NYC ALCO FA / FB Units

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New York Central Mercury Passenger Train

Greetings Blog Followers,

The New York Central Train Layout shop forces have been hard at work upgrading the New York Central Mercury. The shop forces hope to have this train ready for the Thanksgiving rush. The NYCTL Mercury fleet is comprised of 8 smooth side lightweight passenger cars from International Hobby Corp. The assembled train consists of 1 baggage car, 1 combine car, 2 coaches, 1 diner, 2 vista dome cars and 1 observation car. The cars are factory painted light gray with silver lettering.

The fleet was sent to the shop to improve it's reliability and running characteristics. The cars as received from the manufacturer are extremely under weight (actually no weight had been added), extreme rocking due to poor wheels and sloppy connections between truck and bolster.

The NYCTL forces have added weight, installed #6 screws and washer to secure the trucks to the bolsters and Intermountain metal wheel sets. Replacement couplers are the McHenry MCH52 designed to drop in to the original coupler pocket on the truck. If curves permit then body mounted knuckle couplers would be preferred.

The original New York Central Mercury was introduced in 1936. NYC management utilized older refurbished heavy weight cars. Henry Dreyfuss is credited with the redesign and the train was assigned to the Cleveland - Detroit corridor. A second Mercury was later assigned to the Chicago - Detroit corridor. The original Mercury equipment ran well into the 1950s   

 New York Central Mercury Coach #1005 is tested against the Kadee Height gauge


Coupler is spot on.


 #6 screws and washers hold the truck in place instead of the factory installed push pins



Interior of car shows added weight for better tracking

 

The Mercury enters Empire City Station




The Mercury on approach to Empire City Station


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Penn Central Fleet Part II

Greetings Blog Followers,

A follow up from post Penn Central Fleet Part I

Penn Central EMD F7A #1908. This is an old Bachmann train set two wheel drive locomotive. Original paint has been stripped and unit has been repainted and lettered. Motor has been disconnected and this is now a dummy unit.


 Penn Central EMD F7A #1802. This is an old Bachmann train set two wheel drive locomotive. Original paint has been stripped and unit has been repainted and lettered. Motor has been disconnected and this is now a dummy unit.


PC 1802 & 1908 are draw bar connected.


Penn Central EMD E7A #4210 is a custom painted Proto 2000 unit.


Penn Central EMD E8A #4317 is a custom painted Proto 2000 unit. This unit and E7A 4210 are the pride of the PC passenger fleet.


The Big Es


 Penn Central General Electric U28C #6533 is a factory painted Athearn unit. This series of locomotives are known as U-Boats, a nickname derived from their "U" designation which actually stood for Universal.


Penn Central General Electric U28C #6583 is a factory painted Athearn unit. The number has been changed.


Penn Central General Electric U28C #6538 is a factory painted Athearn unit. The number has been changed. 


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Express Boxcars Join The fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

New York Central Train Layout management recently purchased 2 used 56' Express Boxcars, also known as Material Handling Cars as part of a multi car purchase. The cars were sent to the N.Y.C.T.L. shops for complete overhaul and refurbishment. Below is the process undertaken by the shop forces.

All cars were disassembled and the next stop for the current used car purchases was the work sink where the cars were washed and are now waiting to dry.


The Amtrak Express Boxcar has had the rust removed from the metal weights and the weights have been painted flat black to prevent further corrosion. Tools and paints needed for the process are shown below. A The metal strip will be added to increase the cars weight.


The underside of the frame features a molded coupler box that stays attached to the under frame by the screws holding securing the trucks to the bolsters. For the horn hook couplers this mostly adequate. For knuckle couplers this system is not the best as it allows the couplers to have excessive vertical play which will cause unwanted uncoupling. Fortunately this can easily be upgraded with a Kadee coupler box and some shims. 


The car has new Kadee coupler boxes and metal wheels installed.  


Intermountain 36' metal wheels are installed. By cutting the sill I was able to easily add the Kadee coupler box and Kadee #5 coupler. The metal shim is a coupler lid from an old Roundhouse boxcar kit. They worked perfectly for this application. If you do not have this part in your parts box a small washer or two will suffice. The coupler box is now directly secured to the frame with a 2-56 screw. This close up view also shows the factory version of securing the coupler box with the screw securing the trucks to be totally inadequate especially for head end cars.


The all important Kadee Height Gauge Test. Roll car to gauge and allow to couple up. Make certain the trip pin clears the gauge prior to the coupler faces meeting. Give the car a tug and watch the coupler for vertical play. If the coupler raises up more than a fraction then there is too much vertical play. Most times this can be corrected with a gray of red Kadee washer inserted into the coupler box. Couplers should be able to swivel easily but be able to travel too far vertically.. 

The N.Y.C.T.L. Express Box Car Fleet. The two newest cars are in the middle. 


