Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Trains NB-3, Terminal Yard Transfer and the Hudson Coal Shifter.

Greetings All,

Lots to report in the upcoming days and weeks ahead. A couple of cool projects and some heavy train operations were in the mix. The Virtual Ops Series between the N.Y.C.T.L. and the K.P.D. 
http://kingsportdivision.blogspot.com/ are currently in their 17th series so I need to play a little catch up to keep the blog sequentially readable. Today we'll take a look at some of the highlights from the Virtual Ops or Penn Central Car Movement #17 series on the N.Y.C.T.L. as this will close out my portion of the action and Ralph V. (1:1 PC Ralph) and the K.P.D. will take it from here.

NYC SW8 switchers 9608 and 9622 roll into Terminal yard with a freight train from Bedord NY
Readers will recognize this train from the last blog entry where it spent some time
at Bedford Tower.

1/87th scale E.E. and the crew have finished their yard duties and they huddle around to welcome the newest N.Y.C.T.L. conductor 1/87th Scale PC Ralph who has just finished conductor school. 1/87th scale Sir Neal Himself and Engineer Ed sponsored PC Ralph into the 1/87th scale United Transportation Union

Terminal Yard track 9 is being blocked for cars going to West Mill on the Kings Port Division as part of P.C.C.M. #15

The West Mill train is growing nicely and it's being blocked by towns on the K.P.D. by 1/87th scale Engineer Ed and his crew. With the yard work done for now Double E and his crew will be assigned to switch out Hudson Coal. The empty coal hoppers can be seen on track 2 . These are the same hoppers Engineer Ed had to cool his jets for in the last blog entry. Funny how things work out.

Over at Empire City two Lehigh Valley FA1s and caboose are the Empire Belt power today. These units have received a major overhaul at the N.Y.C.T.L. Engine Shop and their testing is just about complete. 

Working the siding at Ralph's Grocery Warehouse

Outbound cars wait on industrial track while the inbound cars are spotted.

3 insulated Lehigh Valley 50' boxcars bearing N.I.R.X. reporting marks are spotted at Ralph's.
The cars are owned by General Electric and leased to the L.V.

Neal's Lumber and Hardware gets a loaded NYC Pacemaker pulled and will accept delivery of the loaded BN double door boxcar with hardwoods from the Pacific Northwest

The BAR 'State of Maine' 40' boxcar at Neubaum's Coffee and Team Importers is loaded with a shipment of imported tea for Cavendish Fine Foods on the Kings Port Division 

BAR 5226 is shoved back across Hohman Ave to DryWell Inks. It's coupled up to this PC 40' boxcar with loads of ink in 55 gallon drums consigned to Canton Box

The Empire Belt Terminal Yard Transfer gets ready to head out to Terminal Yard

The FA1s are running great as they pass over Empire City Station.

The crew of the Terminal Yard Transfer aboard LV 538 get a slow order from Bedford Tower Operator
1/87th Scale John B. 

The train is stretched over the High Line and Cornelius Vanderbilt Memorial Bridge.

The Hudson Coal Shifter with Engineer Ed and the crew are working Hudson coal and pulling towards Bedford Station. The E.B. Terminal Yard Transfer waits on Track 3

The Terminal Yard Transfer is climbing the grade to the yard past Hudson Coal. Looks like the Hudson Coal Shifter crew is making nice progress as some empty hoppers are already in place.

Later at Terminal Yard the cars from the Terminal Yard Transfer have been blocked into train NB-3 (New York to Selkirk). 15 cars are for the Kings Port Division's West Mill Rail Hub

Train NB-3 has left Terminal Yard behind U30C #6539 and the two Lehigh Valley FA1s which will be cut off at Selkirk and returned to the Lehigh Valley

NB-3 getting ready to pass Hudson Coal. The Hudson Coal Shifter has done a good job getting these much needed empty hoppers into place.

The Hudson Coal Shifter Crew stretch their legs at Bedford Station while they wait for Train NB-3 to pass them on the mainline. Below the guys are participating in the time honored shooting of the breeze.

NB-3 is looking good through Bedford on track 3. It will crossover onto the upper mainline at Bedford Station just to the right

NB-3 hits the crossover and rolls onto the upper mainline.
The Hudson Coal Shifter SW8s can be seen near the red white and blue BAR boxcar to the left.

Caboose 10841 carries the markers for NB-3. 1/87th scale E.E. and his Hudson Coal shifter crew will deliver these loaded coal hoppers to North Side Yard where they will be picked up by the L.I.R.R. for delivery to Pilgrim State Hospital in Brentwood NY

Conductor 1/87th scale John R checks his watch as NB-3 is just about past them. OK, I admit it. I added my 1/87th scale self to the crew because I thought I was missing out on a lot of 1/87th scale fun. 

