Custom Painted P-2000 units

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Santa Delivers! Express Style

Greetings All,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone. Many of us model railroaders can trace their interests in trains and the hobby back to seeing their first train under their childhood Christmas tree. Whether it was running in circles or wrapped up and received as a gift that first encounter with a model train remains vivid in many of our memories. I remember my first trains, a Lionel steamer some freight cars and an O-27 loop of track. I also remember as a kid that many others brought out and set up their trains around the holidays so when visiting friends and family their was always a good chance of seeing some model trains.

There has always been something magic about a toy or model train and this is especially true around Christmas. Holiday train displays are still being presented in some locations and they are a pleasure to visit and watch the young and old light up while watching the trains roll through the villages and holiday scenes. As my boys have grown older I've continued the Christmas train tradition with them even though at this point in their lives they are not into the hobby. But they are into the tradition of getting a train or two from the worlds best known model railroader, Santa Claus. For me I continue the tradition by circling some items in the Walthers flyer and passing it to the Mrs so she can forward the info to Santa.

For the old  man some NYC converted troop sleeper express cars like NYC 9220
in two tone gray

And NYC 9370 in Pullman green

My youngest son, B&O and EL fan, received this C&O style converted troop sleeper express car. 

Four express cars pose for pictures outside of Superior Furniture

An Athearn BB Erie Lackawanna PB gave the youngest a gift for both of his RRs 

For the oldest guy, a PRR man through and through, another
 Athearn RTR 40' Merchandise Service Boxcarso we can continue the L.C.L.
battle between the NYC and PRR. 

 And an Athearn BB 40' crane tender 

The tender with crane

 My two new express cars have been spotted at the New York Central Freight House. 

That's it for today. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to All.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Trio of Close Enough Projects

Greetings All,

With abundantly warm weather and low to no humidity the New York Central Train Layout outdoor  paint shop was quite busy over the past few weeks. Here is a run down on three of the paint projects that were recently completed.

First up is New York Central  bay window caboose 21505. This Athearn BB caboose was purchased at a recent train show sans numbers and reporting marks. Using a Micro Scale NYC/PC caboose decal set I added the NYC herald, reporting marks, number and "Road to the Future" logo. The roof, frame and weight were painted with rattle can flat black. A coat of Lusterless Flat was applied to protect the decals. Window "glass" and metal wheels were added as well. The car came equipped with knuckle couplers that I adjusted to meet the Kadee Height Gauge.

NYC 21505 sits at North Side Yard

This Athearn BB NYC bay window caboose was renumbered to 21698. I used Bluegrass Green acrylic hobby paint to paint over then previous numbers and them applied Microscale NYC numbers. A brush coat of clear flat was applied over the numbers to protect the decals. 

A four caboose set sits at North Side Yard. Each one is just a bit different but they are all in the family so to speak. I hope to add at least one more of these cabooses in the near future. The prototype New York Central had bay window cabooses but not this type. On the N.Y.C.T.L. they are close enough.

The next paint project was inspired by the "Big E", Emery Gulash and the "Big PC", PC Ralph. PC Ralph showed me a project NYC GP7 with just a NYC logo he was working on. Then watching the Green Frog NYC and PC DVD collections and listening to the narrator note that prior to the merge the NYC and PRR received their new motive power with numbers and logos only. I saw plenty of engines in this paint scheme in the DVDs. Of note were the later versions of the NYC GP40s. I had just the unit to try this on, an old Life Like ATSF GP unit I thought was a GP40. Nope it's a GP38 and more than likely a GP38-2. Oh well close enough for this project. The ATSF paint was stripped off in 91% Alcohol. A light coat of rattle can flat black and then a coat of rattle can gloss black. Decals were cobbled together from some NYC Microscale decals I had on hand.

The newly painted NYC 3067 a GP40 in GP38 clothing. The number is correct for the paint scheme.

The pancake motor has been disconnected and the unit is now non powered and free rolling.

A close up of the 3067

The final project for today's blog entry is a Penn Central 60 foot Auto Parts Boxcar. This project car started out as a TYCO Union Pacific model. I was able to cobble together enough PC decals from the Microscale PC Esoterica set, PC boxcars with PC numbers set and Freight Car Data set to get this car onto the roster. Not an exact PC match but close enough for the N.Y.C.T.L.  

Testing decal selections and placement.
The car has been stripped of of the UP logos and the yellow paint.
Krylon rattle can Sea Glass green has been sprayed onto the car.

The finished car sports Penn Central subsidiary Toledo & Ohio Central (TOC) reporting marks. 

An ACI label puts the car firmly in the PC era. 
The lettering below the ACI label reads
When empty return to D.T.I.R.R. Ford Park Lima, Ohio
This puts the car firmly into my own Ford Plant and in line 
with some of my NYC 60' Auto Parts cars that were also assigned to Ford. 

