Custom Painted P-2000 units

Friday, May 26, 2017

Pool Power Opens The Summer Action

Greetings All,

With the New York Central Train Layout back up and ready for action I had a sort of modeler's block on what engines and cars I wanted to take out of their boxes and put on the layout. While I contemplated this I was also thinking about the Memorial Day Weekend and the recent opening of our neighborhood pool. Pool? Hmm...Pool Power? Hmmm... And there was the inspiration for getting the first actual revenue train into Empire City. 

What is Pool Power among railroads? It simply allows for two or more railroads to run an entire train with diesel locomotives thru congested terminals with minimum delays. The railroads kept accounts of locomotive mileage on foreign roads and any imbalances were reconciled by agreement, with either a fixed cost per mile charge or a loaned diesel to run off the owed mileage. The whole process became known as motive power pooling and the New York Central was an early participant in motive power pools and run through trains.

For today's action I concentrated on using two loaner diesels from the CB&Q. The choice of which road name was cemented by recent conversations with a fellow modeler known here as ATJOE1972. The NYC and CB&Q used end terminal and routing thru Elkhart - Omaha Nebraska, via Chicago for their motive power pooling agreements. 

From the New York Central Railroad Color History by Brian Solomon with Mike Schafer. Page 54 covers the NYC's involvement.
 A close up of the connecting railroads and terminals
With the story set let's take a look at the action;

CB&Q F3As running off owed miles leave Terminal Yard with train EC-3 destined for North Side Yard.
Rolling thru Bedford we can see University Milling in need of rail cars to get back into operation. The P&E boxcar spotted at Berk Enterprises is being loaded for use in the next P.C.C.M.
 If we're going to run CB&Q engines we might as well get the CB&Q rolling stock into the mix. This is a Proto 2000 kit. The small lettering near the door says "Do not load with Lime, Soda Ash, Bulk Cement, Hides, Oil Tar and Creosote Products or any commodity that will render it unfit for Flour Grain Loading" This car has the 'Everywhere West' slogan on one side and the 'Way of the Zephyrs' on the other side.
Burlington Refrigerator Express cars with both wood and steel sides. Models are Athearn BB.
1/87th scale John B is back on duty at Bedford Tower and gives the high ball to EC-3. 1:1 John B was a proponent of using 'Pool Power' to get my pair of Mopac B23-7s on the N.Y.C.T.L. Looking at photo #2 above he was right as the Mopac and NYC had pool power agreements in place. 
EC-3 on the High Line. The boxcar with the yellow door is a Missouri, Kansas and Quincy 50'er that older modelers will recognize as belonging to NMRA Master Modeler Gary Hoover. It is an Accurail product.
EC-3 heads thru midtown. The lady on the left  better get her nose out of her pocketbook and look up! 
 A CB&Q wood sides boxcar and double door boxcar.
CB&Q F3As, 1/87th scale Larry D and a chain gang clearing the mess at Hohman Ave. let us know that EC-3 is arriving at North Side Yard. 
 EC-3 arrives at Terminal Yard. 
Extended vision CB&Q Athearn RTR caboose #13635  brings up the markers. I believe the CB&Q actually had this style of caboose.
Behind the caboose we can see the investigation is under way on this possible mob hit.
The 1/87th scale trainmen of the N.Y.C.T.L. gather at North Side Yard to check out the foreign power. Keep an eye on 1/87th scale PC Ralph. He looks like he's ready to head out and where's his car?
What's this?! Seems 1/87th scale PC Ralph took advantage of the N.Y.C.T.L. hiatus and has purchased two promotional vehicles for his Ralph's Grocery empire.
Here's a close up of 1/87th scale PC Ralph burning up the asphalt with this over sized custom make hot rod shopping cart. And it's a business write off. Way to go Ralph!
Meanwhile the foreign power runs caboose lite back to Terminal Yard
Now it's time to get the Empire City businesses back in business. Four 40' reefers are spotted at Ralph's Grocery warehouse under the watchful eye of 1/87th scale Hot Rod Shopping Cart Ralph.
The North Side Yard power today are the old reliable and turbocharged NYC EMD GP20s. 
I really like the way these GP20s look in mainline service and even more so in local service. Their short wheel base makes them very nimble, their weight gives them excellent pulling power and they run extremely well at slow speeds. Both GP20s are Life Like Proto 2000 models. 

