Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Switching the North Side

Greetings All,

I've just received notification from the Kings Port Division that Penn Central Train KV-5 has left Williams Yard on the Kings Port Division  and is on it's way to Selkirk with a block of cars destined for my Terminal Yard and industries on my model railroad. This is part of the virtual ops described by Ralph V in his latest blog entry: http://kingsportdivision.blogspot.com/2016/04/virtual-ops.html

To: Terminal Yard
From: Williams Yard  
Dispatch of Train KV-5 (Williams Yard to Selkirk) with Block 1 for transfer to Terminal Yard.
Engines:  GP38-2s #8038/8045
Number of cars:  19
Number of cars in Block 1:  8

The above notification also included pictures of the cars being picked up at their respective shippers and train KV-5. My job now is to prepare my layout for my part in the virtual ops. The first thing I do is make sure I have sufficient capacity to receive the inbound cars and get them to their ultimate destinations. This can be as simple as just picking up a bunch of cars and putting them away. But that's too easy and not as fun as putting together my own mini ops session and running the railroad. So while I wait for KV-5 Block 1 to arrive from Selkirk I've enjoyed my own mini ops session, photographed it, made a few videos and then added some music as well. A lot more fun than just putting the cars in the box!

And the best part is another Ops Session is right around the corner thanks to the Virtual Ops.

Here's a look at the prep work for the North Side 

PC 9942 spots a Thrall All Door Boxcar at Neal's Lumber and Hardware.
9942 is a P-1000 unit that I painted for the PC
That KP&W gondola and pole load are new arrivals from the Kings Port & Western RR.

PC FP7A #4348 and C424 #2415 lead ML-9 through Empire City on this day.
Both units are Atlas yellow box that I painted for the PC.

PC SD40 6282 leads two other SD units with a manifest freight through Empire City and PC ML-9 rolls towards Detroit on track 2.
Motive power is Athearn BB that I painted for the PC

With the mainline clear PC 9942 pulls a cut of modern (1970's) reefers from 
Ralph's Grocery Warehouse and Distribution Center.

A damaged Front End Loader that was involved in a derailment from Extra 3007 has returned to Empire City Caterpillar. Railroad, Caterpillar and Insurance Company representatives were notified and responded.

 And at what was possibly the worst possible moment a trio of colorful detoured Chessie System EMDs lead a train of covered hoppers through Empire City just when the PC people were trying to keep Caterpillar shipping with their bankrupt railroad. Scene inspired by Chessie System office car specials at Michigan Central Station in the Green Frog video Penn Central volume 6

1/87th scale Sir Neal Himself has come out his office to see the detoured train and proudly notes an A.P.R.R. covered hopper rolling by while an Imperial Walker lurks in the alley.
I forgot I put that there.

The Chessie conductor enjoys the views and gets an earful from 1/87th scale Sir Neal to take care of his car.

The photogenic Chessie System lash up crosses the Empire City viaduct on their way out of town.
SD40-2 and GP35  are BB units, F7A is a Bachmann unit. All are factory painted..

Here are two videos of the action. One with a music soundtrack;

And one with just the train sounds. Action is the same on both

Thanks for reading and watching!


  1. Once again, a great deal of fun! In several scenes, there's a PC green plug-door car just behind 9942 that seems to have a refrigeration unit cut into its end. What is this mode?

    1. Thanks John! The PC car is a Model Power product 50' Mechanical Refrigerator that I bought about 20 years ago in one of those 6 freight cars for $12.00 deals from the former Standard Hobby in NJ. I never cared for the Olympia Beer paint scheme and ultimately repainted it in 2012 with a few other cars. See here for more info;

  2. Here is the second of two of these cars on the roster;

  3. I was going to ask about that interesting PC refrigerator car too! Very cool and a nice transformation from the original Olympia Beer scheme! The video reminds me how large your layout is, allowing those long trains. Nice blend of still shots and video and I really like your track level shots at Caterpillar and other locations. An excellent video of ops in preparation for ops! Definitely more fun that just putting cars in a box! Thanks for the look!

  4. Thanks for the compliments Ralph! I like the phrase "ops in preparation for ops"! I'm going to try some more track level shots and videos going forward. I think the RS2 switch moves looked good.

  5. John, as always, not only great videos but great descriptive commentary. I would like some clarification on the SD units, if possible. Can you be more specific with builders and road numbers? The PC division of the APRR has a fleet of SD units at the ready, so we want to make sure there are no conflicts. Glad you keep Neals Lumber and Hardware busy, the revenue generated is phenomenal!

    Sir 1:1 Neal

    1. Thanks for the compliments 1:1 Sir Neal! N.L.&H. is the economic engine that part of the layout. We are proud to have you as a satisfied customer! SD Units: SD40 #6282, SDP40 #6190 and #6197(Fantasy scheme as PC did not have SDP40s. #s are in SD45 grouping.) SD35s #6018 and #6024. SD9 #6922. All units painted and lettered by the N.Y.C.T.L. Paint Shop