Re: Pacemaker boxcar usage off-line of NYC

Richard Hendrickson

On Mar 17, 2011, at 6:20 PM, James Yaworsky wrote:

Richard wrote:
The absence of weight data didn't merely "discourage interchange," it
absolutely prevented it.
while I am not professing to be an expert on the NYC, I have read
most of the relevant books on it, and it seems to be trite
knowledge in the "NYC community" (scholars, railfans, and serious
modelers) that Pacemaker cars were occasionally interchanged,
despite lack of necessary reporting marks, almost from the get-go.
I had a coffee with Terry Link this morning and we discussed this a
bit. Hopefully, Terry will weigh in to the discussion with a few
thoughts he was formulating.

But one thing he definitely confirmed - his research shows that
Pacemaker cars were running off-line almost from the inception of
the service. With all due respect, if I have to chose who to
believe on this issue, it will be a NYC expert like Terry.

Anyway, I disagree with Richard's position on the appropriateness
of Pacemaker cars on other roads, and thought that the non-NYC
modelers of this group deserved to know that the consensus of the
NYC modeling community's best experts is to disagree with Richard's

Jim Yaworsky
Jim, I'm not the least interested in trading opinions on this
subject, not even with Terry Link, whose expertise I recognize and
respect. As for the "consensus of the NYC modeling community's best
experts," we haven't heard what that is, only what you would like to
think it is.

What was missing from the original Pacemaker cars wasn't reporting
marks, it was weight data. Without that, they were not acceptable in
interchange, period. I would add that their trucks were set up for
a loaded weight much less than a conventional "50 ton" AAR box car so
that they could be operated at LCL express train speeds without the
journals running hot. These are not opinions, they are facts. It's
much less clear what the NYC's subsequent policy was regarding the
"Pacemaker" cars or when and to what extent they were interchanged
off line. I would be interested in seeing further evidence on that
subject, whether in the form of documentation or photos. It's
conceivable that evidence might cause me to modify my views on the
frequency with which "Pacemaker" cars were interchanged, especially
in the later 1950s. However, I'm interested only in hard evidence,
not uninformed speculation or even more or less educated guesses.

In any case, for my own modeling period (late 1940s), I continue to
maintain that the "Pacemaker" cars were confined to NYC Lines
trackage, with the possible exception of switching lines that
connected directly with it, and that running models of "Pacemaker"
cars on layouts representing other railroads, especially those at
some distance from the NYC, is flatly unprototypical.

Richard Hendrickson

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