Long Island Railroad

Montauk Branch






No. 8






Sunday, June 18, 1961

Eastern Daylight Savings Time



T. M. Goodfellow                             President and General Manager

Ted Tubbesing                        Vice President, Engineering

Edmund McGill                      Vice President, Real Estate

Capt. Christos Zirps, USN     Vice President, Marine Operations

Bill Pauling                                       Advisor

Bill Myers                               Advisor

J. J. Earl                                 Advisor

R. B. Giannuzzi                      Advisor

Howie Waelder                       Advisor

Gene Collora                          Advisor

Thomas Flagg                        Advisor

Nicholas Kalis                        Investor


These pages serve as the framework for operations on our HO-scale layout. “Operations”, as used here, is the use of prototype (real) railroad practices to determine train and car movements on a model railroad. We have installed Digitrax Empire Builder Radio controlled DT300 throttles to operate our trains. Tethered throttles can also be plugged in to any of the LocoNet jacks on the UP3 universal panels or the UR-91 panel. Modeled operational information is shaded.


1. Car-Cards and Waybills


A single buff-colored card with a pocket from Old Line Graphics represents each freight car on our layout set in Queens, New York in 1963. Each pocket holds a “four-sided” white card (the waybill) offering four different locations. This combination of car card and waybill approximates the real-life waybills and switch lists used by the prototype Long Island Railroad to route traffic.


Our waybills are “cycled” (moved from one of their four destinations to the next) between sessions. Operators never need deal with this “model railroad thought”. For operators, each waybill shows the car’s destination for the current session. Each destination is shown by the city or community name as well as a location (i.e. freight house) and or industry (e.g. Astoria Lumber). In the simplest sense, operations on my LIRR consist of moving cars to destinations shown on the waybills.


For each track or industry, a Plexiglas “pocket” is provided on our layout fascia, labeled with the appropriate name. Each neighborhood has a box labeled “conductor” for cars currently being worked. As cars are left on these tracks, your car-card/waybill combination should be dropped in the appropriate pocket. In general, car-cards and waybills should stay with our cars.


Occasionally, operators will discover a car already sitting in the location called out on its waybill. This simply represents a not-yet-loaded car which should be left in place until our next session, or, if it must be moved to facilitate switching other cars, must be returned before session’s end.


Waybill symbols


Waybill symbols provide you, the operator with cues as to the destination of each individual car. The number (1 – 4) in the upper right-hand corner of each waybill represents the waybill cycle but has no meaning for operations. Cars bound for destinations on the layout’s modeled portion (currently Arch Street, Blissville, or Long Island City Industries) have no additional marking. This reminds our crews that these cars are bound for some track or industry spot somewhere on our visible layout.


For other destinations, a geometric symbol is added to those waybills. For traffic bound beyond our layout to the west, a triangle is added around its waybill number. Destinations off the layout to the east add a rectangle. For transfers to the New Haven, the waybill number is highlighted in yellow.


On-layout destination -                                       no symbol

Beyond layout west (car float staging) -          triangle

Beyond layout east (Yard A staging) –           rectangle


Setting up our next session


In setting up a session, we must cycle waybills (including for LCL at Arch Street) everywhere on our layout, build yard transfers at Sixth Street, build staged locals in Yard A and Blissville Yard, and prepare appropriate paperwork for each train and Jamaica Dispatcher (for modeling purposes, the Trainmaster for North Shore Yards will assume the Jamaica Dispatcher role).


We must cycle car waybills at their final destinations, representing cars being loaded or unloaded; set up LCL operations; and build locals for our next operating session. Cycling waybills   involved in nearly all situations – means moving them from 1 position to 2 position, or from 2 position to 3 position, and so on. Generally, this will reveal an appropriate next destination.


Important general note on waybills: Although traffic patterns are generally set up so cars will flow smoothly, temporary imbalances may occur. For example, after cycling waybills at Yard A, you may find you lack sufficient cars billed to on-layout destinations to build all trains needed. In this case, check some waybills showing off-layout destinations to see if cycling them once more (e.g. from 2 to 3 to 4) reveals the on-layout destination you require. It’s best to go forward rather than backward (2-to-3 rather than 2-to1, for example) so cars don’t obviously repeat their movements so quickly.


Waybills on spotted cars


As a first step, go around our layout checking various tracks and industry spots. Cars in locations specified on our waybill are considered delivered and loaded and our waybills are cycled (turned to the next destination). Set up some operating challenges by simply not cycling your waybill so some cars don’t get moved. If you feel charitable, these can be cars at the far end of a track, so our switch crew doesn’t need to disturb them. To offer our switch crew more of a challenge, pick a car that must be pulled so other cars may be switched and then the original car replaced.


