Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Automobile Industry Traffic on the New York Central Part 4

Greetings All,

Some very sad Model Railroad Hobby News to report this week. On October 2nd, 2015 the model railroading community lost one it's most revered members. Andy Sperandeo of Model Railroader and Great Model Railroads passed away at the age of 70. As a subscriber to both of these magazines Andy was a constant presence in my railroad modeling. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but I learned much from his articles and Operators columns. Rest in Peace Andy.


It's the fourth and final installment of Automobile Industry Traffic on the New York Central. Today we'll take another look at New York Central and New York Central Train Layout Automobile Industry Traffic focusing on the parts and materials needed to build automobiles and the rail cars that transported them.

First up is the NYC 60' All Steel Double Door Boxcar built by GSC in 1963 under NYC Lot# 932-B which consisted of a total of 85 cars. These cars were numbered 53000 - 53084. 53000 - 53044 were assigned to Ford - Cleveland #2 V8 Engines. Cars 53045 - 53084 were assigned to Sterling Axles.

NYC 60' All Steel Boxcar # 53012 and #53022 assigned to Ford - Cleveland #2 V8 Engines
These are IHC models upgraded with body mounted knuckle couplers and metal wheels.
I've had these cars for about 20 years and bought them for about $2.00 each.

Next is the NYC 60' All Steel Single Door Boxcar built by Pullman Standard in 1966 under NYC Lot# 985-B. Pullman built a total of 81 cars numbered 56451 - 56531 under this lot number. These cars appear to be in a general auto parts pool service with no specific assignments noted.

NYC 60' All Steel Box Lot # 985-B #56456.
 This a Walthers model

NYC 60' All Steel Double Door Boxcar, Lot# 987-B

NYC 60' Double Door All Steel Boxcars #53868 and 53877 make there way through Empire City Station.
110 of these cars were built by Pullman in 1966 under lot 987B. 87 were assigned to Ford bumpers-Monroe, 19 were assigned to Ford bumpers-Ypsilanti and 3 were assigned to Mortell. Car #53865 was equipped for Delco-Remy service

An Atlas Union Pacific 60' Al Steel Double Door Boxcar was recently added to the fleet.  

Since we can't make cars without steel I've included some steel coil coaches to my Automotive Industry trains. The New York Central subsidiary Pittsburgh and Lake Erie employed 50 NYC Lot # 111F 50' "Coil Steel Breadbox Trough Cars" numbered 42250 - 42299 that were built in 1966 by Evans. Cars from this lot ran in revenue service with NYC reporting marks from 1966 to 1992.

A heavily weathered P&LE 50' Coil Steel Breadbox Trough Car # 42279 
has seen it's fair share of steel mills.

Regional Railroad Kings Port & Western scored a coup when they purchased large quantities of the Steel Breadbox Trough cars. With the original owners having difficulties opening and closing the protective covers the cars fell out of favor and were offered up at bargain prices. The KP&W Shops rebuilt them and they are known on the KP&W as clam shell hoppers. So successful were the KP&W rebuilds that the NYCTL rail car leasing subsidiary JTRX sent some cars there for rebuilding.

A KP&W rebuilt clam shell hopper in the middle of the action

In 1965 Evans built 100 55' coil steel flats for the NYC under Lot #984F numbered 752000 - 752099. Cars from this lot ran in revenue service with NYC reporting marks until 1981.    

NYC #752034 Lot 984-F coil steel flat car. This is the favored steel car for the Atlantic Pacific Railroad.
These Coil Steel Flats can be found in large numbers in and around A.P.R.R. on line shipper Shapeless Steel Works. 

Another game changer for the railroads was the 86'6" Boxcar. Cars of this type were ideal for certain types of automotive industry shipments where the load size did not maximize the cars loaded weight capabilities.
In 1965 Pullman built 57 of the oversized 86'6" All Steel Boxcars for the NYC numbered 67040 - 67096 under Lot# 949B. These cars featured two sets of huge 20' doors. The entire lot looks to have been assigned to Chevrolet. Cars from this lot saw revenue service under NYC reporting marks until 1979. Cars of this type can still be found in service today hauling lightweight paper products. 

NYC 67086, An Athearn BB model

Two of the 86'6" behemoths bringing up the rear of a long automobile industry train.

In Automobile Industry Traffic on the New York Central Part 2 I posted that ML-12 could be as long as 150 auto racks with up to 8 locomotives. Not having that many auto racks I mixed and matched some Automobile Industry cars to make up this hot shot train for the New York Central Train Layout. In addition I found many photographs during research that showed several loaded auto racks in what looked like an otherwise mixed freight train. I like the look of this train and may look to add some more auto racks to the N.Y.C.T.L. in the future. 


  1. Excellent continuation of your auto transport service series! I'm envious of your $2.00 60 ft cars! Nice finds. Thoughtful tribute to Andy Sperandeo. He will be missed. Thanks for the shout out regarding the Bread Box Trough/ Calm Shell cars on the KP&W. Lately the guys in the KP&W shops have been having some fun doing Senior Wences "S'all right!" jokes opening and closing the cars to show how well they work for us. I have one 86' 6" NYC car. Its a bit large for some of the clearances on my layout but I can run it as a single car move in Kings Port...presumably running it to an auto plant a little down the line "off layout". I've enjoyed your series with the diverse and creative approaches toward moving automobiles and related products over the years.

  2. Thanks Ralph! The research into the topic became more interesting with the more I learned. When IHC was in business and in Philadelphia they ran some good sales. I picked up a bunch of cars from them including the 60'ers. If your 86'6" car is the same as mine they were reportedly assigned to Chevrolet. That would be perfect for a KP&W /Kings Port Division move as it could be heading towards the Tarrytown Plant. If it wasn't for the KP&W shops I would not have invested in the clam shell hoppers. They have worked flawlessly since the upgrades!