Interchange Series

The Interchange series contains articles about railroads that interchanged with the Pennsy, including fleet statistics and paint schemes with era-appropriateness guidance. A few noteworthy or pertinent freelance model railroads are included.


The Supplee-Wills-Jones Company had its headquarters and main plant in Philadelphia, Pa. The company operated multiple creameries along the PRR system in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware or along railroads that interchanged with the PRR.

Milk was transported in company-owned cars. These milk tank cars, although looking externally like reefers, actually contained two glass-lined tanks which were handled as an express car on train due to the timelines of transporting whole milk to creameries where it could be processed into various dairy products.

Though only nine cars were reported in 1946 (below), the fleet grew to 21.

On the Pennsy Middle Division, creameries were located at Lewistown, Huntingdon, and Bedford, I have been unable to locate any further details about the Lewistown operation, but there is a decent amount of info on the other two.

Empty milk cars for Huntingdon and Bedford were sent west on train #13, a Mail and Express train. Though photos are lacking, it has been said that the cars were at the back of the train, after the caboose, to expedite switching at Huntingdon.

Although the Pennsy had connectivity to Bedford via Altoona and the Bedford Branch, the cars were routed over the Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Railroad because it was a more direct route. The H&BTM delivered the Bedford car to Bedford via trackage rights on the Pennsy's short Mt. Dallas Branch.

hbtm37 bedford 19510000001 hbtm37 bedford 19510000002 

The loaded cars were picked up by the eastbound train # need train.

In 1954 the PRR outlawed hauling milk by long-haul rail and these cars were permanently removed from service.

The model specific prototype for Supplee Milk cars 4 through 9 have been produced by Athearn Roundhouse as their 40’ Pflauder Milk Car. Cars 1 through 3 were similar in dimension and weight, but had a peaked roof and exposed side sills. They can be built by modifying the Athearn car.

The “Supplee Milk” lettering was raised off the side of the car using an approximately 2” thick piece of metal.

Matthew Hurst, PRRT&HS, offers lettering cutouts to simulate the raised lettering, to be used in conjunction with decals from Mount Vernon Shops.




200px New York Central HeraldThe New York Central Railroad (reporting mark NYC) was a railroad operating in the Northeastern United States. 

In 1968 the NYC merged with its former rival, the Pennsylvania Railroad, to form Penn Central (the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad joined in 1969). That company went bankrupt in 1970 and was taken over by the federal government and merged into Conrail in 1976. Conrail was broken up in 1998, and portions of its system were transferred to the newly formed New York Central Lines LLC, a subsidiary leased to and eventually absorbed by CSX and Norfolk Southern. Those companies' lines included the original New York Central main line, but outside that area it included lines that were never part of the New York Central system. CSX was able to take one of the most important main lines in the nation, which runs from New York City and Boston to Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the Water Level Route, while Norfolk Southern gained the Cleveland, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois portion of the line called the Chicago line.


Southern Pacific Lines logoThe Southern Pacific (reporting mark SP) (or Espee from the railroad initials- SP) was a name of multiple American Class I railroads that existed from 1865 to 1998 and all operated in the Western United States. The names that represented the Southern Pacific were Southern Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Companyand Southern Pacific Transportation Company.

The original Southern Pacific began in 1865 as a land holding company. The last incarnation of the Southern Pacific, the Southern Pacific Transportation Company, was founded in 1969 and took over the Southern Pacific system. The Southern Pacific Transportation Company was taken over by the Union Pacific Corporation and merged with their Union Pacific Railroad. The Southern Pacific Transportation Company was the surviving railroad as it absorbed the Union Pacific Railroad and changed its name to "Union Pacific Railroad", the Southern Pacific Transportation Company is now the current incarnation of the Union Pacific Railroad.


300px Union pacific railroad logo.svgThe Union Pacific Railroad (reporting mark UP) (or Union Pacific Railroad Company and simply Union Pacific) is a freight hauling railroad that operates 8,500 locomotives over 32,100 route-miles in 23 states west of Chicago and New Orleans. The Union Pacific Railroad system is the second largest in the United States after BNSF Railway and it is one of the world's largest transportation companies. The Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of the Union Pacific Corporation; both are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Union Pacific legacy began in 1862 with the original company, called the Union Pacific Rail Road, which was part of the First Transcontinental Railroad project, later known as the Overland Route. Two more Union Pacific railroads were formed after that, the Union Pacific Railway (the second company) which absorbed the original company in 1880 and the Union Pacific "Railroad" (the third company) which absorbed the Union Pacific Railway in 1897-1898.


Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific HeraldThe Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (often referred to as the Milwaukee Road) (reporting mark MILW), was a Class I railroad that operated in the Midwest and Northwest of the United States from 1847 until 1980, when its Pacific Extension (Montana, Idaho, and Washington) was abandoned following a bankruptcy. Around this time, the company went through several official names and faced bankruptcy on multiple occasions. The eastern half of the system merged into the Soo Line Railroad thirty-two years ago on January 1, 1986, a subisiary of Canadian Pacific Railway (reporting mark CP). Although the "Milwaukee Road" as such ceased to exist, much of its trackage continues to be used by multiple railroads. It is also commemorated in buildings like the historic Milwaukee Road Depot in Minneapolis and in railroad hardware still maintained by railfans, such as the Milwaukee Road 261 steam locomotive.

The Allegheny Midland (AM) was the model railroad of Tony Koester, a prolific author in the model railroad press. Tony championed Allen McClelland's "beyond the basement" concept for layout staging... setting the model railroad into real world geography where it interchanges with other railroads.


The Virginian and Ohio (V&O) was the model railroad of Allen McClelland, one of the most known freelance railroads that has appeared in the modeling press, books, and videos many times over the past few decades. Allen is largely credited with the "beyond the basement" concept for layout staging... setting the model railroad into real world geography where it interchanges with other railroads.

The Virginian & Ohio (V&O) Historical Society maintains a FaceBook page dedicated to preserving the history of V&O Railroad created by Allen. His son Brad is a very active participant on the page.

26166447 1755340927843716 3163714124451084122 nNew york new haven hartfordThe New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NH), commonly known as The Consolidated or simply as the New Haven, was a railroad that operated in the New England region of the United States from 1872 to 1968. Founded by the merger of the New York and New Haven and Hartford and New Haven railroads, the company had near total dominance of railroad traffic in Southern New England for the first half of the 20th century.

Beginning in the 1890s and accelerating in 1903, New York banker J. P. Morgan sought to monopolize New England transportation by arranging the NH's acquisition of 50 companies, including other railroads and steamship lines, and building a network of electrified trolley lines that provided interurban transportation for all of southern New England. By 1912, the New Haven operated more than 2,000 miles of track, with 120,000 employees, and practically monopolized traffic in a wide swath from Boston to New York City.


The Western Refrigerator Line Company (WRX) was established in 1929 to operate a 500-car fleet of reefers for the Green Bay and Western Railroad (GBW). WRX was headquartered at Norwood Yard in Green Bay, Wisconsin until the property was purchased by the GBW in the 1960s. WRX rolling stock often sported the GBW's "Green Bay Route" emblem. By 1981, the WRX had become part of the Burlington Northern Railroad.

26166447 1755340927843716 3163714124451084122 nBangor Aroostook Logo 1918The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (reporting mark BAR) was a United States railroad company that brought rail service to Aroostook County in northern Maine. Brightly painted BAR box cars attracted national attention in the 1950s. First-generation diesel locomotives operated on BAR until they were museum pieces. The economic downturn of the 1980s coupled with the departure of heavy industry from northern Maine forced the railroad to seek a buyer and end operations in 2003.