Re: Experimental Blue Scheme on New York Central Box Cars

Ed Hawkins

On May 19, 2009, at 2:54 PM, nyc1956 wrote:

There is a photo of two cars on page 85 of New York Central Color
Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment [Volume 1], by David R.
Sweetland and Robert J. Yanosey Morning Sun Books 1994
It clearly shows two blue box cars with road numbers 92102 and
220539. Unfortunately the caption seems confused. It indicates that
these cars are identical from a lot of two built by ACF in 1957,
then purchased by NYC from the C&O. Those cars were both 50' cars. The
cars in the photo are different from one another. One fits the
description, but the other is clearly a 40' car and not as tall as the
50' car. The caption goes on to mention road numbers NYC 92102 and
92101, which don't match the numbers in the photo. Also strange, Lot
number 881B seems to be the correct one for two 50' steel box cars
purchased from the C&O, but indicates they were numbered NYC 92100 and
92101. Some more snooping on the CASO web site shows 500 40' cars
numbered in the 220500-220599 series in Lot 585B. Details probably
vary as these cars may have been renumbered from more than one
original lot and may have had modifications made since being built.
So what is the history of these two cars? Car 92102 may have been one
of the C&O cars, but was it renumbered yet again when repainted in the
experimental blue scheme? Did it revert to its original number a few
months later when repainted once more in the newly-adopted Century
green color? And what of 40' car 220539? How was it confused with the
two 50' cars from the C&O? Here is more from the CASO web site:
Lot 841B is not the correct citation for car 92102.
Lot 881B is correct for the two cars bought from the C&O
They were built by ACF in 1957, have 4/4 ends and flat panel roof
These were numbered 92100-92101, 50' 6" IL, 9' single door.
The caption in the NYC color guide book is erroneous. Neither one was a
C&O car built by AC&F in 1957. C&O bought 500 50' box cars numbered
19500-19999 with 9' door openings, R+3/4 (late) Improved Dreadnaught
Ends, and diagonal panel roofs (built 5-57, ACF lot no. 4740). The
photo of NYC 92102 does NOT have the same features as the C&O cars from
this series. The NYC photo having 4/4 Improved Dreadnaught Ends depicts
a car built between 1945-1948.

If built by AC&F, the 92102 car was possibly from lot 2774, NYC
65500-66499 (NYC Lot 741-B) that had the same ends and side sills, but
had the original auxiliary doors removed. Interestingly, the 1/59 ORER
lists 91202 as having a 15' door opening (the size of the doorways on
Lot 741-B), but the photo clearly shows a single-door car. So there's
obviously a mistake in the data.

The 1/59 ORER lists NYC 92100-92101, two cars having 9' door openings.
It's possible that these two cars were ex-C&O cars built by AC&F in
1957 originally from series 19500-19999. If that was the case, C&O
didn't keep them very long. The 1/59 ORER lists 497 cars in series
19500-19999. Note the features of these cars were not as you described.
A photo of one of the cars is shown in Railmodel Journal June 1990 page
25. However, the RMJ caption for these cars is wrong as they were
originally painted black with yellow stencils. A good photo of C&O
19658 in new paint is shown in the C&O color guide book on page 28.

Regarding the 40' box car NYC 220539, the 1/59 ORER lists 5 cars in
series NYC 220000-220999 with 10' inside height. This car was probably
a steel rebuild. Note the side ladder that was made of 7 separate grab
Ed Hawkins

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