New York Central Pacemaker Service
Remember the red-and-white diamond herald of the The Pacemaker Service of the New York Central was unique, it was a mix between “head end” and fast freight.
Pacemaker Trains were dedicated to carrying LCL Merchandise. They used specially-marked high-speed freight cars.
In 1946, the NYC offered overnight service between New York and Buffalo via BN-1/NB-2. This overnight service was resurrected after WW II with the name “Pacemaker” although BN-1/NB-2 ran on essentially the same schedule as the pre-War version which was established in 1935-36, but discontinued during the War.
In 1948-49, BB-1/BB-2 was started to serve the B&A. The Boston-Buffalo Pacemaker trains served Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield, Albany, Utica, Rochester & Buffalo while the New York Pacemakers served NY, Yonkers, Albany, Utica, Syracuse & Buffalo. The New York & Boston Pacemakers connected at Albany, Utica and Buffalo. Around this time, NB-1/BN-2 also served Cleveland (NB-1 arrived at Collinwood around 1 pm next day, while BN-2 left Collinwood in the early afternoon.)
“Pacemaker Service” was extended beyond the terminal points of NB-1/BB-1/BN-2/BB-2 using “ordinary” freight symbol trains and local freights/yard transfers to reach points such as Watertown, Malone, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Detroit, Jackson, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Toledo, Elkhart, South Bend Chicago (Polk Street), Columbus, Springfield, Indianapolis, East St. Louis, Cincinnati & Charleston WV according to NYC’s 1951 Merchandise Car Schedule.
By 1957, Pacemaker Service had been dropped, or replaced in kind by Early Bird Service. Hence, PACEMAKER cars became just another boxcar in NYC parlance.
The original Pacemaker cars were green. 200 brown temporary Pacemaker Service cars were added in 1953. These cars also had a star below the herald that indicated the car was supposed to remain on NYC home rails. I am wondering how long these 200 temporary cars remained in Pacemaker service? Also, was the star removed in the mid-to-late 1950’s as the boxcar shortage ended, or did the Pacemaker cars keep the star since they were specialized equipment? How effective were the stars on keeping the cars on home rails?