Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Penn Central Trains NE-97 and NE-74

Greetings Blog Followers,

With the cold weather I have had some quality train time which includes reading some new materials and making a few repairs. First I came across Penn Central Trains NE97 and NE 74 on page 164 in the book Penn Central Power by Robert J. Yanosey. An excellent book that I have read and referenced constantly.

In summary in 1973 the Penn Central wanted to eliminate much of their Maybrook Yard operations that they inherited when the New Haven Railroad was merged into PC in 1969. The New Haven and Erie Lackawanna interchanged a large amount of New England traffic at Maybrook. As traffic shrunk the EL sought relief and PC came up with a plan which eliminated Maybrook's terminal facilities by establishing a pair of run through trains, NE-97 and NE-74. The trains ran to and from the EL yard at Port Jervis, New York and the PC yard at Cedar Hill, New Haven CT. The trains appear to be powered by GE units.

Wanting to replicate this train on the New York Central Train Layout I checked the train rosters and found that the only Erie Lackawanna units my son has are EMDs and one F7A-F7B set in need of repairs and upgrades. So.... some modelers license and repairs and PC trains NE-97 and NE-74 are running on the layout.

 PC Train NE-97 pauses at Empire City's North Side Yard. Power today is an EMD lash up of GP35s.

 Erie Lackawanna F7A and F7B back in service for NE-74. The B unit had been damaged in a fall and out of service for many years. Units are Bachmann Plus and are coupled by draw bar. Kadee close coupler conversion kit has been added to the rear of the B unit and the A unit has a #5 on the front 

PC Train NE-97 has received an additional GP35 making this a 10,000 horse power lash up while a PC GP38-2 and LIRR FA2 watch 

NE-74 with a four unit covered wagon lash up heads over the famous Empire City viaduct

Lots happening in this picture. NE-74 makes it's way across the viaduct. Empire City Fire Department fights a stubborn building fire. Two flatcars of lumber await a switch to Neal's Lumber and Hardware. The Police have cornered the elusive cat burglar. 

 Penn Central NE-74 makes it's way through the North Side of Empire City.

Penn Central NE-97 makes it's way through the North Side of Empire City

A previous day's NE-97 storms through the North Side behind 3 EMD GP35s

A leased pair of Long Island Rail Road Alco FA2s power a commuter train in push pull mode as NE-97 heads out of town


  1. New to your blog, John. I'm enjoying reading it and signed up to follow updates. Nice work on your layout, and it looks like you're having a lot of fun with it. The Penn Central reference in this particular post caught my eye but I appreciate the NYC heritage of your layout as well.

    Looking forward to more!
    Best wishes!

    1. Hi Ralph, With new freight traffic coming my way from the KP&W it looks like Maybrook Yard will remain active for our model rail traffic interchanges!

      Thanks for the above comments!