Custom Painted P-2000 units

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Extending the siding at Neal's Lumber & Hardware

Greetings All,

Longer cars need longer sidings. A fact that cannot be argued with and a fact that 1/87th Scale Sir Neal Himself soon realized. Last entry Neal's Lumber & Hardware received it's first lumber shipments in the newly released 72' Center Beam Flat Cars. While the longer cars made into and out of Neal's lumber yard spur it was noted that the additional length stopped the yard gates from closing. A pretty simple operation to extend the track commenced last Tuesday as part of the TrainLife One Thing Done Tuesday challenge.  Let's take a look;
A.P.R.R. GP38 #358 and PC GP40 #3175 shove a short work train through
Empire City to Neal's Lumber and Hardware. Today is the day Neal's get's
it spur extended to accommodate longer freight cars 

1/87th Scale Sir Neal Himself is watching the heavy equipment rip up his yard 
and add a short extension to his spur. 

The track is now in and the big Cat is tamping down the ballast.

A heavy duty track end bumper was required by the City Zoning Commission due to the track terminating very close to an adjoining building. The big hook will take care of placing it in the right position.

The big hook is shoved into Neal's Lumber Yard

The track end bumper is being lowered slowly into place. 

1/87th Scale Sir Neal watches the final adjustments on the track end bumper. 

The job is done and the train is packed up and almost ready to roll.

1/87th Scale Sir Neal Himself checks that the gate close properly at quitting time. A late delivery of lumber will have the staff working hard first thing in the morning.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Easy Loads for 72' Center Beams Flats

Greetings All,

This past week after painting the handrails on my Bachmann 89' Tri-Level Auto Racks I turned my attention to the two 72' Center Beam Flats that I own. The models are from Walthers and I purchased them in used but very good condition from fellow modeler Rick P of TrainLife. The cars look great running empty but to be in revenue service they must be loaded at some point. Seeing loads for the cars being sold for about $10.00 per I decided to try and get away a little cheaper. A long time ago I bookmarked the July 2011 Model Railroad Hobbyist E-Magazine for an article by Steve Piroko that detailed how he made his own home made lumber loads. Steve provided a link for modelers to be able to print out their own sheets of "wrapped lumber loads" from various shippers. I printed out two such sheets and put them in a safe place until I was ready to use them. After a fruitful search of all my safe places I found them and got started on the project. I could not believe how easy this was and how good the printed loads actually look in the car from normal viewing distance. Here is a link to MRH July 2011 - Issue 17.

Anyone who reads this blog already knows that Neal's Lumber and Hardware is a favored rail customer for the amount of rail traffic N.L.& H. produces. As Neal's business grows the demand for more and more lumber and other products grows. Enter the 72' Center Beam Flat. Today is the first day these extra long cars are being spotted at N.L.& H. Follow along as we visit with 1/87th Scale Sir Neal and check out the action in and around N.L.& H.

New York Central Baldwin S12 #9314 (Athearn BB) has the job today pulling two loaded 72' Center Beams to be spotted at Neal's Lumber and Hardware. 

The second car showing it's newly added wrapped lumber load and a NYC caboose brings up the rear.

A shot of the train as it heads from Terminal Yard to Empire City. I'm thinking of calling this area Ravina as there is an aisle off to the left  between this shelf and Empire City.

A demonstration of how easy the loads were to make and add to the cars. 
This was basically a cut and paste operation. The loads were trimmed
to fit the cars, folded over and pasted with a glue stick. That's it

Here is a close up of the Center Beam empty. It looks good just like this but as noted it does need to earn some revenue.

The first car is spotted at Neal's Lumber and Hardware under the watchful eye of 1/87th Scale Sir Neal Himself sporting his trademark blue coveralls and cap while some of the train crew holds vehicular traffic

A view for North Side yard shows a close up of the Weyerhaeuser loads. I noted the little dip in the top and plan to add a foam board insert to correct this. In the Piroko article I he used a piece of thin plywood to support his printed loads. 

