NEW YORK CENTRAL FREIGHT CAR ROSTER
This is a summary of NYC freight cars and corresponding HO scale models ( for those in other scales, this list can be used as a cross reference to help identify models that may be close to NYC prototype. A recent trend in the model railroad business is for different companies to release the same or similar car in different scales). Cars are listed in NYC's lot # order and starts at Lot 200-B which was the first lot using this numbering series. Since cars built for the various components of the NYC prior to the introduction of the 'lot #' reference are difficult to locate photos, only those cars still listed in the 1924 equipment book have been included in this listing.
Renumberings from CI&S, LS&MS and NYC&HR occurred starting around 1915 and completed around 1925/1926. Renumberings from CCC&STL, NOR, MCRR occurred starting in 1936 ( I do not have an exact date in 1936 - but the beginning of July is most likely ). This means that any CCC&STL, NOR and MCRR cars repainted between November 1935 and August 1936 most likely had the 'SYSTEM' herald applied instead of the typical 'LINES' herald ). Renumberings did not happen overnight and in some cases, a few cars remained with their original reporting marks until retirement many years later. Last CCC&STL, NOR and MCRR lettered cars remained on the roster until the early 1950's. Also note that there are cars that were removed from their original car series, renumbered and assigned to special service. Unfortunately, many of these cars show up in the equipment registers, but their original series/lot # are unknown. These cars are not listed here until I can confirm their original lot #.
Service life dates are based on Equipment Register listings and only reflect dates cars carried NYC ( or NYC subsidiary ) reporting marks and DO NOT take into account later Penn Central and/or Conrail renumberings as some cars are still in service today with PC, CR, CSX and NS reporting marks. Also, information from equipment registers should not be considered 100% accurate and cars may have actually been removed from service long before they are removed from ( or added to ) the listings. Frequently, a couple cars remained listed for quite sometime after the rest of the fleet had been retired, leaving one to believe that either they just happened to be stragglers or were late in being removed from the equipment listings.
Though I would like to believe this information is 100% correct, it is only as good as the original information from NYC equipment books, ORERs and other paper sources. MDT roster information is primarily based on a 1964 MDT equipment roster. Early MDT information is solely based on equipment registers. I would consider the MDT information to be far less accurate than the NYC information. Dates of rebuilding or modifications are sometimes estimates and may not reflect the true dates.
During the 70's, 80's and 90's, most NYC equipment was either retired or relettered for Penn Central and/or Conrail and the survivors may now carry NS or CSX reporting marks. To prepare for the Conrail breakup, some equipment had NYC reporting marks applied, regardless of their origin. These cars should NOT BE confused with actually NYC equipment as most of the cars these new NYC reporting marks are applied to never belonged to the original NYC and some were originally Pennsylvania Railroad equipment. Just prior to the time that Conrail started to apply the NYC reporting marks in preparation for the breakup, there were just THREE NYC cars still with their original NYC reporting marks and these cars were from the 506000-506199 Lot 888-F series which were gone by the end of 1998. All cars in service with NYC reporting marks from 1999 to today are a result of the Conrail breakup ( though some cars relettered with NYC reporting marks were actually on the NYC roster originally).
There are few models that match any NYC prototype 100%, so some minor modifications may be required. One detail found on nearly all NYC cars are the roping staples - usually found above the bolsters, which nearly none of the current models available have this feature. For modelling purposes, I have broken the list into "ACCURATE MODEL" and "STAND-IN MODEL" Cars that are reasonably close that do not require a significant amount of work to resemble the NYC prototype are listed under "ACCURATE MODEL". Minor details may be incorrect and some cars may have molded on parts, but overall, the model is a reasonably correct model of a NYC car. Please note that these listings are based on the car model itself - not the paint job applied to the model. Some models may be accurate, but the paint jobs applied may have some form of accuracy issues which I have not covered in the list. Since the level of detail to make a model 'accurate' is up to the modeler, for this list, models that are accurate yet still have molded on details ( grab irons, etc.) will still count as accurate, whereas a poorly detailed model would end up in the Stand-In category. Models that require more significant work, have some significant detail differences or are simply not very accurate, but may be suitable as an option for some modelers are listed under "STAND-IN MODEL" . There may of course be models that I am not familiar with and therefore not listed. New models coming to market are added as soon as I am able to determine their possible NYC relation. Any suggestions for additional model listings are appreciated if I've missed a model that is on the market, though many of the emails I receive suggesting additions are quite often for cars that do not match any NYC prototype, which is why they are not even listed here.
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This page last updated August 2, 2017