Mineola 
 

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Mineola View E. 10-21-08 Photo: Mark Edelman

Early Mineola Beginnings

Appears on the timetable of March, 1837 as "Hempstead." this was the stage connection to Hempstead.  The station does not appear on the timetables of 1838. Depot probably opened in July 1839 with opening of the LIRR branch to Hempstead.  Depot named "Branch" as a result; later named "Hempstead Branch."  Last listed as "Hempstead Branch" in timetable of June 6, 1861 and listed as "Mineola" in timetable of June 4, 1862.  Renovated: June/1872. 

2nd Depot built: May-June/1883, razed: 1923

3rd, Relocated depot in service: 9/22/23

In July 1839 the new track to Hempstead was opened from Hempstead Branch, later Mineola, to a terminal on Main Street. The Glen Cove Branch Railroad was incorporated December 3, 1858 and opened to Glen Head January 23, 1865, to Glen Cove May 16, 1867 and to Locust Valley April 19, 1869.  Info: Art Huneke  

At the time of the photo below (Mineola Junction 1878), the LIRR did not yet operate all the way through to Oyster Bay, but ended its branch at Locust Valley.  The photo was shot in 1879-1880.  The LIRR reached Locust Valley in 1869, yet the depot reads " . . . Glen Cove . . . .Railroad(s)."  When constructing branches, the LIRR would form a new, temporary company for construction purposes only.  Once the construction was complete and the branch placed in service, ownership was transferred to the LIRR.  The railroad opened to Locust Valley in 1869, and the Mineola depot was reportedly renovated in 1872, so the names on the station were obviously painted AFTER the renovation.  Why the Glen Cove Railroad name was still on there at the time of this image is not known, however, as the line was not yet complete, and was to eventually reach Oyster Bay as its eastern-most terminus, the Glen Cove Railroad may still have been on the books as construction wasn't yet officially completed.  However, this doesn't explain the use of the "Hempstead Railroad" name.  Another "history mystery."   Research: Dave Keller

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Mineola Junction c. 1879 View East 
Photo: George Brainard Archive: Dave Keller

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Mineola Junction c. 1879 View East (close-up) Photo: George Brainard Archive: Dave Keller

The single main line track heads east. Branching off from it in the left foreground is the main track of the branch to Locust Valley.

Just beyond the center island platform is the secondary track branching off and connecting with the track heading up towards Locust Valley.

Beyond that we see the east leg of the wye with the crossing track (just beyond the road crossing) from Hempstead branching off and connecting to the branch to Locust Valley.

Beyond the crossing we see at the right, the express house, and then the old water tank with windmill atop to draw the water as needed. Also, across from the express house, you'll see a curved high-level platform to load/offload express/baggage for trains to Locust Valley from both Mineola AS well as Hempstead.

At the left, you'll see the passing siding. Branching off the passing siding you will see, across the tracks, where the replacement water tower was eventually built (Emery's 1905 map) you see a solitary cluster of trees with the track off the passing siding looping around to connect southbound to the Hempstead branch connecting track (east leg of the wye).

This loop track allowed:

1. Northbound trains from Hempstead to head EAST along the main line at Mineola via first the loop track, the passing siding, then onto the main.

2. Westbound trains along the main line to head SOUTH to Hempstead at Mineola via the passing siding then the loop track.  Research: Dave Keller

Station-Mineola-Ground View East-zoom_1880.jpg (98031 bytes)
Mineola
Station ground view E 
(close-up)
1879

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Mineola Station ground view E 1879

To the left of the station is a switch target on a long post, with lantern atop. One red and one green globe. When the switch is thrown for the spur track to Hempstead, the globe will be red for westbound trains, advising them the switch has been set against them and they must stop.

Below the lantern is some sort of rectangular object . .. perhaps a sign. . . and the round object is actually two . .. one on either side of the rectangular sign. They are facing the opposite way, visible only to westbound trains....function unknown.

However, it IS the switch target for the junction track on the west side of the depot heading south towards Hempstead (i.e. the LIRR's original Hempstead branch prior to acquiring A. T. Stewart's road to the same destination.

Therefore, it must be some sort of warning for oncoming (westbound) trains to advise them when the switch was thrown to allow access to the junction eastbound to Hempstead and to the junction westbound from Hempstead.  Archive/Resear
ch: Dave Keller

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Mineola Station Cutoff to Hempstead Branch c.1885 There is no covered platform on the east side of the depot building and Tower #45:1 does not exist. Info: Dave Keller
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Mineola station c. 1900.  Note the passenger train heading south to Hempstead Crossing in Garden City and perhaps on to Hempstead.  Also note the covered platform has been added to the east side of the depot building and tower #45:1 has been constructed.

