Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Haven Daze Part 1

Greetings All, 

A recent purchase and a gift put the upper management of the New York Central Train Layout in a New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad state of mind in late March. 

First was the purchase of a New Haven H16-44 shell from Bachmann. The new shell, numbered 1603, will replace 1604 which has some factory paint defects.  

Second a gift from 1:1 PC Ralph featuring some fine New Haven RR photography and stories put the icing on the cake and spurred the New Haven state of mind into further action.

Let's take a look at what I'm talking about Willis;

I'm imagining this train to be New Haven Train#1 "The New Yorker" that left Boston's South Station at 7:00 AM. for Grand Central Terminal or in this case Empire City Station.
The New Yorker rumbles under Bedford Station. We can imagine this is a two level station with platforms on the lower level.
An observation car brings up the markers
The New Yorker makes the turn over Water Street and heads towards Empire City Station while a New Haven freight train rolls under the bridge. The front unit is the newly purchased H16-44 shell #1603 
Heading downgrade with the Dynamic Brakes whining! The 0776 is one of 27 PAs on the New Haven roster. Second to only the Santa Fe who had 28 PAs and 16 PBs on their roster.
On the bridge over Water Street and the New York Central Water Street Freight House
Coming out of the west side tunnel and approaching Empire City Station
A close up of the weathered 0776 complete with a painted engineer and fireman
The New Yorker has stopped on track #4
After the passengers have disembarked the train heads thru the tunnel and stops at the Empire City Post Office to offload and reload U.S. Mail.
Coming out of the tunnel the train is turned and heads back to Empire Station via the East Side
The train crosses over the Empire City ship and sanitary canal as it enters Empire City Station. The train will be made ready on track 3 for it's departure at 12:30 PM as train#6 the Yankee Clipper which will call at Boston's South Station at 4:45 PM
This three unit lash up is leading a freight train thru Empire City Station on track#1.
And rolls thru to the West Side with it's long freight train
The train enters the tunnel to reverse direction and heads back to Empire City Station
The Yankee Clipper idles away on track #3 while the freight train rolls out of the station on track#4
The three unit consist is in run 8 as it pulls the long freight train up the grade.
The train rolls behind the Ace Cafe the home of the Market Street Mob
Climbing out from under Bedford Station. On track #2 we see some coal hoppers from Hudson Coal. At the time of this photo Hudson Coal was ramping up production and unit trains were being assembled at Bedford. See P.C.C.M.s 30 and 31 for more info on the coal trains.
The New Haven freight is held at the red signal waiting for clearance to enter Terminal Yard. This three unit lash up is quite eye catching so look for it to be featured more often down the road.
Thanks for reading!


  1. The Bachmann H16-44s are underrated units, but unfortunately not easy DCC conversions. I got to railfan the NH throughout the 1960s, but for some reason, the FMs, while they lasted to PC, were hard to find. By then I was mostly interested in the electrics anyhow.

    1. It's nice to hear from a B.P.C. (Before Penn Central) rail fan that you were able to see the New Haven in operation.

  2. What a refreshing change of pace! A true classic passenger train! That's one of my favorite NH trains! A great story line to boot! Made my day on this long flight home!

    1. Thanks for the compliments Sir Neal!

  3. Some really cool looking NH trains and power. You do a good job representing PC's silent third partner. I really like the looks of your NH ALCO PA. I've always had a thought of doing a PC PA that somehow escaped retirement from the parent roads and saw some service in PC paint. Your two level Bedford station makes for a nice passenger stop.

    1. Thanks for the compliments ATJOE1972! A Penn Central PA! That's an excellent idea for a paint project.

    2. You're welcome, I'll have to look around the back shops and see if there's a spare PA shell that could be allocated for such a project.

  4. The N.H.R.R.T.L.!! Great looking trains! The PA was a beautiful thing. Nice weathering on #0776!

    1. Thanks for the compliments and inspiration Ralph! Perhaps with the addition of some NH rolling stock and motive power a new blog, the New Haven Railroad Train Layout could in fact be born!

