Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Making The Grade...Crossings

Greetings All,

The Empire City Bridge and Highway Department got the go ahead this week to install three grade crossings on the East Side of Empire City. The first two were on Amboy Street where the sidings for Ralph's Grocery Warehouse and Cargill cross the street. The second was the grade crossing at the entrance to Gervais Pipe and Fitting. Let's take a look at the work to date:

The E.C.Bridge & Highway Department have installed new wood plank grade crossings on Amboy Street

Here they are putting the finishing touches on the project. Neal's Lumber and Hardware won the contract to supply the wood planking. That's Neal's red Peterbilt flatbed truck at the upper left 

The E.C.P.D. have the street blocked and an officer explains to the Rock Island truck driver that it will be several hours before the road reopens. 

Later that day the Bridge and Highway Department were spotted at Gervais Pipe and Fitting installing a new grade crossing into Bobby G's pipe yard. 
This project called for a gravel and tar crossing due to the track elevation 

Like many big city projects the left hand and right hand often do not know what the other is up to. Case in point below. The steam roller is blocking the tracks to Cargill where leased A.P.R.R. GP38 and caboose are trying to pick up a string of covered hoppers. Engineer Ed and 1/87th Scale Sir Neal Himself have come out to the front rail to try and hurry the steamroller operator along. The operator gives them a hold your horses wave. 

Surprisingly the E.C.P.D. have traffic flowing smoothly around the construction zone
while Engineer Ed and 1/87th Scale Sir Neal wait impatiently. 

The next day on Amboy Street sees street traffic back to normal in and out of Ralph's Grocery Warehouse. The Rock Island trailer has been unloaded and a Penn Central tractor trailer waits to gain access. 
Looks like there is some police activity in the newly paved parking lot.

Well that didn't take long! A stolen car has been dumped and stripped.  

The E.C.P.D. makes inquiries about the incident.
A tow truck has been called to remove the dumped car. 

Another part of the project in this area was adding some fauna and flora for
 visual interest and scenic improvement. A new chain link fence has also been
added behind the VW van to keep the tracks clear. 

Meanwhile at Ralph's Grocery Warehouse a Pabst Blue Ribbon truck has been given priority unloading. That's 1/87th scale PC Ralph on his new porch letting the driver know to put a cold case in the cooler in the trunk on his jade green corvette which is to the right.

The tow truck has arrived and the E.C.P.D. will be on their way. First stopping to check the P.B.R. truck for any stray cold ones . 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Sounds like a busy project going on in Empire City. I hope this enables the traffic to flow more smoothly and increase revenue to the city as well. Glad to see the leased unit working diligently. Thanks to Engineer Ed for some help as I'm sure my crew needed it! As always, a great update!

  2. Thank you 1:1 Sir Neal! As you know the A.P.R.R. and Neal's Lumber and Hardware are important components to the success of the N.Y.C.T.L. On behalf of the N.Y.C.T.L. and the Empire Belt RR a thanks to you, your crew and Engineer Ed for getting these cars moved.

  3. Those new grade crossings are great. Obviously you have a very talented and motivated group of employees to be able to accomplish so much in 1/87 time...

    I am however disheartened to see that crime has creeped into NYCTL land. Luckily you have some solid connections in the Police Dept. and hopefully they can put an end to this budding crime spree. Great work and thanks for the update.

    1. Thanks for the compliments Engineer Ed! Fear not E.E the E.C.P.D. assures us they have the crime situation well in hand.

  4. The new grade crossing are neatly done John. One of the things I often notice is your excellent use of details, figures, and vehicles to fill out your scenes. Highway equipment, delivery trucks, loads in pick up beds, the good people of Empire City including representatives of the E.C.P.D., and last but not least, a stripped car on blocks! A lot of things to look at and enjoy!

    1. Thanks for the compliments Ralph! I really appreciate you noticing the "other things" I add to the scenes to try and bring them to life. The blog entries have become part train projects and part soap opera which keeps them enjoyable for me and keep the entries moving along.