Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by DT662000
I've recently acquired a set of N Scale 6-axle Heavyweight cars in C&NW Green/Yellow. They are apparently a 30-year-old set produced by Con-Cor, and I'm not sure if they represent a true prototype or if they're a complete fabrication. Would any of these cars be a reasonable stand-in for something you might have seen in Chicago-area commuter service prior to the arrival of the bi-levels?
  by doepack
Quite nice, and they seem like reasonable facsimiles to me but then, I wasn't around to see these in actual revenue service (despite what some believe); so I am no means an authority. A more reliable source, the Chicago and North Western Historical society will be much more helpful in providing answers to your question.

Happy modeling!
  by Backshophoss
It was not uncommon for RR's to "downgrade" HW equipment to commuter service, the combine baggage area would be used to bring the "big city"
newspapers out to the suburban stations for onward distribution in town.
  by eolesen
Nice looking, but not really prototypical.

CNW's suburban cars were typically shorter (~68') cars on two-axle trucks.

Also, aside from business cars, the heavyweight cars on the CNW were primarily Pullman green, not yellow & green.
  by Tadman
Would have to agree, I don't know that there was a group of heavyweights in yellow. CNW was very good at paring down the trains and economising after 1960. Especially toward the end of CNW passenger, there was quite a surplus of lightweight cars, so no need to run heavyweights in yellow. They were also the first road to adopt gallery cars, so demoted heavyweights didn't have quite the life at CNW as they did at other roads. Part of the deal was that if CNW re-equipped commuter trains with modern cars, certain gov't organizations wouldn't oppose operational streamlining such as station cuts and frequency cuts.

Nice find though.
  by Tadman
So I asked an acquaintance that is a CNW expert, and according to him, there were certain classes of heavyweight so painted. The diners on the Northwestern Limited, a block of sleepers, and commuter cars rebuilt with rollerbearing trucks.

So the take away to me is that those classes were painted yellow to back up the lightweight cars in the 40's and 50's. There was not a mass repainting of the heavyweight fleet, nor was any ordered with the yellow, so it wouldn't be prototypical to run an entire train of heavyweights in yellow.

That said, those cars were a nice find and it's your place, so you can do what makes you happy. They are by no means a gross misrepresentation of what happened (IE the tyco GG1's on tri-mount trucks in New Haven McGinnis paint - that is out in space, your cars are not).
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  by GWoodle
I see a baggage, combine, diner, coach, sleeper, observation to make a 6 car set. You may find a Morning Sun color book on C&NW equipment to be sure. A baggage, combo bag/dorm would be used on a LD train. Diner belongs on a LD train. Coach goes anywhere. Some sleepers could be converted with seats to fill in commuter coach needs. Observation could be lounge car. Back in the day ConCor was known for using different paint schemes on the same 6 car sets of cars. Sometimes they came in a set complete with PA or E units to pull them. ConCor for a time imported RivaRossi cars. Look on the bottom to see any markings & dates. Chances are, It may not be prototype but still makes a nice looking 6 car set.