Royal Hudson Glamour Shots

IMGP3393RawConvA view of CPR 2850 inside my John Street Roundhouse diorama.

I promised this when I posted about my Rapido Trains Royal Hudson. This is a photo heavy post of images of the model. Not much to say about it, just sharing images of a gorgeous model!

Pictures of the Rapido Royal Hudson inside my diorama of Stall 15 at the Canadian Pacific John Street Roundhouse.
A couple of camera phone closeups. I don’t have a macro lens, and gettting in tight with the big camera is hard as it’s too close for it to focus!
Advertisements

Rapido Royal Hudson – Initial Review

 

In October 2015, Canadian Model Railroad manufacturer Rapido Trains chartered coaches (including a Dome) with VIA Rail for a trip from Toronto to Montreal and Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum for a product launch. The launch was an announcement of a new line of steam locomotives, potentially ten in total over a multi-year span if the products were successful.

22144508038_1f696a19e7_o.jpgJason Shron, president and founder of Rapido Trains announcing the “Icons of Canadian Steam” line at Exporail in 2015.

The first entry in the product line was the Canadian Pacific Railway “Royal Hudson” 4-6-4 locomotives. These locomotives are amongst the most famous in Canadian Railway history, coming to notoriaty in the 1939 Royal Tour, when the reigning monarch King George VI became the first King or Queen to visit Canada. The tour was a PR event to build support on the eve of World War 2 that would start that fall, but a single CPR Hudson, Number 2850 hauled the entire trip westward for the Royal Family without fault or deputation. Upon request of the CPR, the Royal Family allowed the locomotives to be called Royal and to maintain the cast crowns on their running boards which had been installed for the royal tour.

The outer slip case packaging for the Royal Hudson

A semi-streamlined passenger express locomotive clearly has no place on a switching layout like Liberty Village, but a model Royal Hudson was something I’d wanted since I was a kid, same as with a model of the Canadian. Now I have both. And because this is a display case special, I went for the 1939 Royal Train version, which was prepared in a special scheme of stainless steel cladding with deep two tone royal blue and the royal crests on the smokebox door and tender. If its going to be a display piece, might as well really be a display piece!!

More art on the main box inside the slip case, then the instruction manual and exploded diagram, and finally, beneath the foam, a steam locomotive!

This is the second accurate plastic Canadian steam locomotive in my collection, the first, the much maligned True Line Trains Canadian National Railways 4-8-4 Northern. I won’t go into its many woes real or imagined, but the Rapido Hudson blows it away in terms of detail, running qualities, everything. The Hudson is heavy, one of the key differencees to other plastic locomotives I own (mostly british) is that large parts of it are diecast, so it has weight and heft to pull. It features the expected crazy level of details, and sounds recorded from a real CPR Hudson, Number 2816 which is still owned by Canadian Pacific, and was used until the past few years for employee and charity specials.

First photos of the Royal Hudson, with the working front coupler switched out for the much better looking fake one, and the etched stainless steel “Canadian Pacific” name board added to the runnig board. I haven’t added the raised brass numbers to the walkway yet, I may not as it looks fine without them.

Video of my test of the Hudson on my test track via my ESU LokProgrammer is below:

I need to do a proper photo shoot with the Hudson. I think I’ve figured out where and how as well, just need to get sorted out to do it and I’ll post another more photo heavy page on it. All in all, my first impressions are excellent, and It will look great in my display cabinet, and who knows, maybe someday down the road I’ll have a layout to run it on. I’ll probably at some point take it to others HO Scale layouts just to let it stretch its legs and work in the motor and gears.

Alco Family Photos

A Trio of Canadian Pacific Railway 7020’s!

Ain’t they quite the family? Three of the four Canadian Pacific Railway paint schemes that Alco S-2 Number 7020 wore in her life. The recently re-painted preserved 7020 in as-delivered 1944 Black with Tuscan boxes and yellow/gold lettering. The tuscan with yellow was introduced sometime in the late 1940’s/early 1950’s, and the Action Red Multimark was applied sometime after 1968 when it was introduced. All that is missing is 7020 in CPR Tuscan and Grey with script lettering (see here) that would have been worn from the early 1960’s until it was repainted after 1968. I’ve never seen a photograph of 7020 in the tuscan and grey  with block lettering that was applied between 1955 and 1960, though many S2’s received this version. Switchers didn’t get repainted a lot, so the fact that 7020 wore four paint schemes between 1944 and 1986 when she was retired is actually quite impressive!

All three 7020’s can be seen Sunday May 26th at the Toronto Railway Museum‘s Doors Open Toronto Open House from 10am-5pm. I’ll be there between 10 and 3 if anyone wants to talk modelling and you’re in the Toronto area.