Waybill secrets


To provide challenging operations, a few car-cards temporarily carry 2 waybills in the pocket. The front waybill is a “secondary” waybill with specific instructions on two or three cycles. We use secondary waybills for creating some specific traffic flows such as transporting special atomic waste loads from Brookhaven National Laboratory out east on Long Island that we don’t run regularly. These special waybills go in front of our normal waybill, run their course (typically depositing the car in Yard A for reclassifying), then are pulled, revealing the “normal” four cycle waybill underneath. At this point, the car reverts to its typical cycle. At the end of his run the local LCL car should have no red LCL bills; all LCL bills should be green.


Waybills printed on orange paper represent RIP Track operations. The Yardmaster inserts into the car card pocket Orange waybills, listing the particular maintenance problem and RIP track spot they must be switched to.

The Jamaica Dispatcher’s area holds a box with these special waybills, referenced in the set-up instructions below. Slips can also be added to tell operators that a car should stay at an industry for a few days just as in the prototype.


Setting up staged trains


In general, this involves cycling waybills on cars already in staging, inserting secondary waybills as appropriate, then making up locals to meet the next operating session’s requirements. At the start of our operating session, the following locals are set-up: MA-6, The Maspeth and MA-7 in Yard A staging and the First Trick, Float One are complete with engine and caboose (as appropriate). The Blissville Yard Drill should be ready by 7:59 AM to allow it to work Van Iderstine near Blissville Yard early in our operating session.


2. Staged trains at session start


Prototype Notes

1. While all LIRR freights ran as extra movements not listed in the timetable, freights did operate on a schedule. Throughout most of the 1960s, most LIRR yard jobs worked seven-days-a-week.


2. LIRR symbols are: LIC – Long Island City; trains with the letter prefix MA (Metropolitan Area). receive their second classification at Long Island City or Fresh Pond and dispatched from that point. The second classification then becomes the “freight” we see along the way. With few exceptions, all LIRR freights are in reality locals. Drill – LIRR parlance for a switching job.


3. With the exception of Blissville, this entire modeled railroad is Long Island City. Long Island City was once an independent city until Queens County, where it is located, was absorbed by New York City circa 1898. The Montauk Cutoff, a prominent feature of this layout, was built to overpass the Long Island’s Main Line leading to New York’s East River Tunnels (not modeled). While the Long Island’s Eight Street Yard was in operation into the 1970s, space limitations prohibited its being modeled except as one track. Modeled industry spot numbers follow prototype LIRR practice. Crews must operate at restricted speeds and be able to stop within ˝ the distance of their visibility.


4. During the era modeled, the 1960s, the LIRR owned no revenue freight cars as online industries shipped out comparatively little.


5. On October 31, 1963, the LIRR closed its marine operations and transferred its tugs and floats to its parent Pennsylvania Railroad. By 1975, all marine operations at Long Island City were terminated.


6. Blocking refers to the arrangement of freight cars in LIRR trains. All cars for a particular setout should be grouped together. Generally, air brakes are not used in yard switching. Normally, car inspectors bleed off the air before switching. Only engine brakes are used. When switching is completed, hand brakes may be used on one or two cars at the end of a string to hold the cut.


7. “Hack” is LIRR speak for a caboose. As with any train, a cut of cars for the Feeder or MA jobs should never be backed into a caboose whenever possible.


8. The Change of Engines job is not modeled; Yard Engines stayed at Yard A and were changed one for one as needed by CE crew. A tank truck from Morris Park serviced yard engines where they worked; this truck usually serviced whichever engine was on the P.M. Bliss Drill at Blissville Yard in the afternoon. Most road jobs (MA-xs) returned their engines to Morris Park after the job.


9. Modeled freight cars should be weighted on scales at Eighth Street Yard (modeled as a siding only).


10. When spotting cars to industries, leave enough time to set the air in emergency mode and set the handbrake.


Dispatchers Callboard

TRAIN                   TIME                                      ORIGINATION    TRACK DESTINATION    TRACK


Feeder Job             6:30 AM Dpt                   FLOAT YARD      1                              YARD A                                3

Feeder Job             ?:00 PM                                  YARD A                                                FLOAT YARD


MA-6                     1:00 AM Dpt                         YARD A                Big Middle            MASPETH via BLISS      ?

MA-6                     ?:00 PM  Ar                           BLISSVILLE      TBD                            YARD A                                ?


MA-16                   5:00 AM Dpt                         YARD A                Big Middle            BLISSVILLE YARD        ?


