Message from Steve Quigley
Due to the ongoing Corona Virus, I have decided to cancel this months LIST Chapter meeting out of an abundance of caution. The program which was going to conducted by George Lightfoot, will hopefully be rescheduled later in this season. George is an LIRR engineer.
The East Side Access Tour that was scheduled for tomorrow, 3/17, has been postponed, it has NOT been canceled. Hopefully, the Tour and the NY St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be rescheduled in the not to distant future!
The Semaphore went to press too early for this information to be noted in our publication. This notices supersedes the information in the Semaphore.
If there are any changes to the April meeting, I will let you know. As of now, we have a special guest presenter scheduled for the April meeting.
Please pass this notice to any other members of LIST that you know.
I hope that you and the members of your family stay safe and healthy in these very unusual times!
Guests are invited to attend – $1.00 donation requested! Please, come on down- you won’t be disappointed!
The Chapter meets at 8:00 p.m. on the third Friday of every month (except July and August).
At each meeting, we usually hold a raffle for railroad-related memorabilia. Donations of RR items are welcomed. Refreshments are now available during the entire meeting. Guests and potential members are always welcomed at our monthly meetings. All we ask for is a $1.00 donation to help cover the cost of the room rental.
Recent Past Meetings
If you couldn’t attend, here are the outstanding presentations you missed out on . . .
- February 2020 – Joe Calisi providex a digital program on the East Side Access project.
- December 2019 – Members were able to Train Engineers at Babylon Old Town Hall for the annual Holiday Babylon Village Model Train layout. The layout included an interactive “O” Gauge train layout with 3 train lines, a trolley line and many animated accessories.
- November 2019 – The topic of the meeting was the “LIRR Expansion Project from Floral Park to Hicksville – 2019 Progress.” The presentation included an overview of the project, its purpose, description and benefits as well as a tour of the Center and videos of the construction.
- October 2019 – Joe Costa shared a video called “The Standard Railroad of the World -125 years of the Pennsylvania Railroad”. The video included scenes of steam, diesels (some that ran on the Long Island railroad at one time.) The video also contained bonus videos like “progress on the rails” or “clear track ahead”.
- September 2019 – Dave Morrison showed a presentation based on his recently released book: Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station: Statuary and Sculptures. The statuary that is on top of Grand Central Terminal and the statue of Commodore Vanderbilt, as well as the cast iron eagles at the terminal today will be discussed. The statuary groups that were once on top of all four sides of the former Penn Station building will be covered, as well as the statues of two former PRR presidents. Dave discussed his 30 year search for the eagles of Grand Central Station and Penn Station. He was the catalyst for the placement of two cast-iron eagles that are at Grand Central Terminal today. His research resulted in the Smithsonian Institution modifying a plaque at the National Zoo. His book retails for $21.99, but as a special to attendees at the meeting, he sold the book for $20.00 and included a copy of his 32 page, full-color booklet The Cast Iron Eagles of Grand Central Station. Also discussed was the $60,000 restoration work on a Grand Central Station eagle that is being performed at this time.
- June 2019 – John Kilbride shared a slide presentation, “Inside Sunnyside,” the first hundred years of Sunnyside Yard’s operation initiated with its construction, explain the operational practices and provide present-day views, beginning with a cab ride trip from Penn Station. The role of the yard as part of the entire PRR’s Tunnel and Terminal Railroad project will be explained and a handout provided to assist in understanding the facility’s contribution to the organized dispatching of out-bound trains throughout the first century!
- May 2019 – Paul Gawkowski presented a show on the following: A ride on the Southwest Chief to Albuquerque; Then on to Santa Fe on the New Mexico Rail Runner, The Tucson Streetcar; the Valley Metro Light Rail System in Phoenix; Amtrak’s Crescent from Penn Station to New Orleans; The St. Charles and restored Canal Street streetcar lines in the Crescent City; Visits to the Los Angeles LRT Santa Monica extension of the Expo Line and the extension from Sierra Madre to Azusa on the Gold Line.
- April 2019 – Dave Morrison presented “The arrival of the Long Island Rail Road Mini Maids” a digital image show regarding the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road Mini Maids. It was 50 years ago the LIRR Public Affairs Department Director Hank Boerner instituted the Mini Maid program at the LIRR. Hank joined us for the evening along with two former Mini Maids. There were lots of photographs to see and lots of recollections to hear.
