NYCSHS Links



The following is a list of links to additional resources that may be of interest to New York Central System enthusiasts and historians. This is not a definitive list, as there are thousands of resources available on the Internet. This is a short list of web sites that are maintained with regular updates. Would you like your New York Central-related web site listed here? Please contact us!



Discussion Forums



Museums and Historical Societies

Heritage Railways

Other Sites of Interest

Updated January 2013.

NYC Employee Records

A note to persons searching for NYC Employee Records: The New York Central System Historical Society does NOT have any ex-New York Central Railroad or its subsidiary personnel records in its archives. There is a possibility that information may be located if you contact:

US Railroad Retirement Board
844 North Rush
Chicago, IL 60611

CALL TOLL FREE: (877) 772-5772

NYCSHS Books For Sale

If you love New York Central Steam or Electric Locomotives…This website is no longer maintained.  Go to www.NYCSHS.org

You simply MUST have... Steam Locomotives of the New York Central Lines, Volumes 1 and 2 by William D. Edson and H. L. Vail, Jr., assisted by Edward L. May. The ultimate authority on all steam and electric locomotives from the DeWitt Clinton of 1831 to P&LE 9406 of 1948. These books represent a lifetime of research for each of the compilers and are a fitting memorial not only to the legacy of the New York Central Lines but also to their untiring efforts to preserve that legacy for us all. These books are full of individual listings for every steam or electric locomotive, including year and month of construction, builder’s construction number, all known reclassifications and renumberings, and retirement date, and in many cases ultimate disposition. Read a review of these fine books here.

Vol. 1: New York Central & Hudson River; Boston & Albany
310 pages, hard cover, 320 photographs, 184 drawings and maps.
NYC Vol. 1
$40.00
U.S. Only, Excluding Ohio
Includes Domestic Postage

NYC Vol. 1
$42.33
Ohio Residents Only
Includes Sales Tax
and Domestic Postage


Vol. 2, Lake Shore & Michigan Southern; Lake Erie & Western; Indiana Harbor Belt; Chicago River & Indiana; Chicago Junction; Ohio Central Lines; Big Four; Michigan Central; Pittsburgh & Lake Erie
428 pages, hard cover, 672 illustrations.
NYC Vol. 2
$40.00
U.S. Only, Excluding Ohio
Includes Domestic Postage

NYC Vol. 2
$42.33
Ohio Residents Only
Includes Sales Tax
and Domestic Postage


SPECIAL! GET VOL. 1 AND 2
FOR ONE LOW PRICE!

NYC Vol. 1 NYC Vol. 2
$59.00
U.S. Only, Excluding Ohio
Includes Domestic Postage

NYC Vol. 1 NYC Vol. 2
$62.80
Ohio Residents Only
Includes Sales Tax
and Domestic Postage


Don't want to pay online? You can mail your order with payment to:
NYCSHS, Inc. Book Orders
P. O. Box 130
Gates Mills, OH 44040-0130
For international orders, and for shipping to Alaska and Hawaii, please contact Jim Suhs to process your order.

Official NYC Drawings on CD-ROM


Now You Can Add Official New York Central Drawings to Your Library!
This page is no longer maintained.  Go to www.NYCSHS.org

These are ACTUAL New York Central Mechanical Department drawings, not reproductions. Each file is a high-quality TIFF or JPG file that can be opened on any Macintosh or Windows computer. Each file is a high-resolution scan that allows you to zoom in to see key details and dimensions. Perfect for the model builder or historian.
Each CD contains a spreadsheet file in Excel format that is searchable for key words to help find the drawing you're looking for. Many files contain the necessary title block info directly from the respective drawing. The assignment of a drawing into a sort category is based on the "Used On" block near the title box on each drawing, so the classification is based on official railroad records.

The following Mechanical Department drawing archive CD's are immediately available:

