Newbraugh Brothers Toys (NBT) designed, printed, and distributed custom decorated model train cars for over 25 years.
John Newbraugh started Newbraugh Brothers Toys with his brother Dan in the early 1970's. The brothers started out
customizing trains for their own hobby and enjoyment. Requests for some of their specially made cars led
to the formation of Newbraugh Brothers Toys and mass production for some of their products. This was completed
with the help of another brother, Tom, who served as the firm's lawyer. To round out this family based operation
Ken and Troy Newbraugh also helped in the toy business. In 1978 Newbraugh Brothers teamed with Seymour Knight and
his Pleasant Valley Process Company of Cogan Station, PA who pad-printed and silk screened a variety of custom decorated
theme train cars for special orders and for distribution through Dulaney Enterprises in the 1980's and then through
Mountaineer Hobbies in the 1990's. The office address for this company partnership became 114 Morgan St., in
Berkeley Springs, West VA. Newbraugh sometimes used the name John R. Blubaugh on NBT rolling stock. John Newbraugh
is perhaps best known today, to TCA members, as the author of Train Collectors Quarterly magazine's 'Who Done It'
Initially their decorated cars were primarily sold at the TCA, York, PA train meets, but through the distributing efforts
of Dulaney Enterprises Darley Design, and Mountaineer Hobbies, their custom decorated cars were sold nationally to
many civic groups, train clubs, and private companies who promoted their business or service through a decorated train
car. Many of the train clubs who utilized the services of NBT were TCA, LOTS, TTOS, and a few other nationally known
clubs. NBT primarily utilized Kris Model Trains (KMT), Marx,
Rivarossi (AHM) and Lionel Trains Inc./Fundimesnsions cars as
their canvassas or as blanks for redecorating or embellishment. Some NBT rolling stock was also derived from
Frank's Roundhouse production, David O. King and Williams blanks.
All custom decorated pieces were
clearly stamped on the base of the item specifying the name of the original product and stating that the item had
been redecorated with additional markings by NBT/PVP. Sometimes the letters PVP or NBT were cast into the tiny board
to the right of the ladder on one end of the box car. In addition, NBT decorated products for various train
manufacturers, such as Red Forney Trains, Bowser Manufacturing,
Roberts Lines, and Kris Model Trains.
The first car produced was a KMT 'O' scale custom decorated box car 'Town of Bath' to celebrate
the 200th Birthday of Berkeley Srings, West Virginia. The town's official name was Town of Bath. The NBT car first
made in 1974 was extremely rare and a very limited production run of only 100 cars was done. The car was designed
and distributed by Newbraugh Brothers Toys, which coincidently was located in Berkeley Springs, WV. This was a custom
silk-screened car designed by John S. Newbraugh in yellow with blue lettering. A 2nd series of cars in blue with yellow
lettering printed for the Town of Bath, Bicentennial was issued by Newbraugh again in 1976. This too was a KMT car.
These cars were so popular that there were a total of 4 separate runs of 100 cars over the years, each in different
color schemes. The town of Berkeley Springs was of great significance to John Newbraugh as this was his home town.
Newbraugh Brothers Redecorated McCoy Standard gauge 2-dome Tank Cars
In 1977 the Toy Train Collectors Association (TCA) ordered a large volume of Standard gauge
2-dome tank cars from McCoy for the Lone Star Division hosted Houston Convention.
The TCA expected their members to purchase them as souvenir cars. Unfortunately they were left with many that
did not sell. The TCA subsequently had Newbraugh Brothers Toys repaint 250 of the un-sold tank cars in different road
names so they could move the unused inventory. This created 4 different very attractive McCoy tank cars that McCoy
never made - the NYC & HR RR 2-dome, the Nickel Plate Road 2-dome, the Denver & Rio Grande 2-dome, and the Strasburg
RR Water tanker.
Starting in 1980 Newbraugh Brothers issued a series of 7 TCA Toy Train Museum 'O' gauge box cars
and 3 'S' gauge cars. These included the TCA Special Edition Hafner Trains Silver 'O' gauge box car for the TCA
Toy Train Museum in Strasburg, PA. This was a Lionel 9700 series product redecorated or with additional markings
by Newbraugh Brothers Toys and Pleasant Valley Process Co. and was a limited edition special model made available
for TCA members. Other 'O' gauge cars in the series were redecorated Lionel or Kris Model Trains (KMT) box cars
and included those commemorating the Toy Train Museum (1980), Carlisle & Finch Trains (1982),
Ives Trains (1983), Voltamp Trains (1984),
Hoge Trains (1985), and Dorfan Trains (1986). These cars were offered
by the museum for $20.95. The S gauge offerings were made from redecorated American Flyer
box cars and consisted of the TTM-7781 (1981) Toy Train Museum red car with white door, TTM-7782 (1982) Toy Train Museum
silver car with blue door and TTM-7783 (1983) World's Greatest Show yellow car with red door.
Newbraugh Brothers National Toy Train Museum Redecorated 'O' gauge Box Cars 1980 - 86
NBT/PVP decorated several custom limited edition cars for the Train Collectors Association.
