New York Central Motive Power

yippy3000 Dec 15, 2012

  1. yippy3000

    yippy3000 TrainBoard Member

    I have a set of Con-Cor streamlined New York Central cars. Right now I am pulling them around with the Bachmann 4-8-4 UP Overland because it is the only thing I have that matches (same color grey). As I am working on upgrading my layout to DCC, I am thinking of getting proper motive power for this. Does anyone know of some DCC friendly units that are supposed to pull this train or at least would look good doing it?

  2. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

    I am not a modeler, but if you can find a NY Central Hudson or Niagara, or even a Mohawk, it would be correct for your consist.
  3. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    About the only one I can remember is the Concor J3a that was in NYC livery. Check out the Spookshow review since it appears that the 2nd run of these by Kato for Concor were the best. The only reason I remember it is because they had a streamlined Hudson in Milwaukee I was interested in back then.
  4. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    I will have to keep going in and out, as, despite the addition of an 'auto-save', this thing still times you out and you lose everything.

    Con-Cor sold a few different models of NYCS passenger power.

    J-3a Hudsons, shrouded and no. There were two bullet nose and one shovel nose. The bullet noses came in original 1938 grey and blue as well as the post war grey. NYCS had only one shovel nose hudson, Commodore Vanderbilt . The C-C model looks nothing like it. The last edition of it had an incorrect number and 'Commodore' was not spelled correctly. This is an older design and I imagine not too DCC friendly.

    EMD E-7 and E-8-again, older designs and probably not too DCC friendly

    ALCo PA-There were three different power chassis on these. The older two are, again older designs and probably not too DCC friendly. A few years back, C-C upgraded the chassis on this one. I do not know if there was any consideration for DCC.

    FM Erie-again, an older design, probably not too DCC friendly.


    Torpedo boat GP-9s-would have pulled intercity passenger trains, with regularity, in the 1960s

    GP-7s-Atlas sold unnumbered versions of these in black lightning stripes. Some of the DRSP-4s were black. You would need to buy the torpedo tube, steam generator, signal box and fuel tank details and a decal set. Again, these would have been regular power on intercity passenger trains in the 1960s

    RS-3s-These are black, as were the prototype NYCS passenger RS-3s, and have DRSP-6 numbers, but lack passenger power details. The escape stacks on these were the stovepipe type on the end of the short hood, as opposed to the ALCo 'factory' angled stack that was up against the cab.

    The Atlas diesels would require frame milling to accomodate the decoder.


    EMD E-8s-hard to find and require milling of the frame to accomodate the decoder.

    ALCo PAs-easier to find, but again, require milling of the frame

    ALCo RS-2s-these have DRSP-2 numbers, but lack the passenger power details. There was raging debate on some internet fora regarding if the grey color was correct for these. I have never seen a photograph of a grey DRSP-2. I have seen more than a few photographs of black DRSP-2s.

    USRA heavy mikado-NYCS class H-9 and unique to the P&LE. They rarely ventured from P&LE rails. I include them here, as McKee's Rocks did modify four of these with steam lines and signalling devices, supposedly to pull crew shuttles. I suspect that more than one H-9 did schedule protection duty on occasion. It would be unusual for one of these to pull smoothsides (as it would for a no-shroud J-3a), but it would have happened when the locomotive was pressed into service to protect the schedule. The DCC conversion on this one is reputed to be the most difficult in N scale.

    Model Power-MP sold a USRA light pacific lettered for NYC. NYCS had no USRA pacifics. The closest thing that NYCS had to these was class K-11, which was dual service power. You would have seen any NYCs pacific in front of smoothsides only in schedule protection duty. The DCC conversion on this is reputed to be relatively simple, but the locomotive does suffer from its 1970s construction methods.

    There are brass Niagaras and Mohawks out there, but they are pricey, and I have never been impressed with the runnability of any of them, especially when you see what you must pay.

    I might have omitted a locomotive, or two.

    Bachmann sells a GP-7 in black lightning stripes, but with incorrect lettering. NYCS subsidiary Peoria and Eastern did have two DRSP-4 that lacked torpedo tubes. You could buy the s/g stacks. The NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM lettering on the long hood of black lightning stripes is correct only for the Peoria and Eastern (P&LE's freight GP-7s were Pacemaker Green and passenger GP-7s came in grey). You would have to remove the number from the cab and replace it with a P&E herald (break a leg finding one of those in N scale) and add the road number to the short hood. A daunting project, but maybe someone out there has had custom P&E decals done.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2012
  5. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    If you can still find them, the PCM/BLI E7's and E8's are available with factory-installed DCC .
  6. Backshop

    Backshop TrainBoard Member

    Since when does the Kato E8/9 or PA require drilling out the frame? For sound, only .... the E8s were DC-drop-in ready back from when nobody knew what that meant (1993).
  7. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    I have a pair of the Kato NYC E-8s, part of their first set of releases. The decoder install is a drop in. Con-Cor PAs and E8s are mostly likely "grind outs".

    I seem to dimly recall that there was an Atlas release of the torpedo tube Geep in New York Central... it's not listed on the Atlas "past products" page on their website, but then, neither is the NYC GP7 without the torpedo tubes, which I actually own.
  8. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

    I have a p air of Atlas torpedo boat GP-9s in NYC grey. Atlas also sold GP-7s in black lightning stripes. There were unnumbered versions with and without dB. The NYC torpedo boat GP-7s did not have dB. I have NYC GP-7s from Atlas with and without the dB. So yes, Atlas did sell all of the above. Atlas also sold P&LE GP-7s in the post 1957 scheme: Pacemaker Green without the stripes. I would expect that you could buy them, erase the lettering and add the stripes. There is a possibility that you could leave the lettering and simply add the stripes, but I would have to take another look at them to be sure.

    I had some PAs, GP-7s, SW-9s and RS-3s custom painted in P&LE lightning stripes more than a few years back.

    Regarding DCC: I do not use DCC, I am only repeating what people have told me. I was not aware that the DCC was a drop in in Kato passenger cabs, as people told me that you had to mill the frames.
  9. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

    You didn't mention if you preferred steam or diesel, but Con-Cor's most recent (2003) run of Alco PA-1/PB-1 diesels included a set in NYC "lightning stripe" two-tone gray that would look pretty sweet pulling your streamliners around -

    This latest version has an 8-pin NMRA-style DCC socket, so it's about as simple a decoder install as there is -


    The PB-1's are unpowered, but are available with a sound decoder (the first ever engine in N scale to come with DCC sound).

  10. yippy3000

    yippy3000 TrainBoard Member

    Wow, lots of information, didn't realize I had so many options. I was hoping for steam but it sounds like they are harder to find and not very DCC friendly. The Con-Cor Hudson sounds like the best steam option if I can find one, although I have not been able to find how difficult/easy the DCC install is.

    If I am willing to go diesel though, it sounds like the PA-1 from Con-Cor of the Kato E-8 would be very good options with drop in decoder install. This is probably what I will do. Thanks guys.
  11. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    Quite right! And those early releases of the Alco PA/PB units were too!

    All my original Kato E units from the first two releases have drop in decoders. There was a need for frame mods early on. But that went away when Digitrax came out with the board replacement decoder. Now NCE and TCS have also followed suit. I recently installed TCS drop-in decoders in my Amtrak units from that time, #414,466,437

    This confusion is more pertaining to time frame not the DCC readiness of the locomotive. Every one of my 80 or so Kato E8/9 units have drop-in decoders.

    As was said earlier, the only frame mods needed are for some, not all, sound decoders. And that modification is only for the speaker enclosure, not the decoder.
  12. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

    I've never tried installing a decoder in a CC Hudson, but it looks like the main trick would be isolating the chassis-contacts on the motor from the chassis and then finding someplace for the decoder. There's not much room inside the boiler (not without pulling out some weight), so most likely a tender install.

    Unfortunately, the design is an old one and apparently Con-Cor has no plans to ever make it DCC-Ready (or even more DCC Friendly).

  13. dottney

    dottney TrainBoard Member

    I'm using a Bachmann Heavy Mountain to haul around some Con-Cor smooth sided NYC cars. I figure it looks close enough to Mohawk to pass muster. Nice running loco and it comes with a decoder.
  14. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    Those NYC units were released pre-Y2K, where most of the historical info on the Atlas site seems to begin.
  15. Bob Morris

    Bob Morris TrainBoard Supporter

    Another vote here for Bachmann's Heavy Mountain. It's DCC equipped and while I don't know how common it was for their use in passenger service, I've seen many photos of them in that use.
  16. christoph

    christoph TrainBoard Member

    The NYC Torpedo Tubes were introduced in early 1997, IIRC. One of the first things I did when coming to Texas that year was ordering one from the local Hobbycenter in Clear Lake.

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