East End

Ladder Drill           7:59 AM Dpt                         YARD A                                                YARD A


Bliss Yard Drill      ?:00 PM                                  YARD A                                                BLISSVILLE


MA-7  WB          12:01 AM Dpt.                        YARD A                TBD                      BLISSVILLE

MA-7 EB               ?              Ar                           BLISSVILLE          TBD                    YARD A           A/D TRACK

MA-8 WB            5:00 AM  YARD A                                         BLISVILLE


MA-8 EB            ?:00 AM                                    BLISSVILLE          ?                          YARD A




Let’s start at the east end of the layout in Yard A. We’ll talk about each train individually, starting first with our four (4) modeled road jobs and then covering our three (3) modeled yard drills.


All MA-designated trains pulled a caboose. Without a caboose, back up moves made at many locations over main track would be dangerous, so hacks were used. The Hack also served as locker room for the crew, conductor’s office, as well as a place for the flagman at the rear of the train.


MA-6 “The Maspeth”


Orientation: Facing Yard A on our model railroad, you are facing north; MA-6 would travel to your left. At 1:00 AM, reports to work at Yard A to take train WB to Maspeth (unmodeled) on Montauk Branch via the Montauk Cutoff. Yardmaster, Yard A, in charge. Your local stops at end of modeled Montauk Branch, Blissville Yard. Block Operator Bliss, will not permit any train movement to or from these tracks until authorized by Yardmaster. Train will run at Restricted Speed, Rule 99 will apply. MA-6 returns EB to Yard A at the end of a 14-hour trick.*




Orientation: Facing Long Island City’s Yard A on our model railroad, you are facing north; your MA-7 local would travel to your left. Starting at 12:01 AM in Yard A, this crew takes refrigerated box cars loaded with meat to Flatbush’s VD Yard (not modeled) WB via the Montauk Cutoff ending at Blissville Yard. MA-7 returns EB to Yard A at the end of a 10-14-hour trick*.




Orientation: Facing our modeled Long Island City Yard A, you are facing north; your MA-8 local would travel WB to your left. Goes to work at 5:00 AM at Yard A. MA-8 takes a consist westward to Pond (not modeled) where it picks up its train for the Bay Ridge Branch (not modeled) via the Montauk Cutoff. MA-8 local stops at end of modeled Montauk Branch, Blissville. Block Operator Bliss, will not permit any train movement to or from these tracks until authorized by the Yard A Yardmaster. Your RS-1, Road number 464 will run at Restricted Speed, Rule 99 will apply. MA-8 returns EB to Yard A at the end of a 14-hour trick*.


MA-16 “The 16”


Orientation: Facing Long Island City’s Yard A on our model railroad, you are facing north; your MA-16 local would travel to your left pulled by an RS-1. Goes to work at 4:15 PM at Yard A and brings cars westward to Pond (not modeled) for the Fresh Pond (not modeled) and Bushwick areas (not modeled) as well as interchange cars for New Haven (interchange not modeled). At the end of a 14-hour trick*, MA-16 returns EB to Yard A with a train of interchange cars and freight from Pond and Bushwick.


*On the LIRR, a 16-hour work rule was in effect in the early 1960s.


Float One and Float Two 


Orientation: Facing our modeled Sixth Street Yard, you are facing north; Float One and Two would travel to your right and return traveling left. Float One and Two pulled westbound freight cars from the Eighth Street Yard into the leads to be loaded onto the next floats by an S-2 westward occupying the Long Island City Float Bridge. No hack was used on any of the three tricks of either of these two yard transfers. As modeled, these tricks will be combined for operational purposes with the Feeder Job unless actual experience dictates otherwise.


Feeder Job aka Float Three


Orientation: Facing our modeled Sixth Street Yard, you are facing north; Feeder Job would travel to your right and return traveling left. B&O hoppers carrying Tioga No. 5 bituminous coal from Tioga Coal Corporation, Tioga, West Virginia are switched by an S-2 eastward from the Long Island City Float Bridge (Sixth Street Yard) to Yard A east end to eventually form a South Side Extra to Island Park’s LILCO (Long Island Lighting Company); first move was pulled up and dropped on the Feeder Track. Empty B&O hoppers are switched by this eight (8)-hour Yard Transfer from Yard A westward to Long Island City’s Float Bridge (space limitations prohibited modeling the sister float bridge). Feeder Job did not use a hack as it would only have gotten in the way.


On three-track floats such as the modeled LIRR float # 26, we follow prototype crew designations whereby tracks were known as “North”, “Middle”, and “South” (the layout track closest to the operator’s aisle).


