Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Proto 2000 E8 coupler swing arm upgrade

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week I had occasion to upgrade the coupler swing arm on another of my Proto 2000 E8A units. While these units are truly work horses and run great the coupler swing arms have too much vertical play. This excess play leads to unwanted disconnections during operations. The fix is pretty simple, yet effective.

New York Central Proto 2000 E8A coupled to Kadee height gauge

Close up of E8A coupled to height gauge

Close up of E8A coupled to height gauge with a bit of tension  applied. Notice how the coupler rises up. This is the issue we are looking to overcome

Another close up of the E8A coupled to the height gauge with a little tension applied. This simulates the E8A coupled to a string of passenger / freight cars

The rear coupler swing arm assembly

Rear coupler swing arm assembly. Notice droop of coupler and the press pin that is holding the coupler swing arm to the body 

Front coupler swing arm assembly

Coupler swing arm and press pin

 Coupler swing arm assembly now attached to frame with 2-56 screw and nut. Nut has been tightened to eliminate vertical play but still allow lateral play.

Close up of coupler swing arm held in place with 2-56 screw and nut. The Kadee #5 coupler in the coupler box has also been upgraded to a 2-56 screw. For ease of installation on the rear of the unit the electrical board was unscrewed and slid out of the way. The rear truck was dropped down by removing the gear cover (background). There is enough slack in the wires to easily accomplish this. On the front there is enough clearance that removing the truck is not necessary.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stare Down !!!

Greetings Blog Followers,
This past week saw some hostile activity on the train layout. Seems the motive power groups were not happy to see their catalog replacements in revenue service. Engineers were reporting some stare downs between the units while passing each other.

New York Central GP20s face off against their younger cousins, the uniquely styled GP30s, on the high line

The GP30s are holding their own as they lug a coal train through Empire City under the watchful and unfriendly eyes of the GP20s

NYC GP30 2728 on point ready to pass NYC GP20 6109

NYC GP20 6109 
 To add further mayhem to the day a trio of GP35s have appeared in Empire City. The lead units are wearing the new Penn Central scheme while the trailing unit is in New York Central livery. 

The New York Central GP30s get a taste of the GP20s hard feelings and the next catalog offerings, the GP35s enter Empire City. To make matters even worse two GP35s are sporting Penn Central markings!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bralick Building

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week I purchased and assembled a City Classics building kit known as 106 East Ohio Street. The kit consisted of four walls with windows and store front molded in, styrene for the roof, clear plastic for the windows and a cardboard view block for inside the building. The building was brush painted prior to assembly using hobby acrylics. Window glazing, decals and window treatments were then added. After allowing time to dry I assembled the building gluing the four sides together with Bondene. I held the building together with rubber bands and allowed the glue to cure overnight. The next day I used a clear latex caulk inside the four sides to further hold the building together and fill in any gaps. The building was set aside to dry and cure. I then touched up the paint. I named the building the Bralick Building using signs from a Walther's kit. 

The Bralick Building houses a BB&T Bank, a doctor's office and law offices.

The Skyline

Rear view

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Passenger Train is Born !

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week saw the addition of some new passenger cars from Walther's.
1. B60 Baggage Car / Penn Central / Green
2. Baggage Car / Penn Central / Silver / Corrugated sides
3. Baggage Dormitory Car / Penn Central / Silver / Corrugated Sides
4. 44 Seat Coach / New York Central / Two Tone Gray
5. 10-6 Sleeper / Penn Central / Green
6. 10-6 Sleeper / Penn Central / Green
These cars will be added to previously owned Walther's cars
7. 4-4-2 Sleeper / New York Central / Two Tone Gray
8. B60 Baggage Car / Pennsylvania / Tuscan

The eight cars make up a standard length train for the layout and will be mostly powered by an E8A.
All cars came equipped with metal wheels and knuckle couplers. The trucks are also metal and the manufacturer directs a drop of oil be added to each axle end prior to use. All cars are extremely free rolling and handle the 24" curves on the layout. 

Penn Central 10-6 Sleepers pull into Empire City Station

PC 10-6 Sleeper at rest among the Great Steel Fleet

New York Central 4-4-2 Sleeper mixes in nicely with the NYC equipment

 Penn Central B60 Baggage Car 

Pennsylvania B60 Baggage Car

New York Central 44 seat coach

NYC 44 seat coach. Note factory applied grab irons

 Penn Central 10-6 Sleeper

PC 10-6 Sleeper leaving Empire City Station

Penn Central 73' Baggage Car on the High Line

Penn Central Baggage Dormitory Car on the High Line

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gotcha !!

Greetings Blog Followers,

The local constabulary were caught having some fun with an Empire City resident who sought relief from an over full bladder outside of a local bar.

 The Empire City Police Department enjoy a humorous moment at the expense of a bar patron who could not wait for the men's room to become unoccupied.

Even the platoon commander got into the act suing the bull horn to use a famous police line "Drop that thing and come out with your hand's up" 

Another bar patron has stumbled out to see what the commotion is all about. Car enthusiasts note the cutting edge Brown Mercury Bobcat. 

Traffic is starting to back up as another E.C.P.D. car arrives on the scene and tractor trailer waits to proceed. 

Employees at Drywell Inks around the corner from the incident work diligently loading up some NYC Pacemaker trucks while a New York Central freight train rumbles by in the background.