Thursday 31 August 2017

WM Double Door Boxcar

On the WRD a WM double door boxcar is ready for service. It got some PanPastel weathering followed by a light overspray of boxcar red. The trucks are rubbed with a pencil to get a bit of that metal look.
Here is another of the part built $5.00 kits I picked up back last winter. It did not need much work so I easily finished it off before heading to the lake in the spring. I don't have a lot of 40' double door cars in my fleet and I am not sure if this one would have been seen in New England...but for now it will on the WRD. It might become a trading chip in the future.

This model came with a Tichy roofwalk which would have been a lot nicer than the stock part. I cut off the grabs adding Tichy replacements. I also bent uncoupling levers and added bent wire bleed rods. I also clipped off the coupler pins.

I did change out the stirrups with A-Line 29002

Sunday 27 August 2017

St J. Turntable

A look at a scene in St. Johnsbury, Vermont back on May 22, 1977 by Gord Taylor...George Dutka

VTR Yard Rutland

A view looking South in Rutland, Vt. from the overhead bridge. May 23 1977 Gord Taylor photo.
Another view I scanned recently from the Gord Taylor collection which is in the hands of Peter Mumby...George Dutka

Saturday 26 August 2017

SW1200RS Models: A Changing of the Guard.

This pair of CPR Branch Line Units is headed for the Bellows Falls yard.  The prototype 8160 was one of the "pups" that replaced steeple-cab electrics working out of Preston, Ontario on CP's former Electric Lines.
By Peter Mumby
Photos by George and Peter.

In my post of June 30, 2017, I referred to the SW1200RS as "the iconic Canadian small road switcher of the late 1950s produced by General Motors Diesel."  Essentially a GMD road variation on an EMD yard switcher theme, these units were based on a standard SW1200 design.  To accommodate higher speed requirements, 62:15 gearing allowed for 65 mph on the road, and flexicoil trucks were provided.  The 500 gallon yard switcher fuel tank was replaced with a 775 gallon version, and multiple unit connections were included.  A large headlight/number board fixture was designed to fit on one or both ends of the body, depending on the owner's specifications.  Built to replace the smaller steam locomotives that frequented Canada's many lightly-built branch lines,  the SW1200RS made its presence felt from coast to coast.

The first such unit was built for Canadian National, and rolled off the erecting shop floor in London, Ontario in September of 1955.  Between then and 1960, CNR took delivery of 192 similar units.  Most were numbered in the 1200s or 1300s.  They received the class designation of GR-12, as compared to GY-12 for comparable SW1200 yard switchers.  Early deliveries featured hood-mounted handrails, later replaced with a safer frame-mounted design.  Locomotives of this class were also later retrofitted with a pair of distinctive spark arrestors.  After a long and successful working life, some units became candidates for rebuilding in the late 1980s; those with replacement prime movers were renumbered into the 7300-7317 group.  Others went in to the 7100-7107 "Sweep" programme, or were renumbered as hump units.

Comparable Canadian Pacific units 8100-8171 were constructed between 1958 and 1960.  The major cosmetic difference between this group and their CN counterparts was that the CP "branch line units" lacked the large number board fixture on the cab end.  In the 1981-1985 era, a number of units were upgraded with newer engine components, and renumbered into the 1200 number series.  A small group of the 8100s were rebuilt as slugs or control units and numbered in the 1000 and 1100 series.  As on CN, most of the original SW200RS locomotives have now been retired.  Many found their way onto the used market and continue to work today for private operators.

With their only air intakes on the end of the long hood, prototype units running cab-ahead wouldn't operate at maximum efficiency.  During the 1990s, 8158 was stationed at Havelock and was the regular unit on the Peterborough road switcher.  This model of 8158 was built by Barry Storey.

My entire CN green and gold fleet has congregated on the White River Division.  Units 3142 and 3156 were built by Dan Kirlin.
As previously mentioned in the June 30 post,  Rapido Trains has announced the imminent release of a group of SW1200RS models.  It sounds as if this is going to become a very popular release, with orders exceeding Rapido's expectations.  But what about modellers who desired a version of this locomotive twenty or thirty years ago?  Were alternatives available, or did HO fans simply do without?  Limited run brass models have been available, but for most of us, an SW1200RS was a detail, paint and decal project.  The likely starting point was an Athearn blue box SW7 (Hobbytown also produced a suitable mechanism).  Kit K-21, an SW-1200 RS Conversion Kit, was made available by Juneco Scale Models.  (The wife of the founder of this product line was named "June," so when pronouncing the company name, think "June Co."). At this time, Juneco was producing wood kits for CN and CP cabooses in HO, along with a few other pieces of rolling stock.  At least one structure kit was offered, as well as an O scale car kit.  The main portion of the Juneco line, however, was made up of a large number of metal detail parts.  The K-21 kit included soft metal castings for the number boards, class lights, MU components, spark arrestors, and road switcher pilot, as well as Athearn handrail stanchions and wire for handrails.  Suggested optional extras were the C-53 CN winter hatch, and the B-10 chain for walkover protection.  For some reason, the fuel tank modification (C-54 or C-55) was not included in the kit, although this was an essential detail for either the CN or CP version of the locomotive.

