NYC ALCO FA / FB Units

NYC ALCO FA / FB Units
Custom Painted P-2000 units

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Reliable Machine Works Update

Greetings Blog Followers,

The newest addition to Empire City, Reliable Machine Works, continued it's forward progress last week. I was able to add the windows, glass and roof top details from the kit. Although not completed and with site preparation still needed the building can begin it's life on the rough and tumble West Side.

AP 58 is seen making it's way past Reliable Machine Works on it's was to A.P.R.R. home rails

40' Boxcar P&LE 5290 is spotted on the loading dock. A steel beam still needs to be painted and installed above the multilevel loading doors.

Two Empire City Policeman look over a stolen car dumped behind Reliable Machine Works while New York Central truck traffic rolls through the scene. 

A view of the loading dock for both rail and truck. Looks like another boxcar is moving in  

A tractor trailer jockeys into position at an open dock door. As trucks got bigger the spaces for them at the older buildings remained the same 

The trailer has been spotted at the door. This is the domain of the city driver. Truck drivers who can squeeze these monsters in the tightest of spaces and often spend more time in reverse than forward. 

A view from the South Side

Looking west was see the building with the kit included roof top details in place. 

A NYC SW 8 has pulled the P&LE car and is spotting a NYC 50' Boxcar 

Moving the scene forward a few years a Penn Central RS2 shoves a PC 50 boxcar to the loading dock 

An iconic array of 1970s era vehicles occupy the scene with the iconic Alco Switcher.
The vehicles are a green and white VW van, a red AMC Gremlin, a black Pontiac Trans Am made famous in Smokey and the Bear, a green Ford Pinto station wagon with porthole window famous for exploding when hit from the rear and a yellow AMC Pacer. And speaking of icons "The Duke" graces the billboard.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A.P.R.R. Caboose #58 Now In Service

Greetings Blog Followers,

The New York Central Train Layout Paint Shop has completed painting and lettering the first Atlantic Pacific Railroad caboose, AP#58. The Paint and lettering of the caboose are part of an ongoing contract between the A.P.R.R. and the N.Y.C.T.L. that calls for the painting and lettering of certain rolling stock and locomotives. The project was delayed by weather for about two weeks but the N.Y.C.T.L. shop forces were able to deliver before the contract's deadline.

AP #58 has been delivered to Neal's Lumber and Hardware under the watchful eye of 1/87th scale Sir Neal Himself while the local police look on. The engine has been pulled back for the photo.    

AP #58 looking spiffy in it's new "Focal Orange" paint. 1/87th Scale Sir Neal Himself admires the newest piece of rolling stock for his A.P.R.R. 

An Empire City resident on the right is stopped by the boxcar and caboose blocking her way. With all the train activity at Neal's she's probably wondering if it is a lumber yard or train yard. We are wondering as well. In a few minutes the street and sidewalk will be clear as the caboose and boxcar will be picked up with the caboose heading towards the A.P.R.R.'s Rock Ridge Yard in N.J.


Wait, what's this! Seems the P.R.R. got wind of the focal orange cabooses being painted by the N.Y.C.T.L. and were able to purchase one for themselves. P.R.R. fans wondering how and why the P.R.R. cabooses went from brown to orange now have the answer!







Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gervais Industries and Reliable Machine Works Taking Shape

Greetings Blog Followers,

The weather here has finally gotten back to normal. Two weeks of cold and rain closed down my outdoor rattle can spray paint operations. Thankfully the sun came out last Friday and the temp hit 60 degrees. This allowed me to move a couple of projects including the new Gervais Industries and Reliable Machine Works, forward. Although there is still lots of work to be done on both industries here are some updated photos.

Reliable Machine Works better known as the Walthers Cornerstone kit Reliable Warehouse and Storage sits at is new location. The building has been painted and the mortar lines have been added.

The odd shape is evident here. The area in the front will be for employee and visitor parking. Looks a little like the South Bronx when I worked there!

The new building will look good occupying the corner opposite Newbaum's Coffee Importers. 

The track side view. The previous building here was a Smallman Street Warehouse kit with the track running inside the building. It never quite worked out for a few reasons. #1 the door opening would not allow a standard height boxcar to enter even with the track placed flat on the table top. #2 the  track leading to the warehouse runs under the building to the left making it difficult to uncouple and couple. Preliminary tests with this new set up were very satisfactory.

Another string of flat cars loaded with pipe is leaving Empire City. Rail Fans have seen an increase in pipe ladings on flats and gondolas in recent weeks. Where are they originating from?

A look at the east side industrial area of Empire City shows that Gervais Industries new Pipe and Fitting Division is up and running. While still in the "mock up" stage  G.I. is operationally up and running.     

The Smallman Street Warehouse now houses the new Gervais Industries. Gervais Industries personnel watch as a crane operator loads another flat car with pipe. A groundsman is inside the gondola helping to position the load.  

 A view from the south side

Meanwhile on the Mainline Penn Central E8A 4317 leads a mail and express train of Flexi Vans and bulk mail cars.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Perlman Was Right!

