Two seemingly unrelated events transpired for me recently and the end result was two Penn Central K-9 Stock Cars being added to the fleet. First while watching Volume 2 Part 1 of the Greenfrog New York Central Odyssey video I noted at or about the 17:40 mark two unique looking 50' stock cars as part of New York Central Train NY-2. The second event was my L.H.S. having a 40% sale on used merchandise. I remembered seeing the Bowser boxes for these cars on a used shelf so I hurried on over and made the purchase.
PROTOTYPE K-9 STOCK CARS: Built by the P.R.R. from 50' X-32 double door automobile boxcars. The P.R.R. cut out ventilation holes in the car body and added new doors. Some interior modifications were made and it appears that there was a class K-9, K-9A and K-9B. The cars had either single or double level decking. The P.R.R. had about 329 of these cars on the roster into 1968, the year of the merger with the NYC.
MODEL K-9 STOCK CARS: The models are from the Bowser Executive Line and come fully assembled with EZ mate knuckle couplers and metal wheels. Testing the cars I found that the couplers were too low but it was an easy fix. A gray Kadee washer in the coupler box below the coupler eliminated the vertical play and coupler sag. A red Kadee washer placed on the bolster raised the car to the proper height. The car felt a little light to me but it looks to have the shell and frame glued together. Instead of prying the model apart I placed them both on the front of a long freight train and they tracked fine.
NEW YORK CENTRAL TRAINS NY-2 and NY-4: Were daily high priority meat product trains from Chicago to New York City. They often ran in multiple sections with over 100 cars in each section.. The empties back to Chicago were handled by NYC Train LS-1. In 1974 Penn Central NY-2 and NY-4 ran from Blue Island Chicago to Selkirk NY. Train LS-1 from Selkirk NY to Blue Island. This seems to indicate the declining rail traffic and increased trucking of products into NYC.
ON THE LAYOUT: NY-2, NY-4 and LS-1 are a layout staple. Although not to the 100 plus car consist! Adding the two K-9 Stock Cars gives the trains a little more prototypical variety.