Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NL&H. Special

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past Thursday a football game special for the ages was spotted at Empire City Station. With the New York Giants playing at the Washington Redskins Sir Neal of Neal's Lumber & Hardware treated his friends, family and valued customers to a night out they will talk about for years. Sir Neal keeping a close eye on his beloved Giants and noting their recent struggles thought it would benefit everyone if he could put together a cheering section to invade the hostile FedEx Field crowd and root his Giants on to a much needed victory. Any wonder why Eli Manning threw four Touchdown passes, ran in for another one and lead the Giants to a 45-14 win.

Football Specials are nothing new and could be found throughout the country transporting fans to both College and Professional games. Football Specials like the NL&H Special would be the exception rather than the rule.

Neal's invitees congregate Thursday morning at Empire City Station

Neal's customers. friends and family hurry to the platform not wanting tom miss any of the festivities

The line of cars is growing 

The motive power for the NL&H Special will be L.I.R.R. RS1 #461

A look at some of the NL&H head end cars show a PRR X29 boxcar loaded with food and party supplies, BAR "State of Maine Products" boxcar with fresh potatoes 
and a Morrell Meats Reefer holding choice steaks.

A Boston & Albany Express Car laden with lobster and a 50' Reefer filled with Schaefer Beer. Neal had it on good authority that the Redskins were selling expired Budweiser beer from the World Cup and he was proven right the next day. Schaefer Beer featured NY Giants all time all star fullback Ken Strong in it's ads proclaiming "Schaefer to be the finest beer I ever tasted". No wonder Sir Neal insisted on it!

As the crowd continues to grow the Empire City Police Department is on hand for crowd control

The choice spots closest to the platform filled up early. That jade green corvette belongs to PC Ralph, President and C.E.O. of the Kings Port & Western Rail Road 

When word gets out Sir Neal is having party people just can't stay away! 

A Traffic Cop tries to ease the congestion. Looks like a couple of revelers have given up on parking at E.C. Station and left their car over on the West Side. You can see them running down the ramp .  

Traffic is backed up all the way to the West Side and Beyond.

The Empire City Station parking lot is overflowing as last minute arrivals hustle to find a place to park.
The beer truck will remain at the Station for anyone who missed the NL&H Special to drown their sorrows.

A Police Captain with a bullhorn tries to herd the crowd 

The NL&H party gets ready to board. The Baggage car has been converted to a piano bar for the trip 

An old school extra plush New York Central Chair car is sandwiched between two NYC dining cars. With a surf and turf menu Sir Neals' guests will be eating good! 

Sir Neal's Business Car, "Nassau County" will bring up the markers.  

Sir Neal's varnish "Nassau County"  

Looks like a game of catch has started up in the grassy area between the tracks. Kid to the left probably not going on this charter. Looks like he is a Redskins fan. He's probably taking the New Haven train on track 2

1/87th scale Sir Neal in white shirt confers with conductor as he checks his watch.
 Looks like it's just about time to go. All Aboard!! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Long Island Rail Road (L.I.R.R.) RS1 # 461 joins the fleet

Greetings blog followers,

This past week the purchasing department of the New York Central Train Layout was able to secure the purchase of a used Atlas Classic RS1 painted and lettered for the Long Island Railroad. The Atlas RS1 joins two other Atlas RS1s, NYC and PRR, already in the fleet. The three Atlas RS1s are excellent runners, strong pullers and impressive in their detail. The LIRR RS1 is painted in the gray and orange scheme with the Dashing Dan herald on the side. This paint scheme was applied in the mid 1960s so it fits in perfectly with my target modeling era.

On the prototype the L.I.R.R. owned five Alco RS1s numbered 461-465 classed as AGP10sc with 1,000 hp weighing in at 249,700 pounds that were delivered in 1948 and 1949. The L.I.R.R. also owned  four Alco RS1s numbered 466-469, classed as AGP10msc that had 1,000 hp weighed in at 249,700 pounds and were delivered in 1950.

