Custom Painted P-2000 units

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Penn Central 6190 joins the Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

Penn Central SDP 40 #6190 has joined the fleet. Wait, PC SDP40!!! The PC did not have any SDP40s!! You are right they did not but in my 1/87th world they do now. Originally New York Central SDP40 number 7141 made by Athearn and the NYC did not have any SDP40s either. I have three of these six axled brutes, two NYC and one New Haven however over the years the NYC units saw very little run time due to the fact that I did not like their NYC paint scheme and that the NYC never had these units on it's roster. So, that said I was looking to add some six axle power to my PC fleet and decided that I could live with a PC SDP40 a lot better than a NYC SDP40. So off to the paint shop it went and we now have PC 6190 in service.  

The 6190 coupled up with SD40 6282 This angle shows the decals to have a foggy defect in the number 6 and the N in PENN. Some weathering should remedy this.

The unit was given a faded red C logo on the long hood.

Another roster shot of the 6190 now in service.

PC 6190 and 6282 head for Terminal Yard

A power move from Terminal Yard to North Side Yard. 

Another view of the power move from the highway overpass. Caution it was a bit windy this day and the camera is a bit shaky. Note the clam shell coil cars waiting for clearance to enter Terminal Yard. These are the first shipments from Kings Port Steel. The cars originated on the Kings Port and Western and transferred to the Penn Central at Mayfield Yard.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

REA Express Equipment Added To The Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

In my July 4th shopping spree I added some REA Express equipment to the NYCTL roster. Two 40' trailers from Walther's and a 40' box car from ConCor. As a long time fan of mail and express trains the two boxes jumped off the shelves and right into my basket!

The REA Express logos on the trailers and boxcar are post 1969 when the Railway Express Agency sold the company to five of it's officers and the company was renamed REA Express. Both the Railway Express Agency and REA Express both utilized trailers and piggy back dating back to the earlier 1960s. REA Express declared bankruptcy in 1975 and exited the railroad transport business.  

Two 40' Trailer's from Walther's await their turn on the workbench

REX 4784, a 40' boxcar from ConCor 

REX 4784 is a pretty simple kit. I have added additional weight to the small sheet steel weight included with the kit.The sheet steel weight has been wire brushed and  painted. The nut is attached with silicone adhesive.

The boxcar has received P-2000 33"metal wheels and Kadee #5 couplers 

2-56 screws were added in lieu of the factory plastic press pin to secure the couplers to the coupler boxes. This car will see a lot of head end service and the 2-56 screws will definitely keep the couplers in place.

The under frame has been painted and the shell dull coated. 
The car is now ready for final assembly and testing.

REX 4784 in service with older REA brothers and a NYC express freight boxcar. 

During testing REX 4784 looked scared shaking annoyingly. The trucks had been tuned and the P-2000 wheels rolled freely. The culprit turned out to be the P-2000 axle width. It was a bit too large and lacked sufficient play between the axle and truck. A small amount of play is required so the wheel sets do not transmit any of the track variations to the truck and then too the boxcar itself. I removed the P-2000 wheel sets and replaced them with Intermountain 33" metal wheels. The car now runs super smooth and steady and is extremely free rolling.  

A short REA Express move will get these cars from North Side Yard
 to the Railway Express facility at Empire City Station

Penn Central E8A 4317 has this short train well in hand. The 4317 will be on point of a passenger train from Empire City later in the day.

The 2 new 40' REA Express trailers are now in revenue service. Marker lights, tail lights and rims have been painted and the trailers have been dull coated. The trailer train car is from Athearn. 

The gray 40' REA Express trailer is from Athearn as are both 85' flat cars. 

The trailers have arrived at the REA facility and the first one is 
being backed into the loading dock. Tractor by Athearn

Trailer #2 has been lifted and is now enroute to the loading dock.

The lift operator wastes no time and has the next trailer off the flat car and ready for pick up. 

REA Express TOFC traffic is running smoothly this day

A view of the REA Facility 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Priority Freights rumble through Empire City

Greetings Blog Followers,

The main lines were humming yesterday as two priority Penn Central trains rumbled through Empire City. First out was NY-2, The PC (and formerly NYC) meat products train running from Chicago to Selkirk. Powered by four GP30s in three liveries the train left Chicago at 1100 hours Central Time and is due in to Selkirk at 1230 hours Eastern Time.

The GP30 fleet has the NY-2 right on schedule thru Empire City

The newly painted 2232 in the middle of the action.

NY-2 rumbles through with a long string of reefers, insulated boxcars and some TOFC cars

Right on the heels going in the other direction a Penn Central mail train occupies the outer main. Powered by two E units the train features the NYC Flexivans later called Super Vans by the PC, several baggage cars for bulk mail, a working NYC RPO car and a combine car on the rear.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Penn Central GP30 2232 Joins the fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

Prior to the surprise purchase of the EMD SD-35 in the prior entry I was busy working on two locomotives for my Penn Central Fleet. The first one out of the shop is EMD GP30 #2232. The shell was stripped using 91% alcohol painted with rattle can black and lettered with Microscale decals.

