The N.Y.C.T.L. is finally glad to announce that Penn Central E8A #4072 has joined the fleet. This was one of those projects that suffered from delays from the outset. Here's the story of this locomotive and two other Penn Central E units that received upgrades as a result of this project.
Several years ago I purchased used Proto-2000 E7A and E8A units from a fellow modeler. The modeler included a P-2000 E6A power chassis minus the shell in the deal. The E7A and E8A quickly became Penn Central 4210 and 4317 respectively.
Then came this project. Last year I came across a Rivarossi shell that would fit the P-2000 E6A power chassis. I stripped and repainted the unit a rattle can gray. Originally destined to be a New York Central unit I didn't like the way the gray looked with other NYC E units in the stable. So the gray shell sat in the 'purgatory box' for several months while management mulled over what to do with it. One of the key issues keeping the project stalled was that I now knew that the NYC and PC units did not have mars lights like the newly painted gray Rivarossi shell did. Should I correct it.? The Rivarossi front door does not come off unless cut off so that would mean sanding and filling. Should I bother? I had the other PC E units with mars lights and a NYC E8A #4020 that I painted in the cigar band scheme with a mars light.(oh, the shame!)
This simple project was starting to cause project bleed in a big way. If I spend the time to correct this shell then have to do the others right. Ugh!
Eventually I researched the PC E units for a gray unit with a PC patch and found 4072.
So I finally bit the bullet and was able to get the 4072 project completed. I then tackled the two other PC E units. Fortunately for me the P-2000 nose doors come off easily so it as only an matter of filling the door headlight opening, repainting black and adding a PC decal over the covered opening. Disconnecting the mars light wiring, tucking the mars light out of the way and rerouting the headlamp was pretty simple. The NYC 4020 has not yet made it to the work bench. The NYC herald and cigar band stripes make this a bit more involved than the PC units. But for now I'm happy with the results on all three PC units. Let's take a look at some photos of the project;
Cigar band striped painted with rattle can white.
Air grills are rattle can aluminum.
Look Ma, No mars lights!!!