More coaches

Today’s mail brought five more coaches. Walking home from the post office I couldn’t help but think that one of the things that I find so novel about attempting to model the Long Island in the early 1970’s is how prototypically accurate I feel buying old, used, N scale models. By the late 1960’s the Long Island was trying to keep up with purchases of coaches from everywhere. This makes for some really fun trains of anything but homogeneous trains. For example, LIRR parlour car Manhasset came from the Kansas City Southern and could be seen in LIRR consists still wearing it’s namesakes black, yellow and orange colours.

These coaches are classic examples from the history of N scale passenger cars. Four are the classic Rowa/Con-Cor/Atlas semi-corrugated cars. Fred Klein’s absolutely amazing Prototypes for N Scale Passenger Cars website has this to say about them:

Rowa semi-corrugated cars

These models were corrugated on the lower half, but smooth on the upper half and roof. They were made in Germany by Rowa and later imported by Con-cor. They are out of production, but occasionally show up at train shows.

Russell Straw (Sugar Land, Texas) reports “The old Rowa Cars were mostly modeled after the Pullman built cars ordered by C&O after WWII. The Budd built slumber coach Rowa sold is the exception. Some of these cars ended up on a few other railroads because C&O backed away from their plans for expanding their service putting the excess cars on the market. D&RGW took some of the sleepers and some of the blunt end observation cars ended up on the B&O. Two of the coaches wound up on the SP. But C&O had some or of all of them so that would be the road to decorate them in. These cars were first imported by MRC, then Rowa sold them directly and finally Con Cor bought the line. Somehow the molds were lost and Con Cor only got a bunch of parts. CC was able to assemble enough cars to sell for a few years.”

Chuck reports “The dome matches the dome on the Pullman built dome coaches for the B&O Colombian. The window arrangement also matches. The corrugation does not. I think Rowa took the B&O dome coaches, and added corrugation, to match the other cars. I think there were only two domes of this type. I wish they had used the dome shape Pullman used for the Wabash, MoPac, and Santa Fe domes. We would have more to work with in bashing.”

Charlie Vlk adds a marketing perspective: “Note that the Pere Marquette, Nickel Plate, and other road’s semi-corrugated cars look like the “C&O” Rowa cars but actually have more corrugations under the windows and so are not an exact match. The Rowa dome is simply a representation of the B&O dome with corrugations added to match the “C&O” cars. Modelers are just starting to accept product which matches the way the prototype was, not how pretty a matching set it makes (i.e., no Pennsylvania dome cars, mismatched paint schemes per the prototype, etc..). Back in 1970 it would have been unthinkable for MRC to offer a Budd dome (the only correct C&O dome) with Pullman Standard cars.”

Coach. The car is in two sections divided in the center. Fifty-nine coaches in the 1610-1668 series were delivered to the C&O by Pullman in 1950 for service on most C&O trains, including the George Washington. Eight of these cars were sold to the D&RGW. Good photographs of this car are on page 8 of Chesapeake and Ohio color guide to freight and passenger equipment. C&O removed the corrugations in 1967.

So far I don’t think I’ve found any references to the LIRR buying coaches from the C&O but I have seen a lot of pictures of cars very much like these that they did have. Another great website, Jerry M. LaBoda’s Passenger Car Photo Index has pictures of Sebonac, Apaquogue, Speonk and Shinnecock all of which were corrugated cars that were absorbed into the LIRR fleet in the 1970’s for parlour service.

Paint couldn’t be simpler than the blue window stripe and LONG ISLAND RAILROAD on the letterboard. One neat detail I’m looking forward to trying to replicate is the metal plate attached to the lower car sides to place the familiar M on instead of trying to get it to adhere the corrugations. VIA did something similar here for their corrugated fleet. I wonder if it would be possible to print this plate on some nice paper on my printer? As for my models three of the four cars are plain silver with no lettering so my paint work will be simple. The fourth is painted for the Pennsylvania and I’ll likely just leave it like that for now.

What about the fifth car? Well, it was a really pleasant surprise and turned out to be a Model Power heavyweight coach. Again Fred Klein’s website comes to the rescue proudly pointing out how these cars are near-perfect models of Pennsylvania’s P70 coaches. The trucks are wrong by American Models sells replacement ones that will work and I have some pairs on the way to me from Don’s HO Service soon. What’s a P70? Based on the Pennsylvania Raiload’s simple passenger car terminology it was a Passenger car, un-motorized, and seventy feet long. The Pennsylvania rostered almost a thousand of them and the railroads the PRR had influence over rostered them too. The Long Island was no stranger to this car type and this picture shows car 8524 in the Long Island’s World’s Fair colours of grey and orange. I just love those colours. I’m hoping to have a collection of this car type and will depend on them until I can figure out to get myself a good collection of P54 Ping-Pong cars.

Last night an email from a dealer in the States to let me know they have some Centralia Car Shops/Intermountain LIRR 13 Double Bedroom cars in stock. These are really sharp models and I look forward to adding them to my fleet. At forty bucks a piece they will be my first “high-end” rolling stock purchase, ever.

Now to get that layout back underway for something to display all this on.


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