Many of the Juneco detail parts are still available today, although K-21 and the rest of the kits have disappeared from the catalogue.  The only SW1200RS-specific parts I could locate on the Inter-Hobbies Distributors site were the C-53 CN winter hatch, the C-54 fuel tank modification, and the C-90 SW-1200 RS number boards.  Building an SW1200RS model, especially of the CP variety, would still be possible today, albeit a bit of a challenge.  Keep your eyes open for a K-21 kit at the train shows, and your task will be greatly simplified!

The Juneco K-21 kit contained an excellent set of instructions with lots of prototype data.  One plastic bag contained the four flexicoil side frames, with the other parts in a second bag.  Also shown is the fuel tank modification as a separate part.  I had none of these kits left in my inventory, but my friend Gord kindly loaned me one of his kits for photographic purposes.

This photo illustrates a few of the individual metal Juneco castings.
When George and I returned from the Rapido open house, I got to thinking about the SW1200RS models in my collection, all built using Juneco and Athearn parts.  After brushing off the cobwebs, I determined that I had built four myself, and acquired six more from other sources.  I also located one additional shell which has yet to be completed.  Once the Rapido models arrive, will I still be satisfied with these relics from the hobby's past?  For now, they'll go back on the display shelves, but we'll see what next year brings!

Here we have a comparison of the cab ends of the CN and CP variations of the locomotive.

Check out the front end of the two road's units.

CN 1331 demonstrates the look of the original body-mounted hand rails.

This incomplete shell from my collection replicates the look of the rebuilt 1200s.

The gathering of the clan.

Thursday 24 August 2017

D&H Whitehall, New York

D&H shop building at Whitehall, NY. May 23, 1977 Gord Taylor photo

Once again a look at what Gord found at Whitehall years ago...George Dutka

An industrial view of Whitehall, NY May 23, 1977 Gord Taylor photo

Monday 21 August 2017

Alburgh Pump House - Model

A new offering from Monster Model Works.
I got an e-mail last week from Monster Model Works with their new offering...a Rutland railway pump house that was located in Alburgh, Vermont. This structure I don't know anything about having made many visits to Alburgh in the past. There is a prototype photo included with a note that it was built in 1903. This might be a kit that I could include in one of my industrial complex's....George Dutka

A straight on view.

A look at the prototype.

Sunday 20 August 2017

Along the St. J - 1968

In storage on Septmber 30, 1968 Morrisville Vermont...Ian Stronach photos.
Ian sent me these great views and a few words that I thought you would love to see...enjoy the trip...George Dutka

"I liked seeing Gord Taylor’s SJ&LC shots the other day so I dug up a few of my own to share from my files.  My notes have long disappeared and I suspect as a 15-16 year old I was more interested in getting lots of pictures than making entries in notebooks.  That said, these photos are from the first of three trips to the St. J.  This trip was made on September 30, 1968 when I found the out of service 70 tonners in Morrisville, Vt. and followed the daytime St. J turn from St. Johnsbury to Morrisville"...Ian Stronach. 

Out of St. J. 1968.

More engines stored in Morrisville, Vermont 1968.


Saturday 19 August 2017

Imagine That - Interior Detailing

An interior detailing offer that might work in a factory or warehouse.
Here we have a nice group of boxes offered as a small detailing kit. It comes with everything seen in the photo. If you are going to model a warehouse with an open door this might be a good fit for the scene...George Dutka.

Friday 18 August 2017

Snapshot - August 2017

EXPORAIL entrance June 2017
Nothing unusual about this photo at the entrance to ExpoRail other than it got me thinking of a modeling project. I still have a short piece of completed Micro Engineering bridge works that maybe I could use as an engine display stand similar to what we see in this photo...will have to measure it up. I am sure this will make another topic for a post...George Dutka

Thursday 17 August 2017

Sn3 Narrow Gauge Modeling

Back in June Don and I visited Bill Scobie's Sn3 version of RGS North. Bill lives in Alymer, Quebec across from Ottawa. For more views of Bill's great layout check out my Modeling Maine in Narrow Gauge blog, link on the sidebar...George Dutka

Don and I operated on Bill's layout. We actually both operated the same train as seen here Don is running the lead engine while I am back a way running the helper engine while getting railfan shots...not your normal operating session.

