Tuesday Train #126

IMGP0759RawConvThe third Ontario Southland Crew out on September 24, 2018 had this pair of Ex-Canadian Pacific Railway SW1200RS locomotives.  No’s #1245 & #1249, built in September 1960 are seen here leaving the CAMI Automotive plant with autoracks for interchange with Canadian National in Ingersoll.  From the plant lead here, they highballed straight out and onto the mainline and through Ingersoll to the CNR interchange without stopping.

The previous Ontario Southland Tuesday Trains from my day chasing are here at #124, #124.5 & #125.


A Canadian Pacific Railway S-2 for Liberty Village

With the Liberty Village area my layout is set in being served by both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, and it being set in the late 1950’s (specific date TBD, closing in on 1956/57, probably will leave some leeway by choosing a year/season vs a specific date), I need both steam and diesel locomotives.  I have previously touched on projects to provide small steam 0-6-0 switchers from CNR and CPR, and my CNR diesel needs are met by ready to run models from Rapido Trains (I’ll be using an SW1200RS and a GMD-1 as the CN diesels, both could have been seen in Liberty, long term, slightly earlier models like an NW-2 or S-2 would probably be more regular sights).  But, back onto topic, for my primary CPR Diesel, I am going to be using an Alco S-2.  These were the first diesel switchers delivered to the CPR in Toronto, and in fact, my model will be the first, which is preserved today in Toronto, though I won’t be painting it in a “normal” paint scheme.

IMG_6289.jpgI forgot to take pictures before stripping it down. Here is the body shell ready to have all the paint stripped off it after taking off all the separate parts and glazing.

I recently picked up one of the newer Atlas S-2 models, which is DCC ready, but doesn’t have a decoder.  It was painted for CPR, but in the “wrong” paint scheme, it was in Maroon and Grey with script lettering.  If it had been “block” lettering, I maybe could have used it, but I am going oddball and going for an intermediate scheme between the as-delivered black with Maroon and Gold Trim, and the introduction of the Maroon and Grey paint scheme that is classic Canadian Pacific.  In between, there was an overall maroon with yellow trim paint scheme applied to some Alco and Baldwin locomotives, including 7020 and some other S-2’s assigned to Toronto.  As such, to be different, I am going with this scheme.  There is a collection of pictures of different early S-2’s in schemes including the “Smiley Face” at this link.

CP7020-27020 and 7027 in the “Smiley Face” (which is on the other end) scheme on the turntable at John Street. Photo by Dom McQueen, 1952. From the Bill Sanderson collection. Scan From Here.

This scheme would have been phased out starting in 1954 or so when the Maroon & Grey became the standard.  I don’t know when 7020 was repainted from this scheme to Maroon & Grey, but applying Rule 1 of “Its My Layout”, I’ll have a very dirty and weather worn 7020 in this scheme clearly ready to be repainted switching Liberty Village.

IMG_6313A picture of the locomotive after the paint had been stripped off it. It’s now been primered and is ready for applying CPR Maroon over the entire body.

This is when compared to the steam locomotive projects, a pretty simple one. Strip off the old paint, spray on maroon, decal, seal, weather, and install DCC decoder.  To strip the Atlas factory paint, I used my preferred first choice of 99% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.  It’s cheap, readily available at pharmacies/grocery stores, and compared to a lot of other paint removal techniques, relatively begnin.  That doesn’t mean you don’t take precautions.  Use it in a well ventilated area, and wear gloves when handling, the isopropyl softens the paint when the shell is submerged in it, but the paint comes off in the alcohol and makes a mess if you aren’t careful, and you don’t want the paint/alcohol mix getting on skin or all over your desk.  I find that soaking for about half an hour softens the paint that a first pass with a toothbrush gets off a lot of paint, then you can look for areas where the paint is holding tight to soak and scrub more vigorously.  In my experience, it hasn’t softened the plastic, but I also don’t leave the model in the alcohol and ignore it.  It’s in and out and scrubbed and when I’m done, into soapy water to wash off any loose bits of paint and left over alcohol.  After a chance to sit and thoroughly dry, its then washed and dried again, then painted with Tamiya Fine Surface primer to look for any issues and give a good clean surface for the new paint to attach to.

The real 7020 at the Toronto Railway Museum, and my other model of 7020, an older non DCC Atlas S-2, part of my Toronto Railway Museum collection of models that I take to Train Shows a couple of times a year for the museum. I’ll now have a pair of 7020’s from different eras in my collection!

