• Pacemaker Boxcars

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by Schaffner
Were the Pacemaker boxcars used for just LCL shipments, or did they ever go into the general freight car pool and thus wander off of the NYC?
  by pennsy
As far as I know, they went where they were needed. If there was a load for them, that was it.

Got hooked on their color scheme some time ago, and acquired several Pacemaker boxcars in HO gauge. With an NYC Hudson leading them, and a nice caboose following them, beautiful train.
  by NYC_Dave
From the New York Central System Historical Society Headlight First Quarter 1992.

The Pacemaker boxcars were built in 1945 as lot 737-B and originally painted standard oxide red and numbered in the 175000 series. They were then converted for high speed LCL Pacemaker service which started in 1946, painted in the vermilion and gray scheme and renumbered in the 174000 series.

Flexi-Van service was started in 1957. The expansion of Flexivan-Van service plus increased trucking competition led to the end of Pacemaker service. As the lot 737-B cars were no longer needed for dedicated Pacemaker service they were returned to use as general service boxcars. They were repainted oxide red and renumbered in the 175000 series. The last survivor was 174367 (175367) which was scrapped in 1983.
  by pennsy
Well Dave, something weird going on here. Here are the numbers from my HO gauge Pacemaker boxcars:

Any comments on these numbers ?
  by NYC_Dave
Model manufacturers have been known to be “inventive” when it comes to paint schemes & numbering. I suppose the only way to be absolutely sure is to have a photo of the car and number in question.

All of the following information is from the Headlight article, “Appliances on the cars were from a wide variety of manufacturers, perhaps due to wartime shortages of steel.”: 4 brands of metal roofwalks; 2 types of 6’ doors; 6 different truck models; 2 types of hand brakes.

There were three lettering & herald schemes:
1. Original: White lettering – white herald (oval) with red background
The white lettering on gray became hard to read when weathered.
2. Beginning in 1949, black lettering was used on the gray portion.
3. Beginning in 1955, the background of the herald was changed to black.

“There has for some time been a controversy over the roof color on these cars....it would appear that some of the roofs were painted red and some were unpainted galvanized metal with red overspray on them. In later years some cars received a black freight car cement coating as waterproofing.”

Here are few photos from George Elwood’s Fallen Flags website.
174002 black lettering with corrugated doors http://gelwood.railfan.net/nyc/nyc174002adm.jpg
174754 white lettering with 7-panel welded doors http://gelwood.railfan.net/nyc/nyc174002adm.jpg
174608 black lettering and 175608 white lettering http://gelwood.railfan.net/nyc/nyc175608ajs.jpg Note the black herald overlapping the red herald.

My HO models are all numbered in the 174000 & 175000 series. Unfortunately, most have wood roofwalks. I suppose if I was picky I could replace them, but I've got higher priorities on my layout right now. Ninety-nine percent of the people who view my layout wouldn't notice anyway.
  by Skip Natoli
Pacemaker boxcars were originally meant for use within the system. This is evident by the lack of required dimension and weight markings in early photos. Later, the cars began to roam, the markings were added as can be seen in later photos.
  by railfan1988
How likely is it that a Pacemaker boxcar would have been seen on a Boston and Maine freight train or on a Maine Central freight train during the 1970s? Reason I ask is that I am soon going to start a G scale collection with a GP38-2 locomotive from one of those two railroads and I'd like to have a Pacemaker boxcar as part of my collection. However, I'm not sure that would look historically accurate.
  by BR&P
July 1966 ORER shows no car at all with NYC 470398. Numbering jumps from 291999 (40' box) to 480732 (53' flat)
  by ExCon90
Based on the information from Headlight in NYC_Dave's post, NYC boxcars in general service could easily have turned up on the B&M and MEC. There was a consistent flow of traffic from the Midwest to New England routed NYC-Rotterdam Jct.-B&M and connections; the NYC had its own sales office (separate from the B&A) in Boston whose assignment was to solicit traffic for that route. How many Pacemaker boxcars retained the Pacemaker paint scheme when they went into general service is another question, but if even one got away without being repainted that ought to cover you. (And as another poster has pointed out, if a boxcar was needed and a boxcar was available, that boxcar got loaded--let somebody sort things out later.)
  by BR&P
Problem is, he asked about a Pacemaker car in the 70's. Does the HEADLIGHT article say when the last one was repainted? If he wanted early 60's it might work but I'm skeptical about the 70's.
  by ExCon90
A car would have to be on its home rails to get repainted. General-service boxcars spent a lot of time seeing the country, and on a model railroad it's easy to speculate that a Pacemaker car was off its home rails for a long time--what visitor to the layout can contradict you? (Granted, some boxcars got repainted by the LaSalle & Bureau County, but that was an exceptional case--I sincerely hope.)
  by BR&P
ExCon90 wrote:on a model railroad it's easy to speculate that a Pacemaker car was off its home rails for a long time--what visitor to the layout can contradict you?
Well, on a model railroad you can do whatever you please. However, the guy who asked about a Pacemaker car being seen on the MEC in the 1970's was apparently trying to maintain a degree of historical accuracy. To answer that, I'd say not at all likely.
  by wally
i know it was posted a long time ago, but i was looking at boxcar photos, and came across a pacemaker in oxide red, numbered 168658, so different from the headlight information. from the richard burg collection.
  by NYC_Dave
From the New York Central System Historical Society Headlight previously mentioned:

"Over the years other boxcars were used to supplement the Lot 737-B cars. ... 200 cars of Lot 773-B (168000-168999) were temporarily assigned to "Pacemaker" service and received the "Pacemaker Fast Freight" logo stenciled above their reporting marks, but otherwise retained their plain boxcar red scheme."
  by wally
i notice that the pictured car has a star under the nyc herald, which according to some sources indicates cars in captive/home rail service.