Monday, April 22, 2024

NYC "Standard" Steel Boxcars by BLI (Part 1) - Another Signature Freight Car

As I've mentioned in previous blog posts about the SP's boxcar fleet (
SP Boxcar Recap for Modeling in 1950-1955 Era), much of my modeling for many years left some fairly large holes in my prototypical balanced fleet.  I started to remedy the short comings of any representation of some of the signature cars from the two largest railroads in the country, the PRR and NYC.  While I'd pretty well started modeling PRR with the offerings from Bowser (X31/32) and Branchline's (X43/44), I still didn't have any of the classic early all-steel cars that both railroads ordered in the thousands during the mid to late 1920s, which lasted into the well into the 1960s in numbers.

BLI Models

Broadway Limited's NYC "Standard" boxcar, in this case one of the later 1920s built examples.

Around the 2015, I did pick up a couple of these NYC 'standard' steel boxcars when BLI came out with their models.  These are a good starting point to expand my NYC fleet.  As shown in the 1950 ORER, the NYC still rostered almost 15,500 cars of this early "Standardized" steel boxcar design, or equal cars with 2955 cubic foot volume, which indicates identical design.

BLI NYC Lot 489-B 1924-built "Standard" boxcar (left) and Red Caboose PRR "late" X29 1934-built (right).

In short, these cars were the NYC version of the Pennsy's X29 "Standard" boxcar (Part 1).

Early Series Cars

Earlier Lot 489-B 1924 series with ACR (Alternate Center Rivet) pattern at the side panel joints and steel 7-8 ends.

Note: All of the cars in the full series from 102500-123499 have exactly the same dimensions in the ORER.  This doesn't cover exactly what construction details for the sub-groups of cars within the group as a whole have.  I'm arbitrarily breaking the roster at 120000, I'm not sure this is where the physical changes in the cars occurred.  Any NYC experts are free to weigh in and I'll edit this post.  

NYC's 2955 Cu Ft Boxcar Series in 1950
NYC 102500-104499 - Lot 437-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1922 BLI 1750, 1751, 1754 "Early"
NYC 104500-104999 - Note +
NYC 105000-105999 - Lot 438-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1922 BLI 1750, 1751, 1754, 1758 "Early"
NYC 106000-106999 - Lot 439-B SSC - HAMMOND - 1922, Note ++
3766 cars remain in 1950 ORER from Lots 437, 438, 439 - plus the 104500-104999 group.

NYC 107000-108999 - Lot 489-B ACF -BUFFALO - 1924 (Ex-NYC 98000-99999)
NYC 109000-109999 - Lot 490-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1924
NYC 111000-111999** - Lot 491-B ACF -ST. LOUIS - 1924 *BLI models
4323 cars remain in 1950 ORER from Lots 489, 490, 491

NYC 113000-113999 - Lot 500-B SSC - HAMMOND - 1925
NYC 114000-114999 - Lot 501-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1925
NYC 115000-115999 - Lot 502-B PRESSED STEEL - McKEES ROCKS - 1925
2379 cars remain in 1950 ORER from Lots 500,501,502

NYC 117000-117999 - Lot 627-B NYC - EAST BUFFALO - 1933 - 929 cars, Note +++
NYC 118500-119999 - Lot 530-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1926 - 1437 cars - 
Totaling                       12834 cars in 1950 ORER

It seems that in the earlier series, most of the cars were still in service.  Some of the earliest groups were missing up to ~500 cars out of 3500 car series.

+ I'm not sure the details of the 104500-10499 group of cars, as they are shown in the ORER as mechanically identical size cars (2955 cu ft), but they are not shown on the website spreadsheet.

++ Renumbered from NYC 182k series by 1953, only 21 cars in old series in 1950 ORER.

+++ Lot 627-B conversions from Lots 440-B, 464-B, & 465-B in 1933.

Later Series Cars

The Lot 559-B-series cars have single rivet lines with Dreadnaught Ends.

NYC's 2955 Cu Ft Boxcar Series in 1950
NYC 120100-120499 - Lot 532-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1926 - 380 cars 

NYC 120100-120499 - Lot 503-B MDT - EAST ROCHESTER - 1925 - Dup #-series to Lot 532 ***
NYC 120500-120898 - Lot 504-B MDT - EAST ROCHESTER - 1926 - 385 cars 
NYC 121000-121999 - Lot 559-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1927 - 946+ cars * BLI models
NYC 122500-123499 - Lot 563-B MDT - EAST ROCHESTER - 1927 - 952+ cars * BLI models
Totaling                       2663 cars in 1950 ORER

* Lot 559-B Ex-CCC&STL 49000-49999 series:1927-1953, looks like the transfers started around 1936.
* Lot 563-B Ex-NYC 94500-95499 series: 1927-1955, looks like the transfers started around 1936, but wasn't complete until 1955.

*** Not sure what's up with these two entries on CanadaSouthern,com's web spreadsheet, but it seems there's an error in here.  Maybe this partly explains the missing data for 117000-series car lot.

I may consider renumbering one of these later series models from BLI to the previous number series.  Each of the sub-100k NYC roster groups of these cars was between 30 and 90 cars in 1950 ORER, so they were by far the minority.

Other Subsidaries of NYC

Lot 491-B
P&E 3829 model from BLI

P&E 3700-4116 - ACF -ST. LOUIS - 1924 - Transferred from MCRR in Dec 1940-1972.

However, there is also a conflicting entry for the same group of MCRR cars:

MCRR 81000-81999 transferred to NYC 111000-111999 starting in 1936-1966.

The 1950 ORER of course shows that the NYC 107000-111999 series has 4323 cars it in as of June 1950.  While the whole number series could have up to 5000 cars, the ORER does not sub-divide this group of cars any more sadly.

The's roster table notes are unclear on exactly what happened with this series of cars.  The notes show that BLI's 1754 model (shown above) is correct for P&E 3829, in this series, which has a tare date for September 1952, so as I model near that time, hopefully this model is fairly accurate.

Lot 492-B
B&A 50000-50999 to NYC 38000-38999 transfer started in 1952 and seems to finish in 1962, unless this was a typo. - BLI 1761 model.

Lot 531-B 
P&E 3500-3599 ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1926

Lot 560-B ACF - ST. LOUIS - 1927
P&E 3600-3649
"BLI #1752, 1753, 1759, 1760 ( CORRECT BODY - BUT MODELS ARE LETTERED NYC )" from's spreadsheet notes

In Closing

NYC 111869 ready for service at Owenyo with a few chalk marks on it.

Unfortunately, these models from BLI have become quite hard to find on the HO market of late, while N-scale models seem quite common.  These cars are still available in resin from Westerfield's 2950, 2951 kits.

Jason Hill

Related Articles:

NYC Roster List - Canada Southern (dot) com - Link to roster data I used in this post.

Modeling X29 (Part 1) - PRR 100813 Basic Construction - Link to the PRR's competing design, the X29.

Modeling X29 (Part 2) - PRR 100305 - Ex-Battery Car - Redecalling PRR MW car back to general service circle keystone scheme.

Modeling X29 (Part 3) - PRR 504385 Early X29s - Checking out the IMRC's "early" X29 with vertical staff hand brake and plate-steel ends.

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