- March 2019 – Kevin Katta presented “50 Years Ago on the LIRR”, which included 1960’s Into the ’70’s.”The 60’s — Orange & grey action around Jamaica, Morris Park, Mineola and all around the system.The 1970’s — the beginning of the MTA takeover.
- February 2019 – Gerard Jewels presented a slide show on the King Park VA Hospital siding and its facilities as well as a video titled “Action on the Long Island Rail Road.”
- January 2019 – “Mr. Philip Eng (President, LIRR)” Mr. Philip Eng who is the President of the LIRR presented an informative look at the LIRR.
- December 2018 – “LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD – MAIN LINE EAST”. Noted LIRR Historian and Author Dave Morrison discussed his new book “LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD – MAIN LINE EAST”. In addition, he showed images that do not appear in the book but are quite relevant to the subject matters covered within.
- November 2018 – Kevin Katta presented a program called “Meet Me at the Station”. Kevin has visited and photographed dozens of interesting RR stations over the last 30 years most while driving and others while traveling by rail. The presentation focused on the Northeast and the East coast of the US.
- October 2018 – Ed Koehler shared two presentations. The first presentation entitled “I AM A LONG ISLAND RAILWAY ENTHUSIAST, WHY SHOULD I GO TO STRASBURG?” This presentation discussed various exhibits at the Railroad Museum of the State of Pennsylvania and their relevance to the railways on the Long Island geographic area. The second presentation entitled “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE NEXT STRASBURG? “. This presentation discussed two other Pennsylvania based tourist railroad attractions that started around the same time as the Strasburg but clearly have not had the success of the Strasburg.
- September 2018 –“OPERATING TROLLEY MUSEUMS IN PENNSYLVANIA” There are currently three operating trolley museums in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania located in Scranton, Rockhill Furnace, and Washington. This presentation visited all three during festival days in order to feature the best appearing and operational trolley cars in the station. Besides these three operating museums, there was also coverage of the long gone (closed June 1972) Magee Transportation Museum in Bloomsburg.
- June, 2018 – Mike Boland Mike introduced his book titled “Long Island Rail Road Trackside with Matt Herson by Mike Boland.”
- May, 2018 – “LIRR Operations, East and West of Jamaica”. Presented by Roger Edington. The topic was LIRR Operations, East, and West of Jamaica. Included were interior shots of the Morris Park Shops.
- April, 2018 – “To Albany and Back, Railfanning the Hudson River Valley” presented by Al Johnson
- March, 2018 – “Oyster Bay Branch of the LIRR” Dave Morrison presented the Oyster Bay Branch of the LIRR. Dave also introduced his just-published book on the Oyster Bay Branch of the LIRR and signed autographs of his book at the meeting.
- January, 2018 – “Very Early MTA Era” Doug Nash presented a very early MTA era, NYCTA and “fill in” material including the tri-state area up to east of the Mississippi.
- December, 2017 – Roger Edington presented “The LIRR West of Jamaica” including various motive power shots as well as the tracks and signal system of the LIRR from Jamaica to Penn Station as well as Long Island City and the then Flatbush Avenue terminal.
- November, 2017 – Roger Eddington gave a presentation on Morris Park Shops. Additionally, John Kilbride gave a presentation on Sunnyside Yard.
- October, 2017 – Matt Herson showed his skillful photography covering the Eastern end of the Erie Lackawanna RR during the 1960’s.
- June, 2017 –Alan Mark presented pictures/videos of various club trip such as NY & Atlantic, BRT and the Circus Train. Additionally, Alan shared his movies from Hell Gate movie, Lake George (small) and his Seattle to Canada trip.
- May, 2017 – The Two Foot Gauge Railroads in the State of Maine: The railway history of the Pine Tree State is somewhat unique because parts of it were served by common carrier railroads with a gauge of only two feet! This presentation visits all six(!) of these lines starting with a brief history of each property and then coverage of what can be seen in the Twenty-First Century; more than eighty years after the last of the ‘little trains’ made its final run. Much of the surviving equipment is portrayed with no less than six steam locomotives working at the various museums. This PowerPoint® presentation lasts an hour and gives the viewer a good sense of the Maine ‘two footers’.
- April, 2017 – “The New York Ontario and Western Rail Road (NYO&W)” NYO&W 60: March 29, 2017, marks the 60th Anniversary of the shutdown of the New York, Ontario and Western Railway. Edward M. Koehler Jr will be commemorating this event with a presentation that includes coverage of a trip from Weehawken to Norwich and a video of a milk train operating from Oneida to Sidney. Additionally, images of one of the last trains in the Cadosia/Norwich area will be shared as well as images of the aftermath of the shutdown.
