Custom Painted P-2000 units

Saturday, April 19, 2014

NYC Pacemaker Service comes to Neal's Lumber and Hardware

Greetings Blog Followers,

Since we back dated the layout there have been some interesting goings on. First up a sales call to Neal's Lumber and Hardware by the N.Y.C.T.L. sales force touting the New York Central Pacemaker Freight Service was met with success. Neal's Lumber and Hardware has been seeing record sales after cornering the market on snow blowers, shovels, ice melt etc during this winter that will not end. Neal's customers have been extremely satisfied with the service and quality of the merchandise and referrals have sky rocketed. Add to that Neal's fine quality lumber products that are now in stock for the Spring rush of home improvements and model railroad building and Neal's shipping and receiving clerks have been working double time. Knowing that he needs to get his merchandize to the consumer quickly and in good condition to be competitive Neal quickly embraced the Pacemaker Freight Service with a condition or two.

During the meeting with Pacemaker salesman Neal was quick to point out that his lumber yard was rail served. Neal told the salesman, your trucks are nice but I want a Pacemaker boxcar spotted here daily, after lunch. When you bring that car you can switch out whatever car you left me in the morning. From now on inbound in the AM and outbound in the PM. Monday thru Friday. No exceptions.

So there it is....Neal's Lumber and Hardware is now a preferred New York Central Pacemaker Service Customer.

A New York Central Pacemaker Freight Service salesman calls on Sir Neal

By lunch time the local is spotting a Pacemaker box car in Neal's Lumber Yard

Neil's material handlers have the car just about ready for the 5:00 PM pick up time. 

The train crew has arrived a bit early today and waits while the final loading takes place

It's time to shut the doors and switch the car

1/87th scale Neal has changed into his overalls and gives his fork lift operator some last minute instructions.

On day two the local crew arrives on time and couples up to the waiting car. Bills of lading are exchanged while the boxcar gets air to release the brakes. The car moves out and another load of merchandise from Neal's hits the rails.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Susie-Q #517 Joins The Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

As promised we have adjusted the layout time warp from Can Openers to Cigar Bands and Lightning Stripes. The newest car to join the fleet in revenue service is a NYSW (Susie-Q) 40' box car #517 from  MDC / Roundhouse. The model was bought as new old stock. The model was washed and cleaned with weights wire brushed and spray painted black. It was assembled according to the directions with Intermountain wheel sets and Kadee #4s added. The model has been fitted with a home made track cleaning set up and is now in service. 

NYSW #517 coupled up to Steve N.'s MILW rib sided 40' boxcar. Cars were part of the same purchase order.

MILW and NYSW cars waiting for pick up yo be taken to the N.Y.C.T.L. shops

Latest additions await pick up  

Trains have come from Terminal Yard and await Empire City Switcher to couple up and take them to the shop

A close up of NYSW #517. Kadee #5 and Intermountain metal wheels have been installed

NYSW #517 now fitted with a removable track cleaning pad. The car was run extensively without incident and is now in revenue service. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Amtrak Train# 91 / 92 "Silver Star"

Greetings Blog Followers,

As our time warp into the future comes to a close the final installment is Amtrak Train #91 / 92 "Silver Star"
This train has been added to the modern passenger fleet of the New York Central Train Layout and so named for Rick P, or Sir Rick, as he is known on Rick, a South Carolinian, is a fellow modeler and a fan of the Atlantic Coast Line RR. Several of the cars that now make up the consist for the "Silver Star" were purchased from Sir Rick in March 2014 as part of a large purchase of project cars that were in decent shape but needed a bit of work to repair, restore and upgrade.      

The Prototype: Listed in the Amtrak's Atlantic Coast Service time table #91 "Silver Star" travels from Boston, Massachusetts to New York's Penn Station and south through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and terminates in Miami Florida. Train #92 is the north bound version. Silver Star seems to serve the locales of both of our model railroads. Train #97 /98 "Silver Meteor" which serves many of the same major cities but with different stops in South Carolina may end up the closer train to our layout locales. If so a correction will be announced.

