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! 


  1. Congrats on adding two more cars to your roster. The auto rack must have been a very welcome gift to expand your number of car carriers. That quick spry of green paint really makes the car look more prototypical! Clever work on the three dome tanker!

  2. Thanks Ralph! You're right on the money regarding the auto rack. Getting the Gulf car was a great gift as well. Getting it operational made it even more so as it is the only car I have of this type.