  5. Some interesting tidbits I was able to find out about the New Haven. In the mid-fifties they sold a large part of their freight cars to a private company. The company refurbished and repainted them into the iconic paint scheme we associate with the New Haven. The New Haven then leased back those cars. One question, how much of the New Haven equipment made it over to the PC after the merger? Another tidbit, the orange 40ft boxcars with black doors was not a real New Haven paint scheme. All of those cars had orange doors. Only a small number of orange 50ft cars ever got the black door treatment. Apparently Lionel took some artistic license and painted the doors black on their 40 ft cars. Not being a rivet counter, I'm going to stay with the black door scheme. Now I'll have to add a orange door version to the fleet to keep it "real".

    1. Good Stuff Brian! I found this; 963 cars sold to Hyman-Michaels Company a Midwest scrap dealer and then leased them back after they were rebuilt at Readville. This was done for the 15 year depreciation of railcars for tax purposes.
      Seems both Lionel and Athearn took some modelers license. I have two BB NH F7As and and an SDP40 in the NH MacGinness scheme! For a long time I thought they were actual NH units. How many railroads didn't own an EMD F unit!
      I found a pair of the old MDC/Roundhouse 40' kits painted in the NH orange with an orange door at a train show. The cars had different road numbers so I bought them both. MDC/Roundhouse also produced a nice black 40'cars with the orange door and some of the original brown cars with the script herald.
      How much PC equipment made it over to the PC is an interesting question. 316 diesels and electrics went to PC in 1969. As for freight and passenger equipment I don't know. Seeing that the NH was bankrupt for about seven years or so prior to the forced inclusion and they were heavy in passenger ops and light in freight I don't think it was all that much that was in usable condition. But definitely something to look into!
      Don't let the need to keep it real diminish the shine on your NH orange boxcar with the black door! It's OK!
      Wait till you see the latest PC project I'm working on. Talk about modelers license! You might get the shakes reading about that one!

  6. I completely agree about a little artistic license being allowed in one's model railroad realm. Other than some die hard New Haven fans and the loyal followers of this blog, nobody probably knows about the black door on NH 40ft cars being incorrect. For my railroad, the black doors are a welcomed variation for the fleet.
    After I made this post, I did find some indirect evidence of New Haven freight cars post PC merger. One picture showed a New Haven 40ft boxcar with a PC green door. It still had its original markings. The other was a 40ft NH boxcar with Conrail patches over PC patches. Both were in the simplified New Haven boxcar red with the McGinnis style lettering. With the size of the PC freight car fleet, the tiny amount of equipment NH passed over to the PC would have been lost in sheer numbers.
    That's interesting the NH never had EMD F-Units on their roster. I could see the SDP-40's being an imagined scheme for the New Haven.
    Can't wait to see your latest PC project. I love seeing some artistic license being used in the hobby. Keeps the fun and imagination in it. I spent an hour checking out a DCC controlled Tyco layout. My first thoughts were how and why? But the guy was having way more fun with his DCC Tyco trains than those sour puss rivet counters do with theirs.

    1. Hi Brian,

      More good stuff! I need to check my NH orange boxcars to see if I have one with a black door. Painting it PC green would be pretty cool. Thanks for the idea. Nothing says PC more on an ex PRR or NH car than a jade green door or patch out!
      I should have clarified the F unit comment. The NH did have the unique FL9. But they appeared to snub EMD for some reason until the GP9 purchase. The modern CDOT NH schemed engines look like a four axle version of the BB SDP40.

      Great quote! 'Having way more fun with his DCC TYCO trains than those sour puss rivet counters do with theirs' If you don't copyright this I may use it in the future!

      Don't know about you but I stopped reading and following all of the model railroad forums a long time ago. Simple topics turned into arguments over nonsense. The last straw for me was the MRH forums. An MRH sponsor ripped off one of the members for something like $500.00. The MRH owner actually defended the sponsor saying he was a visionary. Which I replied is that the new new term for thief? I suggested that MRH pay the member the lost funds seeing they were the ones who proudly proclaimed the company as a sponsor continued to do so after the theft and were responsible for letting the member think this was a legitimate enterprise which led the member to make his order. They balked on that. Turns out the sponsor company ripped off a bunch more modelers and MRH finally pulled down the sponsor ads. Probably because the check bounced!