NB-3 rolls across the High Line en-route to Selkirk

Thanks for Reading!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Unit Coal Train

Greetings All,

A Unit Coal Train, UND-1 (Williams Yard - Terminal Yard) made it's way past a very busy Bedford tower recently. It was a couple of hours of heavy rail traffic and some great rail fanning. Let's take a look at the action.

1/87th scale Engineer Ed and his train of empty auto parts cars from Ford are held at Bedford Tower by
Tower Operator 1/87th scale John B due to heavy rail traffic in and out of Terminal Yard . This is a rare occurrence for E.E. and he has come out of the engine to find out why.

 Track 2 is occupied by a set of RDCs at Bedford Station

Empty Unit Coal Train UND-1 has arrived and gets clearance to cross over to track 3 much to
Engineer Ed's consternation. 'They're empty coal hoppers, it's a coal drag for crying out loud!'
'These empty coal hoppers are like gold right now so hold your horses!'

UND-1 takes the crossover while the RDCs still lettered for the New Haven exchanges passengers and express packages at the station  

FP7 #4348 and two sister F7s leads the long string of empties towards Terminal Yard

The empties are returning from Kings Port Steel 

The train rolls past Hostess / Wonder Bread

Now? Not yet. What! Just stand by!

The RDCs have left Bedford Station and head towards Empire City while 1/87th scale Engineer Ed continues to hold at Bedford Tower.

The cause of the current congestion is now visible. UND-1 has been held on track 3 to await clearance into
Terminal Yard for Train SLX-1 which has departed Terminal Yard and heads to Selkirk behind a U30B  

 Can I go now? No. Why not? 
UND-1 is climbing the grade to Terminal Yard and the approach track is not yet clear.

1/87th scale Engineer Ed and John B give SLX a roll by inspection

Meanwhile UND-1 is climbing the grade into Terminal Yard.
Hudson Coal Mgt is quite pleased to see the long string of empty hoppers
as there is a division shortage due to an upturn in coal traffic 

UND-1 behind FP7 #4348 arrives at Terminal Yard

F-7 #1644 still in NYC paint waits on the departure track for UND-1 to take track 2

The much needed empties roll in

And continue to roll in

 The more the better says the Mineral Traffic Bureau! 

 And finally caboose #21698 brings up the markers

 Now? Highball it!

Thanks For Reading!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Beat the Heat Boxcar Project

Greetings All,

With the weather in the high 90s and thunder rumbling in the distance an afternoon in the basement train room sounded like a good idea. Looking to be productive but unsure of what I wanted to tackle next I took a look around the layout and noted a boxcar with an open door and shiny black plastic floor. Seeing pictures of 1:1 scale empties I knew they did not look like this. This presented two immediate options. Option 1, close the boxcar door and keep it closed. Paint the inside of the car and floor to better match the prototype. In my model railroading operations I have wanted to get a better understanding of train movements for empties and incorporate that into the action so I went with option 2.

I set up the N.Y.C.T.L. outdoor paint shop on the Patti-O and was able to get several cars done before the rain rolled in. Over the course of several days I beat the heat and was able to get about 20 cars done. Below are some before and after photos of the project.

NYC 47063 is one of several Athearn 50' double door boxcars in the fleet. This car and two similar NYC cars see a lot of action with the KPD - NYCTL Virtual Ops. With their double doors open the black plastic floor is not all that nice.

NYC 47063 times 2. They could definitely look better in their empty door open state

The car was disassembled and the floor painted with tan spray paint 
The cars are back together and look much better with the doors open.

NYC 47207 an Athearn BB car that has been renumbered  and got the floor treatment

Erie Lackawanna 40' boxcar 73510 is another car that sees a lot of action. The outer shell is sprayed gray while the inside is mostly still in it's black molded form.  

I sprayed the inside with gray primer

I then sprayed the floor and exposed metal weight with the same gray primer to simulate a steel floor 

PRR 47135 with a newly painted floor

NYC 80779 with a newly painted floor

All in all I was pleased with the results. This was a very low cost project that was not very labor intensive. 95% of the work was done in the cool of the basement. The spray painting was done outside where the heat was actually somewhat beneficial as the painted parts dried very quickly.  Dunnage and debris added to the inside of the cars may be a phase 2 of this project. For right now I like them as is and the N.Y.C.T.L. is a stickler for clean cars being provided to their customers.

Thanks for reading!