Custom Painted P-2000 units

Thursday, May 31, 2012

FM H16-44s Lead The Way

A New York Central freight train makes it way through the industrial district behind two Fairbanks-Morse H16-44s.  I custom painted these powerful locomotives back in October 2010. This is an older film of the layout and equipment. This area has been pretty much completed and the NYC jade green 50' double door boxcars have been renumbered.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Merchants Row II

Here is the newest building for Empire City. It is a Merchants Row II kit from Walther's. The building features Reyneely's Restaurant, The Hitching Post Tavern, a Beauty Parlor, Mead Drug Store and Robert's books. Painting, assembly, decals and details took about four days. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Temporary Loading of Express Baggage

As morning comes to Empire City the last of the head end express shipments are ready to get loaded. Both the Railway Express Agency and New York Central have been hustling through the night to load the various East and West bound intercity trains. Track #4 must be clear by 7:00 AM to allow the commuter trains access to all four tracks. At 10:00 AM a baggage and express train will call on track #4 to take on Express shipments and mail. The train will depart at 2:00 PM for Terminal Yard where the east bound and west bound cars will be separated, given new power and sent out on the rails to their respective destinations.

While this is a bit backward it allows the railroad to fulfill it's express obligations until a new Railway Express Building and mail loading facility are built. 

 Railway workers get themselves ready for the final assault on today's express shipments
 Conductor, Engineer and Fireman check their timepieces as they wait for the unloading and loading to commence
 New York Central Pacemaker trucks stand by as a forklift operator waits for the train doors to open. In the background the New Haven Patriot is on track #3 ready to depart for Boston, a New York Central train sits on track #2 and a freight train passes through on track #1 
The forklift operator assures the foreman he will strap the barrel to the pallet and careful when he loads  it into the car.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Word on the Street, Part II

What a difference a few hours makes. The streets of Empire City have come alive since the earlier post of "Word on the Street part I.

 An ambulance arrives at the request of the police to further assist in this code 10-56 "man down" call
 A CNN news truck "chases" the ambulance call a short distance away
 Both pedestrian and vehicular traffic build as morning progresses 
 Hotel guests are greeted by another sunny day in the big city
 Old friends meet, horns honk, people scurry to an fro. It's just another day in Empire City
 A friendly policeman keeps an eye on the kids waiting for the school bus
 Empire City residents know that Mickey has the freshest fruit in town. 
 The Electric Company is fine tuning the substation to ensure there is enough A/C for everyone today
Only a few spots left in the commuter parking lot as the morning rush hour winds down

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Empire City Station Beautification, Part 1

Construction crews are hard at work adjacent the right of way below the Empire City Train Station parking lot access road. Trenches for drainage pipes and electric lines to and from the tunnel adjacent the right of way are being dug in. The Mayor of Empire City has decreed that this area leading from the new bore under Empire City to the newly opened Empire Station be landscaped and beautified as soon as possible. While the whole project is way ahead of schedule with Empire City Station open and operational a full eight months before it's scheduled completion and the parking lots have an 80% availability rate at the beginning of each day the Mayor knows it is an election year and wants to tout this monumental achievement during his campaign.     

 Construction crews are gearing up bright and early
 A NYC SW8 with two gondolas and a shoving caboose is ready to haul the last of the dirt and debris from the tunnel and along the right of way. Commuters are starting to fill up the adjacent parking lots.
 Parked cars and construction equipment sit in the commuter parking lot while heavy equipment digs adjacent the Railroad right of way.
 A view from the street overpass
 Workers working
Construction materials await their call in the commuter parking lot
 Empire City Station has an eclectic fleet this morning. From left to right, Two CB&Q F3s, a NYC E8, a VGN gondola, a Clinchfield caboose and the tail of a New Haven train. The CB&Q locomotives are running off mileage owed as part of the joint NYC & CB&Q motive power pooling agreement. The specially designed and outfitted Clinchfield Caboose was a gift to the railroad from it's creator. 
That's Engineer Sam on the rear step of his custom designed and built Clinchfield Caboose. Sam is busy watching the action as a passenger makes her way down the platform and a NYC Pacemaker truck loads up some express packages into a waiting baggage car.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ace, The Helpful Super Market Place?

A newly completed Life Like Ace Super Market has joined with my other structures in a quest for prime real estate. The building is an older kit and some of the details are a bit vintage. But after painting, dull coating and adding decals it should fit in pretty good among the taller buildings. One good thing about having a layout still under construction is that all real estate is temporary. Buildings can move as others are added.