Bill has a lot of really nice kit and scratch built rolling stock in most sidings.
One of the many scene we ran our train though and in many cases switched.

Monday 14 August 2017

St J.&LC - Equipment

May 22, 1977 Gord Taylor photo
A couple of photos Gord took decades ago in Morrisville, Vermont...George Dutka

A string of cars on the old St. J. May 22, 1977, Gord Taylor photo.

Sunday 13 August 2017

Growing the GTW Boxcar Fleet

This is the original member of my small GTW boxcar fleet.  It was modelled from a photo I took in London in March of 1986.
By Peter Mumby, with Photos by George Dutka.
I suspect that, like me, a lot of readers of this blog will have spent many hours over the years perusing the pages of hobby magazines such as Model Railroader and Railroad Model Craftsman.  As recently as ten years ago, in a preliminary scan I would have sought out the ads and new product announcements in search of interesting rolling stock items to add to my "want list."  With the recent proliferation of price increases, I have pretty well cured myself of this tendency; my interest in acquiring the newest freight car releases has become inversely proportional to these rapidly rising costs.  Mind you, I find myself still buying items; I am simply concentrating on the used market.  Over this past train show season George and I have located a plethora of products at a practical price point (i.e. in the $5.00 to $15.00 range).  These have been good quality cars, such as Life-Like Proto 2000 and Atlas, either in kit form or ready-to-roll.  Often, all they require is a light weathering application, and they are ready for the layout or display shelf.  Case in point - the GTW fifty foot boxcars shown in the accompanying photos.

Here we see representatives of this year's acquisitions arrayed on George's workbench.  In the background are similar projects that George will be undertaking.

GTW 595468 is a lightly weathered Atlas model.

This drone shot highlights the roof area of GTW 591268, a Proto 2000 model.

GTW 591599 is another Proto 2000 model.

Saturday 12 August 2017

Railfanning in Northern Ontario

A Northbound CN freight skirts along a quiet lake south of Parry Sound.  The second unit still sports its original BC RAIL paint scheme

CN and CP in the Parry Sound Don Janes

     Every year we set aside a couple of weeks to go camping at Horsehoe Lake Campground, about 15 km south of Parry Sound.  The first year I was there I heard the constant sounding of train whistles so set out to explore the area for possible train photography.  Both CN and CP pass within a few miles of the campground and I now have several favorite spots to from which to watch trains. The three spots featured here are Rosseau Road where the two railroads come within a few yards of each other, the secluded lake beside the CN main on Lawson Bay Road and the CP town of MacTier which was once a busy division point but now only a crew change spot with a couple of sidings.
    Although lines are on the two railways transcontinental route, traffic can be very light some days and getting a train photo can entail a lot of waiting.  The upside of that is that sitting by a peaceful lake on a summer afternoon with a beer or two can be very relaxing.  
    Although the north and southbound VIA Canadians are scheduled through here in the wee hours of the night I was very fortunate to catch a very late running northbound Canadian with a huge train pass through in mid afternoon which was the highlight of this years train watching. 
      Next year I hope to get some shots in Parry Sound where the CP has a huge trestle over the mouth of the bay and the CN line crosses a really neat dam further in town.  The two railroads do direction running through Parry Sound so you can catch trains from both roads on each line.  Until next year.
Shortly after the train in the above photo passed through a second CN intermodal train passed by my lakeside location. 
My next outing took me to Rosseau road where within seconds of my arrival this southbound CN welded rail came drifting around the curve.  I barely had time to turn the camera on.
About an hour after the CN train passed this giant southbound CP intermodal train came along with only one unit on the head end. the CN main is to the right.
About two thirds of the way back in the train was a DPU unit pushing hard as the train neared the crew change at MacTier.
My favorite shot of the trip. The Northbound Canadian with 3 units and a very long consist skirted the lake.
Bring up the rear was dome/observation car Prince Albert Park.
Shortly after the VIA passed another CN northbound freight came along.  There would be one more CN freight before I headed back to the fifth wheel for dinner.
Back at Rosseau Road a few days later I caught this northbound CP freight with 2 units on the point and another DPU cut in about halfway back.

As soon as the 8772 passed Rosseau Road I hightailed it to MacTier to catch the crew change.  Here the outgoing crew is getting a roll by inspection from the inbound crew.  In a few more hours the train will be in Toronto