Our Archive Upgrade Project – The Southwestern Limited Fund

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Background – The NYCSHS has made a dedicated effort over the past almost 50 years to preserve the amount of archival material from the NYC railroad.  This preservation effort has consisted of collecting material, storing that material in climate-controlled environments, and digitizing all hard copy material. Today we have more material than we can easily store in the existing space, so a new storage system is needed.

Previous Funding Sources – Over the years much of the funding for this activity has come from gifts and grants from members and grant funding sources.  Much funding has come from the Society’s operating budget funded by membership and sales. We have had two previous fund-raising campaigns for the Headquarters and archive. The first of these was the Flight of the Century fund that raised $65,000 to fund the equipment and furnishings for the NYCSHS Headquarters in Middleburg Heights, OH. The second was the Empire State Express fund that raised funds for the continuing of the preservation of archive material, expanding the library, obtaining new NYCS material, and expanding the IT network. It added additional NYCS material in the Collinwood Shop, added scanners and computers to the network, provided cloud backup, and added online digital material for view and sale in the Collinwood & Digital Shops.

Current Situation – All of the funding from the two fund raising programs, and gifts and grants have been spent on preserving and digitizing the archive material.  New grants are being talked about, but many of the granting organizations favor projects that preserve hardware over paper and photo preservation. Therefore, we are launching this Southwestern Limited program to raise the additional funds to add an archive shelving system and other upgrades to continue to expand our NYCSHS archives.

We need to utilize the space we have today more efficiently.  Therefore, we have opted to bring in an expandable high-density filing system.  When not in use, the mobile shelves slide together to compact the storage area.  When access is needed, a three spoke handle is used to roll the units apart.  Some of the Board members saw this type of unit in use at the Albany Museum of History and Art.

Once the shelving is installed, it will just about double the storage space that we now have at the archive.  That will be achieved by eliminating empty aisle space and rolling the shelves together on rails. We expect to have these installed in the spring, so they can be seen when the Cleveland convention is local to the archive. 

We are working with a local company, Patterson Pope, that has been in business for 50 years. They have been providing the sales and design assistance and will be providing installation services. The shelving units we are acquiring are from Spacesaver, a Wisconsin based company.  The high-density system is just one of the solutions that Spacesaver provides.  The high-density systems are used at universities, museums, law libraries and other locations, such as the local Cleveland NFL team.

Our specific tasks include:

  1. Continue scanning photos, drawings, booklets, publications, etc.
  2. Obtaining new material
  3. Maintaining the IT network
  4. Expanding library
  5. Expanding help to members
  6. Offering additional material for sale in store
  7. Adding drawings and  maps to our digital website and store
  8. Installing new SpaceSaver high-density storage system
  9. Purchase an aperture card reader
  10. Working with members, researchers, and authors
  11. Working with other Societies archives to expand NYCS knowledge and resources

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SpaceSaver High Density Mobile Storage System

Spacesaver does exactly what our name implies — we save space. Lots of it. Our High-Density Mobile Storage Systems can deliver up to three times the storage capacity of conventional filing and shelving in the same amount of floor space — and at half the cost. By mounting storage cabinets or shelving on wheeled carriages that travel on rails, wasted space created by fixed aisles can be eliminated, freeing up valuable floor space for other, more productive uses — including additional storage.

Aperture Card Reader

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Aperture Card

An aperture card is a type of punched card with a cut-out window into which a chip of microfilm is mounted. Such a card is used for archiving or for making multiple inexpensive copies of a document for ease of distribution. The card is typically punched with machine-readable metadata associated with the microfilm image, and printed across the top of the card for visual identification; it may also be punched by hand in the form of an edge-notched card. The microfilm chip is most commonly 35mm in height, and contains an optically reduced image, usually of some type of reference document, such as an engineering drawing, that is the focus of the archiving process. Machinery exists to automatically store, retrieve, sort, duplicate, create, and digitize cards with a high level of automation.

We received somewhere around 10,000 aperture cards from the Rochester NRHS with structure drawings on them, and then another 10,000 from Tennessee Valley RR Museum with NYC rolling stock that made it to Conrail.  They are difficult to look at without a reader. We currently use a microfilm reader to see them, but it’s cumbersome and they can’t be scanned that way. We plan to purchase a aperture card reader to automate and speed up the process of scanning these cards.