The Models: Four Amtrak phase III Super Liners from ConCor were already on the roster. The purchase from Sir Rick added three additional ConCor Super Liners in phase IV paint, a Material Handling Car in Phase IV and an R.P.O. in phase III. The R.P.O. travels from Boston and is cut off at Empire City. All models received additional weight. The Super Liners received talgo mounted McHenry #53 couplers.

Train # 91 / 92 Motive Power is this pair of GE AMD103s of Genesis Diesels in phase III paint.

AMD 103 # 824 leads the Silver Star into Empire City station under the watchful eye of an Amtrak Police car

Train #91 at the crossing.  

Amtrak Super Liner Deluxe Sleeping Car #32111 "Texas" in Phase IV paint. Note the McHenry #52 couplers. No good! replaced with McHenry #53

The "Texas" has had it's roof repaired and repainted in gray primer. 

Amtrak Material Handling Car # 71151in phase IV paint

The MHC car has received new coupler boxes, Kadee #5 couplers, metal wheel sets and additional weight

Super Liner Dining Car #38042 in phase IV paint. The roof of this car was also repaired and repainted in gray primer. The McHenry #53 couplers have been installed and note the close coupling. 

Super Liner Sightseer Lounge #33025 in phase IV paint. Car to right is utilizing the Kadee adapter kit for these cars. 

 Sleeper cars in phase III and phase IV

Super Liner Dining Car #38042 in phase IV paint

MHC 71141 brings up the rear with an SP Overnight Box Car (Track Cleaner). 


"Silver Star" roars out of Empire City Station on it's way south

Friday, April 11, 2014

Milwaukee Road 40' Rib Side Boxcar Joins the Fleet.

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week I was at my local hobby store in search of a couple of MDC / Roundhouse kits that I could use for easy conversion to track cleaning cars. I found two such cars to fit my needs but for today's entry we' ll concentrate on the MILWAUKEE ROAD rib sided 40' boxcar. When I saw the car it instantly reminded me of a fellow modeler that I have a lot of respect for, Steve N, from I'm not really a Milwaukee Road fan and normally I would have bypassed this car without a second glance. But the instant association it had with Steve caused me to grab it. Looking at the pictures the car's unique rib sides do add an interesting touch when coupled up to other boxcars (Quoting a bit from Steve).

The model is the standard MDC / Roundhouse kit. As with all my older car / kit  purchases I thoroughly washed the components and wire brushed the metal weights. I spray painted the under frame, trucks and weights flat black. Kadee #5 couplers and metal wheel sets were then added.   

The Prototype: Research into some prototype facts of the car reveal that the Milwaukee Road shop built 750 of these rib sided boxcars. The cars were 40'6" in length, 14'1" in height and 10'4" wide. The empty car weight was 41,900 lbs. Anyone with additional information on these cars please post in comments section. 

 Shell of MILW 23925 after being washed and then dull coated

Two brass washers have been attached over the bolsters with silicone to add additional weight. The car's two factory weights were removed, wire brushed, spray painted and reattached. The 2-56 screws popping through are from the track cleaning pad. 

The bottom view shows the track cleaning pad, newly installed Intermountain metal wheel sets and 
Kadee #5 couplers. 

MILW 23935 is now ready for assignment. Like Steve, doing a lot of work in keeping TrainLife going in the right direction, the car will see a lot of work cleaning the rails for many years to come.

And on the occasions when Steve's car needs a day off we'll remove the track cleaning pad let him joyride 
and hobnob with his fellow freight cars.
The NYC and NYSW cars were purchased at the same time as the MILW car and will be subjects of future blog entries..

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dash 8 Days or Daze

Greetings Blog Followers,

The layout time warp into the future continues for a short time longer so please bear with me. I've used this occasion to blow the dust off of some of the railroad boxes with newer equipment that has been purchased over the years. Nice to see them out on the layout and tweak them back into great running condition.

