The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

nature transmutes

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator just can’t get enough of the Long Island Railroad yard in Long Island City.

Back in January of this year, while “wondering uneasily“, we established that the LIRR station in Long Island City accomplishes tasks which it would take some 30,000 horses to accomplish on a daily basis. Last year, in October- these very tracks were visited in “Deeply Hidden“.

Simply put, I’m kind of drawn to this spot.

from wikipedia

This station has 13 tracks, two concrete high-level island platforms, and one wooden high-level island platform. All platforms are two cars long and accessible from Borden Avenue just west of Fifth Street. The northernmost one, adjacent to tracks 2 and 3, is the only one used for passenger service. The other concrete platform adjacent to tracks 6 and 7 and the wooden one adjacent to tracks 8 and 9 are used for employees only. All tracks without platforms are used for train storage. The southernmost four tracks are powered by third rail while the remaining tracks are used only by diesel-powered trains.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Once upon a time, street grade rail crossings were pretty common in Western Queens, but these days there are only a few that I know about. As always, never will I claim to be an expert on this subject, as there’s too many alphanumeric terms involved for me to remember. As mentioned in the past, mathematics isn’t my strong suit, and I’ve always been cursed by a sort of numbers based dyslexia. I’m all ‘effed up.

from wikipedia

The Long Island Rail Road owns an electric fleet of 836 M7 and 170 M3 electric multiple unit cars, and 134 C3 bilevel rail cars powered by 23 DE30AC diesel-electric locomotives and 22 DM30AC dual-mode locomotives.

In 1997 and 1998, the LIRR received 134 double-decker passenger cars from Kawasaki, including 23 cab control cars, and 46 General Motors Electro-Motive Division diesel-electric locomotives (23 diesel DE30ACs and 23 dual-mode DM30ACs) to pull them, allowing trains from non-electric territory to access Penn Station for the first time in many years, due to the prohibition on diesel operation in the East River Tunnels leading to Penn Station.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Arithmetic challenged, in a Jewish family, this marks one as worse than an idiot. The stereotype which opines that Jews are possessed of a certain aptitude for mathematics is fairly accurate (or at least it generally is in my family), and black sheep status was assigned me as early as second grade when they rolled out long division. Consistently low scores on the math section of standardized testing always betrayed my inadequacies to scholastic authorities, and was a great cause of concern to my parents. Reports from teachers fed their dire suspicions that I would someday end up “a bum on da bowery” or “shovelin shit on da street”.

from wikipedia

The DE30AC and DM30AC locomotives replaced aging GP38s, Alco FA1/FA2s, F7As and F9As, and MP15AC and SW1001 locomotives, with GP38s used to push and pull diesel trains and other locomotives used to provide HEP for the trains. The bodies of the DE30AC and the DM30AC are similar; the difference is the ability of the DM30AC to use electric third rail while the diesel engine is off, enabling the locomotive to use the East River Tunnels into New York Penn Station. DM30ACs have third rail contact shoes, permitting direct service from non-electrified lines in eastern Long Island via the western electrified main lines all the way to Penn Station. A few such trains a day run on the Port Jefferson, Oyster Bay, and Montauk Branches. The engines’ naming scheme: DM = Dual Mode, DE = Diesel Engine, 30 = 3000 hp, AC = Alternating Current traction motors.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m told that people suffering from several different cognitive disorders spend their time memorizing train schedules and details about the rail system, and that they find some solace in the purely numerical language which governs the subject. Me, I just wander around aimlessly, and get the giggles when I’m lucky enough to randomly come across a train passing so close by. My major malfunction is taking too many pictures of trains and boats, it would seem.

from 1877′s “Long Island and where to go!!: A descriptive work compiled for the Long R.R. Co.“, courtesy google books:

Long Island City is the concentrating point upon the East river, of all the main avenues of travel from the back districts of Long Island to the city of New York. The great arteries of travel leading from New York are Thomson avenue, macadamized, 100 feet wide, leading directly to Newtown, Jamaica and the middle and southern roads on Long Island, and Jackson avenue, also 100 feet wide, and leading directly to Flushing, Whitestone and the northerly roads.

Long Island City is also the concentrating point upon the East river, of the railway system of Long Island.

The railways, upon reaching the city, pass under the main avenues of travel and traffic, and not upon or across their surface.

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