Norfolk Southern Office Car Special

ocs2 Several railroads today have what is called an ‘Office Car Special’, a term used for the executive train. Often the call sign or train symbol for this type of train is OCS. When I was looking for cars to produce for my Executive Line Series, the Norfolk Southern paint scheme jumped out at me as beautiful. Actually ‘handsome’ was the word I used. With further research, I found what the rest of the east coast knew all along, that the NS ‘OCS’ was a very popular and commonly seen train.


I have no proof, but it seems like Union Pacific and BNSF run their executive trains seldom, but like I said it’s only my perception. Imagine a railroad, the Norfolk Southern, taking a business trip to the Kentucky Derby or the US Open. Now that’s cool! It sure would be great to see those cars next week when we visit the city of Roanoke, Virginia for this year’s National N Scale Enthusiast Convention. That’s reason enough to run an OCS in my book!

When I found that many of the NS – OCS cars were six-axel observation cars, with platform, smooth sides, and full radial roofs, I was ecstatic! A friend of mine went to the Altoona paint shops and sent me actual paint samples so I could get the color right, because getting the color ‘right’ is so important. The reception of my ‘West Virginia‘ has been a great success. So, I am very excited to announce that I’m producing the NS – OCS. At least thirteen of the cars look like they can be done, but there may be more as the NS continues to add cars to it’s OCS line up.

There are more Office Car Specials out there. What would you like to see?


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Lowell Smith

A native of Portland, Oregon, Lowell Smith married his church choir sweetheart Barb in 1978. After a lifetime of rail-fanning, Lowell and Barb ventured out in 1992 to launch a new business in Portland, Oregon. Read more


  1. Rodney on July 7, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I would like to see some of standard cars in the consist ( sleepers, diner). If I got to 8 or so cars, I would have my NS OCS train.

    The smooth side cars could be a great match for some of the Canadian Pacific office cars. I would be glad to order those ones as well.

    Thanks for taking the lead on such unique models


    • Lowell Smith on July 21, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Thanks for the note Rodney. I am planning those sleepers and diner as you mentioned there. Just a FYI. I will look into the CP office cars.

  2. Stacey Mansfield on August 8, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Interesting read and glad folks have a love of these special excursions, because we sure do!
    Norfolk Southern

  3. Robert on October 28, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    What are all the cars names and numbers.

    • Lowell Smith on November 3, 2017 at 8:16 am

      Robert, I do not have that in a simple format that I can send to you. But if you search on the web you will find it. Sorry for not having a better response for you.

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