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25th Street / South Brooklyn Terminal - Delaware Lackawanna & Western - Erie Lackawanna Railroad

INDUSTRIAL, OFFLINE TERMINAL RAILROADS & RAIL-MARINE OPERATIONS
OF BROOKLYN, QUEENS, STATEN ISLAND, BRONX & MANHATTAN:


TWENTY FIFTH STREET / SOUTH BROOKLYN TERMINAL
Sunset Park, Brooklyn

DELAWARE, LACKAWANNA & WESTERN RAILROAD /  
ERIE LACKAWANNA RAILROAD

D L & W E - L

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updated:
THURSDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2012 - 19:25


#401 info added 16 February 2012 Locomotive Roster

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INDEX

Overview

Property & Facilities
pre-reconstruction

Property & Facilities
post-reconstruction

Employees

Trackage & Float Bridge

Locomotive Overview
& Photos

Locomotive Roster
builders data, previous owners & disposition info

Marine Equipment

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Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR - 25th Street Terminal; Brooklyn, NY - 1940
P. L. Sperr photo
NYPL archives

added 08 Dec 2008

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Overview

   In 1906, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (DL&W) Railroad purchased the Brooklyn Dock & Terminal facility which was located between 25th and 26th Streets, and between Third Avenue and the Gowanus Canal in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn.

   The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad renamed this facility the "South Brooklyn Terminal" (not to be confused with the South Brooklyn Railway or the proposed South Brooklyn Terminal Railroad), but this facility would be better known as the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal.

   This facility would undergo a major reconstruction period sometime between 1929 and 1940, as evidenced by comparing the 1924 Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo and the 1929 E. Belcher Hyde Property Map with the ground level P. L. Sperr photo of 1940 and C. Milster photos of 1960.

   Is it believed that the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad closed their 25th Street Terminal sometime circa 1964.

   Aerial photos from historicaerials.com of the property in 1966, shows the area where this facility was located, devoid of freight cars and tracks and most structures razed with the exception of the wood freighthouse, switchback trestle and the Premium Coal Company structure.

   The following schematic shows the location of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western's 25th Street Terminal (in aqua) in relation to the other Offline Terminals and Railways located nearby. Bush Terminal (in red), while only three blocks away, would not connect with the 25th Street Terminal. Please keep in mind this map is not to scale, and is a composite of the various railroads and industries that operated throughout the twentieth century, even though some of the businesses may not have existed all at the same time.

RETURN TO INDEX

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Property & Facilities

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Prior to Reconstruction - 1906 through circa 1930

    A circa 1900 photo postcard released by the Brooklyn Eagle Newspaper (which can be seen on the Brooklyn Dock & Terminal page of this website); shows the ramp of the coal trestle and also includes an elevated view of most of the railyard. It also appears from both the Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo and the postcard that the eastern yard was more developed, and the western yard not quite as elaborate as in later years.

   According to the "Report of the Committee on Terminals and Transportation of the New York State Food Investigating Commission" published April 18, 1913; it lists the capacity of the freight house at 9,695 square feet..

   In the 1924 Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo below, I have annotated key items:  #1 denotes the floatbridge, #2 denotes the "west" yard, #3 is the site of the future coal dock, #4 is the "east" yard, #5 is the freighthouse, #6 is the track ramp leading up to the coal bins, #7 are the coal bins themselves.


Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo - 1924
NYPL Archives

added 11 Dec 2008

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   The 1925 Sanborn Fire Map seen below in the trackage chapter, shows most of the yard trackage as it appeared prior to the expansion and relocation of the coal pockets to the north side of the property.

   This map is a moderately large file and may take a few moments to open. Please use the back arrow on your browser to return you here as there is no return link:


Sanborn Fire Map - 1925

added 19 June 2009

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   Below is an E. Belcher Hyde Property Map from 1929, that closely confirms to the Sanborn Fire Map above.


E. Belcher Hyde - 1929
NYPL Archives

added 11 Dec 2008

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   One of the most outstanding changes in topography that would take place, is the future site of the Premium Coal Company. From the Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo and the 1929 E. Belcher Hyde Property Map above, there was a much larger and wider basin for ships at 25th Street, than would be in later years.

