Northport Trackage

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Northport Trackage

Postby LIRRNOVA55 » Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:49 pm

I was in Northport today. on Main Street tehre is trackage. standard gauge. they wrap around to the left then seem to disappree into the park. Can sombody tell me the history of these tracks? are they ex- LIRR ?
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Postby snitkofj » Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:02 pm

The tracks are reminants of the street car system. It's my understanding that they were preserved as part of the history of down town. I think where the tracks start to split and disappear was near the car barn, but can't remember for sure, some one told me about it once.
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Postby UN Block » Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:19 pm

Yessiree. Northport Traction Company. Began operations 4-17-1902 and ceased in 1924. It was one of the five LIRR trolley companies.

The carbarn and storage yard were, in fact, north of the curve off of Woodbine Ave (formerly Cherry Ave), towards the water. It ran down Maint St to Laurel Ave, into Laurel Rd and Vernon Valley Rd to the LIRR Northport station, where they had a track connection just east of the railroad's freight house. They had a 4-wheel open car and two closed cars plus a box motor to handle freight shipments from the LIRR to the village. It was all single track with a passing siding on Laurel Ave between Main St and
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Postby Srnumber9 » Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:34 pm

I've ridden my bike along the route many times and my burning lungs and screaming legs tell me how amazing it is that trolleys once climbed those hills!

http://www.lirrhistory.com/nptrolly.html

How they did it when it was icy is another story!
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Postby Dave Keller » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:35 pm

Consider the Suffolk Traction Co's. line from Port Jeff station at the top of the hill to the dock at the bottom of the hill!

I've had to walk my bike up that hill on a number of occasions. No geared bikes back then for us poor kids. Just big, heavy, wide-tired clunkers. My friend had a 3-speed "English Racer" (the lucky SOB!)

I've often wondered how the storage battery cars made it up there, in nice weather OR ice and snow!

Dave Keller

P.S. While we're on the subject of street railways: That part of the line between Port Jefferson and the trestle over the LIRR at Holtsville was never constructed. It picked back up at the Holtsville station and ran to the foot of the Patchogue town dock, crossing the LIRR at "PD" tower (For the sake of trivia, "PD" stood for Patchogue Dock!!) DK
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Postby NIMBYkiller » Thu Feb 03, 2005 10:50 pm

Actually, the line was built a ways south, but it never reached Holtsville.

Also, they DID in fact build the trolley bridge over the LIRR in Holtsville. Well, I'm not sure if they ever finished it, but I know they started it and got pretty far.

The line from Holtsville to Patchogue dock also crossed the other line of that company. It ran from Sayville dock to just east of PD tower. I think it was supposed to continue east, but it never did.

Tracks are still visible on I think Ocean Av. near PD tower, just north of it.
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Postby JoeLIRR » Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:15 am

NIMBY, i rode ocean ave a few times, never seen tracks, can they be paved over, or maby i just missed them.
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Postby Dave Keller » Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:12 am

Nimby:
I have never seen any documentation that said the COMPLETED traction line extended south of Port Jeff station.

It may have been graded as it was north of Holtsville, because I actually saw the grading at the Holtsville end still in existence in the late 1960s and early 1970s!

Yes, the line also ran along Main Street (Montauk Hwy) as indicated.

Yes, the bridge was built over the LIRR tracks but was never used. I have a photo of the bridge under construction.

Joe:
The tracks were there all through my years growing up. They would occasionally tar over just the rail portion to keep cars from slipping on wet rails. Then the tar would wear off and you could see the tracks again. it was cool because at the 4 corners, where there was a LOT of traffic, you could see the spur branching off Main Street heading down S. Ocean! Years later they repaved over the entire road.