To accomplish these goals, we are planning to raise $40,000. Like the past campaigns we have set levels of giving for your contributions and are hoping the Society can reach the goal with your generous help.

The graphic at the top of the page includes a map of the route of the Southwestern Limited from St. Louis, MO, to Cleveland, OH, where our NYCSHS Headquarters archive resides. The map will be used to chart the progress of the campaign over the next few weeks as a visual representation of the Society’s progress toward the $40,000 goal. Weekly updates will appear on our website and our MailChimp emails so you can track our progress. This was proven effective in previous fund-raising campaigns. As in past campaigns, a plaque with the names of all of the sponsors will be displayed in the NYCSHS Headquarters at the end of the campaign.

Levels of giving:

$2,500 and up                    ALCo PA/PB

$1,000 to $2,499                Baldwin RF-16A/B 

$500 to $999                      EMD E8A

$250 to $499                      ALCo RS3

$100 to $249                      EMD GP7

$50 to $99                          EMD F3A/B

$25 to $49                          ALCo FA/FB

$25                                      EMD SW1

Basic Gift is $25.00 but you can select any of the amounts above in the levels of giving.

To give online go to the Collinwood Shop at: https://www.nycshs.net/Contributions_c_185.html

To download a form to mail in your donation with a check to: https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2023/01/sourthwesternlimitedfundorderform.1.pdf

Thanks for your support to this very important upgrade to the NYCSHS archive program.

David Mackay

NYCSHS, President and the NYCSHS Board of Directors


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2023 NYCSHS Convention News!!!

NYCSHS 2023 Convention

& Meeting

June 9 – 11, 2023


New York Central System Historical Society

2023 Convention & Meeting


Holiday Inn Cleveland South

6001 Rockside Road

Independence, Ohio 44131

2023NYCSHSPromotional .5

Registration is $199.00 for members and $243.00 for

non-members but that

includes one year of Central Headlights.

 To register online: Click Here

Download a Registration Form: Click Here

You must also make separate hotel reservations.
Hotel room are available at the Holiday Inn Cleveland South
To qualify for the NYCSHS reduced rate reservations must be made
prior to May 8, 2023.
This may be done by calling 216-524-8050 and ask to book a room in
the New York Central System Historical Society block.

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2023 NYCSHS Albany Mini

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NYCSHS Albany, NY Modeler’s Mini Convention

This is an opportunity for you to meet other NYCSHS modelers, bring some NYCS modeling friends, learn some new skills, understand what is available for modelers from the NYCSHS archives, and provide input to the NYCSHS modeling program.  Last year’s Mini was a great success.


7:30 am – 8:25 am “Registration”

8:25 am – 8:30 am “Welcome”

8:30 am – 9:30 am “NYC/Westshore’s Chenango Branch for the Modeler” – Alex Warshal

9:30 am – 10:25 am – “Albany Union Station In N-Scale” – Joe Athearn

10:25 am – 10:35 am – Break

10:35 am – 11:30 am – “NYC Family Tree- Genealogy of the Lines in New York” – Malcolm Laughlin

11:30 am – 12:00 pm – “Memories of the NYC West Shore” – Newton Sweet

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch – Box lunches can be ordered with registration.

1:00 am – 2:00 pm “Albany on the Ulster & Delaware Branch” – John Ham

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm “Design & 3D Printing a NYCS Signal Bridge” – Mark Sklar

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Roundtable NYCSHS Modeling Discussion

We are very excited about this event as it represents a chance for us to get to know you in person and hear how we can improve the support we provide to NYCSHS member modelers.  A table will be available for displaying your NYC models so please bring some for display and discussion.

Please make your reservation for this event in the Collinwood Shop.  https://www.nycshs.net/Convention-Registration_c_23.html

The $25.00 fee partially offsets the cost of the Mini.  You can also download the reservation form and mail it in with a check for the $25.00.  Non-members are $35.00.

To download the form, go to: https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2023/01/2023albanynycshsminiregistrationform.pdf

Hotel rooms will be available at the Holiday Inn Express Wolf Road on April 28, 29, 2023 at NYCSHS discount rate of $124.00 plus 14% NY Sales tax.  Cutoff date for discount rate is March 28, 2023. Phone 518-459-3600 and make your hotel reservation today. Mention NYCSHS for rate. To view hotel go to: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/albany/albwo/hoteldetail

Don’t miss out – go to:  https://nycshs.files.wordpress.com/2023/01/2023albanynycshsminiregistrationform.pdf and print out and mail a registration form. Mail form and check for registration and lunch to address on form.