- March, 2017 – Suprise Presenation
- February, 2017 – George Maccarone, whom is a retired LIRR engineer, presented some of his collection of LIRR photos which were taken during his tenure as an engineer.
- December, 2016 – Dave Morrison, retired LIRR Branch Line Manager presented his new book titled “Sunnyside Yard and Hell Gate Bridge”. Dave discussed the subject matter of the book and gave an “on-the-cutting-room-floor” look at lots of photographs that did not make it into the book. He’ll also discussed the research methods that he used in writing the book.
- November, 2016 – “LIRR Over the Years–1954 to early ’80’s”. Showcase of the LIRR from 1954 to the early 1980’s, presented by Walter Zullig.
- October, 2016 – “Current and future plans capital plans of the LIRR”, presented by a Senior Executive of the LIRR. The topics covered included current and future capital plans of the LIRR. East Side Access, the Third Track between Floral Park and Hicksville as well as the Second Track between Ronkonkoma and Farmingdale.
- September, 2016 – “Steam and Electric Locomotives of the Pennsylvania Railroad”
- June, 2016 – “LIRR from the 1970’s to the 1990’s” To finish out the 1st half of 2016 which is the 50th Anniversary of LIST, we will had an ALL LIRR presentation. The slides focused on the LIRR in the 1970’s to the 1990’s.
- May, 2016 – Doug Nash presented a show about Eastern Europe railroads, “After up to the Before”. About a transition era of 4 years AFTER a major event but leading up to BEFORE the roads of the future.
- April, 2016 – Chapter member Mike Boland presented, “LIRR Passenger Cars since 1945.” This show was first presented at the 2016 Proto Rails Cocoa Beach Florida Prototype Modelers Meet.
- March, 2016 – John Kilbride presented, for almost 50 years, South Amboy was also the site for commuter train engine changes. Established by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1936, regional consolidation with the Jersey Central provided a diverse setting for train operations into the 1980’s. John Kilbride provided a review of its rich railroading heritage that began in 1832, views of the colorful engines that passed through, the extension of electrification further south that closed the engine house and some present day scenes. A GG-1 cab ride was included and other behind-the-scenes views provided a fond look back at a vanished railroad hub.
- February, 2016 – Gene Collora presented “Things that are no longer on the property, a walk down memory lane.”
- January, 2016 – Noted railroad historian and retired LIRR Branch Line Manager Dave Morrison provided a presentation on his recent trip out west. His show featured material from Colorado and the surrounding areas showcasing the modern freight action and other points of interest that currently exists.
- December, 2015 – Andy Sparberg presented “Before the Subways – New York’s Elevated Trains” Covering the history of the two separate 19th century elevated systems that were built in New York – in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Originally steam powered, the lines were converted to electric power early in the 20th century. Some were rebuilt for inclusion into the subways; many others were razed between 1940 and 1973. The key point is that the 19th century New York elevated systems created travel patterns that are still important more than a century later.
- November, 2015 – Mike Boland presented a show titled “LIRR MP54s in Glorious Black and White” and it is a comprehensive look at six decades plus of service provided by this venerable MU veteran. The show, all in black and white, covered ALL kinds of LIRR MP54s with all subclasses and is an in-depth history of this car, from 1908 until about 1971 or so when the last cars were removed from service.
- October, 2015 – Ed Koehler presented “Interurban Railways of the Isle of Man”.
- September, 2015 – Our September meeting will include a slide show presentation by John Kilbride, “Supernumerary Brakeman” which features his brief career as an assistant freight brakeman on the Lackawanna Valley, Panther Valley and Reading & Northern Railroads – several diverse eastern Pennsylvania shortlines. Using vacation days from his “other” railroad job, John participated in several day-long trips that provided opportunities to throw switches and uncouple freight cars in an effort to both expedite the operations of those trains as well as get rid of frustrations from his regular full-time duties!!!! He’s also included views of his experience escorting newly-delivered NJ Transit electric locomotives from Baltimore to New Jersey.
- June, 2015 George Wybenga presented a visit to the Spoorweg (Railway) Museum in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
- May, 2015 – John Kilbride presented “The Albany Funnel” a historical review of rail operations through New York State’s capital region, and include views of B&M, D&H and PC freight trains as well as 30 years of passenger trains. Some “behind the scenes” views are included as the regions status as a rail funnel will be explained.
