The Museum acquired the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal No. 16 from New York Regional Rail (Cross Harbor Railroad) on January 31, 1999. This engine has the distinction of being the last steam engine to operate within New York City limits, operating as late as October, 1963, long after the Long Island Rail Road went off the coal standard.

The engine was built by H. K. Porter in 1923 for the Astoria Power & Light Company as their No. 5. Subsequently, it was sold to Fleishman’s Yeast Co. in Peekskill, NY, and then to the Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Co. in Alabama. In 1938, it was sold to the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad (BEDT), one of the many waterfront railways along the shores of the East River and New York Harbor. The BEDT numbered it as their No. 16.

This is where the engine gained most of its notoriety, operating 8 years longer than any LIRR steamer. For this reason, many of the BEDT’s steamers have been preserved.

After the BEDT went bankrupt during the 1980s, No. 16 was left exposed to the elements and vandals on the Brooklyn Waterfront. The future of this locomotive was in extreme jeopardy. During this time it was used as a backdrop in a Bootsy Collins music video.

BEDT #16’s brush with fame, 1990s style.

In 1999 the Railroad Museum of Long Island became the beneficiary of a major clean-up project in Brooklyn. The BEDT 16 was saved from the scrapper by the Cross Harbor Railroad’s generous donation of the locomotive to the Museum. Moved from Brooklyn to Riverhead by tractor-trailer over the Long Island Expressway, the BEDT 16 is the Museum’s welcome card to visitors as they approach the site from the south.

Cosmetically restored by the RMLI, the locomotive sits proudly in the Museum’s front yard beckoning families, railfans and children to come in and see what the Railroad Museum of Long Island has to offer.

Due to BEDT 16 missing many major drivetrain parts from being picked over by scrappers on the Brooklyn waterfront, she will never operate again. BEDT 16 will remain a static display at the RMLI, the very last steam locomotive to run in revenue service on Long Island. But . . . . . one may still experience the operation of a similar H.K. Porter tank engine, a sister to #16 – BEDT 15 continues in steam service today at the Strasburg Rail Road Company, restored and remodeled to be America’s ONLY steam fired Thomas the Tank Engine!

BEDT 16 with Caboose C-68

#16’s sibling, #15, is currently dressed up as Thomas The Tank Engine, on the Strasburg Rail Road.

Christmas lighting