Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Two new freight cars added to the N.Y.C.T.L. fleet

Greetings All,

A few weeks ago my good buddy and fellow train operator 1:1 scale Engineer Ed came over for a long overdue ops session. E.E. brought over some of his old HO scale equipment for us to check out and was kind enough to give me a few pieces of rolling stock. The cars were vintage and provided some nice projects.

As delivered a Bachmann 89' tri level auto rack, a TYCO Gulf three dome tank car and a Lionel frame that looks to belong to a hopper car.

As readers of this blog know I have been working on expanding my auto rack fleet over the past year and I did not wait long to get this car into service. A shot of Testors Dullcote and the painting of the top rails from yellow to green blend this car right into my fleet.  

Body mounted Kadee #5 couplers installed using a small shim to keep the coupler box level. Note the front corners were trimmed slightly to give the coupler a little more swing. I coupled it to two same length auto racks with talgo couplers and the three cars handled the layouts smaller 22" curves with no problems.

The next project was little more challenging. Some research on the Gulf three dome 62' tank car indicates it   originally rode on three axle trucks with talgo mounted couplers. This car looks to be from about 1975 and is known as TYCO 357-B  http://tycotrain.tripod.com/freightcars/id21.html  After scouring my parts boxes I was unable to come up with a set of three axle trucks. But I find an old pair of metal two axle trucks that looked to be a good fit.

New trucks and Kadee short over set shank couplers liberated from an no longer being used Kadee #452 Bachmann F7 coupler conversion kit.

The trucks are made of metal with separate springs.Getting the coupler box open to remove the horn hook coupler was a hammer and screwdriver affair.

Holding the trucks in place are two Allen head screws from an erector set.

The 2-56 screws holding the couplers in place needed to be filed slightly so they did not snag the car rivets

On the money!
 After some dullcote to tone down the paint scheme and black paint added to the trucks the Gulf car performed very well during testing.

  A couple of nice and easy projects are in the books and two new cars have been added to the fleet.

Thanks for Reading! 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Penn Central Car Movement Series #14

Greetings All,

During the ops session with 1:1 Engineer Ed last week we set up some of the next virtual ops session between the N.Y.C.T.L. and Ralph V's Kings Port Division. This, the 14th installment of Penn Central Car Movement Series has taken on a special meaning. Last week the Kings Port Division formally opened the newly expanded and improved West Mill Float Yard. This important railroad hub needed a train from the N.Y.C.T.L. worthy of all the work that was performed. With that in mind the 14 series will feature the largest amount of cars virtually forwarded layout to layout. A total of 27 cars will be making the trek from Terminal Yard to the West Mill Float Yard.

For more on the West Mill Float Yard expansion see here

So with the K.P.D. milestone in the books I also turned my attention once again to naming the shelf portion of the N.Y.C.T.L. I received some great suggestions from fellow modeler and blogger John Bruce who pointed out the Ford Plant and some creative names using that and some others from the PRR, PC and CR. After mulling those over I thought the name Bedford would work. It has a NY feel, There is a main artery in Brooklyn known as Bedford Ave. There is a town of about 17,000 people called Bedford about 48 miles north of NYC located within Westchester County. So with this information my fictitious industrial town was born. Thanks John!

For more on John B's model railroading click here;

So let's take a look at what transpired on the N.Y.C.T.L. after the actual ops session with Engineer Ed to put together this outbound train:

The L.I.R.R. FA units ran very nicely during the ops session with E.E. and they have been rewarded as power for today's train, EC-1, the Empire City Turn. EC turn arrives in...get ready for it...Bedford an industrial town on the outskirts of Empire City. 

Making the long pull

Most but not all of these cars will be headed out to industries on the Kings Port Division

Picking up iron ore loads at T&R Gravel

Over in Empire City at the North Side Yard the Empire Belt Railroad is using PC U30B #2875 as today's power

The 2875 leaves North Side yard to attend to today's switching assignments. The five covered hoppers on the industrial lead were placed there as the last car movement by E.E. and I will attend to those today.

An A.P.R.R. 50' combo door boxcar is shoved into Neal's Lumber and Hardware. The crew will pull the PC boxcar and spot the A.P.R.R. car. The crew is being extra careful as 1/87th Scale Sir Neal Himself  stands on the sidewalk admiring one of his vast fleet of freight cars.

The Empire Belt crew has switched out Cargill, Neal's Lumber and Caterpillar.Here they are shoving those cars into track 3 of North Side yard for pick up by the Empire City Turn due in this afternoon. 

The EC Turn has arrived and the EB power idles out of the way on track 2.
Normally foreign road power like the L.I.R.R. units can be found leased to the Empire Belt and utilized in North Side Yard. Today's heavy rail traffic going back to Terminal Yard will be too much for the U30B so  the FA units will be working out of Terminal Yard for at least another day before being transferred to the Empire Belt. The FAs will run around their train, enter the yard from the east side and pull track 1. They'll couple up their train, add the caboose conduct a terminal air test and then head out. 