CPR 7020 Nearing Completion

 

One of the planned workhorses of my layout will be a Canadian Pacific Railway S-2 Alco switcher Number 7020. This is a model of a locomotive which is preserved at the Toronto Railway Museum. She spent her entire working life in Toronto switching for the CPR. As I’d written about previously, I’m modelling her in her 2nd paint scheme, an overall maroon with yellow bars and trim.

IMG_8224CPR S-2 #7020 being tested on my layout. Still have to apply decals to the number boards and then weather.

Today I flat coated the locomotive to take off the shine and seal the decals for weathering. It already looks lightyears better being dull, and will get some heavy weathering to reflect the paint scheme being tired and near replacement in my mid-late 1950’s era.

First test pull of cars from the staging tail tracks onto the traverser.

I’m still using a loaner DCC system (and even if I had bought mine, I haven’t wired any of the layout yet!), but that was enough for me to put 7020 on the track, and check that she moved forward and back, and was able to pull some cars onto the staging transfer table. Successful test, as you can see in the video above.

IMG_8230Temporary wiring hookup to power a single track on the transfer table.

Once I’ve finished the numberboards, I’ll probably set up the good camera for some beauty shots before weathering is applied, but that’s another days task as a productive holiday Monday of layout puttering comes to an end for me!

Alco S-2 DCC Quick Update

After forgetting to take a video at Trevor‘s of the working locomotive after doing the DCC install, yesterday Trevor loaned me an old Lenz entry-level DCC system, not nearly fully featured by todays standards, but enough to control a locomotive to start-up, move, and trigger some basic functions.

IMG_7696A ghostly primered S-2 with a Lenz Digital Plus throttle being put through its paces.

While I can’t do much with the Lenz other than stand test locomotives, at least it let me play around with a few other DCC locomotives in my collection to check if they’ll respond to commands. Whenever I have my own system and get some track laid, I can see I’ll need to do a round of locomotive tuneups as well!

Video of the test run, Alco’y turbo’y goodness!

Digital Comand Control for an Atlas S-2

IMG_6290.jpgStarting Point for a Saturday, one Atlas S-2 mechanisim, ready to have its electronics removed and DCC Installed.

Yesterday I got together with my friend Trevor Marshall, an accomplished model railroader. He recently did a DCC install in a Walthers Southern Pacific SW-1, a similar small switcher with a tight body for working in to my Alco S-2 for Liberty Village.

IMG_7655After stripping out the Atlas Board, and unclipping the wires, there is lots of room to hard wire in the decoder.

As the only DCC Install I’ve done was a plug and play into my CNR D-1, for this install, even though the Atlas board had an 8 pin socket, in discussing with Trevor, he advised that removing the factory board would allow for a better install that can better use the features of the ESU Decoder than plugging into the Atlas board. I was game, but I’m not the best solderer, and there is a lot going on in rewiring a locomotive. As Trevor is experienced, when I asked if he’d be interested to do/show/help me on an afternoon, he generously agreed. We started out session out with lunch at his local The Harbord House, and then retired back to his basement to his workshop to work through the install.

Installing two speakers, ESU Sugar Cubes, one in the front where Atlas left space for a speaker, and one in the cab along with an ESU PowerPak Keep alive.

For the Install, I had an ESU Loksound Micro decoder, two sugar cube speakers, and the ESU PowerPak keep alive capacitor. This last unit means for a short locomotive like the S-2, any small gaps in power from electrical shorts or dirty track are not likely to shut the engine down while the layout is operating, a nice feature.

IMG_7664About half way done, moving on to the rear to complete the speakers and PowerPak Keep alive.

One thing I learned is how important it is to think your steps out before you take them. For the most part, we didn’t have to undo anything, though a couple of wiring runs and hook ups we definitely managed to make harder than they had to be. Watching Trevor work I now understand how everything can go together, the challenge will be making it all happen when I get to the point of doing an install myself.

While the sound files loaded, we looked at a bunch of projects Trevor has on the go, including one where I can apply some 3D design and printing to help him get something done that he hasn’t otherwise been able to do, but that’s a post for another day.

One of the things I like about ESU is that their decoders come without sound, and you can download the sound files for a huge variety of locomotive types from their website. With the help of a LokProgrammer, a tool which connects a computer to a track for programming, you can set up and test all the functions of a locomotive. Buying one of these is high up on my shopping list.

IMG_7665Success, loading sound files. The locomotive was successfully programmed and running. As usual, I neglected to get any video of the sound once we had the body back on and everything adjusted.

It ran fantastic, nice and slow, the sounds were great. All in all, a successful day. I was able to watch and learn from someone who understands what he is doing, and hopefully for the next time I’m doing this, I can work on my own now that I have a sense of what all goes into doing the job and doing it well.

Now to get a paint booth sorted out so it can get some maroon on the primer and let me move this project further on to completion.