In his book "The LIRR in Early Photographs", Ron Ziel writes: "For many years, the railroad did a booming business serving the vast state hospitals, built for the most part early in the twentieth century. Each had its own central power plant and, until well after the Second World War, they all burned coal. The LIRR had brought in all of the materials used to construct the hospital complexes, and later it carried the provisions necessary to sustain them and their thousands of patients. On the weekends, the LIRR ran visitor trains and there were even special cars to transport the insane, equipped with restraining seat belts and bars on the windows. But the main commodity was coal."
Each of the following five pages is devoted to a particular hospital.
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