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Tower #45: 1 c.1905 Brick tower in service 1890, south of mainline east end of wooden station platform; E of Mineola Blvd.  Renamed "MT" 1907 Archive/Info: Dave Keller

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MT Tower and Sub-station bridge Mineola view SE c.1915

Emery map - Mineola 1905

Mineola_MT-Tower_wrecked_c. 12-31-1922+.jpg (137931 bytes)On December 31, 1922 a freight train derailed in front of the 1890-era brick "MT" tower at Mineola.  The block operator was seated at the chair visible in the upper left-hand corner of the structure.  At that time, there was a second floor back door and wooden connecting bridge between the tower and the 2nd floor of the LIRR's electric sub-station behind it.  You can make out the doorway and part of the wooden handrails just to the right of the operators chair.  The operator ran out the rear tower door and into the LIRR substation, probably saving his life. When the freight car was pulled out of the structure, the tower collapsed.  This image was probably shot the next day after the freight car was removed.  Either a lineman or the block operator has climbed the telegraph pole between the tower and the Mineola depot to keep communications open.  The current tower was built shortly thereafter and placed in service on April 25, 1923, retaining, for the time being, the call letters of "MT." (Joseph Burt photograph) Archive: Art Huneke Info: Dave Keller

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Sanborn 07/1917

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LIRR G5s #48 EB at Signal LI Motor Pkwy Bridge Mineola c.1940 Photo: Art Huneke Archive: Dave Keller

H8sb Extra #693 plowing snow past  “Nassau" 12/48 
(elevated view from overpass)
Photo: Ed Hermann Collection: Dave Keller 

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LIRR CP-20-5 #2006 westbound at Mineola 5/03/1953
Photo:  Jim Gillin

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Emery Mineola 1921 page 12
Archive: SUNY Stony Brook

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Emery Mineola 1921 page 13
Archive: SUNY Stony Brook

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Key to Emery maps Mineola 1921 
page 12 and  13
Info: Dave Keller

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Emery Mineola 1928 page 19
Archive: SUNY Stony Brook

Emery 1943


Emery MP18-MP19  05/1958

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Emery MP19-MP20 05/1958

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Emery Roslyn Ave., Mineola 1928 page 24 Archive: SUNY Stony Brook

 
 Eastbound entering Oyster Bay Branch
1950 Photo: J.P. Sommer  Collection: Dave Keller 


Passing Nassau Tower 1950 view west
Photo: J.P. Sommer  Collection: Dave Keller 


Nassau Tower 04/12/01
Photo: Brian Weinberg


1966
         
1966 view east with Garden City branch off to right   Photos: Dave Keller 
Spur and switch from the main were completely gone by October, 1973

P4857 Photo: Steve Hoskins c. 1960's

P-GT2 Turbine
 Photo: Steve Hoskins c. 1960's

Alco 601 Photo: Steve Hoskins c. 1970's

MPI5AC Engine 165
Photo: Steve Hoskins c. 1970's

Alco C420 #204
Photo: Steve Hoskins c. 1970's

MPI5AC Engine 154
Photo: Steve Hoskins c. 1970's
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Baldwin with freight on the Hempstead Spur 03/20/54 Archive: Dave Keller
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Nassau tower - Sub-Station 
View SW 1969
Archive: Dave Keller
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Nassau tower view SE 1966 
Archive: Dave Keller
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L217-Mineola c. 1960's
Photo: Steve Hoskins
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Nassau Tower Cannonball c. '69-70
Photo: Richard Glueck
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Alco FA-2 601  1971
Photo: Richard Glueck

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LIRR Alco  FA # 616 at Nassau /06/16/92 Train 4555
Photo: Kevin Gulau from top of the municipal parking garage

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Approaching Nassau Tower from Oyster Bay Branch Cab of F7 #621
05-14-1988  Photo: John Fusto 

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LIRR  MP15-AC #165 at Nassau 02/26/84 Train 4553  Photo: Kevin Gulau from the Mineola Blvd. overpass

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LIRR #618  07-11-1983
Photo: Robert Streich  Archive: R. McEnery
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The engineer on LIRR 2703 dumps 30 pounds of pressure onto the pads to
 make his usual high speed stop. Brake dust is seen shooting in a cloud higher 
then the locomotive. c.2007 Photo: Mark Edelman
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LIRR # 171 approaching Nassau Tower from Oyster Bay Branch 10/08/2008
Photo: Mark Edelman
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Section Shanty 03/25/08 view SE 
Photo: John McCluskey
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Section Shanty 09/09/06 view NW 
Photo: John McCluskey
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Section Shanty view S 1966 
Archive: Dave Keller
Section Shanty-Planked Main St. Xing-Mineola - 1952 (J. P. Sommer).jpg (131300 bytes)
Section Shanty planked Main St. crossing 1952 (J. P. Sommer) Archive: Dave Keller
Section Shanty-Mineola-View East - 1969 (Keller).jpg (156836 bytes)
Section Shanty view E 1969 
Archive: Dave Keller
Section Shanty- Mineola-View NE - 1969 (Keller).jpg (154336 bytes)
Section Shanty view NE 1969
Archive: Dave Keller
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Mineola Station Rear view SW 
1966 Archive: Dave Keller
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Mineola Station trackside view N 1966 
Archive: Dave Keller
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Mineola Station view NE 7/06/1963
Photo: George Votava, Archive: Dave Keller