First Trick, Bliss Yard Drill


Orientation: Facing Long Island City’s Yard A on our model railroad, you are facing north; drill (train) would travel to your left. At 7:59 AM this crew couples their train together at Yard A to take it westward to Blissville Yard a mile over the Montauk Cutoff. Brake test completed, the engineer sounds four blasts of his horn for a sign from the Thompson Avenue Switchtender. A yellow flag flies the “Go Ahead.” The prototype job required three brakemen, one more than usual as one was dropped off as a flagman at Bliss when its crew worked up # 2 Montauk (eastbound) switching Van Iderstine. At Bliss interlocking, Iderstine North processed animal feed from bone meal piped across the tracks from its rendering plant. Van Iderstine shipped out tank cars carrying inedible tallow used in the manufacture of various products. At the end of an 8-hour trick, Bliss Yard Drill would return EB to Yard A. Bliss Yard Drill used no hack for its one-mile trip to Blissville Yard.




Van Iderstine  Received: (truck deliveries) meat scraps, carcasses. Van Iderstine South track took box cars for loading of processed material and on the North side Shipped out: Animal Feed


Shaw Walker Furniture                                    Received: ?   Shipped out:?


East End Ladder Job


Orientation: Facing Long Island City’s Yard A on our model railroad, you are facing north. You will use S-2 Road Number 459. Yard A hosted an East End Ladder Job that started at 7:59 AM to roll the prototype hump (not modeled). If the Bliss Job crew stalls while trying to get over the Montauk Cutoff, this ladder job must drop what it is doing to shove him out.



Yard A Job, a utility job, did cleanup work on the yard’s west end such as doubling cuts of cars over to put in their proper position in a train, to get outgoing trains ready or switching cars out of, into, and respotting the two cripple (RIP) tracks. In the RIP tracks, cars were parted individually so car repairmen could walk around them or jack them, if necessary, to make repairs.  The conductor on the East End Job “owned” Yard A. The Main Line sidings also fell to the Yard A Job only after the Freight House Job was abolished.


For modeled operations, our East End Ladder Job combines three (3) jobs: its own, the separate prototype Yard A Job, and the Freight House Job. As with the prototype, modeled pickup moves should be made first with crews finishing by dropping arriving cars at their destinations.




                                                As modeled /West to East


Van Alst Avenue/21st Street

Spot 8 C.J. Slicken Co.      Shipped: empties  Received:?

IRT Elevated Structure
Pearson Street

Spot 9 Sternberger Warehouse     Shipped: empties                Received:?

Spot 10  Bickford=s A co-tenant in the Mallon Building. shipped out: :

Spot 11  Peter F. Mallon 45-31 Court Square

Thompson Avenue
Queensboro Bridge Upper Roadway – Westbound

Spot Unknown Eagle Electric Plant # 7 AFloors For Rent, 50,000 SQ FT Each Brown Harris Stevens Inc…"

Spot 12 American Steel Wool Manufacturing,            

Spot 12a Brenner Paper Corp.         Co-tenant with American Steel Wool. Received boxcars containing paper rolls from Domtar Paper Mill, St. Catharines, Ontario; Shipped: empties

Orchard Street

Spot 13a CN Building /West Chemical Products/West Disinfectants (where the Stink Track got its name)

West Street

Spot 13b  West Chemical Products - Shipping Dept.                  

Queens Boulevard (Route 25)

Spot 14 Magic Chef AWestinghouse Corp.@                

Spot 15 Astoria Lumber     Shipped: empties  Received: Lumber

Spot 16 National Casket    Shipped: empties

Received: Contents: Hardwood caskets Shipper: National Casket Factory (via Boston & Maine or New York Central) Location: East Cambridge, Massachusetts and Contents: Metal caskets Shipper: National Casket Factory(via Louisville & Nashville), Location: Lancaster, Kentucky.

Spot 17a Louis Sherry Ice Cream   

Spot 17 Web Offset             Received: Contents-           

Spot 18 Speed Queen          Received: appliances                                          

Honeywell Street (35th Street)

Spot 19b Extrin    Shipped: Received:

Spot 19a Roto Broil Shipped Received:                                  


Yard A Schedule




6:30 AM Dpt.

First Trick

Feeder Job

Yard Transfer Eastward to Yard A; B&O Hoppers to form South Side Extra to Lilco, Island Park and then returns WB to Sixth Street Yard



Blissville Yard Drill

Departs Yard A WB to Blissville Yard and then returns EB to Yard A

Each weekday 4:15PM



1:00 AM Dpt.

Each weekday






Round trip to Pond (not modeled) WB via Montauk Cutoff to Blissville Yard and returns EB to Yard A


To Maspeth (not modeled) on Montauk Branch WB via Montauk Cutoff ends at Blissville Yard and returns EB to Yard A


12:01 AM Dpt.




Takes meat to VD Yard/Flatbush (not modeled) via Montauk Cutoff

ends at Blissville Yard and returns EB to Yard A


5:00 AM Dpt.