NYC 9214


REA 7422 (new)


Amtrak 1415 (new)


Amtrak 1521 with US Mail logo


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Penn Central Locomotive Fleet Part 1

Greetings Blog Followers,

The Yard Master on duty at Terminal Yard noticed that the motive power in the yard was entirely in Penn Central livery. Seeing the opportunity for rail fan greatness the Yard Master called in several crews to set up the motive power for rail fan photography. Listening in on their scanners local rail fans learned on this unique opportunity and flocked rail side in droves. Below our the first submissions;

Penn Central EMD Geeps congregate for the camera.  


Penn Central GP 38-2 #8150. A Bachmann factory painted unit


Penn Central GP 38-2 #8148. A Bachmann factory painted unit


Penn Central GP 40 #3007. A Bachmann factory painted unit


Penn Central GP35 #2252. An Athearn Blue Box unit that has been custom painted and lettered.


Penn Central GP35 #2327. An Athearn Blue Box unit that has been custom painted and lettered.


Penn Central GP40 #3175. An Athearn Blue Box unit that has been custom painted and lettered.


Penn Central SD40 #6282. An Athearn Blue Box unit that has been custom painted and lettered.


Penn Central SD35 #6039. An Atlas factory painted unit.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Neal's Lumber & Hardware

Greetings Blog Followers,

The Empire City Chamber of Commerce proudly announces the long awaited opening of Neal's Lumber & Hardware. Located within the downtown area of Empire City Neal's Lumber & Hardware offers quality building supplies to both the homeowner and tradesman.

Neal's Lumber & Hardware is a subsidiary of the Atlantic Pacific Railroad and named after A.P.R.R. owner and C.E.O. Neal M and is of course rail served. Being a model railroader himself, Neal makes certain that he provides the very best lumber available to his fellow modelers. One of the Company's slogans is, "Bench work lumber for the discerning modeler"

Neal's Lumber & Hardware open for business and expecting a rail car of lumber any minute 


 Neal's front entrance with Neal himself peeking out the window waiting for the train to arrive.


Railroad employees hold traffic as the train approaches.


One of the company's advertising slogans. Model railroaders from around the world swear by Neal's high grade lumber.


Neal's employees prepare to load up a local shipment on the back of a flatbed truck.


Customer's loading their pickup while checking out the fence section.


Neal's flat bed truck sits adjacent the rails


A local contractor stops to check out the train action prior to entering Neal's Lumber & Hardware.


Traffic is stopped and it appears the train will appear any second.


A 50' flat car of fresh cut lumber is being shoved towards Neal's yard by a Penn Central GP38-2


Penn Central #8150 shoves the car into the yard. PC #8150 is the newest locomotive of the New York Central Train Layout fleet.


PC #8150 has nosed into the yard and spotted the car. The brakeman will apply the brakes and release the coupler pin to free the engine.


The engine has been cut off the flatcar and heads back to the North Side Yard. 


 Another view of Neal's Lumber & Hardware. Note the Model Railroader billboard and the very nervous trees.


A nervous tree stands tall


Neal's Lumber & Hardware is now a rail served industry located in the heart of Empire City. How Neal got the City to approve the rail spur into his yard that blocks city traffic is another story altogether.


Neal's Lumber and Hardware was built from a Walther's Walton and Sons Lumber Cornerstone building kit. The buildings that surround Neal's are from City Classics, Bachmann Spectrum, Design Preservation Models and Walther's.     

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

C&NW Ore Car Upgrade

Greetings Blog Followers,

The shop forces of the New York Central Train Layout were busy yesterday upgrading an eight car set of IHC Chicago & North Western ore cars from truck mounted (talgo style) couplers to body mounted couplers. NYCTL Management authorized the upgrade after the cars derailed during a shove move.

 The cars have been under NYCTL ownership for almost 20 years and can be found working the T&R Gravel Plant. The cars were purchased from the old International Hobby Corp in Philadelphia and have Walther's removable ore loads. For one reason or other the cars were never upgraded during the prior 20 years of ownership. At this time the cars are now fully operational and slated to get metal wheel sets on the next fleet upgrade.

The first 4 car set of C&NW ore cars. The cars now feature body mounted knuckle couplers at the end of each 4 car set and body mounted dummy knuckle couplers to couple the four cars together.


 4 Car set #2


Close up of the body mounted dummy couplers. Screws and washers are left unpainted for pictorial clarity


Body Mounted Operating Knuckle Coupler. Washer added to meet Kadee Height Gauge requirements.


Bottom view showing coupler body mounted using 2-56 screws and Kadee coupler boxes.


The 8 car set now operational and made into a train. Pennsylvania 8815, a Spectrum H16-44, is the power.


The tail end of the train with caboose and conductor on rear platform. 


The train is ready for a shove move with the conductor in place to "protect the shove" 


A video of the cars being shoved. The last shove prior to the upgrade resulted in a derailment that made the cars resemble a slinky. The cars now operate satisfactorily in either direction.