   From viewing this 1924 Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo as well as the 1929 E. Belcher Hyde Property Map and comparing them to either the 1930 Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo or the Army Corp of Engineers Port Terminal Map (after reconstruction), we can see that the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad 25th Street facility underwent some major changes after 1929.

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Post Reconstruction - circa 1930 through circa 1964


Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo - 1930
NYPL archives

added 15 Jan 2008

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   In viewing the 1930 Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo directly above, we can now see that the 25th Street basin has been filled in and the new Premium Coal Company switchback trestle already been constructed on the north edge of the property. After the author adjusted the image for contrast, it was discovered that this facility did indeed have a wood Howe Truss float bridge, which can be seen to the left of the trestle, with a carfloat moored to it, which is partially obscured by the wall of the floating dry dock.

   Unfortunately, the right edge of the photo above is the edge of the actual Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo and therefore eastern portion of the 25th Street Terminal is cut off from view.

   Apparently, either the Premium Coal Company and / or the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western filled in the eastern portion of this basin, thereby expanding the usable land area and subsequently constructed the switchback trestle and multi-story coal silos.

   Prior to this construction however, the coal bins and trestle were located on the south edge of the property, adjacent to 26th Street.

   The following photo, was located in the New York Public Library Digital Archives. Oddly it was not categorized by railroad, but by street construction (the image was taken during the planning of the Gowanus Expressway) and cross referenced under paper industry (for the structure / occupant that was razed for the construction of the Gowanus Expressway. Needless to say, it is a very unique photograph showing us a rather obscure side of the 25th Street Freighthouse:


26th Street looking east at Third Avenue - July 21, 1940
Prior to the construction of the Gowanus Expressway (elevated).
P. L. Sperr photo
NYPL Archives

added 22 June 2010

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   On 09 February 2010, and after corresponding with Jon Franz regarding various Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad operations in the New York Area, I received a package of documents from him.

   Within this package, was a three page letter dated November 11, 1941 and issued by the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad, Office of Superintendent, Hoboken, NJ. At the time of this letter, the Superintendent was Perry Shoemaker.

   His letter is quite interesting, and while it pertains to the official date of cessation of operations at Wallabout, it also specifically lists:
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courtesy of J. Franz
authors collection

added 10 February 2010

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courtesy of J. Franz
authors collection

added 10 February 2010


courtesy of J. Franz
authors collection

added 10 February 2010

   According to the August 1956 issue of "The Lackawanna", freight traffic at the 25th Street Terminal increased with closure of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western's Wallabout Terminal in 1940, as such time when the Brooklyn Navy Yard expanded and commandeered the Wallabout property.

   At the time of the 1956 article in "The Lackawanna" magazine, the 25th Street Terminal was handling five thousand cars per year, with total inbound freight traffic averaging between ten and twenty car per day, and outgoing averaging six cars per day.

    The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western's 25th Street Terminal, however limited in size it may have been; serviced many businesses and received a diverse amount of cargo, such as but not limited to: automobiles, cement, poultry and coal.

   Several businesses also utilized 25th Street Terminal via their personal rail sidings, with those businesses being American Edible Oil and Celulo-Fibre Companies.

   The following image is an excerpt  from the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad's 1952 Directory of Industries and Facilities:

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   Many of the following images are from that August 1956 issue of "The Lackawanna" magazine. This magazine was an internal (employees) monthly publication of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. The photographer recorded many scenes of employees in the process of executing their assignments. This is something that usually escapes being recorded for history.

   Even more notable, is the fact that the employees names have been included with the photographs. This is also something that is uncommon in many photographic recordings, so we are quite fortunate in this aspect in knowing who we are looking at as they go about performing their duties.

 
   Bulk cement shipments arriving at the 25th Street Terminal, were
hauled in transportable containers loaded into gondolas.

   Morganstein Building Supply received these bulk cement shipments
via this specially equipped team track.

   Upon arriving at the 25th Street Terminal, the cement would
be blown via air pressure into tank style tractor trailers for
final transport to the cement plant.

   It is surmised the "specially equipped team track" refers
to a blower or compressor building located next to the team track.