The car is spotted and the train crew holds traffic while the engine backs out of the roadway. 
We see 1/87th Scale PC Ralph in his PC green shirt and cap has stopped by.  

It didn't take long for the Neal's Lumber and Hardware staff to unload that 72' Center Beam!
The train crew has grabbed an empty 40' gondola to use as a handle to pull the unloaded car from N.L.&H. The 72' length was a bit too much for the track radius into N.L.&H. for the two Center Beams to couple together. The train crew again holds vehicular traffic which includes some good looking Detroit Muscle. Seems word went out on TrainLife that this rail activity created a clear road ahead when done and was a perfect place to let out the clutch so to speak.

A Hemi Cuda and G.T.O. Judge bide their time until the roadway clears. An AMC Gremlin and Chevy Vega wagon sit in the second row. 
Looks like 1/87th Scale PC Ralph has made a purchase. 

Mets fans will get the significance of 1/87th Scale PC Ralph's new broom

The Empire City Police have noted the hot rod traffic in and around N.L.&H. 

Empty out load in

With the cars spotted and the locomotive clear of the roadway 1/87 Scale Sir Neal and PC Ralph chat with some of the train crew regarding the spotting of the new 72' cars. One thing is clear to 1/87 Scale Sir Neal is that he going to need a bigger siding so he can close his gates at night. Interestingly no one asks 1/87th Scale PC Ralph "what's with the broom"? Any NYC train crew member should grasp it's significance without question. As you know the NYC main reason for being was to run from NY to Chicago. 

Looks like our Detroit Muscle has left the starting line with the Hemi Cuda taking an early lead.
The boys are about to learn a valuable lesson.

No matter how fast your car is you cannot out run the police radio.

The boys in blue have the cars stopped and get down to the big three requests every motorist hates to hear; License, Registration and Insurance Card

The local train crew rumbles by and takes in the police activity on their way to North Side Yard.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Light Hearted Special Charter

Greeting All,

After all the research on the four part New York Central Automobile Industry Traffic posts it's time for some light hearted model train fun. Using current circumstances and totally disregarding actual times, dates and places I present A Light Hearted Special Charter for your reading and viewing pleasure.

Monday was an extremely busy day at Empire City Station as private varnish arrived for a special New York Mets and New York Giants charter train. With the Mets playing the Cubs in Chicago in the National League Championship Series starting Tuesday night and the Giants playing their arch rival Eagles in Philadelphia Monday night the 1/87th scale phone lines started ringing off the hook with our 1/87th scale New York sports fans looking to parlay this week into something special.

Leading the Special are two custom painted boiler equipped New York Central GP7s. The models are Athearn BB units and have had grab irons added. Not a prototypical NYC paint job but I like the smaller lettering and the script herald. The units were numbered 412 and 505 mainly because the numbers fit into the number boards. I think these are the first engines I custom painted. At the time my prototypical resources and knowledge was very limited. Not that it would matter much with his light hearted totally non-prototypical blog entry!  

The 414 and 505 are both long hood forward which on the NYC was the front of the engine. In one of the Emery Gulash NYC videos the yard master lined three such units all long hood forward and received a nice "he's all class" compliment from the narrator. Perhaps the Terminal Yard yard master had that in mind when he set up these two engines.

A New York Central Baggage Car will serve as a piano bar and dance hall for the trips.

Next is a PRR coach owned by my son who is a huge Giants fan followed by a NYC Diner.
Both cars are Bachmann Spectrum models
The red cap looks to be trying to get someone's attention.

Next in the consist is the private varnish of 1/87th scale PC Ralph which came down earlier today from the Kings Port Division. That's 1/87th scale PC Ralph standing by the door to his car
sporting his jade bluegrass green work shirt and matching cap.

1/87 Scale PC Ralph kibbutz's with some of his friends who will be making the journey on his newly refurbished sleeper car. Note the glare from the chrome on his 1/87th scale jade green corvette.

