Friday 3 May 2013

Modelling a CPR RS-3

A short CPR local led by a new MLW RS-3 is coming off the wye at North Bennington on the Green Mountain Division. The unit is being leased by the Rutland RR while several of their own RS-3's are in the shop for repairs. This unit will soon return to her regular assignment between Montreal and WRJ.... Don Janes photos

Using a Stewart Body and Atlas Frame and Chassis to build a CPR RS-3

by Don Janes

     The Canadian Pacific RR was a major player on the Connecticut River Line of the CPR and B&M. Once fully dieselized, this line hosted a variety of Canadian Pacific Alco and MLW units.  I had always wanted an accurate model of a CPR RS-3 but other than a hard to find Van Hobbies brass model offered many years ago I am not aware of any other model of this engine available in HO scale.  While browsing the Bowser web site I came across body kits for the old line of Stewart RS-3's which included the phase 2 body, which with a little work could be made into a very close replica of the CPR carbody.  Since Bowser only offered the body and no drive I decided to try and combine a smooth running Atlas chassis and drive with the Stewart body.  
      I am not going into a detailed description of how I built this model as it would take up way to much space.  I did write a detailed article for Model railroader which they accepted so hopefully it will show up in the pages of MR in the near future.
    Using photos for reference I modified the Stewart body to match the prototype.  As you can see from the following photos there was a fair amount of work involved and quite a few prototype specific detail parts added.  At the same time I had to modify the Atlas frame and chassis to fit the shell.  I was actually surprised how well the two fit together with just a minimal amount of modification.  
    I decided to add a Soundtraxx Tsunami AT1000 Alco 244 sound decoder to the model also.  This was a fairly straight forward install and well worth the time and money spent on it.  When the 244 fires up it really brings the model to life and you feel like you've gone back in time and are standing trackside at WRJ.
    I am extremely happy with the finished model and plan to do a Central Vermont RS-3 using the Stewart phase 3 body shell in the near future.

The major modifications have been completed and the model is about ready for the paint shop.  Most of the detail parts have been added.  Note the extended step on the fireman's side of the unit and dynamic brake equipment on the short hood roof.
Here is a view of the fireman's side of the unit.  The crew is spotting an old wooden GN boxcar at an industry in WRJ.. 
Having finished their work at WRJ the local is now heading back to Newport, Vt


  1. That is gorgeous! I'm presently undertaking the same project, but in N. At this point, it's a challenge in itself simply because a lot of the parts (like the air filters for the carbody) do not exist!

    I'm curious where you found a decent photo of the steam generator on the short hood? I have so far been unable to turn up anything.


  2. Hi Andrew: Glad you liked the CP RS-3. I found the photos of the short hood dynamic brake detail on the internet. Send me your e-mail address and I'll send you the photos i found. My e-mail is

    Don Janes

  3. Nice work! What did you use for the handrail stanchions?

    Hunter Hughson

    1. Hi Hunter: The handrail stanchions are brass from Smokey Valley. Not sure if they are stillavailable or not....Don Janes