To Pond (not modeled) via Montauk Cutoff where it picks up it train for the Bay Ridge Branch (not modeled); ends at Blissville Yard  and returns EB to Yard A

All times are when engineer is called to duty at Morris Park.


Blissville Yard Schedule




7:59 AM

Blissville Yard Drill

Switches tank cars for Van Iderstine North (industry) and returns light to Yard A during same trick. The later 3:00 PM Drill not modeled.






Arrives WB from and returns EB to Yard A

Arrives WB from and returns EB to Yard A

Arrives WB from and returns EB to Yard A

Arrives WB from and returns EB to Yard A


Sixth Street (Float Yard) Schedule




6:30 A.M. Dpt.

Float One First Trick** – Drill (switching crew)

Pulls freight cars from floats to be made up into MA-6 and MA-8


6:30 A.M.

Float Two First Trick** – Drill (switching crew)

Pulled westbound freight cars from Eighth Street Yard to be loaded on floats


6:30 AM Dpt.

Yard Transfer Eastward to Yard A

Feeder Job; B&O Hoppers EB to form South Side Extra to Lilco, Island Park


Finishes 3:00 PM

Yard Transfer Westward from Yard A

Feeder Job; Empties, B&O Hoppers from Lilco power plant to LIRR Car Float #26. All told, it is an 8-hour trick


Arch Street




3:59 P.M.***

Freight House Job

LCL in the 1960s; box cars are spotted at platform


Schedule Notes


*Trains entering Yard A must receive permission from the Yard A Yardmaster (wearing brown badge).

**Prototype railroaders work in 8-hour shifts called “tricks”

***Recall engine crews reported at Morris Park (not modeled) and took 45 minutes to get to Yard A, so train crews worked 1 ˝ hour shorter shifts than LIRR engine crews.


3. Jobs


Call Board


In the early 1960s, a LIRR freight train would have six employees on board: a conductor, engineer, fireman, head brakeman, rear brakeman, and if the train were longer than 25 cars, a seventh employee the flagman. We will model only these positions:


Crew members must take an engraved clip-on name badge from our call board (badges have a magnetic strip on the back so they adhere to magnets on call board). We follow these operating positions to allow both visitors and regular crew members to participate without being locked into one of the more humorous identities.



All LIRR identities modeled from Gene Collora’s “1966 Was a Time of Change on the Railroad” Semaphore, April 1991, page 6. Other period nicknames included: “Clinker Joe”, “Lying Tom”,  and “Pudding Head.”


Management anticipates this layout will operate with far fewer than the fourteen (14) positions listed below. In that likely event certain positions will be consolidated as per the direction of your trainmaster.




Freight Trainmaster







Thompson Avenue Switchtender




Freight Agent




Bridge Tender

Badge Color





Azure Blue/White













Engraved Names/Location


Hiram F. Slocum

MA-16 “Swine Butt”, MA-8 “Soup Greens”

MA-6 “Bat”, MA-7 “East and West”


Broken Arrow


Iron Hat, Flat Day


Yard A Yardmaster

Sixth Street (Float Yard) Yardmaster

Arch Street Freight House




Cabin M Bridgetender

*The conductor was in charge of the train, in theory, at least.

†No yardmaster was assigned to the prototype Blissville Yard.

Notes for the Trainmaster


In charge of all the North Shore Yard(s) (term encompassing all prototype yards from Sixth Street to Harold Avenue yards) and all of MA (Metro Area) territory.  At the end of each operating session, Trainmaster must turn all our waybills.


Notes for the Jamaica Dispatcher


If there are sufficient operators, the Jamaica Dispatcher will [1] assign positions to each operator/distribute badges; [2] distribute throttle(s) and explain decoder addresses; [3] be responsible for collecting badges and throttles, [4] reversing the polarity of 9V throttle batteries and returning all throttle(s) to their cradles; [5] assist Trainmaster with turning all waybills at the operating session’s end; [6] maintain RIP track secondary waybills; and [7] shut down Empire Builder II by turning off power to the system.


Notes for the Thompson Avenue Switchtender


A Switchtender, located at the Thompson Avenue Shanty located beneath the Queensboro Bridge Approach, is responsible, as in the prototype, for all switches [1] coming up the #1 Lead from the floats, [2] the Montauk Cutoff, [3] from the leads to 8th Street Yard (modeled in abbreviated form), Wall, Little Middle, Eastbound and [4] The Run Track (held 50 cars) into and out of Yard A. Modeled position follows prototype duties.