Next in line is my own New York Central Sleeper car, "Imperial Fleet" That's 1/87th scale John in the tan jacket glad handing one of the guests. 

The last passenger car in the consist is 1/87th scale Sir Neal's sleeper observation car "Nassau County"
There's 1/87th scale Sir Neal in his signature blue overalls talking with the engine crew as he waits for the train to get rolling. Note 1/87th scale Sir Neal's vintage Cadillac convertible parked to the right.  

The boys are certainly not travelling light as the special takes on supplies. A 50' reefer car of beer ought to get the gang through game 4 of the NLCS.

Tacked onto the rear of the train is 1/87th scale Sir Neal's Yacht. With some down time between the NLCS games 1/87th scale Sir Neal will be cruising the Chicago River with his friends.  

Lets Go Mets!

Lets Go Giants
Ugh they lost in a sloppy game

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bachmann 89' Tri-Level Auto Rack Improvements

Greeting All,

This week just after putting away my Bachmann 89' Tri-Level Auto Racks I went into my basement bathroom and noted one of the railroad pictures that I hung up after remodeling. The picture shows a pair of Rock Island Geeps crossing over two ATSF Tri-Level Auto Racks circa 1970. The automobiles appear to be the 1970 Dodge Polara model among other Chrysler / Dodge / Plymouth products. Anyway the item that struck me was the lack of a fat yellow railing like the Bachmann model on the top level of each car and the ramps from rail car to car were the rail car color. Hmm...

So I took my three 89' Bachmann Tri-Levels back out of their boxes and studied them a bit to see what could be done to make them look better. Plan A; Removing the top yellow railing and adding stanchions and railings. That would probably have been best but the job did not appeal to me. Plan B; De-emphasize the yellow on the top rail and car to car ramps. This seemed easier and if the results were not what I liked I could always revert back to plan A. So plan B it was. Let's take a look.

The inspirational photo with a rattle can of Krylon Clear Flat, 
Bluegrass Green and Spice Red hobby acrylics. 

Before trying to paint the gloss yellow rails and ramps I sprayed the first car with Testor's Dullcote. After a few coats the glossy paint was still pretty glossy. At this point I tried the Krylon Clear Flat with better results. This step adds some tooth to the yellow area for the acrylics to adhere and obviously gets the bright shine off the rest of the car.  

Here is one of the ATSF cars straight from the box 

Here is the second ATSF car with the yellow painted over and two more coats of the Krylon Clear Flat

Penn Central Tri Level with the yellow painted over and some Krylon Clear Flat applied. 

The big three being pulled towards Terminal Yard by NYC S12 #9314.

I really like the way the ATSF and PC cars look after this simple project. 
Painting the rails was a bit tedious but I think the results were well worth it. I think the stanchions and handrails would look better. But the simple removal of the color yellow and dulling down the extremely bright finish has the Tri-Levels looking much better and fitting in with the rest of my rolling stock. Additionally the acrylic paints and rattle can paint were already in stock so no outlay of funds was required for this project which made the accounting department happy. That's it for now I'm heading back to the train room to get that third tri level finished.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Automobile Industry Traffic on the New York Central Part 4

Greetings All,

Some very sad Model Railroad Hobby News to report this week. On October 2nd, 2015 the model railroading community lost one it's most revered members. Andy Sperandeo of Model Railroader and Great Model Railroads passed away at the age of 70. As a subscriber to both of these magazines Andy was a constant presence in my railroad modeling. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but I learned much from his articles and Operators columns. Rest in Peace Andy.


It's the fourth and final installment of Automobile Industry Traffic on the New York Central. Today we'll take another look at New York Central and New York Central Train Layout Automobile Industry Traffic focusing on the parts and materials needed to build automobiles and the rail cars that transported them.

