Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New York Central FT A-B-B-A Conversion

Greetings Blog Followers,

The shop forces of the New York Central Train Layout recently were directed by management to remove the Kadee Close Coupling kits from the Bachmann New York Central A-B-B-A FTs that are on the roster. The units have been stored serviceable for over a year. The issue was the amount of space between the units was so great, even with the close coupler kit, that they just did not look right.

Background: The units are between 3 and 5 years old. They are Bachmann DC blue box releases. Run a bit noisy and do not have flywheels. Together the 4 units are very capable pullers but they just did not look good while in service. 

History: The FT was built in 1939 by EMD and the New York Central purchased four A units and four B units. The A-B units were coupled by draw bar. For more information check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_FT
For a photo check New York Central A-B-B-A lash up   http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/nyc/nyc1601s.jpg
Note the differing paint schemes in 1949.

Work Performed: After removing the Kadee close coupling kits the original coupler box assemblies were re-installed. The long shank of an IHC passenger car coupler minus the coupler head and the truck attachment end was used for the draw bar. Holes slightly larger that a 2-56 screw were drilled in the shank. Holes for a 2-56 screw were drilled into the coupler assemblies. A 2-56 screw is used to attach one end of the draw bar to the locomotive. A 2-56 screw is then used as a post in the next locomotive. Simply putting the post in the hole attaches the units and also allows for easy separation.

Testing: After completing the installation the four units were coupled up and tested. They ran well with no issues to report on the new draw bar system. However they were still a bit noisy so the shop forces opened up the truck gear boxes and noted they were dry. All four units received new grease and oil at the other moving parts. Engines were re-tested and now run a lot smoother and quieter. They now make an impressive sight on the head of a train. 
 A "Before Shot" of the FT A-B-B-A lash up

Close up of the space between the A and B units.

"After" photo of the A-B-B-A lash up. Note the New Haven GP9 working the subway system with a Walther's track cleaning car. 

The NYC FT A-B-B-A lash up with a guest appearance by a NYC RF16 A-B-A consist.

Aerial view of the FTs and Sharks

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