Greetings Blog Followers,

Inspiration for today's blog entry and title come from fellow modeler Mark C. who I am acquainted with through TrainLife.com. Mark is an excellent modeler and like me a NYC and Flexi Van Service fan. Mark recently read an article in a 1994 issue of trains with the title "Perlman was Right" and was kind enough to share some of that with me including information that a picture associated with the article showed New York Central FAs on the point of a Flexi Van Train. NYC, Flexi Vans Alco FAs! Count me in!

So who's this guy Perlman anyway? Alfred E Perlman started as president of the New York Central Railroad under Chairman Robert R. Young. After Young's death in 1958 Mr. Perlman ascended to Chairman. He remained in that post until the Penn Central merger in 1968. Mr Perlman was innovative to say the least and achieved many accomplishments on the NYC. For more on Alfred E Perlman follow this link;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_E._Perlman
One of Mr Perlman's brain child's was Flexi Van Service which continued to be profitable for the New York Central right up to the Penn Central merger even though few other railroads particpated.

One of the 50 daily high speed Flexi Van Trains dubbed SuperVan Trains on the New York Central System heads for Empire City behind a pair of Alco FAs

The train heads down grade to Empire City Station. Note the low profile of the Flexi Van trailers on the flatcar. This reduced wind resistance, reduced fuel costs and provided a lower center of gravity which allowed increased speeds.

The train exits the West Tunnel as it approaches Empire City Station. Another advantage of the the Flexi Van design was the lowering of the trailer / container allowed the Flexi Van Service to operate in the low clearance areas of New York City, Boston and of course Empire City. 

A great advertisement for the New York Central's Flexi Van Service that was introduced in 1957 and hit the rails rolling in 1958. 

A New York Central Mark III Flexi Van flat with two  40' trailers

Lightning Striped Alco FAs roll under the pedestrian overpass 

One of Flexi Vans biggest customers was the US Post Office. Here are two 40' trailers of bulk mail on a MarkIII Flexi Van flat

The Milwaukee Road saw the innovative light of the Flexi Vans and was an early partner along with the Illinois Central. 

Two 40' P&LE containers on a Mark III flat

For some more reading on New York Central's Flexi Van Service check out these links

http://newyorkcentrallayout.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-flexi-van-flat-car.html

http://coastdaylight.com/sb/san_berdoo_64.html    Flexi Vans in California in 1965

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/flexivan/interesting/

http://condrenrails.com/MRP/MemphisCentralStation/IC-Memphis-Pass-Pixs.htm

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year, New Trains, New Projects

Greetings and Happy New Year to All!

Well here we are in 2015. Growing up I would have thought by now we would be living in outer space or driving cars that needed no wheels and could fly or hover. I always remember thinking of how old I would be in 2000 and what the world and universe might look like. On the model railroad side their have been vast improvements in rolling stock, electronics, track, structures etc. For me, I still enjoy working on and upgrading older rolling stock and trying to find inexpensive ways to enjoy the hobby.

So for the first topic in 2015 I though I would review some of the newest trains and train projects for the upcoming year.

For 2015 I want to continue with making inexpensive good looking easy to install and remove flat car loads. The pipes in the pipe load below are courtesy of PC Ralph C.E.O. of the famous Kings Port & Western Railroad. That sharp New Haven Caboose is courtesy of Bobby Gervais of Gervais Industries, with headquarters in Connecticut, which will soon be featured in an upcoming blog entry. Bobby is working with a local Realtor looking for industrial space with a siding to expand here in Empire City. 

Here's an easy no cost gondola load. Free roofing shingle samples cut to fit into the car.

Two new structures to be added this year.  Reliable Warehouse will be Reliable Machine Works of Bridgeport CT in honor of my wife's grandfather who worked there. 

Athearn BB B&O 50' flat car with trailers.. Metal wheels and Kadee#37 couplers were added.

Mantua B&O 40' Time Saver Service boxcar. 36" metal wheels and Kadee coupler boxes were added.

E&C Shops GM&o 50' Boxcar. Metal wheels and Kadee #5s added

Accurail A.C.F. PRR 56' covered hopper. Metal wheels and Kadee #5s added

Walthers 65' mill gondola with a weathered steel beam loam added. 

The original knuckle couplers have been shimmed and are now at the proper height. The car will receive a set of metal wheels in the near future.

Branchline Blueprint Series 50' PRR boxcar. Kadee #5s added. 
Tough kit to build is all I'll say on this.

Caboose painting project. I had a collection of old LifeLike A.T.S.F. cabooses that have been sitting in a box for years. As luck would have it two things happened that allowed these cabooses to get out of the box and onto the layout. First was the New York Central Train Layout Paint Shop was given license to paint some rolling stock for the Atlantic Pacific Railroad owned by 1 to 1 scale Sir Neal of New Jersey. The A.P.R.R. contract calls for orange caboose(s) Second was that while watching a PC video I noted the PRR had some cabooses painted "Focal Orange" Well then guess what happened. Yup, four cabooses now painted orange.       

Speaking of the N.Y.C.T.L. Paint Shop I have some freight cars to be stripped, painted and lettered.
 Below is a batch of custom painted N.Y.C.T.L. cars.     

That's it for now. Happy New Year Everyone!