The "Pacemaker" fast freights originally operated on an 11 hour schedule from Manhattan to Buffalo / Niagra Falls. Carrying the symbol NB-1 the "Pacemaker" left Manhattan at 7:45 PM and arrived at Buffalo 6:50 AM the following morning. By 1950 "Pacemaker Service" reached most Mid-Western cities within the Central's service region.
In 1954 the New York Central introduced the "Early Bird" trains aimed at recapturing carload traffic through improved scheduling. New York to Chicago service was promised in just 29 hours, "on time a day earlier" than previous trains. A cartoon bird dressed in an engineer's cap and carrying a pocket watch was featured on the sides of some of the "Early Bird" freight cars.
On my train layout Empre City has been included in the expanded "Pacemaker" freight service and the "Early Bird" service. The New York Central's Terminal Yard train master often combines both the "Pacemaker" and "Early Bird" freights into one hotshot train when possible and gets them across this division with time to spare. Take a look as this train runs across the upper level of my layout through Empire City. Also beware of the Sharks that have come swimming into the city.