Pennsy E6s on turntable 21Sept36.jpg (59246 bytes)
E6s with a PRR tender 09/21/1936. 
Photo: Robert Emery  Data: Dave Morrison
Oyster Bay Turntable


Panorama View c.1900
View the center to see the turntable with roundhouse to the left (east)

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Oyster Bay Turntable 02/1992
 Photo: Steve Torborg


LIRR RS3 #1560 Oyster Bay turntable Photo/archive: Art Huneke


LIRR G5s #50 - P70 club car #811 Oyster Bay turntable 1954 Photo/archive: Art Huneke
 Oyster Bay Historical Society Spring 2001 Edition of the Freeholder
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Cover
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Oyster Bay Historical Society Fall 2006 Edition of the Freeholder
Oyster Bay’s Historic Turntable – Part II
by David D Morrison

Part I was written by Walter Karppi

In the Spring 2001 edition of the Freeholder, Walter Karppi wrote an interesting article explaining the history, function and operation of railroad turntables.  In essence, the turntable was used to turn steam locomotives in the opposite direction for a return trip.  Walter discussed the Danbury Railroad Museum ’s turntable and the way crowds gathered around to watch the operation.  He likened the Danbury turntable to what the Oyster Bay turntable will be when it is restored and placed into service as part of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum’s facilities.

As a follow-up to Walter’s article, this article will delve a bit deeper into the history of the Oyster Bay turntable, its relationship to other turntables on Long Island , and the part that railroad historians have played in helping to preserve the history of the hamlet’s turntable.

The Oyster Bay turntable

Oyster Bay drwg turntable.jpg (113439 bytes)The turntable now in the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum’s yard is actually the second turntable at this location. The LIRR reached Oyster Bay in 1889, having been extended from Locust Valley . That turntable had been in Locust Valley since 1869 and after 20 years, it was moved with the expansion of LIRR service to Oyster Bay . A four stall enginehouse was built in the same year. The turntable was located northwest of the enginehouse. In 1904 the old turntable was torn out and a new 70 foot long turntable was installed north of the enginehouse. In this connection, see the sketch below drawn by the late LIRR Conductor Bob Emery, whose collection of maps, drawings and photographs is at Stony Brook University



OBayturntable2008.jpg (71373 bytes)The turntable restoration now at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum’s yard. 07/27/2008 Photo: JJ. Earl  

 

 

 

JJEarlandMarkSmithLIRR35scab.JPG (100982 bytes)JJ. Earl (l) and Mark Smith (r) 07/2008

 

 

 

OB enginehouse D56 out front 4-4-0 steam locomotive 27 showing.jpg (64110 bytes)The enginehouse lasted until it was demolished on August 4, 1929 .  No enginehouse was built afterwards.  There is only one known existing photograph of the  Oyster Bay enginehouse. Collection: David Keller

 

 

 

lirr29OBayJohnKrause08-12-48.jpg (62092 bytes)The 1904 turntable was originally powered by a pneumatic motor.  The turntable operator would hook up a hose from the air compressor of a nearby steam locomotive to the turntable motor, which then could be operated by air pressure.  Railroad historian Art Huneke has an LIRR 1945 Depreciation document showing that the Oyster Bay turntable was electrified in 1932.  It was operated by electric motor until it was taken out of service sometime in the 1970s.  The photo, taken by John Krause on August 12, 1948 shows steam locomotive #29 being turned on the Oyster Bay turntable. 

The Oyster Bay turntable, is in the planning stages of a full restoration. For the years that this turntable was in operation, it was basically open to public view.  Engineers such as the late Cecil Craft would often allow eager kids to ride on the front running board of his steam locomotive from the station down to the yard and then he’d allow them to stay on the locomotive while it was being turned on the turntable.  In fact, the LIRR made it a policy to allow children to view the turntable operation.  In LIRR Transportation Notice #1330 issued on August 3, 1965 the LIRR employees were advised as follows:

Oyster Bay Turntable * Station Agent will meet group [school children from Queens Public School #40] and conduct tour of Oyster Bay facility where they will witness the turning of Engine #516.  Crew should be advised to delay the turning of Engine a few minutes to allow the group to get down to the turntable.  110 containers of milk at 10 cents each…

Image 05 children turntable.jpg (144931 bytes)Significant to this article is a photo that appeared in the Summer 2002 Freeholder article on the history of the Oyster Bay Train Station.  That photo shows school children at the Oyster Bay turntable in the mid 1950s. Collection: Arthur Huneke

 

 

 

 

Fieldtrip_OBay_viewSW.jpg (102008 bytes)Another photo that shows a field trip of school children at the Oyster Bay turntable c.1953-54. Collection: Gary Frakas

Letter when cleaning up my office inside the Oyster Bay ticket office during the late 1990s. It has been damaged, but I guess that adds an air of authenticity to the document.

The letter had the ticket validator stamp on the reverse side 8/05/1965

The top of the letter has a pencil-hand-written note: Small girl injured while boarding train at Union Hall Street.  Fell between train and platforArchive: Dave Morrision

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