These included annual convention cars, convention banquet table prizes and special awards for recognizing the efforts of
individual members/contributors. Additionally Newbraugh Brothers decorated the very limited edition 200 Fifth Avenue car that
was issued commemorating the plaque that was placed in the Toy Fair Center in NYC by the Train Collectors Association
in 1981. Only 12 of these cars were produced. Another famous item created for the TCA by NBT/PVP was the TCA Headquarters
and Museum Mortgage Burning Box car in 1979. These were created from several hundred surplus TCA NETCA Division 1978
Convention Lionel Hi-cube Box cars.
In 1981 a LOTS E. Kahns Sons Co. Brine Tank Reefer with red roof was issued for the 2nd Convention that
was made by Lionel but completely redecorated for the 2nd Annual Lionel Operating Train Society (LOTS) Convention
in Cincinnati, OH by Newbraugh Brothers Toys and the work was done by Seymour Knight of Pleasant Valley Process Co. of
Pennsylvania. According to LOTS records only 124 of the Red Roof versions were made while 176 were made with brown
roof and ends.
Seymour Knight of PVP did all the decorating for NBT. His Pleasant Valley Process Company of Cogan Station, PA
painted or overstamped the cars manufactured by Lionel and other producers for the many small businesses and train clubs.
From 1981 to 1987 he overstamped or re-decorated the Lionel Operating Train Society (LOTS) Annual Convention
commemorative cars. The cars from
these years (except the 1986 Seattle meet car), have special notations either silk-screened on the side or on the
underside of the car. "BLT PVP X-XX" designated the month and year of production. Another notation of the form
"NBT XXX-XXXX" was intended to describe the type of item, the source, and the sequencing of the car within the
PVP/NBT operation. The first digit showed the type of car (e.g. 3=gondolas & hoppers; 5=box cars; 6=reefers, etc).
The next two numbers were a code for who produced the original piece and how it was changed: (e.g. 05='O' gauge
item made by Lionel fully redecorated by PVP; 06='O' gauge item made by Lionel with additional markings by PVP).
The last four numbers designated the sequence in which the cars were made by NBT. The first car was numbered '1001'.
The LOTS 1981 reefer was the 160th car redecorated by PVP/NBT and so bears the number '1160'. The markings on the rare
Michigan Central box car from 1992 read '505-1204'. These markings appear on the 1981 thru 1987 editions of LOTS
Newbraugh Brothers Toys 'O' gauge 3-Mile Island Set
In 1979 after the infamous leak at the 3-mile Island nuclear power plant in PA, Newbraugh
Brothers issued their 3-mile Island Box cars in N, HO, O gauge and Standard gauge. The Standard gauge 3-mile
Island box car was a redecorated Red Forney box car. The artwork was designed and printed by Seymour
N. Knight and the cars were distributed by Newbraugh Brothers Toys (NBT). The 'O' gauge source was a repainted
Lionel Trains Inc. 9400 series box car with a 9700 series end plate. These cars were custom made for the TCA
Atlantic Division for their November 1979 quarterly meeting held at Westover Country Club. NBT used Pleasant Valley
Process to do the screen printing. NBT in partnership with Pleasant Valley Printing produced a boxed 3-Mile
Island 'O' gauge train set of its own containing a locomotive, box car, tank cars, searchlight car and caboose
using redecorated Lionel stock. NBT/PVP produced 20 different toy train cars carrying TMI logos. Except for
the 'O' gauge boxcar, quantities of each were one hundred or less. Another NBT/PVP TMI product was a coal
hopper marked with the legend, Mother Nature's Fuel - Coal and a circular seal containing the words, Atomic
Energy Poison encircling the cartoon face of Mr. Yuk.
In 1984 the Train Collectors Association (TCA), Fort Pitt Division commissioned Newbraugh Brothers
Toys and Pleasant Valley Process, Company to decorate 216 Lionel 'O' gauge 9700 series Heinz Ketchup box cars
to commemorate the 30th annual TCA Convention held in Pittsburgh. These cars were designed for use as table prizes
at the 30th Convention Banquet. Cars not needed for the banquet were used as a token of appreciation to the Convention
Committee members for the long effort and hard work in putting on the Convention. One of these box cars was placed
in the Heinz Advertising archives.
Newbraugh Brothers Toys Custom Decorated 'O' gauge Box Cars Produced For The TCA
NBT also partnered with Mountaineer Hobbies of WV on a set of Town N' Country Blinking
Billboards - the 'Welcome to Pennsylvania', 'Maryland Welcomes You', 'Welcome to Virgina" and the
'Welcome to West Virginia' were
also available as cardboard inserts that would fit into Lionel's #310 plastic billboard accessory.
At one point in its history John Newbraugh and his partner Seymour Knight purchased the rights and name
for Hoge Manufacturing Co.. The Hoge Company had laid dormant for almost forty
years until it was purchased on March 19, 1981 by Newbraugh Brothers Toys, Inc. of Berkeley Springs, WV.
Newbraugh Brothers purchased the Hoge name, trademark, and rights to make and manufacture Hoge Toys.
At the time of purchase however there was no tooling and no trains were ever actually ever produced.
Newbraugh and Knight had also previously acquired the patterns for the 'O' scale freight line of
Ed Alexander's American Model RR Company in 1980 with hopes of producing
complete train sets using the freight car designs paired with Hoge patterned engines and electrical
systems. But the project never got very far because NBT/PVP was too busy
decorating products for their customers.