Dave Keller

P.S. The car barn was located across from the old Lace Mill on the south side of Main Street. It is item #4 on this map:
Image

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Patchogue

Postby badneighbor » Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:33 am

If you drive Ocean Avenue south from Sunrise Highway until you hit Main Street, you'll notice grooves wearing through the pavement in the center of the road. This most likely was the location of the tracks. Street running would be fun now with NYAR.
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Postby Dave Keller » Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:30 pm

Past Canaan Lake you will see a street named Traction Blvd.

That street had the battery car line up the midddle. Where the road dead ends, the tracks continued on through the woods. You were, at one time years ago, able to see the ROW path through the trees where it crossed the later-day extension of Woodside Avenue. It continued on through what is now the Holtsville Ecology site which, when I was younger was a dump landfill, and when I was a kid, was the town dump. (this dump, BTW stretched all the way up to and included the site of those fancy huge McMansions they've built there! YIKES!!!)

Years of burning trash and moving the debris around with heavy equipment and dumping raw sewage into the ground (Good luck, homeowners!) destroyed any traces of the ROW.

If you notice where Blue Point road makes a fairly distinct jog just north of the ecology site, that was the location where the traction line crossed the road heading towards Holtsville.

Back to Northport, which started this . . .

Here's Art Huneke's page on Northport Traction:

http://www.arrts-arrchives.com/nptrct.html

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Re: Northport Trackage

Postby hondajohn » Wed May 02, 2018 11:57 am

Resurrecting a very old topic for a question. When I was young, my mother worked as a part-time typist for an office on Northport's Main Street, and I would come along when nobody else could watch me. I was fascinated by the abandoned tracks in the road, and I recall one of her co-workers telling me that the town had acquired a horse-drawn trolley that was occasionally taken out for parades to ride on the rails. Is there any truth to that?
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Re: Northport Trackage

Postby nyandw » Wed May 02, 2018 8:46 pm

hondajohn wrote:Resurrecting a very old topic for a question. When I was young, my mother worked as a part-time typist for an office on Northport's Main Street, and I would come along when nobody else could watch me. I was fascinated by the abandoned tracks in the road, and I recall one of her co-workers telling me that the town had acquired a horse-drawn trolley that was occasionally taken out for parades to ride on the rails. Is there any truth to that?


See if Bob Andersen's Northport Trolley page helps. (I believe so): [url] http://www.lirrhistory.com/nptrolly.html
[/url]
Let us know!
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Re: Northport Trackage

Postby hondajohn » Thu May 03, 2018 7:22 am

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of information on that page. To clarify, the car was supposedly acquired and used long after the line shut down in 1924. Sometime in the 60's or 70's.
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Re: Northport Trackage

Postby milepost39 » Thu May 03, 2018 9:17 am

hondajohn wrote:Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of information on that page. To clarify, the car was supposedly acquired and used long after the line shut down in 1924. Sometime in the 60's or 70's.


YES he would be correct, and growing up in Northport I remember it as I was about 9 years old. However, it did NOT use the rails, it was on wheels. It was a project by the high school kids and I don't recall it lasting to long. IIRC it was brought out for parades like Cow Harbor day on occasion, but I haven't been back for them in a long time, so I couldn't say for sure.

https://www.nytimes.com/1977/03/13/arch ... class.html

On the subject of the remaining trackage, I believe it was preserved when Main St was paved (with the existing poured concrete you see today) sometime after the line shut down in 1924. I don't have the date though. I do know that during WW2 the residents of Northport voted to have it torn up as scrap and donated to the war effort. However, the estimated cost was too prohibitive so that's why we have the tracks still today. If you look closely, the pavement is right up against the rails, either with the original concrete, or later with asphalt. You wouldn't be able to get anything on the rails anyhow.
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Re: Northport Trackage

Postby hondajohn » Thu May 03, 2018 11:55 am

THANK YOU! This is exactly the information I was looking for! The article refers to it as a "19th century horse-drawn vehicle". Do you know if it was an actual trolley modified with tires, a vintage wagon modified into a trolley replica, or a "modern' replica incorrectly described by the reporter? Does anyone know if it still exists in some form?
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