   It is believed that cinder block structure seen at the left edge
of the photo at right, is that compressor building.

  Notice the eyelets on the tops of the cement containers
for hoisting.


Bulk Cement Transfer
Albert Francis of Cement Transport Co.
photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue
added 15 Jan 2009


 unloading automobiles
Tony Aprea, Lynwood Robinson, Fiore Sganga and Anthony Zupo
photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue

added 15 Jan 2009

   There were also several covered platforms at this facility.

   One of these covered platforms was dedicated to the inbound shipments
of automobiles, as stated in the August 1956 issue of "The Lackawanna" magazine and evidenced in the photo at left.

   Four "double door" boxcars can be located on either side
of this platform and the automobiles which have been
shipped inside the box car could be removed.

   The other covered platform at the 25th Street Terminal had a six railcar capacity (three on each side of the platform) and was used for the loading and unloading of mixed freight.

   Team tracks at the 25th Street Terminal would receive a great deal of varied and diverse commodities, such as: machinery, lumber, paper, felt, starch, flour, powdered milk, television sets and washing machines.

   Both inbound and outgoing "less than carload" freight using the 25th Street Terminal was handled by the Acme Fast Freight Company, which offered
expedited freight service.

   Seen in the photo to the right are employees in the process of loading less than carload freight for shipment to New Jersey and subsequent re-distribution.

   Acme Fast Freight dispatched approximately two to three railroad cars of "less than car load" freight daily.


Acme Fast Freight - August 1956
Mike Marano, K Michalchuck, Mike Ashe and John Scognamillo
photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue

added 15 Jan 2009

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   The following
images, are working portraits of the employees assigned to the 25th Street Terminal:


Switch crew Frank Hogan and Phil Frleta

photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue
added 15 Jan 2009


Yard Clerk George Driscoll

photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue
added 15 Jan 2009

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Carmine Fasano (cashier) and John Bettineschi (yard foreman)

photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue
added 15 Jan 2009

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The following two images (among several others seen on this page) were captured on film by Conrad Milster in 1960:.


Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15, 1960
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

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Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15, 1960
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

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Premium Coal Company

   The most significant commodity arriving at the 25th Street Terminal was anthracite (hard) coal for the Premium Coal Company. The Premium Coal Company silos were among the largest in Brooklyn.


ca. 1956 - looking east (Premium Coal Company trestle on left)

photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue
added 15 Jan 2009

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   This coal facility had a unique "switchback" trestle for the locomotive to ascend with hopper cars, which was built in 1929 and this coal dock had a most unusual affair for unloading railroad cars full of coal via that switchback, and is worth mentioning.
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  1. The locomotive would pull a string of coal hoppers (heading east) off a carfloat onto a stub track.

  2. The locomotive would then uncouple, run around the hopper cars, and couple up to the west end, where it would push the cars east and past a switch.

  3. This switch would be thrown at the rear of the locomotive and then the locomotive would reverse direction (heading west again) and ascend a wood trestle pulling the hopper car(s) up the trestle, entering yet another stub track and stop.

  4. Another switch (which the locomotive and hopper car(s) passed over, was thrown behind the last hopper car, and the locomotive would then reverse direction (now heading east again), now pushing the hopper car(s) further up the trestle and thereby climbing even higher.

  5. The locomotive and hopper car(s) would then enter the facility near the top of the building and at this time, the hoppers would dump their contents directly into the coal silos below the track.

   By this arrangement above, the locomotive would be pushing the hopper(s) up the final ascent and on the west side of the hopper(s). By pushing them up from the west side of the train, prevented the locomotive from being "trapped" behind the hopper(s) in the coal structure (as it would be if the locomotive pulled the hopper(s) from the east end of the train). This arrangement would also allow the hopper(s) to be uncoupled from the locomotive and left in the coal structure if need warranted it, while the locomotive would be free to perform other switching duties.

   Conrad Milster was more than fortunate enough to photograph the trestle from several vantage points, including from the locomotive transversing the trestle on April 15, 1960.


