Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Friday, September 9, 2016

Guest Appearances on the Layout

Greetings Gang,

About two weeks ago while enjoying the cool of the basement I took the opportunity to run some of my lesser used model trains to make this blog entry. It was nice blowing the dust off some of the stuff and watching it run. Will definitely do this again.

First out of the gate was this Bachmann Plus F7 A-B-A lash up. The set and the B&O cars belong to my youngest son who is a U.S. Marine and on deployment overseas. I purchased the lead unit just recently for his birthday and finally got it layout ready. 

Hohman Ave Tower Operator 1/87th scale Larry D. has come out to check out the foreign power and give the engineer the high ball.

Passing Bedford Tower and Tower Operator 1/87th scale John B who gives the green signal to proceed.

The engine crew check out the tower and the small loading platform

Three New York Central Train Layout Trainmen have made their way to Bedford Station to enjoy a day of rail fanning. 1/87th scale PC Ralph, 1/87th scale Engineer Ed and 1/87th scale Sir Neal Himself check out the foreign road power.

The B&O train holds on track #3 as it awaits clearance to enter Terminal Yard

A local freight lead by a NYC GP7 in the classy lightning stripe scheme heads towards Bedford Tower and North Side Yard

The 1/87th scale rail fans enjoy the rare glimpse of a NYC GP7 with dynamic brakes

The 5694 did indeed have dynamic brakes as did a few others in service for the West Virginia mines the NYC had access to. Early in the railroading game the Commodore made sure that his NYC would not be held hostage for the coal needed to power his locomotives. See here for a prototype photo;

Coming round the bend passing Hohman Ave and entering North Side Yard

1/87th scale PC Ralph, Engineer Ed and Sir Neal Himself check out the latest government attempt to help the Northeastern Railroads. Amtrak, born in 1971.

At this juncture the Mail and Express traffic at Bedford Station is almost non existent  

An Amtrak F40PH is today's power. The 209 was built in March 1976. Click here for some prototype shots;  http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/locopicture.aspx?id=41892

1/87 scale John B has come down from the tower to check out the new engine

Seeing the F40PH means that Conrail is now the big Northeast rail carrier. The gang check out the new 'Big Blue' GP38-2 #8276 with the can opener logo. The 8276 was built for CR in 1979. See here for further info: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/LocoPicture.aspx?id=73915

Conrail engines pass Hohman Ave and the Empire City Police Dept at a crime scene. Also prototypical for this time period 

The CR units get a wave from 1/87th scale Larry D. The later Conrail Quality logo is on the trailing unit, GP40-2 #3297. For some prototype photos of the 3297 click here;
At this time if I remember correctly parts of the Northeast did not yet have clearance for double stack trains 

CR 3297 in the lead past Bedford Tower and tower operator 1/87th scale John B has come down to hand up some train orders.  

HLCX SD40-2 #6773 a former BN unit poses at Bedford Station behind 1/87th scale Engineer Ed's big Cadillac Eldorado

1/87th scale Engineer Ed and Sir Neal look over NS GP60 #7140 with the Operation Lifesaver painted on the side. PC Ralph admires the green on the HLCX engine and thinks to himself... not bad. But he decides he'd rather be 1/87th scale PC Ralph than 1/87th scale HLCX Ralph..

A Leased Engine and an NS Operation Life Saver Engine signal that time continues to march on at Bedford
The NS60 is a 1991 EMD graduate. See here for more photos;

Time has indeed marched on and the 1/87th scale rail fans check out CSX C40-8W #7664. This engine was built for the CSX in 1991 and is still in service today in this paint scheme. See here for most recent photo 
You can almost here 1/87th scale Engineer Ed giving 1/87th scale Sir Neal the business saying "CSX! What a funny name for a railroad! Heck it's not even a name it's just some letters!' And you can also almost hear CSX rail fan 1/87th scale Sir Neal's reply "It's how tomorrow moves..."

The CSX train passes Bedford Tower under the watchful eye of 1/87th scale Tower Operator John B.

 CSX 7664 now in the lead leaves North Side Yard and gets a wave from Hohman Ave Tower Operator 1/87th Scale Larry D. Note the double stacks coming out of the yard. 

Thanks for Reading


  1. Great story! It would be good to know where some of the vintage models came from, too!

    1. Thanks John! Good idea for the vintage models.

  2. Nice looking collection of models running on the layout. I enjoy your historic information on the different units and eras they are from.

    1. Thanks Brian! It was nice getting this stuff some layout time. It was an enjoyable afternoon of model railroad rail fanning.

  3. Nice way to start my weekend by reading your blog. Seems a lot of action was going on, and revenue generated. Yes, I could see where 1/87th Ralph would cringe at the HCLX colors. If I was in his place, I would cringe as well! We all know that the PC lives on, no matter what others may say. Glad to see CR making its way to the N.Y.C.T.L. mainline for some duty. Some interesting consists, to say the least. So how did that CSX beast sneak in there? Is it leased from the CSX / A.P.R.R. subsidiary? Inquiring minds want to know!

    1. Thanks 1:1 Scale Sir Neal!I bought that CSX Dash 8-40CW a long long time ago at Trainland when I lived in NY. I paid $19.99 for it. I believe it is the only engine I have that is still 'current'. One son owns the NS 7140 and the other has a pair of BNSF units.

  4. Fun time warp railfanning! Have to say my favorite might be the vintage B&O units. Railroads with an "X"?!? What on Earth!? The AMTRAK idea might just last beyond the 70s if that attractive train is any indication of what it might offer (compared to mismatched cars from various roads riding behind dirty black PC E8s!). Seriously, a most enjoyable blog entry!

    1. Thank You Ralph! It was fun putting this together.