A check of George Elwood's Fallen Flags website shows the 461 in a prior paint scheme with a passenger train in 1962    http://rr-fallenflags.org/li/li461acz.jpg

Photo of the 461  in 1965

Here is the 461 at Sunnyside Yard in 1976.  www.trainsarefun.com

Atlas Classic Long Island RR RS1 # 461 has arrived on the projects table 

L.I.R.R. RS1 461 idles away the afternoon in front of the Heileman Brewery complex

 Rear view of the 461. Note the Dashing Dan herald on the short hood. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Schaefer Beer Refrigerator Car

Greetings Blog Followers,

This weekend my local hobby shop was holding their 17th anniversary sale so after getting the lawn cutting and yard work out of the way I showered and headed for the LHS. I was not looking for anything in particular other than some Atlas Code 100 rail joiners which are still not in stock. So I spent some time browsing the used train section, which has gotten much smaller over the past year. So after digging around and opening this box and that I was pretty much out the door without spending a dime. After a last look at some Lionel HO boxes I came across a refrigerator car that for me was the absolute must have no matter what the price. A Shaefer Beer Refrigerator Car!

For those unfamiliar "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one" Schaefer was extremely popular in New York City, (it's home town for many years) and remains one of my favorite beers. Schaefer signs and banners could be found from the Ebbets Field Scoreboard (home of the Brooklyn Dodgers) to Manhattan high rises and beyond.

Schaefer Beer Refrigerator Car 78541 with Atlas L.I.R.R. RS1 #461 (more on 461 in another post)

Schaefer 78541 has had it's steps repaired, received body mounted Kadee #5s,
additional weight and Intermountain metal wheels

Schaefer 78541 and LIRR RS1 461 sitting pretty in  Schaefer City!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

North Side Rail Yard at Capacity

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week saw a huge increase in freight traffic into Empire City's industries resulting in North Side Yard being strained to capacity. The local rail fans had a field day with the heavy traffic into and out of NS Yard while the NS Yard yard master was pulling out all stops to keep the trains moving and the yard fluid.

Photographs from the highway overpass show four tracks occupied with cars spotted on the siding to the right. NYC GP9s and H16-44s idle away the afternoon  

Another photo shows another freight train has arrived and all five tracks are occupied. A string of Pacemaker Freight Service cars in Vermilion and Gray occupy track 1.

Close up of a Pacemaker truck and 40' boxcar

Our highway overpass rail fan has noted another Empire City rail fan with a unique view. 
Wonder who that could be ?

Why it's none other than 1/87th scale Sir Neal of Neal's Hardware and Lumber! Looks like ol' Neal has called in a favor with the electric company for use of their bucket truck to get a bird's eye view of what's going on in and around North Side Yard.

Painters painting, the Oscar Mayer mobile, Sir Neal perched high above while a Baldwin S12 works the team track.  

Pacemaker freight cars being loaded with Less than Car Load freight.

Empire City Skyline with a very busy North Side Yard.

A pair of New York Central Alco FAs arrive at North Side Yard and pull out the Pacemaker Freight Train.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Layout Building Updates

Greetings Blog Followers,

A few building updates are the topic for this update. First up is my newest structure, Woodland Scenics DPM kit #11800 1st National Bank that I purchased in this past July. The building was washed with soap and water, allowed to air dry and built according to manufacturers instructions. The brick walls were painted with rattle can primer and the front was painted with rattle can tan. Windows were hand painted. This past week I finally got into the window treatments stage and literally spent the better part of a day cutting and pasting window treatments for the new DPM building and two older buildings on the layout. Not the most fun but the results are well worth it in my opinion.  

DPM #11800 now occupies this corner location. New window treatments left over from other kits and a few cut index cards for shades add to it's appeal.  

The corner now looks much more pleasing to my eye.

The roof has been painted gray and striped with a pencil to simulate rolled roofing. 
A chimney was attached after the photo. 

Track side view. Note the window details. A billboard or two on the building side and some ground cover are still needed to complete the scene 

City Classics Building 102 Penn Ave has been moved to it's new location in mid town. The building also received window treatments to eliminate the hollow building look.

The City Classics Building fits right in with the other sky scrapers in the city. I guess that is why they call the line City Classics

Some ground details in front of Nobody's Auto Repair will enhance the scene further.
For all your auto repair needs "Nobody's does it better" 

1/87th scale Sir Neal has come out to see the layout's Lightning  Stripe revival. Looks like Neal's Lumber and Hardware has some fine Pacific Northwest Lumber in stock at this time. Note another City Classics building next to Sir Neal's office. Window treatments were added at time of construction. 