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1st Qtr. 2023 NYCentral Modeler Is Ready For You To Enjoy

Latest Edition of the NYCentral Modeler

(1st Qtr. 2023)


Click here to read!!!!

The cover photo for this quarter’s edition is from Al Werner’s article “Informal Thoughts on NYCSHS Caboose Building”. Michael Byle provides “Frugal NYC Modeling in S-Gauge”.  Peter Banks tells us about “Pursuit of NMRA Master Modeler NYC Loco at Waterfold ON”. “The Tool Shop” showcases some interesting tools by Noel WiddifieldP. Douglas Chapman, brings us the “Mid-America RPM ”Stan Madyda shares his “Building a NYCS Watchman’s Shanty Kit”. Seth Lakin takes us with the  “NYCSHS at Trainfest 2022”. Bob Chapman tell us about “Modeling NYC’s Enterprise Design Series Hopper”And you also get all the regular features with “NYCSHS RPO,” “Members Photos”, “Extra Board,” “What’s New,” and “The Observation Car.” All in the October 2022 edition.

If you haven’t been reading this NYCSHS magazine, you have been missing out on a lot of NYCS action.  Each edition contains five to seven articles covering different scales of NYCS modeling, a section reviewing all new NYCS models being offered by manufacturers for the quarter, letters and emails from members and readers, the latest news on models being offered by the NYCSHS at 20% discounts, and a variety of other information about modeling and happenings at the NYCSHS.

The magazine is free, and all you need to do to read or download it is go to the NYCSHS website. To do that, go to www.NYCSHS.org. Then put your curser on the “Modeling Resources” button and drop down to the “NYCentral Modeler” tab.  Then just follow the instruction on the page.   ENJOY!!

   1st Qtr. 2023 Edition

Click Here To Read

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National NYC Railroad Museum Important Fundraising

5x3 Friends Logo

The National New York Central Railroad Museum in Elkhart, IN is in the midst of revitalizing a very important attraction.  The Century Flyer is a 2 foot narrow gauge locomotive with three trailing passenger cars.  These trains were manufactured by the National Amusement Devices Co. of Dayton, Ohio and were built from the 1940s-1960s and were very popular at theme parks and zoos.  Very few of these trains have survived in full running condition.  We are fortunate to have this important piece of Americana and it has become a favorite among our patrons.  We plan to expand the length of the railroad as well as update signs and markers along the way in order to make the experience both educational and entertaining.  The cost of the project is estimated at $21,000 which includes additional rail, ties, spikes, and ballast. 

NIBCO1The Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum (a 501(C)3 organization) is reaching out in order to secure funding.  The Friends are planning to contribute a portion of the funding, as well as applying for several grants.  We are looking for additional sponsors to provide the remaining portion of the cost.  Would you consider a sponsorship at one of the levels below?

$25_____   $50_____  $100_____  $250_____  $500_____  Other_______

All sponsors will have their name on a sign near the Century Flyer rail yard to show appreciation for their generous contribution.  On behalf of The Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum we thank you for considering this request.  

Checks may be payable to:    

Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum

721 South Main Street, Elkhart, IN 46516

Or donate online at:


Click on the photo of the Century Flyer and choose the level of donation you wish to make.


Brent Holaway, Curator- National NYC Railway Museum

Member of the Friends of the National New York Central Railroad Museum





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Michigan Railroad Club Presents Program on NYC Jackson, MI Branch

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The next meeting of The Michigan Railroad Club will be Wednesday, January 04, 2023.  Program by Bryan Monaco on the NYC Jackson (Mich) Branch.

Meeting held at the Radcliff Center, 1751 Radcliff St, Garden City, Michigan.  This is between Ford Road and Cherry Hill.  Meeting starts at 7 p.m. and ends at 8:50 p.m. (we have to be out of the building by 9 p.m.).

  ALL are most welcome!

Continue reading

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The Danbury Railway Museum Needs Help To Save Two Historic NYCS Locomotives – You can do it!!!

The Danbury Railway Museum Needs Your Help!!!

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The Danbury Railway Museum Needs Your Help!!!

In June of 2013, the museum took ownership of two early American electric locomotives landlocked on Beacon Island in upstate New York. Beacon Island (no longer a real island) is situated just South of Albany, in Glenmont, right along the Hudson River. It’s home to a PSEG Natural Gas Power Plant, and neighbors The Port Of Albany, the port is just on the other side of Normans Kill.

