Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Sunday, September 29, 2013

North Side Rail Yard Operational

Greeting Blog Followers,

The management of the New York Central Train Layout is proud to report that the North Side Rail Yard is now operational. The three track yard will serve as a marshaling yard for rail cars into and out of Empire City. As the city grows and the industries grow with it rail traffic has increased greatly. The N.S.R.Y. will help to alleviate clogging of the main line and offer expedited car switching for local customers. All involved look forward to the enhanced operations the yard provides.  

An East Side View

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

North Side Rail Yard Starts Taking Shape

Greetings Blog Followers,

The management of the New York Central Train Layout has successfully negotiated space along the North Side of Empire City to build a North Side Rail Yard over the lower tracks leading into Empire City Station. The citizens of Empire City were none too pleased but understood that with no trains they would have no city.

Construction began on September 15, 2013 and is progressing ahead of schedule and currently within budget.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Big Blue Hits the Rails

Greetings Blog Followers,

Big Blue has hit the rails! Empire City rail fans were treated to the annual changing of the colors as my Conrail fleet has started to appear. Sharp eyed fans also noted a new freight car being tested as well.

This is the newest addition to the freight car fleet, a 50' Boxcar with double doors. The yellow door signifies that this car is intended for paper service only which is also clearly stated in the yellow box on the car's sides. The car is a Hubert's product and comes with metal wheels riding in Atlas trucks and knuckle couplers. Couplers were mounted at the right height. The wheels however were just a bit tight and derailed going through turnouts. A gray Kadee fiber washer placed between wheel and plastic axle spaced the wheels just right to meet the NMRA wheel gauge. All in all a good looking and nice running car with the minor modifications.

Conrail GP40s lead a freight train over the viaduct into downtown Empire City

Conrail freight rumbles into downtown Empire City

Conrail freight makes it through the east side industrial area.

Friday, September 20, 2013

40' Gondola Modifications and Load

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week I was comparing notes with fellow modeler Steve N on Trainlife.com regarding conversions and upgrades on the old AHM / Bachmann 40' gondolas. Steve was working on an AHM model and my model is from Bachmann. However they are the same car as they were both built by Kader in Taiwan. The cars came with plastic wheels, truck mounted knuckle couplers and a gray plastic gravel load.

I dug out my car and took some photos that I thought I'd share here....

P&LE #43245 in service with metal wheels, body mounted knuckle couplers, gray interior and new load.

CB&Q E3141 is a Bachmann Silver Series that comes with metal wheels and body mounted coupler boxes.

Coal Load made from a "free sample" roofing shingle. Picked up the samples when deciding on new roof color. Being a model railroader I quickly saw the potential of the sample as a gondola load.

CB&Q Gondola with painted interior and "free sample" coal load

Proto 2000 metal wheels and body mounted knuckle couplers have been added to the car. To achieve the correct coupler height a metal washer was used as a spacer between the car floor and coupler box. Look closely as it is painted to match car. A short 2-56 screw hold the coupler box securely to the floor.

'A' end of the car showing metal wheels and body mounted coupler boxes. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Industry for the N.Y.C.T.L.

Greetings Blog Followers,

The upper level track realignment continues. The goal is to permanently  locate my Cargill Grain Elevator and add another industry that can receive more than on train car at a time. The Cargill Grain Elevator requires enough track length on either side of the loading chute to accommodate the cars that must be rolled under it for loading. The Cargill Grain Elevator's size should be able to support 4-5 cars. That means enough length for 10 cars.

Secondly by moving the Cargill Elevator some narrow space has become available. After mulling it over I mocked up a 3 story grocery warehouse. The warehouse is narrow but it's height gives it the mass to support the 4 train car doors. In using these 4 car door a closely spaced second track doubles this from 4 to 8 cars that can be worked at the warehouse.

Top track is from Cargill. Bottom two tracks are for industry to be determined. 

A look at the overall site. 

Tracks to Cargill and tracks to new industry 

Cargill can handle 4 -5 car cuts of 56' Covered Hoppers

Cargill from the front of the layout.

A Grocery Warehouse has been mocked up using D.P.M. modular pieces. Note the 8 train car capacity.

The 3 story grocery warehouse has enough mass to support the 8 cars it can ship and receive.

Local trucks can access the building through a rear loading dock.
Right now the Grocery Warehouse mock up can be used as is until an actual model is built. The dimensions are known, track can be laid and rail traffic to and from the building can commence.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Intermodal Equipment

Greetings Blog Followers,

The ownership of the New York Central Train Layout recently purchased four boxes of Walther's extendable container chassis consisting of eight total chassis kits. As the layout bounces from T.O.F.C. to C.O.F.C. and back management jumped at the opportunity to purchase these kits when they were offered at a very reasonable price.

 The Walther's box containing two chassis kits

The first builds painted flat black, with rims highlighted and mud flaps added. Tires have been lightly sanded to remove shine and nubs. 

Chassis extended to 48'

Rear detail includes painted tail lights, marker lights and mud flaps

Pay no mind to the Nathan's mobile on the track ;)

The second pair of chassis were painted. Here is an orange chassis with matching rims

Jade green chassis with matching rims

All four chassis under 40' containers  

Four chassis, Four containers and two Trailer Train 86' trailer flats

Chassis and Containers on Flat Car equals T.O.F.C. (Trailer On Flat Car)


Four kits built, four more to go. Stay tuned for the next installment.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Erie Builts Lead Pacemaker Freight Train

Greetings Blog Followers

Empire City Railfans caught a bloated New York Central Pacemaker Freight Train being lead by an A-B-A set of Fairbanks-Morse Erie Builts. The Pacemaker, a less than carload freight train that runs on an express schedule, was captured leaving Terminal Yard and heading into Empire City. Usual power for this train on the New York Central Layout is either an A-B-A set of EMD F7s, an A-B-A set of  Alco FAs, an A-B-B-A set of EMD FTs  or a 4-8-4 Niagra.

Introduced to compete with EMD's E units and Alco's PAs, teh Fairbanks-Morse Erie Built offered 2000 Horsepower per unit and was available with steam generators for passenger service. Designed by Raymond Loewy and built by General Electric in their Erie Pennsylvania factory, 111 locomotives were (82 As and 29 Bs) were delivered to seven US railroads between 1945 and 1949.

The Erie Builts pulled some of premier passenger trains of the stream liner area including the Santa Fe Super Chief, Milwaukee Road Olympian Hiawatha, the PRR Broadway Limited, Liberty Limited, Admiral, Trail Blazer and Manhattan Limited.

The New York Central received a fleet of 14 2,000 Horsepower Erie Builts. Of these six were were geared for 97 miles per hour and intended for passenger service and the remaining 5 were geared for 79 miles per hour and intended for fast freight service. Eries were typically assigned as power for the Pacemaker High Speed Freight Service.

New York Central Erie Built A-B-A consist lead the Pacemaker Freight train

An impressive display of Fairbanks-Morse motive power