This Bachmann Spectrum building received window treatments consisting of cut up index cards to simulate window shades and some left over drapery looking pieces for the lobby.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

New York Central Lightning Stripes Return !

Greetings Blog Followers,

Once again it is time for the New York Central System to take center stage. The Penn Central has served us well the last few months but it is time to get back to the main fleet and purpose of this blog. To start it off we will focus on what rail fans of the New York Central referred to as Odd Ball Diesels. The odd balls were basically diesels from Baldwin, Fairbanks-Morse and Lima-Hamilton. The NYC mainly stabled a large fleet of Alco, EMD and later General Electric locomotives after they split from Alco.

Baldwin: Foremost steam locomotive builder in United States. Entered diesel electric market later than Alco and EMD  and did not begin producing road diesels until after World War II. The late start ultimately found Baldwin unable to compete with EMD and they exited the locomotive business in 1956. The New York Central ultimately owned 99 Baldwin diesels, so for every Baldwin, the NYC had nearly 8 Alcos and more than 15 EMD units. The bulk of the NYC Baldwin diesels were switchers but they also included some noteworthy road diesels such as the 12 "Baby Face" cab units, six DR4-4-15s with B-B trucks for freight service and six DR6-4-15s with A-1-A trucks for passenger service. The cab units later earned the nickname of "Gravel Gerties" and were disliked by both management and crews.

Lima-Hamilton: In the late 1940s steam locomotive manufacturer Lima Locomotive merged with diesel engine producer Hamilton Corporation to form Lima Hamilton. Between 1949 and 1951 the company built 174 diesel electric locomotives before merging with Baldwin and discontinuing its locomotive line. Of the 174 L-H diesels the NYC purchased 49 units. Most were switchers but there was a small fleet of 16 1,200 hp dual service road switchers equipped with steam generators necessary for train heating when the locomotives were used in passenger service. The NYC was the sole owner of this unique engine from L-H which were delivered in the Lightning Stripe scheme and bore a close resemblance to an Alco RS1.

Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton: In 1951 and 1952 following the merger of Baldwin and Lima-Hamilton Baldwin delivered its last road freight locomotives to the New York Central - 26 RF 16 (Road Freight 1,600 hp) "shark nose" cabs and boosters and 17 RS12, 1,200 horsepower road switchers.

New York Central B-L-H RF16 A-B-A "Shark Nose" cabs and booster
idle out side of Empire City Station

Sharks run lite through Empire City Station to pick up M&E train.

Sharks leave Empire City Station with M&E Train

Fairbanks-Morse: Diesel engine manufacturer Fairbanks-Morse entered the diesel electric locomotive market at the end of World War II. Between 1946 and 1952 the NYC bought 119 F-M diesels. The F-M engine used an opposed piston design that had two pistons facing each other in the same cylinder. This design produced significantly more horsepower than an EMD, Alco or Baldwin engine of the same cylinder count. F-m introduced 2,000 and 2,400 hp units a decade before other builder achieved the same power. The F-M downfall though was that the engines worked extremely well in maritime applications they had  exceptionally high maintenance costs. This resulted in short service lives, some units being rebuilt with EMD engines but they were gone by the mid 1960s.

New York Central F-M "Erie Built" with Pacemaker Freight Service train at Empire City Station. Known as "Eries or Erie Builts" due to F-M having units constructed at General Electrics Erie PA shops. The eight 2,000 horsepower freight "Eries" were geared for 79 mph.  

A common sight on the NYC was a single Erie racing along with a train of red and gray Pacemaker cars.

An AB "Erie Built" lash up on point of a New York Central Passenger train at Empire City Station. 
The six 2,000 hp passenger "Eries" were geared for 97 mph.  

The "Erie Builts" arrive at Empire City Station

New York Central F-M 2,000 horsepower C-Liners at Empire City

The C-Liners pause on the upper level with a freight train in tow.  The two boxcars were custom painted.

F-M C-Liners roll through Empire City Station

F-M H16-44 road switchers at North Side Yard. On the NYC these units were delivered in the Lightning Stripe livery making them eligible for this blog post. On the NYCTL these units were custom painted in a modified NYC design. The 3 NYC boxcars in background are also custom painted.

F-M H16-44s travel through North Side Yard