-up" Substation 8 -- crawled into position to, once again, begin the process.

As evidenced in my photographs (i.e. through the windows), the second story interior was sealed-off, with special ventilation measures taken by way of temporary ducting.  Not visible in my pictures is an extended corridor constructed of plywood and sheeting for entry into -- and egress from -- Nassau Tower...a precautionary hazardous material measure taken.  Quite a different, if not contrasting, process...i.e. last weekend versus this weekend...first, a carefully "orchestrated", measured procedure by the hazmat team, and -- then -- today...a brash "assault" on the structure, debris and dust "flying" everywhere.  In the span of less than three hours, it was all over... Ed Frye

  NASSAU Tower raze demolition  -N 9/18/2021 Photos/Archive: John Krattinger  



  NASSAU Tower demolition - 9/18/2021 Photos/Archive: Dave Morrison  


  NASSAU Tower demolition aerials -  9/18/2021 Photos/Archive: Thomas Farmer  


  NASSAU Tower demolition - 9/18/2021 Photo/Archive: Ed Frye  

Nassau Tower prior to raze - View SE 

Nassau Tower demolition begins View S 

Nassau Tower demolition in action - View S 

Nassau Tower - Gateway excavator making short work of the raze. View S

Nassau Tower demolition nearly complete - View S

Nassau Tower - Gateway Demolition finishing the job. View S
  NASSAU Tower Demolition - Epilogue  Photo/Archive: Ed Frye  
 Freight Station "Agent At Freight Office" West St, Johns Street, Hicksville sign found in the rubble 10/03/2021
"The End of Nassau Tower"  LIST Semaphore page 6 10/2021
Author/Archive: Dave Morrison