NYC ALCO FA / FB Units

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Water Street Freight Terminal

Greetings Blog Followers,

The weather here continues to be a delaying factor in my FA-FB-FB-FA Project. The units are still sitting on the workbench waiting for some sunshine and temps above 50 degrees so I can paint them in my outdoor painting studio, better known as the patio.

That said it's time to introduce the newest structure on the New York Central Train Layout. the Water Street Freight Terminal. The building is a Walthers Cornerstone kit of the same name, item #933-3009. From the kit's instruction sheet: "Freight Terminals were once essential to railroad operations, handling small less than car load (LCL) freight shipments. Loads arrived in boxcars or refrigerated cars and were transferred to a fleet of trucks for local delivery. The trucks would also pick up freight that was to be shipped by rail. Each railroad serving a community had it's own freight terminal, usually located near the main passenger station or classification yard."  Perfect for the New York Central Train layout.

The New York Central Water Street Freight Terminal is now in place and ready for freight shipments.

The Water Street Freight Terminal office

Truck loading doors

The Water Street Freight Terminal is across the tracks from the City View Apartments. I added a few small businesses to the corner for the residents of the apartment house to do some shopping. The Railway Express Agency is to the left. A NYC Pacemaker boxcar is being shoved to the terminal. 
Note the PC E8A that has photo bombed the picture! 

A track side view. The Terminal can handle three 40' boxcars or two 70 foot baggage cars. I added the piggy back truck terminal as it fit into the space and didn't look bad in the scene. The three small businesses to the right may be temporary as well. Right now I like the way the look and they do not interfere with terminal operations.  

An aerial shot. Window shades made from manilla folders were added to the windows.

View from the underpass

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Structure Updates

Greetings Blog Followers,

With the FA-FB-FB-FA Project on hold for now due to the deep freeze here in the South I thought I'd share some of the structure updates I performed.

Reliable Machine Works is now easily identified. The building is named after my wife's grandfather's place of employment. The building is Walthers Reliable Warehouse and Storage. 

 A NYC double door 50' "Early Bird" boxcar sits at the loading dock. "Reliable Machine Works" has been added to the water tower.  May do the same type of sign on rear of building once it warms up around here.  

This small building is now known as Anchor Cargo & Distributing. This is a Model Power Interstate Freight kit. The signs were liberated from the Walthers Reliable Warehouse and Storage kit.  

A view from track side

Side view with some New York Central trucks at the loading docks and my trusty can of Raid. 

Rear view of building "Anchor" decal has dropped. Actually it fell apart but no big deal

Superior Furniture finally has it's name placed on the structure. I built and added the shell of this building a few years ago but never finished the inside and lettered it. Now it is identified.

With the large windows "Superior Furniture" needs to have some interior detail. It's on the list to do and has been for a few years. Maybe this Spring it will move to the top of the list. 

Boxcars in boxcars out. An ideal layout industry for me and my railroad. Loads in and loads out.

 The Superior Furniture employee entrance and one truck loading dock. That fire apparatus to the left has been fighting this fire for well over a year. Might be time to redo the scene.

A transfer freight led by two Fairbanks Morse H16-44s rumbles past Superior Furniture as it rolls into North Side Yard. Looks like a freight train with trio of GP30s on point is ready to head out after the transfer freight clears the main. A lightning  striped FM Erie Built can be seen under the highway bridge.  


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FA1-FB1-FB1-FA1 Project Part 1

Greetings Blog Followers,

The New York Central Train Layout Purchasing Department recently purchased a second hand set of Proto 2000 FA1-FB1-FB1-FA1 units which are destined to become New York Central Cigar Band Units. The NYCTL currently has one NYC Proto 2000 FA2 #1049 in the cigar band scheme, two NYC Walthers FA1s (#1000 & 1043) in the lightning stripe scheme, and one FB1 in lightning stripes (#2304) on the roster.

PROTOTYPE FA1: The 1500 horsepower FA1 and FB1 were introduced by ALCO in 1946 to compete with EMD's successful F3A and F3B. The FA1 was different in appearance with a boxy shape, unique front end contours and distinctive headlight grill work. All FA1s and FB1s were turbocharged and all were delivered with air cooled exhausts to handle the elevated temperatures caused by turbocharging. In 1953 ALCO developed an improved water cooled exhaust for the FA2 locomotives and most railroads retrofitted this improved exhaust to their FA1 and FB1s. No FA1s or FB1s were equipped with steam generators as they were intended for freight service only. ALCO options included dynamic braking, Mars Light and two types of number boards.