TOC 350562 sits at North Side Yard as it awaits being witched into train ML-12. 
Train NY-4 is in the background.

A short video of some hot shot train action that includes the above project cars 

Thanks for reading and watching!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The One and Only

Greetings All,

A couple of weeks ago I was at my L.H.S. to take advantage of a big sale they were having. I checked out the used Atlas locomotives hoping to spot an RS3 to assist a fellow modeler in his ALCO Quest. I did not find an RS3 but did stumble onto a Reading ALCO C424 which was an Atlas / Kato model. I seemed to remember that the NYC may have had these units or at least the PC had some. So off to the L.H.S. test track where the engine ran smooth as silk.

Upon returning home I fired up the computer, got out my New York Central and Penn Central books and went to work looking to find some information on NYC - PC C424 ownership. Turns out the NYC did not have any C-424s, they had C-430s. The PC had the ten ALCO C430s from the NYC, forty one ALCO C425s from the PRR and NH and exactly one C424 from the PRR on it's roster. That's right one.

Penn Central #2415 was a one of a kind unit. It was built as PRR 2415 in 1963 utilizing the electrical equipment from ALCO's scrapped DL640 (AKA an RS27) demonstrator 640-1.

So what's an ALCO C424? Good question. Here's a brief summary. The ALCO Century 424 is a four axle 2,400 horsepower diesel electric locomotive built between 1963 and 1967. 98 units were built by ALCO and 92 by Montreal Locomotive Works. Candian Pacific bought the most units, 51 with the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México coming in second with 45 units. Some are still active today with their fourth and fifth owners.

Reading C424 5207 as purchased

Reading C424 5207 being tested on the layout
The RDG paint scheme is quite nice but not long for this world

The engine was disassembled and the paint stripped in 91% Alcohol.
Rattle can black and some Microscale Decals were the used to
paint and letter the engine.

The newly painted Penn Central 2415 sits on track 2 at North Side Yard

Numbers in the number boards, air hoses and an ACI label bring the unit close to the prototype.

PC 2415 chortles away at North Side Yard while a part of ML-12 sits on track 1. The horn placement is not correct on this unit. Next trip to the L.H.S. I may look to correct that. Current horn is not glued on and can be easily removed.

Truck detail on the C424 and C425 appears the same. 
The NYC C430s were equipped with ALCO's new high adhesion trucks.    

A view of the conductor's or fireman's side

As with all of my engines that bear some semblance to a prototype I enjoy exploring their history and disposition. This one of a kind PRR and PC engine had quite a life. Here are some links to the history of this locomotive;

Alco C424 model history

As Alco Demonstrator 640-1 (with 640-2)

As PRR 2415

As PC 2415 in 1968
As Conrail 2474

As Green Bay & Western 319 in 1980

As Caddo, Antoine & Little Missouri(CALM) 319 in 1998

As Livonia Avon & Lakeville(LAL) 319 in 2009

As Livonia Avon & Lakeville(LAL) 319 in 2012

And last but not least some Alco C424 action on the Minnesota Commercial

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Penn Central Caboose 23045

Greetings All,

A short entry this week on my purchase of used Bowser N5C Penn Central Caboose # 23045 from my local hobby shop. While browsing I was checking a display case and this caboose quickly caught my eye with it's jade green body, large lettering and porthole windows. It was an interesting looking caboose, one I don't have and after noting it was made by Bowser I thought it might actually be prototypical.

Turns out it actually appears to be prototypical. The N5C caboose was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad starting in 1942. With the NYC / PRR merger they served Penn Central and then Conrail.
                                                   Here is an interesting read on the N5C

A PRR N5C on display at Strasburg PA

From Essex County Rail History
1979/05     ETR obtains PC caboose 23045 [Now privately owned in West Windsor]

 Here is a prototype picture from 1979. 

Here is a prototype picture of  PC 23045 on display in 2012

Penn Central caboose 23045 with the large lettering and numbering. The bottom indicates the car is assigned to the Northern Region, Canada Division. The caboose is class N5C with a 3-42 build date according to the model. 

Here is my HO scale model on an upper west side curve near Reliable Machine Works. 
The car has received a few coats of Lusterless Flat, window "glass", metal wheels and adjusted couplers.
Yellow stirrups have been added as the original steps were not attached to the used model.

I believe this is my one and only PC prototype caboose.
Note the distinctive PRR smoke jack.

The PC 23045 is on the rear of PC Train ML-9. The SP car was found and purchased during the same LHS sale. I remember seeing this car at the LHS on several occasions but it never caught my interest. Then after watching the Green Frog NYC and PC videos I saw numerous cars in this paint scheme on trains ML-9, ML-12 and other manifest freights. The narrator credited the SP with being a developer of the 86' Auto Parts Boxcars. So of course it immediately caught my interest when I saw it again.