Empire Belt RR ALcos

Empire Belt RR ALcos
Custom Painted FA / FB Units

Friday, December 30, 2016

Year End Update

Greetings All,

With 2016 in the books for the N.Y.C.T.L. now is a good time to look back on what transpired this year. 2016 was a year of much layout progress and much learning. New friends and old friends helped make the layout a joy to work on and operate.

The beginning of the 'virtual ops' with my friend Ralph V's Kings Port Division http://kingsportdivision.blogspot.com/ played a huge part in the completion of rolling stock, motive power and scenery projects. Dubbed the 'virtual ops catalyst' this led to many positive accomplishments over the year. Some of these include;
25 'virtual ops' installments with well over a hundred photographs of the layout and equipment.

My collaboration and communication with Ralph has been very enjoyable and his friendship is highly valued. Some of the virtual ops catalyst projects were adding several new engines, each one accurately painted and lettered for their prototype.
PC FP7 4348

NYC #1644

NYC / PC #4072

PC U30B #2875
The virtual ops catalyst led to scenery upgrades throughout the layout like here on the West Side, a long needed fence was installed

A new parking lot 
and the Gervais Pipe and Ralph's Grocery Warehouse siding

Meanwhile Ralph's Grocery Warehouse, named for Ralph V went from this;

to this;

to this;

And 1/87th scale PC Ralph has been a fixture on the layout! 

Gervais Industries went from this

To this

Weathering of rail cars and engines to look more like their prototypes was tried and tested.

Adding power packs to Hudson Coal and the West Side for easier switching of these locations.

The West Side controller
Some imagineered structures to enhance the operations and photographs like this tank car unloading facility

and this steel unloading structure

The 'virtual ops' has been a lot of fun and I am looking forward to it's continuation in 2017. 
I've also had a lot of fun with my buddy Engineer Ed and our "actual ops" This too has been a huge catalyst to have the layout looking good and all the equipment running reliably. Can't hide a derailment during an actual op! Here's 1:1 scale Engineer Ed operating at Terminal Yard;

Here's 1/87th scale Engineer Ed at Bedford Tower talking with tower operator 1/87th scale John B

We've run a lot of trains and had a lot of fun.

We also took several road trips for layout visits, swap meets and train shows that were a lot of fun. We visited Eric Siegel's beautiful O scale Appalachian & Western RR

We checked out Master Model Railroader Bill Zawacki's HO scale Little Towne RR

And most recently the Tuscarora Mountain RR. 

A beautifully scenicked and operating 2 rail O scale layout

A box of goodies from a swap meet journey

Upgrading and adding better looking and functioning railroad equipment has always been one of my priorities. To facilitate this I continue to employ the services of the N.M.D.C. (Neal Multz Diesel Consultants). Over the years 1:1 Sir Neal has been a huge supporter of the N.Y.C.T.L. and a great friend. His Neal's Lumber and Hardware is one of the NY.C.T.L.'s best online customers. I look forward to our continued friendship and adding his A.P.R.R. into the virtual ops.
Agents from the N.M.D.C found, arranged for purchase and forwarded these subway cars for the Empire City Transit Authority.
and this L.I.R.R. RS-2

I also raided my purgatory box for several projects that paid big dividends.
From the Purgatory Box; A PC caboose project went from this

To this;

The NYC 499043 project went from this;

To this;

NYC / P & LE Gondola (pictured with a Model Power blue flatcar) went from this

to this;

CB&Q and Southern gondolas also weathered with better looking loads 

And the Model Power blue flatcar became this NYC flatcar;

A Bachmann depressed center flatcar went from this;

To this;

Thanks to 1:1 scale John B, who's alter ego is 1/87th scale tower operator John B, the towns of Bedford and Bedford Park came into being. Giving these layout locations an identity has greatly enhanced the way I view the layout and paid huge dividends in the way the railroad operates. Shakespeare said 'what's in a name?' The answer is plenty for the N.Y.C.T.L.
A layout location in need of an identity; Bedford is born

So much better for train photos and a sense of location Bedford and Bedford Park have become good spots to rail ran and enjoy switching operations

Day one at Bedford Tower. 1/87th scale John B is on the job.
The rest of the 1/87th scale crew pays a visit to welcome John to the layout. Note engine #358. An A.P.R.R.engine painted in the N.Y.C.T.L. Paint shop. The A.P.R.R. is 1:1 Sir Neal's freelanced model railroad.

Bedford Station. NYC Observation car "Nassau County" is 1/87th scale Sir Neal's private business car. As the senior engineer and N.Y.C.T.L. employee 1/87th scale Sir Neal enjoys some serious perks.

NYC GP7 5746 stops at Bedford Station where some REA cars are receiving express shipments.

Another project that is one of my favorites of 2016 was adding PC 10-6 Sleeper Car 'James Park Jr' to my fleet. 1:1 John B was instrumental in determining who James Park Jr actually was. Thanks John!
The PC 10-6 sleeper went from this;

To this;

Another upgrade this year was adding 1:1 Larry D. to the group and adding Hohman Ave Tower to the layout. This simple structure manned by 1/87th scale Larry D. has added some great photo opportunities and a sense of realism to Terminal Yard and the West Side of the layout.

1/87th scale Larry D gives the hi ball to an outbound North Side Yard train
Whether exchanging pleasantries or insults the engine crews always like seeing 1/87th scale Larry D. 

And last but not least the N.Y.C.T.L. collaborated with 1:1 Sir Neal's A.P.R.R. to honor the New York Central Pacemaker Trains

And 1:1 Ralph V and 1:1 Sir Neal on a Penn Central Tribute video

For additional videos from the N.Y.C.T.L. feel free to check out my youtube channel

That's enough for this blog entry. Thanks for reading!
Happy New Year to all!