NYC ALCO FA / FB Units

NYC ALCO FA / FB Units
Custom Painted P-2000 units

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Empire State Express Pulled From Service Again

Greetings Blog Followers.  The New York Central Empire State Express has been pulled from service again. Followers may remember previous issues with the 8 car train that was described in a prior blog post
Sunday, November 13, 2011 Trials & Tribulations of the Empire State Express.The Corrugated Side Cars were manufactured by International Hobby Corp, are a scale 86' and have 4 wheel trucks.They have been on the roster for several years. This past year however has seen the cars pulled from service twice, this time for unscheduled uncoupling issues. The cars utilize after market McHenry talgo mount couplers that were designed specifically for this type of car. The NYC maintenance crews had the cars in their shops for several days on the prior issues and it was believed the problems had been resolved. The cars ran fine when put back into service and were subsequently cycled off the layout for about sixty days. The cars were stored in their original boxes and when reintroduced to the layout this past week they began to have coupling issues right off the bat.
The cars were removed from service for the shop crews to remove the McHnery talgo mounted couplers and install Kadee #5 body mounted couplers for more reliable coupling. The layout's 22" radius curves however proved to be too tight for this application. The cars stayed reliably coupled but were now prone to derailments on the 22" curves. After consultation with other model railroaders and owners of these types of cars one of the #5 couplers was removed from each car and replaced with a long center set coupler. This would provide more couple swing to hopefully get around the curves. This too proved to be unsatisfactory. Additional time was spent cutting off the corners of the coupler boxes to increase coupler swing. Unfortunately after several trips various cars began to derail again.
The shop forces have decided to re-install the McHenry talgo mount couplers and once again fine tune them to meet the Kadee coupler height gauge. To the shop I go......

An A-B-A lash up of Fairbanks-Morse "Erie Builts" lead the Empire State Express toward Empire City 

The Empire State Express on the lower track while a coal drag waits for clearance

Seven of Eight cars of the E.S.E. are visible as the train progresses to the lower level
 
 The E.S.E. heads toward Empire City Station

Rounding the final curve before Empire City Station

The Empire State Express arrives on track 3. On track 2 is the Commodore Vanderbilt and on track 1 is the Mercury

For today's passenger power we have an A-A consist of Alco PAs assigned to the Mercury, a single EMD E8A assigned to the Commodore Vanderbilt and the A-B-A consist of FM "Erie Builts" on the ill fated Empire State Express
  

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