COPYRIGHTED COMPILATIONS
DRAWINGS- Updated July 2012

Qty of CDs
US and CANADA
(See Note 2)
Steam Locomotives
Class A-1 2-8-4 (B&A)
1
$45
Class A-2A 2-8-4
1
$45
Class B 0-6-0
2
$90
Class C 4-4-0
1
$30
Class C 4-4-0 (#999)
1
$45
Classes D-1 and D-2 2-6-6 and 4-6-6 Tank Locomotives
1
$45
DeWitt Clinton
1
$30
Class E 2-6-0
1
$45
Class F 4-6-0
1
$45
Class G 2-8-0
1
$45
Class H-5 2-8-2
2
$90
Class H-6 2-8-2 (USRA)
1
$45
Class H-7 2-8-2
1
$45
Class H-8 and H-9 2-8-2 (P&LE)
1
$45
Class H-10 2-8-2
1
$45
Class I 4-4-2
1
$45
Class J-1A 4-6-4 (#5200)
1
$45
Class J-1B thru J-1D 4-6-4 (incl M.C. and CCC&STL)
2
$90
Class J-1E 4-6-4
1
$45
Class J-1E Commodore Vanderbilt (#5344)
1
$45
Class J-2 4-6-4 (B&A)
1
$45
Class J-3A 4-6-4 (Conventional)
2
$90
Class J-3A 4-6-4 Dreyfuss (20th Century)
1
$45
Class J-3A 4-6-4 (Empire State Express)(#5426, 5429)
1
$30
Class PT1 thru PT4 pedestal bed tenders
1
$45
Class K-1,2 Early 4-6-2
1
$45
Class K-3 4-6-2
1
$45
Class K-4 and K-6 4-6-2
1
$45
Class K-5 4-6-2
1
$45
Class K-11 and K-14 4-6-2
1
$45
Class L-1 4-8-2
1
$45
Class L-2A 4-8-2
1
$45
Class L-2B thru L-2D 4-8-2
1
$45
Class L-3A 4-8-2
2
$90
Class L-3B and L-3C 4--8-2
2
$90
Class L-4 4-8-2
2
$90
Class L-4 4-8-2 (#3144, #3148)
1
$30
Class M 0-10-0
1
$45
Class NE-2 2-6-6-2
1
$45
Class NU 0-8-8-0
1
$45
Class S-1A 4-8-4
1
$45
Class S-1B 4-8-4
1
$45
Class S-2A 4-8-4
1
$45
Class PT5 and PT6 pedestal bed tenders
1
$45
Class U 0-8-0
2
$90
Diesel Electric Locomotives
2
$45
Electric Locomotives
1
$45
Gas-Oil Electric
1
$30
Passenger Equipment Cars
Head End Cars (Baggage, etc.)
1
$45
Coaches
1
$45
Diner-Lounge Cars
1
$45
Pullman Cars
1
$45
Observation Cars
1
$45
Office (Business) Cars
1
$45
Passenger Equipment Cars (General-Type of Car not Specified)
4
$135
MU Cars
1
$45
Milk Cars
1
$30
Trains
20th Century Limited
1
$45
Mercury
2
$90
Freight Cars
Box Cars
6
$135
DSI Cars (Despatch Shops)
1
$45
Flat Cars
1
$30
Flexi Van Cars
1
$45
Freight Cars (General-Type of Car not specified)
1
$45
Gondola Cars
2
$90
Hopper Cars
3
$90
Refrigerator Cars
1
$45
Stock Cars
1
$30
Tank Cars
1
$15
Caboose Cars
2
$90
Miscellaneous Drawing Files
1
$45
Paint-Lettering-Logo (Car Lettering, Bridge Ovals, Brake Stencils, etc.)
2
$90
Other Digital Drawing Categories
Signals
1
$15
Standards ((Dwgs. Using the word "All")
1
$45
Structures
1
$45
Whistles
1
$15
Work Equipment (Dynamometer Car, etc.)
2
$90
OTHER WORKS
Locomotive Specifications
CD024-Lima Specification B&A Class J-2 Hudson
1
$30
CD027-Lima Specification L-3 Mohawk (Order 1150)
1
$30
CD027-Lima Specification L-4 Mohawk (#3125-3149) (Order 1176)
1
$30
Digital Booklets
CD020-Book J-57958 Lot Nos. and Descriptions-Passenger Equip. Cars
1
$30
CD021-Book J-57920 Lot Nos. and Descriptions-Freight Equip. Cars
1
$30
CD026-Drawing S-49950 Truck Spring Listing-Passenger Equip. Cars
1
$30
CD030-Book J-37801 Truck Tabulation-Freight Cars
1
$30
CD031-Book J-56917 Equipment Owners List, Diesels, Electrics,Pass. Equip.
1
$30
CD032-Book J-57967 Passenger Car Roller Bearing Tabulation-5/24/57
1
$30
CD033-Book J-56155 Tee Anchors-Freight Cars
1
$30
CD034-Book J-56189 Pipe Clamps-Freight Cars
1
$30
CD035-Book J-55813 Freight Car Steel Wheels
1
$30
CD036-Book J-54557 Freight Car Metal Brake Steps
1
$30
CD037-Book J-54832 Freight Car Draft Gears
1
$30
Locomotive Classification Books
CD215-B&A Locomotive Diagrams-Old
1
$30
CD226-Locomotive Classification Book: K&M, K&WVA Locomotives
1
$30
CD228-Locomotive Classification Book: T&OC, Z&W, 1920
1
$30
CD229-Locomotive Classification Book: Z&W, 1920
1
$30
CD227-Locomotive Classification Book: K&M, 1921
1
$30
CD220-Locomotive Classification Book-Steam with revisions-7/1/1926
1
$30
CD221-Locomotive Classification Book-Steam-3/1/1939
1
$30
CD223-Locomotive Classification Book-Steam-3/1939 to 1/1944
1
$30
CD230-Locomotive Classification Book-B&A 1916-1940
1
$30
CD191-Locomotive Classification Book-Steam-1/1/1946
1
$30
CD206-Locomotive Classification Book-Steam-1/1/1946
1
$30
CD214-Locomotive Classification Book-Steam-7/1/1952
1
$30
CD222-Locomotive Classification Book-Steam and Diesels-Rev. 5/1/1953
1
$30
Other Diagram/Classification Books
CD193-Dimensions-Passenger Cars-12/1/1939
1
$30
CD212-Diagram/Classsification Book-Freight Cars-1/1/1954
1
$30
CD217-Diagram/Classification Book-Locomotives (7/1/26) and Cars10/1/23)
1
$30
CD218-Classification Book-Freight Cars-12/31/1938
1
$30
CD224-Classification Book-Passenger Cars 12/1939 to 1944
1
$30
CD225-B&A Locomotive Cranes
1
$30
Misc. Digital Files
CD025-Pattern Numbers-Passenger Cars as of 11/8/56
1
$30
CD029-Pattern Numbers-Freight Cars as of 10/28/65
1
$30
CD055-CCC&STL Yard Diagrams by City-Circa 1954
1
$30
CD063-Directory-Caboose/Work Equip (4/68); Pass. Cars 1/1/66
1
$30
CD066-Freight Cars-Specialties as of 5/26/27
1
$30
CD067-Freight Car Ownership as of 8/1/67
1
$30
CD068-Directory Special Cars for Metal Industry-12/1/66
1
$30
CD071-Locomotive Directory as of 10/1/67
1
$30
CD074-Engrg. Standards: Roadbed, Tunnels, Switches, Signs, Tools, Shops, etc.
1
$30
CD077-PCRR: DSI (Despatch Shops) Lot List and Description-Circa 1968
1
$30
CD086-Tabulation of Heavyweight and Lightweight Pullmans Owned
1
$30
CD089-ValMaps, Albany area.
1
$30
CD108-NYC&HRRR Book of Standard Plans (Structures)
1
$30
CD165-Freight Car Specialties; Trucks, Doors, Air Brake, etc. no common date
1
$30
CD189-Track Diagrams-Area Adjoining Hudson River-1929-32 era
1
$30
Note 1: Ohio residents must add 7.75% state sales tax
Note 2: Shipments to addresses outside USA and Canada require an additional $5.00 per file for postage and handling.
Note 3: Purchasers of digital files for commercial purposes, please contact Noel Widdifield.

