Montauk Cutoff
montuakbranchtrackprofilemap0-6miles.jpg (192218 bytes)
Montuak Branch track profile map LI City 0-6 miles
Collection: John Fusto
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Looking  East-NE: Sunnyside passenger yard  upper left, freight team track platforms lower left, Montauk Cut-off tracks centerview, and Executone Telephone Systems (ex-Sunshine Biscuits bakery 1956) upper center.
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Montauk Cutoff Abandonment petition map 10/13/15

Long Island City, NY  7/12/1974 Photo: Vincent J. Benkovitz, Archive: Mike Woodruff 
Locomotives: PC 4875 (GG1),  LIRR MTA Alco S1 (Info: Paul Strubeck) 

Three trains moving in this shot; on the right, a LIRR commuter train has departed Hunterspoint Avenue station headed east, on the left a pair of GG1s bring an equipment move from Sunnyside Yard into Penn Station, while up above a LIRR Alco S1 hauls a short cut of cars out of Yard A on the Montauk Cut Off toward Bliss tower. Author: Vincent J. Benkovitz 

View east from the mouth of the East River tunnel portals towards the Montauk  Cutoff curving overhead with an eastbound LIRR freight consist.  The tracks to Penn Station and the tunnel are to the right and left of the abutment and low railing, visible in the shadows and are beginning to angle downwards.  Info: Dave Keller

montaukcutoffwestlegto YardAfromBliss.jpg (129696 bytes)
Montauk Cutoff west leg into Yard A from Bliss cab view 
Going from Bliss to yard A is considered west. 03/2005 
Photo: Bob Anderson
lirrMontaukCutoff-viewfromCityStorageBldg11-07KevinKatta.jpg (151552 bytes)
 Montauk Cutoff view from City Storage Bldg  
Photo: Kevin Katta 11/07
licmap2v3.jpg (425851 bytes)
Office of Chief Engineer, Pennsylvania Railroad, May  20, 1946

lirr155-156eastboundtoBlissfromYardA12-08-77.jpg (63546 bytes)
LIRR #155,156 eastbound to Bliss from LI City Yard A 12/08/77
Archive: Henry Wagner

lirr462MontaukCutoff10-74_A_JosephDaly2.jpg (67651 bytes)
LIRR RS-1 #462 Montauk Cutoff 10/1974 
Photo: A. Joseph Daly

lirrS-1MontaukCutoffJoeDaly10-74.jpg (66405 bytes)
LIRR S-1 climbing out from North Shore/Yard A, on Montauk cut-off 10/1974 Photo: A. Joseph Daly

lirr159,154,224westboundBlissYardASecondaryTrack_trainRF-15_02-11-79.jpg (57578 bytes)
LIRR #159, 154, 224 westbound Bliss to Yard A on secondary track Train RF-15 02/11/1979
Archive: Henry Wagner
lirr443montauk-cutoff1971montaukcutoffDegnon.jpg (83747 bytes)
LIRR #443 1971 at Degnon Terminal
Info: Henry Wagner
bliss-springswitch-westbound.jpg (161928 bytes)
Bliss Cabin 03/2005 view E. Aligning the switch after entering, this is going west, taken 
from the rear of the train. On the eastbound trip back, it's a spring switch.
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Montauk Cut-off  - Removed GN 3-22 8/19/17
bliss11-24-08bobanderson1.jpg (66710 bytes)
Bliss Cabin, facing west. 11/24/08 
Photo: Bob Anderson

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Bliss facing east. 11/24/08 Photo: Bob Anderson

S_CardNeilFeldman.jpg (120111 bytes)
S Form Clearance Card: 11/04/94 Proceed west from Richmond Hill to LI City via the C secondary
Archive: Neil Feldman 

Going from Yard A to Bliss is considered going east.
Going from Bliss to yard A is considered west.

It's a secondary track with no assigned direction. You need the authority of an "S" Card to enter the track.

When I was on the roustabout, we would get the "S" Card from Jay Tower, Via Radio, T box ( wayside phone) or by cell phone.. I guess with recent events the cell phone is out.

The S Card was the authority to operate on the C secondary, and/or Montauk Cutoff.  It would not be issued unless the operator knew the
track was clear. We in turn had to report clear of the secondary, and Montauk Cutoff.

Entering the cutoff from the C secondary, the spring switch has to be manually lined, normal is lined for the C secondary, then after clearing the switch, it had to be lined back to normal.

Coming off the Montauk Cutoff to the secondary, no alignment is needed, it works as a spring switch in that direction.  Research: Bob Anderson

mcabin1912-1950s.jpg (220495 bytes)
Emery Map: M Cabin 1912-1950s
Archive: Dave Keller
drawbridgetogreenpointave.jpg (217631 bytes)
Emery Map: Bliss Yard 11-1960
Archive: Dave Keller

BS-Bliss-Tower_8-12-1959_JeffErlitz.jpg (80942 bytes) dutchkills-greenpointave1958.jpg (399268 bytes)
Emery Map: Dutch Kills to Greenpoint Ave 1958
Archive: Dave Keller
DBtower.jpg (257243 bytes)
Emery Map: DB Tower 1906-1958
Archive: Dave Keller
"BS" Bliss Tower on 8/12/1959, a little over a year before it was replaced with a cinder block cabin on the other side of the tracks. This Bliss Tower (formerly BS) had a Saxby & Farmer 24-lever mechanical interlocking machine. Archive: Jeff Erlitz
bliss-09-92.jpg (445907 bytes)
Bliss Cabin, facing west. Greenpoint Ave and the rest of the Montauk is at my back.

blisssign09-1991joegregory.jpg (51457 bytes)
LIRR Bliss Cabin Messages

bliss-west.jpg (450161 bytes)
Leaving Bliss, check out the remains of the yard. Facing east towards Bliss is where the C-secondary joins the line, the switch to Blissville yard was right in front of where I stand.