Lackawanna Coal Hoppers destined for Premium Coal

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15, 1960
Looking east from float bridge approach.
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

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Premium Coal Switchback Trestle - Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15, 1960
Looking up (west) from approximate base of ramp.
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

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Premium Coal Switchback Trestle - Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15,1960
Looking up (east) from approximate midway point.
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

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Premium Coal Switchback Trestle - Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15, 1960
Looking down from approximate midway point.
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

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Premium Coal Shed - Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15, 1960
Looking out (west) from inside the coal shed at top of trestle.
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

   

   The track leading to the "switchback" coal trestle is the northernmost track on the property show in the Port Terminal Map above. Seen between the box car and the left edge of image in the photo directly below, one can make out the lower section of the trestle ramp in front of the higher section, as well as the wood cribbing and ramp for initial start of the incline, just above the head of the trainman on the right.

   The Premium Coal Company silos can be seen in the following photo, taken by C. Milster and dated April 1960: 


Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - April 15, 1960
C. Milster photo
authors collection

   Unfortunately, the true reasons as to why the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western's 25th Street Terminal closed circa 1964, has not yet been ascertained or discovered.

   We can only assume that the reasons for this terminal's closure, were the same as for the other Class 1 terminal located in Brooklyn (the Pennsylvania Railroad's North 4th Street Freight Station), which closed this same year and in which was due to the decline in rail-marine traffic.

   This was most likely due to the increase in long distance tractor trailer hauling, which was due in part to interstate highway system. With the opening of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in 1964 linking Staten Island (and with it New Jersey) with Brooklyn, it was now possibly to transport freight directly from New Jersey piers and railyards directly into the heart of Brooklyn. This highway connection thereby eliminated a costly, labor intensive and time consuming step in having to handle that freight by carfloating it across New York Harbor.

   Also considering that Bush Terminal was merely a few blocks south, would come to mean that the 25th Street Terminal became duplicitious in its existence as a general freight handling facility.

   While the independent contract terminals: Bush Terminal, New York Dock and the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal did not close by this point in time, they too were beginning to suffer the decline in carfloat freight traffic.

   The following aerial image, is attributed to the Port of New York Authority and was taken on January 15, 1964 at an altitude of 800 feet. It was graciously provided by Al Galanty. It shows the 25th Street Terminal in its last days.

   Pay particular attention to the four strings of loaded hoppers. Even at this late date, it is apparent coal was still a primary source of revenue for this facility, even though coal was rapidly losing favor as a heating source and therefore inbound coal traffic must have been diminishing.

   Please click on the image below to take you to an even larger image. Use the back arrow on your web browser to return you here:


Delaware Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - January 15, 1964
Looking east.
Port of New York Authority photo
A. Galanty archives

added 26 March 2010

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   The reasons stated above and probably a few other factors were stacked against this facility's survival, which left the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad no choice but to close this facility. 

   Following the closure of this facility, the westernmost portion of the property and bulkhead would come to be owned by Moore McCormick shipping lines. It is now occupied by a cement plant.

   The eastern portion of the property however would be subdivided into lots. Here, a bit or irony and personal coincidence arises.

   The family of one of my closest childhood friends, Dave Gellerstein; operated a scrap metal firm in South Brooklyn and of which closed a few years ago. I didn't think much of it until recently, when we reconnected after drifting apart . We subsequently went exploring the South Brooklyn area for remnants of the South Brooklyn Railway, and Bush Terminal.. Dave asked if we go down to the former property of his family's business to which I said, "sure why not?"

   When we made the turn west off Third Avenue onto 25th Street, it dawned on me. This was the former location of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western's 25th Street Terminal! When I said this to him this used to be a D. L. & W. offline terminal, he matter-of-factly replied, "Yeah, when grandpa Bernard moved "Basic" (Basic Scrap Metal) out of 263 South Street, he bought the 25th Street property from Moore McCormick Lines (shipping). The railyard was across the street (south). We always knew that place was on an old railyard. I just didn't know which."

   As adolescents, we are only interested in the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal so he never thought to mention this to me!

   

RETURN TO INDEX

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Employees

   One of the benefits of "internal" publications, such at the "The Lackawanna" Railroad Magazine, is the amount of information on the employees mentioned.