Mail your order, with payment and signed agreement to:
NYCSHS Drawings
c/o Tom Gerbracht
4883 Thoroughbred Loop
Erie, PA 16506-6609
PLEASE NOTE: We require all purchasers to print, review and sign either a Personal Use or a Commercial Use Sales Agreement which prohibits reproducing, recasting, transforming or adapting the copyrighted Media so as to not devalue the collection for our membership. Copies of either or both the Sales Agreements will be sent to you upon inquiry. Please return the one that meets your needs, along with your payment, in U.S. dollars, to NYCSHS.

Thank you for supporting the New York Central System Historical Society.

NYC Railroad History

The New York Central System was a one of the largest American railroads operating in the northeast. Headquartered in New York City, the railroad served most of the Northeast, including extensive routes in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Massachusetts, plus additional routes in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Qu├ębec. The origins of the NYC can be traced back to 1826 and the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad. In 1853, Erastus Corning merged 10 railroads across New York State to form the New York Central railroad between Albany and Buffalo. The Vanderbilt era began in 1867 with the merger of his Hudson River Railroad with the NYC. Also in 1869 Vanderbilt acquired the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern, which ran from Buffalo along the southern shore of Lake Erie through Cleveland, Toledo, and South Bend to Chicago. While operated as separate companies, the NYC&HR and LS&MS gave the Commodore a high-speed water level route under one management providing through service between New York City and Chicago. The New York Central & Hudson River and the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern were merged in 1914 to form the New York Central Railroad Company. Several leased and affiliated lines made up the core of the New York Central System, including:
At one time, the NYC also controlled the Rutland and the Nickel Plate Road, but was forced to divest of these properties due to anti-trust concerns. The rest of the subsidiaries and leased lines continued to be operated as the New York Central System, though "local" names persisted for many generations. A man in Detroit would tell you he worked for the Michigan Central, for instance.