C-secondaryonleftlimks_lowermontaukWithLIC.jpg (198067 bytes)
On my left you have the C-secondary, which links the Lower Montauk with LI City yard, the right is the active track of the Montauk Cutoff, that's what were headed down looking west

C-secondaryonleftlimks_lowermontaukWithLIC2.jpg (458394 bytes)
View looking back east.

kearnysiding.jpg (569049 bytes)
Head up around the curve and we have the Kearny siding facing east, the out of service track which is serving nothing but some shrubbery these days. Kearny is to my left. 


oldsignal bridge_PLSprotectingthe C-secondary.jpg (437413 bytes)
Here's a shot looking back towards the old signal bridge, you can see a PLS (PRR/LIRR position light signal) protecting the C-secondary that is on the lead to the Lift Bridge. The Lift bridge is the closest to the L.I.E or "Midtown Highway" on your older map. Directly to the right is where the Swing bridge (Which is known as the Draw Bridge, dating back to the former bridge standing there).  

FA1-612-Train-EastoverDutchKills-LIC-June-1981-S.Goldstein2.jpg (87406 bytes)
LIRR #612  passing DB Cabin eastbound over Dutch Kills 06/1981 Photo: S. Goldstein

In the background is Horowitz Bros. & Margareten, which, if you remember looking at the Kosher products on the shelves at Waldbaum's Supermarkets is the firm that makes matzos! Info: Dave Keller


Dutchkillsbothcrossingsviewsouth_joegregory.jpg (210654 bytes)
Dutch Kills view south. Both LIRR bridges in sight.
Foreground bridge:  Montauk Cutoff to Sunnyside Yard
Background Bridge: Swing Bridge at DB Tower

The Lift Bridge:
montaukcutoffbridge.jpg (386339 bytes)
"The Bridge" is the Lift bridge on the Montauk Cutoff, it's 
where M Cabin is perched on top of.

FA1-612-Train-EastoverDutchKills-LIC-June-1981-S.Goldstein.jpg (95987 bytes)
LIRR #612  crossing Dutch Kills drawbridge (swing bridge) eastbound over Dutch Kills 06/1981 Photo: S. Goldstein

Montauk-Cutoff-ViewE_6-14-74_RichardMakse.jpg (95126 bytes)
Montauk Cutoff  - View E 6/14/1974 Photo/Archive: Richard Makse

Note: Above the bridge abutment, you can see the home signal for M Cabin, complete with smash board. The Montauk Cutoff was left-handed (English) running based on the design of Yard A. The westbound cutoff, closest to the camera, only had a low home (dwarf) signal protecting eastbound moves.  Richard Makse

Note 2: The location above is Meurer's siding; named after the Meurer Steel Barrel Company.

murrersidings5.jpg (88443 bytes)
LIRR map - Meurer Sidings 1966 Page 5

"M" Cabin
Mcabin.jpg (460228 bytes)

:Mcabin2.jpg (323210 bytes)

Mcabin3.jpg (295685 bytes)
All the shots of M Cabin (more like M-container!) are facing west, we risked walking the draw bridge, but the lift is way to sketchy.

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"M" cabin 12/70 Photo: Dave Keller

Dutch Kills Swing Bridge:
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Dutch kills swing bridge taken from M cabin drawbridge, February 2005 while working the rosustabout. Photo: Bob Anderson

DutchKillsSwingBridge.jpg (426152 bytes)
Dutch kills swing bridge

licity47-54.jpg (335120 bytes)
LI City detail of Hunter's Point and Newton Creek area. Circa 1947-1954 as the Pulaski Bridge is under construction on this map.  Archive: Steve Lynch


Dutch Kills Swing Bridge:
DutchKillsSwingBridge3.jpg (459859 bytes)

DutchKillsSwingBridge4.jpg (563316 bytes)

DutchKillsSwingBridge2.jpg (521301 bytes)

DB Cabin 05/16/1976
Archive: Henry Wagner

Wheelspur Yard:
ex-Wheelspuryardonright.jpg (341019 bytes)
The Wheelspur yard (on the right) is on the west end of the swing/draw bridge, the switch lead for LI city is in the far background, as well as the signal protecting the secondary. In its place is a building, and a pile of junk. Hard to imagine there was a major yard located here with the building there now!

WheelspurYardArtHuneke.jpg (55782 bytes)
Montauk cutoff drawbridge at M cabin, looking west at 
Wheelspur Yard Photo:  Art Huneke 1955


backtowardsBliss.jpg (364335 bytes)
Back towards Bliss. The shot facing up towards the old signal bridge is also on the C-secondary.

backtowardsBliss2.jpg (439707 bytes)
Check out the switch leading to nowhere facing west, standing on the C-secondary. The bridge is in the distance, in my infinite wisdom I didn't get a detail shot of the switch! 

Borden Ave
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View north, LIE above

HabermanStationMontukBranch03-19-76.jpg (70360 bytes)
Haberman Station  - Montauk Branch 03/19/1976 
Archive: Henry Wagner
lirr216eastofHaberman3-5-76.jpg (66314 bytes)
LIRR #216 east of Haberman 03/05/1976
Archive: Henry Wagner
lirr106-cab56BlissOnCutoff12-12-77.jpg (57792 bytes)
Blissville looking at the Montauk Cutoff  LIRR #1106, caboose #56 heading east Archive: Henry Wagner
Photos and Commentary: Joseph Gregory  06/20/2007 unless otherwise  noted.