Nassau Tower
All May 17, 1979  Photos/Archive: Steve Rothaug, except as noted

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Nassau Interlocking blueprint 12/01/57 
revised sheet 36 Archive: Art Huneke

 

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NE side of tower

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Eastbound train, C-420 #273
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Turnout Mechanism
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Interlocking rods
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Interlocking rods view west

 

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Nassau Tower interlocking levers
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Mineola to Hempstead Branch 

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Emery map 1943 MP18-MP19 Mineola
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Emery map after 1926  Mineola south Hempstead Branch MP19 to Garden City
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Emery map until 1926 Mineola south 
Hempstead Branch MP19 to Garden City

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Country Life Press 1953
Archive: Jim Gillin, Photo: LIRR 

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Emery map 1959 Hempstead Branch to Garden City MP20 north/south Also, Central Extension (Branch) MP18-MP19 west/east
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Hempstead Crossing evolution 1873-1909 
Research/Design: George Chiasson Jr.

Location #16 above is referred to as Hempstead Crossing. Hempstead Crossing and "HC" tower (later "GARDEN" tower) was on the Central branch a block or two east of Garden City and a short walking distance north of Country Life Press.

It was called Hempstead Crossing because it originally was the LIRR's "crossing" of the CRR of LI's tracks which headed east to Meadowbrook and Bethpage Junction.
The CRR of LI's tracks to Hempstead curved south as they do similarly today at Country Life Press and paralleled the LIRR's route to Hempstead.  I believe their terminal buildings were a block or two apart from each other

When the LIRR acquired the CRR they kept the Central's facilities as they were newer and built of brick and were in much better shape.  They tore up their original 1830s-40s facilities and moved into the Stewart's.

Hempstead Crossing remained in use as there was through train service between Mineola and West Hempstead and on to Valley Stream, as the WH branch curved off just south of the CLP depot until sometime in the 1960s.  

Years later the tower was renamed "GARDEN" but the crossing was still referred to as Hempstead Crossing. The through trains ended in the 1930s and, eventually, by 1939, the LIRR tore the crossing out, demolished the tower and GARDEN cabin opened up at Franklin Ave. where it remained until a few years ago. Research: Dave Keller

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Garden City at Franklin Ave. view E

Country Life Press was a station stop opened in Garden City for the employees of the magazine by that name.  It was a Doubleday publication.  The station was located east of the Garden City station and east of Franklin Ave. and was the very next stop on the run to Hempstead .  As soon as you crossed over Franklin Ave. , the tracks curved to the right (south) and CLP station was there on your left.  Not only was it a station stop on the Hempstead branch, but it was also a station stop and terminus for the Mitchel Field shuttle along the Central branch.  


Here’s Garden City at Franklin Ave. looking east.  The Central branch goes straight, the 1st track to the left is the northwest leg of the wye to Mineola , the 2nd track to the left enters the temporary sub station building and the track to the right is the same as today . . . . heading to Hempstead with next stop:  CLP!  The shanty in the center is the crossing watchman’s. 

The cabin at Franklin Ave. was “B” cabin and not only was it for the crossing watchman to protect the crossing, he also operated a dwarf signal and derails for the trolley line that crossed the tracks.

When the trolley line was discontinued along Franklin Ave. , and when “HC” tower (later “GARDEN” tower) was closed and “GARDEN” cabin opened in  January, 1939 at Franklin Ave. , there was no longer any need for the old “B” cabin as the crossing was NOW protected by “GARDEN” cabin.

Switches and signals were handled by “HC” tower at Hempstead Crossing.  Tower is visible in the center background and beyond it, with pointed, octagonal roof, is the old brick Stewart-era water tower at the crossing of the LIRR’s tracks and the CRR of LI’s tracks.
Info: Dave Keller

Garden Cabin at Franklin Ave. view E.jpg (53919 bytes)
When the tower was removed in 1939 along with Hempstead Crossing, this cabin was opened west of the former location at Franklin Ave., to handle the signals.  I understand it no longer exists.
Info: Dave Keller
CountryLifePress view N.jpg (61029 bytes)
CLP station (at the right: shelter shed in distance) looking north from track level.  The Mitchel Field shuttle is laying up in the center and a Hempstead-bound train is approaching at the left.  You see the switch points aligned for the Hempstead branch in the bottom of the photo; straight went on to West Hempstead. 
CountryLifePress view S.jpg (46301 bytes)
Looking south towards Hempstead from the CLP station, we see the tracks to Hempstead to the left and the tracks to West Hempstead and on to Valley Stream to the right.  These are the switch points that are aligned in the prior photo for Hempstead branch trains.  
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Emery map 07/1958 Hempstead Branch MP20 after 1942