Hopefully without giving away my surprise, I managed to have another conversation with my hubby about his recollections of the Long Island Railroad in his boyhood. Among stories of squishing pennies on the tracks and playing "dodgetrain" with his buddies, he did reiterate that the commuter trains were commonly of mixed consist of Pennsylvania and Long Island marked coaches. Later, the Tuscan colored coaches began to be supplemented by newer gray ones, and these were often mixed into the consist. His overall impression is that he watched the railroad slowly decline across years. More and more rust became evident, even to the child he was then.
There was a period when steam and diesels were apparently interchangeable, as he never knew in advance which type of locomotive would be pulling the train. During the pre-Christmas rush, when extra trains were put on, he commonly saw Pacifics and Consolodations pushed into commuter service to supplement the G-5s.
I am still torn, since replacing the heavyweights I already have with the Con-cor coaches will add another three bills to my cost, and I'm already over my intended budget. Still. Espeefan is right, I do want this train to be as perfect s it can be. It will be mixed consist of Pennsy and LI, and will have varied weathering on the cars, some looking a bit rattier than others.
Let me do a bit of homework, but I think at this point that I must bite the bullet and go with the expensive Con-cor coaches. The other cars won't be wasted, they'll end up somewhere, painted some way.