The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

sights and glories

with 4 comments

Not sure if this thing sucks or blows, but I think that it probably just blows.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Spotted recently at the LIRR Hunters Point station, an esoteric bit of kit, which was boldly labeled as the TC 888 and which bore the branding of something called “ESSCO.” Certainty exists that shortly after hitting “publish” on this post, one of my rail fan pals will leave a comment or send an email describing this device in brain dissolving detail, but your humble narrator is focused simply on a single query.

Does it suck, or does it blow?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

To me, it looks like something which really blows.

That’s a jet engine at the wide part of the funnel, and the fuel hatch had writing stenciled on it that advised “Kerosene Only.” Also, a lack if any sort of receptacle for the resultant materials which might be produced by an interval of powerful sucking, nor a visible connection to a feeder mechanism designed to interact with other external equipment, suggests that it probably doesn’t suck at all.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, this pinkish orange Track Cleaner must in fact blow, and there’s no doubt that the jet engine must be able to blow chunks of trash and other debris from the trackbed. One cannot tell you if Hunters Point was getting blown, or just storing the device temporarily.

Either way, it’s clear that it doesn’t suck, and that its job is to blow.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

There are two Newtown Creek walking tours coming up.

Saturday, June 28th, The Poison Cauldron
With Atlas Obscura, click here for tickets and more info.

Sunday, June 29th, The Insalubrious Valley
With Brooklyn Brainery, lunch included, click here for tickets and more info.


4 Responses

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  1. It’s a jet powered snow blower. Just used on snow and ice. One learns to stand away from one of these when it is working.


    June 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

  2. Can it blow away that strange O R A N G E P A T I N A !!!!!! (clearly seen on the rails) that has been on the rails since the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? more Mr. Nice Guy

    June 23, 2014 at 8:54 pm

  3. this device is intended for snow removal and yes ….it certainly does blow…very hot air… just like our politicians!!!

    June 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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