 Ace Super Market is the newest building added to Empire City
Signs of life can be seen inside the store as employees and customers interact at the cash registers. A few cars parked outside indicate ACE is now open for business.

Monday, May 7, 2012

EMD E8A Demonstrator # 952

The E-Unit was the diesel star of the stream liner era. Built by GM's Electro Motive Company, later renamed the Electro Motive Division, the first E was known as the EA with a cab less booster called an EB. In production from  May 1937 to June 1938 six EAs and six EBs were sold to the B&O. Next was the E1 which went into production one month after the EA. Eight E1As and three E1Bs went to the Santa Fe to power the Super Chief. These units introduced the "Warbonnet" paint scheme which was developed by GM artist Leland Knickerbocker. As production progressed and more railroads turned to diesel power the E7 became the best selling passenger diesel of all time. However when Alco released it's PA1 passenger diesel in September 1946 with it's very capable dynamic brake installation it put the E7 at an immediate disadvantage, especially with the western railroads since the E units had no provision or room in the car body for dynamic braking. Despite its drawbacks the E7 did not suffer from reliability problems that plagued the passenger diesels of other builders and EMD was able to sell 428 E7A's and 82 E7B's in little over four years. The last E7s in revenue service ran on New Jersey Transit.

Enter the E8, introduced in August 1949, totally redesigned, inside and out. Dynamic braking, reconfigured prime movers, winterization hatches, better ventilation and a combined fuel and water tank led the EMD to sell 421 E8 A units and 39 B unit. Just 50 short of the E7 record. Not to shabby considering that most railroads were halfway through their dieselization process and competitors Alco, Fairbanks-Morse and Baldwin were offering similarly capable units.

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Electro-Motive E unit the New York Central train master treated the train passengers at Empire City Station to the rare EMD E8A Demonstrator # 952. Word has it that an all E unit day with the New York Central, B&O and Pennsylvania RR participating is being lined up for later in the month. Stay tuned and in the meantime enjoy these pictures of the newest addition to my railroad fleet.

 Empire City rail passengers gather around the brightly painted EMD E8 Demonstrator

 NYC 20th Century Limited passengers stare out the window of their observation car
 Head conductor, Engineer and Fireman confer while two old friends greet each other
 Passengers stop and look as they head about their business
 Older brother, B&O E7A, looks on while two policeman chat in the foreground
 Getting ready for departure
 Another policeman watches the crowd on the lookout for pickpockets and loose women.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Word on the Street Part I

Greeting from Empire City.... A recent mock up of building placement has resulted in the following "Word on the Street Part I"

 Joggers make their way down the street as an E.C.P.D. Patrolman engages in the time honored, Park, Walk and Talk of urban policing
 A Taxi Cab waits in front an Empire City landmark, The Algonquin Hotel, home of the "vicious circle" lead by Dorothy Parker
 The newly built Walther's Northern Power substation is getting a check up from Empire City Electric Company workers.
 A vacant building sits adjacent to the power substation
 A soon to be department store or train station. The facade and building size could handle either entity 
 A corner paper boy hawks the latest edition
 The Empire City Bus Station
More joggers make their way through the local population

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bench Work Progress

Bench work on the New York Central Train Layout upper level continues and after several months there has been some noticeable progress. Building model train layout bench work is O.K. but to be honest it is much more fun (for me) to build model trains, locomotives, buildings and add scenery. With the sawdust flying I have severely limited what scenes I can add so the look of raw or painted plywood still prevails. But we are getting closer. Here are some recent pictures....

 Overall shot of latest completed bench work
 Close up of newly built upper level
 A B&O E7A makes it way under a newly built upper level section
 Passenger trains pass on the lower level while a NYC H16-44 switches a Cargill grain elevator on the upper level
Three levels taking shape. Dedicated subway lines on lowest level run under center of Empire City and Empire City Station. Passenger trains run on lower level. Freight trains on upper level. Track to right of passenger train takes trains from upper level to lower level.   
 Passenger train makes it way over canal bridge. Note reverse loop track branching off to the right. This allows inbound trains to run from staging yard to Empire City Station on lower level. Trains unload their passengers and are then turned on the reverse loop for outbound service back to staging. 
 Upper and lower level access from shelf portion to island portion of layout 
 Empire City taking shape. Still much to do
 A B&O train heads to the lower level above reverse track and canal
  Close up of B&O train passing over canal.