- March, 2015 – General Meeting without a presentation due to inclement weather.
- February, 2015 – FROM A NICKEL TO A TOKEN: AN EVENING WITH ANDREW J. SPARBERG. Author, transit historian, and retired Long Island Rail Road manager Andrew J. Sparberg presented a slide show about his new book From a Nickel to a Token. The book examines twenty specific events between 1940 and 1968, bookended by subway unification and the MTA’s creation. Beyond unification of the IRT, BMT, and IND, the system morphed into today’s network. The public sector absorbed most private surface lines, and buses completely replaced streetcars. Elevated lines were demolished, replaced by subways or, along Manhattan’s Third Avenue, not at all. Strategic track connections were built to allow a more flexible and unified operation. The oldest subway routes received much needed rehabilitation. Thousands of new subway cars and buses were purchased. The sacred nickel fare barrier was broken, and by 1968 a ride cost twenty cents. Labor issues were often front page news.
- January, 2015 – Eliot Courtney shared his pictures taken while interning for Metro North during the past summer. He will also showed us the latest from the Rochester & Southern RR and other action around upstate NY .
- December. 2014 – Since the 1980’s Alaskan cruises have become a very popular vacation option. For a rail enthusiast these trips can have much to offer, especially if one adds a tour to Denali National Park to the package. Join Ed Koehler as he travels over portions of the Alaska Railroad and the legendary narrow gauge White Pass and Yukon Route as a part of a cruise vacation. Images taken during this trip have been supplemented with photographs from other sources. The Christmas holiday occurs during December, but better way to acknowledge this then to feature a railroad that goes to North Pole! The presentation will last about an hour and will include full current locomotive roster details for both the Alaska Railroad and the White Pass and Yukon Route.
- November. 2014 – Just before Thanksgiving and the holidays, it’s November and time for a LIST tradition: “Modelers’ Night.” LIST Modelers’ Committee
members Bob Cecere and Mike Boland humbly ask all modelers of scale or tinplate, any railroad, and era to bring a model (or two) for display and speak for no more than 2 minutes on it. It’s a fun evening and inspirational for all. Following our display of models and presentations, we will have recently-retired NYCT conductor Vin Benkovitz returning to present another of his very popular freight car and rolling stock shows. This year Vin will feature all kinds of freight cars from railroads whose name begins with an “O” and “P.” Come one, come all as it promises to be a most enjoyable evening for anyone who loves trains!
- September. 2014 – The Guest Presenter is Mike Boland. Mike Boland put together a fascinating and colorful show on the Long Island Rail Road. Entitled “The LIRR from 1945 to 1970…25 Years of Tumult and Change,” this two Carousel show focused on what happened to the railroad over this 25-year period. It was a time of transition and change from the end of World War Two through bankruptcy, reorganization and a plethora of other events that affected the railroad in one way or another, While not being totally inclusive, this show was be both informative and entertaining, featuring the slide photography of a number of well-known LIRR photographers who are members of our chapter and some who are not.
- June. 2014 – The Guest presenter was Joe Calisi who presented a program on Trains in Italy. The presentation covered everything from high-speed Frecciarossas to trolley cars to subways. A wonderful experience.
- May. 2014 – The Guest presenter was John Turkeli who presented a program on the NY & Long Branch Railroad. John has an extensive collection of photos of the NY & Long Branch RR. Included was Steam, Diesel and Electric trains and shots of the PRR famous GG-1 electric locomotive.
- April. 2014 – The topic for the April Meeting was the story of Pennsylvania Station. We showed the video titled The Rise and Fall of Penn Station” and John Turkeli presented a slide show on Penn Station.
- March. 2014 – The meeting featured a slide show on Conrail that was presented by Steve Williams.
- Feb. 2014 – The meeting featured a presentation by Kevin Katta called – “50 States in 50 Minutes – Railroading in the USA”
- Jan. 2014 –
- Dec. 2013 –
- Nov. 2013 – This was our annual Modelers Night meeting. Member Vin Berkovitz gave us a show about freight cars from 1965 to the present (w/ roadnames from M to N).
- Oct. 2013 -Mark Sullivan returned along with his program highlighting New Jersey Transit’s Dual Power Locomotives, withh a look back at predecessor locos including AMTRAK’s Turbo-liners and FL-9’s and others.
- Sept 2013 – Ed Koehler took us out to Colorado for Pt. 1 of an inside look at the Colorado Narrow Gauge Circle.
