LIRR Sunrise Special 

Design: Joe Vila c.2007-08

Montauk Point 11/29/2008 Photo: Amanda Haddox 

SUNRISE SPECIAL: Established (5/x/1921 - 6/25/1922); train #7-#18; all-first class, extra-fare, summer-only train, New York-Montauk, running eastbound on Fridays and westbound on Mondays; operates daily for the first time 6/28/1926 - 9/10/1926; renumbered train #18-#19 6/19/1932, running eastbound on Thursdays and Fridays and westbound Mondays; last trip as all-first class 9/7/1937; last trip 9/8/1942. Research: Christopher T. Baer 

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LIRR #21 G5s with Sunrise Special tender  
Archive: Art Huneke

Except for the "Sunrise Special" which was unique in having its own herald on the tender, all other LIRR trains were only identified by their names in the timetables of the day and their locomotives simply had the road name "Long Island" on their tenders or "Pennsylvania" if using leased equipment .

This is in the "classic" PRR serif gold lettering on black unit.; as applied to the steam tenders as seen below.. 

LIRR #39 G5s at Oyster Bay Archive: Art Huneke

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Sunrise Special logo board in NASSAU Tower 


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Sunrise Special tender logo Richmond Hill c.1928
Archive: Dave Keller
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LIRR #21 G5s Sunrise Special tender logo Archive: Art Huneke
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Sunrise Special Observation illuminated Keystone logo c.1920s 
Archive: Art Huneke

1. The lettering of "Sunrise" around the sun's rays is quite different than those generated for the T-shirts yet it's a perfect match for the Tender herald above and that of NASSAU Tower.
2. The Keystone of both the tender original and the one at NASSAU tower are narrow and long and similar to each other and not the full-width keystone on the T-shirts.
3. The only difference I see are the letter "O"s  in "Long Island Railroad" which are NOT the same on both tender and wall sign. Info: Dave Keller

Sunrise-Trail-playing-card_c.early1920s_CarolMills.jpg (66174 bytes)  Sunrise-Trail-playing-cards_two-deck-box-set_c.early1920s_CarolMills.jpg (87649 bytes)
LIRR Indian playing cards and their inscribed box; “To live on Long Island permanently is a mark of distinction – To summer there is a joy long to be remembered.”   It was a double set, issued c.1921.This was Hal Fullerton’s promotional idea. 
He and Edith were very creative. Archive: Carol Mills

Note: The experimental farms and Mile-a-minute Murphy's ride were his ideas, all to bring attention to the railroad. 

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Sunrise Special logo Design: Paul Kennedy c.2005

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Sunrise Special logo Design: Paul Kennedy c.2008

A few years back, an old LIRR fan, Paul Kennedy, had decals made for the "Sunrise Special" tender logo, then Al Castelli and I had the logo embroidered onto shirts. This was only a best guess, since we've not been able to find any data for the actual logo. Paul figured the outside lines to be gold, the sunrise gold and yellow, the inside sky of the keystone light blue. It really was beautiful, and probably a good replica of the actual logo. OBRM, which owns the actual tender carefully tried to lift paint to determine the colors, but found it had been removed sometime in the engine's life. Rich Glueck

LIRR THROUGH PARLOR CAR SERVICE: Train #18 Sunrise Special timetable June 22nd - September 10th, 1928 Archive: Robert Andersen


The Sunrise Special ran along the Main Line and headed to Montauk via the Manorville/Eastport branch as did MOST ALL of the LIRR's Montauk-bound trains . . "name" trains or otherwise.  The Central branch extension connecting the Main Line with the Montauk branch just west of Babylon was practically dead for many years... and very few Montauk-bound trains ran along the electrified south shore portion. 

Ron Ziel's "Steel Rails to the Sunrise" shows a shot taken by Charles B. Cheney of PRR G5s #1589 pulling the Sunrise Special through Mineola  Also, from what I know, in addition to 21 pulling the "Special" was LIRR #35 and PRR K-4s #1589. It's very likely it may have also been pulled by other locos and/or classes.

If it were pulled by an occasional K4s, that would have happened only AFTER 1931 when the heavier "K4 Bridge" was built over Shinnecock Canal.  K4's did not travel to Montauk prior to installation of the heavier bridge. 

I cannot see the tender being utilized on commuter runs when it specifically bore the herald of a "name" train . . . Between the other LIRR locomotives as well as all the leased Pennsy equipment on the property, I'm sure there were always enough tenders to "go around" and the Special's tender being reserved specifically for that train wouldn't have created a hardship. 

It was a thru-Pullman from Washington 1921–1942. See timetable at left, for example. Research: Dave Keller


PRR #5741 engine & tender were sent to LI apparently due to a shortage of power there in September, 1955 right at the end of steam. PRR 5741 arrived with a leaky tender (and may have arrived with a low side smaller capacity tender), so Morris Park Shops replaced the tender with the larger one from LI #21 which had just been retired. #5741 was a PRR G5 probably out of passenger commuter service.  In service on LI it would have been designated PRR Eng. No. 5741. Making the tender swap would not identify the locomotive differently either on railroad documents or on Form 19 train orders as LIRR locomotives were identified on train orders simply by road number and PRR locomotives were as indicated above. Research: Dave Keller

LIRR #21's tender really got around! "The Pennsy Era on Long Island," by Ron Ziel, page 51 states: "the Pennsy sent over G5 #5741 to Long Island in September, 1955, right at the end of steam. The LI replaced #5741's tender (leaky, maybe?) with the tender from just-retired #21. Then in Ron Ziel's "Long Island Heritage" book, he states that #21's tender was moved again to #35 just before #35 went on display at Salisbury Park, later as Eisenhower Park. Info: Joe Vila

Note: The photo above is a scrap-line shot with #5741 coupled to the low-sided, smaller, "Pennsylvania"-marked tender.  currently it's now cosmetically restored at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, sporting what appears to be the same, low-sided, smaller tender with the original pin-striping added to tender and cab. 

PRR #5741 Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania 7/05/04 Photo: Stephen Bradley

LIRR G-5 #35 move out of Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, LI on June 17, 1978 and sent to the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum (OBRM) 

LIRR tender No. 21 builder plate Class 110.P.82A  Photo: Gary Farkash c/o OBRM 

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LIRR Information Bulletin "Long Island -The Sunrise Country" 4/20/1922 Archive: Carol Mills
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lirr17_4-6-0_54sa-Camelback_Sunrise-Special_LIRR-Info-Bulletin_4-20-22.jpg (101062 bytes)LIRR #17 4-6-0 54sa Camelback "Sunrise Special" photo from the LIRR Information Bulletin above 4/22/1922 Archive: Carol Mills

G5s-21-Sunrise-Special-Eastbound-Central-Islip-c.1927.jpg (84962 bytes)Station agent George G. Ayling captured with his camera G5s #21 pulling the LIRR name train "Sunrise Special" eastbound through Central Islip c. 1927.  The lead car is a PRR steel combine.  Locomotive #21 was assigned to pull this train. A special logo was designed and painted on both sides of the tender.  The Montauk-bound train ran along the Main Line, accessing the south shore to the Hamptons and Montauk via the Manorville-Eastport connection. (Dave Keller archive and data)  

DD1-339-Trn19-SnrseSpecial-Sunnyside-8-37.jpg (35740 bytes)DD1 #339 pulling train #19, the “Sunrise Special” westbound past Knickerbocker Laundry trackside,  Sunnyside, L I. City , NY 08/1937 
George E. Votava photo, Dave Keller archive`

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Sunrise Special tender logo MTH model

LIRR G5s #21 Sunrise Special MTH O Scale model