Notes for the Bridge Tender at Cabin M


CABIN M Bridgetender operated both the double-track, skewed, deck plate-girder Scherzer rolling lift Draw Bridge and Swing Bridge (built 1914) over Dutch Kills creek on the Montauk Cutoff. As actually built in 1909, the lift bridge had a simple wooden operator house instead of the rather ornate structure taken from LIRR plans. Pushing the appropriate button, operates the Ott sound system that warns Draw Bridge (not yet modeled) will open; neither bridge is operational as yet.



Montauk Cutoff traffic ran to the left. By thus running directly into the long tracks on Yard A’s north side, westbound freights could enter Yard A without interfering with other yard activities. This is followed on our model.



Interesting terminology – A swing bridge, such as the one over Dutch Kills, rests on a “turning pier” and its protective timbers are called “fenders”.

The “draw rest” is the whole center island including not only the turning pier but the rest of the island.



Signals : 3 high eastward  home signal, 6 low eastward signal, 7 low westward signal, I high westward signal on signal bridge with high automatic signal M12 which is distant signal to Bliss, M16 is automatic distant signal to Cabin M.


Notes for the Yard A Yardmaster


In charge of his yard, this yardmaster is responsible for the efficient operation of this terminal including: blocking of trains, switching cars, efficiently using available tracks to expedite the movement of trains and switch crews, communicating with the Trainmaster and Jamaica Dispatcher concerning the need for crews, locomotives, and joint decisions involving the operation of the railroad and this terminal yard.


Yard A Yardmaster must [1] remove all modeled coal loads from our B&O Hoppers before they are sent back WB to our car float; [2] turn the related waybills; [3]Yard A fiddle office holds secondary waybill boxes for each red card gateway and an additional large-capacity box for local green card shipments. The Yardmaster shuffles green waybills and deposits them at random into Arch Street bill boxes. Once off line, he removes secondary waybills and puts them into his respective offline bill boxes. At the proper time, the Yardmaster collects any red waybills delivered to Arch Street and returns them to his stack.


            “Big Middle” Track is used as Yard A’s arrival/departure track.

                Leave “Stink Track” clear as switching lead and to switch the local industries modeled.

                Yard A, Track 3 serves as the storage track for departing freight cars.

                The spur of Track 3 should be used as the Caboose Track.

                The capacity of modeled holding tracks and equivalent 40-foot car lengths are as follows:


Track                                                      Length                                                   Car Equivalent

“Stink”                                                                                                                                   5 est.

“Big Middle”                                                                                                                        5 est.

Track 3                                                                                                                   5 est.


Placing a cut longer than the above length on a track will make it impossible to couple up to the cut.

Operators may wish to consider blocking certain trains on certain tracks. Yard limits: yard limit boards absent as yard entrance was controlled by BLISS or F(mainline cutoff to Montauk Cutoff)


Notes for the Blissville Freight Agent


At Bliss Interlocking, Van Iderstine North at Review Avenue processed animal feed from bone meal piped across the tracks from its rendering plant. Tank cars, stored in what is now Allied Extruders, carried inedible tallow for use in the manufacture of various products. Blissville job required three Brakemen, one more than usual, as one was dropped off as a flagman at Bliss when its crew worked up #2 Montauk (eastbound). Track number 7 is a team track.  The prototype switching lead runs over Dutch Kills Drawbridge (DB Bridge). CABIN M bridgetender operated DB Bridge and the Swing Bridge over the Montauk Cutoff (bridges have been modeled as stationary for the present time). Yard limits: crossover at Laurel Hill.


L.I. City-Bliss Secondary Track C


Interlocking Station

Block Station


Distance from LIC







Dutch Kills DrawBr






Bliss – Yard A Secondary Tracks


Interlocking Station

Block Station


Distance from Bliss











Cabin M

End of Secondary Track





Note – X indicates in service continuously, B indicates in service part-time


Notes for the Arch Street Freight Agent


LCL, small-lot freight shipments handled and billed directly by the Long Island Railroad, does not mean a car is not full. LCL traffic goes to freight houses where several shippers’ loads have been combined in a car to move in local freight trains. Arch Street was an open (manned) station.


As late as 1964 or 1965, the 3:59 P.M. Freight House job switched and placed all sidings from Harold Avenue Yard (not modeled) to 8th Street Yard (modeled as a siding only) as well as switching and spotting Arch Street Transfer aka Freight House. At Arch Street, LCL were unloaded and shipments stored for pickup by local receivers. Cars were spotted at Freight House platforms. Where two tracks were between platforms, Arch Street crew lined up doors so a forklift could drive over steel plates, through all freight cars in the unloading process to get to the other platform.  Our modeled Arch Street Freight Agent is responsible for throwing appropriate turnouts at two tracks: the House Track (used for cars receiving or delivering freight at the house) and one body track.


