NYC Modeling a small NYC switching yard circa 1967

zaulden Nov 6, 2018

  1. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    Very helpful. Thanks.

    I guess another item to consider in choosing rolling stock that would be in use in 1967 would be to ask "Does this railway still exist in 1967?"

    Like I read Erie went away in 1960, so I imagine you wouldn't see Erie-marked stock in 1967?
     
  2. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Actually, you would. It would be dirty and faded and defaced with graffiti. It would also likely have its ERIE number painted over with an EL number. The Southern merged with the Norfolk & Western decades ago to form the Norfolk Southern, but I saw a hopper still wearing its Southern paint just a few years ago.

    Worry more about avoiding merger railroads that did not yet exist, like Burlington Northern, CSX, and (of course) PennCentral and Conrail.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  3. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    You would have seen plenty of cars as you describe. I takes decades to repaint car fleets, so you could properly use Erie, DL&W, VGN, NC&StL, etc. without any problem. This adds to the array of varied cars you can operate.
     
  4. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    Wow! It sounds like I have lots of options in 1967!
     
  5. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    You're beginning to see why we love our railroads so much. :love:
     
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  6. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    Surely there would be some cars you'd be more likely to see in 1967 on a NYC line? I assume you'd see a fair bit of NYC cars followed by physically nearby railways? Is there a way to research what railways' cars you'd be most likely to see? With this information, I'd imagine you could assemble your fleet to reflect the distribution. For example, if there is a 30% chance to see a certain railways' car, your fleet of ten might have 3.

    Anyone know a good way to research that kind of stuff?
     
  7. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    U.S. railroads were and are divided east from west, and there was no way to get Washington apples and Kansas wheat to Boston except in cars physically far, far away from home rails (at one end of the run or the other). And 1967 was before a great many mergers; there were still a lot of railroads.

    Your fleet of ten cars won't include 30% of the roads most likely to have cars in the NYC at the time. Too many railroads fit that description, and ten cars isn't enough. The Central was a major railroad serving major population and industrial centers. There was no railroad that didn't interchange with them, directly or indirectly.

    You wouldn't go far wrong to make 30% of your cars NYC cars. Otherwise, everybody is fair game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 3:13 PM
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  8. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Your assumption is correct. Your best research would be to find a map of US and Canadian railroads of the pre-Penn Central era, i.e.1950-1967. Then identify railroads adjacent to the Central; followed by nearby roads, but not adjacent to; finally all remaining roads. Then assign arbitrary percentages to each, e.g. 50% NYC, 30% adjacent to, 20% nearby, and 10% remaining. That should give a reasonable mix of cars seen on NYC freights in 1967.
     
  9. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I wouldn't include so many from adjacent arch rival Pennsylvania.

    Also, the NYC was in Chicago and St. Louis. Which means "adjacent to" includes nearly every railroad in the country but the Rio Grand and Western Pacific.
     
  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    If you're like many model railroaders who've been in the hobby a long time, you'll eventually own a great many freight cars, far more than you can ever place on the layout. I mention this so as to perhaps save you some time in analysis, as after a while, the precise mix of cars you seek for your layout will be replaced with a mix of cars that catch your fancy by their color or happy memories associated with them in years gone by.

    Being an anthracite roads fan, many of my cars are of northeastern heritage, but I also run club/fundraiser cars, handpainted cars of freelance roads swapped with friends, western road cars bought as souvenirs on vacations and cars I painted for railroads serving distant places I once called home. All of them make me smile and even with this mix, there's no doubt that mine is a northeastern railroad set in the early Conrail era.
     
  11. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    I admire your dedication to realism. But it's a mathematical fact that small groups are very random. Go to four or five big NYC yards and you might find that all of them have a very similar mix of cars. Big groups kill the random element and show you the true distribution. But look at a spot where there are only ten cars, and the mix is much more random. It could reflect the overall mix, or it could turn that on its head. As in football, on any given Sunday anything could happen.

    So if you really like a car, and it's American and the right time period, don't talk yourself out if it! It could absolutely happen that a cool Western Pacific Rides Like a Feather boxcar is serving a local siding in Watkins Glen. It really could.
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Perfectly written! That's it in a nutshell. (y)

    It's funny that you mention that specific car, as I bought one at a show a few years ago because they are indeed cool.
     
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  13. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Rare as they were in real life, there were two among Dad's Lionels. Funny thing...

    raganim, I'm not trying to talk you out if your commitment to realism. I said 30% home rail cars, Hytec--who I must bow to, as he was there at the time--says 50%. You could certainly do worse than split the difference and make four out if ten NYC cars.

    As for the other six? Honestly, the way the interchange system worked, you could puzzle over it until your brain cells are black and blue, or get a list of American railroads of the period and throw six darts at it, and get equally possible results.

    But since you did ask, railroads that 1) you might overlook, 2) had a lot of cars, and 3) interchanged with the NYC at key points include (but are not limited to) the Louisville & Nashville, the Rock Island, the Missouri Pacific, the Canadian Pacific (including D&H) and Canadian National (including Grand Trunk), and the Frisco. Railroads which hit two of those three (not such big fleets) I'm afraid to tackle because there were too many. Even so, the B&M, the C&EI, WM, C&NW, PM, Monon, MKT, and their competitors to a degree...
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 9:10 PM
  14. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Supporter

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    It should be noted that the old PM fleet had nearly all been repainted into C&O by 1967, but lots of NYC cars showed up in old Pere Marquette videos, so I would assume that the reverse would be true. I don't remember how many NYC cars I've seen in videos of the Grand Trunk Western, but would suspect a fair number would have been interchanged both ways. The rail scene was very rich and interesting back then, so you might think bout building yourself some storage shelves. It's very likely that your collection will become too large to run on your layout all at once and rotating them on and off will add interest.
     
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  15. RailMix

    RailMix TrainBoard Supporter

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    Having gone back and read the discussion on choice of motive power after posting a reply, I will add that where I grew up, along the ex-PM part of the C&O, a GP 35 was the motive power most frequently seen on the local freight during the mid 60's. A GP35 not out of the question at all for your purpose.
     
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  16. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    :) Same in my world too. I still have our old Lionel model. It evokes happy memories, so I had to have one for my N Scale collection. Do you think M-T will ever do a lighted chicken coop car? :eek: I have a Lionel one of those too.
     
  17. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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  18. zaulden

    zaulden TrainBoard Member

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    Based on the various pieces of advice from this thead, I acquired some of my first HO rolling stock (40' boxcars). I thought I'd share some photos. All of the rolling stock I'm aiming for is 1946-1967.

    The Kato GP35 (no details applied yet):

    Bachmann Silver Series (door opens and is weighted):

    Walthers Mainline Series:

    And two assembled Roundhouse kits. Whoever built these added some weathering:

    And I have an Intermountain unassembled green NYC boxcar on order. I need three more cars for the Inglenook after that arrives.

    Overall, I want to aim for at least two or three NYC cars in the Inglenook of 8 cars.

    I read cabooses were used until the 80s. In an assembling-a-train situation, I'm assuming a caboose would merely be added to the end of the train, after it's all put together? I read some discussion that cabooses would have some role in shunting. Anyone able to enlighten me?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 4:56 PM
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  19. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    You're right --cabooses normally appeared at the end of trains, but in switching operations they could end up anywhere as the train was worked.
     
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  20. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Most NYC cabooses used on the mainlines were green with bay windows by 1967. However the branches and lesser mains still used older wooden cupola red cabooses.

    Local freights, when serving customers along the way, would leave the caboose with some cars on the main while switching each customer's cars.
     
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