I suspect, that the painting of the maroon will happen in the next couple of weeks, time and such cooperating.  Given its going to be some time before my layout has a DCC system or is running, buying the decoder and getting the right sounds installed for the locomotive aren’t going to be a rush, but will get done when it gets done.

Something Shiny for Liberty Village

This week I received something I won on eBay, my first Brass Locomotive.  For those who aren’t familiar, for a long time, Brass Locomotives made in Japan or Korea where the only way to get accurate models of many locomotives, especially steam locomotives.  They were (and remain), expensive and often, poor runners (which makes them lousy for layouts like mine designed for operations).  They were as often as not, owned by collectors and displayed, and not run.  I won’t get into a long history of brass and bore people, that’s what Google is for if your interest is piqued, go search. Suffice to say, given the price of a single locomotive that I knew likely wouldn’t run well/at all, and many brass locomotives came unpainted (which mine is, but now I have the skills to paint a locomotive), they were always something where I’d look in hobby shops display cases, and quickly turn away.  I always chose to spend less and have several models vs. spending a lot on one item.  All that said, they do mean that many odd prototypes or locomotives that wouldn’t sell from traditional mass manufacturers are out there if you are willing to find them and pay the price.

IMG_6410Something I never thought I’d buy, a Brass Locomotive.

I hadn’t even been looking for one, it was one of those “some day when the layout is built I might look for one” things, but since I announced my layout prototype, two of my friends Trevor Marshall and Ryan Mendell had bought Van Hobbies O-18a’s!!  One of them, my friend Ryan Mendell saw this one pop up on Ebay a couple of weeks ago at a good starting price and let me know about it, and I was able to buy it for slightly less than either of them bought theirs (anecdotally the Brass market has been softening as the number of model railroaders shrinks and the older modellers with large brass collections try to sell them off and can’t find buyers or pass away and leave their family to deal with them).

IMG_6416.JPGThe history sheet and original decals that came with the unpainted brass locomotive.  When mine is painted I will use modern decals as these ones are likely not fit for use after years in a box.

The O-18a’s were 0-6-0 switching locomotives, originally built for the Grand Trunk Railway, a predecessor of Canadian National Railways between 1919 and 1921.  The last ones were retired in 1961, and two survived into preservation.  They were used for industrial and yard switching, and in Toronto, were based at the Spadina Roundhouse, and serviced industrial areas in downtown Toronto including Liberty Village, hence my eventual need for one.

With this locomotive, I now have my core fleet of locomotives for the layout, and I mean it when I say I won’t be buying any more for a while!! I need to spend time and funds on things like laying track, constructing buildings, scenery and a DCC system to actually run the layout.  While many of the locomotives are projects (This, CPR U3e, CPR S-2 (post coming), they are in hand, its paint and details and work, not buying more than I need to actually be able to operate and have a bit of variety.

Tour around the Locomotive.

Below are two videos of the locomotive being tested.  It runs, reasonably well, but since it will need to be fully disassembled to install DCC, and to paint it, I will likely replace the motor and gearbox with something more modern and reliable.  I know Ryan will be doing that with his, so I’ll be able to see what he has to go through, and observe someone who is much more mechanically inclined than I am do the work before I have to take on the task.

The only thing left for me to do now is some research on which of the O-18a’s which lasted into 1956/57 when my layout will be set were still working in Toronto, and choose a road number for the locomotive when painted. I’ll have to be sure to not choose the same number as Ryan and Trevor, otherwise they won’t be able to bring their examples to run on my layout!!  So for now, another project, but another important one for my layout, so i can live with that at least!!

Tuesday Train #125

IMGP0612RawConv.jpgOntario Southland 2nd Crew at Putnam on September 24, 2018.  The first crew to run through was seen in Tuesday Train #124.

This crew was the second of the three FP9A’s the OSR owns (the 3rd No.1401 was in the shops being painted.  This pair is FP9A #1400 built in June 1958 and GP9 #8235 built in March 1958.  They are switching the mill at Putnam, and when done would return to Ingersoll to collect two cuts of auto racks from CAMI Automotive (Chevrolet Equinox) and take them to Woodstock for exchange with the Canadian Pacific Railway. I forgot to include the video of the day in the last post, so here is is: