Long Island Rail Road
Parlor Cars

You may be wondering why this web site exists ...

After all, LIRR retired the heavyweight cars three decades ago and retired the lightweight cars that replaced them about a quarter-century ago; the majority of them have probably long since been cut up by a scrapper and their steel recycled into new uses. LIRR was never considered as glamorous as many other railroads. Many railroad enthusiasts are not particularly interested in individual passenger cars. That said, several reasons come to mind:

The LIRR has a significant place in my railroad memories as a boy and teenager. I was born and raised in the Long Island City - Astoria neighborhood of New York City, about one mile north of Sunnyside Yard and the LIRR main line. I spent my summers in the town of New Suffolk, on the North Fork of Long Island; we rode the LIRR between Woodside or Jamaica and Cutchogue. Some kids got to ride famous trains such as the Super Chief, the California Zephyr, the Twentieth Century Limited, the Silver Meteor or the Canadian, but I got to ride the Shelter Island Express! The first encounter I remember with these cars was a former Florida East Coast coach - a cool dry oasis - plush in comparison to the usual LIRR equipment - on the Shelter Island Express on a hot humid Summer afternoon in 1968. Two summers later, I clearly remember former New Haven sleeper MONUMENT BEACH on that train. Standing on the platform for track 8 at Jamaica, I watched the famous Cannonball arrive from Hunterspoint Avenue, load her premium fare passengers and depart for the Hamptons and Montauk on some Friday afternoons in the summer.

Since that time, I've had an interest in passenger cars. I bought my first private railroad car in 1987. Since 1999, I have been co-owner and General Manager of Dominion Rail Voyages LLC, a company that owns/operates six double bedroom lounge MOUNT VERNON (PPCX 800708). This private car is currently operating with full Amtrak & Via Rail Canada certifications.

I am interested in seeing how many other people may have photos of these cars. My photographic equipment was limited to a Kodak Instamatic at that time. I didn't start active photography of railroads until about 1974; I have a small number of LIRR photos in my collection. So I am hoping some of you have some good photos you are willing to contribute to this site. It would be great to have at least one good photo of every parlor car and several good photos of some representatives of the other groups of coaches noted here.

Updated on February 8, 2009