MTA LIRR Delivers Two Retired Locomotives

Now it is time to catch up on a few press releases sent to me by the MTA this week. The Long Island Rail Road has delivered two retired locomotives to the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. Here are the complete details:

MTA Long Island Rail Road officially transferred two retired LIRR locomotives – No. 397 and No. 398 – to the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum for display with their historic equipment collection as part of the year-long celebration of the LIRR’s 175th Anniversary. The two mini locomotives were used as “switching locomotives” in the LIRR’s Morris Park diesel servicing and repair yard in Richmond Hill, Queens.
“We are very pleased to be able to help the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum preserve yet another piece of LIRR history by adding these retired locomotives to their collection,” said LIRR President Helena Williams, as the locomotives were delivered to the Museum. “As we reflect on this, the LIRR’s 175th anniversary year, we pay tribute to the LIRR’s rich history and the important role it played in the development of Long Island. Transferring these locomotives to the Museum helps immortalize that history for generations to come.”

“The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum is extremely grateful to the LIRR for the generous transfer of these two historic locomotives which will be an integral part of our equipment display area,” said Oyster Bay Railroad Museum President John Specce. “I wish to thank everyone associated with the transfer; the LIRR management and departments that provided the logistics for the transfer, the men who arranged for the unloading of the dinkies on site, and the volunteers of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. They all worked together for a seamless move from Jamaica to Oyster Bay. We look forward to displaying both locomotives and the rest of our equipment starting on Oyster Fest weekend, October 17 and 18 and welcome everyone to our Museum.”

The diminutive locomotives (150 horsepower) were used to “switch” or move passenger and freight locomotives throughout the diesel facility – especially when locomotives were unable to operate under their own power while in the shop for repair. The locomotives also pushed or pulled diesel coaches – passenger train cars – into or out of the diesel car repair shop and the wheel truing facility where flat spots were removed from train car wheels.

Earlier this year, the LIRR held a contest for the naming of these two workhorses long-known only as No. 397 & No. 398.

In revealing the winning entry, LIRR Senior Vice President of Operations, Raymond Kenny said: “We invited the public to help properly name the dynamic duo, reflecting our history and connection to Long Island. And so, I am excited to announce the winning entry – submitted by Michael Sprintz of East Meadow. Locomotive No. 397 will now also be known as ‘Dashing Dan,’ and No. 398 as ‘Dashing Dottie’.”
Winning the naming contest, Mr. Sprintz received a family four-pack of tickets to the Broadway show “Burn the Floor.” The prize was donated to the LIRR for the contest.
The “switching locomotives,” each over 50 years old, dutifully performed their functions and were a mainstay of the LIRR’s diesel repair shop landscape from the 1960’s through 2006. Both locomotives were built by General Electric in 1958.

Locomotive #398 was purchased new by the LIRR in 1958. Locomotive #397 was acquired by the LIRR in 1987 from the Naporano Iron & Metals Company – a firm located in New Jersey. Each locomotive measures just over 18 feet in length, 10 feet in height and weighs 51,000 pounds.

Celebrating its 175th Anniversary this year, the LIRR is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, carrying 87.4 million customers last year, with over 300,000 traveling each weekday on 735 daily trains. Chartered on April 24, 1834, it is also the oldest railroad in the U.S. still operating under its original name. The Railroad is comprised of over 700 miles of track on 11 different branches, stretching from Montauk – on the eastern tip of Long Island – to Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan, approximately 120 miles away. Along the way, the LIRR serves 124 stations in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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