Most empties pulled from Arch Street Freight House were westbounds unless billed otherwise. Westbounds were left at the crossover between the Arch Street/Team Yard lead and the Eighth Street Hill. The Hill Job picked up these cars to be put into the right track for the float that would take them to the railroad where they were billed or in the case of empties, side tagged. Most LCL loads were destined for eastbound destinations on the LIRR or offline to NH and brought to Yard A, again, unless billed westbound. LCL cars billed to the PRR, CNJ, NYC or other car float interchanges would be treated like any other westbound and went through the westbound yard at Eight Street, rather than go to Yard A, for placement at Sixth Street Yard. LCL-laden freight cars are placed next to the caboose so they can be delivered first. Cars billed to other destinations on Long Island, or side tagged offline to NH or SBK were sent to Yard A to be put into the proper train. Yard limits: yard limit board unnecessary as switching done entirely within yard. Entrance at east end via BLISS interlocking. Leaving yard at west switch required permission from BLISS.


Paperwork modeled for LCL freight includes: Inbound LCL waybills, made of red cardstock, one end is labeled “Yard A” or Sixth Street (for sorting purposes), the other end of our red card states the [1]online destination, [2] commodity, and [3] an estimated time in minutes the shipment takes to transfer from LCL car to station agent at Arch Street [point of delivery]). Yard A and Sixth Street represents principal destination terminals. At Arch Street freight station a secondary waybill box is installed. Outbound secondary waybills, made of green cardstock, designate a commodity or empties shipped from Arch Street to a consignee c/o a freight house via Yard A, the offline gateway(holding track at Yard A). Recall purchaser/consignee ordered lcl shipments from a seller/consignor and specified the freight station to which he wanted it shipped (from the open and prepay tariff)  -- where most convenient for him to pick up his lcl.


To unload cars at Arch Street, remove all red waybills, placing them at the appropriate secondary bill box there. Arch Street Freight Agent then reloads car with “green” freight. Arch Street Freight Agent places red cards in a local LCL carcard pocket for a car spotted at Arch Street for delivery to a local station (represented by staging). Place green waybills in carcard pockets of cars previously billed to outbound gateways – my holding track at Yard A.  


Notes for the Sixth Street Yardmaster


The prototype Yardmaster must admit all trains into Sixth Street Yard without delay and build up outgoing trains in the order most convenient for switching at stations along the way. Freight from the South and West arrived via car floats (towed by Tugboat) into the North Shore Yard at Sixth Street in Long Island City, Queens. Two prototype crews (Floats One and Two), assigned around-the-clock, would each pull and load about eight to ten car floats. Each float carried from twelve to twenty cars. Float jobs are recognized by the float flat coupled to the locomotive. Switchers were too heavy to go on the float so a reacher car was required. Yard limits: to be researched


The Long Island makes interchange with other roads at Long Island City (NYC, DL&W, PRR, E-L, LV, B&O, New York Dock). Cars are classified twice: first by general destination at the interchange and second by consignee.


Our modeled Sixth Street Yardmaster must assist our Feeder Job by [1] throwing switches, [2] inserting coal loads into empty hoppers, and [3] organizing all car cards and waybills under his control.




93 This rule did not apply in the areas modeled as neither North Shore Yards nor Montauk Cutoff, nor Blissville were single track mainline.


99 Flagman must get out to protect rear of train when train is stopped, performing switching duties, or when it would be hindering other trains.


100-F When a train is disabled, stopped or delayed from any cause, on a Main track, Secondary Track or siding, the conductor, engineer, or any member of their crew, when authorized by the conductor or engineer, must promptly notify the Block operator.


251 Signaling              ABS (Rule 251) was not in effect on the Montauk Cutoff although it was between Bliss and Jamaica. From Sixth Street Yard through Yard A, all switches were controlled by crews or by a Switchtender who manually lined the switches. These switches had no electrical or mechanical connection with any other device that would make them interlocked. The Thompson Avenue signal was controlled by the Switchtender at that location by a lever in the shanty and only after all switches were lined for a train to ender the yard off of the westbound cutoff. Moves from Yard A to Blissville Yard passed Cabin M and Bliss Tower enter Montauk #2, stop behind a low home signal and reverse move west into Blissville Yard. Signals were used to control the movement of the Ladder and Hill jobs. At the top of the Montauk Cutoff, protecting the Cutoff itself and the Degnon Switches, a high position light signal displaying Restricting or, if a switch were open or a train in the block, Caution. This signal was on the left side of the EB Cutoff. Inbound to Yard A, a dwarf signal mounted on the bridge abutment was controlled by Thomson Avenue Switchtender to bring traffic off the WB Cutoff. Signal bridges protected the Draw Bridge and were controlled by the Cabin M Bridgetender.





