John Pryke modeled the New York, New Haven and Hartford after September of 1948 which was a very interesting year. He describes to Allen Keller that the New Haven had ordered 33 Alco PA units as their new diesel motive power for passenger service. The first 10 units came in a very nice orange color scheme with a green top and pearly gray pinstripes on the side. The first ten units were delivered from July to August of 1948. Then there was a break, and the next slot of PA’s that came in starting in January of 1949 had a different color scheme of green and gold. This meant that for two to three years there were locomotives of different color schemes running together back to back.
Another way John suggests to model a specific year or time in history is through the freight equipment being run. Virtually all boxcars, in fact all train equipment, has a built date or new date. The built date shows when the car was actually constructed, while the new date usually is the year that the car was repainted and totally serviced.
John has included some of the electrified New Havens track along New York, yet he has an overhead wire. Allen Keller asks why he chose to model it this way. The whole concept of having to reach under overhead wire or having to re-rail or do maintenance on the switch work was very intimidating to John. His solution was to put up the catenary towers and add switches to the towers, which gave about 90% of the effect that he was going for. He also runs the locomotives with their panographs wired half up, giving the illusion of having real catenary without the effort.
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