LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Discussion of the past and present operations of the Long Island Rail Road.

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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby Kelly&Kelly » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:13 pm

The pipe is a part of the old Ridgewood Water Supply system that ran though the area onto Conduit Boulevard. A vast portion of Valley Streams ponds and creeks fed Brooklyn with drinking water through the early part of the last century.

Here's what former NYC Mayor Bloomberg said about the old system:

"In 1862, the water supply for the reservoir consisted of six dammed streams in what is now Queens and Nassau Counties: Jamaica Stream (Baisley Pond), Simonson’s Stream, Clear Stream, Valley Stream, Pine’s Stream, and Hempstead Stream (Hempstead Lake). This water was carried in a 12-mile-long masonry conduit, called the Ridgewood Aqueduct, to a pumping station at Atlantic Avenue and Chestnut Street near the City Line. There, steam-powered pumps, each with a capacity of 14 million gallons per day, forced the water up through a reinforced tube into the high reservoir whence it was distributed. By 1868 the Ridgewood Reservoir held an average of 154.4 million gallons daily, enough to supply the City of Brooklyn for ten days at that time."

And here's a map:
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby nyandw » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:06 pm

K&K: Nice stuff!
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby MADDOG » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:12 pm

Amy Bentley wrote:
workextra wrote:With regards to the Pump station in Baldwin. Does anyone know if the old sand stone with the name carved out was salvaged before during or after the demolition. It would only bee an atrocity to have loose the carved sand stone besides the whole building, which was fire damaged and badly vandalized .
The stone read If I remember correctly, "Brooklyn Water Works".

As far as the pipeline in Valley Stream, Just north of the elevated railroad tracks on the far west end of the elevated structure by the station There appears to be a pipe or what seems like a pipe exposed on the walking path to the village green.
What's the odds that this is the pipe of the pipeline?
What baffles me is that this pipe is high and is not visible crossing the stream. Does it duck under it?
Immediately North/West of the bridge over the stream on Valley Stream blvd that is scheduled to be replaced there is a small brick building that I was told houses a pump. Was this part of a dam that was used for the Brooklyn Water Works?
I know it's not railroad but it's runs parallel to the LIRR Montauk branch so it's related, The Pipe paralleling the railroads Right Of Way.

Is this the pipe you are referring to?

Just for everyone's information,
when the "Milburn pumping station", It's official name, was finally knocked down, it was sold by Gary Melius the owner of Oheka Castle to the County of Nassau for a stupid amount of money. I will NOT go into the politics of Nassau/Hempstead in regards to their top donors, however, you can easily figure this scenario out.
The pumping station DID move water from as far as Amityville, however, most of the water that was introduced into the system at this junction was actually pumped from the Milburn reservoir which today is the site of the Freeport High School. This property is next to what used to be Nunley's Carousel (now Pep Boys).
The pumping station property is now a part of the Milburn Preserve.
The Baldwin Historical Society asked for the cornerstone and was rebuffed. We did get a few bricks and the steam whistle from the roof which was actually owned by the Baldwin Fire Department (BFD). These pieces are on display at the Baldwin Historical Society & Museum at 1980 Grand Ave. It is in the back of the Town of Hempstead parking lot on the west side of Grand just south of Seaman avenue.
We were fortunate that our first President, James McKeon was a chief of the BFD.
We are also fortunate enough to have a large collection of paperwork including detailed piping/valve locations within the pipeline all the way to Brooklyn.
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby workextra » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:22 pm

Not to change this discussion, but is really was a shame that beautiful sand stone corner stone of the Baldwin pumping station was not saved. I spent many summer night at Nunley's and remember that pump station well.