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How You Can Help:

The project cost is estimated to be in the upwards of $160,000 for the move alone. Our museum has received pledges of financial support, but the true final cost is unknown at this time, especially when we factor the cosmetic restoration of the locomotives. In-kind donations in the form of headlights, and bells are also appreciated as many railroad employees and collectors are known to have saved many such items when the units were retired.

We have kept many aspects of this exciting project under wraps for some time as to not draw attention to their location, but feel overwhelmingly confident given developments in the last few months that now is the right time to pull back the curtain. Given our museum’s proximity to the New York Metropolitan area and established collection of commuter equipment, we are confident these pieces will feel at home in our railyard. We have been offered an unsecured loan by a very generous benefactor to move these two locomotives, we are of course expected to pay this back and will continue to work to do so after the move, during the restoration, and after they have been placed on display here in Danbury.

The technology pioneered by these locomotives is reminiscent of what’s happening in our country now, not only when it comes to electric automobiles, but also public transportation. This trend is only amplified by the purpose of the facility to be built where the locomotives lay now adjacent to the power plant.

We ask for your donation to help preserve Americas industrial heritage, help us understand the past better so that we may look forward, and help close the circle of life of the train that left Danbury and was rear ended 120 years ago in New York City.


IMG_7001  IMG_7002Photos from Alan Gruber, NYCSHS

December 10, 2022 Update

We are still very much looking for a way to move them and something will likely be decided in the next few days.  If the dollars make sense, we can see them moved to a temporary storage area on December 20th.  The first part of the rescue has significant funding.  The question is will it be enough.  The electrics get stored until the new access road is built .  As of now, all donated money and some money from the museum reserves will be used for this portion of the move.  Additional money is still needed unless we can find a way to do it more inexpensively.


Right now the Port of Albany development of the land the electrics sit on is 6 months behind and a couple hundred million dollars over budget.  This is a multi national development to build off shore wind turbines that must be completed by the end of 2023.  A lawsuit by local residents after they saw 80 acres of land cleared led to a lot of scrutiny of permits on the state and federal level.  With work now resumed, the electrics are in the worst possible for location near where a new access road comes into the site and on the footprint of a 600,000 square foot building.  This is a brown site if there ever was one with 2,000,000 tons of fly ash from the power plant dumped there from 1950 to 1980.  To address this, 37,000 truckloads of stone need to be brought in to compress the ash.  And they can’t work around the locomotives.

We had hoped to be able to move and load with sidewinders and go through the power plant.  The owners of the plant were okay, but not the owners of a high pressure gas line that would have to be crossed.  They wanted temporary bridging.  The Port needed this road more than we did for delivery of building components that are now shipping.  They needed to secure 90 acres of off site storage since actual construction which was suppose to start in October will be be started in late winter.  Because we now have to wait for the access road, there is an additional cost for cranes.  We could not used cranes to move them because they are very close to National Grid overhead power lines.  The Port has the same problem.  I think I heard the the lines re actually going to be raised but not in time for us.  

In the next 48 to 72 hours, I hope to know about additional funding.

December 23, 2022 Update

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The first taken by Jeff Van Wagenen shows the site on November 14th.  The next shows the the site on Monday the 19th.  That day there were 70 dump trucks being used to deliver stone, constant movement. In all, 37,000 truckloads are estimated to be needed.  Evident in this photo are the overhead power lines that prevented us from getting a crane in and white vent pipes for the underground high pressure gas lines.  By the way, the old D&H spur that the trains sat on was converted to the inbound access road.  Third photo by Dave Pickett shows the electrics on swamp mats in the storage area.  The last two are  move photos.  Hulcher was our contractor for the move. 

To read the details of this project and what has been accomplished so far:

Click Here.

