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New York Central EMU Overview
In service: 1906-1973
Manufacturers: American Car and Foundry Company, St. Louis Car Company, Standard Steel Car Company
Constructed: 1906-1929
Number built: 353
Number preserved: 3
Formation: single unit
Fleet numbers: 4000-4187, 4193-4336, 4350-4361, 4398-4402
Operators: New York Central, Penn Central Railroad
Doors: 2 vestibule doors
Maximum speed: 55 mph
Prime movers: 2 × GE69 (200hp), 2 x GE260 (190hp)
Power output: 400hp (1906-1917 MUs), 380hp (1919-1929 MUs)
Electric system: 660 VDC
Current collection method: third rail
Safety system: emergency brakes
Coupling system: AAR
Headlight type: Incandescent

See also:


Rail Passenger Cars

Various and assorted PC EMU equipment stored at West Yard, Wilmington, Delaware on June 21, 1969. Photo by Roger Puta.
Standard Steel Car Company logo.
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Various and assorted PC EMU equipment stored at West Yard, Wilmington, Delaware on June 21, 1969.  Photo by Roger Puta.

First of 125 MUs built in 1906 by ACF.

ACF logo.
St. Louis Car Co. logo.
New York Central herald.

New York Central Electric Multiple Unit Cars
The New York Central EMU Cars were built for the New York Central Railroad in 1906–1929 when the railroad began electrifying its lines for both the Hudson Division and the Harlem Division.  These were the first electric multiple units ever bought by the New York Central Railroad. They were retired between 1950-1973 when the ACMUs and M1A railcars were acquired.

The first cars were built in 1906–1907 by American Car and Foundry Company and St. Louis Car Company, which together delivered 182 all steel MUs to the New York Central Railroad. They were built for the electrification of the Hudson Division north of High Bridge and the electrification of the Harlem Division north of Wakefield. The cars numbered 4000–4173 featured arched stained glass windows located above each set of windows. The glass was later covered which made the cars appear to have small, low windows.

In 1910 and 1913 both the Hudson and Harlem divisions were extended by a combined total of 36 miles. The Harlem line now went to North White Plains while the Hudson line went to Croton-on-Hudson. Additional MUs were ordered between 1913-1929 totaling 164 units.

The MUs built from 1917-1929 had regular windows and no stained glass, so they looked like regular heavyweight coaches. This would give the New York Central a total of 353 EMU's.

The New York Central had also purchased 21 combine/baggage MUs built from 1907 to 1910 that were used for the mail services as well as passenger service.

While some of the combines were exactly the same dimensions as the other MUs, the baggage version were notably shorter by 13 feet, compared with the regular MUs. All of these cars would continue service until the arrival of the first order of ACMUs in 1950.

Even though several of the worst cars were removed from service, the rest of the 1906/1907 MUs soldiered on until the next orders of ACMUs in 1962 and finally in 1965. All 1906 MUs were retired by 1963, while the remaining MUs from 1907-1913 and many 1920s era MUs were retired by 1965.

The remaining cars dating from 1924-1929 survived into the Penn Central era. These were built by Standard Steel and renumbered 1250-1296 to make room for other Penn Central inherited equipment.

The 1200s were either painted in Penn Central's paint scheme or had the Penn Central logo plastered onto the cars. They were retired between 1971-1973 by the new M1A railcars, which also replaced most of the original ACMUs from 1950. After retirement many of these cars were scrapped.

Only three cars are known to survive into preservation.
1276 (Ex-NYC 4315) is currently at the Toledo Lake Erie & Western.
1291 (Ex-NYC 4330) is at the Carthage Knightstown & Shirley still in Penn Central paint scheme.
1292 (Ex-NYC 4331) is also at the Toledo Lake Erie & Western.

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