Back to the Valley. Does anyone know where the pipe "conduit" buried? I noticed of the main, at the N.W. End of the structure by VS Ststikn there appears to be a pipe visible through the dirt having been worn away. Could this be the Brooklyn conduit or a railroad pipe?
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby Kelly&Kelly » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:36 pm

The conduit is much bigger than that pipe, is made of brick and in that location I believe is just north of the Railroad.
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby krispy » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:41 pm

That pipe is at the northwestern corner of the parking lot on the west side of Hicks St. A portion of the top is visible on either side of the footpath to the village green. It's cast iron and it's funny to watch it draw (what lawyers call an "attractive nuisance") the scouts when they have their annual camporee. It's funny to watch them bang on it, kick it and everyone now and then, one will put his ear on it. (He did not appreciate my yelling "BOOM" when he did so.) It's definitely not the main conduit, as this pipe does duck under the Valley Stream as it approaches it's culvert beneath the ROW. At one time (not now, but try asking the reference desk where they put it) the Valley Stream Library had a display showing that brick conduit built, and one of the pictures showed it was large enough to accommodate a small steam loco used in it's construction.

Sir Ray, the picture is still there in Wondrama, and I wish to thank all who posted, especially K&K and Amy for some outstanding posts!
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby dstoffa » Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:26 pm

The exposed metal pipe is indeed NOT the brick conduit. And yes, you MIGHT be able to have fit a small locomotive in it while it was being constructed. I am probably one of the few people who have actually been inside the brick conduit.

The "Pipeline" was the term used by kids growing up in the Valley for the ROW between the LIRR and the homes at the end of the dead-end streets abutting the RR. There was (and probably still is) a one-car wide path with no obstructions which ran at the "bottom" of the embankment. There was also, in most sections, but not all, most awesome BMX trails built by the local kids in this ROW. Kids not only used the pipeline as a nikle path / BMX park, but also other activities, which will not be discussed here. You could bike easily from Broadway to the Village Green in this ROW, only having to cross one street (South Terrace). But of interest in this ROW were manholes, probably every 1500 feet or so, located at the bottom of the embankments for the LIRR. There was one at the end of Boden Avenue, and one at the end of South Waldinger or South Montgomery Ave. At some point in the early 80's, the "tops" of these manhole access trunks were removed and/or sledged off, and the pipeline was open to the weather. The access points were dug out (they were filled with dirt), and one could climb down the 2 ft by 2 ft square tube into the conduit. Disposed railroad ties were placed into the access trunk and were used as ladders to gain access to / from the conduit.

It was probably 8 feet wide. All brick. You could stand it in. It was dry. You did have to "duckl" to get in at the bottom of the access trunks. One was able to walk, underground, from Boden to the old pumping station on the Village Green, where the conduit had an "open top" where one could climb out.

I never walked west underground towards Queens, but the construction of condominiums / townhomes at Hook Creek Blvd, along with the construction of the new police station at the Rosedale LIRR Station might have "severed" the conduit. I am not sure if the Professional Building, built sometime in the early 80's on Central Av at the LIRR, impacted the conduit, either, but I am sure the building was put up after the pumping station was taken down. And I am positive that the removal of the pumping station on the Village Green did something to the conduit.

Many don't understand why the streets which pass under the LIRR at the Valley RR Station have thise abrupt dips in them... And I have to tell them what lies underneath...
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby Amy Bentley » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:13 pm

Getting back to the cast iron pipe on the Valley Stream Village Green. I believe this was the 72" conduit that was built in 1909. Does that sound correct? Does the exposed pipe look to be about that size?
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Re: LIRR History (Valley Stream) and Surrounding areas.

Postby krispy » Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:30 am

I'm not sure if the pipe's diameter can be calculated by the small portion sticking up from the ground, but 72" is definitely possible. Only thing I can think of is trying the reference desk at VS library or maybe the historical society to see if anyone knows where to find that material.

On a related note, within the past two years Nassau County proposed using the large aquaduct pipe that was abandoned in place to pump sewage from somewhere to either Bay Park or Wantagh. Haven't heard anything recently but it should be found easily on Newsday, etc.
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