To Donate Directly Click Here

Continue reading

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4th Qtr. 2022 NYCentral Modeler is Ready for Your Enjoyment

NYCentralModeler.4thQtr2022CoverThe cover photo for this quarter’s edition is from Chuck Beargie’s article “Trix NYCS Standard Caboose Upgrade”. Tom Long provides “The East Brookfield Depot in N-Scale”.  Bob Chapman tells us about “Kitbashing a NYC Postal Car”. The Tool Shop showcases some interesting new tools by Brian MarottaDennis Regan brings us the “St. Louis 2022 RPM Joe Rothwell continues his “O-scale Live Steam NYCS Hudson Chassis, Part 3”. Seth Lakin finishes with  “New York Central NW2 Switchers – Part 3”. Steve Lasher’s  “Steve’s Scrapbook” brings several of his models to share.  And you also get all the regular features with “NYCSHS RPO,” “Members Photos”, “Extra Board,” “What’s New,” and “The Observation Car.”  And you also get all the regular features with “NYCSHS RPO,” “Members Photos”, “Extra Board,” “What’s New,” and “The Observation Car.” All in the October 2022 edition.

If you haven’t been reading this NYCSHS magazine, you have been missing out on a lot of NYCS action.  Each edition contains five to seven articles covering different scales of NYCS modeling, a section reviewing all new NYCS models being offered by manufacturers for the quarter, letters and emails from members and readers, the latest news on models being offered by the NYCSHS at 20% discounts, and a variety of other information about modeling and happenings at the NYCSHS.

The magazine is free, and all you need to do to read or download it is go to the NYCSHS website. To do that, go to www.NYCSHS.org. Then put your curser on the “Modeling Resources” button and drop down to the “NYCentral Modeler” tab.  Then just follow the instruction on the page.   ENJOY!!
 4th Qtr. 2022 Edition

Click Here To Read


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We Have The NYCS 20th Century Limited Red Carpet For You!!

NYC 20th Century Limited Carpet Introductory Sale
 Must be ordered by October 30, 2022
 Price will go up after that date!!!

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The 20th Century Limited was an express all-Pullman passenger train operated by the New York Central nightly from New York to Chicago. From 1938 until the last run in 1968, passengers walked down a crimson carpet to their waiting cars. This was only done for the departure from New York. Stretching from the observation car to the engine – the football field length rug was specially designed for the Century.

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This carpet is 34 1/2″ X 70″ and weighs 10.5 lbs.

Actual Photo of Carpet

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Click Here To View and Order

To Download a From to Mail in to Order and Pay Click Here

Continue reading

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It Is Time To Register For The NYCSHS Mini Convention

It Is Time to Register for This NYCS Event!!

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The First NYCSHS Mini On September 24, 2022

Middleburg Heights, OH Crown Plaza Hotel

NYCSHS Members $20.00 Non-members $30.00

and NYCSHS Headquarters

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8:30 am – 9:00 am       Opening Remarks and Welcome – Dave Mackay, NYCSHS President
9:00 am – 10:00 am – “My NYCS Layout” – Russ Weis
10:00 am – 11:00am – “NYCS Models” – Steve Lasher
11:00 am – 12:00 pm – “Modeling NYCS Passenger Trains in N-scale” – Tom Long
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Lunch
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm – “The Layout of a Lifetime” – Bill Feth
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm – “NYCS Slide Show in the Diesel Era” – Tom Gerbracht
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – “Estate Planning for Model Railroaders & Railroadiana Collectors” – Frank Bongiovanni
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm – Visit the NYCSHS Headquarters & Collinwood Shop


Meeting starts at 8:30 am EDT and

presentations end at 4:30 pm

Collinwood Shop opens at 4:30 pm at NYCSHS Headquarters

& Surplus NYCSHS Archive Collection Items For Sale

Presentations are subject to change.We Need You!!!!

Collinwood Shop will be open at the NYCSHS Headquarters following the end of the presentations.

Collinwood Shop Items &

Surplus NYCSHS Archive Collection Items For Sale

Books, Models & NYCS Material At Bargain Prices

You will need a reservation to attend and there will be a $20.00 fee for attendance. Lunch will be on your own at nearby restaurants.

Reservation can be made by downloading a registration form and mailing to

Ralph Schiring

16623 Oak Street

Omaha, NE 68130-2051

or in the Collinwood Shop at:

Click Here to Register

Or Click Here to Download a

Registration Form and Mail In

Bring Your Models To Share At The Mini

We will have a table for displaying your models!!

Hotel Rooms Available at the

Crown Plaza Cleveland Airport

September 22, 23, & 24 at $109.00 per night

This is the same rate as the one scheduled a year ago!!!

Contact the hotel directly at 440-243-4040 and ask for the

“New York Central System Historical Society” room block and the code is NYS.

Special NYCSHS hotel rate only good

until September 8, 2022

Don’t Miss This Chance To Meet

With NYCS Fans And Modelers

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