    Upon reading the article in the August 1956 issue of "The Lackawanna", the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal had employee roster of 13 people.

   Unfortunately, this magazine does not list the tenure or years of service of these employees, as did the Erie Railroad Magazine did for those employees at Harlem Station. So for now, until more data surfaces, their years of service are marked for both prior to and after 1956 (denoted by < 1956 >).

Employee Roster - Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR 25th Street Terminal, 1956

name

position

year started
@ 25th St Term

Ted Gurka freight agent < 1956 >
John Bettineschi yard foreman < 1956 >
George Hall switch foreman < 1956 >
George Driscoll yard clerk < 1956 >
Carmine Fasano cashier < 1956 >
Tony Aprea laborer < 1956 >
Lynwood Robinson laborer < 1956 >
Fiore Sganga laborer < 1956 >
Anthony Zupo freight checker < 1956 >
Paul O'Neill engineer < 1956 >
Tom Harris fireman < 1956 >
Phil Frleta switchman < 1956 >
Frank Hogan switchman < 1956 >

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RETURN TO INDEX


Trackage & Float Bridge

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   According to the "Report of the Committee on Terminals and Transportation of the New York State Food Investigating Commission" published April 18, 1913; it lists the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal having 1.909 miles of trackage at this location on that date. 

   The purpose of large structure at east end of the main yard (Third Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets and seen in the Port Terminal Map below) remains unknown. It is undetermined if this building was a new and larger freighthouse, or whether a portion of it might have served as an enginehouse, as at least one track enters the structure according to the Port Terminal Map below.

   The 1925 Sanborn Fire Map seen below, is a pretty accurate representation of, and shows most of the yard trackage as it appeared prior to the expansion and relocation of the coal pockets to the north side of the property.

   This map is a moderately large file and may take a few moments to open. Please use the back arrow on your browser to return you here as there is no return link:


Sanborn Fire Map - 1925

added 19 June 2009

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   As mentioned above, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroads 25th Street Terminal would be reconstructed around 1930, with yard trackage on the west end of the property being greatly expanded.

.  There was a small wooden freight house (seen in the  P. L. Sperr photo at top of page) that was located at foot of the diagonal four track yard.

   By viewing the 1930 Fairchild Aerial Survey Photo above, it is clear there was a wood Howe Truss float bridge originally at this facility. Between 1930 and 1960, the Howe Truss float bridge was replaced by a pony plate girder float bridge.

   In 1956, according to the Erie publication "The Lackawanna", the 25th Street Terminal had a capacity of 150 cars.

      


Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal - after reconstruction
Army Corp of Engineers Port Terminal Map (modified)

   Please note the original Port Terminal Map was congested with many symbols denoting the many drydock services in the area, so I took the time to modify the map for clarity and better orientation for north, but I did not change track layout, track length or structures.

   The oblate hexagonal shapes marked FDD at the left end of the yard (under the number 98) are not actually Delaware, Lackawanna & Western property, and are floating drydocks belonging to the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard and United Dry Dock.

   The 1940 photo at the top of the page, located and submitted by Joe Roborecky; is of the east (Third Avenue) end of the terminal. Behind and to the right of the boxcar; appears to be a covered transfer platform. To the left of the boxcar is a peaked structure marked Lackawanna Freight Station. Behind that building is another boxcar with what appears to be a platform and ramp.

   Tom Flagg dropped this big beauty on me, during a recent research get together at his office with Joe Roborecky on 10 June 2009. It is a Right of Way & Track Map issued by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad for their South Brooklyn Terminal and drawn by their Office of the Chief Engineer located in Hoboken, NJ.

   The map does not appear to have a date, but the last entry for deed transfer is shown as 1958. With the terminal closing circa 1964, this map is in all probability, the last track diagram issued for this facility. Therefore this is probably the way trackage appeared upon cessation of service at the 25th Street / South Brooklyn Terminal.

   I was taken aback by the fact that the 25th Street / South Brooklyn Terminal was part of the Morris and Essex Division of the Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad. So, if any DL&W fans out there can check Morris & Erie Division Employee Timetable / Special Instructions for information on this facility, and forward same to me, I would be most appreciative.