A little background on the PC GP30s. The locomotive was introduced in 1961 and featured 2250 hp. Unmistakable with its bulging dynamic brake blister "shoulders" the GP30 was the first nationally accepted EMD second generation model. The NYC purchased 10 and the PRR 52. With or without dynamic brakes the big shoulders looked the same. On the PC the NYC 10 w/o dynamic brakes were assigned to the flat terrain around Collinwood. The PRR units with dynamic brakes were scattered around Morrisville, Enola and Conway. The GP30s were used in both symbol and secondary freight service.

GP30 freshly painted and awaiting lettering

2232 has been released from the paint shop. It features the red P as featured in the 1970 photo in 
Penn Central Power color insert on page 126

The 2232 shown here coupled up to a PC GP40

PC GP40 3007, GP30 2232 and GP30 2218  haul a coal train towards Terminal Yard.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

EMD SD35 6003 Added to the Locomotive Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

The Purchasing Department for the New York Central Train Layout recently went on a spending spree at the 4th of July sale at my local hobby shop. One of the items purchased was a used yellow box Atlas EMD SD35 with a weathered PRR scheme numbered 6003. A perfect match for my yellow box Atlas Penn Central EMD SD35 #6039.

On the Penn Central, the 6000 series meant six axle diesels and in turn meant the Pennsylvania RR. The 6000 series contains no New Haven or New York Central diesels as neither road fielded six axle freight diesels. The PRR purchased 40 of these 2,500 horse power SD35s from EMD from June 1964 to January 1966. Although liable to pop up anywhere in the Penn Central system the SD35s were most frequently found in the territories around the Alleghenies.

The 6003 and 6039 served the PRR, the PC and Conrail. For a few photos check these links

SD35 #6003 was found on a shelf of used items sitting in an Athearn Box. The P&LE Flexi Van train in the rear was part of the same purchase order.

SD35s 6003 and 6039 are paired up and ready to enter revenue service. 

A weathered 6003 and cleaner 6039 in a newer PC paint scheme rumble
 through the North Side of Empire City

A close up of the 6003. Bought used she features a brass horn, extra weight, Kadee couplers and speedometer cable on other side. The 6003 ran excellent right out of the box with  just a drop of oil added. 

The 6039 has been in the stable for several years. With the addition of the 6003 both can expect to be in heavy freight service 

The SD35s move through the North Side Yard with a unit grain train.

Here is the same train on the South Side


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Coil Coach Comeback

Greetings Blog Followers,

There are eight million stories in the Empire City and here is one of them.... Many years ago management at the New York Central Train Layout wanted to get involved in the lucrative steel traffic into several Empire City industries. The railroad purchased a few clam shell coil coaches but difficulties with the clam shell mechanism side lined these cars pretty quickly. The RR then purchased a few cushion coil cars but the costs of these cars was beyond the RR budget and deemed not profitable so only a few were added. Fast forward a few years and now the Empire City Chamber of Commerce is courting Ford Motor Company to open a metal stamping plant just outside the city line. Looking for a cost effective way for my railroad to get back into steel hauling my shop forces attempted to repair the clam shell cars to no avail.

The B&LE and P&LE were the big buyers of the clam shell coil coaches. Tired of dealing with the clam shell operating issues the B&LE and P&LE began selling off the cars. New York State regional carrier Kings Port & Western began purchasing the cars in bulk as they had developed a very successful rebuilding program to improve on the clam shell design. Management at the KP&W has turned these cars into big money makers servicing one of their big on line customers. As a CB&Q coil coach was making it's way from Kings Port Steel through my rail system it was noted by our consignee how well the clam shell was working. A call to CB&Q revealed that it was a KP&W upgraded car. Impressed with the innovative mechanical upgrades the NYCTL started looking for clam shell cars again hoping to be able to get them upgraded by the KP&W.

 For those not familiar with the Kings Port & Western you can view some of the local rail fan videos of the KP&W in action including their reworked coil coaches here

                                            CB&Q Coil Coach showing it's rebuilt clam shell              

Two recently purchased coil coaches (Bachmann) have been upgraded with body mounted knuckle couplers by the NYCTL shop. The KP&W has agreed to handle the clam shell improvements. 

An SD40 leads the coil coaches to North Side Yard for routing to Kings Port NY and  KP&W shops 

Meanwhile back at Empire City we have placed our two coil coaches back in service w/o their clam shells as noted below
A former B&LE Coil Coach that has received a new coat of paint.  
NYCTL train shop forces cut off the hood and it was sold for scrap.

A B&LE Coil Coach that has had it's clam shell removed. 
This car arrived on the NYCTL with a only 1/2 of the clam shell.
That too has been sold for scrap 

A loaded coil coach sans clam shell cover 

This coil coach has received reporting marks, numbers and data. 
It has been taken from the scrap line and is now in revenue service.  