PROTOTYPE FA2: In late 1950 ALCO introduced the FA2 a new dual purpose locomotive which was a significant improvement over teh FA1. The car body was increased by two feet to accommodate the addition of an optional steam generator. This was accomplished by internal rearrangement  of the radiator, fan, oil cooler, oil filter tank, rear traction motor blower, batteries and air reservoirs. The locomotives normally operated in AA, ABA, ABBA consists.

PROTOTYPE NEW YORK CENTRAL: The NYC has 44 FA1s on the roster numbered 1000-1043. The NYC also had 23 FB1s numbered 2300-2322. The units were delivered starting in 1947 through 1949. The NYC starting in 1951 added 80 FA2s numbered 1044-1123 and 50 FB2s 3323-3372. Doing the math looks like 124 FAs and 73 FBs. All units were delivered in the Lightning Stripe scheme. The NYC FA1 units also were delivered with single headlights and small number boards. In the early to mid 1960's the NYC starting painting it's units in the cigar band scheme when they were shopped for repainting. Gone were the lightning stripes. The early FA cigar band had the lettering in the middle of the body with a small number below. In 1966-1967 the NYC changed the paint scheme on these units to what you see below, a larger NEW YORK CENTRAL and road number.

NYC 1009

LINK TO ALCO FA-FB-FB-FA IN CIGAR BAND AND LIGHTNING STRIPES:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=158548

LINK TO NEW YORK CENTRAL 1966 LOCOMOTIVE CONSISTS IN SYRACUSE AND ROCHESTER NY:
http://www.canadasouthern.com/caso/loco-consists-rochester.htm

PROTOTYPE NYC TIDBITS: ALCO  FAs ran on symbol freights right up to the end of the NYC. At the time of the Penn Central merger three NYC FA1s were conveyed to PC. They never received PC paint and were in scrap lines at the end of 1968. Four New Haven FA1s and three NH FB1s arrived on the PC in 1969. One unit, #1330 was painted in full PC regalia while a second 1333 received an interim PC paint job. The forty four NYC FA2s fared a bit better but none were painted in PC livery. By 1972 the FA era on the PC was over. The 1302(ex NYC) and 1333(ex NH) went on to serve the Long Island Railroad as cab cars.

THE MODELS: As received the four units (A-B-B-A) were in yellow Union Pacific paint. The units are second hand and as with some second hand stuff some repairs are necessary. The U.P. FA1s also differed from the NYC FA1s in that the U.P. units were delivered with the larger number boards and Mars Lights. I will plug the lower holes on the nose but will have to live with the number board discrepancy.

 The A-B-B-A units have been stripped of their Union Pacific yellow and await their
 next visit to the work bench.    


The units are ready for hand rail repair, replacement of a broken off horn and the plugging of the lower headlamp hole in the locomotive's nose. The fan grills are stored out of the way. 

Another time honored tradition of the older Proto 2000 units. The replacement of cracked axle gears. This was such a problem that if buying an older used P-2000 unit consider the gears broken and factor in the cost of replacement gears when considering a purchase. Fortunately this is usually a one time repair using Athearn Part #ATH-60024(6 gears to a package). Athearn has the gears in stock as of this posting. An NMRA gauge is definitely recommended to get the wheels in proper gauge. And where would we be without good ol reliable #5s from Kadee

Mechanically the four units ranged from like new to barely used. Out of the box the old gears made a lot of noise and one FB unit was seized. I took this unit apart and noted it was in like new mechanical condition with no wear on it's commutator. I removed the power truck and worm gears then scraped out he factory applied grease which was now more like a glue. A light grease and a few drops of oil and voila! The unit ran great even with the cracked axle gear noise. The rest of the units received a similar tear down and lube. All are running well. Looking at the FA1 mechanisms to the right the top light shrouded in black is the Mars Light. This will be removed and the lower clear light positioned to shine through the top headlight lens. The lower lens is to be removed and plugged.   






     

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Let Their Be Imaginary Light!

Greetings Blog Followers,

First up is a reminder to all readers that today is Valentines Day. If you have not gotten that special gift for your special loved one immediately shut down your computer and get to it. Remember the life you save may be your own. To the married men who read this here are a couple of sayings to keep in mind "If the wife is not happy nobody's happy" or "a happy wife equals a happy life". Don't fall for the don't worry about it it's no big deal schpiel. As soon as you hear the don't worry start worrying! So go take care of the gift and we'll be here when you get back.

A short blog entry for today dealing with the adding of street lights to the Projects Project or City View Apartments as the complex has come to be known. I was in possession of some cheesy looking plastic non operating street light telephone pole combinations that someone gave me years ago. Wanting to add street lights to the scene I received inspiration for the project from the layout of PC Ralph who is owner and operator and C.E.O. of the Kings Port & Western Railroad. A few months ago Ralph upgraded a scene on his layout and made some nice looking street lights using plastic straws for the parking lot he added. Since Ralph was kind enough to send me a package of said straws and I still had a few left I went to work.

