seeking passenger cars 20th Century Ltd.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by RussellMartin, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. RussellMartin

    RussellMartin New Member

    I have a Rivarossi streamlined Hudson 4-6-4 and tender for the NY Central 20th Century Limited.

    I am seeking passenger cars for this train.

    My goal is to have a complete, historically accurate consist of the streamlined 20th Century Limited.

    New or used - make or brand is unimportant, but if Rivarossi made any accompanying stock, details (esp. including model numbers) would be most appreciated.

    If anyone knows or has suggestions on how or where I might acquire this stock, please post here and/or e-mail me directly:

    Russell Martin
    Portland, OR

  2. George

    George Member


    Greetings fellow Central enthusiast!

    Rivarossi (AHM/IHC) makes a matching series of passenger cars for the locomotive you have purchased. These 1930 smoothside passenger cars come in the correct paint scheme for the 1938 Century, however the cars are from dreamland.

    If you want accurate, you're going to have to pop the big bucks for a brass cars. I believe Sunset Models has an ongoing set, but that might be for the post war series of cars only.

    First you have to decide if you want the 1938 Century or the 1948 Century. Get some books so you're sure of the differences, they go far beyond just the paint schemes. Doughty has published some fabulous books on the passenger cars of the New York Central which I highly recommend.

    If you go for the latter (1948), this transition era gives you greater versatility in motive power utilization. You can use the steamer. When it gets hot, you can do an engine change to diesels and continue your dash through the snowbelt!

    If you choose to economize and go with plastic, avoid purchasing an IHC set and get single cars from them. You will want two to three diners, and NO coaches as this train was sleepers only. IHC has both the ACF and Budd smooth side domes available in New York Central, and Con-Cor makes them in their corrugated series. Nice conversation pieces, but the New York Central never operated or owned domes due to clearance restrictions throughout the system.

    The only prototype Creek series observation cars are available in brass, and you may not be able to buy the cars individually, as brass producers prefer to sell entire unbroken sets.

  3. DetroitTerminal

    DetroitTerminal New Member

    One might want to investigate the possibility of having the cars (whatever the make) illuminated. The 20th Century ran mostly at night. I suppose if you're modeling Chicago or New York City on June 21st, interior lighting wouldn't be necessary.
    Also, wouldn't an engine change (electric to steam/diesel) take place in Harmon, NY in either 1938 or '48?
  4. George

    George Member

    Harmon is where the electrified line ends. The engine would have always been an electric between GCT and Harmon.

    In Amtrak times, they would use old New Haven dual mode FL-9's, and now dual mode P-42's between GCT and Penn Station switching at Albany, where they changed to F-40's, Genesis locomotives and for a time some years back even E-8's.

    I'm sketchy on where the other Central engine changes were executed. I think one point was Syracuse and another at Ripley, NY just short of the Pennsylvania state line. There must have been one in Ohio and another in Indiana.

    We'll have to look that one up tonight!

  5. dtpfree

    dtpfree New Member


    dear sir...
    try IHM or Rivarossi...they have sets of nyc 20th century...look up model railroader or model craftsman railroading magazines or wathers ur nearest hobby shops...
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Eastern Car Works made a seven car set which includes very accurate rpo, sleepers, diner (1) and obs. This all for the 1938 version, which is the one you need if you are using the streamlined Hudson. E7's hauled the 1948 version. The set also includes a coach, which is incorrect. The trucks are wrong, if anyone knows a source for correct trucks, please let me know. I'm not sure of the availability of this set, you may need to search shows or ebay. Price may be about 80 to 100$ for the set, which is a kit, a little more difficult than your typical "shake the box" kit.

  7. Billybob Reuben

    Billybob Reuben New Member

    1938 20th Century

    If you are looking for accuracy and detail, you will not find it in plastic. It does not exist. The most accurate, highly-detailed 1938 and 1940 20th Century consists were imported by Challenger Imports last year but they are in brass, cost over $400 per car and were totally reserved upon arrival. These sets are rare as hen's teeth and would be impossible to find today. Key Imports did a much less accurate brass version about ten years ago without interiors or lights which the brass collectors began to dump as the Chasllenger versions came in, so a Key set would definitely be easier to come by today.

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