 Conrail #6062 leads CSX #7664 over the Empire City viaduct. Both units are classified asC40-8W or C40-8CW. The Conrail unit was built in 1990 The 6062 went to Norfolk Southern during the Conrail split and has been repainted as NS #8321. CSX #7664 is still on the CSX roster and in the same, while faded, paint scheme. Both models are from Bachmann Spectrum

Dash 8s meet in Empire City

Amtrak 506 is a General Electric B32-8WH. This unit was built in 1991. Amtrak received a total of 20 such units (#500 thru 519) that were quickly nicknamed "Pepsi Cans" because of their colorful paint schemes. They are still in revenue service.  The model is by Walther's

So many trains, so many manufacturers 

A close of Amtrak B32-8WH #506. I added the number boards. The model features the bronze wheels used by Walther's during this release period. In the past they were very troublesome, getting dirty quickly. The addition of a track cleaning car to the consist has kept the wheels and track clean and the engine running smoothly.  

Amtrak 824 and 803 are General Electric Genesis units Classified as P40 DC or Dash 8 40BP  and formerly known as an AMD 103 sue to it's speed rating of 103 mph.

 Amtrak #824 and #809 enter Empire City Station. A whole blog entry would be required to explain the significance of these units to Amtrak. The models are Athearn BB

Conrail C40-8 #6044 leads a rescued Amtrak train into Empire City Station. The 6044 was built in 1989. The unit went to CSX during the Conrail split and is now known as CSX #7497 and painted in the CSX "Dark Future" paint scheme.

A Bachmann catalog shot. Spectrum C40-8, Spectrum F40-PH, Bachmann Amfleet coach, Bachmann plastic cars

Another Dash 8 meet. 

Hope you have enjoyed the time warp into the future on the layout. A couple of Amtrak projects are up next and then it's back to the 1960s. Stay tuned

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Amtrak RPO 9988 Joins the Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

A large purchase of used trains from different eras was made New York Central Train Layout Management several weeks ago. This purchase has resulted in several cars, including the Center Beam Flats, G.B.W. Thrall All Door Boxcar, A.T.S.F. 50' Boxcar being added to the fleet. The next car from the box to be put into service is Amtrak RPO (Railway Post Office) #9988. The model is an Athearn Blue Box offering with the pointless arrow paint scheme. This model joins Amtrak RPO # 9987 in the Amtrak fleet.

The Model: As received the car had several issues. First was the common problem on BB kits, heavy rust on the weights, coupler box lids and axles. Cosmetically the car had several scratches, a severe scrape on it's side, a missing brake wheel and the wrong color trucks for this model.

 The Prototype: A search of various internet data bases did not reveal an Amtrak RPO similar to this specific car which is about 63' in scale length. RPO service ended for most railroads in the 1960s but continued on the Northeast Corridor up to 1977 via the Penn Central and Conrail. For additional information check this web discussion with links

The RPO car has returned from the paint shop. The weights were wire bushed and spray painted flat black to inhibit further rust. The coupler box lids were wire bushed and sanded. Lids and trucks are painted in gray primer. The car has had it's roof and the large scrape left below arrow) repainted in silver. The entire car was then dull coated with Testor's Dullcote. 

 Note the trucks were painted with the old wheels and coupler lids in place. This keeps the pockets clean. These wheel sets will be discarded in favor of metal wheels.

The other side of the RPO car

The RPO has been reassembled using the original "glass" with teh addition of Kadee #5s and Proto 2000 36" metal wheels

"B" end shot showing new brake wheel.

"A" end

 Severe scrape is barely visible with repaint and roof top scratches are no more

The undercarriage showing the newly installed Proto 2000 36" wheel sets and Kadee #5 couplers. Note the wood shims on both sides on the car above the coupler pockets. The couplers were too high when compared to the Coupler Height Gauge. The shims put the coupler height dead on. An additional bonus with the shim is that this type of car with a Talgo mounted coupler is prone to have the coupler box tongue raise up when under the stress of a heavy train. The shim eliminates that problem as well. The shim is made from a thin wood stirrer. Styrene could be used as well but I have been using this method for 20 years and the thickness of the stirrer is usually right on the money for what is needed..

Since it was April 1st Conrail SW1500 #9513 was assigned to switch the car into the next outbound passenger train.