That's it for today. Keep an eye out for the next P.C.C.M. installment. 1:1 scale PC Ralph's Kings Port Division will be originating the action. and I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things with the virtual ops.

I'll also be meeting this Saturday with 1:1 Engineer Ed at our L.H.S., Trainmaster Models in Buford GA for a swap meet. I'm hoping to score some rib sided cover hoppers for a joint project with 1:1 PC Ralph and Engineer Ed. More on that in future posts.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Really enjoy looking at the vintage cars, and how well they mix with Accurail! In the last photo, is that a Life Like LV car? What did you do to replace the trucks and couplers?

    1. Thanks John! Sharp eyes catching the LV Life Like car. Yes it's an old Life Like model that I bought at a model railroad club open house about 20 years ago. I later cut the coupler mount off the trucks and added P-2000 metal wheel sets to the original trucks. I body mounted the couplers using the Kadee 20 series coupler boxes.

  2. I really like those CB&Q locos and caboose. Looks great going thru its paces on the NYCTL. Also nice to see the NYCTL back on action none the worse for wear.

    And who have thought that a Wiener Mobile and Hot Rod shopping cart could look so at home on the NYCTL.

    I will say I am a little concerned about the mob crime rate in NYCTL land. It seems almost like a whack a week ! Better be careful the feds don't get wind or they will come in and take control of the police force !

    1. Thanks Double E! Funny how the N.Y.C.T.L. can incorporate good prototypical railroading information, a mob hit, a hot rod shopping cart and a wiener mobile in one blog entry. Maybe I need therapy....

  3. Completely agree with Engineer Ed, the visiting Q power looks great on the NYCTL. Your correct the Burlington had several of the Wide Vision cabooses in service.
    Looks like the Omaha to Elkhart trains have a nice mix of exchange traffic with the various pieces of CB&Q rolling stock.
    I laugh at the 50ft boxcar instructions on what not to load in that car. Must have been for the knuckle heads in the Globeville area of Denver. The Q had a lot of customers that would have dealt in such items from that part of town.
    Your NYC GP20's are always a hit and favorite. Glad to see the layout returning to normal. PC Ralph is always the showman, his promotional hot rods should draw the crowds at
    his grocery chain. Looks like the fellas at the Ace Cafe are trying to make up for lost time.

    1. Thanks Brian! Reading the boxcar instructions under magnification was a bit challenging but the block of words was very prominent so I figured I'd add it to the photo cation. Nice to know the instructions were in fact necessary as the CB&Q dealt in such boxcar loads and with knuckle heads! Like I wrote to Engineer Ed I think I covered every thing in this blog entry. Prototype Info; Check. CB&Q F3s; Check. Mob Hit; Check. Hot Rod Shopping Cart; Check. Wiener Mobile; Check. NYC GP20s; Check. Thanks for the input on the F3s!

  4. Everybody in the pool! A great way to run locomotives from foreign roads, and the surprise CB&Q consist is a classy and welcome sight! I really like the exhaust weathering along the side vents on that pair of F3A's by the way. Hmmmmm, what's the problem with Lime, Soda Ash, Bulk Cement, Hides, Oil Tar and Creosote Products mingling with grain and flour?!? Gotta love the no brainer instructions on the side of the "Everywhere West" car. Whoa! 1/87th PCRalph rides in style while the RI trailer photo bombs the scene!!! You'd think the E.C.P.D. might give him a glance even though they are busy investigating another mob related homicide. NYC GP20s make a great end note on this most enjoyable blog post!

    1. Thanks for the compliments Ralph! This was an enjoyable post to set up after I overcame the modelers block. The prototype information was a good find and using the Hot Rod Shopping Cart Ralph made it even more fun. Add in a mob hit and away we go!

  5. Sir 1/87th Neal is at the ready to resume receiving goods at Neal's Lumber and Hardware as well as getting back to the helm of one the N.Y.C.T.L.'s fine engines to get freight moving! Glad to see the layout back in shape and ready to go!

    1. Thanks 1:1 Sir Neal! Your 1/87th scale counterpart should be very busy in the upcoming days as we get ready to resume the virtual ops!