From Stauffer’s New York Central’s Later Power, page 173:
“K-5b 4915, built as M.C. 8355, sold in 1927 to Big Four and renumbered 6515. Streamlined and booster removed 1936. “Mercury” streamlining removed and booster reinstalled at Beech Grove, Jan. 1947.”
The locomotive was apparently caught in the middle of the system-wide locomotive renumbering of 1936 as it emerged from the West Albany shops in May 1936. The Mercury cars were retrofitted at the Beech Grove shops near Indianapolis. The cars and locomotive were united and were displayed around the system between May and July 13 when it was put into Detroit-Cleveland service.
From Cook’s New York Central’s Mercury:
Page 14 shows the rear of the tender bearing the number 6515. Page 13 shows the locomotive fresh from the West Albany shop. The caption reads – “Note the absence of a number or marker lights, the train name under the cab window and large road name on the tender being the only marking.”
Page 34 shows the original seven-car train in a much-circulated publicity photo of 1936. The same photo was used in a public timetable advertisement as shown on page 36. The train appears in open country with just some trees in the distance and no cars. No image matching that of the postcard appears in this highly illustrated book about the Mercury. It is almost as if the image of the train from the publicity photo was superimposed on an image of the large factory for the postcard. The view of the train is at the very same angle in the publicity photo and the postcard image. Even the wisp of steam above the locomotive is the same in both images. The postcard image may be artistic license. I cannot determine the intended location of the postcard image.
Modeling the NYC of the 1950s