   Click on the thumbnail image below to view a high resolution large scale version of the track map. It is a rather large file, so please be patient while it opens. Please use the back arrow on your web browser to return you to this page, as there is no link to return you here..

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   Of a slightly unusual arrangement and another unique feature of this facility, is the long "gantlet" track paralleling the left float bridge track. In this case, this gantlet track accessed the middle track of three track interchange carfloats. On the majority of float bridges at other locations, a low profile switch throw was mounted near the end of the float bridge between the rails, shortening the distance for access to the middle track.

   In relocating the switch to land however, some ninety plus feet away from the actual center track; required a "gantlet track" arrangement on the float bridge:  

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   It appears that the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR preferred this gantlet track set up on their float bridges, as they also used this same arrangement at their Harlem Transfer Company facility in the Bronx, as well as the many float bridges at their main facility in Hoboken, NJ.


Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal Float Bridge - April 15, 1960
D. L. & W. tugboat "Nazareth" & D. L. & W. Carfloat #47
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

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      The photo above better shows the float bridge portion of this terminal, what with the switchback coal trestle looming over the float bridge and the wooden wall to the left outer end of the float bridge, which is one of the floating dry docks belonging to the neighboring ship yard. 

   Also, this photo shows gantlet track arrangement (double set of tracks on left side of float bridge) that the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR preferred to use to access the center track of three track interchange carfloats.


Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 25th Street Terminal Float Bridge & Carfloat #47 - April 15, 1960
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 27 May 2009

RETURN TO INDEX

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Locomotives

   The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western operated at least three locomotives at this facility, with the distinct possibility of more.

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#8

   The first known locomotive, was an 0-6-0T side tanker with sloped side tanks. This locomotive was acquired when the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad purchased the property from Brooklyn Dock & Terminal. This locomotive would be renumbered #8. It is believed that in 1914, the locomotive would be renumbered again to #173, as it was stated on the Erie Lackawanna Historical Society's "Condensed Steam Roster", but apparently this has been amended as this notation is not listed anymore.

   So far, I have been unable to find this 0-6-0T locomotive in Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad livery, but a photograph of this locomotive does exist as built and marked for the Brooklyn Dock and Terminal. This photo may be seen on the the Brooklyn Dock & Terminal page of this website (link below). The Erie Lackawanna Historical Society shows this locomotive to have been retired in 1926.

   Upon the passage of the Kaufman Act, which in effect eliminated the use of steam locomotives within city limits; those railroads operating with the city confines had to turn to alternate methods of motive power. This coincided with Ingersoll - Rand's development of an internal combustion boxcab locomotive. You can read more about the Kaufman Act on the main page of this website: Kaufman Act

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#3001


#3001 Clearance Card
authors collection

added 17 July 2010

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   The history of this locomotive shows that the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad purchased two identical American Locomotive / General Electric / Ingersoll Rand boxcab locomotives in June 1926. Coincidentally, this is the same year that saddletank locomotive #8 was retired.

   One of these American Locomotive / General Electric / Ingersoll Rand boxcabs (c/n 66684 / 10027) would be lettered Harlem Transfer #2, and assigned to that Delaware, Lackawanna & Western subsidiary facility in the Bronx. The other boxcab would be marked Lackawanna #3001 (c/n 66683 / 10026) .

   According to the 1940 photo at the top of the page, we can now see a boxcab locomotive at this yard. While we cannot make out the number with 100% certainty, it is believed this loco was #3001.

   These would be the only two General Electric / Ingersoll Rand boxcabs purchased by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, yet there had been no definitive proof of #3001 being used at the 25th Street Terminal, although we did know from other information that this locomotive was in fact assigned to carfloating duties in the New York Area.

   However, on 15 January 2009, the author located an image of this locomotive marked as 1926 - Brooklyn, NY; and this now confirms this locomotive to have been used at the 25th Street Terminal.

   In July of 1951, #3001 was sold back to Ingersoll-Rand, where it would continue to serve as their plant switcher #91. In 1977 it was the oldest operating diesel-electric powered by its original Ingersoll Rand engine and related electrical equipment. Over fifty years of active service! In early 1984 Ingersoll-Rand donated this historically significant locomotive to the Illinois Railway Museum at Union, Illinois.