1038-G Maximum Speeds

Montauk Cut-off                                                                  Miles per Hour

Cabin M Bridge    Freight and Work Trains                    15


1151-F Montauk Cut-Off

These tracks will be operated in the following manner:

  1. Yardmaster, Yard A, in charge.
  2. Switchtender, Thompson Avenue, and Block Operator Bliss, will not permit any train movement to or from these tracks until authorized by Yardmaster.
  3. All trains will run at Restricted Speed, Rule 99 will apply.



1170 Train and Yard Air Brake Tests


Type of Operation       Initial Terminal Air Test      Brake Pipe Leak Test           Rear-end Set and Release


Set out one or more cars                  -                                               -                                               2 minutes*


Pick up one or more cars 1 minute per car                                       -                                               2 minutes*


Change engine and/or

caboose                            2 minutes per car                                     2 minutes                                 2 minutes*


Initial terminal test

with yard air                     2 minutes per car                                     2 minutes                                 2 minutes*


Initial terminal test

with switch engine            2 minutes per car                                     2 minutes                                 2 minutes*


Initial terminal test

with road engine                               1 minute per car                                       2 minutes                                 **




*Rear-end set and release must be made with road engine.

** Slow (5-10mph) roll-by inspection must be made to see that brakes have released.

After a train comes into a yard, power is cut away from the train. Each car in the train has its brakes placed in emergency once air hoses part.


1071 Picking Up Cars in a Yard Track (using air brakes)

Directions for Conductor

§         Get clearance to enter yard track containing cars

§         Notify crewmembers you are ready to enter track

§         Ensure all switch rails are set to desired track

§         Instruct engineer to move into track

§         Protect the end of your train by either walking, riding on the end car or ensuring another crewmember is located where the coupling is to be made. Keep in contact with your engineer while describing distance between cars

§         Stop the engine about one car length from the cars in the track and ensure: one or both coupler knuckles are opened and couplers are properly aligned

§         Instruct engineer to move towards the coupling (keep in contact with engineer describing distance between cars)

§         Instruct engineer to stop to make the coupling, taking into account slack action

§         Visually verify that a good coupling was made and then instruct engineer to “slack off” (move the other direction slightly) and then stop.*

§         If your crew was notified that the cut of cars is “air ready” release (knock off) the pre-applied handbrakes skip this next step

§         If the cut has not “had the air run,” then verify the following by walking the cut of cars:

o        All couplings between the cars are made

o        All handbrakes are released

o        All 3-way valves are bled

o        All air hoses are connected between cars

o        All air line angle cocks are open between cars

o        The last air line angle cock on the cut of cars is closed

§         Return to the point of the coupling, notify the engineer and slowly open the angle cock on the last car of the train to allow air into the cut of cars being picked up

§         Get clearance to leave the yard and then instruct the engineer to pull the cars out of the track. Protect the end (bottom) of the cut of cars by riding (catching-up) on the end of the last car. **

§         But LIRR generally did not use air brakes in yard switching. So instead,

§         Verify or perform the following by walking the cut of cars

o        All couplings between the cars are made

o        All hand brakes are released

o        All 3-way valves are bled.

Air hose connections and angle cock positions are of no importance when not using/connecting air to a cut of cars being worked in a yard. Generally speaking, trains or yard crews that are taking cars out of the yard will utilize air when picking up cars. Switcher crews working only in the yard will very seldom use air while switching. However, switcher crews working cuts taken directly from or added directly to trains will commonly use air. Also a switcher crew may “run the air” on a ct they have finished working so that a train picking up the cars later will not need to spend time running the air. This is the call of the yardmaster.


* Jim Mansfield, “Time for a Pull, the First Moves” Model Railroading July 2001, page 62

** Jim Mansfield, “Time for a Pull, the Last Moves” Model Railroading August 2001, page 59


1072 Superiority of Trains


Eastward trains are superior by direction to trains of the same class in the opposite direction, unless otherwise specified.




At the following public highway crossings at grade, when operating against the current of traffic, trains or engines must STOP clear of these crossings and protect as required by Rule 103 unless it is seen or known that crossing gates are in lowered position.


Greenpoint Avenue                     Blissville


1120 Fiddled Cars


When cars are fiddled off our modeled railroad, waybills should be stripped from the car cards and filed based on their logical off-layout origin from which the bills would be used to route a car onto the layout. Car cards should be kept with the cars they represent.


1280 to 1297 B

Signals located to left of track which they govern:

        Montauk Cutoff

                        Between Bliss and Thomson Avenue – Eastward distant signal M-16 to home signal Cabin M.

                        Eastward home signal Cabin M.

                                        Westward position light distant signal M-13 located 471 feet west of Cabin M.