Custom Painted P-2000 units

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rescue Attempts

Greetings All,

As a long time model railroad I've collected trains from many sources and different manufacturers. Some were purchased, some were gifts and some were much better than others. In my early days the old Kaybee Toys was selling Bachmann freight cars at 5 for $10.00. This was before the EZ mate couplers and the Bachmann Silver Series. I bought a bunch. All cars had talgo mounted X2F (horn hook) couplers and plastic wheels of dubious quality.

As time went on a lot of these cars were upgraded with body mounted knuckle couplers and metal wheels. Some of the cars however went into what I call the purgatory box. Some were stored serviceable and some were waiting for divine intervention to help them join their peers on the layout. One of these cars was NYC 499043, the A.H.M. heavy duty flatcar that I recently covered in this blog entry.

Based on the success of that project I dug into the purgatory box to look for other freight cars I could return to revenue service. I also expanded the search to other rolling stock that was being largely ignored for whatever reasons. Let's take a look at some of the my most recent rescue attempts

Two Bachmann gondolas from the Kabee Toys days. Both need to receive body mounted couplers and better wheels. Both have been weathered to some degree in a prior attempt to get these cars into service. 

Two more gondolas from Bachmann and a Recycled Steel gondola which I believe is a Model Power product. I painted the inside of the P&LE and CBQ gondolas awhile ago. These two come under the category of largely ignored. Probably because of their bright colors they just never seemed to get the call when gondolas were needed.

A Model Power Gulf Gasoline flatcar and the P&LE gondola from the above picture 

A TYCO A.T.S.F. flat car that has had it's wood deck painted. Both the Gulf car the A.T.S.F. car have received new brake wheels and assemblies courtesy of leftover Athearn parts.

Disappointing steel coil loads from Walthers that I purchased a few years ago. Put them together and put them into a box where they seldom if ever saw the inside of a gondola. Below I'm spray painting them at 
the N.Y.C.T.L.'s outdoor Paint Shop known as the Patti-O to try and improve their appearance.

P&LE car has been weathered with Doc O'Brien's weathering powders from Micro-Mark to tone down the green and give it a more realistic appearance. This looks promising when compared to the CBQ car. Both cars already have body mounted knuckle couplers and metal wheels. These two cars were featured in a prior blog entry in 2013;

Weathered P&LE car with with painted and weathered steel coils. 
CBQ car has painted steel coils. Banding colored black with a Sharpie Marker.

The weathering powder was flying and all three cars are now done. The SR gondola received body mounted knuckle couplers and some better wheels.

CB&Q gondola is looking much better to me

One SR gondola is now in revenue service

The N.Y.C.T.L. has added three decent looking gondolas. The improved steel coils fit into the cars nicely  

TYCO A.T.S.F. flatcar with new brake wheel and slightly weathered now in revenue service.

The second Southern gondola and the Gulf Gasoline flatcar are still in the N.Y.C.T.L. shop. Management is hopeful they can be returned to revenue service in the near future.

Thanks for Reading!!


  1. I agree -- with the improvements that make them operable, weathering and loads make a huge difference.

    1. Thanks John! I don't usually weather my cars much if at all but in this case I really like the way they look.

  2. I think the N.Y.C.T.L. maintenance crew in conjunction with their paint department went all out to bring those cars back to life. They look real good, and should generate enough revenue for the railroad to more than offset the cost of the refurbished work done to them. Kudos to you John!

    1. Thank you 1:1 Sir Neal! I am quite pleased with the efforts of my 1/87th scale shop personnel on this project. Cars sitting in the box don't earn revenue as you noted.

  3. "The Purgatory Box"! Now I know what to call my box of unused and misfit cars! Very nice job getting that rolling stock in service!

  4. Your Purgatory fleet looks really sharp after your upgrades and weathering. The upgraded and weathered coils add some nice details to the gondolas as well.

  5. Thanks Brian! This turned out to be one of those projects that paid big rewards for very minimal capital investment. Everything was already owned so it was just a matter of getting the projects started and seeing them thru.