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#401

   Being brought to my attention, is the existance of a photo in the book "Alcos HH Series" (2006, Withers Publishing) of Delaware, Lackawanna & Western locomotive #401 in front of the coal trestle at 25th Street.

   This locomotive was originally built as American Locomotive Company as their Demonstrator #603 in February of 1933. This locomotive would be purchased by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad and as evidenced by this photo, subsequently used at 25th Street. This locomotive was a model HH600, which denotes High Hood, 600 horsepower. The HH600 model would become the predecessor to the ALCo model S1.

   Exactly how long this locomotive operated at the 25th Street Terminal is uncertain.

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#51 &  #53

   In 1948, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad ordered and purchased three General Electric 44 Ton diesel locomotives, These were numbered 51, 52 and 53.

   We know #53 was assigned to this facility, by evidence of the photographs below.

   It is understood #53 was in service at this location until this facility closed circa 1964. At that time is was transferred to and re-lettered (but not renumbered) for the Harlem Transfer Company, which was a Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad subsidiary.

   As other photos have made their way into the light and have been contributed, we have learned that locomotive #51 operated at the 25th Street Terminal as well.

   Whether #51 and #53 were swapped out for inspection dates is not known at this time. Also as of this time, we have no photographic evidence that #52 operated at this location either.

   #51 has a somewhat interesting history. While it had been purchased new by Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, it was leased to the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley Railroad for a period of time. As it turned out, #51 did not have sufficient strength to switch freight cars for that railroad, so it was sent back to the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western in late 1953.

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#3001 - 1926 - Brooklyn, NY
unknown photographer
NE Rails archives

added 15 Jan 2009

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#3001 - June 7, 1933 - Brooklyn, NY
Note Burns Bros. sign over locomotive on coal dock. This would become Premium Coal in later years.
unknown photographer
Bob's Photo archives
authors collection

added 08 March 2010

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#53 - 1956 - Brooklyn, NY
Paul O'Neill engineer (on ground) and fireman Tom Harris (on engine)

photo from "The Lackawanna", August 1956 issue
added 15 Jan 2009

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#51 - April 15, 1960 - Brooklyn, NY
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 29 May 2009

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#51 - April 15, 1960 - Brooklyn, NY
C. Milster photo
authors collection

added 29 May 2009


#51 - ca. 1962 - Brooklyn, NY
Thanks to historians Tom Beckett & Harold Brink; they pointed out that the loco now carries the EL logo,
which means this photo was taken after the E / DLW merger of 1960, and therefore not taken circa 1958 as originally thought!
S. Meyers photo
D. Keller archives

19 Sept 2009

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Twenty Fifth Street Terminal (DL&W) Roster

number / name builder c/n model build
date

gauge
wheel
arrangement
wheel 
dia

cylinders

acquired

disposition
notes ref
#8 Baldwin 23868 3/1904 std. 0-6-0T 46 1/2" 19" x 24" ex-Brooklyn Dock & Terminal #2 renumbered DL&W #8
in 1906;

scrapped 9/1926
[2]
[33]
[37]
#3001 ALCo / GE / IR 66683 / 10026 boxcab 6/1926 std. B-B     new to Ingersoll Rand #91, Phillipsburg, NJ;
currently under restoration at Illinois RR Museum
[a] [36]
[44]
#401 ALCo 68609 HH600 2/24/1933 std. B-B     demo / used retired 1959,
scrapped
600 hp High Hood
formerly ALCo demonstrator #603
seen in photo in Alco HH series book
Possibly used as relief loco.
#51 GE 29986 44 Ton 10/1948 std. B-B     new [c] #51 acquired new by DL&W, leased to Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley before arriving back at DL&W. [e]
#53 GE 29988 44 Ton 11/1948  std.  B-B      new to Harlem Transfer #53, 1964? [d] [b] [23]
[55]

Locomotive Footnotes

[a] length:
width:
height:
weight:
gear ratio:
hp:
34' 10"
10'
14' 4"
132,000 lbs.
82:14
300
[b] weight:
gear ratio:
89,000 lbs.
11.25:1

[c] DL&W #51 (and #52) sold 7/1965 to Samuel M. Pinsley for his short lines Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington (#32)
and Claremont & Concord (#31), respectively.
HT&W ceased operations August 2,1981 and #32 sold to nearby Rock of Ages quarry, where it remains at last report, in Graniteville, VT.
C&C #31 still active.