- Jun. 2013 – Noted rail historian, Richard Taylor was invited back to do a presentation on the Lehigh & Hudson River RR. Along with his own photographic work dating back to the 60s and ’70s, he included pics from a few other photographers from the steam era.
- Apr 2013 -“Trackside Along The Bridge Line”- John Kilbride put on a slide show on the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, from the early 1980’s into Canadian Pacific ownership.
- Mar 2013 – Ed Koehler visited each of the electrified branches using a series of black and white images from the late 1940’s to early 1950’s. All of the current electrified lines that were in service by 1955 were discussed including the Whitestone, Central Branch Extension, and Bay Ridge branches.
- Feb 2013 – Gene Collora delighted everyone with his LIRR freight presentation.
- Jan 2013 –
- Dec 2012 –
- Nov 2012 – This was our annual RR modelers showcase where members brought their favorite model RR
- items down for exhibit. Mike Boland spotlighted the LIRR MP-54’s during his slideshow.
- Oct 2012 – An outstanding program was given by Chapter member Dave Morrison, retired LIRR Port Jeff Branch Line Manager who discussed the history of railroad stations from Hicksville to Port Jefferson and on out to Wading River.
- Ed Koehler brightened up the September 2012 meeting with a look back out East on the LIRR and highlighted many of
- the trolley lines that ran in different towns throughout the Island.
- June’s presentation was given by Don Fisher, President of the Railroad Museum of Long Island, who showed us the various stages of restoration involved in the preservation of BEDT 0-6-0 # 16 along with a preview of some of the displays at the museum.
- May 2012 – meeting: Chapter member Elliot Courtney showed us his pics from his recent travels around the Northeast.
- April 2012 – meeting: Past Prez. Ben Young returned with more of the outstanding movies he and his brother took back in the last days of steam in the Northeast and Midwest. He also showed us footage from the long gone Third Avenue Railway in NY City.
- Mar 2012 – Chapter member Leigh Bedia highlighted a number of past Chapter rail trips with his own pics along with some from Ken Katta, Elliot Courtney and Kevin Katta.
- Feb. 2012 – Junior member John Grocki gave a short presentation on his Chapter sponsored trip to Steamtown’s Railcamp last summer. Following that, Kevin Katta paid tribute to AMTRAK’s 40th Anniv. with a showing of pics from his collection.
- Jan. 2012 – Steve Williams, a rail photographer from here on LI, brought down his personal collection of NY City metro area shots from the 70’s and ’80s. Spuyten Duyvil, Sunnyside Yard, S. Amboy & Hoboken NJ, LIRR, NYCTA and other locations were shown.
- Dec 2011 – Ed Koehler continued his in depth presentation on the abandoned New York, Ontario and Western Railway, tying in its small but important role in Long Island Rail Road history.
- For our annual Modeler’s Night at the Nov. meeting, several chapter members displayed some of their personal favorite RR models. Noted modeler, photographer and BNSF/Santa Fe fan, Ray Rhodes brought in a few of his BNSF/Santa Fe models in HO scale and gave a fantastic digital slideshow on the Santa Fe in Chicago in the 1960s.
- Oct 2011 – Rail historian and photographer Rich Taylor gave an excellent digital slide show on the Lehigh and New England Railroad that was shut down October 31st, 1961 -50 years ago. He also discussed the history, facilities, and operations of this famous anthracite coal hauler.
- Renowned rail photographer Matt Herson returned for our Sept. 2011 meeting and took us back to New England during the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s– “Railroading- New England Style”.
- The presentation for the June meeting was given by chapter member John Iacono. He spotlighted the Central RR of NJ, or CNJ, as it once was.
- The May 2011 meeting featured a special program by internationally known transportation photojournalist Joseph M. Calisi -he outlined the LIRR ESA (East Side Access) project which will bring the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal in a few years from now.
- Past Prez Ben Young brightened up the April 2011 meeting with his 16mm footage from Canada in the ’50’s showing off tons of steam action during the final years.
- Mark Sullivan gave a fine presentation at the March ’11 meeting which showcased a railfanning adventure he made out west to Idaho.
- Past Chapter Prez Ed Koeler gave a fine presentation at the Feb ’11 meeting, highlighting the O&W- past and present. This was only Pt I- Pt II is scheduled for the Fall of this year.
- The program for the Jan. 2011 Chapter meeting was given by member George Loy who has researched the LIRR Central Branch which connects with the Montauk Branch here in Babylon. He explored the Central Branch’s past history and present activity.