Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

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
....  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWPUGI6ngpY  

                                            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.


  1. LOVE the back story John! Thank you. I have to say that if the innovative guys in the KP&W shops hadn't found a way to make those clam shells work better they would have created good lookin' coil coaches like PC 8091. Best wishes with the Ford contract and keep those coils rolling!!!!

  2. Glad you liked the Blog entry and the PC 8091 Ralph. Thank you for the inspiration to get my coil coaches up and running properly. I am awaiting delivery of 3 used coil coaches that I grabbed on ebay that are already weathered. Upon their arrival I'll weather the new ones so they all look like they have been in service. John