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[d] Harlem Transfer abandoned about 7/1968 and #53 sold October 11, 1968 to Weston & Brooker Quarry (Sand and Gravel) #53, Camak, GA (joining ex-NKP GE 44-ton 90).
W&B bought out by Martin-Marietta, Camak, GA; and unit renumbered 18562, later renumbered 14 (by 10/1974). Transferred to Martin-Marietta, Warrenton, GA
.
Apparently all three are still operating.

[e] Acquistion information comes via "Trackside around Scranton 1952-1976" by Chuck Yungkurth; Morning Sun Publications.

RETURN TO INDEX

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Marine Equipment

   Being a Delaware, Lackawanna & Western operation, the South Brooklyn / 25th Street Terminal would have been serviced by Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad tugboats, carfloats and lighters.

   Keeping in mind the significant amount of marine equipment that the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad owned and operated, and not knowing if there was equipment specifically assigned to this facility (it is highly unlikely they did), a Marine Roster on this website would not be beneficial or justified; and therefore will not be forthcoming.

However:

   It should be noted due to the restricted space in the 25th Street Basin where the float bridge was located, it is known that the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western used a shorter carfloat than that of one regularly used at other offline terminals.

   The following excerpt is from an internal memorandum regarding the closure of the Wallabout Terminal. The memo was issued by the Office of Superintendent, Delaware Lackawanna & Western RR, Hoboken, NJ. At the time of this letter, which is dated November 11, 1941; the Superintendent was Perry Shoemaker:

   Most if not all railroads had "shortie" carfloats, that could be used at this 25th Street Terminal, so there is in all probability others.

   Specific usage of the shortie carfloats at this location was not set in stone however, as photos above show Carfloats 45 and 47 at the 25th Street Float Bridge.

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DL&W 25th Street Terminal Carfloat Roster

year
built

builder

hull /
cnstrct'n #
keel laid launched delivered notes

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Carfloat "H. T. 1"

1924

New York Shipbuilding
Camden, NJ

293

28 April 1924 16 July 1924 19 July 1924 ordered by DL&W RR.
14 car cap'y (40' cars)

This carfloat and it's sister below were constructed as "short" three track interchange type. The reason for being shorter than a standard average 325' carfloat was due to space restrictions while moored at Harlem Transfer, where the carfloat "stuck out" in the Harlem River. These carfloats were also used at the confined spaces of the DL&W 25th Street Terminal.


Carfloat "H. T. 2"

1924

New York Shipbuilding
Camden, NJ

294

28 April 1924 31 July 1924 05 August 1930 ordered by DL&W RR.
14 car cap'y (40' cars)
This carfloat and it's sister above were constructed as "short" three track interchange type. The reason for being shorter than a standard average 325' carfloat was due to space restrictions while moored at Harlem Transfer, where the carfloat "stuck out" in the Harlem River. These carfloats were also used at the confined spaces of the DL&W 25th Street Terminal in Brooklyn.

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western #32

1913

New York Shipbuilding
Camden, NJ

139

17 July 1913
This carfloat and it's sister below were constructed as "short" three track interchange type. The reason for being shorter than a standard average 325' carfloat was due to space restrictions while moored at Harlem Transfer, where the carfloat "stuck out" in the Harlem River. These carfloats were also used at the confined spaces of the DL&W 25th Street Terminal in Brooklyn.

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western #33

1913

New York Shipbuilding
Camden, NJ

140

15 September 1913
This carfloat and it's sister above were constructed as "short" three track interchange type. The reason for being shorter than a standard average 325' carfloat was due to space restrictions while moored at Harlem Transfer, where the carfloat "stuck out" in the Harlem River. These carfloats were also used at the confined spaces of the DL&W 25th Street Terminal in Brooklyn.

RETURN TO INDEX

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