First up is the NYC 60' All Steel Double Door Boxcar built by GSC in 1963 under NYC Lot# 932-B which consisted of a total of 85 cars. These cars were numbered 53000 - 53084. 53000 - 53044 were assigned to Ford - Cleveland #2 V8 Engines. Cars 53045 - 53084 were assigned to Sterling Axles.

NYC 60' All Steel Boxcar # 53012 and #53022 assigned to Ford - Cleveland #2 V8 Engines
These are IHC models upgraded with body mounted knuckle couplers and metal wheels.
I've had these cars for about 20 years and bought them for about $2.00 each.

Next is the NYC 60' All Steel Single Door Boxcar built by Pullman Standard in 1966 under NYC Lot# 985-B. Pullman built a total of 81 cars numbered 56451 - 56531 under this lot number. These cars appear to be in a general auto parts pool service with no specific assignments noted.

NYC 60' All Steel Box Lot # 985-B #56456.
 This a Walthers model

NYC 60' All Steel Double Door Boxcar, Lot# 987-B

NYC 60' Double Door All Steel Boxcars #53868 and 53877 make there way through Empire City Station.
110 of these cars were built by Pullman in 1966 under lot 987B. 87 were assigned to Ford bumpers-Monroe, 19 were assigned to Ford bumpers-Ypsilanti and 3 were assigned to Mortell. Car #53865 was equipped for Delco-Remy service

An Atlas Union Pacific 60' Al Steel Double Door Boxcar was recently added to the fleet.  

Since we can't make cars without steel I've included some steel coil coaches to my Automotive Industry trains. The New York Central subsidiary Pittsburgh and Lake Erie employed 50 NYC Lot # 111F 50' "Coil Steel Breadbox Trough Cars" numbered 42250 - 42299 that were built in 1966 by Evans. Cars from this lot ran in revenue service with NYC reporting marks from 1966 to 1992.

A heavily weathered P&LE 50' Coil Steel Breadbox Trough Car # 42279 
has seen it's fair share of steel mills.

Regional Railroad Kings Port & Western scored a coup when they purchased large quantities of the Steel Breadbox Trough cars. With the original owners having difficulties opening and closing the protective covers the cars fell out of favor and were offered up at bargain prices. The KP&W Shops rebuilt them and they are known on the KP&W as clam shell hoppers. So successful were the KP&W rebuilds that the NYCTL rail car leasing subsidiary JTRX sent some cars there for rebuilding.

A KP&W rebuilt clam shell hopper in the middle of the action

In 1965 Evans built 100 55' coil steel flats for the NYC under Lot #984F numbered 752000 - 752099. Cars from this lot ran in revenue service with NYC reporting marks until 1981.    

NYC #752034 Lot 984-F coil steel flat car. This is the favored steel car for the Atlantic Pacific Railroad.
These Coil Steel Flats can be found in large numbers in and around A.P.R.R. on line shipper Shapeless Steel Works. 

Another game changer for the railroads was the 86'6" Boxcar. Cars of this type were ideal for certain types of automotive industry shipments where the load size did not maximize the cars loaded weight capabilities.
In 1965 Pullman built 57 of the oversized 86'6" All Steel Boxcars for the NYC numbered 67040 - 67096 under Lot# 949B. These cars featured two sets of huge 20' doors. The entire lot looks to have been assigned to Chevrolet. Cars from this lot saw revenue service under NYC reporting marks until 1979. Cars of this type can still be found in service today hauling lightweight paper products. 

NYC 67086, An Athearn BB model

Two of the 86'6" behemoths bringing up the rear of a long automobile industry train.

In Automobile Industry Traffic on the New York Central Part 2 I posted that ML-12 could be as long as 150 auto racks with up to 8 locomotives. Not having that many auto racks I mixed and matched some Automobile Industry cars to make up this hot shot train for the New York Central Train Layout. In addition I found many photographs during research that showed several loaded auto racks in what looked like an otherwise mixed freight train. I like the look of this train and may look to add some more auto racks to the N.Y.C.T.L. in the future.