The Longest Day
by Bob Mintz
Guy", Conductor "Jimmy 3rd Rail", Westbound
Train #39, Babylon Station, 7:33 a.m.
11, 2001 will live forever in our hearts and minds,
such as Pearl Harbor did a generation ago for some of
us, or our parents/grandparents.
I was there. I do not wish for ANYONE to
see what I saw firsthand.
My apartment building was literally across
the street from the World Trade Centers.
After sustaining damage due to flaming debris,
fire, soot, projectiles, blown in windows,
toxic materials, lack of electricity, water,
gas, (and to a lesser extent telephone and
cable) and an equivalent to two 2.9 "earthquakes,"
it has been closed now for several months.
One of the first things that I did, with
a NYS Trooper escort, was climb 22 stories
in the dark, and try to retrieve my Lionel
trains. After about a month of importing
materials, wrapping and packing, the "collection"
had a temporary home in a warehouse of a
What to do about me?
I have spent the past 7 summers in a weekend
timeshare in The Hamptons. It is almost
as far away from Ground Zero as one can
go in an easterly direction, about 40 miles
from "The End" of Long Island, a.k.a. Montauk,
New York. After suffering from a persistent
cough due to smoke and God knows whatever
else inhalation, I made the decision to
The problem is that we are talking about
a 120 mile commute each way, translating
into 2 Ĺ hours in each direction.
was absolutely no second thought that I would be taking
the Long Island Railroad versus driving on that parking
lot called the Long Island Expressway.
Hey, I am supposed to like trains... No,
let me rephrase that... I LOVE TRAINS!!!
Okay, so letís put this LOVE to the supreme
test. Two LIRR trains plus one NYC Subway
ride for a total of 6 different trains per
New York City and vicinity has more trains
than one can imagine.
If you doubt me, check out the following
I am grateful to be alive, and I am trying
to make the best out of a very bad situation.
So far, after 5 months, I can report that
I still LOVE trains. Plus, hopefully in
the near future, I can once again be reunited
with my collection, and even find a home
to house them. I will be a willing tenant.
tell you the truth in past 5 months, the train has been
late a grand total of 3 times! So we are talking out of
about 100 working days, and 6 trains a day, or 600 potential
trips, the train has been delayed .5% of the time. Not
a bad "On Time." (Okay, so now you know that I am an accountant
I know that many of us like prototypical
articles, as well as suggestions for modeling.
I hope to do a weekly feature here on just
that. I am making many train friends who
actually work for the LIRR, so we will see
articles by them in the near future too.
I am learning many things and have totally
expanded my preconceived notions of ovals
to the more realistic point-to-point types
of rail travel for our little models. The
railroads use many tricks and adapt to different
situations. I will give you pointers on
this so you can learn and possibly model
So please check back here from time to
time to see my continuing adventures on
give you some incentive to return, try to figure out what
this signal is for. It is located on the corner of the
Speonk train station, where I depart every morning at
Guy", Conductor Montauk Pete - Goin' The
Distance, Eastbound Train #2712, Hunterspoint
Avenue Station, 4:30 p.m.