Heading over the High Line and Cornelius Vanderbilt Memorial Bridge (Thanks John B!)

Yes, this train would have been too much for the single U30B

The L.I.R.R. FAs will uncouple for their train here at Bedford Tower and then work the Ford Plant and local industries.

Three empty 50' double door boxcars being pulled from All City Storage. The boxcars are specially equipped for shipping appliances and assigned to Peerless Appliance.

The empty KP&W and NYC cars are in pool service assigned to ACME Auto Parts -Ford service

The length of the train overwhelms the available track lengths in Terminal Yard. The train has been cut and doubled into the yard starting on track 4.  

The second half of the EC Turn arrives and heads into track 3

After some serious switching and blocking train WM-2 (Terminal Yard to West Mill Float Yard) has received it power and it almost ready for departure 

Block with cars for West Mill Float Yard

Block 1 will be cut after the Rock Island car and have 10 empty covered hoppers cut in as block 2. Both of these blocks will be worked at West Mill Float Yard

Block 3 consist of cars going beyond West Mill to the Williams Yard on the K.P.D.

The end of block 3

Sample car cards being used for this series

WM-2 has left Terminal Yard and head thru Bedford on it's way to West Mill

WM-2 is now on the main line

Heading over the High Line

Block 2 on the High Line

Block 3 rolling across the High Line

And finally caboose 18401 brings up the rear

And there it is. The longest train ever sent out in the virtual ops is now on it's way. Let's see if Ralph V is still talking with me when he sees this! 

Thanks for Reading!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ops Session with Engineer Ed

Greetings All,

On Friday July 8th the New York Central Train Layout was honored to have 1:1 scale Engineer Ed visit and participate in an operating session. Those who follow this blog will remember that Engineer Ed had been under the weather for a pretty long time. I am happy to report that E.E. is feeling better and has resumed his rightful place at the throttle. After a very enjoyable 3.5 hours of moving freight cars to various industries and in and out of the yards E.E. and I were finished for the day.

During this 'actual' ops session I planned ahead for the next 'virtual' ops session by having some of the proposed 'virtual' ops freight cars getting spotted or pulled during this 'actual' ops session. Kind of like a buy one op get one free deal!

Here's a photo summary of the action with Engineer Ed;

    The first train we ran was ML-7 powered by four GP35s. I was just not ready to put it away and thought                 E.E. would enjoy seeing it run the layout. Here it is as pictured from the last blog entry. 
Although it just ran from North Side Yard to Terminal Yard it was kind of majestic with it's over sized auto                                                                racks and four unit power.

ML-7 hits the High Line (Thanks John B.!!) on a slow speed run to Terminal Yard much to the delight of  model railroading rail fans. Fellow modeler and blogger John Bruce came up with the name the High Line as I continue struggling with place names for the layout. For more on John's model railroading check his blog at  http://modelrrmisc.blogspot.com/ 

Here is ML-7 on track 1 in Terminal Yard.The two gons with pipe loads are from Gervais Pipe and Fitting and destined for the Hudson Valley Ag Coop on the Kings Port Division

Iron ore for Kings Port Steel being loaded at T&R Gravel

PC160502 and TPFX 5510 will head out to Battaglia Brothers Warehouse

Printed food containers and bottles for food service industries on the K.P.D.  

An empty boxcar to be returned to Canton Box

PC 77047 at Neal's Lumber and Hardware now loaded with wood soda crates for 
Woodstock Hills All Natural Soda

A brand new heavy duty forklift for Kings Port Steel has been placed on a newly spotted flat car.

Three specially equipped NYC 50' double door boxcars spotted at All-City Storage will be heading back to Peerless Appliance

KP&W 50335, NYC 53051 and NYC 173861 now empty will be going back to ACME auto parts in Mayfield NY

Terminal Yard is in good shape at the end of the Ops session with Engineer Ed.

E.E. and I moved a lot of freight and kept the yards fluid throughout the day. ML-7 ran to start the festivities. General merchandise freight trains were in and out. Some mail and express traffic was handled. We picked up a string of loaded coal hoppers from Hudson Coal and worked many an industry. Guest engines in honor of E.E. being over were the L.I.R.R. FA units on track 8. 

Our last job was switching covered hoppers at Cargill. We arrived with a ten car train, pulled five empties and shoved in five loads. The five loaded hoppers left on the industrial lead will be handled on the next trick

The SCL covered hopper had some coupler issues. The 20 year old EZ Mates tended to remain open after a shove move. The oncoming train crew was notified and it will be repaired with ol' reliable Kadee #5s.

We also switched out Ralph's Grocery Warehouse. The UP car is a track cleaning car so this was a good way to clean the siding and enjoy some rail fanning. Being a mostly lone wolf modeler and operator I never really get to rail fan these locations being switched. With E.E. at the throttle and me as head brakeman it was nice to watch the trains going in and out of this area from up close.

Thanks for Reading!