First I snipped off the pole above the street light. Then I snipped off the pole about half way between the base and street lamp arm. I drilled a small hole in the layout plywood and tapped in a small dowel that I bought in a bag from a local craft store. I cut a black straw to length and slipped it over the dowel. Next I inserted the street light. I then painted the street light arm black and the "glass" white. And there you have it.

One of the non operating street lights I used for this project.

The newly installed street lights provide imaginary light for the imaginary apartment dwellers. A multilevel parking lot is planned to go next to the apartment building at the end of the roadway.

A passenger train makes it way through the scene while a few Pacemaker freight cars sit at the mocked up Water Street Freight Terminal

The street lights are in place. Trains are running and the scene is progressing forward. White PVC pipe will be painted to simulate a smoke stack. A wall has been added to the front of the building so the apartment dwellers don't stumble out the door into the path of a train. The Water Street Freight Terminal is on the lower left and the Railway Express Agency is on the upper left. 

That's it for today.....

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Industry City Rail Traffic

Greetings Blog Followers,

This past week local rail fans caught some nice train movements at Industry City, formerly known as Shelf City. Being a city boy I can't get past naming anything without the word city! A variety of power was seen and recorded. Let's take a look;

A pair of Fairbanks Morse Erie Builts with an M&E train wait on track 3 while a set of Fairbanks Morse H16-44s idle away on the industrial siding. The H16-44s are protection power to assist heavy trains up the grade from Empire City and into to Terminal Yard.  


The reason for the delay can be seen on track 1. A NYC cigar band E8A is leading a
 passenger train up the grade on track 1

The Erie Built led M&E train with Flexi Vans is on track 3. Looks like light engines on track 2 at the newly placed station. The NYC E8A is having no trouble hauling the 10 plus car passenger train up the grade. The dark masonite fascia was added recently to protect the trains from being hit with elbows. A two story passenger station is a probable for this location.

A close up of the NYC E8A which is a custom painted P-2000 unit. The REA box car is an older Roco track cleaning car which has been converted to body mounted couplers.


A nice shot of the Flexi Van fleet on track 3, the NYC E8A and REA boxcar. Gotta have clean track!

A guest appearance from the Penn Central who will take over this route with the merger of the NYC and PRR. A custom painted PC GP38-2 #8024 is the lead engine in this 3 engine consist. Looks like another PC GP38-2 and a custom painted NYC GP30 in the number 3 slot. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Empire City Rail Fanning

Greetings Blog Followers,

The New York Central Train layout continues it's tradition of Fast Freight Service and Lightning Striped diesels. This past week Empire City rail fans caught these trains running through Empire City.

A pair of EMD F7As on the point of a freight a train at North Side Yard 

A pair of FM C-Liners depart North Side Yard 

A heavy M&E train makes it way from North Side Yard through the West Side behind two FM Erie Builts.

The M&E train makes it way along the upper level on the East Side
Normally powered by Alco FA units this train needed the additional horsepower
provided by the FM units.

Flexi Vans, bulk mail, express and a working R.P.O. make up this heavy consist.
Down below at Empire City Station we see a cigar band  NYC E8A on track 1 and two additional NYC passenger trains on tracks 2 and 3.   

The middle of the M&E train 

Talk about baggage! Three baggage cars, an R.P.O and a jade green caboose brings up the rear

A trio of EMD FTs cross the famous Empire City Viaduct. In the background a NYC RS2 switches some passenger cars for a dead head movement to New York City. 
Middle car looks to be be the "Nassau County" 

An A-B-A set of Sharks roll slowly through the West Side as they enter the Empire City Viaduct with a reefer train. Can the Jets be far behind? The Sharks have to wait for the RS-2 to the right to move out ahead of it with a few empty passenger trains towards Terminal Yard.  

The passenger cars have been switched and the "Nassau County" sits at the rear of the train as it moves onto the outside main. The Shark led reefer train will follow shortly. 

"Nassau County" makes it way to Terminal Yard. Looks like 1/87th scale Sir Neal Himself has tired of the cold and snow in the Northeast and sent for his varnish to take him to warmer climates

Later in the day "Nassau County" was placed into a dead head passenger train movement towards
New York City. With another snow storm on the way management at the N.Y.C.T.L. wants to be ready for the expected additional passenger car bookings out of N.Y.C.  

Note that a dining car has been coupled to the "Nassau County" While this is supposed to be a passenger car transfer 1/87 scale Sir Neal Himself has been known to hop on the train at Empire City when in town. We know that 1-1 scale Sir Neal hates diners but we hope not dining cars.