The flagship operation of the NYC was the luxurious first-class Twentieth Century Limited, operated on a crack 16-hour schedule between New York's Grand Central Terminal and Chicago's LaSalle Street Station. It was one of America's premiere passenger services, and the subject of pop culture lore. The service was started in 1902, and came to an end in 1967 as a victim of corporate belt-tightening.

As a result of shifting traffic patterns to trucks and Federally-funded interstate highways and a rapid decline in passenger traffic due to the advent of commercial jet travel, American railroads suffered from reduced revenue. More so in the industrialized northeast, where factories were closing and relocating to the south to take advantage of cheaper labor. On February 1, 1968, NYC merged with its chief competitor, the Pennsylvania Railroad to form the ill-fated Penn Central. A year later, the new company was forced to absorb the ailing New York, New Haven & Hartford. The cost savings from eliminating duplicate facilities and workers never happened, and Penn Central declared bankruptcy in 1970. A massive bailout came from the Federal government in 1976 in the form of Conrail, who took over the operation of the majority of the former PC system, along with five other bankrupt northeastern railroads. Today, much of the former NYC is operated by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern.

NYCSHS Contact Info

NYCSHS Directors and Officers for 2011-2012

President
Richard L. Stoving

Vice President
James C. Suhs

Recording Secretary
Charles J. Beargie

Treasurer
Sheldon Lustig

Central Headlight Editor
Richard L. Stoving

Directors At Large
Richard J. Barrett
Charles J. Beargie
Paul T. Carver
Tom Gerbracht
Hugh T. Guillaume
Jeff Hands
Ralph C. Schiring
Darwin Simonaitis
Noel F. Widdifield

Directors Emeritus
Joseph P. Quinlivan
Dr. John Mills
Al Bush

Please note we have no railroad employment records.
Contact the Railroad Retirement Board for more information on genealogy searches.

General Research Questions:
PLEASE NOTE: While we try to respond to all inquires, due to the overwhelming amount of mail received, our volunteers cannot possibly answer general inquiries in a timely manner. Please consider asking your historic or general interest question in one of the many friendly discussion groups, such as the New York Central Forum.

Mailing Address
New York Central System Historical Society, Inc.
P. O. Box 130
Gates Mills, OH 44040-0130

NYCSHS Photo Collection

Passenger Car Collection Photos
High-quality 5x7 copy photographs from the passenger car collection are also available from Trustee Rich Stoving.


Richard Stoving
Passenger Car Collection
264 Dartt Settlement Rd
Wellsboro PA 16901-8388



NYCSHS Photo Collection
The NYCSHS image collection contains over 30,000 items from around the system. The photo archive is in the process of being cataloged and archived, and some are currently unavailable. Here are a few samples from the NYCSHS' extensive collection...

Please note: The NYC collection of photographs is temporarily unavailable for purchase. The collection has been transferred to the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio for cataloging and archiving. Due to the overwhelming size of the collection, this is expected to take considerable time. After this activity has been completed, photographs will again be available for members of the New York Central System Historical Society, and to the general public at competitive rates. The collection has exhibited signs of deterioration in recent years, and the archival efforts of the WRHS will preserve these images for the foreseeable future.









About the NYCSHS


The New York Central System Historical Society (NYCSHS) was organized in March 1970 by former New York Central employee Joseph P. Quinlivan. 

The NYCSHS is chartered as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Ohio.

The mission of the NYCSHS is to perpetuate the legacy of the New York Central System by acquiring and preserving its history, traditions, documents, and artifacts; and by disseminating accurate information and products consistent with good stewardship.
Your membership gets you four issues of the popularly acclaimed Central Headlight, the official publication of the NYCSHS. Only available to members, each issue contains a wealth of information each quarter. From steam to diesel (and electric), from freight to passenger, from branch line to mainline, and from the early days of Vanderbilt to the waning months of Young and Perlman, the Central Headlight covers it all.

Our Annual Meetings are also an event not to be missed, focusing on the preservation of New York Central railroad history with informative speakers, presentations and tours. The Society also has many NYC reference books and drawings available for purchase. Membership is open to all, so don't delay!

All aboard!

The New York Central System Historical Society is not affiliated with the trustees of the Penn Central Transportation Company, or any successor company.