PC 8091 sit with newly painted PC Reefer 229007

For the record watching the videos posted by RalphPCvids was the inspiration to get my own coil coaches out of the boxes and add a few more. He has turned these cars into some excellent looking models that compliment his outstanding layout. If you are a RR fan and especially a PC fan I urge you to check out his videos. Thanks Ralph for allowing me to use and link to your wonderful layout.

Monday, July 7, 2014

PCA 229007 Joins The Fleet

Greetings Blog Followers,

Lots of projects on the work bench at this time. Local Hobby Shop, Trainmaster Models in Buford Georgia had their annual 4th of July Sale. Got up there early on the 4th and came home with a nice sized bag of goodies. Noticed a P-2000 wheel set was damaged in the package so I returned on the 5th to exchange the wheel sets. Of course I came home with a another bag of "stuff". Anyway it was a great sale and they even had complimentary hot dogs and sides on the 4th. So lots of projects on the workbench should translate to lots of Blog entries going forward.

Now back to our topic.... Penn Central 229007. Looking to expand my running fleet and using items I already owned I pulled a 50' Mechanical Reefer from the bottom of one of my storage containers. The car is a Model Power product that I purchased in the early 1990's. The car was lettered for the Burlington Northern but the car languished in the storage container not seeing any run time year after year. Reason....The lettering was applied to a green plastic shell. The lettering was nice but the car always looked out of place and very toy like as I added and upgraded my fleet. So I decided to give the car a second life.

If you are a rivet counter stop here.

Prior to painting the car I attempted to remove the lettering with 91% alcohol. After several days it was apparent that the lettering was impervious to the alcohol. So I just painted right over the car using a rattle can jade green that I purchased from American Slings in Florida.

The newly painted 50' Reefer with decals ready to go.

The completed reefer car. The car lettering was cobbled together from Microscale decals 87-1096 Penn Central Freight cars with Penn Central style lettering, 87-1098 Penn Central Esoterica or non-standard boxcar lettering and their freight car data decals. The "P", from 87-1098 is the faded red version. The data under the PC appears darker. This is because I used a sharpie marker on the back of the decal sheet so I could read the lettering. I had read that this would not affect the decal. Wrong. It did. Maybe I used too much.   

PCA 229007 has been released from the paint shop and awaits pick up with PC Coil Coach 8091. Topic for next Blog post. From the internet...  The letters "PCA" and "PCB" were used on Penn Central-painted equipment basically for the purpose of tracking down certain leased railroad cars (mainly box cars painted with these reporting marks) that were insured, and required to be insured by the leasing companies (incase PC lost these certain cars because of their financial troubles). Later, these special reporting marks were not used, and the reporting marks "PC" were used as before for these railroad cars.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shelf City Turn Finally Arrives

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week I was able to get back into the train room and take care of some of the railroad delays from our previous operations session. This first train out of Terminal Yard was a block of empties for Hudson Coal. The empties have been spotted and the Hudson Coal brass is now off my back for the time being.

The second train to get out of Terminal Yard was the Shelf City Turn (still needs a better name) that we can follow along in the below pictures. My 1/87th scale sales personnel are going to be working overtime to keep these customers on line. A four day delay is going to be a bit tough to explain!

Power for the S.C. Turn are two Fairbanks Morse H16-44s. These are Spectrum models that I custom painted a few years ago. I used the same switch list that I prepared for the prior ops session. I must admit it was kind of fun pulling and shoving the cars into their rightful places. 

The freight cars of the S.C. Turn. Four of the five industries on this side of Shelf City will be switched today. Lots of work and the cars are not all blocked correctly adding to the switching activity

The SCL covered hopper is destined for Wonder / Hostess, the two PC boxcars go to Berk Industries (tall building in middle), the flat car with wood load and the two NYC 40' double door boxcars in front of it are going to Universal Milling and Lumber (white building at left), the NYC 50' boxcar is destined for Wonder / Hostess and the three reefer cars are going to Heileman Brewery a little further along the line. Not shown in picture is a 2 bay covered hopper destined for Wonder / Hostess. 

University Lumber & Millwork has it's cars spotted and is back in business

Berk Industries is getting two loads today 

Wonder /Hostess has been switched and the cars correctly spotted. The S.C. Turn crew will have a few choice words for the Terminal Yard Yardmaster who did not block the train as efficiently as he could have.   

3 empty reefer cars have been spotted at Heileman Brewery and the beer drinking world has rejoiced. The weekend beer scare should be over. 

A wreck train was spotted on a siding last week prior to our first ops session. The thinking here was that if any major incidents occurred we could dispatch the train quickly to clean up the mess. I thought this would add a bit of prototype action and realistically impose some delays on RR operations. This train had to be moved to Terminal Yard before the Shelf City Turn could arrive and begin it's work. 

The remainder of the wreck train with the big hook. Thought this would also be a bit more attractive than just the big hand from the sky. 

The wreck train heads back to Terminal Yard to await it's next call to duty.